Pearl Verses the World by Sally Murphy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rating: 4/5.
Summary: At school, Pearl feels as though she is in a group of one. Her teacher wants her to write poems that rhyme but Pearl's poems don't. At home, however, Pearl feels safe and loved, but her grandmother is slowly fading, and so are Mum and Pearl. When her grandmother eventually passes away, Pearl wants life to go back to the way it was and refuses to talk at the funeral. But she finds the courage to deliver a poem for her grandmother that defies her teacher's idea of poetry – her poem doesn't rhyme; it comes from the heart.

Review: Pearl Verses the World is not the kind of book I would pick up in a bookstore. The cover, though adorable is too childish for my tastes and I started the story with that mind set. The novel is directed at younger readers, but I still managed to enjoy it.

It's written in verse and Murphy does a wonderful job at getting Pearl's emotions across and making the reader feel for her. The verse is clever and poignant and I enjoyed it immensely.

Another thing I enjoyed about Pearl Verses the World is the youthfulness of Pearl and her sweet innocence in the novel, making the poems, for me a little more enjoyable and fun. Pearl, was in one word adorable. And I enjoyed her character, in the short length of the novel Murphy was able to make me feel attached to Pearl and really care about what she was feeling and how she would cope.

I love the message of this story and I love the way Murphy puts Pearl's thoughts across. Pearl Verses the World really is a great novel. Even though it's not YA, I believe that a lot of people would enjoy it and younger sibling would love it.

It's hard to rate Pearl Versus the World because it's not YA, it's more MG. I'd give it four out of five stars, I'd recommend it for your younger siblings and you can always have a quick read of this little gem.


Lack of Posting.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

As you may or may not have noticed there has been a lack of posts. It's the end of the school term and there have been tests, projects, work and not a whole lot of time for reading. It's a busy weekend for me, it was my birthday yesterday (ohhhhhhh) and I have lots of stuff on. Life has been a very stressful thing.

I apologise for the lack of posts. I have a two week break coming up at the end of next week, so I will be reading heaps, I have lots of reviews to write.

Thanks and please just bare with me.


In My Mailbox (6)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

In My Mailbox is the awesome weekly segment created by The Story Siren.

Going Too Far by Jenniffer Echolls.

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn’t make it back.
John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won’t soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won’t be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge—and over..

Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. (1, 2 & 3)

St. Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school—it's a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St. Vladimir's—the very place where they're most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world's fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Money Run by Jack Heath.

Ashley Arthur is a teenage thief - the best there is. Nothing is so safe that she can't get to it. But when she tries to rob a billionaire of $200 million hidden somewhere in his building, she collides with an assassin who plans to kill him. Suddenly Ash is fighting for her life, and it seems that the billionaire might have a sinister agenda of his own . . .


Charlotte McConaghy Interview Part 2.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Charlotte McConaghy's debut novel, Arrival, has been a hit with Adele, Lisa and I. After thoughly enjoying the novel the Aussie YA Alliance has chosen this week to focus on Charlotte and her novel. We conducted a MEGA chat room interview last night and it's been broken into 4 parts. (Links to the other part at the bottom of the interview).

Of all the characters you created, who is your favourite?

I'm completely in love with Jane and Fern. I can't get enough of them! Fern is ultra hot the way I imagine him!

Did you base any of the characters off of people you know?

No, they are all completely imaginary. However I did name a character after my brother Liam, in the hopes that it would one day entice him into reading it.No such luck yet. You'd think having a warrior emperor named after you would get someone reading...

What can you tell us about Book 2? We need some details (we are a little fixated on what's going to happen)

Okay, I can tell you that it is very much in the works. I finished off the second draft today!!!

What's book 2 called?

I don't have a name for it yet. I'll have to mull it over for a while yet. I'm terrible with names. I find it the most difficult thing about these books because there is so much in them!

When’s book 2 being released?

I don't have a date for it yet, but hopefully before the end of the year. Sorry, guys, I'm not being very helpful am I? Haha, yeah I'll definitely stick to the one word idea.

Who do you think you are most like...out of the Strangers?

I think what I like about all of my characters, is the fact that I can create qualities in all of them that I can aspire to. I'd like to be Jane, of course, but that's just wishful thinking. lol

Want to read the rest of the interview?

Part Two: Right here.

Part Three: Look At That Book.

Part Four: Persnickety Snark.

Arrival can be purchased online here.

Review: Somebody's Crying by Maureen McCarthy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

“When Alice looks up and sees Tom staring at her, everything closes down around them and becomes very still. No one is breathing. No one else is in the room. Tom feels as if he can see right into the soul of Alice Wishart. It lies open before him, like a wide long pane of glittering glass. So beautiful and…ready to break.”

Rating: 1/5.

Publisher: Allen and Unwin.

Summary: Three years have passed since the murder of Alice's mother, but still the killer is unknown. Alice, her cousin Jonty and his friend Tom are drawn together by the mystery, but what is each of them hiding? Will their secrets bind them tighter or tear everything apart?

Review: Somebody’s Crying. It’s the novel that is everywhere at the moment. You can’t walk into any facility that sells books and not see it. That creates a lot of intrigue, it certainly did for me and I found myself disappointed.

