30 August 2010

Fantastic book trailers: BEING JAMIE BAKER and HOLD STILL!

While I was on my little hiatus thingy, I came across two book trailers that I fell in love with:
Click on the covers for more info about the books.

Watching these trailers really made me want to buy the books - as a matter of fact, I've already ordered the first one and I'm waiting for the second one to come out in paperback. But yes, if it weren't for these book trailers, I probably wouldn't buy the books so kudos to whoever did them - I appreciate the effort and applaud you!

The trailers couldn't be more different - while one will bring a smile to your face, the other will break your heart. I love them both though.




28 August 2010

In My Mailbox #56

As you may remember, I've been on hiatus for a bit due to my super hectic real life schedule, but I think I'm ready to return to blogging (erm, slowly but surely) because I've really missed it! And what better way to do it than with In My Mailbox (as always, kindly hosted by The Story Siren)! I got some amazing books in the past two weeks and I've been itching to tell you all about them!

FOR REVIEW & GIFT

ANYONE FOR ME? by Fiona Cassidy - Thanks, Poolbeg! I love the sound of this and the cover is lovely! It also came with a great sort of press release, explaining the author's personal background that perhaps inspired the story a bit.
LIFE AFTER YES by Aidan Donnelley Rowley - First of all, I have to say I'm in love with the beautiful cover and I want to read this so badly! Massive thanks to the awesome Alicia @ Confessions of a Bookaholic for so kindly sending me a spare copy of this book!
Good news: Alicia is actually hosting a giveaway for a copy of LIFE AFTER YES, which is open worldwide and ends on 31st August! Click here to enter!

BOUGHT


All FANTASTIC titles that I'm desperate to read right NOW - oh, if only I had the time ... Don't you just HATE it when real life when in the way of reading? ;) I just have to hold for a little bit longer and then I'll be able to read properly again like the book maniac that I am ... Hope you all have had more time to read than me and I can't wait to see what's ended up in your mailboxes! :)

20 August 2010

It breaks my heart, but it has to be done - a quick HIATUS!

Hey, everyone!

As you may have noticed, I've been a bit absent here, there and everywhere lately ... And the reason is not that I've given up on blogging or anything like that, it's just that my life is very, very busy right now - I work a lot and I'm also translating a book and so I'm on a very strict schedule and I honestly hardly have time for reading. My days are completely filled and in the evenings I'm usually so tired that I just fall asleep within seconds. It's killing me though as I can but stare at all the amazing books I own and I want to read them SO badly, but right now I can't

The good news is that this won't last long, only maybe a couple more weeks or so and then I'll be back in full swing, blogging like there's no tomorrow! And the publishers needn't worry - the books I've been sent WILL get reviewed since I'm going on a hooooliiiidaaaaay in exactly a month and I'll be reading hardcore there!

So yeah, I just wanted to let you know why it's so quiet around here ... If you can, please just bear with me, give me a week or so to draft up some posts and then things will be back to normal. I cannot wait to be back!

ps: I'm listening to The Hunger Games audiobook in the car - so creepy and yet fascinating! I can't wait to review that one!

pps: MASSIVE THANKS for all the lovely comments, you amazing people - I really appreciate it! :)

15 August 2010

In My Mailbox #55

Whoooa, what a week - completely surreal and crazy in terms of personal life, but EXCELLENT when it comes to books! I got so much awesome stuff I still can't believe it! LOOK! :)
FOR REVIEW

I'd like to thank Transworld, Harper Collins UK, Chicken House and Penguin UK for so kindly sending me these awesome books and totally brightening my straaange week!

GIFT / BOUGHT

I do hope you've all had fantastic book weeks! :)

13 August 2010

Sophie Kinsella reads another extract from Mini Shopaholic!!!

Today is a very special day (albeit a strange one) - no, not because it's Friday the 13th, buuuuuut because my brand spanking shiny new hardcover copy of Mini Shopaholic arrived, wooohooo! I was thrilled when I was offered a copy for review and over the moon when I actually held a read copy in my hands, OMG! I've read a few pages and I just know this book will be SO amazing! I think I'll take a day off from work and translating and life basically and just read it ... But then I'll be sad once it's over ... I won't dwell on that now when I have a copy of Mini Shopaholic, yaaaay!

To make today even more special, an awesome video was posted - it shows Sophie Kinsella (aka Madeline Wickham) reading the second extract from Mini Shopaholic and it's downright HILARIOUS (no shock there)! I also love the way 'Sophie' reads it, she just brings it to life, hehe! You can watch the clip below and in case you missed the first reading, then click here & enjoooy!



Hands up who else is super mega inceredibly excited about this book? :D

11 August 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL

I came across this book a while ago and I instantly developed a crush on it - the title, the cover and the plot just scream FUN and CUTE, don't you think?

THE SECRET SOCIETY
OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL
by Risa Green
[14 September 2010]

In a world where nothing is certain, a little magic couldn't hurt...right?

