31 January 2010

In My Mailbox #28

As always, this meme is hosted by The Story Siren.
I'm afraid this week can't quite match my last week's epic IMM, but it was great nonetheless! Here's what I got:

VERY LeFREAK by Rachel Cohn - The trailer was too cute and I really couldn't resist buying the book! Hope it lives up to the trailer though! :)

HOLLYWOOD IS LIKE HIGHSCHOOL WITH MONEY by Zoey Dean - I got this ARC from Callie @ Handle Like Hendrix. I refuse to get the finished copy because I can't stand the cover and this one's slightly better. :)

SPLENDOUR by Anna Godbersen
- Look at this cover! Just when you think the Luxe books can't get any prettier, this happens! Drop dead gorgeous!

I can't wait to see what everyone else got! :)

30 January 2010

RIP, Salinger & thanks for writing The Catcher in the Rye!

I honestly wasn't planning on posting today as I'm really tired, but I sort of changed my mind after reading some of the posts about J. D. Salinger's passing, which was announced yesterday. I found out about it on Twitter and I can't say I was terribly heartbroken personally, but I do acknowledge the loss of a great writer who wrote of my favourite books ever: The Catcher in the Rye (based on this short story).
Yes, it's "a classic", but I don't think I would've given it a chance if it hadn't been sent to me by a certain someone back in early 2003, I think. ;) I guess it's just not the kind of book I'd usually pick up myself, but I'm so glad I was encouraged to give it a chance as it instantly became one of my all-time favourite books. I remember reading it in one sitting and then re-reading it as soon as I was done. Back then I was 17 and very angsty so the book really, really spoke to me like nothing else I've read before. Back then it was just perfect. I've considered re-reading it now (at the ripe old age of 24!), but I'm slightly worried that I just wouldn't really be able to relate to it anymore since I've changed so much since then (some might even say I've had a personality transplant, lol) and I'm worried about being somewhat less impressed now ... Not very likely though as reading some of the amazing quotes from the book brought it all back to me and I still love Holden's words of wisdom! I remembered I actually posted a whole bunch of my favourite quotes on my old Livejournal thingy back in 2003 - I found them now and I thought I'd share some of them here! Enjoy! :)

"Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that's impossible, but it's too bad anyway."

"If you sat around there long enough and heard all the phonies applauding and all, you got to hate everybody in the world."

"You take somebody that cries their goddam eyes out over phony stuff in the movies, and nine times out of ten they're mean bastards at heart. I'm not kidding."

"Then I thought about the whole bunch of them sticking me in a goddam cemetary and all, with my name on this tombstone and all. Surrounded by dead guys. Boy, when you're dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river ot something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you're dead? Nobody."

"Goddam money. It always ends up making you blue as hell."

"I’m always saying ‘Glad to've met you’ to someone I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though."

"I felt like jumping out the window. I probably would’ve, too, if I’d been sure somebody’d cover me up as soon as I landed. I didn’t want a bunch of stupid rubbernecks looking at me when I was all gory."

''All you knew was, you were happy. You really were.''

''The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was.''

"They advertise in about a thousand magazines, always showing some hotshot guy on a horse jumping over a fence. Like as if all you ever did at Pencey was play polo all the time. I never saw a horse anywhere near the place."

"It said if you had any sores in your mouth that didn't heal pretty quickly, it was a sign that you probably had cancer. I'd had this sore on the inside of my lip for about two weeks. So I figured I was getting cancer. That magazine was some little cheerer upper."

"Game, my ass. Some game. If you get on the side where all the hot-shots are, then it's a game, all right - I'll admit that. But if you get on the other side, where there aren't any hot-shots, then what's a game about it? Nothing. No game."

'I'm just going through a phase right now. Everybody goes through phases and all, don't they?'

When I was all set to go, when I had my bags and all, I stood for a while next to the stairs and took a last look down the goddam corridor. I was sort of crying. I don't know why. I put my red hunting hat on, and turned the peak around to the back, the way I liked it, and then I yelled at the top of my goddam voice, 'Sleep tight, ya morons!'"

"Then I started reading this timetable I had in my pocket. Just to stop lying. Once I get started, I can go on for hours if I feel like it. No kidding. Hours."

"The goddam movies. They can ruin you. I'm not kidding."

"That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write 'fuck you' right under your nose."

"I always pick a gorgeous time to fall over a suitcase or something."

