Thursday, September 29, 2011

On My Wishlist (4)

So I am incredibly obsessed with Goodreads and I will surf the books on Goodreads for hours and I have found some really awesome looking books on there of late and I have added a truckload to my wishlist of books to buy so I figured why not share my findings because I am all for showing other people books that look simply amazing.

This week on my wishlist is Angelina’s Secret by Lisa Rogers.

As a child, Angelina spent years in counseling learning that Josie, her imaginary friend, wasn't real, but it turns out her childhood friend wasn't imaginary after all. Now Angelina has to accept she's either (A) crazy or (B) able to see ghosts. Wanting to believe in her sanity, she chooses (B) and welcomes Josie back into her life. But even Josie can't help her deal with Shelly, the spirit of a confused teenager, and things go very, very wrong. When Angelina finds herself in a psychiatric hospital, she faces a choice: she can spend the rest of her life pretending to be someone she isn't, or she can embrace who she is and take a chance that she may never get to go home.

Why is it on my wishlist?  
It sounds like a really interesting read and I'm curious as to how things go so bad with Shelly.  Also, I may have a little bit of bias towards the publisher.  This one is being published by Spencer Hill Press and so far all of their books have been absolutely amazing so I have no doubts that this one will be just as amazing. Yep, this one is definitely one book I cannot wait to read.

Angelina's Secret will be published 1 February 2012 by Spencer Hill Press.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Night Journey by Goldie Browning

Title: Night Journey

Author: Goldie Browning

 Published: Generation Next Publications, April 2011

Pages: 393

First Line: "If anyone had asked Emma Fuller to choose between spending the weekend at a luxurious haunted hotel or a low-budget motel, she probably would have opted for the latter."

Two nights at America’s most haunted hotel, a spooky ghost tour with a visit to a former morgue, and a family wedding—all the ingredients for a fun-filled weekend. Emma and Zan Fuller have never been to the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas—at least not in this lifetime. But the ghosts that haunt the former cancer hospital remember Emma, and they won’t rest until she’s joined them once again. When a bizarre accident almost claims her life, her soul is catapulted backward in time to 1938. Things get even worse while she lies comatose, however, because she is now a target for an organ transplant scheme.

It’s Depression Era 1938 when Ivy Turner meets Harry Fuller. Love happens quickly, but they’ll never live happily ever after if her parents have their way. Despite their objections, the couple elopes. Wedded bliss soon turns to despair, however, when Harry is arrested and Ivy is sent to the Baker Cancer Hospital. But Ivy doesn’t have cancer. She’s pregnant with Harry’s child—the child who will someday become Zan Fuller’s father.

Emma wakes up, but not the way she’d expected. Her soul has entered the cancer-riddled body of a woman who had died only moments before. And to make matters worse, she’s trapped in time—it’s 1938. She’s back at the Crescent Hotel, which is now the Baker Cancer Hospital. The people who had once been simply characters in a ghost story are now living, breathing human beings. But Emma’s biggest worry is Zan’s grandmother, Ivy. If anything happens to her or her baby, Zan will never exist. Can Emma, imprisoned in a sick and dying body, rescue Ivy and Harry? Can Zan, in 2011, prevent the hospital from ending her life support and harvesting her heart?
  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Night Journey was amazing.  It is incredibly engrossing and I found myself on the edge of my seat for a lot of the book.

After reading the summary/description for Night Journey I was a tad surprised by the actual layout of the book.  I personally, had thought the book would be a brief part with Emma having her accident and then the rest of the book would be a back and forth between the past and present.  That, however, is not the case, the first part sets up the story of Zan and Emma and it just gets you to appreciate them and you really see how they are perfect for each other and it’s really good because it gets you on the side where you don’t want Emma and Zan to be separated from each other.

The second part, sets up Ivy and Harry and their relationship and you just really feel for them.  I really loved the set up of the story because I got to know and sympathise with all of the characters and I truly loved all of them.

