Saturday, March 31, 2012

REVIEW: Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs

When Lily's human-hating cousin Dosinia is exiled from Thalassinia and sent to land, Lily is faced with the huge task of keeping her on the straight and narrow. But what did Dosinia do to get exiled in the first place? And why is she batting her eyelashes at Brody, Lily's former crush? As if her bratty cousin weren't enough to handle, the reappearance of a merboy from Lily's past makes her question her decision to renounce her kingdom and stay on land with Quince. Can Lily stay true to her duty, her heart and her dreams, or will living on land really mean living a lie?

I didn't think Fins Are Forever could live up to the amazingness that was Forgive My Fins, but I was surprised and delighted to find that it did! I can't choose which one I like the most though, they are both brilliant! Fins Are Forever is less about Lily and Quince's relationship, and more about Lily's cousin Dosinia, whom I loved! She could be a bit mean sometimes, but she was truly a nice (enough) person inside. She was in the last book only a little, and I wanted to see more of her, so I was delighted that she was one of the main characters here. She was sarcastic and funny, and made things really interesting! Dosinia was a fantastic new character, my favourite in this book, (well, after Quince of course!) and I hope we get to see even more of her in future books.

The story was a lot more eventful in Fins Are Forever and there were lots of twists, and a good few interesting sub-plots. I wasn't expecting a lot of what happened in the book, and really enjoyed reading it! I completely didn't expect what happened in the end, I was so surprised! The author made us think one thing was going to happen, but instead something completely different did! I was like 'woah'! I can't wait to see what happens next, but I have ages to wait till the next book comes out! I don't think it even has a set UK release date! Boohoo :(

As usual, Tera's writing was fab. I just couldn't put Fin Are Forever down! I don't know how she does it! I'm just glad that she does ;) This book is seriously just a pure pleasure to read! I don't know why this series isn't more popular! I hope it becomes so soon, because it darn well deserves it! 

Lily was a lot more mature and wise in this book. I think she is a great role model for young teens reading this book. And Quince was amazing, as always :)

My only teeny tiny complaint is that, I felt that, at the start, Lily kept going on and on about Brody. Not in an 'I love him so much' way, but a 'yes, I used to like him, but don't any more' way. I have no problem with her mentioning that once or twice, but she said it about 10 times, pointing things out about how much she didn't love him anymore, and it just annoyed me a lot! But then she stopped and everything was good again! *Phew* It was just that little thing I didn't like, though, everything else was brilliant :)

I can't recommend this series, and this book, enough! If you haven't read it yet, WHY NOT?!!! YOU MUST! YOU MUST! *calms self down* Anyway... :) I think Fins Are Forever will be enjoyed more by a slightly younger audience, but I'm not saying that it won't appeal to the older teen market too, becasue it will. I think pretty much all ages, and all people, will love it! So, go on, - do me a favour - read it!!!

Rating: 5/5
Source: For Review - thank you to Templar for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review
Format: Proof copy (ARC)
Pages: 304
Age group: 10+
Official Publication Date: 1st April 2012 ( today!)
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Challenges: ABC Reading Challenge

Friday, March 30, 2012

Follow Friday #5

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkees View and Alison Can Read. Each week, a different fun question is asked and we bloggers answer it. Head on over to either of the host blogs to read the rules and sign up!

This week's featured blog is:

Q. Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?
A. I used to read like, five books at a time before I started blogging! Seriously! But then I read a post on...The Story Siren maybe? I can't remember what blog it was! Anyway, the blogger mentioned that they found it easier to concentrate and enjoy a book when they were only reading one at a time. So I decided to try it, and now I only read one at a time. I find I enjoy books more that way. Sometimes though, if I get a book that I absolutely can't wait to read, I will read it, taking a break from the book that I am currently reading. Or if a book is really boring, I take a break and read another book and then go back to it! 

Leave me a link to your Follow Friday, and I will be sure to check it out! If you are stopping by to follow, I would love if you could follow my blog by GFC -the button is at the top of the right sidebar. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Check out my latest review, of Slide by Jill Hathway - here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

REVIEW: Slide by Jill Hathway

Vee Bell hates having narcolepsy. But collapsing at school is nowhere near as bad as the truth. When Vee passes out she slides randomly into other’s people’s heads and ends up seeing through their eyes. So when Vee finds herself in the head of a killer, standing over the body of a cheerleader, she’s beyond freaked.