"I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those deaf-mutes. That way I wouldn't have to have any goddam stupid useless conversations with anybody. If anybody wanted to tell me something, they'd have to write it on a piece of paper and shove it over to me. They'd get bored as hell doing that after a while, and then I'd be through with having conversations for the rest of my life."

I mean, surely this book wins the The Book with the Best Quotes Ever Award? Just reading them again after all these years makes me smile. :)

So yeah, RIP, Salinger & thanks for writing such a great book!

Have *you* read The Catcher in the Rye and what did you think of it?

29 January 2010

Review: ENVY by Anna Godbersen *****

Two months have passed since the dramatic homecoming of Elizabeth Holland - Manhattan society eagerly awaits her return. But Elizabeth won't rejoin her sister Diana's side. The whispers are beginning - is all as it seems behind closed doors?
Further uptown, notorious cad Henry Schoonmaker and his new bride are the city's most celebrated couple. But despite the glittering diamond she wears, the newlyweds share little more than scorn for each other.
Manhattan's most envied residents appear to have everything they desire: wealth, beauty, happiness.
However, in a city where appearance is everything, sometimes the most practiced smiles hide the most scandalous secrets.

This is the third instalment in the amazing Luxe series and in case you haven't heard of it (tsk tsk!), it's a historical YA series which takes place mostly in New York City in 1899/1900 and tells the story of the scandalous lives of privileged teens. It's full of drama and so much fun to read! I've already reviewed the first two books, The Luxe and Rumours.

Some of you may already know that I absolutely LOVE this series! Someone somewhere called it 'mind candy' and that's exactly what it is - delicious & beautiful mind candy! Who could resist that? :)

So in the third book we still have Diana and Penelope "fighting" over the same man - one of them blackmailed him into commitment and the other one promised revenge. For a change a large part of story doesn't take place in Manhattan, but in Palm Beach, Florida, due to the retreat there organized by the newlywed Mr and Mrs Schoonmaker. All the important people are invited, including Elizabeth, who is still recovering from personal tragedy and just when her situation is starting to improve, she is hit by a double whammy when the person she thought she could rely on leaves her to serve the country and she receives some shocking news. She does what she feels is right and in the end also grabs a lifeline when she's offered one ...
Also in attendance is Carolina, the ex-maid turned socialite, whose holiday is cut short when she receives some surprising tragic news. She's forced to flee back home, where she first very low and then unexpectedly rises higher than ever and it'll certainly be interesting to see how she copes with everything.
Henry just can't seem to be with the girl he truly loves so he makes an abrupt decision to do what he thinks is right. The ending is rather shocking as his true love, the one he thought he lost, decides to leave everything behind and follow him across the ocean ...

Another great installment in this wonderful series, which is still full of (love) drama and scandals and deceit and blackmail and betrayal. As illustrated by the cover, the book also features beautiful dresses and, just like the others, is marked by this very flowery old-fashioned prose, which is not only a delight to read, but it also an excellent representation of all the excess and extravagance of the Gilded Age.
These books are honestly very fluffly (meant in a good way), but there is so much going on and the writing is so lovely that I just can't fault them, even if I do occassionally roll my eyes at some characters or the things they do, but in the end you just learn that it all adds to the story.

I'll be sad to see the story end in the next and last book, Splendour (my copy just arrived!), but I really can't wait to see what happens! As always, I'm expecting lots of drama and love and shocking little twists & turns, and I just hope the ending disappoint - but surely it won't, right?

overall rating: 5/5
plot: 4/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 5/5 | cover: 5/5

26 January 2010

Waiting On Wednesday + A Random Book Trailer! Ha!

So I thought I'd spice things up and post 2 in 1 - my latest Waiting On Wednesday (hosted by Should Be Reading) pick and a book trailer that I've been meaning to post for ages! They're completely unrelated and very different but I've decided to be wild tonight and combine two things that hardly match, ha! :)

Anyway, my current WoW pick is titled The Daughters of Fortune and it's out in MARCH 2010. I was recently notified about this book and I really hope I'll be able to review it soon. It sounds fantastic and just *look* at the cover - isn't this one of the most gorgeous covers ever? I love it! Here's what it's about:
William Melville's daughters are heiresses to the world's most exclusive fashion dynasty. Beautiful and rich, they are envied by all. But behind the glittering facade of their lives, each girl hides a dark secret that threatens to tear their family apart. Smart, ambitious Elizabeth knows how to manipulate every man she meets, except the one who counts: her father. Gentle, naive Caitlin, the illegitimate child, struggling to fit into a world of privilege while staying true to herself. Stunning, spoilt Amber, the party girl with a weakness for bad boys; more fragile than anyone realises. As each of them seeks to carve out her own destiny, Elizabeth, Caitlin and Amber face difficult choices, which will take them in wildly different directions. But as old wounds resurface and threaten to destroy the foundations of the Melville empire, their paths will cross again. Because the simple truth is that, no matter how far you go, you cannot escape the claims of family.

