Thursday, 28 February 2013

February Wrap-Up


February was a good month for me! It was my birthday, our house building is going well, I'm getting better at guitar, I'm blogging more frequently AND the other day I rode a bicycle! :D You might be thinking why riding a bicycle is big news, but you see, I haven't ridden a bike since I was ten and then the other day I borrowed a bicycle and I cycled! :D First in the garden and then in the road, I was extremely wobbly, in fact, there was more wobbling than cycling, but I still managed to ride and I'm proud of myself! :p

Anyway, moving on to the bookish part of this post!:

Books I have read this month:
1. The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
2. The Boyfriend List - E. Lockhart
3. Kidnap in the Caribbean - Lauren St John
4. Junie B. Jones and the Little Monkey Business - Barbara Park
5. The Declaration - Gemma Malley
6. Switched - Amanda Hocking
7. Airhead: Runaway - Meg Cabot

I'm really happy of what I managed to read this month, and hopefully in March I'll be able to read even more books! :D

Top 3 books read this month:
1. THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO - Patrick Ness
Guys, honestly, I can't describe how much I love this book. I cried. I cried really, really hard. It's one of the best books ever!
2. Airhead: Runaway - Meg Cabot
3. The Boyfriend List - E. Lockhart

Books reviewed this month:
1. The Knife of Never Letting Go
2. Kidnap in the Caribbean
3. We'll Always Have Summer

If you do a monthly wrap-up, leave a link and I'll stop by! ;)

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Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Review - We'll Always Have Summer - Jenny Han

We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)Title: We'll Always Have Summer
Author: Jenny Han
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary 
Publication: April 26th 2011, Simon & Schuster
Pages: 304 pages, Ebook
Source: Bought (As I needed to know what happened STRAIGHT after finishing It's Not Summer Without You)
It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.
I loved it. I loved every single moment of it. Every moment that made my heart thud faster, every moment that made me laugh and every moment that made me cry. Jenny Han has once again created another emotional, magical story, a story that seems to have an ending, but then you are surprised that its not over, in fact its just begun.

We'll Always Have Summer consists of Belly being in college. She has been dating Jeremiah for two years, and they are inseparable, she has applied to his college and they spend time with each other every single day. He makes her laugh,she can confide in him with pretty much everything, and he has been her best friend since, literally, forever. Belly thinks that he makes her life complete. 


However, when it is the end of the college year and Jeremiah's fraternity throws a ginormous, celebratory party and Belly is prepared to let her hair loose and taste freedom on her tongue after being cooped inside, restlessly waiting for the rest of the exams to finish. But unfortunately, the whole night isn't a night of celebration. When one of Jeremiah's friends spills beer all over Belly's dress (technically her college friend's dress) and as she navigates her way through the party and to the bathroom, she overhears a shocking secret of Jeremiah's that stuns her, and breaks her trust in him. After a few days, when Belly calls him to work things out, Jeremiah asks her a surprising, life-changing question. The events that happen after that one, unique moment, is what sets We'll Always Have Summer apart from the other two books, and proves just how much our characters  have changed and evolved into adults.


With the Summer trilogy, I feel like I have "grown up" with the characters. I have experienced a part of almost every summer with them. I have seen the sweet sides of the characters and the nasty ones. I have recognized their faults and forgiven them for it. Belly has grown up, she's not the whiny sixteen year old girl any more that worships the ground Conrad walks on, in fact she's the complete opposite. Jeremiah is still the same, all smiles, but then we learn that shocking secret and suddenly, we realise he isn't as innocent as he seems.  We finally see life from Conrad's point of view, and I was surprised about the feelings he held inside. In book one I couldn't stand Conrad, way too moody and cocky for me, the second book I thought that he wasn't too bad...and in this book? Gah! I LOVE him in this book. He really is the sweetest guy, we just needed a few tools to chip the hard exterior that was protecting his heart from any more  hurt and pain. 

The plot seemed quite predictable to some people, but to me it was nail-biting and unpredictable. I was crossing my fingers the whole way through hoping that she would end up with one, particular Fisher boy. I loved reading about Belly's college life, seeing how she had grown up, seeing her be more responsible and how she could make her own decisions. When you look back to the first book you can not believe how much has changed within the characters, its surreal.

