Monday, 30 July 2012

Bye, bye!

Hey everyone! This is going to be short and sweet. :)

I won't be posting for the next week or so as I'm going away on holiday! Unfortunetly I won't be able to post until I come back, and I'm not sure yet whether or not there will be internet access so as I can comment on other blogs! I'll check! :) So if I don't comment on your blog, don't worry, I'll catch up on everything I've missed when I get back!

Anyway. I hope you're all having a fantastic summer (or winter, depending where you're from)! For now though, cheerio! ;D


Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: I've only scheduled the one post and that's a blog tour stop on August 3rd! Just saying so you don't think I'm back and deserting your commenting box! ;)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Review: To Ride A Púca

Author: Heather McCorkle
Edition: Compass Press eBook
Released: May 7th 2012
Pages: 330 approx.

Goodreads, Author's Blog, Amazon UK/US

Invaders are coming to take what isn't theirs, again.

Neala wants to stand and fight for her homeland, but as one of the last druids, she may be standing alone.

Persecuted, hunted down, forced to live in obscurity, the druids have all but given up. Can the determination of a girl who has barely come into her power bring them together? Or, just when she finally finds her place among her kind, will they end up losing a homeland their very magic is tied to?


MY REVIEW:

When it comes to fantasy books, I'm a pretty hard critic. The one thing that I absolutely need to have in these sort-of books is to be able to lose myself in a completely new and unusual world. That's a big thing to ask from an author, I know. But now that I've read To Ride a Púca and it met my criteria, I can fully recommend both this book and the wonderful author behind it!

What else can I say but I absolutely LOVED Neala's world! The world-building was, put simply, exquisite! I was in awe. In awe. All I can do now is thank the amazing author who created it! I literally did not resurface the whole time I was reading. I was just completely caught up in the whole world and never wanted to leave. Can you blame me? Would you like to leave a world full of faeries, brownies and magic? And by brownies, I mean the magical creatures, not the treats. ;)

The main character, Neala was very admirable in the way she was always ready to stand up and fight for what she believed in. Multiple times throughout the book she showed her bravery and I loved her for it. She was a strong heroine, not one who constantly needed to be rescued which, by my standards, make the best female leads.

The only slight criticism I have with this book is the romance. It started off with Bren. First impressions: I loved him. But as everything progressed and he started changing, I started going off him. Enter Tyr. I LOVED Tyr. He was so sweet. Then came the next suitor. It wasn't quite a love square... but it was. I know I just contradicted myself but I really can't describe it any other way. I just felt like too many possible love interests were introduced only to be knocked down at the end.

Overall, I really enjoyed To Ride a Púca. I adored the world-building and the main character. Only the romance let me down a little. It wasn't that the love interests were terrible characters, it just felt a bit too much. However, that didn't affect anything that badly! So overall, yes, I highly recommend this book. How can you resist such a beautiful cover anyway?!

FOUR STARS! :D
I'd like to thank the author for providing me with a eCopy of this book!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Friday, 27 July 2012

Feature and Follow #6

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. Every week there are two featured blogs and a fun question to answer, so head on over to join in!

Qu: Summer Reading. What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school?

My school doesn't actually give us books to read over the summer. But my favourite book that we've had to read during English class would probably be Goodnight Mister Tom.

What about you?

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: If you follow (and comment with your link ;D), I will happily stop by and do the same! :)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Review: Crusher

Author: Niall Leonard
Edition: Doubleday Proof
Release: September 13th 2012
Series: No, standalone
Notes: Use of mild language
Pages: 329

The day Finn Maguire discovers his father bludgeoned to death in a pool of blood, his dreary life is turned upside down. Prime suspect in the murder, Finn must race against time to clear his name and find out who hated his dad enough to kill him.

Trawling the sordid, brutal London underworld for answers, Finn exposes dark family secrets and faces danger at every turn. But he's about to learn that it's the people you trust who can hit you the hardest. . .


MY REVIEW:

This book has a great concept. A murder mystery? A bad-ass teenager out for vengeance? Pretty enticing, huh? Well as much as I wanted to love this book, in all honesty, it just fell a little short of my expectations.

The main character, Finn is almost like a male version of Grace in Entangled. He's broken and troubled. His mother walked out on him when he was only a young boy, he dropped out of school early and was bullied because he's dyslexic. Overall, I got on fine with him. He had the usual characteristics as a typical boy of his age. The one thing that sort-of threw me with him was his relationship with Zoe. It's not that I didn't like them as characters, they were OK, it was just rather sudden. I just don't really know how I feel about it.

Since this was a thriller I was very excited to see what it was going to be like. Unfortunetly, it wasn't as...thrilling as I would have liked. Don't get me wrong; it was still quite a page-turner. There was just something so gripping about the writing style that wouldn't let me look away. Needless to say I finished reading it pretty fast!