And now it's time for The Catchiest Book Trailer Ever! The first time I saw this trailer for PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles was on Meg Cabot's blog quite a while ago, and she warned everyone to click at their own risk as the song would be stuck in the head forever, lol. And yes, it's true, you'll just find yourself singing the song, it's so catchy.
One thing though, the trailer does make the book seem like a very fluffy read, whereas that's not the impression of the book I got from other people - so perhaps that's not really the best thing? I like the cover and I get a completely different feel from it, far more serious than the trailer, which is still pretty cute and one of my favourite book trailers! It doesn't really make me want to read the book as it doesn't seem like my kind of thing, but I've seen like a million glowing reviews everywhere so you might want to give it a try. :)
I'll shut up now and let you enjoy the trailer, but don't blame me if the song is stuck in your head for the rest of the day. :p

24 January 2010

Review: REMEMBER ME? by Sophie Kinsella *****

What if you woke up and your life was perfect?
Lexi wakes up in hospital, thinking she’s twenty-five with crooked teeth and a disastrous love life. But, to her disbelief, she learns it’s three years later – she’s a super-toned twenty-eight-year-old, her teeth are straight, she’s the boss of her department – and she’s married! To a good-looking millionaire! She can’t believe her luck – especially when she sees her stunning new loft apartment. And she’ll definitely have a fantastic marriage once she gets to know her husband again. He’s drawn up a ‘marriage manual’, which should help.
But soon she realizes her perfect life isn’t all it seems. Her old colleagues hate her. A rival is after her job. Then a dishevelled, sexy guy turns up…and lands a new bombshell.

What the **** happened to her? Will she ever remember? And what will happen if she does?

I first read this book as soon as it came out back in 2007 and absolutely loved it! However, I recently got a chance to re-read this book (several times, ahem) so I thought I might as well review it and spread the word about it for those who haven't read it yet (*gasp*) or are looking for a great light read to cheer them up. If you fit this description, then look no further, this is definitely the book for you!

Sophie Kinsella is probably my favourite author and I've loved every single book by her, but Remember Me? was possibly my favourite, even though that could easily change if I re-read any of her other books as they're all fantastic. What I love about these books is that they're *hilarious* and that's how Ms Kinsella earned her title of The Queen of Wit Lit, she's amazing!

I thought the premise of the book was really good. It opens with a scene where our 25-year-old heroine Lexi is going through a really tough time - she's standing in the pouring rain, trying to find a taxi and thinking about how she's the only one who didn't get a bonus at work, her cheap shoes are killing her, she has horrible teeth and hair, she lousy boyfriend stood her up and her dad recently died. She thinks things couldn't possibly get worse and then she slips in the rain and falls down some stairs ... When she wakes up in a hospital, she's stunned to realize that she's already 28 and that her life is perfect! She's married to a millionaire, she's the boss at work, she looks fantastic (fixed teeth, shiny hair, two sizes smaller, bigger lips), she apparently drives a Mercedes (that's why she ended up in a hospital) and everything couldn't be better! The only downside is that she's suffering from amnesia due to the traffic accident that got her in the hospital and she sort of can't remember what's been going on for the past three years! She's determined to find out, but before that she realizes that her life may not be as perfect as it seemed at first ... She's lost all her friends, she sucks at her job and she's not all that comfortable in this new skin of hers ...