The story is centred around the death of Lillian, close friend of Tom’s, the mother of Alice, aunty and good friend of Jonty. And how each react to the death and what happens after. It’s a story filled with a lot (a lot) of angst. Characters that are constantly changing their oh so set opinions and too much description. Lillian is made out to be a wonderful and artistic woman and is wholly admired by the three main characters and I found her bland. The plot is basically a non thing, as I can’t name more then two big events. The blurb had me ready for a good mystery filled with twists and turns. Yet, I sat there reading tentatively, set up my suspicions and none of them were right, sure the mystery was tricky, but it wasn’t great tricky it was: is that all? And left me feeling no satisfaction at all.

When you plunge into the first pages of the novel you’re taken aback by the descriptive and wonderful writing style. You’re interested, you want to know more about the lives of Johnty, Tom and Alice. You want to know who killed Lillian. Soon, the lovely descriptions become strenuous and you find yourself wondering when something will actually happen.

I will not deny that Maureen McCarthy has a freaking fantastic way of writing a novel. Her style is just amazing. Unfortunately that doesn’t bring the novel home.

I had a love hate relationship with the characters. I could get so annoyed at them, especially Alice. She seemed to be glorified by the other characters, but I found her hard to put up with. Same with the deceased Lillian. The characters that were glorified I found hard to put up with due their unattractive personalities. That made it hard for me to like Tom and Jonty due to their intense adoration of Alice and Lillian. On a positive note, they were very realistic characters and McCarthy crafted their realism very well.

The end is sweet and happy. Sometimes when I think back on it, I think that it’s too happy. Other times, I think that after all they’ve been through it’s good closure.

I’m giving this novel, one out of five. I wouldn’t recommend this novel. I expected a lot more.

In My Mailbox (5)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

In My Mailbox is the awesome weekly segment created by The Story Siren.

Just one book this week, but it's one I've been looking forward to.

Set in 1980s inner-city Sydney, The Lucky Ones follows maverick teen Tom, as he tries to make sense of life after school.The novel reveals in poignant and hilarious ways the workings of a young male mind – with all its misplaced romanticism, youthful delusions, bewilderment about girls and need for adventure.

I love the look of this one, the cover is pretty and the beginning was brilliant.

What did you get this week?

New Look!

I thought that my blog needed a make-over and look what the awesome Kelsey did! LOOK! How pretty is it? We went through I think two before we found this one. I think I stressed Kelsey out to the max, but look what we got in the end! Thank-you Kelsey!

When the new template went up, I lost all of my widgets, so I don't have my blog list anymore. If you were on my blog list could you please comment so that I can re add you?

Don't forget to check out the AYA this week. We're focusing on Arrival by Charlotte McConaghy. An absoloutely awesome novel that I recommend to all of you. There will be an interview with Charlotte up on AYA later this week, so stay tuned. Want to know more about Arrival? Check out Black Dog Books and, well the AYA this week.


Waiting On Wednesday (4)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday is the awesome weekly segments that allows us book lovers to drool over soon to be released books. Find out all you need to know here.

This week I chose Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend's restless spirit.

I've seen reviews EVERYWHERE and it makes me want to read this book SO much more. It looks so amazing. Everything about it so captivating, the cover, the title. I can't wait until I can read this one.

Teaser Tuesday (1)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Here's my first Teaser Tuesday. The book I'm reading at the moment is Undine by Penni Russon.

This is how it works:

*Grab your current read
*Let the book fall open to a random page
*Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
*You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

"It was dangerous: it was the glittering blade of a knife; it was the momentum of a single mindedness of a bullet. But it was also vivid and intoxicating."

What I love about this book is the descriptions! They give you some great imagery.

The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rating: 4/5.

Summary: (from inside of book) Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, a librarian, who have known each other since Claire was six and Henry was thirty, and were married when Clare as twenty-two and Henry was thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement: periodically his genetic clock resets and she finds himself misplaced in time, pulled into moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future.

Review: Not a YA book, but it deserves a review all the same.

It’s a long book, but it’s worth it. The Time Travellers Wife is an epic tale of Henry and Claire’s truly heartbreaking story and how they defy the odds, even with Henry jumping through time at unexpected times only to wind up in another unexpected time. It took me a very long time to get into it and I had high hopes for an amazing story, and in a sense, I got one, in another very small one, I was disappointed. It starts off really strongly, the prologues, from both perspectives are really amazing.

For a while I couldn’t really feel Claire and Henry’s love for one another. Slowly it sunk in. Some events made it fade away, others made it stronger. I liked the way that everything was really built up and if I were to reread this novel, I would probably cry in some points because I’ll know 100% what’s going to happen and the foreshadowing and events that are clues will be very clear. There were quite a few confusing events that had no explanations but they all kept me hooked and really made this story a page turner. Some parts though, were boring.

The writing style was really blunt, there was Niffenegger didn’t hesitate to swear or use raw descriptions, especially during the sex scenes. That kind of language kept me hooked and really helped me feel a part of the story.

I love the comedic aspect that took away from the anticipated heartbreak Claire was about to face. At some points through the novel I felt like we were focusing on unimportant things.

The way that they described Henry’s condition was amazing. It added the scientific part of the novel in a really interesting and informative way that I enjoyed whole heartedly. Niffenegger made it seem believable.

It was a thought provoking story that really makes you ask: what if? As I write this review I think of scenes and it makes me want to cry.

Unlike the YA romance novels I read, this one unravelled a lot of a married life together. I liked that, though I did very much enjoy when Claire was a teenager in the story.

Seeing and knowing what was going to happen to Henry made it that much more of a page turner. You waited in anticipation for it to happen, you waited it out and then you had to experience it. There are some really intense scenes there that make your heart break.

