Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Epic List of Book Crushes

There are some seriously awesome books that are coming out in the near future that I am bursting into spontaneous dances of excitement for. (Trust me, I'm a horrible dancer, it's not pretty.) But anyway, here they are:

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
If you haven’t read Anna and the French Kiss, beg, borrow, steal a copy (from a friend who wouldn't mind, of course). Because Stephanie Perkin’s addictive debut will have you falling in love with the gorgeous, imperfect Etienne, on a whirlwind year in the city of lurve, France. 

Lola and the Boy Next Door is the companion novel, and it’s coming out 3rd October 2011! I can't wait to fall into another funny, beautiful contemporary romance again.

From the cute cover, I can imagine that Lola has a LOT of spunk, especially with that purple hair. And that boy...*swoon*...


Crossed (Matched #2) by Ally Condie  
Matched is the first book in this dystopian trilogy by Ally Condie. It draws the reader into a beautifully crafted world where girls and boys are paired to who the Society deems to be their perfect "match". Cassia is thankful to find that her Match is her handsome best friend Xander, but her whole world is thrown into doubt when she sees begins to tentatively fall in love with the mysterious Ky...

I'm really looking forward to reading Crossed, to discover what happens to Cassia next. Ally Condie's take on a dystopian future ironically has similar references to same kind of restrictions we see in historical novels - the arranged marriage and oppressive ruling. At the same time, the narrative is gentle and beautiful - a wonderful read. 

Crossed comes out 31st October 2011.

Bloodsong by Rhiannon Hart
 I've heard nothing but praises for this fantasy novel. It's got a beautiful dark, gothic cover that looks a little spooky, but stunning nonetheless. Here's the blurb:
When her sister becomes betrothed to a prince in a northern nation, Zeraphina’s only consolations are that her loyal animal companions are by her side – and that her burning hunger to travel north is finally being sated.
Already her black hair and pale eyes mark her out as different, but now Zeraphina must be even more careful to keep her secret safe. Craving blood is not considered normal behaviour for anyone, let alone a princess. So when the king’s advisor, Rodden, seems to know more about her condition than she does, Zeraphina is determined to find out more.
Zeraphina must be willing to sacrifice everything if she’s to uncover the truth – but what if the truth is beyond her worst nightmares?

Craving blood? Oooo....I hope she's not a vampire, but I haven't read a fantasy for a while and this one sounds like one that'll take the reader on a real adventure.

The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies #2) by Pittacus Lore

Boys and girls will be captivated by the first book, I Am Number Four. It's dynamic, action-packed, and set in a world where there are two types of aliens who live secretly amongst humans on Earth.
There's the good guys (Loriens) that look like humans, but have supernatural powers. Oh, and they're on the run from another race of bad aliens (Mogadorians) who destroyed their planet and are hellbent on destroying Earth as well.

It's a bit cliche, and the writing isn't really eloquent, but the action scenes translated well in the movie adaptation starring Alex Pettyfer and Dianna Agron.

Book 2 just came out in August, and I'm pumped to readthe next part of this gripping series.

Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Jackson Pearce wrote a dark, sexy and absolutely engrossing retelling of Red Riding Hood with Sisters Red last year. This cover is pretty spooky, and the face you can just make out scares the hell out of me.

It's a retelling of Hansel and Gretel, I'm excited to see how Jackson Pearce remakes the fairytale through Sweetly, which just came out in August.

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

I adore Melina Marchetta's books, especially Looking for Alibrandi and On the Jellicoe RoadFroi of the Exiles is the sequel to Finnikin of the Rock, and I desperately want to read both! I wonder how Melina Marchetta, wonderful author as she is, will be able to step away from writing contemporary novels to fantasy.

Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home. Or so he believes.

Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been trained roughly and lovingly by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper.  But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds.  Here he encounters a damaged people who are not who they seem, and must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad Princess.

And in this barren and mysterious place, he will discover that there is a song sleeping in his blood, and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.

Other books on my radar:
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan - A sci-fi book set in space, said to be similar to Across the Universe?
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater - I loved The Wolves of Mercy Falls, fingers crossed that this series will be just as enchanting.
Legend by Marie Lu - A dystopian debut that promises to be as good as The Hunger Games. Eee!! 'Nuff said. 
Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson - I haven't read Maureen Johnson, but a paranormal murder mystery set in London? Count me in.

