Wednesday, 21 January 2015

#bookWISHES in The Darkest Part Of The Forest!


Calling Holly Black and faerie fans everywhere: The Darkest Part Of The Forest is coming 5th February! It has faeries, it has knights, it has wishes, changelings, horned princes in coffins... Yeah. It's epic. And one of you lucky people will have a chance to win your very own copy - yes, an international giveaway! But more on that in a minute...

I am literally the biggest Holly Black fan in the history of ever. And therefore I was SO excited to have a chance to take part in The Darkest Part Of The Forest UK blog tour (sort of thing).
The whole focus of this tour is #bookishWISHES! There are a few wishes in DPoTF - with faeries: not always the best idea...
But here is a little blurb for you - trust me, if you're not excited yet, you're going to be...



FAERIES. KNIGHTS. PRINCES. THINK YOU KNOW HOW THE STORY GOES? THINK AGAIN... 
NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author HOLLY BLACK
spins a dark, dangerous and utterly beautiful


faerie tale, guaranteed to steal your heart...
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. At the centre of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointy as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.
Until one day, he does… As the world turns upside down and a hero is needed to save them all, Hazel tries to remember her years spent pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?


But onto the wishin' and give-awayin'!

First up, I'm meant to make my #bookishWishes. And I am making wishes - plural. The first is a little selfish, I guess, but the second isn't. Balance is key. ;)

My First Bookish Wish:
My first wish is that 2015 is the best bookish year of my book blogging days. I wish that brilliant books are published (and I get to read them all!), that I get to meet up with my amazing blogging friends more ('cause I love you all!), that I actually have time to read everything 2015 has to offer and that, just maybe, I get to finish the book I'm writing - it's about time these characters, worlds and plots get out of my head and into the world! So that's my selfish-ish wish (though of course I wish the same for my blogging friends!)...

My Second Bookish Wish:
My second wish is less selfish: I wish that every child all over the world has at least one book to read and love. Every child should have the magic a wonderful book can give. Books save my life every single day and I just want everyone everywhere to have that.


And now for your turn!
Because it's time I go all Bookish Faerie Godmother on you guys, my lovely followers! It's time for an international giveaway of The Darkest Part Of The Forest, thanks to the very generous Indigo peoples!

Now, let me paint a picture of what you have to do... using pictures and a faerie tale theme!


Well, that was fun!  But let's go over the rules once again...

First up, consider this: If you could make any bookish wish, what would you wish for? Now decide how you want to make this wish: do you want to just write it down in the comments, Tweet it, post it on Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook (use the #bookishWISHES and #DPoTF tags if you do) or email it to me? Do you want to wish it in a picture, like me?  Do you want to draw your wish?  Do you want to video yourself?   Do you want to get creative and write a story - write your own faerie tale?

If you decide to get creative, post your special wish wherever you want and place a direct link in the comments to this post - please Tweet or email me too at @BookAddictdGirl (and the #bookishWISHES tag!) or thebookaddictedgirl@yahoo.co.uk. Whoever makes the most marvellous, creative, unique and special wish wins a copy of The Darkest Part Of The Forest!

The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and ends midnight 11th February - the witching hour (fey-ing hour?)! I will go through all the entries and choose which is the most marvellous and deserving of the brilliant The Darkest Part Of The Forest!
But remember: if you don't post the link in the comments and Tweet/email me - you can't win!  No matter how amazing your entry is!

Well, I'll leave you all, my loveliest followers, to get a-wishin'!  I hope you have fun!!

---

Keep up with the wishing tomorrow, over at Serendipity Reviews!
And if you want to know more about the amazing The Darkest Part Of The Forest, check it out on Goodreads and Amazon.  Follow the lovely Holly too on her websiteTwitterPinterest and Facebook!


About HOLLY BLACK:
Holly Black is the bestselling author of YA and children's books including being co-creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles, a NEW YORK TIMES No.1 bestselling phenomenon and hugely successful film. She has been a finalist for the MYTHOPOEIC AWARD, the EISNER AWARD and a recipient of the ANDRE NORTON AWARD and a NEWBERY HONOR. She currently lives in New England in a house with a secret door.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

There Will Be Lies By Nick Lake

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: ARC
Published1st  January 2015
Number of Pages: 464
Book: For Review*
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery, Magical Realism, Suspense, Paranormal, Mythology, Fantasy, Action-Adventure, YA
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Swearing, Violence, Alcohol, Smoking, Drug and Sexual References
Author's Blog: Thus Spake Nick Lake