When Erin Channing's favorite aunt dies, Erin is bequeathed a pink crystal ball and a set of weird instructions. Granted, Aunt Kiki (aka Aunt Kooky) always lived "outside the box." But now Erin and her two best friends are convinced that the pink crystal ball holds the key to their future-or at least the key to getting dates...

Consider Your Fate to Be Sealed . . .
* Absolute knowledge is not unlimited; let the planets be your guide to the number.
* There are sixteen ways to die, but four of them you will never see.
* The future belongs to you alone. Other voices will be disappointed.
* One rotation is as far as you can see. Only uncertainty lies beyond.
Oooh, intriguing! :)

ps: OMG, I hit 500 followers today! *does happy dance* Wow, that's amazing - THANK YOU SO MUCH to all the awesome people who bothered to click the Follow button, I really appreciate it and you're all stars! xoxo :)))

9 August 2010

Review: THE EXTRAORDINARY SECRETS OF APRIL, MAY & JUNE by Robin Benway ****

Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait!

Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.

Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.

I absolutely adored Robin Benway's debut AUDREY, WAIT! (my review here) and I was beyond excited when I heard about her next novel about these three sisters with extraordinary (and hella fun) powers. I received an ARC a while ago, but I was saving it and so I finally started reading it on my birthday - yeah, party time. ;)

This book is quite different from the author's debut (especially in terms of plot), but what they have in common is that they're both easy and hilarious reads. Benway's spunky and sassy characters read make the books and they're just so much fun to read about. I loved the Stephenson girls just as much as I loved the kickass Audrey, they have this amazing sister dynamics and I loved being involved in their world and 'eavesdropping' to their banter. Each chapater is narrated by one of them and I could easily tell them apart - they were all hilarious, but their personal characteristic made them different from each other. I couldn't possibly pick a favourite, but I suppose I related to April the most.
Oh and good news: the wonderful Stephenson sisters are also on Twitter so be sure to follow them: April, May & June (aged 16, 15 and 14 respectively).

While I loved the idea of their superpowers (seeing the future, disappearing, mind reading), I perhaps felt they weren't explored enough - I felt there was so much more that could be done with them and thus I wished the book was longer. Yes, there was a tragedy that they prevented with their superpowers, but based on April's visions, I was expecting something far more dramatic so that was a bit of a letdown. I also hoped that their superpowers would be explained, but I don't recall that happening and all I wanted was some answers - fingers crossed things will be revealled in the next book if there is one (yes, please)!

Overall, this was an immensly enjoyable read with an original premise, but I was somehow expecting more plot and depth ... No, not something out of an upper tier online school course as the writing was great and doesn't really need improvement, but maybe just a more developed story ... I can hardly complain though - with a cover like *that* (isn't it AMAZING?) and such fabulous and hilarious characters! Definitely recommended if you're looking for a super fun read and I sure hope Ms Benway is already working on her third book!

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

7 August 2010

In My Mailbox #54

None for review this week, but still some awesome books!
Here's what I got:

JUST LOOK AT ME NOW by Nell Dixon
YOU'RE THE ONE THAT I DON'T WANT by Alexandra Potter
THE ICE CREAM GIRLS by Dorothy Koomson
FALLEN GRACE by Mary Hooper
KISS HEAVEN GOODBYE by Tasmina Perry
Loves it! :)
What did you get? :)

5 August 2010

Winner of The Finishing Touches!

This is slightly embarrassingly overdue and for that I sincerely apologize, I've just been terribly busy lately and when I'm busybusybusy, things either slip from my mind or I keep putting them off - I'm sure you all know the feeling and I hope you'll find it in your hearts to forgive me? :)

As some of you may remember, I hosted a giveaway for a copy of THE FINISHING TOUCHES by Hester Browne a while ago and I'd like to thank everyone entered this giveaway, I really enjoyed reading your comments about feminism (this explains the picture, yes). I was quite fascinated by your opinions and this was probably my favourite giveaway that I did - well, certainly the most interesting, hehe!

Aaaand the winner iiiiiisssss ... CONFESSIONS OF A BOOKAHOLIC! Congrats, Alicia, I'll be in touch! :)

To the rest of you lovely people - thanks for entering and stay tuned for more giveaways soon!

4 August 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: Historical books with beautiful covers!

Last week I spotlighted a historical novel with a really beautiful cover and I figured I might as well keep this trend going - wonderful covers really brighten up your day, don't you think? :)

So here they are - two upcoming releases from a new publisher called Choc Lit! They're both brilliant-sounding historical reads and they both have absolutely breathtaking covers - see for yourself below!