The ending was gorgeous. Stunning. Beautiful. When I read that last page of the Summer trilogy, I was clapping my hands and smiling through my tears, because I had witnessed yet again, another emotional story. Another story that had me confused out of my mind for Belly, another story that made me see how fragile the seemingly strong characters are. 

Jenny Han is a master storyteller, there's no other way to describe it. She had a perfect ending to a perfectly written series. We'll Always Have Summer proves to us how much has changed since Susannah's death. She creates a beautiful, poignant summer story that involves many realistic happenings. Infidelity, marriage, heart-break, this book pretty much has it all. I read the whole trilogy in three to four days, and I wish there were many more books featuring Belly,  Conrad and Jeremiah, as they are one of my best groups of literary buddies. If you haven't yet picked up this series. I urge you too, right now.
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Random Struik Writing Competition: South Africa Only

Win in our short story competition | James PattersonWRITING COMPETITION 
Do you enjoy writing and reading? Are you between the ages of 9 and 17? Do you live in South Africa? Then Random Struik is hosting the perfect competition for you to enter! If you write and enter a short story with the title of either, Dark City, The Fire Catcher or Broken Wings then you might have the chance of winning R5000 and a set of books for your school library worth R10 000! Head over here to learn more about how to enter this fantastic competition! 
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Monday, 25 February 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #1

Top Ten Authors That I'd Put On My Auto-Buy List (basically an auto-buy list is no questions asked..you love this author so much that no matter what they wrote next you'd buy regardless of genre or subject matter)

1. Cathy Cassidy
Cathy Cassidy has been my favourite author since I was around ten years old. I love her style of writing as well as the stunning covers of her books. Whenever a new book of hers comes out, I immediately head out and buy it.

2. Veronica Roth
I can not wait to see more of Veronica Roth's work after the Divergent trilogy. I think she writes the most riveting novels and I'd love to see the unique novels she writes in the future.

3. Jandy Nelson
Has anyone else read The Sky is Everywhere? It's the most...beautiful, stunning, amazing book that I have ever read. After I had finished reading it, I went on Goodreads to see if the author had written anything else, and I was majorly disappointed to see that she hadn't. As soon as I see that she writes another book, I'll definitely buy it. 

4. E.D. Baker
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOOOVVVEEE E.D. Baker's books, if you haven't yet read her books you must! She writes such enchanting, magical stories, with such stunning covers. I see she has just released a new book which I will definitely be buying once the paperback copy becomes available. 

5.  Meg Cabot
I have almost all Meg Cabot's books, and whenever a new book is released I jump to buy it! :D

6. Rachel Renee Russell
She writes the Dork Diaries series! I have the first three I think, and I use to buy them as soon as they came out, but then I stopped. Think I have three more to buy...

7. Lemony Snicket
I have the complete collection of The Series of Unfortunate Events, as well as his other book. I love his books and I'll buy all of them.

8.  Pseudonymous Bosch
I adore his Secret series. They way he writes really includes the reader in the story and I love that!

9. Jeff Kinney
I love the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and every time a new one is released I buy it (and sometimes I'm even lucky enough to get it for review! :D)

10. Susan Beth Pfeffer
She wrote the amazing Life as We Knew It, I still need to read the other two in the trilogy (I'm planning on ordering them soon) and I will definitely buy her other books! :D
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My Reading Plan #11

My reading has been slacking, and I am terribly sorry for the lack of reviews on my blog. I will definitely try and post more now as I have a better schedule for school/blogging that I must stick too! :D

So 

WITHOUT FURTHER ADO...

Week #11 - 25/02/2013
Books to read this week:
 Airhead: Runaway - Meg Cabot
Runaway (Airhead, #3)
Emerson Watts is on the run: from school, from her family and from herself. She's reeling from the shock that Nikki, the girl whose body her brain was forced to inhabit, is still alive. And she's furious. Manipulative Brandon plans to use Em to discover a secret that will ensure his success, whilst Christopher is out for revenge, fuelled by his jealousy. With everyone around her playing a dangerous game, maybe Em should just keep on running...





Way of the Warrior  - Chris Bradford
The Way of the Warrior (Young Samurai, #1)
Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan, his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates.Rescued by a legendary master swordsman and brought under his wing, Jack begins the grueling physical and psychological training needed to become a samurai. Life at Samurai school is fraught with difficulty for Jack who is bullied and treated as an outcast.
With his friend the remarkable, beautiful Akiko at his side and all the courage he can muster, Jack has to prove himself. Will he be able to face deadly rivals and challenges that will test him to his very limits?