There was also a lot of action incorporated in this novel. I especially liked the 'house' scene. I don't really want to give too much away, but that was definitely where the fighting kicked off. Side note: Finn's a boxer. ;) Now the ending. I just need to mention the ending. It was a little bit too abrupt for my liking. I was left with the wh-what? that's it? feeling that I wasn't quite sure about.

So overall, Crusher, with it's OK characters, not-as-thrilling-as-I-hoped mystery and strangely gripping writing style leaves me with a question mark. What to rate it? I think I'll go for between 2.5 to 3 stars, leaning slightly more towards 3. I still would recommend this to readers who like the sound of it though! It's just a pity I didn't love it as much as I would have liked.


LET'S JUST PRETEND THIS IS 2.75 STARS! ;D
Copy provided by Doubleday, Random House in exchange for an honest review.


Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Monday, 23 July 2012

Review: Time Between Us

Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Edition: Doubleday ARC
Release: October 25th 2012
Series: No, standalone
Pages: 368

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate—and what consequences they can bear in order to stay together.


MY REVIEW:

The last time travel book I read was over a year ago and I didn't enjoy it. From then on, I had always dismissed time travel books simply because of that experience alone. But I'm so glad I gave Time Between Us a go, as it proved to me that not all time travel books are like that - it was great!

Admittedly, it did take me a while to settle in to the book. I wasn't that glued at the beginning and was starting to think that maybe it would be a bit too slow-paced for my liking, but after the first one hundred pages everything picked up and I enjoyed every minute of it! And you'll be glad to know that that's all the criticism for this book that you'll be hearing from me! ;)

I really liked both Anna and Bennett as main characters and found I could empathise with both of them. I also really related to how much Anna wanted to travel the world. I have the same passion and especially loved the way she had a map in her room where she marked all the places she had been (I'm actually thinking about doing that)! Now on to Bennett. If you like sweet, cute and smouldering love interests, well this boy's for you! I adored him! He was just so... sweet and cute and loveable! And yes, I understand I just repeated myself but seriously, there's just no other words for him - he's adorable!

Unlike some time travel books where you can get confused quite a lot, this one was really easy to follow! Everything made sense and was tied up perfectly. I also liked how the beginning was incorporated near the end (you'll just have to read this to find out what I'm talking about! ;D). So yeah, you can safely say that when the last page was turned, I was left satisfied and a little sad that I had to say goodbye to the characters.

Overall, Time Between Us turned out to be a great read that even included a couple action scenes! I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking out for this author again. Characters you can empathise and love? Check. An awesome storyline? Check. A cute romance? Check. Should you get this book? Check.

FOUR AND A HALF STARS!
A big thank you to Random House, Doubleday for sending me out this review book!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Showcase Sunday #10

Showcase Sunday is a meme hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits & Tea where we showcase all of our recent book grabs.


Now is Good (Before I Die) by Jenny Downham - This book arrived in a surprise package from Random House a couple days ago and since I hadn't heard all too much about it, I logged on to Goodreads. It's had some great ratings so I do hope to get on to it sometime soon! I think I'll also be needing some tissues! Oh, and in case you're wondering; this is the new movie cover edition of Before I Die.

This is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees - I won this book over at The Book Addicted Girl and am really intrigued to see whether or not I'll enjoy this book. It looks really different and emotional, so I hope I will! :)

To Ride a Puca by Heather McCorkle - I received an ebook copy of this book by the author and am also really excited about getting started on this! It looks really good and the excerpt I read definitely promises just that! Plus, gorgeous horse on cover (and I <3 horses)!

Crusher by Niall Leonard (ARC) - Ohmygoodness, this looks amazing! This is another review book that came through from the publishers (Random House) and it's a murder thriller! And I absolutely adore the cover! I'm actually going to get started on it today, I can't wait!

Thorn signed bookmark (swag) - I also won this signed bookmark over at Page-turner! :D

So that's all for me this week! What about you? Leave a link to your haul below and I'll stop by as soon as I can - promise! ^.^

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Review: The Terrible Thing That Happened To Barnaby Brocket

Author: John Boyne
Edition: Doubleday Hardback (early finished copy)
Release: August 2nd 2012
Series: No, standalone
Pages: 278

Barnaby Brocket is an ordinary 8-year-old boy in most ways, but he was born different in one important way: he floats. Unlike everyone else, Barnaby does not obey the law of gravity. His parents, who have a horror of being noticed, want desperately for Barnaby to be normal, but he can't help who he is. And when the unthinkable happens, Barnaby finds himself on a journey that takes him all over the world. From Brazil to New York, Canada to Ireland, and even to space, the floating boy meets all sorts of different people--and discovers who he really is along the way.

I don't really know what else to say apart from, I LOVE this book! It's just one of those rare novels that's heart-warming and sweet in every way possible. You really shouldn't be put off by the almost childish cover (in my opinion, it's so cute!) because this book shouldn't be missed by anybody! It's definitely a book that can be enjoyed by all ages!

