fangirling for #3

31 March 2014

My third 'fangirling for...'' post is going to be showcasing a book I have been waiting DESPERATELY for. RUBY first introduced me to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone Series and since then I have flailed a lot over these books; I have perfected the art of 'random *fangirl* faces while reading an awesome book', and I have waited a LONG TIME, for the final book. A LONG TIME.
Now it is nearly here and ALL I CAN DO IS SCREAM AND DANCE AROUND BECAUSE GOOD GRACIOUS. Zuzana is my favourite character from the series, and always has been. Apparently I am like here, and i see that, from my e-mails to my height to me personality to..*strums  lip*. I like to think that Laini Taylor created her character based on me but..well..IT IT HAPPENED OKAY. She is my alter-ego (beside Hermione) and I pride myself on that fact because..well...who doesn't like Zuzana? Also can i just say, if you haven't even STARTED this series yet..( Zoe you're safe but EHEM. Amber..)..then
PLEASE READ IT or feel my wrath, *shakes tiny fist*, if not, i may have to drop something on your won't be PLEASANT, I shall turn into a Rabid Fairy - or shall i just lash out at you and kick you into some glass?...P.S this paragraph is like a dung heap with book references being the metaphoric diamonds. Which means if you haven't read the books you won't know where they are..which means..YOU NEED TO GO READ THE BOOKS. April  17th COME TO ME. Quickly. I mean..slowly, I don't want my exams. LET'S JUST CHANGE THE RELEASE DATE FOR TODAY. okay? Please. *goes to write a strong *begging* letter to the author and the publishers and everyone else involved*
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3
Title: Dreams of Gods & Monsters
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: April 17th 2014
Genre: Young Adult {YA}, Fantasy, Romance
Find: amazon || goodreads || the book depository 
Summary: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.
Common enemy, common cause.
When Jael's brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.
And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.
But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz ... something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.
What power can bruise the sky?
From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy. 
At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter? -from goodreads
Also did you know THE FILM RIGHTS HAVE BEEN SOLD TO UNIVERSAL PICTURES. I'm a little worried as I love this book so SO MUCH, so if the film let's it down i will be VERY ANNOYED. They'd better get Zuzana right. Shall i audition for her role? I think I might..AND ISN'T THE COVER BEAUTIFUL. GAH. *prances like a unicorns and tosses mane*
“She’d tried to believe it: that her heart didn’t matter, that she and Akiva didn’t matter, that there were worlds at stake and that was what mattered.”
p.s you can read the first two chapter here.

book review :: far from you by tess sharpe

27 March 2014

Title: Far From You
Author: Tess Sharpe
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: March 27th 2014
Pages: 352
Book: For Review*
Format: Cover ARC
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mystery, Crime, Thriller
Find: amazon || goodreads || the book depository
Summary: Nine months. Two weeks. Six days. That's how long recovering addict Sophie's been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong - a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered. Forced into rehab for an addiction she'd already beaten, Sophie's finally out and on the trail of the killer - but can she track them down before they come for her? - goodreads
This book creeped me out, and it definitely didn't help that i read it at night, with the dark closing in all around me and visions of Mina's killer filling my mind...The author wrote with such a vivid thread of words and dialogue, and created such realistic characters it was as if they came alive before my eyes instead of within my imagination. It felt like they were in the room with me and when i had finished, i didn't want to get out of bed and switch all the lights of..
TIP #1 : it's not a good idea to read the entire book while everyone else is asleep, and then have the responsibility of shutting off all the lights in the house and making sure the doors are locked when all you want to do is borrow under your duvet so the murderer can't get to you.. 
I constantly felt sorry for Trev, he was so kind and caring and thoughtful and broken and it made me want to fix him, or at the very least, get Sophie to fix him. But she never did however much I hoped, and I SHIPPED THEM SO HARD. (why the various people who were attracted to her were attracted to her. Sometimes, i felt a little annoyed with her attitude towards things, for example, she was such an addict - in more ways that one. She was/had been obsessed with Mina, she acknowledged it herself. She was like a blind follower, a sheep who never backed her up, covered for her, did whatever she did. However her flaws did have one big benefit - they made her more realistic.
The actual murder mystery was quite stereotypical (i thought anyway.) Nearly all the crime books i have previously read have had pretty much the same reasons for the killer's motive, the girl always goes missing for the same reason, so i would have liked Jackie to have gone missing for a more 'unique' reason. I could almost have predicted what had happened to her before i read it.
TIP #2 : don't go into this book looking for a solid, murder mystery. because in my opinion you won't get it. the book for me was about the different relationships between characters, and that was the most riveting and interesting aspect of the book - not the murder, or the mystery surrounding it. the book is like two books mashed together in a way, one a crime book, one a book about a tangled web of relationships that intertwine and rip and form and how they change the character's lives - the latter being the much stronger.
Which brings me to another point, Mina's killer. I didn't realize but i picked out the killer almost straight away. I guessed who he/she (#casuallytryingnottogiveawayanyspoilers) was immediately. Why? Because it was the automatic choice for a person who has read a few crime books and knows the kind of person an author creates to be the killer. I can't stay more because i don't want to give anything away but for me it was a bit of a stereotypical killer (although apparently EVERYONE else disagrees with me and says it wasn't obvious at all..i must just be amazingly clever..) and although at one point i 'switched' suspect, i would have liked it to have been more complicated to work out.
However, after saying all that, ultimately i didn't really mind that some aspects of the book were obvious because Far From You engrossed me from the very beginning. Tess Sharpe has a talent for creating realistic characters and chills down your spine. She has written a very promising debut and while i probably won't read it again (i never re-read murder/crime books because i am a wimp) i absolutely cannot wait to see what she produces next. My rating: 1/2
*thank you so so so so much to the lovely Nina from Orion for sending me this free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion.

