April 26, 2012

REVIEW: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

The first novel of the companion novel to Richelle Mead's bestselling Vampire Academy series, Bloodlines is a must read for anyone who loves VA, vampires or just a great novel.

I wasn't free of my past, not yet.

Sydney's blood is special. That's because she's an alchemist—one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiances in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir—the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir—is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places—a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside—and within—the school grounds. Now that they're in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.
description from bloodlinesseries.com

Just a side note to say that I have read Vampire Academy prior to starting Bloodlines, so I would recommend that you read VA before as it would bring more enjoyment and a greater understanding of the novel. 

I loved Bloodlines - it was awesome - I couldn't stop reading. In true Richelle Mead style, Bloodlines is addictive, funnily enough you have cravings to read it, not to dissimilar to the vampires she writes about... hmmm.

I liked that it was a companion novel with new problems that stemmed off the old problems from Vampire Academy. It made the connection well, yet allowed the plot to focus on the story of the minor characters from the other novels. 

In my opinion, one of the best aspects about this novel was that Adrian was frequently part of the action. Now, I am very biased as I adore Adrian (yes, more than Dmitri - don't kill me!) and think he is absolutely hilarious. I could go on to argue that Rose was horrible to him - but that's a whole other story! I just think that he added an element to the book that it needed -comic relief. 

I enjoyed being able to explore the alchemist's world more, the relationship that Sydney has with the vampires and how it comes to change during the story.

A little side note/ fangirl rant on this topic: I was delighted to see that Abe made a cameo so that we could learn about his past with Sydney. I think that Abe is really entertaining.
Don't fret Rose fans - she makes a cameo too... and some one else... mwa ha aha ha ha!

The mystery was great and the fact that it was left open for The Golden Lily only lets me wonder where it is going to be taken next... CAN'T WAIT!!!

I also think that the progression of the plot went at a nice pace, giving you enough time to connect the dots, enjoy the moments in between and the book was not too long or dragged out. But I also have to be a bit of a 'Negative Nancy': Maybe it was just me, but some of the plot elements were too predictable?! 

Tell me what you think in the comments section below!

Don't let my weird psychic-ness put you off - Bloodlines is an awesome read that is great for fans of vampire novels, VA, Richelle Mead, teenage girls 13+ or someone who is looking for a great read. 
Once again - I suggest that you read VA prior to Bloodlines for a better understanding and enjoyment of the novel...

Looking forward to The Golden Lily, look out for the review - I know I am looking forward to it!


A great review at The Reading Date

Interview with Richelle Mead and GOLDEN LILY EXCERPT at Entertainment Weekly

April 25, 2012

Bookstore Rampage

I went on a bit of a bookstore rampage with my mum this weekend. These are just the YA novels that we bought. Don't forget magazines, notebooks, just general books, and stuff with writing...

Anyway - I got Revived!

My Mum and I  have way too many copies of Pride and Prejudice already, but we just can't resist buying another when we see it in a nice format...

April 24, 2012

The Raven Boys Sneak Peek

I was excited when I found out Maggie Steifvater has a new series coming out soon in September - The Raven Boys. It sounds intriguing and gothic, and it seems to be just that.

Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey, III has family money, good looks, and tons of friends, but something’s missing from his life: He won’t stop searching for Glendower, a vanished Welsh king, who — legend has it — will grant one wish to the one who finds him. Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there — known as Raven Boys — can only mean trouble. When Gansey and his fellow Raven Boys come into her life, Blue realizes how true this is. She never thought her fortune would be a problem. But now she’s not so sure.
Check out a sneak peek below, the first two chapters.

(via Entertainment Weekly)

April 23, 2012

Gold Mining

Do you ever go to the library and find that book sitting their, looking all modest, and you pick it up, only to find that it sounds great? Do you read it, it's awesome and wonder why it's so under-rated?

Well, that's what happened to me, and I struck gold: Lost it by Kristen Tracy.

I started the first day of my junior year of high school zitless and basically happy. I was sixteen and feeling good. I didn't have any major issues. Okay, that's not entirely true. For weeks I'd been growing increasingly concerned about Zena Crow, my overly dramatic best friend. She'd been going through a rocky stretch and had been talking incessantly about building a bomb. Not a big bomb. Just one that was big enough to blow up a poodle.

