Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Book Blogger Tag

So Kris from A Book From Snowy River tagged me the other day on a dreary London day and I've had so much fun answering the questions it even tempted the sun out of hiding :)

The idea is, you answer ten questions from the person that tagged you and pass your own new questions onto ten other book bloggers. So, without further ado here are my responses to Kris's questions:

1. How did you choose the name for your blog?

I was inspired to start blogging after spending a few days adding all my owned books to Goodreads...and then freaking out about how many I owned but hadn't read. I decided to call my blog Project To Be Read to try to inspire myself to reduce that heap of books.

2. If you could be a character in any book, who would you be and why?

Thea in Enchantress by L.J. Smith (or Spellbinder for any US readers). I love the whole Night World series but Thea is the character I'd most like to be. She is a witch with amazing magic powers and ends up in trouble when she falls in love with the human Eric. He is a total sweetheart and of all the books I've read, Thea is the only one I'd actually want to be.

3. Ever since you started blogging, have you met any authors of your favourite books?

Yep :) I've been lucky enough to meet Becca Fitzpatrick, Maggie Stiefvater and Cassandra Clare. I'm not sure what impressed me more - the cute fallen angel models and free cupcakes at Becca's signing or Jonas and Plunkett plus the fact I actually had a whole conversation about killer water horses with Maggie Stiefvater :)

4. What is your favourite cover art for a book you have seen?

You want me to pick just one?! So not fair! There are way too many gorgeous books out there these days to pick a single favourite, which is part of the reason I love Shelf Candy Saturday so much. However I must say that the Wolves of Mercy Falls have some awesome UK covers:

5. Do you have a strict blogging schedule or are you more relaxed? (eg. post 1 review a day, do a weekly meme etc)

I try to have a schedule but I've had a ton of real life stuff on recently so things have gotten a little lax. I really like doing the Teaser Tuesday, Top Ten Tuesday, Booking Through Thursday and Shelf Candy memes, and I'm hoping to get into a routine with a post going up every day.

6. Is there a book you would love to have a sequel?

I'd love a sequel for Witch in the House by Jenna McKnight. It's one of those books that has obviously been written as the first of a trilogy but never got continued. The author has health problems that are stopping her from writing though which is a massive shame.

7. What is your favourite book to tv series adaptation?

The Vampire Diaries :) The books were only okay for me, but I love the TV show! Ian Somerhalder is awesome as Damon and I like all the changes that they've made. Elena in the books drove me nuts whereas she's fine on the show, plus Jeremy is way better than a little girl.

Weirdly I'm the total opposite about True Blood - love the books, but the show is only okay.

8. Everyone likes to shop for books differently, do you buy online or spend hours in a bookstore or library?

All of the above. If my sister is meeting me in our local town, it's going to be in Waterstones. I do a lot of my book shopping online, purely because of the prices and the fact I can get US published books easier. I also enjoy checking out my local library but their selection isn't the best so most of the authors I love aren't even featured.

9. Do you prefer reading paperbacks or ebooks?

Paperbacks win for me hands down. I'm not a big fan of ebooks, mostly because I always seem to end up with a migraine from trying to read them.

10. If you had to write a novel featuring yourself, what kind of character would you play? (eg. leading lady, sidekick, evil villian etc)

Ummm, I think I'd rather be either the leading lady or the evil villian. I'm not really the sidekick type. It really depends on what kind of book I was writing but no matter what I'd definitely be a complex character. I would never write myself as a flawless heroine or completely evil villian - I like my characters to have depth, hidden layers, flaws and all.

My Questions:

1. If you could travel back in time and give yourself a single piece of advice when you started blogging, what would it be?
2. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
3. If you could only read one genre of book for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
4. Of the books you've read so far this year, which one would you recommend and why?
5. If you could have any book character as your real life best friend, who would you pick?
6. Which author would you like most to meet and why?
7. What do you think of book blog memes?
8. What format do you most prefer your books in? (paperback, hardback, e-book, audio etc).
9. Which authors are on your auto-buy list?
10. What is your favourite kind of character? (sleuth, vampire, student, cop etc)

I'm tagging:

1. Books, Biscuits and Tea
2. E & K Family Book Review
3. Bookaholics Book Club
4. Five Alarm Book Reviews
5. Jenni Elyse
6. Alison Can Read
7. Chocolate Chunkie Munkie
8. Magic of Reading
9. My Recent Favorite Books
10. A Book From Snowy River - tag back :)

No obligation guys, but I'd love to see your answers if you have time :)

Guest Blog (6)

E&K Family Book Review

My latest guest blog post has just been published over at the awesome E&K Family Book Review where I reviewed Immortality by Maggie Shayne. If you'd like to see what I thought, click here.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Booking Through Thursday (16)

What do you look for when reading a book blog? Does the blogger have to read the same genre? Do you like reviews? Personal posts? Memes? Giveaways? What attracts you to a book blog?

And–what are your favorite book blogs?

I look for a lot of different things in other book blogs and I'm pretty picky when it comes to them. The main thing I look for is a rough compatability in terms of books and reviews. If I find a blog where the blogger has read a lot of the same books I have I'll look at their reviews on a few 'touchstone' books (aka those books that tend to have reviewers divided like Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, Glazed Murder by Jessica Beck). If our views are still similar or they have really justified their opinions I'll hunt down reviews of my favourite books. This gives me the deciding factor - the closer our opinions are on the books I care about, the more likely I am to follow.

I tend to find new book blogs through memes and they give a bonus of being able to get to know the blogger quickly. There have been a few times when I've been looking through meme posts, seen something I totally disagree with and have left the blog. On the other hand, memes are how I've found some of my favourite blogs.

