Saturday, 30 October 2010

Review: Museum of Theives by Lian Tanner

Museum of Thieves (The Keepers #1)
by Lian Tanner

Genre: Fantasy
Age group: 8-12
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: October 2010
Format: Hardback, 330 pages
ISBN-13: 9781742371573

RRP: $22.99 AUD
Source: The lovely Kate from Allen & Unwin, for a "Bookmark It!" review. Thank you!
Cover love? 
Left - Australian Cover, Right - US Cover.
I actually prefer the US Cover, because of the amazing, beautiful art. The AUS cover is also wonderful, and looks artfully decayed.

'You're in the Museum now - and ANYTHING can happen!'
Goldie Roth lives in the city of Jewel, where impatience is a sin and boldness is a crime. But Goldie is both bold and impatient. She runs away to the mysterious Museum of Dunt, where she meets a boy named Toadspit and discovers dangerous secrets. A monstrous brizzlehound stalks the museum's corridors, and only a thief can find the way through its strange, shifting rooms.
Goldie and Toadspit have a talent for thieving. Which is just as well, because the treacherous Fugleman has his own plans for the museum, plans that threaten the lives of everyone Goldie loves. And it will take a very bold thief to stop him.
A thrilling tale of action and adventure.






Opening The Keepers is like taking the first step on an amazing adventure into a fantasy world. Magic springs off the very first page, as the reader is drawn into an enchanting universe where children are chained to Guardians, museums come alive, characters communicate with fingertalk, and people become nothingness.

Lian Tanner weaves the city of Jewel with a pen dipped in magic, and interlaced threads of originality and imagination. Her writing takes after Diana Wynne Jones, in that a captivating storyline, fantastical universes and magical abilities are  intertwined into a story that filled my mind with wonder.

While The Keepers is aimed at a younger age group that mine, it holds appeal to older readers too. It seemed to me that every chapter brought strange and unexpected possibilities, with a cast of characters that were unique and dynamic. The concept and setting are sensationally original, making for a story that all children will love to read.

One thing that I didn't like was the casual use of capitals in dialogue and exaggerated repetition of letters in words such as "HRRRRRRRMMMMMMMMMM". While onomatopoeia is expressive in moderation, I felt that the excessive use in this book is unnecessary. Vivid use of language devices such as similes and metaphors could have been used instead to give children a better sense of proper language convention.


However, The Keeper hold much potential as a classroom text, teaching children values of compassion, bravery and justice, while exposing them to a fantasy world. There are also interactive online games and support material on the official website that are wonderful supplements to the book.

Rating:

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Review: Six by Karen Tayleur

Six by Karen Tayleur

Genre: Contemporary > Teen Issues (Australian Setting)
Age Group: 13+
Publisher: Black Dog Books
Release Date: October 2010
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
ISBN-13: 9781742031552

Cover love? 
It's a powerful glossy cover, that conveys the message of the book well. With a strong suburban theme, and a striking letter, this cover completely captured my attention.
  
  





"One car. One after-party.
Six people, six points of view.
But only one outcome."


Wow - this book is an amazing tale from a suburban Australian view. Sarah Lum and her friends are in Year 12, where life is hectic, full of surprises and suspicion. But when they discover a dead body in the woods, the haunting presence follows them back into their lives, where everything meshes into a complex tangle that brings six of them together In a car. After a late-night party. With only one possible outcome.

To my knowledge, Karen Tayleur grew up in the Western side of Melbourne, a few suburbs near where I live. And that's why I could relate so closely to this book. Every little detail was very Australian- the Rock Eisteddford (an interschool dance competition), Year 12 Formal (Australian for 'prom'), final year exams, First footy (Australian Rules Football) teams, class duxes - inherent parts of our Aussue culture that I could identify with.

And while Karen doesn't specifically place the story in Melbourne, I think that's where she drew inspiration from. It's an amazingly refreshing change to take a step back from the American culture that surrounds us, even in books, to read an Australian novel, a story that I related thoroughly to. Karen has even gotten every the aspect of teen life right - the high expectations of parents, the late-night partying, the complicated family life.