The final part was tying everything together, and it was the most terrifying and nail-biting experience ever.  I was sitting on the edge of my seat, tearing through the pages hoping like mad that everything would turn out for the best.

I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with this book.  It has everything, action, plot twists and ghosts.  My goodness some of those ghosts were so creepy!  And the plot twists, it was so amazing to see where everything went and how it turned out.  I loved every minute of it.

Night Journey is one of those books that are so amazing you just have to read it for yourself to find out.  It was incredibly well written and well researched, you really feel for all the characters and everything ties up neatly in the end.  I adored every part of this book and it’s definitely a book I’m going to be recommending to everyone!

 Source: Goldie Browning for Review

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Top 100 YA Reads, How many have you read?

I’ve seen this one around heaps of blogs and I’m not sure who the original creator of this is but I stole it from The Midnight Bookworm because it looked really fun and interesting so now I am going to do it.  The ones in bold are ones I have read, I have linked up my reviews to some of them too.  The ones in italics are ones I have but have not read yet so here goes.

Alex Finn – Beastly
Alice Sebold – The Lovely Bones
Ally Carter – Gallagher Girls (1, 2, 3, 4)
Ally Condie – Matched
Alyson Noel – The Immortals (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Anastasia Hopcus – Shadow Hills
Angie Sage – Septimus Heap (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Ann Brashares – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1, 2, 3, 4)
Anna Godbersen – Luxe (1, 2, 3, 4)
Anthony Horowitz – Alex Rider (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Aprilynne Pike – Wings (1, 2, 3)
Becca Fitzpatrick – Hush, Hush (1, 2)
Brandon Mull – Fablehaven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Brian Selznick – The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Cassandra Clare – The Mortal Instruments (1, 2, 3, 4)
Carrie Jones – Need (1, 2, 3)
Carrie Ryan – The Forest of Hands and Teeth (1, 2, 3)
Christopher Paolini – Inheritance (1, 2, 3, 4)
Cinda Williams Chima – The Heir Chronicles (1, 2, 3)
Colleen Houck – Tigers Saga (1, 2)
Cornelia Funke – Inkheart (1, 2, 3)
Ellen Hopkins – Impulse
Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Faraaz Kazi – Truly, Madly, Deeply
Frank Beddor – The Looking Glass Wars (1, 2, 3)
Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere
Gail Carson Levine – Fairest
Holly Black – Tithe (1, 2, 3)
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
James Dashner – The Maze Runner (1, 2)
James Patterson – Maximum Ride (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Jay Asher – Thirteen Reasons Why
Jeanne DuPrau – Books of Ember (1, 2, 3, 4)
Jeff Kinney – Diary of a Wimpy Kid (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
John Green – An Abundance of Katherines
John Green – Looking for Alaska
John Green – Paper Towns
Jonathan Stroud – Bartimaeus (1, 2, 3, 4)
Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Caster Chronicles (1, 2)
Kelley Armstrong – Darkest Powers (1, 2, 3)
Kristin Cashore – The Seven Kingdoms (1, 2)
Lauren Kate – Fallen (1, 2, 3)
Lemony Snicket – Series of Unfortunate Events (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
Libba Bray – Gemma Doyle (1, 2, 3)
Lisa McMann – Dream Catcher (1, 2, 3)
Louise Rennison – Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
M.T. Anderson – Feed
Maggie Stiefvater – The Wolves of Mercy Falls (1, 2, 3)
Margaret Peterson Haddix – Shadow Children (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Maria V. Snyder – Study (1, 2, 3)
Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
Markus Zusak – I am the Messenger
Mark Haddon – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Mary Ting – Crossroads
Maureen Johnson – Little Blue Envelope (1, 2)
Meg Cabot – All-American Girl (1, 2)
Meg Cabot – The Mediator (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Meg Cabot – The Princess Diaries (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Meg Rosoff – How I live now
Megan McCafferty – Jessica Darling (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Megan Whalen Turner – The Queen’s Thief (1, 2, 3, 4)
Melina Marchetta – On the Jellicoe Road
Melissa de la Cruz – Blue Bloods (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Melissa Marr – Wicked Lovely (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Michael Grant – Gone (1, 2, 3, 4)
Nancy Farmer – The House of the Scorpion
Neal Shusterman – Unwind
Neil Gaiman – Coraline
Neil Gaiman – Stardust
Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book
P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast – House of Night (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1, 2, 3)
Rachel Caine – The Morganville Vampires (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
Rachel Cohn & David Levithan – Nick; Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Rom LcO’Feer – Somewhere carnal over 40 winks
S.L. Naeole – Grace (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sabrina Bryan & Julia DeVillers – Princess of Gossip
Sarah Dessen – Along for the Ride
Sarah Dessen – Lock and Key
Sarah Dessen – The Truth about Forever
Sara Shepard – Pretty Little Liars (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Scott Westerfeld – Leviathan (1, 2)
Scott Westerfeld – Uglies (1, 2, 3)
Shannon Hale – Books of a Thousand Days
Shannon Hale – Princess Academy
Shannon Hale – The Books of Bayern (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sherman Alexie & Ellen Forney – The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry (1, 2, 3)
Stephanie Meyer – The Host
Stephanie Meyer – Twilight Saga (1, 2, 3, 4)
Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
Susan Beth Pfeffer – Last Survivors (1, 2, 3)
Suzanne Collins – Hunger Games (1, 2, 3)
Suzanne Collins – Underland Chronicles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Terry Pratchett – Tiffany Aching (1, 2, 3, 4)
Tonya Hurley – Ghost Girl (1, 2, 3)
Wendelin Van Draanen – Flipped

