Saturday, July 26

Early Review: I Wish (I Wish #1)

I Wish (I Wish #1)
Elizabeth Langston

Published By: Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: November 18, 2014
Date Read: July 15, 2014
Genre: YA - Paranormal Romance
Source: ARC from Spencer Hill Press
Format: Paperback
Pages: 312
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From Goodreads:
Lacey Linden is hiding the truth of her life—a depressed mom, a crumbling house, and bills too big to pay. While her high school classmates see a girl with a ready smile and good grades, Lacey spends her evenings seeking ways to save her family. On a get-cash-quick trip to the flea market, Lacey stumbles over a music box that seemingly begs her to take it home. She does, only to find it is inhabited by a gorgeous "genie." He offers her a month of wishes, one per day, but there's a catch. Each wish must be humanly possible.

Grant belongs to a league of supernatural beings, dedicated to serving humans in need. After two years of fulfilling the boring wishes of conventional teens, he is one assignment away from promotion to a challenging new role with more daring cases. Yet his month with Lacey is everything that he expects and nothing like he imagines. Lacey and Grant soon discover that the most difficult task of all might be saying goodbye.

When I first heard about this book it's fair to say I was really intrigued. I am a big fan of Spencer Hill Press so pretty much all of their books go on my TBR list, but this one stood out to me. Why? Because it's about a genie. I am a huge fan of YA Paranormal books but I had yet to come across one that centred around a genie. Just the blurb sounded amazing and unique to me so I couldn't wait to read it. I was absolutely not disappointed. I loved this book.

Lacey has put a front on for all her friends. The front of pretending that her life is normal. That she has the normal family life but it couldn't be further from the truth. Since the death of her step-father, her mother sunk into a deep depression and can't do anything, not look after her and her little brother, not pay the bills. It's all down to Lacey. When Lacey comes across a beautiful and alluring jewellery box at the flea market she treats herself. Little does she know the jewellery box holds a goregous genie that could be the answer to all her problems. But as she goes through the wishes Lacey needs to come to terms with the things that really mean a lot for her, and at the end of the month she will have to say goodbye to Grant.

This was my first Elizabeth Langston novel and I absolutely loved it. Her writing style is fantastic and I was gripped right from the start. Right from the beginning of the very first page, the wonderful writing and the fantastical characters and storyline completely grabbed me and I could not put the book down. It was just so amazing. I fell in love with the whole thing.

I absolutely loved Grant. He is such a fantastic character and the more I read the more I loved him. If you ever told me I'd love a Genie I would have laughed in your face but I really do love him. He is sweet and awesome. The romance with him is amazing and will have you swooning and giggling to the book. 

I Wish is without a doubt one of the most unique and different YA Paranormal books I have ever read. It was incredible. A story about a genie which also hinged on the lead protagonist learning what is really important makes this book a must-read. Lacey goes through such a journey in this book. Her personal growth is absolutely stunning and incredible and it makes this book just such a joy to read and go on this personal discovery with Lacey. I loved it.

I Wish is a fantastic storyline, with a dash of romance that is perfect for any YA fan. I can't recommend it enough. It was utterly fantastic and I loved every single moment of it. A must-read.

"I'm humbled to have Henry call me his friend. I want to be a partner in restoring laughter to your home. But most of all, I love you, Lacey, more than I could have ever imagined."


Friday, July 25

Non-Review: The Knife of Never Little Go (Chaos Walking #1)

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1)
Patrick Ness

Published By: Walker Books
Publication Date: October 22, 2008
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 479
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From Goodreads:
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him -- something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn't she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd's gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Having read and loved the prequel novella of this series, The New World, I couldn't wait to start on the first book of the series, The Knife of Never Letting Go. I had to start it immediately and as a humongous fan of YA Dystopia novels I really had high expectations for this book and series. I don't know whether it was my expectations being too high or what but I was quite disappointed with this book.

