Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #1

I only participate in one meme (apart from my own feature, Cover of the Week) which is Teaser Tuesday (Which I forgot to do yesterday! Oops!) so I decided I would do Waiting on Wednesday as well, so as to have a bit of variation on my blog. I think this is a brilliant idea, by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

So this week, I'm 'waiting on' Oceans of Blood by Darren Shan. Darren Shan is my most-read and possibly favourite author EVER! Oceans of Blood is the second book in the prequel series to 'The Saga Of Darren Shan, which is 'The Saga of Larten Crepsley. I have read Birth of a Killer (the first book) and really enjoyed, so hopefully this will be good too.

The epic tale of the vampire Larten Crepsley continues. The question is – how far can Larten go… alone?
Free from their mentor Seba Nile, Larten Crepsley and Wester Flack join the Cubs – wild young vampires with little respect for human life, and a taste for mindless enjoyment.
For the Cubs, everything is easy. But nothing has ever been easy for Larten, and soon fate throws his life into another spin. With dark paths to travel, Larten finds himself far from the Vampire Mountain and its rules. A long way from home, sick and alone, he must decide what kind of vampire he will be. Whether he will stand firm, be true to his master and his principles – or whether he will lose himself in blood…

It sounds good, right?! Well, bye! x

P.S. If you have never read anything, I would suggest you stop and think about the way you are living your life. And then afterwards, race down to your nearest bookshop as fast as you can and buy 'Lord Loss' or 'Cirque Du Freak'. Or preferably both. Bye! x

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Girl Called Blue by Marita Conlon-McKenna

Larch Hill is the only home Blue knows. She arrived there just a few days old, wrapped in a blue blanket. Her one hope is to find her mother or father and have a family of her own. Fostered out several times, Blue finds it difficult to fit in. Is there no one out there who really wants her? No one who can really love her? Blue must put up with the orphanage, with the distant and strict care of the nuns. She does have her friends, Mary and Jessie and Molly and Lil, but they're not family. They're not enough. In her heart, Blue is desperate to find out who she really is. The closed file in stern Sister Regina's office holds the secret of her identity. And that is forbidden territory...
WARNING: This review may contain some slight spoilers.
Have you ever heard of the Great Famine? If you're not from Ireland you probably won't know much about it.  Unless you have read Under The Hawthorn Tree by Marita Conlon-McKenna. That is a brilliant book, one of the best and most popular children's historical fiction novels (in Ireland). So I knew from the first moment A Girl Called Blue would be fantastic too. And it definitely did not disappoint.

The characters were great, all very believable. Blue was lovely and I felt sorry for her and the rest of the kids at the orphanage being stuck with the horrible Sister Regina. Arghhhhhh, Sister Regina. She is among my Most evil book characters, right up there with Lord Loss from The Demonata and Voldemort from Harry Potter. She was just unbelievably mean and cruel. It's awful to think that back in the olden days, it was legal for children to be beaten. I'm so glad that has changed now!

The other characters I liked were Molly and Sister....ohhhh I forget her name! And I borrowed the book off someone and have already given it back, so I can't even go check! Argh! Well, it was the really nice nun. (there was only one, so if you've read the book you'll know who I'm talking about. Even if I don't!)  Anyway, Molly was really cute and really sweet, and Sister No-name was very kind and caring. They were both great additions to the story.

I have a couple of complaints. Number 1 is to do with the blurb and Amazon description. (This is where the spoilers come in!) It really doesn't describe the story. Only about three or four chapters are associated with Blue finding her mother, yet the blurb makes it sound like it's the most important thing in the story! Which it's not, because Blue doesn't ever find out who her mother is, because the file doesn't say. (Spoilers finished) My other complaint is I felt sometimes that the author was trying to hard. I mean that  in the way that she was trying too hard with the writing if you know what I mean. OK, that's not a good explanation! Let's say, for example, I thought the author used substitutes for said too often when  just 'said' would have done, or sometimes the word that was used didn't fit in with what the character was saying. 

Just one more thing! Sorry for all the complaints! I know this is a strange one, but I thought in a lot of chapters, they weren't rounded off properly. Not in the way that there was a cliffhanger, but just the sentence that Conlon-McKenna used just didn't do it for me. Sorry readers, you probably have no idea what I'm on about! It's hard to explain, OK?!

I would give this book 4/5. I really liked and enjoyed and would recommend it. There was a really surprising twist about halfway through, so kudos to Marita for that! But it wasn't gripping and that's what it loses points for I understand that maybe this wasn't the aim of this book to be unputdownable, but still, it would have been nice. Bye! x

Source: Borrowed
Pages: 224
Age Group: 9+
Official Publication Date: 16 Mrach 2004
Publisher: O'Brien Press
Author Website: I don't think there is one! But if anyone knows of it, please let me know. Thanks : D

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cover of the Week #1

I know I already did a feature like this, but I didn't want to only be able to do it once a month, because there's so many different gorgeous book covers out there, and I want to highlight them all! (well, all the ones I like!) So this week's cover is the absolutely, positively AMAZING cover of Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs....

