Thursday, 31 January 2013

BOOK REVIEW: The Farm by Emily McKay

Title: The Farm
Author: Emily McKay
Publication Date: 4th December 2012
Tagline: 'Escape is only the beginning'  


For Lily and her twin sister Mel there is only the Farm . . .

It's a prison, a blood bank, a death camp - where fear and paranoia rule. But it's also home, of sorts. Because beyond the electric fence awaits a fate much, much worse.

But Lily has a plan.

She and Mel are going to escape - into the ravaged land outside, a place of freedom and chaos and horrors. Except Lily hasn't reckoned on two things: first, her sister's ability to control the horrors; and, secondly, on those out there who desperately want to find and control Mel.

Mel's growing power might save the world, or utterly end it. But only Lily can protect Mel from what is to come . . .

The Farm takes you into a terrifying future where civilization has ended, and leaves you there - fearful, gasping and begging to escape.

My Thoughts...

I am a massive fan of the dystopian genre and what I love is that, even having read LOADS of them, I still keep managing to find new AMAZING ones all the The Farm by Emily McKay!

I absolutely loved this book. I’m not quite sure where to start... Actually, I will just say something – one thing that surprised me a bit was the mix of paranormal elements into the dystopian genre. I was a bit surprised when I find out that vampires were a feature of this book, as well as ‘abducturae’ – people with the ability to influence the emotions of others around them – as I don’t think I’ve really read a paranormal/dystopian book before. At first, I found the mix somewhat jarring and I thought it might possibly detract from the realisticness of the book, however as I got used to it I found it actually worked rather well.

The plot of The Farm was just made of awesome. It contained all the right amounts of action, romance, suspense and surprises – with the plot twisting and turning in unexpected places, giving the story just the right pace. I’ve read a few reviews where people thought the ‘major plot twist’ in the book was really obvious, but I have to say, I was completely oblivious to it! I hadn’t guessed that what happened would happen at all! Maybe I was just unobservant, though...

The Farm also had a great collection of characters. Lily and Mel were twins, which was pretty cool because I don’t think I’ve read a book featuring twins before...Lily was very feisty and strong-willed, which I liked, and also very independent and capable of fending for both herself and her sister. Some chapters of the book were written from Mel’s perspective, and I found these bits really interesting; I really liked Mel’s voice, and I loved all the musical imagery she used. Outwardly, she would seem a little helpless – she hardly ever speaks, and when she does, it’s in nursery rhymes and riddles – but when we get an insight into her mind, we find that she is a very unique and intriguing character. 

Overall, I absolutely loved The Farm and I think I would even consider it one of the best books I read out of all of 2012!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Nobody But Us Blog Tour

This blog tour is being hosted by Shane at Itching For Books. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!

 Title: Nobody But Us
Author: Kristin Halbrook
Publication Date: 29th Jan 2013
Tagline:'They're young. They're in love. They're on the run.' 


Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.

Like the sound of it? I definitely do! Sounds like a great new contemporary novel - can't wait to read it!

Goodreads     Amazon

About The Author...

When Kristin was little, she wanted to be a writer, the President of the USA or the first female NFL quarterback. Despite being able to throw a wicked spiral, Kristin didn't really grow to the size needed for the NFL. Then, as she got older and studied more, she came to realize there were better ways to effect positive change than becoming president. The first one, however, stuck. Even when Kristin was pursuing other dreams, she always took time to write here and there.  When she's not writing or reading (which is what she does all day, in all of her work), Kristin's spending time with pixies, her Mad Scot soulmate, and one grumpy cocker spaniel; traveling across oceans and time; cooking and baking up a storm and watching sunsets and waves crash on the beach.

Kristin currently lives, loves and explores in The Emerald City, though she occasionally makes wispy, dream-like plans to move to New York, Paris or a Scottish castle one day (if just temporarily).

Please note this giveaway is U.S. only

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Waiting On Wednesday #3

 ***Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine where we get to showcase the upcoming releases we just can't wait for!***
Title: Dualed
Author: Elsie Chapman
Publication Date: 26th Feb 2013
Tagline: 'Two of you exist. Only one will survive.'

You or your Alt? Only one will survive.

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better

Monday, 14 January 2013

WANTED: join...'The List!'

Attention all bloggers!!!

Entangled needs you! *points at you*

Be part of The List.

Oooh... 'The List'...this all sounds so exciting and mysterious!!

Here's what you need to know...

One of the awesome publicists at Entangled (Yes, THE Entangled, as in the awesome publishers who publish AWESOME books!!) is compiling a list of bloggers. 

Are you right for the job? Well... 

Do you have a blog? YES!!! 

Do you love to review books? YES, YES!!!

Do you want access to books before they release? YES, YES, YES!!!

If your answers to these questions is a resounding "YES" then you're the right blogger for the job.