Vee knows that this was no suicide. And when another cheerleader turns up dead, everyone is a suspect. Struggling to understand her terrifying and unwanted ‘gift’, Vee is tangled in a web of secrets, lies and danger…

I was hooked on 'Slide' from the first page. It is so addictive and I flew through it! It is easy to read, and I mean that in a good way! The writing and the story flow so easily, in a way that makes you want to read on! I couldn't put it down, and before I knew it I was on page 50! The idea for Slide is fantastic, really original. I've never read anything like it before and am in awe of Jill Hathaway for thinking up the idea! It was a murder mystery, with a twist!  I thought it would bother me how we didn't now what exactly Vee's 'gift, and how she got it, because I'm usually very curious and hate having any unanswered questions n a a book, but I though it was sort of nice to have a little bit of undiscovered mystery in the book, that lets the reader imagine for themselves what Vee's 'sliding' is all about.

Vee was a strong, caring main character. I really liked her, and felt sorry for her. She had had a hard time with her mum and having to deal with sliding into other peoples heads all the time must be pretty bad too! But she never pitied herself, she just got on with things! She was always trying to do what was best for others, especially her little sister Mattie. Mattie was my favourite character.She wasn't in the book that much, but when she was I found her to be really sweet and innocent. Rollins, Vee's best friend was... meh. I didn't like him at all at first. He was really on/off with Vee, ignoring her one minute and talking to her the next, when she needed him most! I thought this was quite mean, and I found him annoying. I liked him slightly more towards the end, although i thought it was unfair the way he blamed Vee for sliding into him, and 'invading his privacy' when it was something the poor girl couldn't even control!

The murder mystery story line was really cleverly done. Just when I though I had it all figured out, I was lead off in a completely different direction. There was so many suspects, and I just hadn't a clue what was going to happen next. There were loads of plot twists, and I was always on the edge of my seat!

Slide was fantastic most of the way through but the way the murder ending was wrapped up, I found quite confusing. It felt too rushed, and I'm not even sure if the police realised it was a murder, not a suicide! There was a couple of loose end left at the end, and that just bothered me a little. Bit apart from that, no other complaints from me! (oddly) I liked the way the relationship between Rollins and Vee ended up, and how the relationship between Vee and her family ended up. Sorry I can't seem to word this very well!

I just loved 'Slide'! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this amazing original and absolutely unoutdownable novel! I would recommend it to anyone and everyone! For people who are put off because of the creepy cover, please don't be! I almost was but am so glad I read it anyway. (I can assure you, the cover is scarier than the book itself!) I look forward to reading more of Jill's books, and I hope she releases another one soon!

Rating: 4.5/5
Source: For Review - thank you to Harper Collins for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 250
Age group: 13+
Official Publication Date: 1st March 2012
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
Challenges: None

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox #25 & The Hunger Games movie

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers show what book they received that week, via mailbox, library, bought, borrowed or any other way. It's a great way to see who's reading what so make sure you head on over and join in! 

I got some fab books this week! Here they are:

For review

A Midsummer Tights Dream by Louise Rennison
I wasn't mad about the last book in this series, but it was hilarious :) So I'm looking forward to reading this!

Slide by Jill Hathway
I'm reading this now, IT'S AMAZING!!

Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend by Cora Harrison
I'm also reading this now, it's really good :) It's such a cute book!

The Killables by Gemma Malley (ARC)
This looks brilliant! I've heard Gemma is a fantastic author, so I'm looking forward to reading this! And the ARC cover is so pretty!

The Secrets of Ordinary Farm by Tad Williams and Deborah Beale
I hadn't heard of this before it turned up, but it sounds interesting, so I'll give it a go!

The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson
I have read an Eva Ibotson book before, but my friend told me this is good! Although I'm not really a fan of historical novels... But it has a pretty cover, so... ;)

What did you get in your mailbox?

The Hunger Games movie
Has anybody seen it yet? What did you think? I must admit, although I disliked (and didn't finish) the book, I am really excited for the movie! It looks brilliant! A couple of my friend went the other day, and they both LOVED it. One has read the book and one hasn't, so do you think it will make a difference, me not liking the book? I am going to go see it over the Easter holidays with my sister and mo who haven't read the books either, and I will let you know what I think of it!

Are you excited for the Hunger Games film? Have you seen it, and liked/disliked it? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Follow Friday #4

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkees View and Alison Can Read. Each week, a different fun question is asked and we bloggers answer it. Head on over to either of the host blogs to read the rules and sign up!

This week's featured blog is:
Sarah's Books & Life Button

This week's question is:

Q: What is the longest book you've read? What are your favorite 600+ page reads?