The end was heartbreakingly wonderful. Personally it was my favourite part of the novel and has me in tears just thinking about it. I’m holding back a spoiler filled rant right now.

Four out of five. It was utterly thought provoking and magical. When I finished I had tears in my eyes and their romance is still with me now. I think that it will be the same for you.

In My Mailbox (4)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

In my Mailbox was created by The Story Siren.

Nothing came in the mail for me this week. So, to make myself feel a little bit better I bought myself:
Evernight by Claudia Gray.

Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

I've been seeing, hearing, reading a fair bit about this book and couldn't resist when I came across it Thursday. I love the cover of this one as well.

What did you get this week?

Fabulous Blog Award

Friday, March 6, 2009

Adele from Persnickety Snark awarded me the Fabulous Blog award.

Here are 5 things that I am obsessed or addicted, or both to:

1. Coke. It rots your teeth very badly, I know, but I can't get enough of it.

2. BOOKS! I love to read, obviously. I love looking at books that are about to be released. I could spend hours in a bookstore.

3. Photos. I LOVE taking photos of me and friends, family, having a good time.

4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Most fantastic show in the whole world.

5. The computer and everything on it. I spend too much time on the computer, checking my emails, writing up reviews, writing, editing pictures (badly), blogging, posting. The list goes on and on.
Haven't been tagged yet? Well I'm tagging you!

Interview with Stefan Petrucha.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stefan Petrucha has written a crazy amount of novels and graphic novels, and the list just keeps growing. His latest novel The Rule of Won has been widely read and loved by a large percentage of the blogosphere. Including me. (Check out my review here). Want to know more about him? Check out his website here.

What was your inspiration for The Rule of Won?

Going back to my teen years, I’ve always been fascinated by New Age ideas. More recently, I was stunned by the popularity of The Secret, especially since, far from being “secret” in any sense of the word, it seemed to be just a collection of old ideas in new packaging. But Oprah endorsed it, and it’s sales were practically propping up the publishing industry for a year or so.

What do you think of ideas like The Rule?

Positive thinking’s great. Believing in yourself, believing the world is full of possibilities can open you up in a life-changing way. On the flipside, not believing in your own potential can shut you down, make it practically impossible to accomplish anything.

So that aspect’s terrific, useful and healthy, but when you take it to an extreme, when you argue that the universe somehow has to give you whatever you ask for, that people who are starving or dying of disease do so because deep down they’re asking for it, that’s something else entirely. Aside from being irrational and utterly narcissistic, it’s dangerous. You can’t have everything. As the current economy is pointing out to peple all across the globe right now, real life is full of tough choices. Having to make those choices defines what we are.

Did you learn anything interesting while you were studying for The Rule of Won?

Aside from reading The Secret and some of the books it was based on (which go back to the 1910s), I did come across a particularly fascinating story about a panel conference in the eighties, where the idea of the Rule of Attraction was being discussed by believers and critics.

It kind of summed up some of my ideas on the subject when at one point, a gentleman held up a picture of a baby with a horrible both defect and said, “Are you telling me this child wanted to be born this way?” One of the believers coughed nervously but finally said, “Yes.” It’s stunning how far some people will go to defend irrational beliefs.

Similarly, writing the novel gave me a chance to go back and watch Mondo Kane, which is mentioned in the book. It’s a really garish, dated documentary, but it did have an interesting section on the cargo cults of the Vanuatu, a tribe that built fake airports from bamboo in the hopes of attracting cargo planes, which they believe carry gifts from the gods.

One song that you think describes or suits The Rule of Won?

Well, there’s the one I wrote, “The Rule of Won” available on iTunes and Amazon, and as a free download at my website,! Past that there’s that old song recently re-used in a children’s commercial, “Gimme that, gimme that, gimme, gimme, gimme that.” Don’t know who recorded that one. And maybe the George Harrison tune off the Beatle’s Let it Be album, I, Me, Mine.

Why do you write for YA?

They pay me! :) But seriously, I broke into writing doing comic books (aka graphic novels), so in some ways teens have always been a big part of my audience. Writing YA seemed a natural. I also write for “adult” markets, but don’t really see it as all that different, other than generally having a teen main character.

If anything, a lot of YA is actually far more inventive, engrossing and edgy than what you’ll find in the mainstream fiction sections. I’ve always been a big fan of M.T. Anderson for instance. Feed, and his more recent Octavian Nothing books are nothing short of brilliant.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Well, some writers advise you to write what you like, and that’s good advice for being happy, but to be a professional writer, to sell something, you have to write what other people like, and that’s not always the same thing. With that in mind, my advice is to read everything you can get your hands on, even stuff you don’t like, and try to figure out how and why it works. In the end, I think it’s more about developing great taste then writing what you like. Writing is communication, and communication is only half about you, the other half is about the person/people you’re trying to communicate with.

What are you reading at the moment?

I’m very pleased to be working on a vampire thriller for the mass market that takes place across about a century. It starts in 17th century America and ends in 19th century Europe, during Napoleon’s reign. As a result, I’m reading a lot of interesting historical material, including a book from a very strange children’s series from the 1890s called Young Puritans in King Philip’s War. I’m also reading some fascinating material about the discover of the Rosetta Stone by French workers after Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt.

Fiction wise, the last story I read was a science fiction piece called Lobsters by Charles Stross I was at a Boston science fiction convention a few weeks back and it coming up on everyone’s must-read list. It did not disappoint.

