Thursday, 31 January 2013

Best of the Bunch January 2013

Best of the Bunch is a monthly wrap-up and award ceremony hosted here on the last day of each month, where we can look back over the books we have read and give a Best of the Bunch award to our favourite book of that month.

It is also a blog hop for bloggers to showcase their pick of "Best of the Bunch". I always put up my post on the last day of the month, but remember, you can add your link anytime in the following month- please join in, I love hearing about which books you thought were the most amazing!

For more info and to grab the button and stickers visit the BOTB page here, then all you need to do is write up your post showing us your Best of the Bunch and add your linky to the list below. Don't forget to check out the other blogs to find out which books other bloggers have awarded the best.



January:
This month I have reviewed on the blog:

  • The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter My Review 4 of 5 stars
  • Geek Girl by Holly Smale My Review 4 of 5 stars
  • Pantomime by Laura Lam My Review 4.5 of 5 stars
and the winner of Best of the Bunch January 2013 is...


...drumroll...


... Pantomime by Laura Lam! 

I read this about a month ago, and I'm still thinking about it! It's so unique, eye-opening and emotional. I love all the characters, and the fantasy setting- it's so good. 



Goodreads
R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada


That was my Best of the Bunch- I'd love to know- who gets your bananas?
If you write your own monthly wrap-up post why not link it into Best of the Bunch and leave the link to your post in the box below. 



...Or, tell me which of your January reads was your favourite in the comments section.
Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #16

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly book blog hop hosted by Dani at Pen to Paper where we will post about a book that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added, that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our bookshelves.



I love the sound of this book- creepy sounding or what? I shouldn't be pining after this one, because I already have Victoria Schwab's other book The Near Witch and still haven't read it yet- but it doesn't stop me finding more books! 



The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Goodreads

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.




Has anybody read it yet? What did you think? Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sunday Post 27th January 2013

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ to recap the past week on the blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


Quality over quantity again, only 2 new books this week-

From the library:


  • Nevermore by James Patterson. (Maximum Ride, book 8)








Audiobook:

  • Meridian by Amber Kizer. (Fenestra, book 1)









Coming up on the blog this week...

Thursday- Best of the Bunch- Wrap up post for January
Friday- Exciting new releases this February.


Thanks for stopping by. What books did you get this week? Link me up!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Cover themes- The Red Dress

This is an idea that has been brewing in my mind for a while. It is basically to compare similar book covers and set them to music.



I love pretty book covers. In fact I have bought books- just because I liked the artwork on the cover. But sometimes you can pick up on a familiar theme...

Here is one- The Red Dress!


video


*I do not own rights to the music- this is a video made for fun.





Friday, 25 January 2013

Review: Pantomime by Laura Lam

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars




Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads:
R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada




Pantomime is a bold and freshly different YA debut by Laura Lam. I was completely absorbed by this book, and gripped by the story- which I thought was so clever and extremely moving.

I don't want to give away too much about what this story is about- as it is such a unique and surprising concept, and you really should go into it blind and experience it for yourself! Which makes writing this review extremely difficult! But here are some adjectives- mystical, tense, unique, strange, fascinating, and enchanting.

This is a coming of age/ being true to yourself tale about a young character who runs away to join the circus. There is a twist in the tale that you wouldn't expect, making Pantomime one of those rare amazing books that is captivating and exciting, and I think it's just genius.

Set in the fictional fantasy world of Ellada- it feels like a whole other time and place- but with the attitudes and outlook similar to Victorian England in terms of clothes, traditions and values. But we are also introduced to a world where the old gods are myth and legend, and the Chimaera (the old inhabitants of the world) have left their curious and mystical relics behind.

This gives the book an air of mystery and magic and possibility. There is also a constant undercurrent of tension and danger, as Micah lives in constant fear of being discovered. This is a dark and gritty world, but the mix of fantasy and historical really works.

I loved the descriptions of life in the circus, all the oddball characters, and the contrast between the circus, and flashbacks to Micah's old life. There is magic, relatable characters, hardship, and romance. This is a stunningly beautiful book and one that I highly recommend and will definitely re-read.


Thursday, 24 January 2013

Review- Geek Girl by Holly Smale


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves. 

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did. 

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?



Health Warning- do not attempt to read this book in a public place if you don't like looking ridiculous! I like to read in coffee shops and I think I pulled a muscle in my cheek trying to keep a straight face while reading Geek Girl. It's just not possible to try and look serious and studious while reading this book- which is guaranteed to at least put a goofy smirk on your face- if not make you snort out loud.

I really liked this story, which is a sweet and feel-good contemporary, reminiscent of Louise Rennison. Did I mention it's also hilarious! I would share a bunch of my favourite quotes but there are probably just too many.