This book was just so dynamic. Every chapter had a little excerpt from a nursery rhyme that matched the plot in that chapter. The point of view also alternated, and narration varied between a distinguishable first-person-perspective and an omnipresent third-person-perspective. There was past tense, present tense and future tense. The format would alter between flashbacks, narration, vlogs, and diary entries.

I had to read chapter a couple of times, counting everyone down and finding out what happened to each of them. What had happened? And when the truth dawned on me, my mouth fell into a little 'o' and I silently screamed and put my face into my hands, nearly crying. Because it was brilliant. Absolutely brilliant, with a chilling, gripping ending.

I don't know how she managed to squeeze the beauty of this story into a book of 200 pages, but Karen Tayleur did. And the result is a beautiful, haunting tale that is intelligently written and perfectly captures Australian teen life. A tale that everyone should read.

Rating: 




Links:
Six at Black Dog Books | Karen Tayleur's Blog | Karen Tayleur's Official Website

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Author News: Michael Grant Down Under

Awesome news!

  
Michael Grant, the best-selling author of the phenomenally successful Gone series, will be visiting Australia and New Zealand from October to November.

The man:
Michael Grant
 Don't know what the Gone series are? 
Perhaps you've seen these covers around...
AUS/UK Covers
 Or these ones?
US Covers
NSW: Wed 27th Oct 2010 -  Sun 31st Oct 2010
VIC: Wed 3rd Nov 2010 - Sat 6th Nov 2010
NZ: Tues 9th Nov 2010 - Sat 13th Nov 2010

Full details here.
(He's also doing school tours.)

Check out a video from Michael Grant:
(The Vegemite song is hilarious - gosh, I remember singing that song in primary school,
one of the most embarassing moments of my life!) 


Visit his blog and twitter.

It sounds so awesome - I'll definitely be there if I can.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Review: Demon Princess by Michelle Rowen


Demon Princess by Michelle Rowen
Genre: Paranormal > Demons
Age Group: 12+
Publishers: Allen & Unwin (AU), Bloomsbury (USA)
Release Date: February 2010
Format: Paperback B, 288 pages
ISBN-13:   9780802795342

Cover love? 
It's definitely some eye-catching chick-lit eye candy, and I heart the contrast between the two words in the title text. But the blue is too electric, and I think the model, plus her horns look too obviously photoshopped into the background.
  
 
Nikki's just found out that her long-lost father is the demon king of the Shadowlands - the world that separates and protects us from the Underworld. When she is brought there by the mysterious - and surprisingly cute - messenger Michael, she learns that her father is dying and wants her to assume the throne. To complicate matters, a war is brewing between the Shadowlands and the Underworld, her half-demon qualities are manifesting, and her growing feelings for Michael are completely forbidden. And back in 'our' world, the Winter Dance is looming... what's a teenage demon princess to do?








"That guy is staring at you."

Yep, that first line had me hooked. Reading Demon Princess is like sinking into a relaxating read that keeps a light, happy smile on your face all the way through. Michelle Rowen writes with a light, bubbly aura that radiates throughout the story. While she keeps the story moving forward with dialogue, she builds up the various settings in a way that captivates the reader's imagination.

In the beginning, some characters and parts of the plot were very clichéd and obvious, and some lines were very shallow. But by the middle of the book, I had effortlessly stepped into Nikki's shoes and enjoyed the thrill and adventure with her. Nikki's growth throughout the short time frame in the story is believable and marvelous.

I loved that while the story was within the paranormal genre, Michelle Rowen took a new direction by building a new world with a unique twist on demon mythology, placing other fantastical elements into the play as well. The plot was fast-paced, and quite predictable towards the end, but it made for a classic, enjoyable read about discovering and embracing the "demon" within. 


My fingers trembled to flip the pages faster in anticipation throughout the book, and my eyes were a blur afterwards. It's a story that will make you squeal, squirm and giggle. Demon Princess is a perfect story for those who love a light, funny read about demons, magic, royalty, hot guys and forbidden love!