What are you working on now?

For Papercutz, the edgy tween graphic novel company, I continue to script the Nancy Drew graphic novels with my wife, Sarah Kinney. I’m also penning a few stories for their Tales from the Crypt series (including a Twilight satire co-written with my daughter Maia!)

Past that, I have two mainstream adult projects I’m currently working on, the vampire thriller mentioned earlier, which I think will be my best work to date, and a non-fiction project based on a popular paranormal reality show that I’m having a great time with. The contracts for those aren’t signed yet, so I can’t say much more.

I also recently completed my third book for Walker, Split – about a teen who leads two very different lives – and so far reaction from my publishers has been terrific. I’m very excited about that one as well. It looks like a great coming year for me, writing wise. And hey, thanks for having me!

Thank-you so much for stopping by Stefan! :)


In My Mailbox (3)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In My Mailbox is the awesome segment created by The Story Siren.

Arrival by Charlotte McConaghy.

It has been foretold. Two worlds will collide when six mortals from Earth enter Paragor through a portal.
They will face forces of terrifying darkness.
Their journey will become the stuff of legends.
It is time.

I'm really excited about this one, the prologue was so amazing.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

“Don’t be afraid, be alive.”

Rating: 4/5.

Summary: It’s going to be a long summer for sixteen year old Macy Queen. Her boyfriend Jason is going away to brain camp and she’s stuck working at the library.
But then one night, the summer seems to get a whole lot brighter when she’s needed to help the Wish Catering crew at her mother’s open house event. And not long after that, Macy ditches the library job and joins up with the Wish gang. Where she befriends: the big hearted Delia, quiet and clumsy Monica, fashion loving and funny Kristy, the young genius Bert. But who Macy likes the best is Wes, understanding, artistic Wes. The Wish crew teaches Macy to look at life a whole new way…

Review: I will firstly say that everyone who loves a young adult book, with a boy and an issue: you need to read Sarah Dessen’s books. I can’t enthuse that enough. Dessen is the queen of YA.

The Truth about Forever is wonderful. Sarah writes a beautiful novel where we get a fantastic plot and even more fantastic characters.

The characters are fun and entertaining, and have more to them then we think. From fashion conscious Kristy to Monica who barley speaks. As an avid Sarah Dessen fan I expect wonderful minor characters because she is so great at writing them. The Truth About Forever not only doesn’t disappoint, but brings her minor and quirky characters to a whole new and exciting level.
The Truth about Forever is laugh at loud funny in and brings tears to your eyes in other parts. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that is impossible to not jump on and enjoy like crazy!

The story is sweet and we see that trying to be perfect can waste away our lives, and that we should just be ourselves.

Sarah adds a lot of quirk and fun to the story as she is known to do. She lets us get to know the characters in fun ways, such as “the game of truth”.

We see raw and strong emotion that makes this book a page turner.

Four stars because I totally and utterly enjoyed this book, the characters fun and the plot sweet. Sarah writes us another fantastic book in her own style.


Special: Cover to Cover (3)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

After reading How I Live Now, I’ve become an admirer and fan of Meg Rosoff. I was very excited to find out that she has a new book – a wonderfully titled book – coming out later this year. The Bride’s Farewell.

Aussie publishers need your help in deciding between the U.S and the U.K cover for the book.

So here’s a sneak peek at the U.S cover:

And the U.K cover:

I’m tipping toward the U.K cover myself, but what about you? Which one grabs your attention? Which is your favourite?


In My Mailbox (2)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Whooo! I get to join in! This awesome idea comes from The Story Siren.

(From Amazon)Welcome to New Avalon, where everyone has a personal fairy. Though invisible to the naked eye, a personal fairy, like a specialized good luck charm, is vital to success. And in the case of the students at New Avalon Sports High, it might just determine whether you make the team, pass a class, or find that perfect outfit. But for 14-year-old Charlie, having a Parking Fairy is worse than having nothing at all—especially when the school bully carts her around like his own personal parking pass. Enter: The Plan. At first, teaming up with arch-enemy Fiorenza (who has an All-The-Boys-Like-You Fairy) seems like a great idea. But when Charlie unexpectedly gets her heart’s desire, it isn’t at all what she thought it would be like, and she’ll have resort to extraordinary measures to ditch her fairy. The question is: will Charlie herself survive the fairy ditching experiment?

Only one, but it's better then nothing and I am loving the look of this one. I can't wait to get into it!


Aussie YA Alliance.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Something awesome has begun. The Aussie Young Adult Alliance or AYA for short. It’s a blog devoted to Aussie YA and international authors release in Australia. It’s been put together by Lisa May of Look At That Book, Adele of Persnickety Snark and myself. All Aussie's who love YA, especially those by Oz authors .

We’re planning a tonne of amazing things like regular features, author interviews, guest blogs, competitions and have already got an interview with the author of How To Ditch Your Fairy, Justine Larbalestier.

It’s just getting off the round now, but there are many amazing things to come. So go and show your support! Subscribe, follow, comment!

Want to see better versions of this post? Check Adele and Lisa’s blogs.
What Australian authors have you read? Who is your favourite Aussie author?

Waiting On Wednesday (3)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Created by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. (Fantastic idea!). Basically we book lovers get to drool over books that haven't been released yet.

My pick this week? City of Glass by Cassandra Clare.