doorstep delights #8

22 March 2014

[FEB HAUL] It's that time again. Where stacks of books are pulled off shelves, piled up and photographed; then painstakingly put back again. I'm sorry but I have TOO MANY BOOKS THIS HAUL SO I WILL NOT LINK THEM. Am I sorry actually? NO WAY Nope. And I'm going to get right to it because no-one wants to hear me ramble on about nothing in particular. They want to stare at pretty books. I don't blame you. So without further ado: [the-how-did-i-acquire-so-many-books-in-a-month-edition]
THE TWISTROSE KEY by Tone Almjehll [Gifted]
THE INDEPENDANT STUDY by Joelle Charbonneau
BONE JACK by Sarah Crowe
THE ORIGINALS by Cat Patrick [Gifted]
SOULMATES by Holly Bourne [Gifted]
UNREMEMBERED by Jessica Brody
UNFORGOTTEN by Jessica Brody
AMY & MATTHEW by Cammie McGovern
THIS IS WHAT HAPPY LOOKS LIKE by Jennifer E. Smith [Borrowed]
LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell [ARC]
DANDELION CLOCKS by Rebecca Westcott
ENTANGLED by Cat Clarke [Won]
ANNA & THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins
INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi [Gifted]
THE YEAR OF THE RAT by Clare Furniss [ARC]
A KISS IN THE DARK by Cat Clarke [ARC]
THE 100 by Kass Morgan [Gifted]
THE UPRISING by Lisa M. Stasse [Gifted]
PANIC by Lauren Oliver [ARC]
SWEET DREAMS, LITTLE ONE by Massimo Gramellini
ECHO BOY by Matt Haig [Hardback]
That's right. Only 28 books in this book haul. Not that I'm complaining. I'm definitely not complaining. I'm extremely happy that people want to send me books to review and/or keep.I don't want to seem too greedy! Anyway. Onto the thanks..Thank you to: Amber, Curious Fox, Templar, Andersen Press, Fiona, Penguin, Macmillan, Zoe, Orion, Charli, Guardian Books  [and Usborne], Riot Communications, Chicken House, Headline [and Bookbridgr], Quercus, Hot Key, Hodder, Hachette Children's Books, Almar Books, Bodly Head Children's Books and last but not least: Transworld Publishing.
don't forget to leave a link to your last book haul so i can check it out!