One thing I adored about this book, is that it reminded me so much of Roald Dahl's books! And who doesn't love Roald Dahl?! Yet again just let me stress out, THIS CAN BE ENJOYED BY ALL AGES! Please, oh please, oh please don't dismiss this just because you think it's childish! It's such a unique, one-off story that leaves you with such a warm, fuzzy feeling inside! I literally feel priviledged to have read it!

I felt like I was right there with Barnaby, exploring the world with him during the time when I was reading this! He went to so many places and met so many wonderful people who taught him that being yourself is much better than being someone your not. Each person affected Barnaby and vice versa. Whenever I was reading this book, I was smiling to myself. And when Barnaby started to devolp and grow as a character, well that was just the cherry on top!

Overall, Barnaby was a very sweet character with a very good heart. It's almost like he saw everything in black and white. He spoke what he felt when he felt like saying it. When your eight years old that's just what you do. You see everything in the most simplest of ways and don't understand how anything could be more complex that that. I adored him and for some reason I really wanted to be the one to keep him safe. Not only did he affect everyone else he met when on his adventures, he also taught me a valuable lesson.

To conclude, The Terrible Thing That Happened To Barnaby Brocket is a heart-warming, adorable read that stuck in my head long after the final page was turned. I recommend it to anyone and everyone! Whether you read it to yourself or your family, just make sure you READ IT! I also want to add that there are some beautiful illustrations throughout (by Oliver Jeffers) that you won't want to miss either! GET THIS BOOK! *cue puppy eyes*

A warm, whimsical and imaginative tale of an unusual little boy struggling to be accepted for his differences, by the bestselling author of The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas.


Thank you so, so, so much to Doubleday for sending me out this book! :D

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Friday, 20 July 2012

Feature and Follow #5 - I'm Being Featured!

Can you believe it?! Booktastic Reviews is a featured blog in this week's Feature & Follow! Eeek! o_O

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. Every week there are two featured blogs and a fun question to answer, so head on over to join in!

Qu: Christmas in July! Someone gives you a gift card for two books (whatever that costs). What two books will you buy?

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse and... possibly Incarnate by Jodi Meadows! Both look brilliant! :D

What about you? As always, if you follow (and comment with your link! ;D) I promise to stop by as soon as I can and return the favour! :)



Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Review: Grasping at Eternity

Author: Karen Amanda Hooper
Edition: Smashwords eBook
Released: May 25th 2012
Series: The Kindrily Series #1
Pages: 391 approx.

Leave it to Maryah Woodsen to break the one rule that will screw up eternity: Never erase your memories.

Before entering this life, Maryah did the unthinkable—she erased. Now, at seventeen years old, she’s clueless that her new adoptive family has known her for centuries, that they are perpetually reincarnated souls, and that they have supernatural abilities. Oh, and she's supposed to love (not despise) Nathan, the green-eyed daredevil who saved her life.

Nathan is convinced his family’s plan to spark Maryah's memory is hopeless, but his love for her is undying. After spending (and remembering) so many lifetimes together, being around an empty version of his soulmate is heart shattering. He hates acting like a stalker, but has no choice because the evil outcast who murdered Maryah in their last lifetime is still after her.

While Maryah’s hunter inches closer, she and Nathan make assumptions and hide secrets that rip them further apart. Maryah has to believe in the magic within her, Nathan must have faith in the power of their love, and both need to grasp onto the truth before they lose each other forever—and discover just how lonely eternity can be.


Hands down, this book has one of the best concepts around. The synopsis draws you in immediately and you can't help but marvel at something that appears to be so unique and promising. And that's exactly what Grasping at Eternity was. I adored it!

Reincarnation isn't used that often in the YA genre so I was really excited about that prospect of it all. Weren't you even the slightest bit intrigued when you read the blurb? I should think so! Overall I loved the storyline (as well as the sub-plots!) and was always on the edge of my seat whenever Maryah came close to the truth. And I was constantly hoping she would remember how much Nathan had meant to her in past lifetimes. But of course the author kept us waiting and hoping and anticipating!

The book was split up into two points of view. Maryah's and Nathan's. I settled into this pretty quickly and quite liked seeing their different outlooks and opinions. I easily empathised with Nathan because he was constantly in agony when he was around Maryah. He loved her but she didn't remember anything about him. You could really see how it affected him deeply. They were both really great main characters to get along with and I loved them. They were both strong and brave and you could tell straight away that they were meant for each other. You were just constantly hoping Maryah would remember him. Warning: You may want to shake her if you read this! ;) There were also some other great characters! This book had such a vast variety of contrasting personalities I couldn't help but admire and love each and every one of them! Even the evil villians were very well-developed!

For the most part I was ready to give this book four stars. But that was before the ending completely blew me away. It was just brimming with suspense and tension... and everything just fell into place wonderfully! Things just clicked. But not everything, of course. There is definitely some questions that need to be answered in the next book! And I really want to see what happens to Maryah and Nathan! If I were to be very picky with the criticism side of things, then I would have to say that I was sometimes lost by who was who. There were a lot of people mentioned (let's just say Maryah and Nathan are part of a BIG kindrily)! But that didn't really affect anything too much!