Yes, yes, it's one of those "all that glitters isn't gold" or whatever stories, but this one's actually really enjoyable and far less ditzy than it may sound - it has real depth to it in both plot and character development. Plus did I mention it's pure comedy? :)

Sophie Kinsella always, repeat: always, comes up with the most fantastic characters ever. Her heroines have a tendency to be a bit silly sometimes, but they're also very warm and admirable characters. When they find themselves in a predicament, they fight to get to the bottom of it and try their best to solve their problems without hurting anyone - they're the kind of girls you'd *want* to be your best friend! They often have weird families and they really value friendship. And Lexi's not different. She's just a girl who ended up living the life she always dreamt of, but in the process she's lost herself and her friends and she wants to get it all back. She can't remember why she changed so much and turned into a cold-hearted and power-hungry bitch, but she eventually realizes that she was sort of forced into it by the events that took place after her memory three years ago. After her father's funeral, she had a lot to cope with and a too heavy burden to carry and she couldn't find the right way to do what she had to do to solve her serious problems. So after waking up in a hospital with no recollection of the past three years, Lexi finds herself in several hilarious as well as sad situations to sort her dreamy new life out, but don't worry, she'll do it one way or another - she's a Kinsella girl, after all. ;)

Oh and don't even get me started on Kinsella's menfolk! The heroine's love interest always ends up being the man of my dreams and this book was no exception. I won't spoil it for those who haven't read the book yet, but I also loved the guy here and the relationship he and Lexi had was just so sweet. I'd love to read more about it and there should be a sequel!
But seriously, I've fallen in love (metaphorically speaking) with *all* of them (especially Luke) even though they're each so different, but they always sweep me off my feet, hehe! I guess that's another reason why I love Kinsella's books - it's the guys, even if they're too good to be true. :)

Gosh, I'm honestly trying to keep this very short, but it's already turning into an essay, lol. So anyway, what I'm trying to stress here is that Sophie Kinsella is a fantastic author and she write your typical chicklit novels, she does far more than that. I know plenty of people who aren't fans of these types of reads, but still adore Kinsella because her novels and smart and sooooo much fun to read! So if you haven't already, give any of her books a try, I'm sure you won't regret it! :)

overall rating: 5/5
plot: 5/5 | writing: 4/5 | characters: 5/5 | cover: 5/5

ps: Feel free to read my review of Kinsella's latest bestseller TWENTIES GIRL (out now in paperback) here.

pps: As I said, I thought the premise was great, but it may not be the most original one as there are at least three more books that I'm eager to read with dealing with a topic of amnesia in a similar way. But just like Remember Me?, these three books sound fantastic as well and they're all very high on my TBR list!
Click on the covers for more info! Has anyone read any of these?

23 January 2010

In My Mailbox #27 aka The Best IMM Ever!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.
I've had The Most Awesome Book Week Ever and I'm so excited to share it with you all! Here's a quick peek at what I got:

Yes, that's *35 books* altogether - pretty damn mindblowing, right? :) Now let's break that down a little and I'll explain everything. Sooo first we have these:

THE PUZZLE RING by Kate Forsyth - I'd like to thank both the author and Scholastic for sending me this book to review and giving me the chance to participate in the upcoming blog tour, I'm really excited about it, especially since the book sounds so promising!

FINDING MONSIEUR RIGHT by Muriel Zagha - Many thanks to Ebury Publishing for kindly sending me this book to review! I found out about it on Chicklitreviews.com and it sounds just my cup of tea, plus the cover's too cute for words! Cannot wait to read it!

A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY by Lauren Grodstein
- I'd like to thank Random House for sending me this to review! It seems slightly different to what I usually read, but I'm rather intrigued by this one too after looking it up online and reading so much praise!

COMING HOME by Melanie Rose
- The girls at Chicklitreviews.com loved the author's debut as well as this follow up, which sounds really good so I just bought it to check it out for myself. :)

- I decided to buy a copy of this one after reading a lovely review & interview with the author over at Wondrous Reads.

THE MARK by Jen Nadol & THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubbard - These very popular YA debuts are pretty self-explanatory so I'll just add that I'm so happy that my copies finally arrived and that I can't wait to read them since both sound great, obviously. :)

And now we come to the big shebang, tada tadaaaa! Some of you may remember that I posted something about how I was desperately seeking the Making Out series? Well, the wonderful and amazing LUISA PLAJA, the editor at Chicklish and the author of Split by a Kiss & Extreme Kissing & the upcoming Swapped by a Kiss, then came up with a wonderful idea how I could get these books too and so now they're finally here! *does happy dance*

Finally owning the whole collection is like a dream come true so I'd like to take this opportunity and give MASSIVE THANKS TO LUISA PLAJA for so kindly helping me out with this Important Project, it's something that I've been wanting to have for over a decade, lol!