Demon Princess 2: Reign Check is out now, and absolutely on my list of books to read!

Rating:

Monday, 18 October 2010

Review: Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap

   Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap

Genre: Historical Romance
Age Group:Young Adult
Publisher:Penguin Australia
Release Date: 25th October, 2010
Format: Paperback , 348 pages
ISBN-13:  9780143203704

Cover love? Absolutely gorgeous and stunning - I love the light and creamy colour scheme. The text is perfectly placed. One thing though - Anastasia's hair is blonde at the top, and brown at the bottom, which I find strange.






The Romanov family have been ousted from the imperial palace by the Bolsheviks and exiled to Siberia.  Life as a privileged member of the Russian Royalty has come to a shattering end.
As the debate about their future rages within the ranks of the newly empowered, Anastasia, youngest daughter of the Tsar Nicholas, discovers love – and with it all the secrets and danger this brings into her strange new life.
Will the strength of that love be enough to save Anastasia from her tragic fate?  What happened in the last days of the Romanov family?  And did Russia's last princess live in love after all?
Inspired by the masteries that have long surrounded the last days of the Romanov family, Susanne Dunlap's new novel is a haunting vision of the life – and imagined love story – of Russia's last princess.





In a sentence: A gorgeous, intricately rich book that I devoured to the very last page.
compelling, fascinating,

Anastasia's Secret is a stunningly accurate recreation of the teenage years, also the final years, of the life of Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, the last princess of Russia. The novel begins with a detailed Cast of Characters, highlighting the main players and providing some background information with a list of nicknames, a useful reference throughout the whole book.

Susanne Dunlap beautifully evoked an image of Russia's royalty. Anastasia's sincerity really came through to me, and I truly felt as if I could relate to her. Her intelligence and perception was a vital element to the story, and Dunlap's writing transformed into a clear running film in my head.

The accuracy to which Anastasia's Secret was reimagined epitomizes the one of the reasons I adore historical fiction. While what you are reading is partially a piece of fiction, it is also comprised mainly of truths, facts that the author has constructed his or her interpretation around. Susanne Dunlap gave a beautiful and expressive voice to Grand Duchess Anastasia.

The immersion of Sascha into the story was a perfect move. It gave Anastasia's life a focus, and provided the perfect plotline. This secret "other side" to Anastasie's life was a daring, dangerous adventure, and was a thrilling romance to read and experience.

Plotwise, the other members of the Romanov family were accurate to their memory, and I developed a lot of affection for Marie, Anastasia's closest sister.Their story was completely immersive to the very last page, and at the end, I found myself going back through the book and rereading passages I loved, over and over.

Susanne Dunlap chose to cut the story off at a point where I thought the most pivotal part of the book was about to occur (highlight to read: Anastasia's death). I felt that the inclusion of this part would have made for a flawless historical novel. The book hung precariously, and was ended by an afterword that was informative, but not quite what I wanted. I loved Susanne Dunlap's afterthoughts, though.

Reading Anastasia's story also gave me the interest to research her and find out more. I was stunned to find how much knowledge about the Russian family I had already learnt through Susanne Dunlap. Her thorough research, combined with the beautiful voice the story is told with, makes this book an invaluable and timeless read.


Rating:

Friday, 15 October 2010

Author Interview: Jessica Shirvington

Jessica Shirvington is the debut author of Embrace, the first in an heart-racing new series centered around the dangerous life of Violet Eden as she discovers that she is a guardian angel, locked in an ancient battle between light and dark forces.

Today, Jessica has kindly agreed to do an author interview with me for Book Couture. So please give her a warm welcome, grab a mug of hot drinky goodness and get to know Jessica. She's an absolutely gorgeous and amazing person!

Take a peek at my review to read my thoughts on Embrace.
For more information, visit Hachette's website:



Tina: Could you tell us a little bit about yourself? What were you doing before you became an author?