Blurb From Goodreads:
Shelby Jane Cooper is seventeen, pretty and quiet. It's just Shelby and her mom, Shaylene, a court stenographer who wears pyjama jeans, stitches tapestry, eats ice-cream for dinner and likes to keep Shelby safe. So safe she barely goes out. So safe she doesn't go to school. Because anything could happen, to a girl like Shelby. Anything.
When Shelby gets knocked down by a car, it's not just her leg that's broken: Shelby's world is shattered. Her mom turns up to collect her and drives off into the night, like it's the beginning of a road trip, like two criminals on the run, like Thelma and Louise or Bonnie and Clyde. And somehow, everywhere she looks, there's a coyote watching her, talking to her, telling her not to believe.
Who is Shelby Jane Cooper? If the person who keeps you safe also tells you lies, who can you trust?

                                                                   Review:
“I'm going to be hit by a car in about four hours, but I don't know that yet.
The weird thing is, it's not the car that's going to kill me, that's going to erase me from the world. 
It's something totally different.  Something that happens eight days from now and threatens to end the world…”
Shelby Cooper's Mom has always been paranoid and over-protective.  Shelby has been home-schooled, only going out once a week for batting practice and ice cream.  Her Mom knows everything about her, controls everything, is always telling her to be careful, watch out for cars...
One day, Shelby isn't careful enough.  A car comes onto the pavement, hits her and breaks her leg.  As she lies there, she sees a coyote, who says:
"There will be two lies, it says.  Then there will be the truth.  And that will be hardest of all."
The moment Shelby is released from the hospital, she and her mother go on the run.  They pack their car up and flee.  
Shelby's Mom has been lying to Shelby all her life.  Mom isn't who she claimed to be.
The world isn't what it claimed to be.  Because every time Shelby closes her eyes, she leaves our world and appears in another, guided on a quest by the coyote...
“There was a time before time existed and that is called the Dreaming, and that is where we are, he says.
Oh, that clears it up, I say…”
What are the two lies?  What is the truth?  
And why has her whole life been a lie?  Love?  Fear?  Survival...?
I started There Will Be Lies, just intending to read a few chapters to see what it would be like.  Half an hour and a hundred pages later, I was still hooked to every word.  I stayed up 'til three-freaking-o'clock to gobble up as many pages as possible before I pretty much passed out.  There Will Be Lies is the kind of thriller that gets under your skin, until your desire to find out what the hell's going on becomes a burning need, so intense and so strong it can't be denied.  And I must say, There Will Be Lies was like no other thriller I've read before.  It was just... so unique.  I've read real life-fantasy mashups before, but I think TWBL might just be my favourite, thanks to the mystery and Native American folklore.  All this made it so brilliant and so utterly addictive!  It's also going to be hard to write a review for – I mean, how much can I say without giving everything away?  But I'll try my best to ramble on as usual...  Lucky followers.
There were really only a few characters in this book, but they were all so very interesting and unique and intriguing.  I really liked Shelby – in fact, I found her intriguing!  Oh, and yay for the disability diversity – and for her blasé way of telling us!  But she was really brave and strong, but also lost and scared and confused.  Basically, totally understandable for her character – and very likeable and relatable. 
Mark...  Yeah, that was weird and so interesting – as bizarre as it was brilliant, that part of the storyline... more in a minute on that.  Mark: he was cryptic, mysterious, confusing – a puzzle I loved trying to crack.
Shelby's Mom...  I had a few theories concerning her overprotectiveness.  I found this woman, who wore pyjama jeans and was so protective and jumpy, intriguing...  But I  can’t say more, otherwise I might give it away…
This writing... I do like Nick Lake's writing style – his use of bizarre punctuation, his edgy voices.  Shelby really came through – so strong.  The voice was amazing, the prose compelling and the way of writing so different and unique.  I can't really explain it – it was kind of written like a train of thoughts, a stream of consciousness: everything Shelby thought, we heard, no matter the consequences.  It was honest and real and so believable.  Some people might find the weird punctuation annoying or hard to read, but I rather liked it – but that's me.
I really love thrillers.  I love all those big ohhh moments, the ones you discover and think that all makes SO MUCH sense now!  I love it.  And normally I'm actually pretty good at guessing, despite my love of twists and oh moments.  But in There Will Be Lies...  Sure, I guessed a few twists (one of the big ones, actually, though it was only one of my many theories – another so-called 'PLOT TWIST' was very, very obvious for me) but this storyline, thanks to the fantastical elements, was generally unpredictable and insanely exhilaratingly exciting.
The Dreaming was so bizarre and so awesome.  I must say, I guessed aspects of the Dreaming plot, but the world building was brilliant - more so because we're never really sure what, exactly, the Dreaming is.  If it's real, if it's a different plane, world, etc.  Maybe I would have preferred some further explanation, but it all was so fascinating and really rather unique - I really enjoyed my time in the Dreaming!  I’ve also only read a few books focusing on Native American folklore, and found the Coyote aspects simply brilliant.
There was something about this book, something I really can't put my finger one.  It's something I've found in Nick's other books, something that keeps me awake until ridiculous hours, desperate to read on.  It's some weird sort of magic, something inexplicable and powerful.  I read the book as fast as humanely possible, gobbled it all up and was left both wanting more and utterly satisfied.  The ending... it was perfect, kind of.  There Will Be Lies was an intriguing, addictive and beautiful book, one I really enjoyed.  It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it made this reviewer very happy!