So I guess all I can say is yaaay, me iz a happy bunny now!

Was your week equally amazing? :)

21 January 2010


I really wanted to post a review of one of my favourite books and some other things this week, but I'm afraid real life is getting in the way these days ... I'm having a crazy busy week (thus all the unanswered emails for which I profoundly apologise, but I'll get to them asap) so I'm afraid those things will have to wait till next week when life will (hopefully) be a bit less busy. Oh and by the way, my In My Mailbox this week will be the most amazing thing you'll ever see! :p This has been the most amazing book week ever and I can't wait to show you all what I got so stay tuuuuned. :)

Anyway, funny things is, I wasn't even planning to do a Waiting On Wednesday this week since I had other things planned, but sadly all I have time for this week is a quick meme. I've actually just found out about this book on Chicklit Club and I really like the sound of it and must add it to my list of books I'm looking forward to in 2010. You might be thinking, "Oh, damn, not another silly romcom!", but I'm just a sucker for these. Finish them off with a pretty cover and I'm sold! :)

So here's my this week's pick, which comes out in MAY 2010:

Samantha Sharp turned seventeen, left her old life behind and moved to London, determined to make her fortune.Ten years later and she’s a super-agent to the stars, with her name in the papers, millions in the bank, and one success after another. Love has taken a back seat because her past has put her off relationships for good. Everyone's got a history but Samantha’s is particularly murky. What’s more, she hasn’t got to the top of her game without collecting a few enemies along the way. So when she meets a man who might be a little bit dangerous, someone she’s finally close to loving, is there anyone to tell her what a terrible mistake she’s making? Will Samantha find her happy ever after? And if her carefully hidden past comes into the light,will her fairytale coach turn back into a pumpkin? Samantha Sharp needs to find a way to cling onto her sparkle …

18 January 2010

An interview with Lemony Snicket!

The other day I read on My Favourite Books that an interview with the one and only Lemony Snicket took place some time ago on Webchats.TV so I thought I'd share this fantastic video.

Are there any Lemony Snicket fans in the house? I've read all the 13 books in A Series of Unfortunate Events and I thought they were absolutely brilliant. I admit I was disappointed with the last installment (so many unanswered questions, argh!), but overall I absolutely adored the series. I thought it was very clever and original and above all hilarious - I really enjoyed the dark humour featured in all the books. The series is a bit wacky, but still very very clever, and there are so many mysteries that you just can't stop reading. "Who/what is VFD? What's up with the sugarbowl?" and oh so many more, but sadly most remain unresolved, heh. Nonetheless, the books are a massive delight to read and even though I guess they're supposed to be MG, I recommend them to *everyone*, honestly. Just thinking about the books now really makes me want to re-read them! :)

Anyway, without further ado, here's the interview with Lemony Snicket's "representative" (aka the author himself, LS is his pen name) Daniel Handler. I really wanted to share this because I really liked it and it made me laugh so much. Plus, in case you didn't know, the author is already working on a new series, which should be out in a couple of years and I'll most definitely read it!

OK, I'll shut up now and let you enjoy the interview, which doesn't really answer any questions, but it's bound to at least make you smile or even crack you up - and that's something, eh. :)

16 January 2010

In My Mailbox #26

Yay, it's IMM time again! This week I got a lovely mix of chicklit & YA!

I haven't read any Jackie Collins' novels yet, but I really took a shine to this one due to the cover and the title - POOR LITTLE BITCH GIRL. I was planning to wait for the paperback, buuut then I saw the different paperback cover, which I really don't like, and decided to order the trade paperback immediately. Maybe that was the publishers' strategy? Either way, I prefer the original cover by an interstellar mile - it really caught my attention, whereas the second wouldn't make me pick up a copy, sorry. But I have one now so it's all good.

I've been wanting to read THE TRUTH ABOUT MELODY BROWNE forever, but I decided to wait for the paperback, which paid off since the cover is even nicer! I've heard grrrreat things about this one and I can't wait to read it - it'll be my first Lisa Jewell book!

Oh and after the WoW post on Playing the Field (which is essentially about a WAG), I was contacted by a mysterious author who thought I might find her series on WAGs interesting too so I agreed to review them. The Series is called WAGS World and so far two books have been published (PLAYING THE GAME and KNOWING THE SCORE), and the third book WORLD CUP WAGS should be out in June. I must admit WAGs are not something I'm preoccupied with generally, but these books look really cute!