Synopsis not released yet ( I don't think so anyway)

The girls bluey greeny turquoisey (!) coloured hair and make-up are really what do it for me. They really suit the cover model, who is really pretty too. The whole cover just fits together really well, and I would definitely pick this up in a shop. It's eye-catching and different, and would be a great addition (coverwise : D) to a shelf.

Bye xxx : D

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #1

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at Should Be Reading. This is my first time doing it. It sounds like fun, and I don't participate in any other memes, so I might as well!

Grab your current read

Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!]

Driftwood by Cathy Cassidy

I grab my coat and slip out of the kitchen door. The driftwood catflap makes a swish-swish noise as I click the door closed, but nobody notices I've gone, not even Krusty.

I'm really enjoying this book, a review should be up in the next couple of weeks

Bye! xxx

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Would You Rather by Chris Higgins

Flick loves to play Would you Rather? with her friends: Daddy or chips? Boyfriend or career? Snog or marry? Life is all about the choices you make, and all around her Flick watches her family grapple with life-altering decisions.

When Flick's dad discovers that he's adopted, so begins a mystery that leads him to a long lost secret at the very heart of their family - one that leads back to a choice that was made many years ago, and once uncovered, will rock Flick's world ...

There's something about this cover that I amn't mad about. I can't put my finger on it, but it's something. The colours are lovely and go great together and all the little flowers and hearts are pretty. In real life it's glittery along the top half and that's a nice touch. I don't know why the pencils are there though. Maybe it's to represent Flick's love of writing but I'm not sure.

Flick's  Grandpa was really kind and despite him lying to Flick's dad, I liked him. I also liked Flick's older sister Ezzie's boyfriend, Spud. He was so cool and so chill and just awesome...

Amy was Flick's best friend and although she was funny and a good friend, I didn't really see the point if her being there. Flick herself was slightly annoying, I don't know what is was that she did to be annoying, but she just was.

Unfortunately, I had the ending guessed halfway through the book. But there was another  minor twist at the end thrown in for good measure, which I certainly wasn't expecting, so that was great.

The writing in this book was really good. Chris Higgins is obviously a talented author, but from what I've heard about her other books, I don't think this is her best one. However it hasn't put me off and I am eager to read her debut novel '32C, That's Me' which I've heard great things about.

I would give this book 3.5/5. I wouldn't really recommend it, and it was a bit disappointing considering everything I've heard about the author. But like I said, this author has potential, so I hopefully will read more of her books.

Source: Bought
Pages: Paperback: 272
Age Group: 10+
Official Publication Date: 1st October 2009
Publisher: Hachette Childrens Books 
Author Website:

Review done as part of the British Books Challenge 2011 hosted by The Bookette.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Authors for Japan!

I'm sure you've all heard about the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami and watched the scenes of horror on the TV.
But you can help the survivors. Author of Della Says OMG!, Keris Stainton, has set up a fundraising website where anyone can bid for signed books, chapter critiques, the chance to name a character in the authors next book and much more. Authors participating include Susie Day, Keren David, Luisa Plaja, Kay Woodward,  Nicola Morgan, Cat Clarke and many, many more. So please head over to the website and donate today!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cherry Crush by Cathy Cassidy

Cherry Costello’s life is about to change forever. She and Dad are moving to Somerset where a new mum and a bunch of brand-new sisters await. And on Cherry’s first day there she meets Shay Fletcher; with suntanned skin and sea-green eyes he’s the kind of boy who should carry a government health warning. But Shay already has a girlfriend, Cherry’s new stepsister, Honey. Cherry knows her friendship with Shay is dangerous – it could destroy everything. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to stay away from him...

This is the fourth Cathy Cassidy book I've read, and it's by far the best. I've read one of Cathy' books for younger readers which I liked and found quite entertaining, but the other two books, Angel Cake and Gingersnaps weren't so good. But Cherry Crush has made me a Cathy Cassidy fan!

The. Cover. Is. GORGEOUS! If I saw this in a shop, I would definitely pick it up. It really stands out and I love how if you look closely you see that the chocolates are real! (well, real pictures, not actual chocolates on the page!)

I really liked the characters in this book, especially Cherry's new step sisters. My favourite is Skye, the fun, quirky 12-year-old, twin of Summer. Surprisingly, I quite liked Honey. Even though she was mean and all, I felt sorry for her. Especially at the end, but I can't tell you why, or else that would be a spoiler. Normally, I really don't like the 'mean one' in books, but Honey was an exception. I'm looking forward to the book where she is the protagonist. It'll be - interesting!

As for Cherry herself, she was....OK. She was likeable, but  she wasn't really a 'stand out' character, if you know what I mean. But I loved her brilliant and creative imagination even though it got her in trouble in school sometimes! I thought some of the excuses she came up with were hilarious!