(From Amazon) To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that enter-ing the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.
As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?
One word, name, whatever. Jace. I am a huge fan of Jace and think that Cassandra Clare is awesome for creating him and putting him into the YA novel world. *fangirl moment. After the huge cliffhanger at the end of City of Ashes, I am dying for this one!
What's your pick this week?

White Is For Magic by Laurie Faria Stolarz.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rating: 2/5.

Summary:A year has passed since Stacey Brown saved her best friend from a horrible death. Now she's having nightmares again, haunted by ghosts of the brutally murdered . . . and by a crazed stalker. As she desperately casts healing spells, a new student named Jacob enters her world. Beautiful and mysterious, he reveals that he is also having dreams. To stop a killer, they must join together. But can Jacob be trusted? Or will this new love cause her darkest dreams to come true?

Review: I feel like I’m writing lots of negative reviews recently. Oh well. Let’s get on with this. White is for Magic is the second novel in the Blue is for Nightmares series.

I felt like the series would get better, but I feel that it’s stayed the same, or even gotten a little worse. I feel like the characters haven’t grown at all since the tough times they’ve been through last year. Stacey is annoying and fickle. Drea is once again getting herself in trouble and I wish that she could look out for herself. None of them have grown at all. The new addition and love interest Jacob is cool and I hope that his character is more awesome and has more to him then Stacey and magic in the next novel. I think that Stolarz could have made the characters more human this time around. Instead of making the only thing they care about the mystery of the story and the person they’re interested in romantically.

The mystery was odd and I felt like it didn’t really make much sense, but I knew who the “bad guy” was going to be. One positive is that Stolarz allowed you to doubt who the bad guy was, like she did in Blue is for Nightmares.

For some reason I have a compulsion to finish this series, something has me hooked and I don’t want to be, so there’s another positive about the novel.

Two out of five for this sequel. I feel like it could have been much better though, I have still have a little hope that the series will improve.

Waves by Sharon Dogar..

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rating: 4/5
Summary: Last summer Hal’s older sister Charley was in an accident in the waves, leaving her comatose, not dead, not alive.
On returning to the beach, Hal finds it difficult to shake Charley’s dominant presence. Thoughts of her fill his mind, pictures and places, even strong emotions crowd his busy mind and soon enough Hal realises that they’re not entirely his.
Hal is determined to find out what happened to Charley last summer in the waves, and as the summer goes along he gets closer and closer to finding out about what Charley really did last summer.

Review: This was a really fascinating story and I really enjoyed it.
A highly original story that had an excellent supernatural undertone. Wonderful plot, wonderful mystery. Awesome characters and some that were kind of disturbing. Dogar wrote the disturbing parts of her characters an enourmous amount of class.
There are two perspectives given in this novel. The most used is Hal’s, the younger brother, with him we go through his wonderfully written pain and anger about what’s happened to Charley. We’re able to watch him search for answers and put some of the pieces together and even fall in love. Even experience some of the emotion he is experiencing.
Then we have comatose Charley. Her perspective is very interesting, we get her now – as in, the Charley that’s lost in a coma – it’s very creative and vague and I enjoyed reading her parts so very much. Then we get Charley then, and we live her memories of last summer and get quite a few clues from there.
I think that this story takes a bit of getting in to, but it’s very much worth it when you finally do. The ending is beautiful. When all the pieces are put together and you finally see what happened that night things seem to make a lot more sense and we see why some people are the way they are.
Dogar is a lovely writer, who writes with such imagination and creativity it’s inspiring.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a mystery and putting pieces together, or even if you’re a supernatural addict, this could be a fix.

Four stars, this book was really enjoyable and so original, the characters were fun and mysterious, the views creative, I think that this story was a breathe of fresh air.

Cover to Cover. (2)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cover to Cover. Want to know more about it? Check out the first one here.

This weeks pick? Looking for Alaska by the awesome John Green. A personal favourite of mine.

Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words — and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps." Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

I have trouble choosing a favourite out of these three. My copy of the novel has the first cover. I like how simple it is and how intense the: "First friend. First Girl. Last Words." And how Alaska is written.

I love the second one because if you think about it for long enough it can imply a lot. Maybe it implys things going up in smoke? Maybe it implys the end? I adore the way that the smoke curls up the top of the shot.

The last one and I believe the Australian cover. I love the way: "First Friend. First Girl. Last Words" is written on this as well. I love how sweet the picture is and how it's faded. I like the black border as well.

My favourite cover, I think has to be the second one (U.S). What about you? Which cover is your favourite and why?

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rating: 2/5.

Summary: In 1958 Landon Carter is a shallow but well-meaning teenager who spends most of his time hanging out with his friends and trying hard to ignore the impending responsibilities of adulthood. Then Landon gets roped into acting the lead in the Christmas play opposite the most renowned goody two-shoes in town: Jamie Sullivan. Against his best intentions and the taunts of his buddies, Landon finds himself falling for Jamie and learning some central lessons in life.

Review: I feel bad writing this review. But I’m going to express what I really thought about this novel.

I expected to really like A Walk to Remember. This is the first novel I’ve read by Nicholas Sparks and I thought that it would be better. Read the summary and it’s my kind of story. Only a small amount of time to spend with someone you love, it’s amazing and tragic and I adore stories like that.

Problem number one: I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel like Landon and Jamie were in love, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t. It wasn’t passionate enough for me.

Problem number two: Heaps of stuff was explained and never shown.

Problem number three: There weren’t enough major events or exciting things, even though I powered through this novel in a mere few hours, I did so because I felt like something really amazing was going to happen. It didn’t.