Overall, I loved Grasping at Eternity with it's tension and suspense-filled plotline, loveable characters and on-the-edge-of-your-seat mystery. I really can't wait for book two, Taking Back Forever so I can get some answers! I defintely recommend everyone to check this book out - you don't know what you're missing! :D


FOUR AND A HALF STARS!


I would also like to express my thanks to the author for providing me with an eCopy of this book! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Monday, 16 July 2012

Author Interview: E.K. Henry PLUS Giveaways!

Hey everyone! Today I have an interview with Freak author, E.K. Henry and then two giveaways for you all! You can find my review for Freak here. Enjoy! ^.^

What would you say to those reading this to persuade them to read your book?
If you like vampires, but want a twist you haven’t seen, Freak is for you. It’s a quick fun read.

What was the hardest task you had to face when writing Freak?
EDITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's such a love hate relationship. I love seeing my books become better and better, but revising and editing takes up soooo much time. I can draft a book in a month when I am really into it but revising is a whole different game. It can take months and months.

Did you always want to write a book about vampires and a reality television show? How come?
The answer is no. I knew I wanted to write a paranormal, but I had no idea it would take the form that it did. I came up with the idea for Freak while reading a story about a Mormon family that was getting their own reality television show. Most of the family seemed thrilled about the idea, but one child in particular wasn't. They didn't want the world to see how different their family was from mainstream society. This story got me thinking about what it would be like to be forced to participate in a show that was meant to spotlight how different you are than everybody else. I tried to imagine the worst scenario that I would hate to be put in myself, and that is how Freak was born.

What do you think would be the scariest part of your experience if you lived in Juniper's world?
I think the communistic government would be the scariest part. You are told what you can do, think, and even what job you can have. It would be pure misery to know that I wouldn’t even have the freedom to choose how I wanted to live my life.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which of your characters would you choose to accompany you?
I would have to say Rouge. There’s no doubt in my mind, she’d be able to fend off any animals or pirates.

If you could have any superpower in the world, what would it be?
I would be invisible. It would be amazing to be invisible. Think about the gossip you would here if no one thought you were around.

Finally, do you have any current projects going on right now that you could tell us a little about?
I have several that are in the planning stages. There is a sequel to Freak and also several novellas that tell the story of Freak from the other character’s points of view.

Quick-Fire Questions:

Vampire or Vampire Slayer? I think it would be cool to be both. You’d have all the physical strength of a vamp, so you could take them out easily. It would be awesome to be Blade.

Which Character: Trip or Brandon? I would have first have answered Brandon. He is a kind guy who sees that the world is messed up so he tried to change that. As I have plotted the sequel further, I’m starting to lean towards Trip more *wink wink* YAY, I love Trip! Does that mean love triangle?! :D

Which Character: Rouge or Specs? Rouge. She is a kick ass heroine.

Cookies or cupcakes? Cupcakes

Pen or keyboard? Pen for plotting and outlining. Keyboard for actually writing. I write in quick sprints whenever I can find time throughout the day so the computer helps me keep up with how quickly I tend to write.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Great answers, huh? Now on to the giveaways! There will be two giveaways and seven winners! The first giveaway is to win one of TWO ebook versions of Freak and the other is to win one of FIVE signed bookmarks! You can enter one or both! Good luck!

T&Cs:
- Both giveaways are international!
- Closing dates for both are 30th July 2012, 11:59PM (GMT+1 - UK Time)
- You must understand that your email address will be passed on to the author if you win the ebook giveaway.
- You must understand that you will have to give your home address to the author if you win the bookmark giveaway.
- No more than one entry each for both giveaways.
- Random Number Generator picks the winner so it's completely fair. :)





Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Showcase Sunday #9

Showcase Sunday is a meme hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits & Tea where we showcase all of our recent book grabs.

FOR REVIEW:


The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket by John Boyne - I actually just finished this one this morning and absolutely LOVED it. It's one of those books that can be enjoyed by all ages. Thanks to Doubleday for sending me an ARC/early copy! :)

Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper - This one looked really different and cute so I was really happy when the author provided me with a ePub of this book! I'm currently reading it and enjoying it so far! :)

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone - Thanks again to Doubleday for this ARC too! I've not really heard much about this book but it's had some high ratings on goodreads so I can't wait to see what I think about it!

LIBRARY BOOKS:


Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow - This just looks awesome! Apparently it's brimming with loads of supernatural creatures (I believe werewolves and zombies are included!) so I'm really excited to see if I like it! It has had some low ratings but I hope I'll enjoy it *crosses fingers*!