I started loving this book. It was a new and unique dystopic storyline and I loved the idea that the town could hear people talk and that animals could also talk. It was great and for the first 100 pages or so I really enjoyed it. One thing that you cannot deny is that Patrick Ness is a fantastic author and he really gets in touch with his characters and his narration is perfect for the character. Todd's narration was great and it was wrote as it would be said/pronounced. I think that was so clever and I really enjoyed that.

As I read more and more I was just losing interest and my attention was waning. By the time I got to page 150 I was pretty bored and found that while I read instead of getting more attached to the characters I wasn't. I was going the other way. I was losing interest in the characters and found that I didn't really care what happened to them, not enough to get through the other 200+ pages of this book, let alone another two. The writing and characters wasn't grabbing me anymore and all I thought about was reading a different book.

I'm really sad I didn't enjoy this book enough to continue with it. I really wanted to like it and there is no doubt about it that Patrick is a very talented author. I came to the conclusion that this series just wasn't for me. I will most definitely be trying Patrick Ness' other novels but this one just wasn't for me. Well, we can't like them all can we?

Did Not Finish
Abandoned at page 220


Thursday, July 24

Mini Review: The New World (Chaos Walking #0.5)

The New World (Chaos Walking #0.5)
Patrick Ness

Published By: Walker Books
Publication Date: September 27, 2010
Date Read: July 1, 2014
Genre: YA - Dystopia
Source: Bought
Format: E-Book
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From Goodreads:
In this dramatic prequel to the award-winning Chaos Walking Trilogy, author Patrick Ness gives us a short story of Viola's journey to the New World.

Having had the whole Chaos Walking Trilogy sat on my shelf for a long time, before starting it I decided I would read the prequel novella first. It was way more than I expected and I really enjoyed the journey of this short prequel novella.

The New World was nothing like other prequel novellas I have read. A lot of them tend to be a bit of information-overload trying to cram in lots and lots of information to let you know everything about the world that this series is set in. The New World didn't do that. It introduced you to the female protagonist, Viola, and her journey to 'the new world'.

I really enjoyed the journey of the storyline and it really made me excited to start the series. I will be going on to The Knife of Never Letting Go next. I would definitely recommend this prequel novella for fans of the series, or people just going into it.


Wednesday, July 23

Waiting on Wednesday


Talon (Talon #1)
Julie Kagawa

Publisher: Harlequin TEEN / MiraINK
To Be Released: October 28, 2014
Genre: YA - Paranormal
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From Goodreads:
Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Holy crap I am so excited for this book. I adored Julie's Iron Fey series and her Blood of Eden series and now she turns to dragons. I FREAKING LOVE DRAGONS! Seriously cannot wait!


Monday, July 21

I Still Haven't Read...


This week's pick...






Jessica Series by Beth Fantasky:

#1 Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
#1.5 The Wedding of Antanasia Jessica Parkwood and Lucius Valeriu Vladescu
#2 Jessica Rules the Dark Side

Have you read this series?


Sunday, July 20

Book Haul: The YALC Edition



Hardcopy Books:

For Review:


In the Age of Love and Chocolate (Birthright #3) by Gabrielle Zevin
Killing You Softly (St Jude's Academy #2) by Lucy Carver
Eternal Dawn (Vampire Queen #3) by Rebecca Maizel
The Rain by Virginia Bergin
The Young World (Young World Trilogy #1) by Chris Weitz

Gifted:


Fearsome Dreamer (Fearsome Dreamer #1) by Laure Eve
Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe
The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood #1) by Trisha Wolfe

Bought:


The Memory Keepers by Natasha Ngan
The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles
Rolling Dice by Beth Reekles
Out of Tune by Beth Reekles
Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4) by Monica Murphy
A Beautiful Wedding (Beautiful #3) by Jamie McGuire
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A Midsummers Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Lobsters by Tom Ellis and Lucy Iverson
Say Her Name by James Dawson
Salvage by Keren David
Frozen (Heart of Dread #1) by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne
Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

E-Books:

For Review:


Between by Megan Whitmer
Flawed (Perfection #2) by JL Spelbring
Swimming to Tokyo by Brenda St. John Brown
The Aftermath by Jen Alexander