A. I don't tend to read that many long books, because I get bored easily! But the longest book I've ever read is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, at 766 pages! I don't think I've read any 600+ page books apart from the Harry Potter series, so they're my favourites!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

*WARNING: Since Pandemonium is a sequel this review and description contains unavoidable spoilers for Delirium. Please don't read if you haven't read Delirium, it will ruin an amazing book for you!*

Love, the deadliest of all deadly things.
It kills you when you have it.
And when you don't.

I'm pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex, 
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, 
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Pandemonium is a poignant, explosive, recklessly romantic and utterly heartbreaking novel. Like Delirium, the first in the compelling trilogy, it will take you to the very edge. That's all you need to know. We'll let Lena do the rest of the talking . . . 

I've been really excited to read Pandemonium ever since finishing Delirium. I began reading it as soon as I got it, because the ending of Delirium was pretty 'WOW'! Pandemonium was very different from Delirium. There was a whole new cast of characters, for one thing. The only character from the last book in this one was Lena! The setting was also very different, as was the story. It's quite hard to compare the two books! Pandemonium has a lot more action than Delirium had. Delirium was mostly about Lena and Alex's relationship, and explaining the society the book was set in (BTW, not saying that in a negative way! In fact I'm saying it in a positive way!) whereas Pandemonium was more about the resistance and Lena's new, harder yet more exciting life.

I thought at first that I would find the alternating Now and Then chapters confusing, but I picked it up pretty quickly, and ended up really liking it! It was a nice, unique touch to the book, it was sort of like there was two different stories! (well, actually, there was...) I originally liked the 'Then' chapters better, but then the 'Now' chapters became more exciting and I began to accept like Julian! 

As I mentioned before, Pandemonium had a whole new cast of characters. Raven and Julian were the two main ones, taking the place, i suppose, of Hana and Alex. I really missed the two of them in this book! :( Oh Alex! It just wasn't the same without him and Hana! Raven was alright, but I felt she was too harsh and a little mean to Lena! I know she was just trying to toughen her up, but she could have done that in a nicer way! At first, I didn't like Julian, but then he started to grow on me. I quite like him now and I liked he and Lena's relationship, it was really sweet! At one point I actually just went 'Awwww!'. But I just, for some reason, don't like him as much as I liked Alex! I don't know why, we pretty much know him better than Alex, and he seems to have more of a personality than Alex did, but I suppose it's because Alex was there first and because he was just... *swoon*

Lena was a lot more mature in Pandemonium too, she really grew as a character. She was  stronger, tougher and more independent. I really liked her!

There was a couple of things I didn't like about Pandemonium. A few things, I thought, weren't explained properly, like who the Scavengers were (but then I sort of figured that out. Although, I can't remember, were they in Delirium?), and how Raven knew about Alex. I still don't get it! Please explain it to me if you know! :) Another thing that I didn't like was that although there was a lot of action scenes, I found a few of them a little...boring. I just thought that they were described in too much detail. I know that's the sort of thing a lot of people like, and maybe I'm just picking at things, but that just what I think. I'm sure others would like that sort of thing though, so don't let me put you off!

THE ENDING. THE ENDING. THE ENDING. OMG. My heart was literally racing as I read it! It just made me need the next book. It's even more of a cliffhanger than Delirium! Ugh, and I have a whole YEAR to wait till Requiem. *cries* I can't wait to see where Lauren takes the story next. I have a few ideas about how it might go, but who know! *MAJOR SPOILER ALERT. HIGHLIGHT TO READ* I suppose Lena will have to pick between Julian and Alex, won't she? I think she'll pick Julian, because remember she mentioned something about being even more comfortable with Julian than she was with Alex? And while we're talking about spoilers, I wish that there had been more about Lena's mother. But then again, it was nicely 'wrapped up' but I still there will be more about it in Requiem. *SPOILER OVER*

Pandemonium is quite a heavy read. It took me a while to read it all! It is darker than Delirium and I have a heard a lot of bloggers saying that they liked it better than Delirium. I think I liked Delirium slightly more than Pandemonium, but it was a close call! Nevertheless, Pandemonium is a beautiful, though-provoking, poignant novel, which I loved. If I had to describe it in one word it would be 'powerful'. I think it's pretty essential to read Delirium before reading Pandemonium though, and I would definitely recommend them both.