The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson - I am SUPER excited about this one! It's my cup of tea for sure! ;) Plus, boarding school?! Need I say more? :)

Dark Parties by Sara Grant - Ever since I came across a gushing review of this over at Page-turner I've really wanted to read this and I was so happy when I walked into the library and this was sitting on the new books shelf. Can't wait to start this! :D

So yeah, I had a great week in books this week! What did you get? Leave links below and I'll try my best to stop by! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Review: How To Date An Alien

Author: Magan Vernon
Edition: Smashwords eBook
Released: 5th December 2011
Series: My Alien Romance #1
Pages: 272 approx.
Source: Author (for review)

High school senior Alex Bianchi's estranged father gets her an internship at Circe Operations Center to pad her college applications. But Circe isn't your typical military base. It's an alien-run operation center and not all of the aliens are friendly, especially the one that tries to kill Alex on her first day. When Ace, a dark-eyed Caltian, enters and saves the day, she can't help but be drawn to him. Can these star-crossed lovers survive when they're on the brink of intergalactic war?

The concept for this book is just fantastic, isn't it?! Straight after I read the blurb I knew I just had to read it. I, for one, was definitely not going to miss out on something so unique and different. And I can tell you right now, you shouldn't either. Everyone just has to experience this book for themselves.

I only recently found out that apart from being a science-fiction book, this is also a romantic comedy. Now that I think about it, I did find myself laughing when reading it! Oh yes, and before I say anything else, let me just tell you that even though quite a lot of readers don't really like sci-fi (sometimes me included!), this definitely is one you should try - I really enjoyed it!

The main character, Alex is really snarky, fun and sarcastic. One of my favourite personality types for characters! Some of the things she comes out with are quite funny and I'm pretty sure that if she was real, then we'd be pretty good friends. The love interest, Ace (aka. the alien) was also a really likeable character. I loved him straight away and absolutely despised some of the interns (Alex was one out of a group of interns) who were horrible about him. Especially Gavin. I didn't like him one bit! He was horrible and just really jealous of Ace because Alex didn't show she liked Gavin in that way. Him and Riley definitely made one evil pair!

The way the story was introduced at the beginning I really liked too. It was different and unusual and showed how Alex was telling her story from the present. Meaning everything had already happened. Overall, Vernon's writing style was really enjoyable and witty. And not only can she write romance, but she's pretty good at writing action scenes too!

So overall, How to Date an Alien was a really fun and loveable read. I would totally recommend it to all! You're seriously missing out on something very unique if you don't read it! With a snarky narrator, likeable love interest, some amusing dialogue and even some action scenes thrown in, this book should really be more popular. I managed to finish it in just one sitting!

FOUR STARS! :D


Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Friday, 13 July 2012

Feature and Follow #4

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. Every week there is a featured blog and a fun question to answer, so head on over to join in!

Qu: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

I suppose I should start by saying that before this blog, I had been blogging for years. My very first blog was named The Mouse Hole (good name, eh? sort-of ironic considering mice creep me out!) where I posted about my life. But then after years of just having personal blogs, I started getting bored. My life just wasn't that interesting to write about. Around that same time, one of my friends started a book blog. I instantly loved the idea and it just seemed the perfect type of blog for me since I'd always loved books. And I suppose you can all guess the rest! ;)

What about you?

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: If you follow me, thank you SO much. I'll return the favour - promise! ^.^

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Review: Freak

Author: E.K. Henry
Edition: Self-published Paperback
Released: May 2012
Series: Yes, Book #1
Notes: Some use of mild language
Pages: 176

Being a lower-class human born into a world where vampires rule sucks. No matter how hard Juniper Rayne tries to fit in, she's labeled a freak. When her dad signs the family up to take part in a reality television show, Juniper hopes that it'll give her the edge she needs to shed her freak label.

Unfortunately for Juniper, vampires aren't that accepting.

She decides to take control of her life and become a vampire hunter, instead of continuing to live in her own personal hell any longer.

She will regain control or die trying.


Vampire books may or may not be in style anymore, but I can tell you one thing for sure. E.K. Henry has managed to take the usual vampire storyline and twist it into something different and fun. Freak, though it did have it's faults, was a light and enjoyable read.

When this book was brought to my attention, I was most intrigued about the television show Juniper and her family were going to be starring in. I wanted to see how it was possible E.K. Henry could base her plotline around a reality television show being in a world full of blood-thirsty vampires. It was definitely unique! I felt so sorry for Juniper having to put up with cameras constantly crowding around her all day, everyday. Plus, it was already bad enough that the vampires at her school hated her because she was human. Never mind a human with her own TV show!

Despite all this, Juniper stayed strong. I admired how she always tried to hold her head high, even though she stood no chance against the super-fast, super-mean blood suckers! Especially that horrible, Sheila! She was like your usual bully times a million! I also liked Juniper's snarky, sarcastic side. Another character worthy of a mention is Rouge (one of the vampire slayers). For some reason she reminded me of Raven out of Delirium. She was blunt, logical and a fighter. Juniper's love interest, Brandon, I wasn't all too keen on, but I didn't mind him that much. I actually liked another male character (named Trip) better. I definitely thought Juniper and Trip would have made a better couple. I liked him instantly and was a little disappointed when nothing happened between them.