Released books I want to read: 
Wolfborn by Sue Bursztynski - The lovely Sue is offering a free sample chapter of Wolfborn on her blog, and please, please do yourself a favour and head on over to check it out. It's starting out to be a really, really good fantasy/supernatural novel that I want more of.
Divergent by Veronic Roth- This one is another dystopian, and I've only heard awesome things about it.
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter - I loved Heist Society (#1), can't wait to see what happens to the feisty Kat.

So there we have it! A list of books that I've been spending hours researching (obviously my social life is very hectic...not), and getting VERY excited about. :D

What are some books you want to read?
Not just new/recent ones, but any that you've come across: classics, ones you haven't gotten around to...etc.
Feel free to list a couple. I'd love to see your thoughts!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Love and Loyality Run Deeper Than Blood
 Genre: Fantasy > Vampires
Age Group:Young Adult
Release Date: 23/08/2011
ISBN-13: 9781921518881

Sydney's blood in special.  That's because she's an alchemist - one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires.  They protect vampire secrets - and human lives.  But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists.  And now with her allegiances in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway.  But what unfolds is far worse.  Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding.  To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California.  The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires.  And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions and forbidden romance lurk both outside – and within – the school grounds.  Now that they're in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.


When I pick up a book I’ve been longing to read, a wonderful and indescribable feeling builds up inside me.  The sight of the title and author printed on the beautiful cover spreads a grin across my face, and the feel of printed pages running between my fingers makes my heart race. But most of all, the sense of excitement and anticipation for the story that will unfold epitomises the very reason I love to read. Because for the time that I am reading this precious bound form of ink and paper, I am lifted from the ordinary into a world of magic and infinite possibility.

And Bloodlines by Richelle Mead is one of those rare books which does exactly that.
I’m sure many VA fans were busting for the release of Bloodlines, but at the same time, dubious as to how the story would unfold from Sydney’s fresh perspective. But honest to goodness, Richelle Mead does not disappoint. Bloodlines is another embodiment of Mead’s power to draw the reader in with intricate plotlines, a unique set of characters and a captivating world.

Mead’s writing is deceptively simple and straightforward, but somewhere within the paragraphs, she weaves a story that immediately captures the reader’s imagination and transports them to another world. This intricately crafted alternate universe, where a complex world of vampires live secretly alongside the human world, is so intriguing and fantastical that it has spawned six books – comprising the Vampire Academy series – and now this new spinoff series, Bloodlines.

The first few chapters start off with little action, but Mead quickly builds up a vivid depiction of the enticing vampire world fans of VA have come to love. Sydney is a very multi-faceted character, but quite the polar opposite of Rose. Where Rose is outgoing, strong-willed and completely badass, Sydney is an intelligent observer, somewhat na├»ve socially, but with no less determination and passion. 

Sydney’s mission to protect Jill Dragomir is accompanied by the witty and slightly unstable Adrian, and Jill’s guardian, Eddie. I love the way Mead builds on these previously minor characters while weaving new relationships between them. However, the forbidden love story at the heart of Vampire Academy was an enchanting, and irreplaceable part of the original series, and I can’t see a love story stronger than that one building up in Bloodlines. 
Book 2 comes out 1st of May 2012...
that's way too long to wait. Sigh.

But what completely drew me in, and had me reading late into the night, was the story itself. With Mead’s usual plot twists and mix of good and bad forces, this book stayed glued to my hands as its words carried my me away. I begged myself to stop reading at the end of every chapter, but every new twist was an invite drawing me back in. And Mead leaves readers hanging on a plot twist so big that I’m already counting down the days until the release of Book 2, The Golden Lily.

If you’re a girl (age 13 and up), RUN OUT NOW AND GET YOUR HANDS ON A COPY. While Bloodlines is no Vampire Academy (not yet anyway), it’s still an amazing, captivating book filled with dynamic characters, and carries a killer plotline that will keep your heart racing until the very last page.

Oh, and check out these awesome Bloodlines trailers.