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Sunday, 24 February 2013

Stacking the Shelves #37

I didn't get such a large haul this week, which is probably a good thing, seeing as my TBR pile is reaching it's maximum limit...however, the last few days I've had this urge to go on a massive book-buying spree. I'm thinking of going to these two charity stores I know of, as I have gotten some amazing books for a low price there before. So next week I'll hopefully have a large haul. Hopefully. Anywhoo I'm really HAPPY for what I got this week! Leave me a comment below and I'll stop by your blog! :)

For review:
1. The Eternity Cure - Julie Kagawa 
(EEEEEEPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!)
The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2)
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.
Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.




2. The Disgrace of Kitty Grey - Mary Hooper
The Disgrace of Kitty Grey
Kitty is living a happy, carefree life as a dairymaid in the countryside. The grand family she is employed by looks after her well, and she loves her trade, caring for the gentle cows and working in the cool, calm dairy. And then, of course, there is Will, the river man who she thinks is very fond of her, and indeed she is of him. Surely he will ask her to marry him soon? Then one day disaster strikes: Will disappears. Kitty is first worried and then furious. She fears that Will has only been leading her on all this time, and has now gone to London to make his fortune, forgetting about her completely. So when Kitty is asked to go to London to pick up a copy of Pride and Prejudice, the latest novel by the very fashionable Jane Austen, Kitty leaps at the chance to track down Will. But Kitty has no idea how vast London is, and how careful she must be. It is barely a moment before eagle-eyed pickpockets have spotted the country-born-and-bred Kitty and relieved her of her money and belongings. Dauntingly fast, she has lost her only means of returning home and must face the terrifying prospect of stealing in order to survive - and of being named a thief ...

Bought:
3. The International Kissing Club - Ivy Adams
The International Kissing Club
Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. And they've always agreed on one goal: to get out of tiny Paris, Texas, and see the world. The school's foreign exchange program seems like the perfect escape: Piper will go to the original Paris; Mei will go to China; Cassidy will go to Australia; and Izzy, unable to afford the program, will stay at home. To add spice to their semester away, and to stay connected to their best friends, the girls start The International Kissing Club, a Facebook page where they can anonymously update one another and brag about all the amazing guys they're meeting. After all, these girls are traveling abroad: amazing guys abound at every turn! But sometimes fun, flirty vacation flings turn into more serious romances, and sometimes you don't return from abroad the same person you were. Will the girls' relationships-and their friendships-be able to survive?



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Friday, 22 February 2013

Barbie Girl by Heidi Acosta Blog Tour: Extract



TourBarbieGirlBanner.png



Barbie Girl by Heidi Acosta (Baby Doll #1)
Cover.jpg
Publication date: November 1st 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Hosted by: Xpresso Blog Tours
The only thing that 17 year old Barbie Starr wants to do is graduate high school so she and her little brother, Everett, can get out of Alabama. She doesn’t care about the rumors that are spread around about her like wild fire. Rumors are nothing new to her. Sure, maybe she could change her reputation, but why bother. She is leaving Alabama as soon as she can. That is, if she can pass algebra and graduate. The only thing Dylan Knight would like to do is go through high school unnoticed; he has had enough of the drama that is high school. He took the whole of last summer to bulk-up: finally he is not being called names or being shoved into lockers. He wants to remain on the outside of the circle of constant rumors that surround the so-called popular kids who get all the attention. He would not, however, mind if his long time crush Katie took notice of him. But it is Barbie who notices Dylan and she offers him a deal he can’t pass up: if he helps her pass algebra, she’ll help him get the girl of his dreams. Dylan agrees, but, as it turns out, nothing is simple when it comes to Barbie. Somehow, she can’t help but draw attention to herself — and to him. Soon Dylan finds himself tossed into the whirlwind of rumors that seem to followBarbie everywhere. Can he save his reputation and still get the girl of his dreams? Or will Barbie be the one to break through his carefully-built facade?
Excerpt from first chapter of Barbie Girl