The main faults I found were more with the writing. In my opinion, I thought there was too much crying from the characters. I know that sounds a little heartless, but I didn't think Juniper, for one, should have cried as much as she did. I also thought there was too much of the word "whatever" used and the way she would practically go in a huff and storm into her room. I know that's usually what happens when a teenager gets mad, but I thought it was just a bit too forced at times. It got a tad irritating. There was also quite a lot of errors in this book (grammatical and spelling).

Overall though, Freak was quite an enjoyable read. It had an unusual and fun storyline to it and it was a really light, short book that I finished in two sittings. I feel like it's a book you'd go to if you wanted something easy-going. Sort-of like a rainy day read. So yeah, Freak might not be the most amazing book in the world, but it's still worthy of a look!


THREE AND A HALF STARS!


Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Stay tuned for two giveaways where you could win one of two ebooks of this book and one of five signed bookmarks! :D

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Cover Reveal: Clockwork Princess!

WARNING: EXTREME FAN GIRLING!

OHMYGOSH! The cover for the final book in Cassandra Clare's trilogy, The Infernal Devices, has now been released! Just look at it!


GORGEOUS! I love how the first cover had Will on it, the second had Jem, and now this one has Tessa! What a beautiful dress she's wearing... and the cover's so shiny too! :D

I can't believe I have to wait until March of next year for this to come out! I NEED to know who Tessa is going to end up with NOW! It better be Will or I will seriously have a hissy fit! I really like Jem but I just love Will! He's so mysterious and brooding and swoon-worthy! But I can definetly see why some readers are Team Jem. He is really lovely and sweet afterall... Damn! I really don't think anyone can write a love triangle as good as the epic Cassandra Clare! Seriously. It's driving me nuts! One minute I think Tessa's going for Will, the next, Jem. Then at the end of Clockwork Prince I was so shocked and heartbroken! I have NO IDEA who Tessa's going to pick! :(

It's no secret how much I love this series! If you haven't read these books, I strongly advise you do because you don't have a clue what you're missing out on! GO BUY THESE BOOKS OR I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN! Just kidding... but I won't be a very happy bunny unless you do. ;)

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! NEED BOOK THREE NOWWWWWWWWW!!!

Happy Fan Girling,
Rachel xoxo

PS: I didn't want to post up the synopsis incase of spoilers but you can click HERE for the goodreads page! :)

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Edition: Headline eBook
Released: January 2nd 2012
Series: No (standalone)
Pages: n/a

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Imagine if she hadn’t forgotten the book. Or if there hadn’t been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn’t fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she’d run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else - the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?

Hadley isn’t sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it’s the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver...

Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.


When I first came across this book, I barely batted an eyelash. To me it was simply a contemporary. Nothing more, nothing less. Not a very interesting genre I would usually read. But then all the great reviews started turning up around the blogosphere and I just knew I had to check it out for myself. Lo and behold, I loved it!

I was mostly intrigued about the 24 hour time period for some reason and I'm glad to report back that I really did enjoy this aspect of it. I thought that it might seem a bit rushed but I actually enjoyed the pace. Not slow but not fast either. Something well-balanced in between. We still got to know the characters really well and the storyline didn't disappoint.

The romance between Hadley and Oliver was so sweet and cute. Seriously. So cute! It was definitely what they both needed considering all the stress they both had in their lives. It didn't really feel like an insta-love. Instead (and this might sound strange) it just felt right. Like they were destined to be together in some way. They just fit each other that well!

Hadley was a really great main character and even though the story is told through third person, I still felt like she was the real narrator. True, I was a little skeptical about it not being in first person at first but I settled into it really quickly and I couldn't stop turning the pages afterwards! Anyway, back to Hadley. She was quite a strong, stubborn character and I adored her right from the word go. Oliver also. He was the perfect english gentleman. So sweet and so kind! The part of the book where Hadley was with her dad and not Oliver, I couldn't help myself, I missed him terribly!

Overall, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was a great read and I don't really have any faults. The storyline was good. The characters were good. The writing style was good. Everything was good! Better, even! For some reason, all I've wanted to do since I finished reading this, is get my hands on more contemporary romances! Yup, can you believe it? TSPOLAFS has changed me into a contemporary fanatic!


Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Any recommendations for contemporary romances? ;)

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Showcase Sunday #8

Showcase Sunday is a meme hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits & Tea where we showcase all of our recent book grabs.


The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - This brand new edition cover just came out recently and so I was very delighted when I heard I'd won the book in a giveaway over at Chicklish. I haven't actually read this book yet *I know, I know* but I hope to get on to it really soon. Thank you so much to the publisher for sending out the book and to Luisa for hosting the giveaway. I'm very happy about having this gorgeous edition on my bookshelf!