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5




Read this book if you liked:
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale
Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson


Happy Reading
Megan
* This book was received from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review

** Quotes used are from a proof copy and may have been changed in the finished book

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Covenant, Book One
Publisher: Spencer Hills Press/Hodder
Format: Paperback
Published: 15th December 2011
Number of Pages: 304
Book: Bought
Genre: Paranormal, Mythology, Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Thriller, Suspense, Action-Adventure, Greek Myths, YA
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Violence, Death, Swearing, Alcohol, Sexual References
No Drug References
Author's Site: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Warning: This review will be an excited rambling of a fangirl. 
You have been warned…

Could you kill the one you love?
The Hematoi descend from the union of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi – pure-bloods – have godlike powers.  Children of Hematoi and mortals – well, not so much.  Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.
Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway.  There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow.  Alex has problems with them all.  But especially rule #1:
Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.
Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden.  But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem – staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is.  If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden.
And that would kind of suck.


                                                                   Review:
You will kill the ones you love.
Fate had been right about that...”
Once upon a time, the gods walked among humans.  They had children with humans, who came to call themselves the Hematoi.  The child of two Hematois are pure-bloods and have godly powers – and godly views of themselves. 
The offspring of a Hematoi and a human is a half-blood.  They have no powers and only two choices: to become servants for the pure-blood, with no free-will or thoughts... 
Or they can become Sentinels and hunt the Hematoi who have renounced the gods and taken to stealing aether, the godly essence.  Daimons. 
Alexandria Andros has just returned to the Covenant after her mother took her and ran.  Alex doesn't know why they left.  All she knows is the one she cares about most is gone and she has to return to her kind – to the Covenant, so she can train to kill the daimons that hunt her. 
Of course, her becoming a Sentinel depends on her catching up on the years she missed – and on the gorgeous pure-blood Aiden St Delphi. 
The main rule when you're a half-blood is this: Never fall for a pure-blood.  They're untouchable. 
Unfortunately, Aiden makes sticking to that rule damn near impossible...
Once again caught up in the power plays, politics and dangers of the Covenant, Alex must find out why her mother left before the secret destroys everything.  And that reason might not be the only shock that hits her, now that she's returned to her own world...
Have I mentioned how much I adore Jennifer Armentrout?  Only a million times?  Huh?  So few?  Well, I best sort that out, hadn't I?  I freaking love Jennifer Armentrout.  And I'm seriously peeved that I left reading Half-Blood for so long.  Why?  Because I freaking loved it.  It was so, so amazing.  It was funny, witty, so many layers of awesome, addictiveness and so very fast-paced.  I read the whole book in a single sitting, completely ignoring any company we may have had (rude, but when a book's this good you just don't care) and even the chocolate that was on the table.  And yes, it really was that good.  
I'm gonna start my crazy ramblings with Alex.  She was awesome – kickass, but also really untrained, strong as nails, but very vulnerable, funny and witty and just brilliant.  I loved her in Daimon and I loved her even more in Half-Blood.  I just loved all of her – how she isn't perfect, how she doesn't let the deaths destroy her but also doesn't just jump up and get over it right away.  She has to fight to carry on, but she does carry on, and I love her for that.  Almost as much as I love her for her snarky wit and sarcastic remarks!
And as for Aiden, our forbidden love...  Oh, yummy.  He is gorgeous.  I didn't think I could love anyone as much as I love Daemon Black, Jennifer's other hottie, but I love Aiden almost as much.  He's Daemon's complete opposite: more serious, less snarky; he has a really brilliant dry sense of humour, is all broody and worldly and protective and then there's the whole forbidden badboy thing.  C'mon, you gotta love that.  Plus, he's just Aiden, ok?  Those grey eyes...  Sigh.  I love him.