What would you do...

...if your best friend were plotting the annihilation of a small, furry neighborhood poodle? Or if your parents up and moved to an Outward Bound-type survival camp in the middle of the desert? How about if your grandmother bought you new bras and underwear -- and you actually thought they were a teensy bit, umm, sexy?

Most people would not react well.

Tess Whistle's junior year of high school is off to a fairly bizarre start. One might even say her life is spiraling out of control. But with her sense of humor firmly intact and her first real boyfriend on her arm, Tess is dealing with the ridiculous twists quite well, thankyouverymuch.

Just wait until her shoes explode.

Hilarious, genuine and the perfect light read, Lost It is really under appreciated and deserves a bit of a spotlight - so here it is!

Have you read any books that are absolute gold, but not many know about? Tell me in the comments section, I'll reply and publish some of them on the blog. 

Plus, all her other books sound great - and the covers are awesome!


I'm really excited about author Cat Patrick's new book, due to come out in May this year. I read forgotten and loved the premise - Patrick has some really original ideas and executes them well, so keep an eye out for Revive. 

As a little girl, Daisy Appleby was killed in a school bus crash. Moments after the accident, she was brought back to life.

A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been Revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and as she discovers the agency’s true goals, she realizes she’s at the center of something much larger—and more sinister—than she ever imagined...

SORRY! I seem to have messed up the dates! If you live in Australia, Revived came out on the 1st of APRIL!!! That means that I can go buy it! Yay! *Celebratory Dance*. And I also feel like a fool for getting the date wrong - SORRY!

You can also read an awesome review over at Reading Wishes by clicking here.

Cat Patrick is an author of books for teens. Her debut novel, FORGOTTEN (available now), is about a girl who can remember the future instead of the past, and was praised by NYT bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher, as a "mindbending," one-sitting read. The book is being translated into 21 languages and Paramount bought the movie rights, with True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld attached to star as the main character, London Lane.

Patrick's second (unrelated) novel, REVIVED, is about a girl who's part of a secret government program to test a drug that brings people back from the dead. REVIVED will be available in the US May 2012, and in the UK and Australia Summer 2012.

Patrick lives near Seattle with her husband and twin 3-year-olds, and is afraid of zombies, planes, and zombies on planes.

April 19, 2012

Cover of the Week: Meant to be

I am smitten with this cover. It's just so cute!

It doesn't sound bad either!

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

April 16, 2012

Around the blogosphere...

You know that feeling when you find something really cool on the web and just want to find it or want to tell someone about it?
Well, this is where you can do it!

If you find a good review, a new book that looks good, a cool cover or trailer, want to recommend something to me or someone out there, or just something book-ish that you find interesting and want to share, then comment on this post and I will do a follow up post with the best comments and coolest links.

I will share some cool things that I have found, and hopefully you can too...

Daughter of Smoke and Bone UK Cover Reveal

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor has finally come out in the UK, I loved it! (If you've read it, tell me what you think. Yes, I know what you think Katie :)!)
Anyway, I found the new cover, I like the Aus one better, what about you?

Ryan Gosling reads Young Adult

A Hilarious tumblr that references YA Books but with a twist: making captions on various pictures of Ryan Gosling. They are written to girl, and are from the perspective of Gosling. I found this and I thought it was pretty funny. 

Mara Dyer Trailer
I just have to remind everyone that the trailer for The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is the best book trailer that I have ever seen. 

Watch it. Now. Here. You Must. Trust Me. Do it. NOW! 
(Not meaning to sound scary or anything!)

Before I Die - Now is Good
Before I Die by Jenny Downham is becoming a movie with Dakota Fanning and Jeremy Irving. Coming to theaters in late May, you can watch the trailer here or read the imdb profile here.

April 11, 2012

REVIEW: Lola and the Boy Next Door

The companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, Perkins' debut novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door does not disappoint. 

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighbourhood.
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

One of the things that I loved most about Lola and the Boy Next Door was Anna and Étienne's presence in the plot. Although they definitely could not be classed as major characters, they were not minor either. They provided comic relief and other friends for Anna while continuing Anna and Étienne's at the same time. 