Barbie starts to walk in my direction; her green, plaid mini skirt is so short that I am not even sure it can

be still classified as a skirt. She has on a tight, black tank top that exposes a gold belly button ring, torn
fishnet stockings with knee-high combat boots completes her look. That cannot be dress code. Her big,
freaky blue eyes are lined in heavy black liner, and they are looking right at me. I am frozen in my seat. A
predator holding its prey, and I am the prey. Crap. She walks up the aisle in front of me, flipping her
long, bleached blond hair with one hot pink strip over her shoulder. “Dylan Knight?” her voice is a knife
cutting through me. I nod too stunned to talk.
“Dude she knows your name! Get her number and you are my hero,” Third chirps in my ear.
“Umm…yeah…that’s me,” I choke out. My heart felt like it was about to take flight leaving a gaping hole
in my chest as I watched her with an anxious stare.
She smiles at me, but that smile reads more like she is the Greek goddess Ishtar. She is either going to
step over the seat and start making out with me or strangle me. I hope for the second and make it quick.
“Well today is your lucky day,” she leans over and grips the back of the chair with her black-chipped
finger nails, giving me a full view of her cleavage.
“Dude this is so hot, I have a movie that starts out like this. If she steps over that chair and rips off your
clothes I am going to film it.” Third is defiantly drooling; actually the whole theater has fallen silent. I
don’t look but I know all eyes are on us or maybe they are on Barbie’s ass.
“You can totally see down her shirt, what color is her bra?” Third begs.
“Red,” I say.
She glares at me. “What?”
I shake my head clearing my thoughts and make eye contact with her again. “Why is today my lucky
day?” I change the subject crossing my arms across my chest glaring back at her.
“You get to tutor me in Math,” she holds out her arms like she has just given me the best gift ever.
“Holy crow dude, you got to do it. For all things virgin you got to do it. She totally is going to screw your
brains out; and you have to videotape it for me.” I shake my head trying to rid Third’s annoying voice in
my head.
“No,” I say with more conviction then I feel.
“No?” her eyes narrow into tiny slits.
“Dylan bro you are killing me,” Third groans. “Listen man you are not thinking with the right head. Listen
to the little man down below, you have to tutor her, and report every dirty detail back to me.” Third is
back to begging.
“Well are you a tutor or not?” she snaps. The room is so silent that you can hear a pin drop. I glance at
the stage, big mistake, Katie is sending death rays in my direction or maybe they are meant for Barbie. I
cannot tell. Could she be jealous? We don’t speak much even though we are in all the same classes
together. Girls, I never will get them.
“Yes I am…but I am not taking any more clients.” Actually I have not tutored anyone in a while. I am sure
as hell not tutoring crazy.
“Idiot! Do you get what could happen with your reputation if you let her de-virgin you.” Third says to

me. Yeah she can ruin whatever little social life I happen to have. “Katie might finally know your name,”

Third says. Katie knew my name. Right? I glance back at the stage to where Katie is talking to that
douche bag Tyler.
“Fine I will tutor you.” I know I will end up regretting this, but if there is a chance that Katie will
recognize me. Her face softens and her freaky alien eyes go back to their normal size. I rip out a piece of
the cue paper and jot down my address and phone number on it.
“Thanks, hot stuff.” She takes the paper out of my hand and folds it in a messy square before stuffing it
into her bra. She stands straight and looks up at the box and says, “It is red with black hearts.” She winks
and saunters out of the auditorium.
There is silence, the whole room in a state of shock. I think Third might have keeled over and died.
“Dylan read the cues,” Mrs. Rita snaps. She is wearing the same look of astonishment on her face that I
feel. I cannot read the cues because they are in Barbie’s red bra with black hearts. What just happened?
Did I just agree to tutor Barbie?



Heidi.jpg
AUTHOR BIO
Heidi Acosta was born on Long Island, New York. Moving around a lot when she was younger, she has lived in New York, Arizona, New York (again), Washington, Georgia, and Florida, in that order. Each place offered her something special, but she will always consider New York her home.
Heidi started writing as soon as she could spell. When she was three, Heidi’s mother gave her a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods; thus beginning her lifelong love affair with literature.
Writing soon also became a form of therapy for Heidi, when she realized that no matter what was happening in her life, she could find emotional escape while writing. Some of her earliest stories featured her as a princess who explored new worlds with her horse Buttercup. If it sounds romantic, it wasn’t, there was no prince charming in those fairy lands (boys where yucky).
Heidi now resides in Florida with her husband, very active daughter, one hyper Chihuahua, two sweet cats, and one very fat moody cat.