Bought:


A Beauty so Beastly (Beastly #1) by RaShelle Workman
Glaze by Kim Curran
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


 


Thursday, July 17

The Undoubted Success of YALC

Last weekend saw the arrival of the one event I, and many other UK book bloggers, had been longing for since... well... forever. July 12th and 13th 2014 saw the arrival of the first ever young adult book convention to be held in the UK. YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) was put forward by Childrens book Laureate, legend Malorie Blackman in conjunction with Booktrust. Mergine with the ever popular LFCC (London Film and Comic Con) it was without a doubt an incredible success with hundreds of thousands flocking to Earls Court for the event and checking out the incredible "book zone".

This is my wrap-up of the weekend and my experience of what is possibly the best weekend of my life.

The Journey To YALC:

With me living in little 'ole Teesside, a part of the North East of England, I had an extremely early morning on Saturday. Getting up at 5am I wasn't even sleepy. I was far too excited. Because it was time for YALC! The first EVER UKYA book convention. Having already packed everything after a quick coffee it was time to head to the train station to catch the 7:10am train to London Kings Cross. My first trip to London and I was very excited!

After a 3+ hour train journey and a London Underground Tube I was ready to hit LFCC and YALC. I was most definitely NOT expecting the amount of people that were there. I was so overwhelmed. I have honestly never seen so many people in one place. Having already bought my ticket for entry in advance I got to skip the enormous queue and after half an hour of waiting I was in!

And when I say a lot of people I mean a LOT! They had to close the doors as they were at capacity at 12pm! It was so crazy hot in there as the air-con was apparently not on someone made this. If you weren't there you won't accept that fact of how accurate it was. I went through 5 bottles of water in one day. Craziness!



YALC Day One: Saturday

Once I got in, although I was still anxious about the amount of people there, I was so excited. These were my kind of people. People who love Doctor Who and Game of Thrones and BOOKS! I took a wander around the book stalls which were AMAZING! and there were lots of amazing publishers there!


The Events:

Saturday's events kicked off with a talk on Dystopia with Malorie Blackman, Sarah Crossan, Patrick Ness and James Smythe. By the time I got to the event the tickets for the events were all gone. I hear this was amazing and included a welcome speech from Malorie Blackman in Klingon. Awesome Sauce right there! Other talks throughout the day included ones about graphic novels, fantasy books and heroes of horror with numerous authors on each panel.

There were also numerous workshops on writing and blogging but they were all in such high demand I didn't get into any of them. But that was fine. I was here to meet authors, bloggers and go to the signings. 

The Signings:

Saturday saw me meet many amazing authors from the likes of Sarah Crossan, dystopia queen to queen of contemp Holly Bourne. I started my signings off with Sarah Crossan, fresh from her dystopia talk. I was armed with her brand new book Apple and Rain that isn't due for release until August 14, 2014 and she was the sweetest.

Next I headed for Rainbow Rowell, whose queue was crazy. People were queuing from 1pm and her signing didn't start until 2:15pm. She was due to finish signing at 4pm and she was still at it at 5:30pm so major kudos to Rainbow for continuing when she didn't even have to. I also got given a great Fangirl tote bag from her publicist which I adore.

I am kinda sad I didn't get my Patrick Ness books signed but his signing was at the exact same time as Rainbow's and by the time I got out of that queue and saw the queue for Patrick's I just couldn't bare to stay in that queue. *sad face*

Next up was the slot of Kim Curran, Amy McCullogh, Holly Bourne and Natasha Ngan. No way did I think I would manage to see all 4 but I did. I headed for Holly's line first as her newest book, The Manifesto of How to be Interesting, due for release August 1, 2014, was on sale and I managed to grab a few copies to be signed. She was so awesome and she called me "Ruffle girl" which made me laugh because I brought her chocolates that we have in the North East that you can't get down south.