Jessica: I am Sydney based. My husband and I married almost 10 years ago and we lived in London for about 6 years where I had a fine foods import and distribution company. While we were there we had our eldest daughter, Sienna. Once she was born we realised that we wanted to raise our family in Sydney so I sold the business and we moved back. Since then, we have added to the family with another beautiful girl, Winter (Winnie), who is now 2yrs. I have enjoyed a couple of years as a full time Mum and it was exactly what I needed. It gave me a chance to have precious time with my girls and make decisions based on what I actually wanted to do. It was after having Winnie and that I started seriously writing.


Tina: What inspired you to become an author, and how long have you been writing?

Jessica: Reading inspired me to become an author. Like you, I love nothing more than to curl up with a good book. I love the escape, imagining characters in my own way, there is something secretly delicious in reading. One day, instead of starting to read a new book - I started to write one.
I have been writing my whole life. Through school and since I have always loved the art of writing and expression, but in terms of tackling a novel - Embrace is my first attempt. 


Tina: And what a wonderful book your first novel has come to be! In your opinion, what is the greatest joy of being an author?

Jessica: Not having to hold back. I think in life, we are always thinking about everything we are doing. Being careful not to say the wrong things or expose ourselves too much. Writing is an absolute liberation!


Tina: How did you come up with the concept of Embrace? And the unique twist on angel mythology?

Jessica: The first element of Embrace started with the name Violet. I have always loved the name and it just came naturally. From there, I researched. As explained in the book, Violet is the inner most colour of the rainbow. I thought that was beautiful - so then I researched the rainbow and came across different beliefs that describe the rainbow as the link between heaven and earth. I thought that was pretty beautiful too. Then my father-in-law gave me an article of angelology and ... I was gone. The research was huge and so incredibly interesting that the twists just seemed to present themselves.


Tina: I loved the beautiful writing in Embrace - the way every word had a purpose, and your careful selection of them to subtly hint to the reader what was really happening between Violet and Pheonix. Does your wonderful writing come naturally, or does perfection come through many revisions?

Jessica: Thank you. I think the answer to that question is, both. Some chapters are very similar to how they were in my original draft - others have been re-written several times to get them right.


Tina: What was the writing and publishing process like for you?

Jessica: Exciting. The entire process was amazing, mostly because I had no expectations. I started writing this story one page at a time. I didn't put massive expectations on myself - I had no need to. In fact, when I started I wasn't even sure I'd be able the complete a chapter, but 6 weeks later, I'd written a story that I had a feeling might actually be good. After redrafts and lots of deliberation I sent the manuscript to my agent, Selwa Anthony and from there it went to Hachette. It all happened quickly and I had a great team of people around me that made it all happen.


Tina: Embrace has just recently been released. How are you feeling about this?

Jessica: Relieved, nervous, excited. When something means so much to you, of course you want other people to see it in a similar light.


Tina: Has your husband's career impacted upon your own new career as an author?

Jessica: Not really, other than that people look at the name and think - where do I know that name from?
Matt is a huge support. The day I told him I thought this thing I was writing might actually become a book, he didn't look at me like I was crazy, he just said, 'That's great honey - you'd write a wicked book.' I'm very lucky. 

Tina: Is there anything you hope readers can gain from reading Embrace?

Jessica: A great escape.

Tina: If you could have three wishes, what would they be?

Jessica:
1. That my children are always safe and well.
2. That my life and love with my family and husband continues just as it is.
And really - those two will do it for me, but if you insist ...
3. That there was a magical book that when you opened it - the story you most want to read at that moment magically appears on the pages. (It would save a lot of poor selections!)

Tina: And finally, can you tell us anything about the highly-awaited sequels to Embrace?

Jessica: There will be 4 books in the series. The second book, Enticed, will be out in the first half of 2011.
The hunt is on for the Scripture. More tough choices, more folklore, new characters, unlikely allies, lots of surprises - and of course, Lincoln and Phoenix are right in the middle of it.