The beginning is so powerful, so amazing, so well written, the only thing you can do is have your hopes up high. The rest of the novel really lets down such amazing writing. It hooks you, and then deteriorates.

The characters were very well written, Landon was really realistic as far teen males go, I got a little sick of the way he explained everything though. Jamie, is sweet and nice. And just so sweet I could hardly stand it. I’ve read Nicholas’s notes on the novel and I agree, they should be innocent as they’re portrayed. But, I was hoping for a little corruption. Sometimes I felt with Jamie the only personality trait she had was her love and devotion to God.

It’s a good story about faith, starting off amazingly and slowly getting worse and more rushed. It took a long time to come into the main plot which is Jamie’s leukaemia. The way the town came together to express their sympathy is corny, but kind of beautiful.

I hate to do this, I really do. But I’m giving this novel two out of five. Too much explaining, too rushed. Not passionate enough.


Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I just have to get my lust for this book out of my system.

It's been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents' divorce - or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live. A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she's been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

Ah, now I don’t know whether you all know, but I’m pretty big fan of Sarah Dessen. (Does the title of the blog give it away? XD ). As you would expect, I am very excited about this novel. It seems like ages ago I read about the announcement of this novel and the days have been slowly ticking away to its release and are still trudging along and to be honest, it’s quite agonizing.


Glass Houses by Rachel Caine.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Welcome to Morganville, Texas.
Just don't stay out after dark.

Rating: 4/5.

Summary: College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero.
When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life. But they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.
Review: What I liked about Rachel Caine’s Glass Houses was that I was told lots of good things about the novel and when I read it I wasn’t disappointed. One mildly negative thing I have to say about the novel is the writing style. It reminded me very much of a novel that I could not finish a couple months ago. The difference between the novels though is the plot and characters and all around wit of the story was able to carry the story and really make it a page turner.

The characters were only lovable. Claire, Eve, Michael and especially Shane. Caine crafted them well and made them human. Other characters were very intriguing, especially Amelie.

Something about the story that I really liked was how the town was crafted and ran. There’s so much potential in the story, plotting, the way the town is crafted that makes me very desperate for the next novel in the series. The vampires are pretty damn evil and stay evil, and I like that. Keeps things very interesting.

I’m singing nothing but praises about this novel. And can’t wait until I have money to buy Dead Girls Dance.

Four out of five. Fantastic. There’s been waves and waves of Vampire YA and I mean it when I say this: one of best Vampire YA novels I’ve read in a while.


Cover to Cover.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

This is a new weekly thing that I'm going to try out. If you want to the jist, it's:

One book. Two covers. XD

Cover to Cover is a post I'll do weekly -- what day, ohhh, who knows? -- to show one book and two different covers that it has, usually the U.S cover and then the cover that I own or have seen around, so the English cover.

Personally my favourite is the English cover. It's so pretty. I like the way that lots of things are surronding her head, like thoughts. And if you've read the book then you'll know that Annabell has a lot to deal with, lots of thoughts. And the U.S cover is so simple and I like the way the person on the cover holds their hands, it's very Anna.

Which cover do you like better and why?

The Rule of Won by Stefan Petrucha.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

“Right,” I was thinking. “If the universe is really just a huge Wal-Mart and you’ve got unlimited credit, why doesn’t everyone already have whatever they want?”

Rating: 3/5.

Summary: The secret of The Rule of Won is simple, yet its power has been suppressed for generations. The universe is one of infinite abundance—ask, and you shall receive.
Umm, yeah right. Meet Caleb Dunne, slacker extraordinaire. Caleb prefers to glide through life with the minimal amount of effort, so he isn’t too jazzed when his overachieving girlfriend, Vicky, convinces him to join a new school club based on a controversial book, The Rule of Won. Slackers don’t join school clubs, do they? As The Rule gains popularity, though, the club members start to gain power within the school. From dark posts on the club’s online message board to all-out threats in the hallways, it becomes apparent that the group is getting out of control. For slacker Caleb, though, the only thing worse than doing something is not doing something.

Review: What I liked best about The Rule of Won is a little dorky. I really liked all the new things I learnt while reading the novel. The Rule, in which the novel is based upon I found interesting – though I certainly do not believe in it. Petrucha gave me a very thorough explanation of it and gave me room to develop my own opinion instead of being overwhelmed by the MC Caleb’s thoughts and ideas. The reactions, the following and how everything spiralled out of control was very well crafted. I enjoyed watching the rise and fall of The Rule.

Petrucha’s writing style is fantastic and suited Caleb wonderfully. When we first hear from Caleb in chapter one, I was very taken by the natural way his personality had been put to paper.

I liked how the prologue and epilogue were from Alyssa’s perspective. It gave enough intrigue (and started the novel nice and strongly) in the beginning and enough closure at the end. I do wish that we had heard more from her.

Now, a few little negatives. I thought that it was a good novel. The second half could have been done a little better. The end was a little cheesy, the epilogue saved the end of the novel. Sometimes I felt like the characters were too insane, I suppose that is what obsession of that kind does to you.

I’m giving this novel three out of five. I enjoyed it, but the second half could have been a little better. I would recommend this novel to anyone who wants to learn about something new and a little different.


Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This is my first one, let's see how it goes, eh?
Envy by Anna Godbersen. Hitting the shelves in May for me and other Aussie's.