Rating: 4/5
Source: For Review - thank you to Hodder and Stoughton for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review
Format: Hardback
Pages: 329
Age group: 12+
Official Publication Date: 28th February 2012
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #4 Top Ten Books on My Spring To-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week bloggers participating create a Top Ten list based on that week's theme, and it's really fun! This week's theme Top Ten Books on My Spring To-Read List. These can be books we already own and can't wait to read, or books we can't wait to buy/acquire and read. Here's moi list!

1. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

2. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennfier E. Smith

3. Hunting Lila by Sara Alderson

4. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

5. Heartless by Sara Shepard

6. Insurgent by Veronica Roth

7. Shooting Stars by Allyson Rushby

8. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

9. Liesel and Po by Lauren Oliver

10. Virals by Kathy Reichs

And so many more! Have you read any of these books?  Do you want to read any of these books? What books are on your Spring TBR list? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, March 19, 2012

In My Mailbox #24

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers show what book they received that week, via mailbox, library, bought, borrowed or any other way. It's a great way to see who's reading what so make sure you head on over and join in! 

I got amazing books this week! Yay :) I can't wait to read them all!

For review:

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I'm reading this now, and am quite enjoying it!

Switched by Amanda Hocking
I actually have the purple cover of this, and it's gorgeous! This has gotten INCREDIBLE reviews, and I CANNOT wait to read it!

Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend by Cora Harrison

This just turned up, I wasn't expecting  it! I'm expecting another copy in the post next week, so I think I'll just pass this copy on to someone else.

Sweet Hearts: Model Behaviour by Jo Cotterhill
I read another book in the series, and really enjoyed it, so I'm looking forward to reading this! It looks like a cute read :)

Thanks to Macmillan, Quercus and Random House publishers for sending me books to review.


Mates Dates and Pulling Power by Cathy Hopkins

This series is fab! I got this for 50c, bargain :)

Yay! I love my books :)

What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush. 

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life. 

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned. 

I had never read a book about mermaids before Forgive My Fins, but was really excited to read it. I mean, come on, a mermaid love story? Yes please! And I really really really loved it! It has a great plot, fantastic characters and I LOVED the underwater scenes. I want to be a mermaid :( Tera is a fabulous author, a new favourite of mine! I was totally 'hooked' on this book! Geddit?! But seriously it was addictive. I didn't notice myself turning the pages! Tera's writing is effortless to read, the book feels so realistic and is an easy, yet very enjoyable, read.

I liked Lily, the main character, but I was jealous of her... SHE IS A MERMAID PRINCESS GUYS. A MERMAID PRINCESS.Maybe (OK definitely!) I'm being childish, but what girl doesn't want to be a mermaid or a princess at some point? And this girl has it all! But regardless, she was lovely! I didn't get what what she saw in Brody. I mean he was nice enough, but he was nothing on Quince. I loved Quince! He was my favourite character. He may just be my new all-time favourite book love interest! He was amazing. He was hilarious! Most of the books humour was provided by this guy (as well as a a lot of very clever, fishy puns made by Lily, all of which put a smile on my face!) but he was really sweet and sincere and obviously liked Lily a lot. I just wished she had realised sooner! They are so great together. I liked the way their relationship progressed throughout the novel, the way they slowly realised they were perfect for each other. Awwwww :)

They supporting characters were a great addition to the story. Lily's father, Dosinia, Aunt Rachel and Shannon, all whom I quite liked. They all contributed to the story in their own way, and Forgive My Fins wouldn't have been the same without them!

The descriptions were fantastically written. The scenes that took place underwater, in the mermaid kingdom of Thalassinia were my favourite parts of the book. Everything was described really well, in enough detail that I could picture what it looked like, but not so much that I was bored! I just felt like I was there alongside Quince and Lily throughout their adventures.

I have no complaints at all about Forgive My Fins. There wasn't a thing I diliked! It's a brilliant novel, that I thouroughly enjoyed reading. It's even become one of my favourite books! I would definitely recommend it, and I can't wait to read more of this series!

Rating: 5/5
Source: For Review - thank you to Templar for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 295 
Age group: 10+
Official Publication Date: 1st July 2011
Publisher: Templar Publishing
Challenges: None

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Interview with blogger Jessica

Booked Up!Today I welcome one of my favourite bloggers, Jessica! She runs the fabulous book blog, Booked Up! Please check it out, it's amazing! I was very lucky to be able to interview her :) Make sure you check out her brilliant blog - you won't regret it!

Hi Jessica!