Author Links:

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Feature & Follow Friday #7

8474595901 873f4993f4 Feature & Follow #137

This Week's Question:
We always talk about books that WE want. Let's turn it on its head. What books have you given other people lately?
I don't actually give a lot of books as presents, or give books away, as most of my friends don't enjoy reading. Although for Christmas I gave my dad The Hobbit and a few months back I gifted my giveaway winner with a pre-ordered copy of Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout! :D I also recently lent my friend a copy of Clockwork Angel as I adored it! :D I don't think she's read it yet though...:) I also gave away about 30-40 middle-grade books to charity as I was clearing out my book shelf! :)
What books have you gifted people with lately? 
Leave me a comment saying hi and I'll stop by your blog and follow! I love making new bookish friends, and you can always find me on Twitter an on Email if you want to fan-girl about books with me! :D


*You can follow me via GFC, Twitter, Goodreads or RSS :)* 

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Thursday, 21 February 2013

Broken Wings Blog Tour: Spotlight



Welcome to my stop on the Broken Wings blog tour hosted by YA Bound. Click HERE to
see the full blog tour schedule!

Angel Eyes (Angel Eyes, #1)Angel Eyes (Angel Eyes Trilogy #1)
by Shannon Dittemore
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Paperback/e-book
336 pages
Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world
through . . .
ANGEL EYES
Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s
come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the
incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.
Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift
that targets him for corruption.
Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks
in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to
happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the
battle in a realm where all human choices start.
A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Broken Wings (Angel Eyes, #2)Broken Wings (Angel Eyes Trilogy #2)
By Shannon Dittemore
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Paperback/e-book
320 pages
Giant angels with metal wings and visible song. A blind demon restored from the pit of
darkness. And a girl who has never felt more broken.
Brielle sees the world as it really is: a place where the Celestial exists side by side with human
reality. But in the aftermath of a supernatural showdown, her life begins to crumble. Her
boyfriend, Jake, is keeping something from her—something important. Her overprotective
father has started drinking again. He’s dating a much younger woman who makes Brielle’s
skin crawl, and he’s downright hostile toward Jake. Haunting nightmares keep Brielle from
sleeping, and flashes of Celestial vision keep her off kilter.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s been targeted. The Prince of Darkness himself has heard
of the boy with healing in his hands and of the girl who sees through the Terrestrial Veil.
When he plucks the blind demon, Damien, from the fiery chasm and sends him back to Earth
with new eyes, the stage is set for a cataclysmic battle of good versus evil.
Then Brielle unearths the truth about her mother’s death and she must question everything
she ever thought was true.
Brielle has no choice. She knows evil forces are converging and will soon rain their terror
down upon the town of Stratus. She must master the weapons she’s been given. She must
fight.
But can she fly with broken wings?
Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble
shannon dittemore.jpg
About the Author
Shannon Dittemore has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her
lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College,
performances with local theater companies, and a focus on youth and young adult ministry.
The daughter of one preacher and the wife of another, she spends her days imagining
things unseen and chasing her two children around their home in Northern California.
Angel Eyes is her first novel.
Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook / Pinterest

Giveaway
(1) Print copies of Angel Eyes and Broken Wings (US Only)
(5) Print copies of Broken Wings (US only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Review - Kidnap in the Caribbean

Kidnap In The Caribbean (Laura Marlin Mysteries)Title: Kidnap in the Caribbean
Author: Lauren St Jon
Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure
Publication: July 1 2011, Orion Children's Books
Pages: 217 pages
Source: Library book
Laura cannot contain her excitement when she wins a trip to the Caribbean for herself and her uncle, Calvin Redfern, especially when her best friend, Tariq, and her three-legged husky, Skye, accidentally find themselves on board too. But when they dock at Antigua, they discover that Calvin Redfern has vanished, and Laura and Tariq are about to be kidnapped by the fearsome Straight A gang. Dramatic escapes, an erupting volcano and a race against time to stop the deadly undercover 'Marine Concern' make Laura's second adventure every bit as exciting as the first. *From Amazon 
I absolutely adore Lauren St John's books. Every book I have read by her has been a phenomenal reading experience. Her books export you to exotic places around the world, her writing so incredibly scenic and beautiful, that you could very well be right there. In Africa. Cornwall. And most recently, the Caribbean. Specifically Antigua.