TRADE WINDS
by Christina Courtenay
[30 September 2010]
Marriage of convenience or a love for life?
It's 1732 in Gothenburg, Sweden, and strong-willed Jess van Sandt knows only too well that it s a man's world. She believes she's being swindled out of her inheritance by her stepfather and she's determined to stop it.
When help appears in the unlikely form of handsome Scotsman Killian Kinross, himself disinherited by his grandfather, Jess finds herself both intrigued and infuriated by him. In an attempt to recover her fortune, she proposes a marriage of convenience.
Then Killian is offered the chance of a lifetime with the Swedish East India Company's Expedition and he's determined that nothing will stand in his way, not even his new bride. He sets sail on a daring voyage to the Far East, believing he's put his feelings and past behind him. But the journey doesn't quite work out as he expects...

THE SILVER LOCKET
by Margaret James
[1 November 2010]
If life is cheap, how much is love worth?
It's 1914 and young Rose Courtenay has a decision to make. Please her wealthy parents by marrying the man of their choice - or play her part in the war effort? The chance to escape proves irresistible and Rose becomes a nurse.
Working in France, she meets Lieutenant Alex Denham, a dark figure from her past. He's the last man in the world she'd get involved with - especially now he's married. But in wartime nothing is as it seems.
Alex's marriage is a sham and Rose is the only woman he's ever wanted. As he recovers from his wounds, he sets out to win her trust. His gift of a silver locket is a far cry from the luxuries she's left behind. What value will she put on his love?
What do you think? :)

3 August 2010

Review: DEAR DYLAN by Siobhan Curham ****

Fourteen year old Georgie Harris feels as if the summer holidays are over before they have even begun. Banned from going to the local drama workshop by her bully of a step-dad and her increasingly fragile mum, she is consigned to six long weeks of looking after her tooth-fairy obsessed kid sister. Sick of feeling like the outsider at home and at school, she starts emailing the one person she thinks might understand; Dylan Curtland, star of the popular soap opera Jessop Close. And when Dylan starts emailing back, Georgie finally feels a tiny spark of hope. At last she has someone who really gets her, someone who really wants to help. But in the faceless world of email all is not as it seems...

As the title implies, this is an epistolary novel, consisting entirely of emails between our adorable Georgie and the friend she unexpectedly makes on the internet when she starts writing emails to her idol, the famous TV star Dylan. She's facing what appear to be the worst summer holidays ever and she has no one to turn to so she starts writing long emails to Dylan about her troublesome family, her so-called friends, the loss of her father etc. She's most surprised when she actually gets a reply and thus the most unlikely friendship forms ...
In her emails, Georgie talks about her aggressive step-father nicknamed Tone Deaf and her grief-stricken mother. She's angry because she can't go to the local drama workshop even though she desperately wants to be an actress. She finds a way to attend the workshop secretly and she even falls in though, but what good does it do when other things in her life fall apart?
Georgie goes through her 'butterfly summer' when after all the trials and tribulations, her life finally settles down a bit. She goes through a lot, but she couldn't have done it without the amazing and unexpected e-mate.

I'll admit that I was slightly bored by this novel at first. Since it's written in emails, I felt there was a tad too much rambling involved (obviously, that's how emails usually are) and I was wondering was all this was going ... But once the stage was set, the story started moving really fast and there were far more twists and turn in Georgie's life than I expected. On top of tackling love and friendships, this novel also touches some serious topics (death, physical abuse, alcoholism, prison), but in a skillful and hopeful way - I found the ending especially heartwarming.

The characters are great too. Georgie really stands out and she's a great narrator. I imagined her to be rather bubbly on the outside, but so sad and lonely on the inside. She was a fab and totally believable 14-year-old and I was rooting for her all the way! Her unexpected e-mate was fantastic too and I really enjoyed reading their emails and advice. Overall, I felt the characters had dimension and were well portrayed, both the positive and the negative ones.

Another thing I appreciate about this novel is the unique and eyecatching cover, even if it doesn't quite relate to the story since our Georgie could only dream about sitting on her bed and nicely writing all those emails on her laptop - yeah, right, instead she was forced to resort to libraries and internet caf├ęs. Nonetheless, I really quite like the cover, it definitely stands out!

All in all, this was a great and fast-paced read about one girl's very important summer, during which her life is turned upside down and finally sorted out. It's nicely written - the two narrative voices are convincing and can be easily distinguished. It's a lovely story that will make you occassionally pull at your heartstrings, but ultimately bring a smile to your face. All I can say is, "GO, GEORGIE!"

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

1 August 2010

In My Mailbox #53

Hey, everyone, it's IMM time again and I got some really exciting books!

THE POSTMISTRESS by Sarah Blake
A PLACE OF SECRETS by Rachel Hore (for review)
FORGET YOU by Jennifer Echols

I've been wanting to read all three for the longest time and I so wish I could devour them right now, especially since I finally got my hands on them, but sadly I can't quite yet ... You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet around here lately and that's because I've been really, really, really busy and have hardly had time to read or blog. :( On top of a full time job, I've recently also started translating a book and that leaves me with hardly any spare time, but I love translating so something had to give. Don't worry, I'll still be blogging, just less often that I would want to - I hope you understand and can still stick around. :)