Tina:Thank you, Jessica, for your wonderful answers! It was great to hear about your family, inspirations, writing and hopes. I wish you every bit of success in the future, and look forward to reading more of The Violet Eden Chapters.
And to all audiences, I hope you enjoyed reading Jessica Shirvington's interview, and above all, enjoy reading Embrace.

Links:
Embrace Official Website | Goodreads | Hachette AU website | Book Couture's Review

Places to Buy:
Australia: Borders | Angus & Robertson | The Nile
International: The Book Depository

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Review: Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

 Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Series: Book 1 of 4 - sequel Enticed coming 2011
Genre: Paranormal > Angels
Age Group: Young Adult - 13+
Publisher:Hachette Australia
Release Date: October 2010
Format: Paperback , 288 pages
ISBN: 9780734411846
Source: Hachette Australia
Cover love? 
I love the way the purple background look like wings, as they suit the creatures in the book perfectly. But Violet doesn't get wings in this book, so it's a little misleading. The girl's stance suits the themes in this book though, and the colour scheme (violet, obviously,) is perfect.




Violet Eden is dreading her seventeenth birthday dinner. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. The one bright spot is that Lincoln will be there. Sexy, mature and aloof, he is Violet’s idea of perfection. But why does he seem so reluctant to be anything more than a friend?

After he gives her the world’s most incredible kiss – and then abandons her on her front doorstep – Violet is determined to get some answers. But nothing could have prepared her for Lincoln’s explanation: he is Grigori – part angel and part human – and Violet is his eternal partner.

Without warning, Violet’s world is turned upside down. She never believed in God, let alone angels. But there’s no denying the strange changes in her body ... and her feelings for Lincoln. Suddenly, she can’t stand to be around him. Luckily, Phoenix, an exiled angel, has come into her life. He’s intense and enigmatic, but at least he never lied to her.

As Violet gets caught up in an ancient battle between dark and light, she must choose her path. The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity...



Violet Eden's mother died at birth. Her father is barely ever present. All she has is her best friend, Steph, and her friend Lincoln, who has been teaching her fighting skills. But while Violet has feelings for Lincoln, romance seems to be the furthest thing in his mind. But when Violet turns seventeen, and is given a mysterious letter that her mother wrote before her death, she feels that something is amiss. Her mother's letter is filled with warning and encouragement.

Violet soon learns that there is something lying beneath the surface of reality, an ancient truth so dangerous to man, that it must be kept a sacred secret. Violet must make a crucial decision about it, a decision that could consume her being, and change her life forever.

Embrace is a dark and heart-racing tale, filled with action and secrets that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and reading deep into the night. The storyline is one of discovery and revelation about another world outside your own.The discovery that you might just be a guardian angel, with a power so dangerous, that others will do anything to hunt you down.

While the paranormal plot line is eternally abundant, Jessica Shirvington's debut novel has something special. It's a combination of the badass-action of Vampire Academy, the complex love triangles of Twilight, and the angel mythology of Fallen, taken one step further. The mythology in Embrace is rich and detailed. Jessica Shirvington's research and knowledge of angel lore really comes through, as she builds a world in which angels can be seamlessly immersed. Historical events have been explained in the angelverse, and I particularly enjoyed the supplementary hierarchy of angels.

Shirvington's writing is incredibly easy to sink into. Violet's personality is not perfect, but it's realistic, and relatable. She grows and changes throughout the story, and makes several decisions that I don't particularly agree with. However, this was a crucial part of the plot, and for the story to be what it was, I couldn't imagine it any other way. Consequently, the subject matter is quite dark at times, and so I feel that this book should be geared towards more mature audiences within the young adult genre.

One truly wonderful aspect was the way Shirvington showed us the subtle resistance in Violet's mind under the influence of Phoenix. While outwards, she seemed calm and in love, the reader could truly sense what was happening below the surface. I found that the way specific words were used to contrast Violet's relationship with Lincoln and her relationship with Phoenix was truly awe-inspiring. Shirvington has achieved, in her debut novel, something truly amazing. To enable readers to be aware of the innermost happenings in the narrator's mind, is magical.