I read my first book of hers when I lived in England, and that happened to be a beautiful, haunting novel: The White Giraffe. After reading it, I pretty much fell in love with her books. Last year I read the first book in her brand new middle-grade series and I loved it! It had that perfect, gloomy, mysterious vibe to it, which was perfect to read on a grey, windy day, which I did. All I can remember is that I absolutely adored it!


SO

When I saw the second one at the library, I immediately took it out without a moment's hesitation. And I'm so glad I did.

Because. I. Loved. It!

The Kidnap in the Caribbean is a middle-grade mystery novel, the second book in Laura Marlin series. When Laura wins a holiday to the Caribbean for her and her Uncle, she is beyond ecstatic, as much as she loves her new home in Cornwall (as she lived in an orphanage for most her life until they discovered that she had a living relative), she could imagine nothing better than swimming with dolphins in turquoise lagoons and then drinking coconut milk while swaying in a hammock. Her Uncle is sure it is all a scam (he is an ex-detective) but after awhile he makes his mind up after a mysterious meeting with a stranger in the early hours of the morning, that Laura managed to catch a glimpse of. As soon as they set aboard for the Caribbean there is non-stop action..and drama, and as soon as they set sail, Laura starts to feel a feeling of dread in her stomach, that maybe this Caribbean holiday isn't going to be exactly what she had in mind..

What I loved most about Kidnap in the Caribbean, was the setting. Lauren St John is an author that writes the most amazing scenic descriptions. I have always wanted to go to a tropical island, and by reading Kidnap in the Caribbean I could do just that! She captured the scenery perfectly in her descriptive passages. The white sand and the clear, perfectly still turquoise water lapping at the shore. You literally feel as if you're right there. So if you've never had a dangerous adventure on a tropical island but you're yearning too, read this book, as it will give you an experience of a lifetime!

The characters are well developed and interesting. Usually when I read a middle-grade novel, the characters can be considerably bland, however in Kidnap of the Caribbean, it is the exact opposite. 

We have four main characters in Kidnap of the Caribbean: Laura (our protagonist), Skye (the protagonist's dog), Tariq (the protagonist's best friend) and Calvin Redfern (the protagonist's uncle). What separates Kidnap in the Caribbean from other novels in the middle-grade category  is the uniqueness of each of the characters' voices. If I was reading I could easily differentiate one character from the other. One of the secondary characters, a boy they met on the cruise ship called Jimmy, also had a unique personality that shone through.

Laura Marlin is our main character, with an eye for detail and a thirst for adventure. With her clue-sniffing, hero-saving Siberian husky by her side, as well as her best friend, Tariq, who was a former, modern day slave that her and her Uncle managed to rescue, they live a life of adventure and excitement! But of course everything isn't fun and games when you have criminal delinquents chasing after you, but of course, Laura and her entourage manage to save the day!

I love Laura, she is such an amazing role model. She helps people out and she keeps a clear hear even when she is distressed. Tariq use to be a modern day slave, he lived a life full of undeserving punishments and hardships, yet he is kind and sweet to everyone he meets.

Another main character that my feelings varied for was Jimmy. Jimmy was a ten year old boy they met on the cruise ship, a boy that they initially considered a pest and a nuisance, however, Tariq reminds Laura that maybe he is lonely and thinks that by boasting and acting clever will get him friends. Towards the beginning of meeting Jimmy, I couldn't stand him, he was quite a pest and his boastful disposition bothered me ocassionally, however my viewing of him changed drastically, as I saw that he was just a lonely child that was bored, that wanted friends and adventure. And at the end of the book, little Jimmy ended up saving the day! There was a lot of character development, which Lauren St John write brilliantly.

My thoughts on the plot as times were quite contradictory. There were parts where I was thinking this is the perfect blend of action, mystery and suspense, whereas other times I felt that the plot was a bit crammed. Needless to say, it all worked out well in the end and I was left satisfied.

Kidnap in the Caribbean is a fantastic action-packed novel that will have you hastily turning the pages. As well as being packed with mystery and action, the characters teach you notable life lessons on their journey from Cornwall to Antigua and back again, lessons such as loyalty, kindness and encouragement and to practice the act of being calm and level-headed when danger strikes. A perfect novel by a perfect novel. Like I said, if you want to experience the feeling of being on a tropical island whilst having an adventure, read this book and it will magically whisk you away to the beautiful island of Antigua.