Did you know that in the old days the word 'geek' was used to describe a carnival performer who bit the head off a live chicken or snake or bat as part of their stage act? Exactly. Only a geek would know a thing like that.


Harriet is a self-confessed geek, and has never gotten the hang of fitting in, saying the cool thing or keeping up to date with fashion trends. And that's fine with her. Harriet is quirky and odd, and knows what she likes (which happens to be physics and maths) and she is insanely goofy, vulnerable and lovable. I loved her attitude and her individuality.

Geek Girl is a wonderfully fun and heart-warming story about what happens when the clumsy self- confessed geek girl is thrust into the weird world of modelling. It's a light, funny and quick read- I really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #15

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly book blog hop hosted by Dani at Pen to Paper where we will post about a book that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added, that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our bookshelves.



Hmmmn- part dystopian, matrix-like computer-game romance? This sounds very different and pretty cool! This has been on my wishlist since I read some pretty good reviews of it a few weeks back. 

The original planned cover was changed before publication. Personally I way prefer the original cover- it really stands out, it's very eye-catching and so unique. The new cover is a bit boring. What do you think?





Doomed by Tracy Deebs
Goodreads

Beat the game. Save the world.

Pandora’s just your average teen, glued to her cell phone and laptop, surfing Facebook and e-mailing with her friends, until the day her long-lost father sends her a link to a mysterious site featuring twelve photos of her as a child. Unable to contain her curiosity, Pandora enters the site, where she is prompted to play her favorite virtual-reality game, Zero Day. This unleashes a global computer virus that plunges the whole world into panic: suddenly, there is no Internet. No cell phones. No utilities, traffic lights, hospitals, law enforcement. Pandora teams up with handsome stepbrothers Eli and Theo to enter the virtual world of Zero Day. Simultaneously, she continues to follow the photographs from her childhood in an attempt to beat the game and track down her father, her one key to saving the world as we know it. Part The Matrix, part retelling of the Pandora myth, Doomed has something for gaming fans, dystopian fans, and romance fans alike.





Some reviews of this book-
Jessica at A Great Read- 4.5 of 5 stars
Ellen at Always YA at Heart- 5 of 5 stars
Lili at Lost in a Book- 5 of 5 stars
Mandy at The Reading Diaries- 5 of 5 stars

Has anybody else read it? What did you think?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Sunday Post 20th January 2013

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ to recap the past week on the blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.



Sorry- I haven't had time to post a single book review this week, busy busy busy- Next week though I promise :/  Bad book blogger! 

On the blog this week-
I wished for The Hallowed Ones on Wishlist Wednesday
I discussed Books into Movies in 2013
I was also interviewed by Michelle at Fluttering Butterflies as part of her British Bloggers feature. 
Check out the interview here

Book haul this week-
I got two fab looking books


From the library: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. After about 50 people told me that this was their favourite book and I HAD to read it, I have caved and got hold of a copy. I will be reading this one soon.

On audiobook: Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans. A book about a world that exists between our world and the afterlife.


Thanks for stopping by today- what books did you get this week? Link me up!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

I've been interviewed!

I've been interviewed by the lovely Michelle over at Fluttering Butterflies, as part of her British Bloggers feature.



Want to know how I started blogging? Who is my favourite literary crush? Head on over there and check it out!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Books into movies in 2013

So, last week I went to watch The Hobbit at the cinema, and although I loved it, it felt a little bit different from how I remember the book, and generally how I'd pictured the landscape and characters whilst reading.
Reading is a solitary and subjective thing sometimes, and I think everyone imagines the world of the books slightly differently. A lot of the time my imagination is bigger and better than whatever Hollywood can create, and so I usually prefer reading the book to watching the film.

Having said that though- there are a few films which I think were even better than the book.
Lord of the Rings felt so much grander and more magical on the screen than between the pages, and I thought that the films kept all the heart and drama, but cut out a lot of the waffle and poetry from the books.
The Jane Austen Book Club I thought was sweeter as a film than as a book.
I liked The Hunger Games as well because it was so very faithful to the book.
And I never would have found I Am Number Four, if not for the film- and now I love this series.

2013 seems to be the year of the book to movie adaptation. Although this is sometimes a good thing as it encourages even more publicity and excitement over certain books- and sales of the books go up after a film comes out (more people reading books is always a good thing) sometimes it is quite scary to think that a director's vision or choice of actor, or a badly written screenplay will completely ruin what you thought of as a fantastic book.

This is just my opinion- but these are some movies that I thought were truly awful adaptations of fantastic books.