Hi Cliona! I'm so happy to be here!
1. How did you begin blogging?
I guess it started because of other book bloggers. I remember one day sitting at the computer and looking through a bunch of amazing book blogs, and thinking "Wow, I wish I could do that!" and then I realised...I can! So within the next couple of days I had started my very own blog. I am friends with a few bloggers, and they helped me to create Booked Up!
2. What are some of your favourite books?
Wow - tricky question! When I was younger, I would of been saying "Jacqueline Wilson!" Her books were all I ever read when I was little. Everyone should get to go through the Jackie Phase. Now though, I love the Threads Series by Sophia Bennett, Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy, the Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent and anything from Meg Cabot! Obviously, I love many more books than just those, but there are too many to list!
3. Do you like to write as well as read?
Oh yes, ever since I could pick up a pen and write in full sentences! Granted, the things I wrote were pretty rubbish, but I just love doing it for fun! I write down a load of different book plots and have a go at typing them up. I have filled up countless notebooks and computer documents with my little ramblings. It's just like a hobby.
4. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Wow...there are a lot of answers to that one! Obviously the followers, page views and free books are a-m-a-z-i-n-g, but I would have to say the comments. I luuurve comments! Mainly because that proves that people actually stop and read my posts. Any book blogger could have a thousand followers, but if nobody ever comments on they wrote, I don't see how they wouldn't feel gutted. So it's the wonderful people who bother to comment on what I post that makes me think how brilliant blogging is! Other than that, I love how book blogging has opened up a whole new world to me! I have found so many new authors and novels that I only heard of because of blogs recommending them. Interviewing authors and fellow book bloggers is great fun, too!
5. What are your ambitions for your blog this year?
I only just started my blog, so I guess I'm just hoping it keeps going all year round and that people are still interested. More followers and page views would be great, but as long as I don't let my blog slip then I will be one happy blogger! I'm not sure what other ambitions I have, just for Booked Up! to keep going. For me and my blog to be quoted on a book jacket would be pretty fantastic, though. . . 
6. What books are you most looking forward to in 2012?
Too many! The Look recently came out, and I can't wait to read that. I am also eagerly waiting for book 2 in The Clann series, Covet, by Melissa Darnell, to be released. Oooh, and Before I Wake By Rachel Vincent is something I can't wait to read. And if Katie Dale has anything new coming out this year, I will be the first to get my hands on it!
Quick fire:
Facebook or Twitter: Facebook, always! I tried going on Twitter once and it was not for me!
Chocolate or sweets: How can you be so cruel? Urm, urm, both? ;)
Cathy Cassidy or Cathy Hopkins: Cathy Cassidy just beats Hopkins!
Movies or music: Easy - music! How could I live without it? Although I don't know if I could survive without the Titanic movie. 
Reading or writing: Like I said before, my writing is shameful! Reading all the way!
Thanks so, so much for having me on your lovely blog, Cliona!
Thanks for being here Jessica! :)

Isn't she lovely?! Head on over to Booked Up! - and follow, today! And check out my interview with her there too!

P.S. Guys I'm almost at 100 followers! Woohoo! Thanks so much everyone who is following, but please, just one more person, follow! Cause I have 99 now and as we all know, 99+1=100!!! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interview with author Sophie McKenzie

Today here on Bookster Reviews, I welcome the fantastic author, Sophie McKenzie! Sophie is the author of many novels for teens, including The Medusa Project series, the Luke and Eve series, the 'Missing' series, Blood Ties and Blood Ransom, and her latest release, Falling Fast. I have read Girl, Missing and three of the Medusa Project series, and they were all brilliant! I would absolutely recommend them! Sophie is one of my favourite authors, and I'm sure she will be one of yours too if  you read any of her books :) Anyway, on to the interview...

1.Hi Sophie! Welcome to Bookster Reviews! Could you tell us a little bit about you and your books? 
My thrillers include the Missing series (Girl, Missing, Sister, Missing), Blood Ties and Blood Ransom and the Medusa Project series. Though my thrillers usually incorporate a love story, I've also written straightforward romances. There are the Luke and Eve books (Six Steps to a Girl, Three's a Crowd, The One and Only) and my new story - Falling Fast - which is the first in a new series. You can find out more about all my books on my website

2. When did you realise you wanted to become an author?
I've always wanted to write stories, but I didn't seriously start writing until late 2003 when I got made redundant from my job, went on a writing course and really committed myself to trying to write a book.

3. What do you think you would be doing if you weren't an author, and what jobs did you do before you became one?
I've done lots of jobs but my main career before I started writing fiction was as a journalist. I worked on magazines as a writer and an editor.