I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!

                 


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Monday, 18 February 2013

My Reading Plan #10




Week #10: - 18/2/2013
1. The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness
The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)
We were in the square, in the square where I'd run, holding her, carrying her, telling her to stay alive, stay alive till we got safe, till we got to Haven so I could save her - But there weren't no safety, no safety at all, there was just him and his men...
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order. But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer? And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...
"The Ask and the Answer" is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. This is the second title in the "Chaos Walking" trilogy.

2. A Matter of Fate - Heather Lyons
A Matter of Fate (Fate Series, #1)
Chloe Lilywhite struggles with all the normal problems of a typical seventeen-year-old high school student. Only, Chloe isn't a normal teenage girl. She's a Magical, part of a secret race of beings who influence the universe. More importantly, she's a Creator, which means Fate mapped out her destiny long ago, from her college choice, to where she will live, to even her job. While her friends and relatives relish their future roles, Chloe resents the lack of say in her life, especially when she learns she's to be guarded against a vengeful group of beings bent on wiping out her kind. Their number one target? Chloe, of course. 
That's nothing compared to the boy trouble she's gotten herself into. Because a guy she's literally dreamed of and loved her entire life, one she never knew truly existed, shows up in her math class, and with him comes a twin brother she finds herself inexplicably drawn to. 
Chloe's once unyielding path now has a lot more choices than she ever thought possible.
I started reading A Matter of Fate on my kindle a few night's ago, and I was really enjoying it! I also went to the library last Monday and checked out The Ask and the Answer. The Knife of Never Letting Go was such an emotion, breath-taking novel that ended on such a infuriating cliffhanger that I need to know what happens ASAP. Have you read any of these? 

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Saturday, 16 February 2013

Stacking the Shelves #36 - The Huge Super Awesome Haul



I got an absolutely spectacular haul this week! It was my birthday, yet no one gave me books except for one person :( But if you want to read about how I spent my birthday and the gifts I received, you can go here :D

If any of you did read my birthday post you will all know I went to the library on my birthday, that was lots of fun and I got some absolutely fantastic books there! And the postal truck came on my birthday and delivered two books to me, which was pretty ironic :p

All the physical books I've received this week
Library books! :D
Review books:
1. Etiquette and Espionage - Gail Carriger
I've seen this book in the blogosphere and it looks utterly fantastic! And the cover is gorgeous!
Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.
Sophronia Temminnick at 14 is a great trial more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners -- and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Her poor mother, desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady, enrolls the lively tomboy in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
But young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage -- in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.
2. Timeriders: Pirate Kings - Alex Scarrow
I still must read this series...haven't gotten around to it yet *facepalm*.
The Pirate Kings (TimeRiders, #7)
Liam O’Connor should have died at sea in 1912.Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010.Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.
But all three have been given a second chance—to work for an agency that no one knows exists. Its purpose: to prevent time travel destroying history...
Relocated to Victorian London, the TimeRiders joy-ride back to 1666 to witness the Great Fire of London. In the ensuing chaos, Liam and their newest recruit, Rashim, find themselves trapped between the fire and the Thames. They escape onboard a river boat, only to be confronted by an unscrupulous captain with his heart set on treasures of the high seas ...
Back in 1888, Maddy and the rest of the team are frantically trying to track them down. But with limited resources at their new base, can Liam and Rashim survive the bloodthirsty and barbaric age of piracy long enough to be rescued?
3. Wonder - R.J. Palacio
When this arrived at my front door, I was squealing like an I don't know what, I have been wanting to read this book FOREVER and I am so happy to have received it for review.
Wonder
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?
R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.