And the forbidden romance, fight training and exchanges of witty remarks...  Forgive me while I swoon.  I just love these two together – damn all the stupid rules!  They should be together!  Or, failing that, Aiden can be mine.  You know.  Worst Case Scenario (For Alex)...
Oh, and I must mention Aiden's brother Deacon, who is equally brilliant – he absolutely kills me!  He reminds me a tiny bit of Adrian Ivashkov – he's snarky, always drunk, funny and sweet.  I loved him and really really want to see more of him!
Then there's Seth, who I can't figure out but who intrigues me.  Caleb: who's so sweet and who I love.  Marcus: again undecided.  Lucian: I hate him (lying, smarmy, enterbadwordhere).  Rachelle: My heart breaks.  All of them are just so brilliant – and so awesome!
And the world...  I had this whole rant in my review of Daimon where I just ramble about how this world is like Vampire Academy's world and how completely, amazingly different it is too.  I mean, sure, VA has vampires and that's totally awesome.  But the Covenant series?  It has gods, people!  Freaking Greek Gods.  It's like Percy Jackson meets Vampire Academy meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Camp Half-Blood meets St Vlads.  It is totally freaking awesome!  I love the idea of daimons, of Hematoi, of half-bloods, of the Apollyon, all the legends and gods and myths.  They are so freaking awesome and I would so move to this world if I could, enter the Covenant and train to be a Sentinel – under Aiden St Delphi, of course! 
Ok now, I'm gonna admit this upfront: I did see some of the twists coming.  One thing in particular about Alex I guessed pretty early on.  But others?  Um, no.  And I adore Jennifer's habit of just killing people off.  Not enough books do that.  But if you kill my favourites (Alex, Aiden, Caleb, Deacon) I will cry.  A lot.  Just sayin'.  The point is, the plot was awesome, twisty, action-packed and so very addictive.  I rushed through it and instantly picked up Pure, which I'm a good way through even as I write this!  I loved the plot to pieces, and I loved Alex's voice just as much – it was just so Alex, you know? Funny, witty, sarcastic, kinda vulnerable at times.  I loved it!
Ok, sometimes this is similar to Vampire Academy – in all the best ways.  But that... that isn't why I love the Covenant series.  Because it's just so much more than 'similar-to-VA'.  It has its own characters, its own smouldering romances, its own kickass plots, its own I-wanna-move-in-right-now world, and it's very own addictiveness that runs through all Armentrout books.  It leaves me needing more – always more – and thanking the gods that I have the next couple of books.  Trust me, I’m already ordering the others!  
Half-Blood has left me craving Pure and the world of the Covenant series the way daimons crave aether – i.e., I have no control and will go on a killing spree if I don't get another hit right now.  Ok, I don't really think daimons kill when they don't have aether.  They probably die or something...  Point is: I'm stopping this crazy, rambling review right now so I can get back to Pure.
If that and freaking ignoring chocolate isn't a sign of how amazing Half-Blood is, I don't know what is.  I don't think I'll threaten you again.  I think I did that twice in my review of Daimon.  Wait 'til Pure.  I'm sure I'll be titanium-wielding and element controlling, ready to force everyone in the world to read Jennifer's books...
And on that note: Happy Reading!

Star Rating:
4½ Out of 5




Read this book if you liked:
Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
Anti-Goddess by Kendare Blake
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare


Challenges It's Taking Part In:
Happy Reading

Megan

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Death Bringer by Derek Landy

Series: Skulduggery Pleasant, Book One
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback
Published: 29th March 2012
Number of Pages: 604
Book: Bought
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Comedy, Urban Fantasy, Thriller, Suspense, Horror, Action-Adventure, Mystery, Children's, YA, Children's-YA Crossover
Recommended Age: 9+
Contains: Violence, Death, Swearing, Very Mild (And Hilarious) Sexual Innuendos 
No Alcohol or Drug References
Skulduggery Pleasant Site: Skulduggery Pleasant

WARNING: COULD CONTAIN SPOILERS... AND A LOT OF FANGIRLING.
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED…

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: detective, magician, warrior.
Oh yes, and dead.
The Death Bringer has risen.  Skulduggery and Valkyrie have seven days to uncover the Necromancers’ secret before it’s too late.
The clock is ticking.  Lord Vile is loose.  And after this one, nothing will ever be the same again.