Of all of those I have read 45 or for series books, some of them to make 45.  I’m pleased with that.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Stanley Seagull by Cathy Mazur

Title: Stanley Seagull

Author: Cathy Mazur

Illustrator: Colleen Gedrich

Published: TB Press, June 2011

Pages: 32

First Line: "Everyday Stanley Seagull frolicked with his friends and family around the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean."

Summary: Meet a young seagull named Stanley. Follow him as he wanders far from home and tries to find his way back. Join Stanley on his journey as he learns how humans affect the balance of nature.

Thoughts: Stanley Seagull is a neat little story about a seagull named Stanley who gets lost one day and has to try and get home.

I really liked the illustrations in Stanley Seagull.  I particularly loved the way that the seagulls were drawn.  They looked really great.  The illustrations were also very bright and colourful so that was something I really liked.

The story itself was really entertaining.  It’s definitely something that a young child would love.  It’s simplistic but not so simplistic that it would be overly boring.

I had a lot of fun reading Stanley Seagull and I think that it would definitely be enjoyable for younger children.

About the Author: 

Born in Scranton, Pa., Cathy Mazur is the daughter of Gary and Catherine H. Errico. She was educated in the Dunmore public school system and graduated from Dunmore High School in 1971. She received a bachelor’s degree in Library Science from Mansfield State College in 1975. She received a Reading Specialist Certificate from the University of Scranton in 1978. Cathy was employed as an elementary school librarian for the Mid Valley School District from 1975 until her retirement in 2010. While at Mid Valley, she instituted and coordinated the RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) program for 33 years helping students to develop a love of reading outside the classroom. Cathy served on the Board of Directors for the Valley Community Library in Peckville, Pa. for over 20 years acting as president for one year and board secretary for 19 years. She presently serves on the library’s Developmental Committee chairing various fundraising events. She resides in Dickson City, Pa. with Frank, her husband of 31 years. They are the parents of two children, Gary, 27 and Gia, 19. Now in her retirement, she is focused on writing books for children like Stanley Seagull.