This book gets a 5/5, one of my favourite reads so far in the year. It was written beautifully, with many descriptions, yet it was easy to follow the storyline. I'm really looking forward to Vanilla Skye, coming in - September? - I think, which is narrated by my favourite character Skye. I love how the title's of the books fit the sister's names in, do you? 
Overall, this book was brilliant. Thank you Cathy!

Source: Borrowed
Age Group: 9+
Official Publication Date: 02 September 2010
Publisher: Puffin (Penguin Books)
Author Website:

Review done as part of the British Books Challenge 2011 hosted by The Bookette

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cover of the Month #1

Cover of the Month is a new feature I've just created for the blog. Each month, I will pick a book cover that I LOVE, and will feature it. This month's cover is I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter. I have read this book and reviewed it. It was O-K, but the cover is gorgeous! And here it is.....

Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniuses - but it's really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti). But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for is what to do when she falls for an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl.

Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without his ever being the wiser, but can Cammie have a normal relationship with a boy who can never know the truth about her?

I just love everything about it. The uniform - even though it is a uniform! - is really pretty, especially the skirt. I love checked patterns! The font really fits in too, like the way the heart is tilted in the word' love'. And the little sparkle on the - well, whatever that thing she's holding is (actually if anyone knows, could you please tell me? Thanks!) just tops it all off!

This book originally came out in the US, but with a different cover. Which one do you prefer? I prefer the UK one (above), but I'd like to know what you think! I've put a picture of the US cover below. Tell me what you think in the comment section please!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sequins, Stars and Spotlights by Sophia Bennett

Four girls have four dreams. Crow is on the way to becoming an international fashion designer. Jenny's been discovered by a Broadway composer. Edie still wants to go to Harvard. Nonie ... isn't really sure, but knows it's something fashion-related and wonderful. They're growing up and on the brink of glittering careers. So why are their lives so complicated? Why does success demand sacrifices, and which ones are they willing to make? In this, the final book of the Threads trilogy, Nonie discovers that life is just beginning. The girls have choices to make. Who will wait for fame? Who will emerge an outright star? Who will fall in love? And who will turn her back on all her dreams? This time the answers are in New York. It's a long way for Nonie to travel, especially with only one teeny-weeny wheelie bag. But for the sake of her friendships, Nonie will do whatever it takes.

Sequins, Stars and Spotlights is (sadly) the last book in the amazing Threads trilogy.The first book in the trilogy, Threads, is my favourite book, like, EVER! - so obviously I had to see what happened in the end!

There were a few new characters in this book, that I really liked including Nonie's 'friend' Liam , and Jenny' mum Stella. There was another new character, but I'm not going to say who that is, because that would be giving away one of the (very unexpected) plot twists! I have to say, I really enjoyed meeting Stella (Jenny's mum). She was a brilliant addition to the book and gave it more heart and it was great that we finally got to find out more about Jenny's family. 

Crow wasn't in this book as much - I missed her *shrug* 's and *silence* 's! Crow is normally one of my favourite characters, although she can get a little annoying at times - but still. I missed her!

It was strange to see the girls all grown-up - it's hard to imagine Nonie as being 16 or 17! She doesn't mature much in the first two books, but in this one she does. I felt sorry for her at times, especially around the middle when everything seemed to be wrong. Honestly, I felt like crying at that part! Luckily she had Liam to support her. I liked Liam :)

My only complaint was that it did get a bit confusing at times. The book took place across about a year but I didn't know when things were happening (as in months weeks etc. time). But apart from that it was perfect.

Overall, this book gets 5/5. It was really enjoyable and extremely well-written. The characters were so realistic and seemed to almost come to life on the page. Oh, I wish this wasn't the end of the series! *sob* Well, at least we have a new book by Sophia Bennett to look forward to! I interviewed Sophia  and she told me that she is currently writing a new book called The Look. Can't wait for that! Anyway, I recommend this series and hope you all read it and experience the magic of Threads. : ) Bye!

Thank you so much to Chicken House for kindly sending me this to review!

Age Group: 11+
Publisher: Chicken House
Official Publication Date: 07 February 2011
Author Website: but Threads has it's own website here

Review done as part of the British Books Challenge 2011 hosted by The Bookette.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Mile Long Bookshelf awesome competition!

Hey guys! Sorry, I know I haven't posted a review in ages! *ashamed* but I promise I'll put one up soon! Anyway, there is a brilliant competition on at The Mile Long Bookshelf. I'm sure you've all heard of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, yes? Well, as you probably all know, it was a book before it was a movie. A series of books, actually. And a good series too! Anyway, The Mile Long Bookshelf has three copies of the first book in the series to give away. This competition is open internationally (which means I get to enter! Yay!) and extra entries are available. I hope you all check it out and enter!
Cliona x