How to Date an Alien by Magan Vernon - Some of you will probably remember this ebook from last week's Showcase Sunday. The reason it's being included in this week's too is because the author contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing it. Of course I said yes - it looks awesome!

Freak by E.K. Henry - This is also another review book and will be among the first that I have read with the primary topic on vampires. I can't wait. A game show with humans and vampires? A vampire wannabe slayer as the main character? Count me in!


The author also very kindly signed my book and gave me a signed bookmark! How lovely of her! Thank you so much, E.K. Henry! :)

What about you? Leave a link to your book haul below and I'll stop by as soon as I can - promise!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Amazing Book Trailer PLUS 200 Followers!

Hey everyone! I've got a few things to share with you today so I'll get straight to it! :D

The wonderful debut author, Lisa M. Stasse brought to my attention the book trailer for her up and coming novel, The Forsaken. I've had this book on my wishlist for a while now and I can honestly say that this book trailer has got me even more excited about reading it! And to think there's only 3 days left until the release! July 10th, please come quick!


Ahhhh! How amazing is that trailer?! I am *literally* jumping up and down right now! :P

Now on to the next part of this post.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I now have a little over 200 followers and I am SO grateful! This blog has come so far and I just can not express how happy I am right now! Booktastic Reviews could not be where it is today without all of your help! I'd also like to thank all the authors, publishers and blogging friends who have taken the time to contact me and contribute to this blog! And, of course, I can't not say thanks to all the readers behind the wonderful comments! I <3 you all! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Have you checked out the new OBSIDIAN trailer? Let's just say it's... different. ;) GO TEAM LUXING AFTER DAEMON!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #3

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted over at Alison Can Read. Every week there is a featured blog and a fun question to answer, so head on over to join in!

Qu. Jumping Genres: Ever pick up a book from a genre you usually don't like and LOVE it? Tell us about it and why you picked it up in the first place.

The only books I can think of are the Dark Touch Novels by Amy Meredith. When I was offered the chance to review the series I wasn't completely sure they'd be my type of thing because they fell under the supernatural genre and I had never tried that before. But I absolutely LOVED, LOVED, LOVED that entire series and can not recommend them enough! It's all down to that series that I started reading the supernatural genre in the first place!

Shadows (Dark Touch #1) by Amy Meredith


Fifteen-year-old Eve Evergold is cute, sassy and enjoying a busy social life. What she doesn't know yet is that someone close to her is an evil demon that only she has the supernatural power to defeat. She needs to work out who it is - and fast! Because although there's something very attractive about the dark side...dating a demon? Pure hell!

What about you?

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: If you follow thank you SO much! I promise to return the favour! ^.^

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Review: Angel Dust

Author: Sarah Mussi
Edition: Hot Key Books Paperback (ARC)
Release: August 2nd 2012
Series: No (but I'm not 100% certain!)
Pages: 390

Would you move heaven and earth for the one you love? ANGEL DUST is a powerful, gritty and utterly modern tragic love story with a twist. When Serafina, the brightest and most beloved of all God's angels, is sent to collect Marcus Montague - the original badman - and take him to Hell, she finds herself powerfully drawn to him and makes a decision that places her in the middle of a war between Heaven and Hell. Can Serafina fall in love without falling from grace? Can Marcus's soul be saved? And just who is the mysterious and ever-so-helpful stranger Harry?

When I was offered the chance to read and review this book, I jumped straight in. It looked really different from anything else on the YA market and my curiosity won out. And let me tell you, this Romeo and Juliet reenactment (Marcus Montague - get it? :D) definetly left me stunned.

The thing that I was probably most excited about when I received this book was the fact that the narrator was an angel. Usually in angel books, the narrator is the more normal/human character and the love interest is the supernatural being so you could say I was pretty excited about the roles being reversed in this book. And overall it was pretty refreshing that way. Except that I got kind-of confused with the description of places in Heaven...

The only slight criticism that I have on Angel Dust, not including the confusing description of Heaven, was the slow beginning. I didn't really enjoy the first 100 pages or so, but after that, I assure you, you are completely caught up in all the excitement and action! Surprisingly enough, the good side of it all actually cancelled out most of what I didn't enjoy!

The main character, Seraphina was a good enough character to get on with. She was brave and very admirable for what she did for love near the second half of the book. My favourite though, would probably have to be Marcus. And to be honest, I'm not entirely sure why! Since he was described as a 'gangsta' on the back of the book, I really didn't think I would like him but yet again, I surprised myself! Underneath the bad boy image he's built around himself, he has his reasons. Now, I don't want to say too much about him because I want you all to meet him for yourselves but I will say he's definetly not what you'd expect! He's actually a really decent gangsta... if ever there was one ofcourse! ;)

So yeah, overall I pretty much enjoyed this new take on the paranormal genre. Especially since it has the whole forbidden love of Romeo and Juliet going for it too! The characters are likeable and there's a unique narrative that I'm sure readers could admire! It's described as perfect for fans of Malorie Blackman, Lauren Kate and Becca Fitzpatrick so if that's you, I'd recommend you try it out for yourself when it hits shops in August! And even if that doesn't include you but you like the look of it, go get it too!