About the Illustrator:

Colleen Gedrich, a lifelong resident Throop, Pa., earned a BFA in illustration from Marywood University in 2002. She is a freelance illustrator specializing in animal-themed work. She enjoys creating her art using mostly watercolor and pastel. As a dedicated animal rights activist and full-time program coordinator for International Society for Animal Rights (ISAR), Colleen lives her dream of joining her passions for animals and art to promote a more harmonious world with a touch of beauty. Recent works produced by Colleen include t-shirt and invitation designs, children’s book illustrations (A Different Kind of Hero), and book covers (With God There Is Hope). Colleen has also teamed up with her very talented artist mother, Kathy Holmes Gedrich, and paints murals for children’s nurseries.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On My Wishlist (3)

So I am incredibly obsessed with Goodreads and I will surf the books on Goodreads for hours and I have found some really awesome looking books on there of late and I have added a truckload to my wishlist of books to buy so I figured why not share my findings because I am all for showing other people books that look simply amazing.

This week on my wishlist is one that was published last year and it is Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman.

Welcome to P.U.P.I.—Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations.

A handpicked team trained to solve crimes the regular police can't touch—crimes of magic.

My name's Bonnie Torres. Recent college grad, magic user and severely unemployed. Until I got a call out of nowhere to interview for a job I hadn't applied for. It smelled fishy, but the brutal truth was I needed the work—so off I went.

Two days later I'm a PUPI—me and Nick, Sharon, Nifty and Pietr. Five twentysomethings, thrown into an entirely new career in forensic magic.

The first job we get is a doozy: proving that the deaths of two Talents were murder, not suicide. Worse, there are high-profile people who want us to close up shop and go away. We're sniffing out things they'd rather keep buried.

Looks as if this job is gonna get interesting. The only problem is, we're making it up as we go along….

Why do I want to read this?
Two things, fantasy, and mystery.  I absolutely love my fantasy mixed in with my mystery.  It says paranormal on the cover and everything but it's magic so it's fantasy in my mind.  Anyway, it sounds like it would run along the same vein as the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews and the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, so Hard Magic is definitely one that I am really wanting to read.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Jack the Theorist by Jon Hartless

Title: Jack the Theorist

Author: Jon Hartless

Published: Vagabondage Press LLC, 13 August 2011

Pages: 51

First Line: "For three months, the denizens of London had been held in thrall by a faceless killer who stabbed and ripped indiscriminately and yet who managed to hide within one of the most densely populated areas of the city."

Summary: Only one man dares to confront the meaning behind the crimes. Only one man sees through the tangled skein to the truth. Only one man knows the answers. 

Or, at least, only one man thinks he knows the answers... Follow Professor Wolf, the world's first Ripperologist, on his delusional journey into the world of the Ripper. Follow his long-suffering friend, Sir Arthur Smythe, who suspects that it will all end in tears.

Gasp at the revelations. Tremble at the truth. Wonder at the sanity of a mind that leaps from conspiracy to conspiracy without ever touching reality.  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: Jack the Theorist is a neat little novella that centres around Jack the Ripper and the murders.  I really enjoyed it because it had a serious element to it but also a satirical element.

At first Jack the Theorist reminded me a little of Sherlock Holmes.  Sir Arthur Smythe was very observant and picked up on quite a few things that others didn’t.  His companion Wolf seemed like an interesting character too.  At first his theories seemed quite good and could make a lot of sense but then things kind of snowballed a little for him.

Not getting too much into detail about the plot (i.e not wanting to give away any spoilers) I have to say that Jack the Theorist was quite hilarious in how it played out.  At the same time there was the seriousness of the situation surrounding the mystery, which made it very enjoyable.

Overall, I really enjoyed Jack the Theorist.  I got quite a few laughs out of it and thoroughly enjoyed the surprise ending.  If you’re looking for a good satirical mystery novella then Jack the Theorist is well worth a read.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

7 Scorpions: Rebellion by Mike Saxton

Title: 7 Scorpions: Rebellion

Author: Mike Saxton

Published: Eloquent Books, 2010

Pages: 450

Series: Book 1, 7 Scorpions

First Line: "For years, people talked about various ways that the world would end - plague, floods, sunbursts, nuclear war, the wrath of God; amongst others."