Two months after Elizabeth Holland's dramatic homecoming, Manhattan eagerly awaits her return to the pinnacle of society. When Elizabeth refuses to rejoin her sister Diana's side, however, those watching New York's favorite family begin to suspect that all is not as it seems behind the stately doors of No. 17 Gramercy Park South.
Farther uptown, Henry and Penelope Schoonmaker are the city's most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond ring on Penelope's finger, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other. And while the newspapers call Penelope's social-climbing best friend, Carolina Broad, an heiress, her fortune—and her fame—are anything but secure, especially now that one of society's darlings is slipping tales to the eager press.

Sorry about the tiny picture...anyway. I've recently devoured the first two novels in this series and now can not wait for Envy which isn't hitting the shelves in Australia until May. So I have to avoid spoilers for a couple of months. Trust me, it's going to be hard. I love the covers of these books as well, aren't they just amazing? Totally draw you in.


Happy Australia Day! (contest?)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Long time, no post, eh? I’m so sorry about that. You’d think that I’d have nothing but spare time in the summer, but I’ve been busy. I’m working on some reviews now. So you’ll be hearing more from me soon.

Anyway, I’m here to wish everyone, in and out of Australia a Happy Australia Day! Adele, from the awesome Persnickety Snark has a wonderful post, with links to Aussie authors and YA blogs, so I thought that I’d do something similar. You should defiantly check out hers though, it’s great.

To celebrate Australia Day I think that we should all have a look at some fantastic YA authors from Aus, like:

*Melina Marchetta (Review --Finnikin, review --Saving Francesca, interview).
*Julia Lawrinson (Review -- The Push)
*J.C Burke (Expect a review for The Story of Tom Brennan soon).
*Scot Gardner.
*Debrah Lisson.
*Simmone Howell (Review)
*Maureen McCarthy (reading Somebody’s Crying, review soon)
*Kate McCaffrey (Review)
Keep an eye out for these authors around the traps, there are some really great novels out by them, read the reviews. I believe that I gave them all a very good wrap.
Now, to celebrate I have one copy of The Push by Julia Lawrinson to give to the 15th person to post. Yes it's international, all the contests here are, no deadline, just the 15th person. Good luck and once again, happy Australia Day!
EDIT: It's taking longer than I thought to get to 26 posts, so how about the 15th person to post? Also, you can post more than once but not twice in row.

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"I Know Your Secret . . ."

Rating: 3/5

Summary:Boarding school junior Stacey Brown has nightmares too real to ignore. Her nightmares come true. This time they're about Drea, her best friend who's become the target of one seriously psycho stalker. To try and protect her, Stacey's working with what she knows-candles, cards, incantations, and spells...

Review: This was my first novel by Stolarz and I plan to read many more.
Blue is for Nightmares is the first in the acclaimed fantasy/mystery series by Laurie Faria Stolarz. Blue is for Nightmares hooked me enough to buy the novel that precedes it: White is for Magic. Does anybody else really like the titles of these novels? Blue is for Nightmares has me very desperate to skip White is for Magic ahead in my reading pile. Though the novel does not end on a cliff hanger, the characters, the plot and the writing is gripping enough to make you want to go and get the next novel.
The characters are nothing to rave about. There’s nothing extraordinary about them. They could even be considered clich├ęd. I liked the characters enough though, I liked that they were human. Stolarz did a great job at keeping them that way. She made me care about them.
Something that a friend and I enjoyed about this novel was how she had the ability to make you doubt who you thought the guilty party was.
One of the great things about the novel was how some things that were seemingly random at the beginning all clicked and made a lot more sense in the end. That was what I really enjoyed about it.

I’m giving this novel three out of five. Though it’s a good book, I really think it could have been a little bit better. I do look very much forward to White is for Magic.

Hey, I'll be away for another week, so there won't be any reviews from me until next Friday. Hopefully. Sorry! But I'll read as much as I can and when I return update as much as I can.

Rumours by Anna Godbersen

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Rating: 5/5.

Summary:(from bidding good-bye to New York's brightest star, Elizabeth Holland, rumors continue to fly about her untimely demise.

All eyes are on those closest to the dearly departed: her mischievous sister, Diana, now the family's only hope for redemption; New York's most notorious cad, Henry Schoon-maker, the flame Elizabeth never extinguished; the seductive Penelope Hayes, poised to claim all that her best friend left behind—including Henry; even Elizabeth's scheming former maid, Lina Broud, who discovers that while money matters and breeding counts, gossip is the new currency.

Review: Rumours, Rumours, Rumours.

This is the time that I'll mention that this is a spoiler free review. To all of you have read it though, I say: what??? why?! That's all I'll say on the matter.

Rumours follows on very smoothly from The Luxe. Putting the devoted readers right into the thick of 1899's scandal and schemes of the devious characters. The end is somewhat shocking (more so if you don't read the last page *looks guilty*) and has me craving the third book in the series Envy, released January 29th in the U.S and I believe (don't quote me on that one though) May this year for us Aussie's.

The young cast of characters once again capture your heart and make you want to turn the page, a few characters though, do not. That Godberson has characters out in her novels, that she does not mind them being disliked makes her a much more extraordinary writer in my eyes and her characters even more realistic. In my review for the The Luxe I spoke of my favourite characters and that has not changed. Maybe my distaste for Penelope has grown, and my love for Will as well, also my love for Henry. Diana remains my favourite because of her romantic heart and cheeky attitude towards life.