book review :: if you find me by emily murdoch

18 March 2014

Title: If You Find Me
Author: Emily Murdoch
Publisher: Indigo
Publication Date: May 2nd 2013
Pages: 292
Source: Gifted
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sociology, Realistic Fiction, Family
Find: amazon || goodreads || the book depository
A broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen-year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey's younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and the girls are found by their father, a stranger, and taken to re-enter the "normal" life of school, clothes and boys.
Now, Carey must come to terms with the truth of why their mother spirited them away ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won't let her go ... a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn't spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.
“Emily Murdoch has written a painful, hopeful…. book that charts the best and worst of humanity, especially family, with characters who worm their way into your heart… She validates the courage and ingenuity of young people the world over for whom survival is instinctive; protection of siblings is nonnegotiable; and love both a right and a gift bestowed upon those fortunate enough to find it.” – Booklist (Starred Review) -goodreads
How is this a debut? Stunning, poignant, beautiful; If You Find Me is a striking novel that explores the themes of child neglect and unquenchable bravery, hope and determination. The way this book was written: words weaving across the page with raw but beautiful assurance which captured the heart and soul of the characters perfectly, made me want to stay in Casey's world for much longer than until the end of the book.
 “I answer her with my silence, understanding the full power of it for the first time. Words are weapons. Weapons are powerful. So are unsaid words. So are unused weapons.” - if you find me by emily murdoch
Within the pages of this book, Emily Murdoch creates a realistic protagonist, that of an abused child, who has a refreshingly unique outlook on life compared to others in her situation. With most of the characters I have read with similar backgrounds, that person has acted out, gone off the rails, disobeyed every rule they can. However, the author shows that some, like Casey, walk down the path of the other extreme. She obeys every rule, is politeness personified, and hovers around those she feels safe with like a fly afraid to irritate someone lest they swat them away.
“We make attachments to what's familiar. We find the beauty, even in the lack. That's human. We make the best of what we're given.” - if you find me by emily murdoch
Casey was such a strong character that I immediately connected with her. Her matter-of-fact way of talking made it easy to understand her thoughts and feelings, and emphasized her distress and torment even more. She was so acceptant of her situation, of her past and present, that my heart ached for her - and i wished that the barrier of paper-thin pages would vanish so I could help her, just help her, in any way I could. Because she didn't deserve it. No-one in her situation deserves it. And no-one should have to deal with what she had to.
“My life's a tangle of past and present, like two separate puzzles with their pieces tumbled together. Nothing fits.” - if you find me by emily murdoch.
I honestly can't say anything bad about this book. If You Find Me is one of the most underrated books I have ever read and I can't believe it hasn't won award after award after award. Because it deserves it. Tragic and heartbreaking, it is about two girls against the world, about neglect and about love. Sisterly love, unpredictable love, familial love; it encompasses love in many different shades, with many different meanings and roots - and it is a book you should not miss. My rating: 

book review :: unhinged by a.g howard (splintered #2)

14 March 2014

Title: Unhinged
Author: A. G Howard
Series: Splintered #2
Publisher: Abrams
Publication Date: January 1st 2014
Pages: 387
Book: For Review*
Format: ARC
Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Re-Tellings, Adventure
Find The Book: Amazon || Goodreads || The Book Depo
Summary: Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of. That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland—where she (partly) belongs.
As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind. If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head. -goodreads
Tantalizing. Wild. Creepy - this book blew my breath away with its intricate detail, ingenious plot, and artfully developed characters. The place of magic and crafty beings of Wonderland seeps into the 'real' world slowly, but with life-changing consequences as Alyssa tries to juggle Morpheus. Jeb, her parents, and the growing realization that she has a lot more on her plate than she first thought.
When Alyssa chose the human world over the interlaced webs of sorcery that were trapping her to Wonderland, she thought her troubles were behind her - thought she wouldn't have to worry anymore. She was wrong. Visions, artistic creations gone 'wrong', nothing seems to be playing into her hands - so Alyssa has to accept defeat. She has no choice. After all - Morpheus is always watching her: a shadow that never leaves even in darkness. If she doesn't do what he wants then who knows what will happen?
In a blink, his wings fully manifest and slice the smoky haze, peeling it back to reveal him in his true state: flawless, pale skin, masquerade-style patches curved like ivy beneath his eyes. The teardrop-shaped jewels flash bright and blinding through a rainbow of colors, so many moods they can’t be read. - unhinged by a.g howard
The character development in this book was stunning. I really felt a part of the whole story and it was like I was walking around in Alyssa's shoes - and while she didn't have the best experiences ever it was so fun and refreshing to feel completely immersed in the plot, having had a few 'meh' reads before picking this book up.
I'm still torn between Jeb and Morpheus. Still. I know Nikki is adamantly against Jeb but, but, Jeb. Which brings me to Morpheus. Morpheus. He has wings. He's Morpheus. (I can feel a name vomit coming on in which I just go, Jeb - but Morpheus, but, but Jeb - so I'm going to stop now!) I'm just going to say that the love triangle was actually one of the best parts of the book (i know!) purely because you have no idea who Alyssa is going to end up with - and since when does that happen in books? Usually I can tell straight away and when the ''moment'' happens i'm just sighing and rolling my eyes...
“All I have to do is set the power free. Escape the chains of humanity, let madness be my guide. If I forget everything but Wonderland, I can become beautiful pandemonium.” - unhinged by a.g howard
Alyssa was the perfect protagonist - because she had her flaws but she was so kick-ass and fierce and bold and when she finally, finally released her powers and embraced her ''inner Wonderland'' - well GAH, can I have wings please and thank you.
Finally, onto the world building. A.G Howard is one astounding genius. The way she used the weird and wonderful words from Alice In Wonderland and created beings out of them. The complex layers to the plot, the way she would make something happen that tied in perfectly with the 'original' story but was so incredible and I would just sit there with a: 'well that was clever and innovative and SO AWESOME' expression on my face..
If you couldn't tell already, Unhinged was absolutely perfect in every way. With spectacular world-building, a group of characters that make you feel the feels, a crop of astounding otherworldly creatures and creeptastic beings (stalker(s)), and a plot that will keep your heart racing and hook you in with sharp, wonderful claws, if you've not read this series, then why not? My rating: 
*thank you thank you thank you to the wonderful Abrams for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion.

giveaway :: follower appreciation (international)

10 March 2014

I'd always planned on doing a giveaway around this time, but i didn't really know what 'for' - and then i had an influx of followers//commenters last month and KABOOM! I thought, why not do a follower appreciation giveaway? I really appreciate all your support and comments and general awesomeness when it comes to my blog so today, *drum roll* I am giving away five book series. Yes, five.
THE SLATED TRILOGY - while not one of my absolute favorites, was a series I knew that other people would love and I know people who do love it so whoever wins, I hope you do too!
THE DECLARATION TRILOGY - was a fun read. Not too much of a heavy dystopian and Its a good one for sitting down when you have free time between work breaks because it doesn't stress your brain out too much!
THE ROLLER GIRLS SERIES - another fun, short read. If you like contemporary books based around sport then this is for you!
THE RUBY REDFORT SERIES - is probably one of my favourite series of all time. Yes, it is that good. teenage prodigies, code-cracking, spies, friendships, completely genuine and likeable characters GIVE ME MORE.
terms and conditions
 Fill in the Rafflecopter below - please don't leave personal details in the comments section (for your own safety)
 This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.
 You must be 13 or older to enter.
 I am not responsible for books lost or damaged in the post
  There will be 5 DIFFERENT winners, so you can only enter to win ONE book series, choose carefully!
 Giveaway ends on 1st May 2014 at 12am.
 I'm going with the whole 'surprise!' element, so one of the mandatory entries is that you have to fill in your full address. This is because i can then just send your prize straight off so you will have a nice little package in the post if you win!..But don't worry...I'm not going to stalk you! *waggles eyebrows*
 and may the odds your favour! ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

book review :: shattered by teri terry (slated #3)

07 March 2014

Title: Shattered
Author: Teri Terry
Series: Slated #3
Publisher: Orchard Books
Publication Date: March 6th 2014
Pages: 402
Book: For Review*
Format: Paperback, Finished Copy
Genre: Young Adult, Science-Fiction, Romance, Psychological Thriller
Summary: The riveting finale of the Slated trilogy — a thought-provoking psychological thriller set in a disturbingly plausible future where the government and its enemies compete to control the minds of the young. Kyla is in danger from both the government Lorders who erased her memory and the terrorists who tried to use her. So now she’s on the run. Sporting a new identity and desperate to fill in the blank spaces of her life pre-Slating, Kyla heads to a remote mountain town to try to reunite with the birth mother she was kidnapped from as a child. There she is hoping all the pieces of her life will come together and she can finally take charge of her own future. But even in the idyllic wilderness and the heart of her original family, Kyla realizes there is no escape from the oppressive Lorders. Someone close to her may be one of them, and even more frighteningly, her birth mother has been keeping secrets of her own. - from goodreads
Where do I start with this book? Shattered, oh you were such a 'meh' read for me and I'm disappointed with myself for thinking that. I really really wanted to love this book. I did, but, well, this trilogy was a string of disappointments mixed with slight interest for me. I enjoyed the first book, there was no doubt about that, but by how much is a different matter. I read the second book because I wanted to see what would happen, and enjoyed Fractured a little more. I was slightly dubious about requesting this final book because I didn't know whether I should just leave it as an in concluded read or forge ahead and just see how it all ended.
quite a few times during the book
I'm glad I did request it, because a lot of questions I had had build up in my mind were answered, so in that respect I was satisfied. But the problem was, when I started reading Shattered I realized how little I remembered from the first two books. Yes, i remembered the basic happenings and names of main characters but that was it. Not a good sign although to be honest I wasn't surprised. If I can't remember what has happened in previous books in a series, chances are I wasn't really paying attention in the first place, or just read to be entertained, or to have something to do, not actually caring what happened.
Which brings me to another point. I didn't care what happened to the characters. Even if all of them had died I wouldn't have minded. Would have have happened in any other book I enjoyed? No. I would have had FEELS. That was the problem. i didn't feel anything for the characters, I was never able to connect to them in the first place so they were always two dimensional and imaginary, they didn't become a whole person, they didn't become real to me like so many other characters do.
me whenever Kyla made a really obvious mistake.
Lots of things happened in Shattered., as you would suspect in a concluding book for a sci-fi trilogy, but at the same time, nothing happened. There was practically action in every chapter, but at the same time it felt like it was all rehearsed. The book was written methodically, the characters felt like they were speaking lines in  play they had performed hundreds of times. Even the tense, life-threatening scenes that happened felt odd and clunky. It all felt like I could predict exactly what would happen next if I wanted to.
BUT, onto the good parts. As I mentioned before, I had a lot of questions running through my head during the first two books, and, thankfully, nearly all of them were answered.  I read the book in only two sittings, out of curiosity more than anything but, also, while I have sad quite a few bad things about this book (*whispers* sorry) Teri Terry has a knack for making you want to carry on reading no matter what you are reading, whether you are enjoying it or not. She has created a trilogy that while some people do not like, a LOT of people do love, and I can see that in the book. While I did not connect to it, that was me, not the entire population who has read this book. The plot - while not completely solid - was a well thought out one,
my overall thought of the book.
and very interesting to read. It was about politics, and power, and how some people will do anything to protect themselves while not caring a jot about others. The one character I really loved was Doctor Lysander, *spoiler* she was genuinely a nice person who, in the first book, we don't look up to rather favorably, but she sacrificed herself for 'the greater good' and in that way, gained my respect. *spoiler end* As Kyla said, "I know that both pain and joy are needed for life to grow." *spoiler* Doctor Lysander understood that, and tried to make up for the pain she had caused by saving other people's lives so they could experience joy in a new life, with a clean slate. *spoiler end* While definitely not one of my favourite reads, Shattered was a satisfactory ending to an action-packed trilogy, and although I will probably never re-read this series again, I'm glad I picked them up as I have been introduced to an author I had previously never heard of before and will definitely pick up her new books coming forward, in the hope that my less than amazing response to her debut novels will be changed by her new novels. My rating: 1/2
*thank you so much to Orchard Books for sending me this free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

book review :: panic by lauren oliver

04 March 2014

Title: Panic
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: March 4th 2014
Pages: 416
Book: For Review*
Format: ARC
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Thriller, Romance
Find: amazon || goodreads || the book depository
Summary: Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.
Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.
Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.
For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most. -goodreads
I enjoyed the Delirium series. Not so much as the hard-core fans maybe, but it was a fun read, the world-building was amazing, and by the end I had made up my mind to definitely read all the authors other books. So here I am, reviewing this one. Panic for me, created a mix of emotions. It was, as always, exquisitely written, the world-building was nothing less that beautiful, but there was something missing. It felt a little hollow. It was like someone had created a person, perfect in every way - except it didn't have a personality. I never felt connected with the characters, they weren't real enough to me. At times, i was almost able to step into their shoes, but not fully - as if i had shoved my feet into a pair of shoes but my heels were still sticking out.
The book is entitled Panic. That is what the plot is meant to revolve around, and in a way it does, but not enough. There is never any clear explanation of why and how Panic started. Yes, a little, but there should have been so much more for this book to work as a standalone. The book actually goes a lot deeper than just a 'game'. It is about relationships, about desperation, about love and loss. It is about the lengths we go to for revenge and love and anger. It is about the future, and how uncertain it is, how we can never know what will happen - we just have to wait for each day as it comes and deal with what it brings. It is not a take of The Hunger Games, as some people are saying. Why?
a) it is not a dystopian. it is a contemporary, dealing with emotional issues, with the game as a side event that results in all these issues.
b) it is a slow paced standalone.
The slow-pace initially threw me off for a while as I had expected it to be a little more action packed, bringing me to the edge of my seat type action. And gradually, that's how i realized the real themes of the book. Each character has it's own problems and participating, or not participating, in the game, is their outlet for releasing and/or solving their emotional issues. For Heather: she decided to participate on a whim, out of anger and hurt after being rejected by the boy she thought she loved. Dodge knows why he is participating, and always has, revenge. Revenge. He needs it like a person needs oxygen to survive; and Nat? Well, she wants to be big, she wants to be an actress or a model, but to do that you need money, and in a town like hers, let's just say it doesn't exactly grow from trees.
Overall Panic was a very slow-paced book that didn't draw me in until about half way. The characters were distinct, but never really three dimensional in my mind. However, the relationships in the book were well written and intensely real which made the book a little better for me. Something 'big' happens in the book about 3/4 of the way  through but i had already guessed which was a bit disappointing. The hints weren't very subtle so either the author wanted the reader to 'almost' guess..or...the hints were not written very well! My rating:  1/2
*thank you to Guardian Children's Books for sending this to me free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

discussion :: bookish habits

01 March 2014

Today I thought I would discuss bookish habits - and whether they actually benefit us book eaters or not. I don’t think I have many...I think? I always used to tell myself that I wouldn’t generate any specific habits because I didn’t think there was any point - for example, judging books by their covers / blurbs - everyone knows its not a good thing to do but lots of people do it. One habit I have that I think is *slightly* weird (does anyone else do this?) is that I always stop reading at a chapter that is a multiple of five. If i carry on reading, say I get to 15 and I read the first page of the next chapter and am like I REALLY NEED TO CARRY ON, I never just read that chapter, I always stop at the next multiple of five. Which generally means I read the whole book *cough*.
One major book habit I can't seem to get rid of that may benefit me in the long run (ehem) but definitely is not kind on my purse is I CAN'T SAY NO TO BOOKS. I think every book lover in the world has this problem but seriously. WHAT DO I DO. If i'm within a mile radius of bookshops // libraries I know. I gravitate towards them, and generally, end up buying at least one. Are there any cures because I REALLY NEED ONE.
Another thing I want to talk about - reading books in one sitting. I do it so often and i don’t know whether I should.
a) it means I have to write a review practically every day and I AM TOO LAZY FOR THAT. So then what happens is it gets left and left and left, and by the time I do get round to it I’ve read so many other books since then that I can barely remember what I wanted to write in my review. (Although right now i’ve been pretty good with writing reviews. I have TEN POSTS SCHEDULED. *fist pump*).
b) Does it mean I read too fast?...I did this survey thing and apparently I can read 688 words per minute. 175% above national average...IS THAT WEIRD OR COOL?
I also never DNF a book. Well, I try not to. Usually If i’m not enjoying a book I put it down, but also keep it in the back of my mind that I will pick it up sooner or later. My reason is because sometimes, while I will never actually love that book totally, the ending may change my view of the author’s writing and I may pick up one of their other books and really enjoy it. - It has happened so I’m not just stabbing in the dark and hoping one day that will happen! I can only ever remember one book i have DNF-ed and still not got back to yet…*whispers* Twinmaker by Sean Williams. I was so hyped about it and then when I got it it was CONFUSING AND EURGH. I will pick it up again though. I think. I just don't know when...
I book push A LOT. I mean, who doesn't? But only if I absolutely LOVED the book. I also have a huge problem when I see someone reading a book I loved, I can't contain myself and I have to ask them where they are, what page they've got to, what's happening etc. I get scarily close to revealing spoilers though, when I say, have you got to - place yet?