Bought:
4. Gravity - Melissa West
When I saw this was for sale as $0.99 on the Kindle daily deal, I knew I simply had to get it!
Gravity (The Taking, #1)
In the future, only one rule will matter:
Don’t. Ever. Peek.
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.
Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.
Library: 
5. The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness
After reading The Knife of Never Letting Go, I wanted to know what happened straight after I finished the book, so I was super ecstatic to find the second one at the library!
The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking, #2)
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss.
Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order.
But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive?And who are the mysterious Answer?
And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...
6. Monsters or Men - Patrick Ness
Same as the above :p
Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking, #3)
In the riveting conclusion to the acclaimed dystopian series, a boy and girl caught in the chaos of war face devastating choices that will decide the fate of a world. As a world-ending war surges around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption, or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.
7. Switched - Amanda Hocking
I have heard so much about this series, so when I saw it sitting on the library shelf I immediately added it to my library pile waiting to be checked out. I'm currently reading it at the moment and I'm enjoying it!
Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1)
Wendy Everly knew she was different the day her mother tried to kill her and accused her of having been switched at birth. Although certain she's not the monster her mother claimed she is, she does feel that she doesn't quite fit in. The new girl in High School, Wendy is bored and frustrated by her small-town life -- and then there's her secret, her mysterious ability -- she can influence people's decisions, without knowing how, or why ...When the intense and darkly handsome newcomer Finn suddenly turns up at her bedroom window one night, her world is turned upside down. He holds the key to her past, the answers to her strange powers and is the doorway to a place she never imagined could exist: Forening, the home of the Trylle. Among the Trylle she is not just different, but special. But what marks her out as chosen for greatness in this world also places her in grave danger. With everything around her changing, Finn is the only person she can trust. But dark forces are conspiring -- not only to separate them, but to see the downfall of everything that Wendy cares about...
8.Airhead: Runaway - Meg Cabot
I read the two books in the series last year and the year before and I have been meaning to finish reading the trilogy. So I checked it out and I am looking forward to reading it, as the other two books were fantastic!
Runaway (Airhead, #3)
Emerson Watts is on the run: from school, from her family and from herself. She's reeling from the shock that Nikki, the girl whose body her brain was forced to inhabit, is still alive. And she's furious. Manipulative Brandon plans to use Em to discover a secret that will ensure his success, whilst Christopher is out for revenge, fuelled by his jealousy. With everyone around her playing a dangerous game, maybe Em should just keep on running...
9. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
I'm not actually sure why I took this out...I enjoyed reading her novel 101 Dalmations and its a classic, and I've been wanting to read more classics, so I suppose that's why!
I Capture the Castle
I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over a six-month period, first in a sixpenny book, then in a shilling book, and, finally, in a splendid two-guinea book, to hone her writing skills. And it is within these pages that she candidly chronicles her encounters with the estate's new, young, and handsome American landlords, the effects of her sister Rose's marital ambitions, her writer's-blocked father's anguished and ultimately renewed creativity, and her own hopeless, first descent into love.By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"--and the heart of the reader--in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.
10. Crossed - Ally Condie
I actually took Crossed out at another library a few months ago, but I never got around to reading it. So when I saw it sitting there I decided to read it! :D
Crossed (Matched, #2)
Cassia and Ky both narrate their quests crossing the ochre mountainous Carving to reach their love. She seeks the resistance, The Rising led by the Pilot, but does he? New teen friends red-haired Indie, fishing Vic, and chatty Eli, join them. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

11. The Way of the Warrior - Chris Bradford
I actually have the first five books on my kindle, but I saw the first one there and I thought "Why not?". Because, although I love my kindle, I do prefer physical books, so  seeing as one of my kindle books was sitting there in physical format, I decided to take out the physical copy :D
The Way of the Warrior (Young Samurai, #1)
Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan, his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates.Rescued by a legendary master swordsman and brought under his wing, Jack begins the gruelling physical and psychological training needed to become a samurai. Life at Samurai school is fraught with difficulty for Jack who is bullied and treated as an outcast.With his friend the remarkable, beautiful Akiko at his side and all the courage he can muster, Jack has to prove himself. Will he be able to face deadly rivals and challenges that will test him to his very limits?
Gifted:
12. Golden Filly: Collection 1 - Lauraine Snelling
I like horsey books and my one friend gave me this for my birthday! :D
Golden Filly Collection 1
Sixteen-year-old Tricia Evanston and her father share something very special: their love of horses. With Tricia as jockey and her father as trainer, the two have big dreams of winning the Triple Crown. Tricia has other pressures, too, like declining grades, a strained relationship with her mother, and the constant worry about her father's failing health. But Tricia's faith in God always gives her the strength to push her limits. Collection One includes The Race, Eagle's Wings, Go for the Glory, Kentucky Dreamer, and Call for Courage.

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