Of the two novels in the series, I believe that I enjoyed Rumours more. Instead of waiting for the drama, we are put back into it. We know the characters so much better, we know what they want, who they want and how badly they want these things. This made the novel that much more interesting and swifter.

I really do recommend this series of books to anyone who enjoys scandal and confusing love triangles (or squares or pentagons).

Yet another five out of five for this wonderful series. Envy. I am waiting oh so eagerly for you.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan.

Monday, January 5, 2009

“I know this is going to sound strange, but will you be my girlfriend for the next five minutes?”

Rating: 2/5.

Summary:Nick is two things, a member of a queer core band that can never decide on a name and heart broken. He comes to the club to perform, to rock out but he finds much more.
Insert Norah, a fiery, sarcastic girl who is college bound – or so she thinks.
Two troubled teenagers have the most eventful night of their lives after one question is asked.

Review: I have no raving reviews for this novel, it was positively average.
The characters were fickle and annoying and that kind of irritating odd. Personally I thought that Nick was the easiest to put up with, he was cute. Norah, I thought she was cool at the start because she was sarcastic, but slowly that thought slipped away and I found myself…annoyed. The characters seemed to deteriorate through out the novel.
I had a few problems with this novel, some things that happened were too spontaneous and weird. I’m not going to ruin this book for people sitting at their computers deliberating whether or not to read this, but if you have read it: weren’t like…half the events in the novel just spontaneous and pretty much meaningless?
Something that could really bias my opinion on this novel is that: I’m not a fan of novels that stretch over one day or night. Too many coincidences and random events. For me to enjoy a novel that stretches over a night or not much more it has to be written very well. That, though, is not to say that this novel was written badly, Levithan and Cohn work really well as a team and I did like them as a combination.
The characters though (yes, back to the characters), seemed either too hurt about something at one point and then too okay with something the next. Their emotions were much too rash for me to enjoy.

I’m giving this novel, two stars. Really, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I’m going away today so I will be unable to post for the remainder of the week. I’ll miss you all, have a great week! See you Saturday.


Some Very Late New Years Resolutions.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Kelsey from Just Blinded book Reviews tagged me – ages ago, sorry about how long it’s taken. I’m supposed to tell you my New Years Resolutions. See, I hadn’t really thought about them much until I was tagged. This year really went fast (to my utter surprise) and though I did not achieve last years resolutions, I don’t feel like a complete failure because I (alright, are you ready for a huge dose of corny? Ugh, I hate corny, I can’t believe I am doing this) achieved a lot more and in some ways, it was better because I achieved some unexpected things like starting a book reviewing blog and completing nano and lots more stuff in my personal life.

Anyway let's shuffle away from the corniness. Moving on. My resolutions for 2009 are:

*Complete the first draft of one of my novels.
*Post more frequently on my blog.
*Make the blog more exciting.
*Take more photos.
*Be more spontaneous.
*Decorate my room.
*Put some money away for the future.

Also, something I would love to see happen is the "Just Listen" segment on here. I think that I'll try and make it more official and get back to you all. Any ideas about it, PLEASE email me at the address listed under authors/publishers. Thank-you to the one person who emailed me! I really appreciate it.

That's just a few of my resolutions. I’m looking forward to 2009 and to blogging with the rest of you. I’m hoping that 2009 will be easy, but I believe that it will be quite the opposite.


Something in the World Called Love by Sue Saliba.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

“for everything was how esma saw the world. everything and nothing. the world was bursting and full and forever, or it was blank and useless and dead.”

Rating: 4/5.
Summary: When Esma moves into 22 Starling Street, she knows she's come to the right place. A place to become someone new. A place to belong.
As the seasons change, she finds herself falling deeper and deeper in love. But not in the way she expects. . .

Review: The first thing that I noticed about Something in the World Called Love was that there were no capital letters. Not after full stops, for the names of people and places, none. At first I thought that that would really annoy me – and for a while it really did. Then I got really involved in the writing of the story.
It’s not so much the storyline and plot that kept me hooked for the 200 page duration of this novel, it was Saliba’s writing style. It was so poetic. The writing style suited the main character Esma – deep, quiet and true. A main character who I quite enjoyed.

“instead the words gave her a ground under her feet, a kind of false knowing that stopped her from stepping out into the reality of things, the truth of things where that there were no words, after all.”

Something in the World Called Love was a short tale of a girl’s need to belong after being hurt and how she and her roommates try to make a home for themselves. The title of this book will certainly catch the eye of romantics. The novel, though, is not as romantic as the title makes it sound, but that’s not to say that romantics won’t enjoy this. It ponders in depth about love, what it is, where it is, when you feel it and why. Being a romantic myself I enjoyed this because it wasn’t traditional. Maybe this novel won’t give a romantic their hit, but it could just change the way you think about love.
There are a lot of unanswered questions in this novel. I would say that it lacks closure, but for me, it gave me enough. The novel and it’s unanswered question gave me enough room to freely imagine what happens next. It allowed me to see why Esma felt the way she did and see that she had grown as a person and so did the majority of the characters around her. And that was enough for me.
As for the characters. Well, Esma was easy to like because she was so timid and realistic, Kara, was harder to like, Chloe was even harder. I was a big fan of Simon, personally.
One thing that I would like to know about this novel, is why there were no capital letters. I feel that there is a secret meaning behind them.
I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a short novel that has hidden meanings. To people who like books that make them think or to anyone wanting to read a very unforgettable writing style.

I’m giving Something in the World Called Love four stars. It was a beautifully written novel, really the writing style is amazing.