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else got. :)

14 January 2010

Book Trailer: VERY LeFREAK

I'm a HUGE fan of book trailers so I've decided to post them here more often, i.e. hopefully at least once per week, so stay tuned, I have some great trailers lined up for the coming weeks!

Let's kickstart this lovely new feature with one of my favourite book trailers ever; it's for a YA novel by Racher Cohn titled Very LeFreak. I think the trailer is fantastic (plus Very looks simply adorable in it) and it really makes me want to read the novel *now*! The book just came out and I haven't bought the book yet, but I'm finding it veeeeeery hard to resist! What to doooo ...

OK, first the summary and the cover:
Very LeFreak has a problem: she’s a crazed technology addict. Very can’t get enough of her iPhone, laptop, IMs, text messages, whatever. If there’s any chance the incoming message, call, text, or photo might be from her supersecret online crush, she’s going to answer, no matter what. Nothing is too important: sleep, friends in mid-conversation, class, a meeting with the dean about academic probation. Soon enough, though, this obsession costs Very everything and everyone. Can she learn to block out the noise so she can finally hear her heart?
Rachel Cohn makes her Knopf solo debut with this funny, touching, and surely recognizable story about a girl and the technology habit that threatens everything.

Hands up who can relate, hehehe. ;)
And now without further ado, I present to you the lovely trailer:

Isn't it great? :)
And what are your favourite book trailers?

13 January 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: KATY CARTER WANTS A HERO

I've recently come across this book and immediately liked the sound of it as it just seems like such a fun and easy read, just my cup of tea! Can't wait to read it in APRIL 2010 when it comes out!

Katy Carter knows she's no domestic goddess: she's scatterbrained, she needs a fire extinguisher at the ready when she's cooking, and she daily falls off the diet wagon. But that doesn't stop her fantasising about a hero to call her own. And Katy thinks she's found him in fiance James, a charming, high-flying city banker. So why, then, does Katy find herself scribbling steamy historical romances every spare moment she gets, and daydreaming about becoming a published author when she ought to be paying attention in staff meetings? As her wedding day looms, Katy determines to become a wife James can be proud of, and employs the help of her best friend Oliver to impress his colleagues and his family. But despite best laid plans, the pair set off a hilarious train of events that leads Katy on a crazy journey through celebrity, chaos, makeovers and, finally, into the arms of her hero ...

11 January 2010

Review: HEAVEN CAN WAIT by Cally Taylor ****

"'What would I do without you, Lucy Brown?' he said, and kissed me softly. I held his face in my hands and kissed him back. I felt that life just couldn't get any more perfect. And I was right, it wouldn't. By the end of the next day, I'd be dead.
Lucy is about to marry the man of her dreams - kind, handsome, funny Dan - when she breaks her neck the night before their wedding. Unable to accept a lifetime's separation from her soulmate, Lucy decides to become a ghost rather than go to heaven and be parted from Dan. But it turns out things aren't quite as easy as that. When Lucy discovers that Limbo is a grotty student-style house in North London she's less than thrilled. Especially after meeting her new flatmates: grumpy, cider-swilling EMO-kid Claire; and Brian, a train-spotter with a Thomas the Tank Engine duvet and a big BO problem.
But Lucy has a more major problem on her hands - if she wants to become a ghost and be with Dan she has to complete an almost impossible task. How the hell does a girl like Lucy find a girlfriend for the dorkiest man in England? IT geek Archie's only passions are multi-player computer games and his Grandma. But Lucy only has twenty-one days to find him love. And when she discovers that her so-called friend Anna is determined to make a move on the heart-broken, vulnerable Dan, the pressure is really on..."

I must admit I wasn't really drawn to this based on the description, but the cover's lovely and after hearing so many good things about it I just decided to give it a go. It's the only book Chicklit Club have rated 10/10 and it won a whole bunch of awards (including Book of the Year) at Chick Lit Reviews so I couldn't really afford to miss out on this one, could I?