We want you! AAAHH, I WANT YOU TOO!!! :D

 Doesn't this all just sound so exciting??? Aren't you dying to find out how you can sign up? Well, I won't keep you waiting! Just go... HERE!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Reached by Ally Condie

Title: Reached (Matched #3)
Author: Ally Condie
Pages: 528
Publication Date: 30th Nov 2012


"The stunning finale of the acclaimed, international bestselling Matched trilogy.
After leaving the Society and desperately searching for each other – and the Rising – Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again.
But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again . . .
In the gripping conclusion to this dystopian trilogy, will Cassia reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without?"

My Thoughts...

It seems to me that the Matched series by Ally Condie is somewhat of a ‘marmite’ series. I know lots of people who absolutely love it, but I have also met people who find it boring. As for me, I have always kind of hovered somewhere in between – not quite sure if this is a series I love, or just like. Still, I was very excited to read the Reached and see how the trilogy concluded.

I knew I was going to enjoy Reached as soon as I started it and I happily sat back and waited for the substantial amount of pages (Reached is a rather lengthy book) that lay invitingly ahead of me to unfold with surprises, mysteries and romance. 

 It had been a while since the last time I had visited the world of Matched i.e. since I had read Crossed and it was nice to return to Ally Condie’s fluid and poetic writing style, which is just so lovely to read. It is one thing that even those who criticise the Matched trilogy for insubstantial plot or whatever often praise – the way Condie writes so beautifully.

I like the way poetry is such a big part of the Matched trilogy, and I think it helps YA readers, who are mostly teens, appreciate and understand the unique beauty of poetry, and its value,  a bit more. For example, at school we are currently having to study a lot of poetry in English for our GCSE exam and we generally find it tedious; however, the other day, we were studying ‘Do not go gentle into that good night,’ which, as you’ll know if you’ve read the books, is a poem that features prominently in this series and the several of my friends and I who had read Matched were all actually quite excited and engaged that lesson! (For once!)

No time is wasted in the opening of Reached and we are sucked straight into the exciting build-up of a revolution. What I really liked about Reached is how we get to know Xander more. Whereas the previous two books have focused mainly on Cassia and Ky, Xander was treated as a character of equal importance in Reached, and this time we also had chapters written from his perspective. Although I’ve never really had a ‘side’ in the Cassia-Ky-Xander love triangle, as I got to know Xander more, and as he was given a chance to prove himself as a character more, I began to really like him and I really felt sorry for him. In fact, by the end of Reached I think I would say that I definitely liked Xander more than Ky.
Beautifully written, as Condie’s novels always are, and a very enjoyable conclusion to the Matched trilogy. I look forward to seeing what the author has in store for us next now that this series is over!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Waiting On Wednesday #2

Title: Clockwork Princess
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: 19th March 2013

Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

I know I'm not the only one who is SUPER-EXCITED for this to come out!! Whatever will happen to Tessa, Will and Jem??? I need to know...NOW!!! And I just love the cover of this one - it's so pretty! It has got to be one of favourite covers ever! <3

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

BOOK REVIEW: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
Publication Date: 10th January 2012
Pages: 313 


"Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind."

My Thoughts...(are stars I cannot fathom into constellations)...
Five stars is not enough to rate The Fault In Our Stars. I want to rate it FIVE MILLION!!!
I had been intending to read this for ages, having heard countless people declaring how amazing it was, how this was ‘John Green at his best.’ Now, having read it, I don’t know why on earth I didn’t pick this up sooner.

This book is AMAZING. Seriously. Believe everyone who tells you so – and everyone who has read it will tell you so – because it is. Just 18 pages into the book and I had already fallen in love. If love at first sight (or word) exists, I have felt it in reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. You think I’m exaggerating. Just wait until you pick it up for yourself. You’ll see.

I feel like I should say something more meaningful, more substantial about this book, rather than just rambling on using colourful language and different ways to express how THOROUGHLY AWESOME this book is. But really, I feel almost as if it isn’t possible to put into words just how beautiful and amazing this book have to read it yourself to feel it.
I never expected to fall in love with Augustus Waters but I did. I totally did. He is just such a funny, sweet, gorgeous, wonderful character. There are loads of other boys in books who can be described similarly, but the difference with Gus, and Hazel, actually, is that they are so real. You just feel like they are honestly real people and that makes them all the more wonderful. I now have a concrete answer to the question, “If you could meet any literary character, who would it be?” because I would answer, in a heartbeat, AUGUSTUS WATERS!!!!

Every time I just think about this book, my pulse rate starts to increase and my breathing starts to become quicker as I feel myself start to get somewhat over-excited...until I am jumping up and down, gesturing wildly with my hands and screaming at the top of my voice to anyone who deigns to listen (although everyone in my near vicinity will probably be doing their best to tray and tune me out!) about how FANTABUMAZINGLY AWESOME THIS BOOK IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And how I love this book so much I just want to curl up in a corner with it and read it over and over again for the rest of my life!!! Ohmigosh I feel this spazzy attack of excitement coming on right now!!!!!!! 

(Excuse me while I leave the laptop for a moment and scream...)

(Okay. All good.)

I just don’t know how to convince you that this book is the most perfect book ever and every second you live without having read it is A SECOND OF YOUR LIFE WASTED. 



(I mean it. *warning stare* I'm watching you.)