4.Was it difficult to get your first book published? What is the publishing process like?
It took 17 false starts before I finally finished a book. Once I had written Girl, Missing (my first book) I was lucky enough to get an agent and then a publishing contract very quickly.

5. Which of your books was the easiest to write?
They were all challenging in their own way! I don't think I could pick one as being much easier than any other, though The Set-Up was probably the hardest.

6. If you could be friends with any one of your characters, who would it be and why?
I think Nico (from Medusa) and Ryan (from Luke and Eve) would be fun to be around. Ketty and Ed (from Medusa) and Rachel and Theo (From Blood Ties) would be really good, loyal friends.

7. What author do you admire most, and why?
I admire lots of authors. For sheer skill, I guess it would have to be Jane Austen.

8. Who are you favourite authors, and what are your favourite books?
I have lots of favourites! One of my best reads is The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

9. What are the best and worst things about being a writer?
For me, the freedom to get up in the morning and do something I love all day is the best thing. I find telling stories really rewarding. There isn't really a downside!

10. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Ideas can come from anywhere and everywhere - sometimes an idea comes in a flash; other times you pick up bits and pieces of ideas and the story and characters emerge gradually.

11.Are you working on anything new at the moment? If so could you tell us a bit about it?
Right now I'm working on two things. The third book in the Missing series, Missing Me, will be published this September (2012) while the next book in the Flynn series, following on from Falling Fast, will come out next year and be called Burning Bright.
Thanks for those fantastic answers Sophie! I hope that my readers enjoyed reading them as much as I did! Make sure you check out a list of Sophie's books here and get yourself a one - or ten!
Sophie's latest book, Falling Fast, is available in all good bookshops now! I really want to read it - and after reading the synopsis, I'm sure you will  too.
This is life, not a rehearsal...When River auditions for a part in an inter-school performance of Romeo and Juliet, she finds herself smitten by Flynn, the boy playing Romeo. River believes in romantic love, and she can't wait to experience it. But Flynn comes from a damaged family - is he even capable of giving River what she wants? The path of true love never did run smooth...
Interested? Get yourself a copy here!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox #23

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers show what book they received that week, via mailbox, library, bought, borrowed or any other way. It's a great way to see who's reading what so make sure you head on over and join in! 

I just got one book this week again, albeit a good one! It is:

For review

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! YES! Finally! I have been desperate to read Pandemonium ever since finishing Delirium, and now I can! I was so happy to get this, the cover is so beautiful, and from what I've read so far, so is the content! Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for sending this to me :)

Have you read Delirium or Pandemonium? And what did you get in your mailbox? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gallagher Girls 5: Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter Book Trailer

I thought I'd share with you the amazing new book trailer for the fifth book in the fab Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter, Out of Sight, Out of Time. It's brilliant! It's the best book trailer I've ever seen, and usually I'm not a fan of book trailers. It seems a bit like a trailer for a movie to me though! But still, watch it, it's worth it! I haven't yet read the fourth book in the series, Only the Good Spy Young, but I can't wait to read it, and this! What do you think of the GG series, and the trailer? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Look by Sophia Bennett

Ted is fifteen, and...oh yes...tall. When she's spotted by a model agency, she can't believe it. 

At the same time, Ted's fashionista sister, Ava, is diagnosed with cancer. With her world turned upside down, Ted has a lot of growing up to do, some of it in five-inch platforms. Should she be the model sister for Ava? Life in front of the camera is harder than it looks. And will they still be smiling when it’s over?

I have been waiting for 'The Look' to be released for so long, and my expectations for it were very high. Sophia is one of my favourite authors, and her 'Threads' series is one of the best I've read! And you know what? 'The Look' did not disappoint! I wasn't sure how two very different topics like modelling and cancer would mix in a book. But I was confident that Sophia would be able to pull it off. And boy, did she do it well! I love Sophia's writing - some scenes were so fun and light, while other were serious and emotional. She wrote both  types of scenes so well! I couldn't put the book down, I spent two hours one night , just reading it - I don't think I've done that with a book since Harry Potter! Sophia just has this way of engrossing you in the story, making you really care for the characters and next thing you know, it's two hours later and you've finished the book! It's just amazing.