Well, let's start with the 'less great' things first ... As I predicted, the plot wasn't really my kind of thing. The whole summary is posted above and I guess I just found the whole Limbo, Wannabe Ghosts, 21 days shebang not only far fetched but also confusing and not terribly exciting either. Obviously I didn't take it seriously and once I moved past that, I was able to really enjoy the book. Luckily the plot picks up in the last few days of Lucy's assignment and just as I was ready to call this book 'oh so predictable', the author turned the tables around and slapped me in the face with the final plot twist, which I really didn't see coming, haha. I thought the ending was satisfying (my eyes may have teared up a little), but it still felt a bit rushed somehow? Anyway, don't get me wrong, the plot wasn't bad, far from it as there were really so many great scenes, it's just the whole afterlife thing I wasn't too keen on, although I admit it's a very fun and uplifting view on the afterlife, heh.

So that's my only so-called complaint; other than that, the book was great! I suppose it's quite a sad story in itself, but the author managed to turn it into a very funny one! This book is packed full with hilarious scenes and witty dialogue so I have to applaud the author for cracking me up many, many times!

The characters were delightful too! Lucy was just adorable and I really warmed up to her; at the same time, I felt sorry for her, I admired her and I was rooting for her. I thought she was really well developed and her pain and joy felt very real. On the whole, she feels just the kind of girl you'd love to know in real life, hehe. As for other characters, I can't really fault them either, they were all great and I really enjoyed the wide variety of quirkiness in this novel.

So I may have complained a bit about the plot (even though there's really not much to complain about!), but on the whole I really liked this funny yet poignant and original debut novel. And the pretty cover is just the cherry on top! It didn't quite live up to my expectations (maybe the hype was just too much), but I certainly closed this book with a smile on my face thinking, "Awww!"

overall rating: 4/5
plot: 3/5 | writing: 4/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 5/5

9 January 2010

In My Mailbox #25

As always, IMM is hosted by The Story Siren.
Here are the lovely books in received in the past week:

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Split by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja
Extreme Kissing by Luisa Plaja

Very excited to read all three of these & looking forward to seeing what everyone else got! :)

7 January 2010

2010 Debut Author Challenge

I've finally decided to take part in the 2010 Debut Author Challenge, which is hosted by The Story Siren. I figured I might as well since I have so many of those debut novels on my TBR list. But if you're living under a rock (I mean, this challenge is HUGE) and haven't heard of it, this is what it's about:
  • The objective is to read a set number of YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels from debut authors published this year.* I'm going to challenge everyone to read at least 12 debut novels! You don’t have to list your choices right away, but if you do feel free to change them throughout the year. I will also be focusing on mostly Young Adult novels.
  • Anyone can join, you don’t need a blog to participate. If you don’t have a blog you can always share your views by posting a review on Amazon.com/BarnesandNoble.com/GoodReads/Shelfari, or any other bookish site.
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2010- December 31, 2010. You can join at anytime!

So here's the list of debut YA novels that I'm planning to read in 2010:
  1. WISH by Alexandra Bullen
  2. THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubbard
  3. THE MARK by Jen Nadol
  4. MAGIC UNDER GLASS by Jaclyn Dolamore
  5. SCONES AND SENSIBILITY by Lindsay Eland
  6. PRINCES FOR HIRE by Lindsey Leavitt
  7. KARMA CLUB by Jessica Brody
  8. DELLA SAYS: OMG! WTF? by Keris Stainton
  10. THE TENSION OF OPPOSITES by Kristina McBride
  11. HUNGER by Jackie Kessler
  12. INVISIBLE GIRL by Mary Hanlon Stone
That's just a quick list, but I might add more as I read other people's reviews. :)

Anyone else taking part in this challenge?

6 January 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: PLAYING THE FIELD

My this week's pick is PLAYING THE FIELD by the awesome & talented & oh so witty Zoë Foster, an Australian author whose debut novel Air Kisses unexpectedly jumped straight into my Top 5 Books of 2009! And I even got a chance to interview her, woohoo!

So her next work of fiction will be RELEASED IN FEBRUARY and this time it's about a WAG! Air Kisses was about a beauty editor and I wasn't too sure about that either, didn't really sound like my cup of tea, but in the end I looooved it! So I'm sure Playing the Field will be equally fantastic - wahey, hopefully even better! I cannot wait!!! (Credit for the synopsis goes to Chicklit Club.)
"Jean Bennett knows as much about football as she does astrophysics. But when she moves to the bright lights of Sydney and falls in love with a star footballer, Josh Fox, she has to learn - fast. Thrown eyelashes first into the world of WAGs, Jean is way out of her league. She navigates her way through semi-finals, a gruelling social calendar and salacious scandals on Josh's arm, safe in the knowledge he belongs to her or so she thinks. But as her hair gets blonder, her heels higher and her tops lower, Jean begins to wonder who she's become."