Summary: The world was turned upside down by the swift and brutal attack of a dictator known only as Zodiac. Planting flash bombs in every major city across the world, he detonated them simultaneously, sending the survivors into chaos and anarchy.
In the wake of the destruction, Zodiac unleashed the dreaded Seekers, a group with the ability to radiate an aura of intense fear, which would complete the enslavement and extermination of humanity.
A former vigilante, turned government super soldier experiment, emerges from his self-imposed exile to challenge the new status quo. Can Vincent Black, with his makeshift team of unlikely allies, overcome the demons of his past to help preserve the future of humanity?  (Taken from Goodreads)

Thoughts: I’m not always the biggest fan of dystopians but when I read a description of one that sounds really good I give it a go.  When I started reading Mike Saxton’s 7 Scorpions: Rebellion I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I sat down and started reading it, I said to myself that I would read one chapter and then do something else.  About ten chapters later I finally stopped reading.

I really loved 7 Scorpions: Rebellion.  It had that addictive quality to it so whenever I would try to read a chapter here or there I would end up reading around three chapters or so.

I think that one of the reasons it was hard to put down was because there was always something happening, and I wanted to know what was going to happen next, and who was going to do what and end up where.  There were absolutely no dull parts.

While there was quite a large cast of characters I found that it was easy to keep track of who was who and what they were doing.  There were a lot of them that I really liked such as Vincent, Lexi, Josh and Talbot to name a few; and then there were some that I wasn’t so keen on.

I thought the plot was really interesting too.  It was different to a lot of others that I usually read and it was quite realistic feeling, almost as though the events could happen.  I definitely enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing what happens in the next book in the trilogy.

Overall, I really enjoyed 7 Scorpions: Rebellion and would definitely recommend it to fans of science fiction, in particular dystopian novels.  It is well worth a read.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Title: Drink, Slay, Love

Author: Sarah Beth Durst

Published: Margaret K. McElderry, 13 September 2011

Pages: 320

First Line: " 'One hour until dawn, ' Pearl said."

Summary: Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops. 

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees. 

The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

Thoughts: I had never read anything by Sarah Beth Durst before and I had heard a lot of good things about her so I decided to pick up Drink, Slay, Love to read because it sounded really funny.

I quite enjoyed Drink, Slay, Love. I haven't read a vampire book for a long time so it was a nice change.  I liked how the vampires were portrayed in this one too.  They were evil, selfish and basically just ruled within their own vampiric community.  They even had a hierarchy within their family.

Then there was the unicorn aspect.  I didn't ever think I would read a book that featured both vampires and unicorns but this one did it.  I really thought it was quite genius how the unicorns came into play and worked into the equation.  I don't want to say too much about it though because it will spoil the good parts.

I liked Pearl as a character.  I could see her perspective on everything really well and her emotions were really clear to me and I felt like I could definitely relate to her.  Everything that she felt was how I would feel if I was in the situation that she was in.

Some of her friends were really awesome too.  I liked Evan and Tara, I also really liked Sana.  Although, some of the characters names were a bit hard to remember.

There were also some notsome characters, such as Jadrien, whose name is rather interesting but he is a total jerk and I despised him. Which is actually what you're supposed to think I believe. I was also not a fan of Antoinette. Even though Antoinette is a fan of John Hughes films (which I am as well) she lacked any other qualities that would have made her amazing.

I had a few laughs here and there because for the most part this was a really light read and Pearl had an amazing sense of humour.

There was however, also a serious element to the book and I thought that took away a little from what could have been a really fun read.

I did enjoy Drink, Slay, Love, it was fun, unique and I got a few laughs out of it.  However, it wasn't my favourite book in the world as there were times when I felt the plot got a little slow and it was hard to read through those parts. However, if you're into vampires and unicorns then I believe you will definitely enjoy Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst.