Friday, 1 June 2012

Feature And Follow Friday (2)

Feature and Follow is a blog hop that was started by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Each week a different question is posted by our hosts and we will answer! This is a great opportunity for bloggers to network and interact. This weeks question is....

You are a matchmaker — your goal, hook up two characters from two of your favourite books. Who would it be? How do you think it would go

This is such a hard question, but l I think I'm going to have to say Simon from Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series and Sydney the alchemist from Bloodiness and Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy saga. Despite the fact that these two series are two of my absolute favourite, I seriously think these two characters would match perfectly together. Assuming this is in some warped, alternate universe, I genuinely think they would be highly compatible. First off, both characters are insanely cute and, in a way, nerdish and perhaps a tad awkward. Sydney and Simon are both head strong characters who stand up for those who they love and live by the same morals. I also think that I might find the dialogue between the two characters incredibly amusing! 

Now the hard part; admitting that I wouldn't go very far in order to 'match the pair together'- don't hit me.....Yet! The reason I would be hesitant to really push Simon and Sydney together is really correlated to the fact that I am sure the authors of both series will do a great job in matching their characters up with their proper, intended love interest inside their initial, respective worlds. Plus I'm pretty sure Sydney would hate me if I took her away from Adrian...And who could blame her. Ahh Adran *swoon*..   Now in relation to Simon, he seems to be getting fairly cozy with Isabel so we shall see what Clare has in store for us on that front! Two of my favourite series and characters, I love them both.

So there's my answer. Link me yours :)


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Blurb: Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought. Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher. - (Goodreads) 

Just for the record, don't worry guys I read this back on the very date of its release last year. However I've found myself compelled (< see what I did there?) to review it for two important reasons. Firstly, it's amazing and I really loved it. And secondly, its sequel, The Golden Lily, is set to be released in less than a month! - 21 days to be exact but who's counting right? Anyway I must admit that before I picked this one up I was a tad skeptical about a spin-off from the renowned Vampire Academy series. I loved that series and wasn't keen for a spin-off that could potentially distract or ruin Rose and Dmitri's well deserved happily ever after. To clarify, I am a strong Dmitri and Rose supporter. This added to my uncertainty in relation to this book which revolved largely around Adrian, whom in the Vampier Academy series I found to be a nuisance and threat to my precious Rose and Dmitri happily ever after! I relent however that after Bloodlines, my perspective of Adrian has completely altered; even nudged me a little in the direction of Team Adrian. Don't get your panties in a twist, my number one  fictional love will most probably always be my Dmitri but hey, Adrian could sure break into my top 5! 

First off, the story follows Sydney, the alchemist we were introduced to in Blood Promise, as she is sent along with Moroi  Princess, Jill Dragomir, to a Californian human boarding school. I think I'll start off by saying how well Richelle Mead is able to develop her characters from what we already know about them as a result of the Vampire Academy series. In the Vampire Academy series I must admit that I was never a big fan of Sydney, or maybe it's more that I never perceived her to be a major character. Bloodlines was a really big eye opener in that respect. We learn a lot more about alchemists and the way in which they live. We are introduced to Sydney's family who are not anything like I expected. I actually grew to like Sydney immensely. As a protagonist, she is strong, protective and fierce and in some ways reminds me a lot of Rose Hathaway minus the whole kick-ass fighting and combative skill set. However,  it must be said that in other areas Sydney is perhaps a little superior to Rose, making her just as worthy protagonist as Hathaway was. For instance, I would say Sydney is a little more mature than Rose. Also more sensible, level headed and in some ways more selfless. Also, the way in which Mead develops the relationships between Sydney and the other characters, may it be; Jill, Eddie or Dmitri is really admirable. The various types of love and other feelings that Mead  conveyed through Sydney felt almost tangible! 

Next the plot line. Admittedly, I had my suspicions earlier in in connections to some secondary plot lines and character involvement, though I must admit I was never able to truly predict the final outcomes. I thought the plot was well developed and highly original. Though the novel is very much centred and revolves around relationships I would not necessarily consider that to be a bad thing. Personally, I think it was really important for Mead to address the relationships and feelings between some of the charcters. I loved most of the character in the novel and must admit I never saw what would unfold in the final chapter. Now; Sydney and Adrian! I love them toegther. I think they are perfect. I wish more happened between the pair in the novel but I guess I'll just have to wait. 

Don't worry guys plenty does happen between the two and Mead does develop their connection realistically and thoroughly but at times I just wanted them to fall into each others arms and just get to it (What can I say I'm a hopeless romantic!) In some areas of the novel I found it a little irritating that Sydney would not admit to herself what she was feeling for Adrian, though at the same time, I can completely understand where Sydney is coming from in correlation to her upbringing as an alchemist and her own persona. Also in relation to Adrian; what is that boy doing!? Sometimes he is perfect in others he is just plain ridiculous. I really think that he needs to sought out what he feels/felt for Rose so that he can move on with his life -and Syndey ;) - though I understand it may take time. I guess I'll just have to wait for The Golden Lily which hopefull contains some serious Sydney/Adrian action. 

Lastly, I won't spoil, but the ending.. Wow. I never saw that coming. Oh and the cliff hanger! My god my stomach was legitimately in knots. Overall I loved this book. It has managed to completely win me over and erase all of my earlier scepticism. Most of you have probably already read this one, but if you have't I suggest you run off, emerge from under the rock you've been living and buy a copy ASAP. Oh and maybe preferred that copy of The Golden Lily you know you'll need. Loved it. Can't wait to see what happens in the next instalment with Sydney, Adrian, Jill, Eddie and the rest of the gang. 

Rate: 9/10

- Skye

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Bookie Wooks 1st Giveaway (International)

I'm stoked to announce the launch of my first giveaway here on this blog! So what's up for grabs? You get to choose! I'll be giving one lucky winner the choice of THREE great YA/Adult novels. These include; Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Matched by Ally Condie as well as Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor! Reviews for Delirium and Daughter of Smoke and Bone are also up on the blog so feel free to check them out!

Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY 
Entries open: 12/5/12
Entries close: 26/5/12
Prize: Choice of 1 of the 3 YA titles listed above
All you have to do to enter is fill out the Rafflecopter form below; 

Goodluck everyone!

- Skye

Review: Thorn Queen by Richelle Mead

Blurb: Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire. She's paid to bind and banish creatures from the Other world. But something happened after her last battle. She become queen of the Thorn Land. That said, with her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and Eugenie eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind, the job's really not all it's cracked up to be. Now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no-one seems willing to find out why. Or put an end to it. Not that Eugenie'sfazed by spilling fey blood, but this enemy is shrewd, subtle and dangerous - and nursing a very personal grudge. Eugenie must venture deep into the Otherworld and trust in a power she can barely control. She may be reluctant queen but she vowed to do her duty, even if it means facing the darkest - and deadliest - side of her nature. -(Goodreads)

Where to start? I love Richelle Mead. She is my favourite author to date. I must admit that I picked up Thorn Queen as an impulse buy on a cheap discount table. Admittedly, the cover could use a bit more work but as soon as I saw the author's name I had to have it. And I'm so glad I saw it. I finished it in one night/morning (once I start reading I can't stop) and it was brilliant. 

I love Richelle Mead's characters and Eugenie was no exception. Smart, witty, funny, head-strong and the fact that every single male creature in the Otherworld wants to get in her pants, I'd say that Eugenie is rather unique as far as typical YA, female protagonists go. I enjoyed the dialogue and relationships between certain characters - in particular the hate/service relationship between Eugenie and Volusian, her unwilling, deadly serviceman who hates Eugenie though is bound to her for the foreseeable future. Volusian, although not a particularly major character, was one of my favourites. He reminded me actually of a very evil and sinister Dobby and I found his predicament rather entertaining (as sadistic as that sounds!).

Mead was especially good at expressing what she needed to vividly to the reader. The plot, being so original, could have become confusing for the reader. However, this was not the case. Overall , on a hole, just really liked the entire style that Mead used/uses. Onto the main topic of discussion; Dorian vs. Kiyo. Personally, I would prefer Eugenie to end up with Dorian. The entire novel I must admit that I was routing for him. He is dominate and fierce whereas Kiyo is much the same but no as intense and more , for lack of a better word, boyish?... I won't spoil any major details but I must say I much appreciated what Dorian did at the end of the novel to a certain somebody named Leith.

Lastly, on a hole I thought the novel was brilliant - as all of Mead's novels are. I would highly recommend Thorn Queen. However, I do feel the need to warn that in some parts it does get dark and some dark themes such as rape are explored. On a brighter note, minutes after I finished it I was eager to find out what happens in the next instalment. Of course this meant flicking over to Goodreads and doing my research. Five minutes after discovering that there was a third novel in the series I had ordered it, as well as the fourth instalment , Shadow Heir, recently released January 2012. Overall great read, don't miss this one!

Rate: 8/10

- Skye

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Waiting On Wednesday (1)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where we can all spotlight the upcoming book releases we're eagerly anticipating and can't wait to get our hands on! This week, for my first Waiting on Wednesday ever, I'm going to go with the blatantly obvious choice of; The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead as well as Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter.

  1. The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead
Release Date: June 12th 2012
Publisher: Penguin Books
Add it: Goodreads

Blurb: The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series. Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought. Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.-  (Goodreads) 

2. Goddess Interrupted 
Author: Aimee Carter
Release Date: March 27th 2012 (Available now!)
PublisherHarlequin Teen
Add it: Goodreads

Blurb: KATE WINTERS HAS WON IMMORTALITY. BUT IF SHE WANTS A LIFE WITH HENRY IN THE UNDERWORLD, SHE'LL HAVE TO FIGHT FOR IT.Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future. Henry's first wife, Persephone. - (Goodreads)

Just look at the two covers! Are't they just so beautiful? I chose these two beautiful looking novels, as I loved the first instalments to both their series'. I love the writing styles of the authors as well as the characters including in their stories'. Mark the calendar (if you haven't already) : June 12th! 

Now, which books are you waiting on (link me)?

- Skye

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Blurb: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love. - (Goodreads) 

Oliver’s first novel, 'Before I Fall' didn't quite grasp me when I read in 12 months ago, so I was a little uncertain when starting this one. However, I think I'll just start off saying how interesting the entire concept of love being seen as a 'disease' was to me. My past experience aside I must admit, I was instantly drawn; both as a result of the blurb as well as the reviews and ratings people had been giving 'Delirium'. However, unfortunately I'm also one of those materialistic people who judge books by cover (so naughty!) and personally, the cover of Delirium wasn’t love at first look. Nevertheless, I dove in with the mindset that this book could either be utterly great or, rather disappointingly cliche and predictable. I'm glad to say it didn't disappoint.

At the start of the novel there are tiny excerpts from the made-up 'Book of Shh (Safety, Health and Happiness)' containing tiny notes correlated to the 'Deliria'. The introduction to the concept has been written cleverly and clearly, though personally I would have loved a little bit more insight and reasoning into why scientists classify love as a disease. In the first few pages, we are also introduced to Lena, the law abiding, female protagonists. Personally, in the earlier stages of the novel, I found her not all that likeable as she's too obedient and obsessed with following rules for me. However, this is completely understandable given her background and the society in which she lives; I'd probably still be complaining if Oliver had written Lena as a little less conservative (I'm totally contradictory and hard to please)!

The characterisation in the novel was great. The succinct, yet tremendous, character transformation that Lena goes through exemplifies how masterful Oliver is with her character development. On this note, the love that develops between Lena and Alex is heart-warming to read and well-written, though some may argue it does develop over quite a short time frame. It is then that you have to consider that Oliver had to work within a small time frame and that, though seemingly fast-paced, the timing is still realistic. On the topic of Alex, well, Alex is an utter cutie! He s exactly the type of guy that Lena needed; not too much of a rebel, but a sweet, determined and of course, utterly handsome young guy. I must admit I fell in love with Alex a tad bit, which is why,the ending cliff-hanger might have miffed me a little (I shall not spoil!)

On another note, one point that I admire about Oliver's novel, is the way although she did not focus the entire novel on the lone aspect of 'romantic love' , but also branched out into love for friends and family. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of romance in there guys! But I really appreciated how Oliver conveyed the impact that love had on friendship and family through the open display of seemingly 'loveless' and cold relationships. I must also commend the writing style and Oliver's descriptions, as the world she created felt totally real. However, admittedly it was hard for me to imagine the world we live in now evolving into the world Lauren described, but that's just me personally. 

Overall I loved this novel and found it really enjoyable. The concept was totally original and unique and I found the writing style brilliant. The novel does start out a little slow-paced, though Lauren picks up at the end in order to create a nail-biting conclusion. Loved the book, the story and the concept. Imaginative and clever, I've made sure to add the sequel to my giant TBR pile. If you haven't already, check this one out guys!

Rate: 8/10

- Skye

Sunday, 6 May 2012

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren as a way to spotlight and give attention to all the wonderful books that we receive, that we may not get a chance to review on our blogs. This is what was IMM this week; 

For Review -
Matched- Ally Condie
Delirium- Lauren Oliver
Blood Red Road- Moira Young

Gifted -
The Hunger Games hardcover box set:
The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay- Suzanne Collins

Aren't I a lucky girl? Anyway what's in your mailbox this week (link me)

- Skye