4 January 2010

Review: WISH by Alexandra Bullen ****

"For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone ... until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.
With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.
In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, WISH asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for?"

I fell head over heels in love with this book as soon as I saw the ARC cover a few months ago and I knew that I just had to have the book because it was so incredibly gorgeous. And then I actually checked the plot description and realized the plot sounded really good too soooo you can only imagine how excited I was when I managed to get my hands on an ARC of this!

I'm happy to report that the book didn't disappoint. I admit I didn't really expect this book to blow me away, but it was really rather enjoyable. It's a story of Olivia, whose sister Violet passed away recently and her family has decided to move to San Francisco. They're all having trouble coping with Violet's passing and the family is nearly falling apart. Olivia starts going to a new school and thus also has to make new friends. She meets Miles, her future project partner, his step-sister Bowie (their mothers are a couple), the gorgeous skateboarder and a musician Soren and his girlfriend Calla etc., but she also meets Posey, a seamstress who has the gift of making magical dresses. Yeah, we'll get to that later. Anyway, Posey makes Olivia a dress that grants her ultimate wish to have Violet back, even if only as a ghost, Olivia is happy again. She learns that she has two more magical dresses and thus two more wishes to be granted - and thus things get tricky ...

The plot itself requires you to suspend your disbelief. I mean, magical dresses with butterflies? Sounds cute, but I'm not buying it. So I took the whole thing more as a metaphor and then it worked for me. And once you get past that cute magical element, this is actually a really lovely story about coping with grief and moving on, about love and death, about love and friendship and betrayal, about families and last but not least, about the wishes we are sometiems too quick to make - be careful what you wish for and all that. ;) I can't say the plot was gripping, but it was certainly very clever and satisfying.

I can't say anything bad about the characters either - on the contrary, I thought they were all well portrayed and had depth. My favourite characters was probably Violet or her ghost - I loved her sarcasm and her optimism despite the circumstances, heh.

I also have to compliment the author's writing as I thought the novel was beautifully written. Ms Bullen has a way with words and I really appreciate it when authors don't just write whatever comes to their minds and leave it at that, but also work on their writing and improve it, which is what I believe is something Ms Bullen definitely worked on since the novel is just so well written.

However, what I liked by far the most about this novel is the stunning cover. The final cover (above) is slightly different to the ARC one, but I guess I personally prefer the ARC one, just because the dress is more visible and it really fits the final chapter. But wow, what an amazing cover, it fits the book so well (ignoring the hair colour of the model) and the shooting star and the violet dress and everything. Maybe it could just have a butterfly for good measure and it would be pretty much perfect!

All in all, I strongly recommend this novel. It's a quick but deep and beautiful read, inside and out. I can't quite rate it 5/5, but it's a 4.5 for sure!

overall rating: 4/5
plot: 4/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 5/5

2 January 2010

In My Mailbox #24 + Important updates!

Happy New Year, everyone, and welcome to my first IMM of 2010 (still hosted by The Story Siren).

I've got heaps of books on the way, but only one arrived before the holidays this week - Scones & Sensibility by Lindsay Eland. Now, isn't this just the most adorable cover ever?! And the story sounds really cute too!

(Speaking of cute & adorable things, guess who got a pink camera as a New Year's present from her lovely boyfriend? Yep, that would be me! ;) I've always wanted a pink camera and this just happens to be the cutest and the coolest one ever, I love it! Plus it's totally badass with its 12.2 megapixels & other goodies so you can obviously expect more quality pics here in the future. *lol smiley face* :p)

But before we all overdose with the cuteness here, let's move on to more serious matters! I got this blog domain name yesterday and thus I changed my blog name from BOOKALICIOUS to BOOKALICIOUS RAMBLINGS. Just because. :) The new address is:
So please update the links in your sidebars and everywhere. And if I'm not in your sidebar yet, then wahey you can always add me, I don't mind at all. ;) I'll be adding new links to my sidebar too since the old was one somehow deleted in the process so I have to start afresh. Let me know if you'd like to be added.

Anyway, the new domain name is just the first of the several exciting changes I have planned for 2010. I'm planning to change my layout soon too so stay tuned to see what happens.

That's it for this week's IMM and I expect things will be more exciting next week when more books finally arrive! I can't wait to see what everyone else got in the past week!