The concept was really cute; girl who loves costuming wants to make Marie-Antoinette like dress for prom. Parents do not approve of her older boyfriend and hunky, old flame moves back in next door - conflict set. Spark Ignites. Match.

What is so great about Perkins' books is that all the characters are likeable. Even the ones who you aren't supposed to like don't annoy you. I loved Lola, Lindsey, Cricket and Lola's parents. I didn't really like Max, and I thought that Cricket annoyed me at times - just tell her that you like her already!

The series of events ticked along. I always found myself looking forward to the next event - never disappointed with the outcome. The end was satisfying, tying up the strings with all the characters and plot lines. 

If I could only use one word for Perkins' novels, cute would sum them up. Perfect, light, fluffy, they sweep you off your feet for a while with swoon-y romances and warming characters.

A definite must read for any 13-17 year old girl who likes Stephanie Perkins, contemporary novels with a touch of romance or if you liked Kisses for Lula by Samantha Mackintosh or any Meg Cabot novel.

April 08, 2012

BTL: the new look

Okay, so Penguin's teen book blog has undergone a makeover and there has been mixed reviews. ( no pun intended!) Some people are really annoyed that they changed the name too, but here is what I have to say:

You have done an absolutely smashing job guys (and girls), - I love it! 

In my opinion, change is a part of staying relevant and I think that the team at Penguin have done a great job... They have updated the look of the blog and the Twitter page, and I think that the geometric-y design looks really groovy! Keep up the good work!

Here's a sneak peek, and check it out for yourself with these links:
Penguin Teen Australia Blog & Twitter.

Regards from the bat cave,

April 02, 2012

REVIEW: Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Corrinne Corcoran’s upscale Manhattan life is perfectly on track—until her father announces he’s been laid off and she’s shipped off to Broken Spoke, Texas, to live with her grandparents. All alone in a big public school and forced to take a job shovelling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the glamorous life she’s supposed to be living. But as she grudgingly adjusts—making new friends and finding romance along the way—this city girl begins to realize that life without credit cards and shopping sprees may not be as bad as it seems.... 

Okay, so here's the deal: the story has been done before and there are no surprises - but, in saying that, it still finds a way to be really enjoyable. 

You know the story: 'little rich girl' becomes 'poor little rich girl' - literally. Moves to the country and becomes real person who isn't such a big-city-dwelling snob after all. 

Although Where I Belong does take on this story line - when I bought it I was aware of this and wasn't expecting anything else. Just a cute, fun read to take your mind off things; I found this great during a period where I had a whole bunch of school work due. 

I liked the 'red herring' guy, but I thought he was really transparent and just an all round tool; I was really annoyed that Corrine couldn't see that. I guess that is what it's really like in reality though, you're blind to it until someone else points it out to you. So, in retrospect, the events of this novel were quite realistic. 

Where I Belong is an enjoyable novel that gives you exactly what you expect and because of that expectation, it's that much easier to enjoy that. 

April 01, 2012

REVIEW: The Darkest Powers Trilogy #1: The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home. 

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

First of all, let me say that I accidentally read the second book first. Now I know that it's not really relevant, but I would not want you to do the same thing - all I can say is: "the prequel effect."
So; the book order:
1. The Summoning
2. The Awakening
3. The Reckoning

Overall, I thought that this book was a cute, light and fun read; like a paranormal version of chick lit. 

But, I did think that it was a bit cliched in parts: Derek and Simon just annoyed me, I thought that the other relationships in the novel were sometimes predictable also. 
Maybe it's just me, but I thought that the plot was a bit slow; the major, minor even, events were too few and far in between. Don't get me wrong - if the string of events picked up pace, it would probably be a great, action/ adventure/ paranormal/ slightly romantic teen novel.

So, if you don't mind looking past the slower plot pace, then you could definitely enjoy this easy read; it has it all, action, adventure, romance, drama, inmate rivalry and a little bit of the dark side. 

The downfall was that The Summoning's concept was great but not executed well. Necromancy, teens trapped in an asylum-type "hopsital", a little bit of romance and a bad boy. Hopefully if you know this, you can take it for what it is and enjoy those little moments.

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