  • The Golden Compass-adaption of Northern Lights by Philip Pullman- (in my opinion this is one of the best series of books ever written)- don't bother watching the film it is DIRE!
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  • Harry Potter by J.K Rowling. (yes, I know).
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
  • Beastly by Alex Flinn
  • How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
One of the films coming to cinemas this year is City of Bones, and it is terrifies me. I LOVE these books- how are they ever go to do them justice on the screen?

Here is the movie trailer for it- I have to say, it doesn't make me any less nervous. What do you think of it?


Another one that I'm 50% excited to see and 50% scared they'll ruin it is The Host. I love this book because it is so emotional, and I loved the characters, and again I'm not sure quite how it will translate onto the screen. This film is scheduled to release in August this year




Warm Bodies is a quirky zombie romance book ("zombie" and "romance"- two words that you would never expect to see in a sentence together, but I swear it works) that I really enjoyed because it is so witty. This is due for release in cinemas in February this year.




And finally- Beautiful Creatures adapted from the novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. This is due for release in February 2013. It looks very dramatic! What do you think?








Casting has started for the film adaptation of Divergent by Veronica Roth, another favourite book of mine and the film rights have also been bought for- 
  • Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • The Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
  • Septimus Heap by Angie Sage
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Blood Red Road by Moira Young
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • The Selection by Keira Cass (TV series)
with the possibility that movies could be coming from these books as well. 

My plea: Directors/ producers- please don't butcher my favourite books!
----------------

What do you think about books being made into films? Are the books always better? Books are able to go into so much more detail, and you get an insight into what the character is thinking and feeling. Do you prefer to be able to picture the setting and the character's faces yourself, or is it easier to be shown the director's vision on screen?

But would such books as Harry Potter or the Twilight series have taken off quite like they did without the films? Do films sometimes promote the book better than anything else could have? Do they encourage even more people to pick up your favourite books and give them a read-  and do films create more exposure for the books that might otherwise be ignored?

Are there some books that should just be left alone?



Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #14

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly book blog hop hosted by Dani at Pen to Paper where we will post about a book that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added, that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our bookshelves.



Vampires and the Amish? I love the sound of this book! It looks different, thrilling, and creepy.



The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
Goodreads

If your home was the last safe place on earth, would you let a stranger in?

In this captivating thriller, an Amish settlement is the last safe haven in a world plagued by an unspeakable horror…

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers are free to experience non-Amish culture before officially joining the church. But before Rumspringa arrives, Katie’s safe world starts to crumble. It begins with a fiery helicopter crash in the cornfields, followed by rumors of massive unrest and the disappearance of huge numbers of people all over the world. Something is out there...and it is making a killing.

Unsure why they haven’t yet been attacked, the Amish Elders make a decree: No one goes outside their community, and no one is allowed in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man lying just outside the boundary of their land, she can’t leave him to die. She refuses to submit to the Elder’s rule and secretly brings the stranger into her community—but what else is she bringing in with him?




Some reviews of this book-
Sam at Realm of Fiction- 4.5 of 5 stars
Kimba at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer- 4.5 of 5 stars
Rachel at The Readers Den- 4.5 of 5 stars
Allison at The Allure of Books- 5 of 5 stars
Mel at Mel's Random Reviews- 9 out of 10

Has anybody else read it yet? What did you think?

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Sunday Post 13th January 2013

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ to recap the past week on the blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 


I've been so exhausted this week- I'm like a zombie and I haven't written a single blog post at all. I sit down to try and write a book review, and all my brain can manage is "book... good". 
Hopefully things will pick up again and I'll get my energy back!

In terms of books though I've had a good week. My attempt to not buy any new books though has failed catastrophically!

Bought:




  • Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick. I read this on audiobook last year and I think it's hands- down one of the best books of 2012. Now it's out in paperback for the first time and I pre-ordered it. Yay!
  • Possess by Gretchen McNeil. This one looks creepy and thrilling. I completely blame Claire at Project TBR for her amazing review of this book that prompted me to buy it. 
  • Timekeeper by Alexandra Monir. Book 2 in the Timeless series. Looking forward to this one.
(I bought a bunch of other books as well- but these are all the ones I will admit to!)

Audiobook:

  • The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta. I've heard great things about this book- high expectations.










From the library:




  • Reached by Ally Condie. Book 3 in the Reached trilogy.
  • Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter.
  • Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry. Book 2 in the Rot and Ruin series. I have no idea when I'm going to find time to read this- but I want to!
  • Shift by Em Bailey.

For review:

  • Dare You To by Katie McGarry. This is the sequel/ companion novel to Pushing The Limits. There is no cover at the moment, but this is the US cover for the book. It is due to be published in May/ June 2013. Thanks to Mira publishers and Netgalley. 






What books did you get this week? 

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Elvendorf Valley and Make Believe kits by Irene Alexeeva