Writing, character expansion and subtle storytelling are very strong points in this story. However, I would have enjoyed seeing more development in Violet's powers as an angel. While she developed as a character, I would have enjoyed seeing physical changes that augment her transition  Perhaps a little glossary or explanation of the classes of angels would have provided more enjoyable background information. But I am anticipating that this will be in the sequels. Which is why I am biting my nails in anticipation of Enticed, out 2011.

Embrace is a story of change, fate and love, presented with the writing and subtlety of a great storyteller. An excellent debut that is a must-read for all paranormal lovers.

Rating:

International:

Calling for Guest Posts

That's it, you heard it right! I'm putting out an International call for guest posts.

As most of you (hopefully) should know, I'm still in school, and that means that my exams are coming up within this month. This entire month plus one extra week will be a busy time for me, with end-of-year exams, revision, sport training, extra-curricular activities, homework, you name it. And that's the reason for my partial inactivity this week..with emails, posts and reviews. I do have three books I'd like to review by the end of this week though.
But I'd like to keep my blog somewhat active. I might have to cut down on posts a little, but I'll still try to have one to two reviews a week.

What I am hoping though, is to turn my inactivity into something good! I'd like to feature YOU on my blog. You can be a blogger, publisher, author, anyone really. 

I'm looking for guest posts on:
  • Anything anywhere within the realm of books
    - reviews, upcoming books, your past favourites, top ten list - anything you can think of.
  • Tips/Advice/Guides/Technical tutorials
(Generally, posts relevant to my blog.)

Maybe no one will respond, but I'd really love it if you were willing to help me out, by guest posting, 
and spreading the word about yourself, of course. I hope to continue doing this after my exams as well. So this is an ongoing call.

 If you're interested in guesting post, email me at readingcouture@gmail.com.I'll get back to you as soon as possible and we can discuss the details.


Sunday, 10 October 2010

Tina's Tutorials #9: Awesome Text Converter

Hey everyone! It's 10/10/10 and I think that merits something special. I was experimenting on something special, and I found this wonderful text converter from Messenger Freak. I played around with it a little bit and got it to show up on a blog post. How awesome? The conventional use is for MSN Messenger, but you can use it anywhere. I'm filing it under "tricks".


Wacky Text Converter    

This text converter allows you to convert your normal text into ten different styles of awesome text.
Simply type in your text and the converter will automatically generate text for you. Copy and paste it into your blog posts or anywhere else that supports Unicode.


Spread the word...share the love:

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Review: Will Buster by Odo Hirsh

  Will Buster and the Gelmet Helmet by Odo Hirsch



Series: Will Buster Series Book 1 of 3
Genre: Science Fiction Adventure
Age Group: Children's, 8+
Publisher:Puffin (an imprint of Penguin)
Release Date:June 2006
Format: Paperback , 324 pages
Source:Library
ISBN: 9780143302834

Cover love? The copy that I read had a shiny purple cover, and was very awesome. However, I prefer this cover because it is more reflective of the action and adventure in this novel. It's also more enticing and scifi-ish





'Come closer, leaders. Come closer and see.'
The children gathered around. The Professor was holding something that looked like a helmet. But it wasn't shaped like any helmet they had ever seen before . . .
One Monday, Will Buster is sitting through another dull history lesson about the Wizard Wars of the 21st century, when he discovers that he has been selected for the opportunity of a lifetime. Or that's what his parents seem to think.
A high-speed HoverPod whisks Will away to Professor Alphonse Gelmet's Academy of Leadership Excellence. Here, special helmets effortlessly deliver information into the students' brains. Without doing any work at all, they'll become encyclopaedias of knowledge!
But what is it exactly that Will and his classmates are learning? And who's to say the Helmet isn't doing other things to their minds?
- from Penguin's site




I have a confession to make: I have shamelessly read this book more than three times (which is saying something, because I only mean to flick through the pages, but I end up reading the whole book in one go), through several years too. And the reason behind this is because Will Buster is so fantasmagorically amazing!