Thanks so much to Hot Key Books for providing me with a review copy! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Monday, 2 July 2012

Review: The Assassin's Curse

Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Edition: Strange Chemistry Paperback (ARC)
Release: October 4th 2012
Series: The Assassin's Curse #1
Pages: 267

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. And when Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn’t really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together.

To break the curse, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks—all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic, and the growing romantic tension between them.


For me, this is one of those books where you're just not sure - however hard you try to analyse it - what rating it should have. Sure it was good, but was it that good? I'm not sure. Maybe writing this review will help me decide.

The one thing that disappointed me the most, was probably the synopsis. Now I know that sounds pretty strange, but it's true. This book caught my eye because of the so-called "quest" the characters were going to have to go on to break the curse. And what did I get? Well, not that. Instead the whole book, led up to the fact that they were going to have to complete these three tasks. We got told about it at the end. So the second half of this blurb should really be used for the sequel, The Pirate's Wish. Don't get me wrong, the novel itself was good, but it had me hoping under false pretenses. I think I would still have been drawn to this book even if the synopsis only contained the first paragraph (as above). I mean, a pirate? an assassin? a curse? That's all it takes to interest a person!

Still on the criticism side of things, I honestly need to say that it did take me a while to settle into the story. Especially since it was told in a slight pirate's dialect. Only a few times I had to re-read lines to realise what Ananna meant, it was more the coming to terms with the prospect of having a book in dialect that unsettled me near the start. But once I did, it was fine! I even began to appreciate that by doing this, the author made The Assassin's Curse unique. Sure I've read books where in the speaking part of things there was dialect, but not when the whole of the book was narrated in it.

Another slight thing... The way Ananna accepted the assassin near the beginning was too unrealistic for me. I mean, if an assassin suddenly went all quiet, stopped trying to attack me and said that I needed to trust him, I'd get the heck out of there in case he was lying. I wouldn't just accept it the way Ananna did. Heck, I felt like shaking her!

But when I made myself get over that, I started really enjoying the book. It became more mysterious and adventure-like and I just couldn't put the book down for a second without thinking about what could possibly happen next. I especially liked the parts involving action. I loved reading from a pirate's perspective. She had been brought up in battles on pirate ships so it was so... pirate-y! If you get what I'm saying. She might not have been the most awesome kick-butt heroine but she was certainly admired for her braveness and stubborness. She fitted into the story perfectly. The assassin, Naji I also warmed to because of how underneath his tough exterior, he had his reasons for being how he is; secrets and painful memories.

The writing style, as already mentioned, became much more appealing after a while. I really enjoyed how every now and then there would be some intricate details of the setting thrown in. It was really refreshing and enjoyable. Also, the ending definitely picked up and left me wanting more! Much more!

I'm definitely excited for the sequel, The Pirate's Wish, plus the romance that could ensue! Aside from the fact that I found the faults I did: the misunderstanding in the blurb, the way it took me a little while to settle into the story and how Ananna accepted the assassin too easily for my liking, I still did really enjoy it and would recommend it. So I'm thinking three... four stars... A little blurb makeover would be nice! ;)


Thanks so much to Strange Chemistry for sending me a review copy of this book!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

EDIT: The final rating is 3.5 stars. I think 4 was a wee bit too gracious of me. ;)

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Showcase Sunday #7

Showcase Sunday is a meme hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits & Tea where we showcase all of our recent book grabs.

For Review:

Angel Dust by Sarah Mussi - Thank you so much to Hot Key Books for sending me out an ARC of this book! I've already started reading this and right now I'm not too sure about it... we'll see! Hopefully it'll pick up a bit more soon! :)

Bought:

The Glimpse by Claire Merle - YAY! I have been looking forward to this book for ages and I am so glad I managed to buy a copy! :)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer - Another long-awaited book that I can finally cross off my wishlist! This will be my first fairytale based book and I can't wait to see what I think of it! :D

Freebies on iBooks:

Dagger Heart by Ronnell D. Porter (I actually have the other edition cover but I can't find it!)
The Girl Born of Smoke by Jessica Billings
How to Date an Alien by Magan Vernon
Awakening by Karice Bolton
Thirst by Claire Farrell
Sleepers by Megg Jensen
The Ultimate Sacrifice by Talia Jagar
Starfire Angels by Melanie Nilles

These all look fantastic and I still can't believe that they were all free on iBooks! O.O

What did you get this week? Leave your link below and I'll stop by as soon as I can!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: I'd just like to send out a little thank you note to all my followers - I can't believe I'm almost at 200, thank you so, so, so much! :D