Natasha Ngan's new novel, The Memory Keepers, due for release September 4, 2014, was on sale at YALC also but when I got there it was sold out. I was devastated as it was the one book there I wanted. While waiting for Natasha's signing I met the wonderful Rosi from Hot Key Books (I was so excited to meet her) and she sorted me out with a copy of The Memory Keepers after they had ran back to their office for ore. We had a whole 'in-line purchasing' thing going on.

I was also thrilled to meet Kim Curran, Amy McCullogh and Lucy Saxon on Saturday.

After that I headed off to find my hotel. I was freaking EXHAUSTED! I'd gone straight there from the train so was carting my suitcase around all day in the sweltering heat! My biggest regret from Saturday was the fact that I really wish I had gone to drop my case off at the hotel first. But the day was still awesome.

YALC Day 2: Sunday

Sunday was better! There was less people there which was a relief and it was a LOT cooler. Apparently they had found the air-con switch! AND I wasn't carting my bag around.

The Events:

Again there were lots of workshops and talks and this time I got a ticket for the one I really wanted. "I'm too Sexy for this Book" with Cat Clarke, Non Pratt, Beth Reekles and was headed by the amazing Queen of Teen James Dawson. It was hilarious! From start, when James demanded his crown, to end. They discussed sex in YA novels and was an insightful experience, especially discussion New Adult and how the majority of them are not NA but just YA books with sexy times in. I am so thrilled that I got to witness it as it was the only one that I wanted to see all weekend. Other talks included things like how to get published, YAs not just being for kids and the female dominance of YA.

The Signings:
 
I was thrilled to meet Non Pratt, James Dawson, Beth Reekles, Meg Rosoff, Alexia Casale and Julie Mayhew on Sunday.

The best part of my day was definitely meeting Non, discovering that she too is originally from Teesside and she actually hugged me! She is one of my favourite authors and her book, Trouble, is one of my favourite books ever!

Others: James was absolutely hilarious and laughed at me when I said I hadn't read his book yet as I was too scared. Alexia was oh so crazy but in such a fantastic wat and Meg Rosoff asked for my blogger card. Seriously OH. MY. GOD!

I am also sad that I never got to meet Holly Smale but her line was huge and I was exhausted and it was at the end of the time and I just needed to sit down and chill out. 

The Bloggers:

One of my favourite parts of YALC was that I met some of the bloggers I have been friends with for years. I met Faye and Debbie and Daphne and Laura. One I was crazy excited to meet was Lucy, the blogger behind Queen of Contemporary and the genius mind behind Project UKYA. She is so crazy awesome and we are already planning for me to go see her in Bath and go round the book stores.

The Books:

So, as expected, I brought back a whole lot of books! I took like 24 with me to get signed, I came home with 42 books including gifts for friends and books for giveaways. All in all not bad.

So I came home with these...



These are ones I picked up that are not released yet, three of them which are signed *happy dance*



Thanks to ATOM who gave me The Young World free for review. You guys rock!

Other Comic Con Stuff...

Honestly, the majority of my time was spent in YALC. I rarely escaped from my little book haven but I did for one major thing. To meet the one and only Lena Headey aka Cersei Lannister from the best series ever, Game of Thrones. She is so short and cute and so lovely. Such a far cry from her character. I only met her briefly as they get the pics over so damn fast.

*squeee*


Carrie Fischer also walked past me with her super cute dog but it was so fast I couldn't get a picture.

I also went in search of some merch and found this crazy awesome GoT shirt. LOVE IT!







In Conclusion:

So basically YALC was a phenomenon and undoubted success. I really hope they take this as an indicator of what a fab yearly event this would be. For YALC2015 a part of me would love for it to be held at its own venue so it could be even bigger. But then aain there was a sort of magic of it being at LFCC and Spiderman or Chewbacca could just walk around the corner.

The whole weekend was utterly fantastic. I can't wait for YALC2015.






Giveaway:

1 Signed Copy of Soulmates by Holly Bourne
1 Signed Copy of Manifesto of How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne
1 Signed Copy of Trouble by Non Pratt