For lovers of sci-fi, and new converts (from the Hunger Games), Will Buster is a piece of children's fiction set in the far-off future, where the 21st Century had been dominated by the Wizard (Harry Potter induced) Wars, and children learn this history through computer teachers. People whiz around the air in HoverPods, and are served food by RoboChefs.

When Will Buster is given a mysterious scholarship to Professor Gelmet's Academy for Leadership, he is mystefied to learn that they will "learn" through helmets that feed knowledge directly into their minds. In other words, no studying or learning is required. A dream come true, right? Will thinks so...until he learns that something deeply sinister is happening at the school. His friends' personalities change, and students are mysteriously expelled as Will begins to discover the mind-altering truth...

I've always been a lover of sci fi, and so the concept of this book inevitably drew me in. Odo Hirsch is well-known for his Hazel  Green series, and even when stepping out of his normal genre, he writes with the exceptional skill of a children's author - he uses simple concepts and fantastic imagination to immerse complex themes and an excellent story into children's minds.

The setting - in the futurem - is excellently drawn. Hirsch focuses primarily on painting his world through new technology: intelligent Robots, futuristic games, the Helmet, the HoverPod modes of transportation. This was imaginatively and fantastically thorough. However, this story could have been more amazing with expansions into other various aspects of the future with expansion on, for example, culture, language and world affairs. But it's a children's story, and so this is understandable.

The plot behind the series was also brilliant - it's a little Harry Potter, but instead of fantasy, it's science ficiton. It's also a little Ender's Game, but where EG is an adult book where child geniuses are manipulated by conniving adults at Battle School, Will Buster is a children's book where children are manipulated by conniving adults armed with Helmets into becoming geniuses.

Will Buster takes a good theme, gives it a little mix, spreads on  icing, adorns it with chocolate sprinkles and transform a great idea into a fantastic and addictive story.One of my all-time favourite children's books.


Rating:





3/10/2010 - 258 followers

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Wishlist Wednesday 6/10


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, where bloggers can spotlight and share "upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating".

My "Waiting on's" are a little different – I post a gallery of upcoming books I'm anticipating, and give links to the descriptions and websites. So this post will be called "Wishlist Wednesday" from now on, but I will still be linking up with Waiting on Wednesday.

Wonderful "waiting on"s:



Forever by Maggie Steifvater – the beautiful cover came out just last week, and I'm reading Linger at the moment which is proving to be very enticing) – can't wait for this one!
۩Maggie Steifvater's Website

۩Maggie Steifvater's Blog


Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld – (the sequel to Leviathan by the highly-acclaimed Australian author Scott Westerfeld, of the Uglies series.) I haven't read Scott Westerfeld yet, but this series is intriguing, and a total deviation from his normal genre.
۩Scott Westerfeld's Website/Blog


Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen – A new series by the author of The Luxe. I've read some great reviews, and who doesn't love a historical romance?
۩Book Website
Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – Aah. Who isn't excited for more juice on the Casters, and Lena and Ethan's doomed relationship?
۩ See my review of Beautiful Creatures on the Penguin 'Between the Lines' website.
۩Penguin Site

۩Book Extract



WOMG (Wow + omg) "Waiting Ons":


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – There are raving reviews on this one! A love-triangle story with delicious French guys…I haven't been this excited about contemporary since Meg Cabot.
۩๑ Stephanie Perkins' Website

Across the Universe by Beth Revis – Methinks dystopia is the new vampire? (Yay! Go Sci-fi.) I sure can't wait for Across the Universe, especially not after reading this (uncorrected proof) sample first chapter.
۩Sample first chapter

۩Book Website

۩Beth Revis' Blog

۩Beth Revis' Website


Matched by Ally Condie – (The book with the whopping 7 FIGURE DEAL) And of course, I'm beside myself with excitement at the upcoming release of Matched in November 2010. I've read the ARC…but I can't wait to read the finished copy, because if the ARC is already breathtaking, how out-of-this-world brilliant will the finished version be?
۩Listen to an excerpt of Matched read by Kate Simses. I loved it – she's got the perfect voice for Cassia.
۩Ally Condie's Website
۩๑ EXCERPT OF MATCHED!