                                                                   Review:
"On Sunday the world changes."
"On Sunday the world is saved."
"Yes," Skulduggery said, "well, we’ll see about that..."
The Death Bringer has been chosen – but it's not Valkyrie Cain (for once)...  The Death Bringer, who is meant to bring about the mysterious 'Passage', which is meant to make the world better and solve death.  Too good to be true?  Almost certainly...
Lord Vile, the previous candidate for Death Bringer, has also returned.  He's also a notorious war criminal.  Not good.
And meanwhile the Sanctuary is going through massive changes, the Faceless Ones fanatics are stirring again, Tanith is missing, China's being blackmailed and Val is having some serious boyfriend troubles...
I'd forgotten about Death Bringer – forgotten, repressed, same difference...  All the  Skulduggery Pleasant books get progressively darker as the series goes on.  But this one... it just breaks my heart every time.  So very many things go so very wrong and... uh!  I can't read Death Bringer without getting this horrid spasm in my heart.  And yet even as these painful little twinges were happening, I was laughing my head off.  Because Derek Landy has a serious gift.  Hell, he has gifts plural; mad gifts. He's so gifted that his freaking gifts have gifts, and they too have gifts, and then they...  You get the picture, right?  My point is I adore Skulduggery Pleasant
Skulduggery... you understand so much more about him in this book – why he is who he is, why he's like he is.  And... to begin with it's a little disturbing but then... then your heart breaks in two.  Oh, Skulduggery!  I just want to give him a hug, even if it would be a little bit of a painful hug – you know, all the bones.  He is a skeleton, after all.  Ok, sorry: these jokes suck...  Moving on: he's so amazing, he's so funny and he's so damaged.  I love him.
As for Valkyrie: she annoyed me in this one.  She was just... selfish.  And also a little mean – poor Fletch!  However, she was also badass and funny and real and good at heart.  Come on: what teenager isn't a little self-involved?  And also the poor girl's had a hell of a lot to deal with, especially for a sixteen-year-old.  You just have to see her with Skulduggery or her uncle or her parents or her baby sister to see what a good person Val really is.  I really love this girl – flaws and all.
Speaking of Fletcher Renn – break my heart!  Poor poor Fletch...  I really felt for China in this one too: she's done some bad stuff but she's trying to make amends.  She has friends for the first time ever and she doesn't want to be alone anymore.  I want to give her a hug too.  And then there's Caelan...  Um, he creeped me out.  He was also unintentionally hilarious – with his cliché gothic proclamations of "eternal" and "burning passion".  Ha!  Seriously: so funny!  But my fave supporting character?  Val's dad: that man seriously kills me!  
Once again, and as always, Landy's writing is second to none.  It's not the most elegant, but it's adrenaline-fuelled, action-packed, hilarious and surprisingly emotional and deep for a MG fantasy book featuring a skeleton detective.  I love Landy's writing – so, so much.  And as for the plot for this one: Unpredictable.  Awesome.  A roller coaster.  Non-stop.  These are just a few of the words that pop to mind.  Awesome in particular, since Derek Landy is undeniably awesome.  Oh, totally twisty is another phrase – because damn!  Death Bringer is just full of twists!  Seriously: this book is as unpredictable as a rabid dingo on drugs!  Does it get any more unpredictable than that?
To sum it up, Death Bringer was the most awesome book out of the most awesome series.  I know I say that with each new book, but it's true.  Death Bringer was emotional, hilarious, addictive and a perfect escape.  I wish I could live in this world, with these people – even if I died or was just in the background.  Because I love them all that much.  Love Derek Landy and SP that much.  And I really, really want you all to read this series if you haven't yet.  I mean, you've been listening to me gush about this series for six books: when are you going to take my advice and read this amazing, amazing series?!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and reread Kingdom of the Wicked.  Ciao!

Oh: P.S. This should be Derek Landy's catchphrase: "Be off with you.  I have a book to write, characters to kill, and a party to plan." That is literally the most Derek Landy thing ever, even if it came out of Gordon’s mouth.

Star Rating:
5 Out of 5
 




Read this book if you liked:
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan
Department 19 by Will Hill
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Happy Reading

Megan