I liked Ted, the main character. She was brave and funny and very kind. She was really supportive of Ava. I loved their sisterly relationship, it was one  on the best things about the book for me. Another thing I loved was hearing about the life of a model - I even found myself a bit jealous of Ted at times! :) Modelling was hard for Ted, but once she got her big break, it was brilliant! So glamorous!  Although there seems to be a few greedy agents and mean, grumpy photographers in the modelling world -so maybe it not so glamorous after all! But still...the money... WOWZERS! Just kidding! :)

My favourite character was Ava - I admired her. She was so strong and positive about her illness - she was a real fighter, just the type of character I love! And she was the one who convinced Ted to try out modelling in the first place At the beginning of the book, I think she was a little jealous that Ted got scouted and she didn't , and I thought she was going  to be a self-centered, shallow character, but she was not! Ava was so much more than that. She was as supportive of Ted and her modelling as Ted was of her cancer. She encouraged Ted so much, even when she needed Ted the most. 

One character I didn't care for at all was Daisy, Ted's 'best friend'. She was unsupportive and selfish, I thought and I felt she was sort of trying to 'dump' Ted as a friend, for the popular annoying girl, Cally, at a time when Ted needed her most. *Tiny spoiler alert-very small, won't really ruin anything important for you!* I was surprised at the end when Ted became friends with Cally and Dean, as well as staying friends with Daisy. Cally and Dean had always been nothing but mean to her and then when she became a model, they were all over her! Eh, hello?!*Tiny spoiler over*  And Daisy was always putting Ted down, and never stood up for her when people were being mean to her - she didn't seem to care at all. Some friend! Tina was another character I loved to hate. She had a great personality and was just FABULOUS (as she would say!) but then towards the end of the book I saw her true colours...And I realised she was pretty selfish and greedy!

The boys in The Look were...meh. I thought Nick was quite mean to Ted and I just didn't warm to him at all! He was cold, and irritated me. Ava's boyfriend Jesse isn't in the book much, but  I must admit, in the parts,he was really sweet! He, and the girls dad, were the only exception! And I didn't even like their dad THAT much.  But all of the other men and boys, I wasn't crazy about! Especially the mean photographer, Rudolf... Grrr! Have some respect dude!

The Look is a very character driven novel. There is no real fast-paced story to it, but that definitely didn't take away from the book! It was lovely to read a book about ordinary people, who just happened to have extraordinary things happen to them! It's very different from the Threads series, this is. It's a lot more more serious and...well not dark, but...deep? I just love how Sophia's books deal with quite materialistic (not in a bad way!) issues,  at the same time, as quite serious ones. There isn't any inappropriate content in 'The Look', but I think it is suited to an older age group than the Threads series. Ultimately, The Look is a wonderful  tale of loyalty, friendship and discovering who you really are.

Rating: 5/5
Source: For Review - thank you to Chicken House for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review
Format: Paperback - OMG the pink page edges are SO COOL!
Pages: 336
Age group: 11+
Official Publication Date: 1st March 2012 
Publisher: Chicken House
Challenges: British Books Challenge and ABC Reading Challenge

Sunday, March 4, 2012

In My Mailbox #22

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where bloggers show what book they received that week, via mailbox, library, bought, borrowed or any other way. It's a great way to see who's reading what so make sure you head on over and join in! 

I just bought one book this week, although I'm expecting a few next week! Here it is:

Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale
I just finished redaing this - OHMIGOODNESS. AMAZING-NESS. Best book I've read so far this year, probably.

What did you get in your mailbox?

The Look by Sophia Bennett blog tour - exclusive extract!

Hello there! Today, I have an exclusive extract from the fantastic novel by Sophia Bennett, The Look, as part of her blog tour! This extract is from Chapter Five and is one of my favourite parts in the book. Enjoy!

Still shocked by the news of her older sister’s cancer, Ted accompanies her parents and Ava to the hospital for Ava’s first consultation.