What are you waiting on?

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Wednesday/Thursday memes:
 
 
 
 



5 Oct 2010- 291 followers

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Awards Edition #3

Life Is Good Award


Rules: 
  1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
  2. Answer the 10 survey questions.
  3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
  4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award.

Questions:
1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
 Hmm, I don't blog completely anonymously - there's so much info about me on my blog - that I've revealed in the About Me section, in guest posts, and in my Behind the Blog series. And I like it that way - it's important that readers know the personality behind the blog.

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:
LOL - I'm sure that every argument with my parents is a proof of stubbornness. My stubborn side isn't really all that "inner", but it's not as strong as other people's.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
I see someone that I am happy with. I see myself as someone quite average and plain. I don't stand out in any way, but I'm fine with that.

4. What is your favourite summer cold drink?
Spiders!! Have you ever tried a spider (otherwise known as Ice Cream Sodas)? Put a scoop of ice cream into a glass, and add soda (for example, Coca Cola.)

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?
I read! Reading has always been one of my favourite pastimes, so whenever I need an escape, I delve into a book.

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
There's definitely a lot that I still want to do with my life - check out this post here.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever , the shy person, or always ditching?

I still attend school, and I would classify myself as the quiet, shy girl that everyone thinks is smart...but isn't really. Here's the thing - because I wear glasses, work in class, and hand in my homework on time, most people automatically assume that I'm smart. Not true, people, not true.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?
I can't think of a particularly poignant moment at this time - there have been so many significant and touching moments for me, so I can't pinpoint a particular one.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?
I think that it is - everything I write on my blog comes from my heart. A lot of myself comes through in everything I say. But this is primarily a book review blog, where I talk about books, so I suppose I am comfortable doing both.

10. If you had the choice to sit down and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?
Seeing my blog is called Book Couture, and I blog about books, I'll leave that up to you to figure out. ;)

Recipients:
Here are the lovely people with wonderful blogs I am passing on this award to:
(Notice that I've done this in alphabetical order - so there's no discrimination. I tried not to pick people who had received this award before.)

Note: I would love it if you accepted the award I passed to you, but you are absolutely under no obligation to pass it on. It would also make my day, and quite a few other people's days if you did, though. *winks*



Versatile Blogger Award
- From 5 lovely ladies:
Hafsah @ Icey Books
Anna @ Books to Brighten Your Mood
Fiction Spark
Brittany @ Nice Girls Read Books 
Kristina @ Frazzled Book Nommer

Wow! I'm flabbergasted. Thank you all so much for thinking of me - I really appreciate the award.

Rules:
  1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award.
  2. Write 7 things about yourself that other people might not know.
  3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
  4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award.
7 Things About Me:
1. I've always wanted a pet puppy.
2. I'm always listening to my iPod. Well, not always, but you know what I mean.
3. My favourite fruit is mango, and jack fruit.
4. People often mistake my age - some will think I'm in university/college, some will think I'm in seventh grade (Year 7). It's unimaginably frustrating.
5. I often crack my ankles - weird, I know!
6. Sometimes I'll sleep with one leg outside the covers. Do you do this too? There's even a fanpage for it on Facebook.
7. I have been to two continents - Oceania and Asia.


Recipients:
Here are the lovely people with wonderful blogs I am passing on this award to:
(Notice that I've again done this in alphabetical order - so there's no discrimination. I tried not to pick people who had received this award before.)

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks very much, Cozy Reader! Check out my previous two acceptances here and here.

I wasn't thinking of passing this award again, but I knew I had to give it to Hafsah from Icey Books - http://www.iceybooks.com/, because her blog is absolutely amazing, and she did that wonderful banner for the Book Contest Directory you can see in the sidebar. She also did a background and our header, helping us out heaps. She's a wonderful gal and totally deserves this.




3/10/2010 - 258 followers
5/10/2010 - 289 followers