The consultation goes by in a blur. Doctor Christodoulou is not as old as I was expecting – younger than Dad, in fact, with a smooth, unlined face and black, wavy hair. He must have done all his training very fast. I wonder if he can really be a ‘highly respected expert’ already.
He explains that Ava’s type of lymphoma is called Hodgkin’s disease. The lump in her neck is not a tumour – or not the way I imagined it, anyway – it’s a swelling of the lymph nodes. I didn’t know you had lymph nodes, but now I do, and Ava’s have got cancer. Once they’ve found out how far it’s spread, they’ll start treating it with chemotherapy, which is basically lots of powerful drugs that they’ll be flooding into her bloodstream over several weeks until they’ve got rid of it. And if that doesn’t work, they’ll try radiotherapy.
Great. Not remotely frightening, then.
‘But you look fit, Ava,’ he says to her with a smile. ‘That’s a good start.’
He’s not the first person to tell Ava she looks fit. Not by a long way. It’s just not usually in these circumstances. She still smiles coyly, though, as if she’s forgotten why we’re here. I think she’s struggling to concentrate. And he’s not bad himself, as paediatric oncologists go. I really should stop noticing stuff like this.
‘My secretary will book you in for the other tests you need, OK? It’ll only take a few days. We like to move these things along.’
Mum blows into a tissue; she’s already got through most of the box thoughtfully placed next to her. I think we’re all very slightly in love with Doctor Christodoulou. Even Dad looks a bit less grey than he did five minutes ago.
 ‘And you can make her completely better?’ he asks, with a cough.
The consultant hesitates slightly. ‘I can’t make any promises. But I can tell you that the treatment is very effective these days. Over ninety per cent of our patients are completely cured.’ Then he turns his attention back to Ava. ‘Now, while you’re here, I’d like our phlebotomist to take some samples.’ He smiles at our blank faces. ‘Blood samples. It won’t take long.’
Next thing we know, we’re back in the corridor. Ava and Mum are being taken to wherever the phlebotomists hang out – in the basement, somewhere – and Dad and I are shown back into the waiting room.
I want to talk to Dad about the last bit of the conversation – about curing the disease. A ninety per cent success rate is great, of course. It’s an A in pretty much any subject. But I have a maths exam coming up and I’m fairly sure that if you take ninety per cent away from a hundred per cent, it still means that ten per cent of people don’t necessarily get cured. What happens to them? However, Dad has already got his head buried in The Lady again. He’s not avoiding me exactly, but I can tell he’s not ready to talk. The thought might have occurred to him too.
Instead, I pick up the abandoned Marie Claire from beside Ava’s old seat and flick through it. It contains well over a hundred pages of perfect, impossible bodies in bikinis and high-heeled shoes. Whoopee. But I need distractions. Any distractions. So I decide to read my way through it, page by page, until Mum and Ava get back, or until my brain melts – whichever happens first.
There are a remarkable number of lipstick ads in Marie Claire. More than you’d think possible. And foundation ads. And perfume ads. And handbag ads. I’m starting to wonder how I’ve got through fifteen years of my life without owning a proper lipstick (I wear gloss if I remember; usually I don’t), or foundation, or perfume (I borrow Mum’s or Ava’s, when I can get away with it), or a handbag. Yes, I really don’t own a handbag. I have a small canvas rucksack that works perfectly well. Or at least, I thought it did. Maybe I should own one handbag. I’m starting to feel I’m letting the handbag industry down.
Mum and Ava still aren’t back. I plough on.
There’s an article on ‘how to get a beach body’. Another on whether bikinis or one-piece costumes are more flattering. And a very long piece on some ageing blonde woman going through her walk-in wardrobe of designer outfits, explaining which ones are special to her and why. I bet she owns a lot of handbags and not a single canvas rucksack.
‘What are you reading?’ Dad asks me.
I look up. ‘Oh, this thing about some woman with a lot of clothes.’
‘Why what?’
‘Why does she have a lot of clothes?’
This is a fair question, especially from a man who lives in the same three shirts and two pairs of trousers. I’m not sure of the answer, though, so I go back to the beginning of the article and read the opening blurb more carefully: ‘My love affair with fashion – Cassandra Spoke, founder of Model City, gives us an intimate tour of an über-agent’s über-wardrobe.’
There’s a picture of Cassandra Spoke in her office. She has piercing blue eyes, tanned skin and silky, blonde hair, perfectly parted in the middle. She’s wearing narrow black silk trousers and very high heels. Behind her is the logo that represents her über-agency. It’s a jagged black ‘M’ inside a pale blue circle. The circle matches the colour of her eyes, and is actually a ‘C’, for ‘City’.
This logo, I’m sure, is the same as the one on the card that Simon the scammer gave me in Carnaby Street.
Except maybe he wasn’t.
‘Ted, are you OK?’ Dad asks, frowning.
I nod dumbly and try to ignore the increasingly familiar sound of buzzing in my ears.
I think I got scouted by a legitimate model agency, owned by a fashion star. And my sister’s having blood tests to see why her neck’s got cancer. It feels as though the world has turned upside down. I’m not sure I’m ready for this.

I hope you loved it as much as I did! Make sure to pick up copy of The Look from your local bookshop, or buy it here or here! Sophia is a fantastic author, and I absolutely LOVED The Look, look out for a review this week, and make sure you lie cheat, but not steal! - your way to a copy of this book, pronto :) And check the next post of the tour tomorrow over at one of my favourite blogs, Fluttering Butterflies.