I also love giveaways but I tend to check out the blog itself to see what it's like before entering, especially if it's a follower only giveaway. It's not fair on the blogger or the other entrants if you have people just following for a chance to win something.

My favourite book blogs are (clicking the buttons will take you to their sites):
Books, Biscuits & Tea Five Alarm Book Reviews The Story Siren

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (20)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish where a new top ten list is posted each week. This week is: Top Ten Books I'd Quickly Save if my House Was Going to be Abducted by Aliens. These pretty much fall into two categories - those that are signed and those that have sentimental value.

The Signed Ones:

1. All my Maggie Stiefvater books
2. City of Bones & Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
3. The Demon's Lexicon & The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan

4. All my Becca Fitzpatrick books
5. Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon
6. Ill Wind by Rachel Caine

The Special Ones:

7. My 'Tomorrow When the War Began' books
When I decided I wanted to read these I quickly realised that several were out of print in the UK and only available used at freakishly high prices. My Mum actually tracked them all down and even ordered the trickier ones from Australia for me for my birthday!

8. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
This is one of my favourite books from when I was little and I now have the hardback collectors edition which is full of illustrations and maps.

9. My Harry Potter box set
My kid sister brought me these last summer and I ended up hugging the box and stroking all the books. They are so pretty and special and I love them.

10. Noodle's Knitting by Sheryl Webster
This was the first gift ever from my niece that I was given when she was born. It's soooo cute and it has fuzzy bits :) It was the ideal gift for me as I love both reading and it's fuzzy!

Teaser Tuesday (20)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

My teaser:

"And, Claire realised with an icy, horrible, sickening shock, she had just seen him out on the street, going after Myrnin. That was why he'd seemed familiar."

~ Page 118, Bite Club by Rachel Caine

Monday, 20 February 2012

Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

Title: Ghost Town
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Allison & Busby
ISBN: 978-0-7490-0804-8
Pages: 479
Series: The Morganville Vampires #9
Type: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Purchased

Morganville has been left vulnerable ever since the vampire computer Ada went nuts and died. Claire has been tasked with building and programming a new computer to protect the town, preferably one that doesn't require an actual brain. But as soon as Claire gets the new computer online people start to forget. Vampires don't know they are vampires, humans don't know where they are and soon more and more people are lost. Claire needs to figure out a solution before she forgets how to save Morganville.

This is the ninth book in the Morganville vampires series (after Glass Houses, The Dead Girls' Dance, Midnight Alley, Feast of Fools, Lord of Misrule, Carpe Corpus, Fade Out and Kiss of Death) and is set back in Morganville after the previous book's road trip. The plot is full of twists and turns as usual and gets stuck into the action almost immediately.

The forgetfulness epidemic is really well-written and it creates a level of tension throughout the book. It is interesting seeing who forgets and who doesn't, and great seeing how Claire deals with people stuck three years in the past...especially as she herself has only been in Morganville for about 18 months. The characters who do forget are cleverly written, managing to fit well as the past versions of characters I've grown to know and love.

Claire becomes even more independent in this book and it's great to see her really maturing to a near adult level. Left without the support her friends and family, Claire manages to cope and even seek out help from unexpected sources. She even takes responsibility for the flaw in the computer she helped build in a mature way without whining.

This edition even has a bonus short story called "Worth Living For" which features Shane getting asked for help by Hannah and Richard with a rogue vampire problem. It doesn't really add anything to the Morganville world, but it is a fun read.

All in all this was another great read and I can't wait to start Bite Club.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 8/10

Overall: 47/50

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine

Title: Kiss of Death
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Allison & Busby
ISBN: 978-0-7490-0784-3
Pages: 348
Series: The Morganville Vampires #8
Type: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Purchased

Life in Morganville may be full of vampires, death threats and danger, but for Claire and her friends it isn't enough. They crave the excitement of the real world so when Michael is given the opportunity to record a demo at a music studio in Dallas, the group seize the opportunity to get out of town. But when town leader Amelie insists Oliver accompany them their fun road trip starts to lose its shine and a run in with some small town locals puts all of their lives in danger...

This is the eight book in the Morganville Vampires series (after Glass Houses, The Dead Girls' Dance, Midnight Alley, Feast of Fools, Lord of Misrule, Carpe Corpus and Fade Out) and is a great return to form after the disappointment of the previous installment.

This time the story is set outside of Morganville and it's great to see how much of a reality shock it is for Morganville natives Michael and Eve. Claire and Shane have lived in the outside world so they don't have to adapt whereas for Michael and Eve all of the rules are different which leads to them getting themselves into more than a little trouble. The pacing is brilliant with the group leaving on their adventure in fair time and running into a stream of trouble almost straight away. There are also some clever twists and turns leading to a tightly plottted read.

In terms of characters Claire and Shane learn to play more to their strengths, with Claire taking some steps forward in terms of confidence and creativity when it comes to making Morganville's rules work for her. Michael and Eve also begin to deal with the realities of a human/vampire relationship, and it is interesting to see how getting out into the real world affects all the characters.

All in all this was an awesome read and I can't wait to get stuck into Ghost Town.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 49/50

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday (11)

Shelf Candy Saturday is an awesome weekly meme hosted by Five Alarm Book Reviews where each Saturday bloggers defy the saying "never judge a book by its cover" and showcase one that really catches their eye. Covers play a huge role in the books I choose so it's great to have the opportunity to showcase the pretties :)

My shelf candy for this week is Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs.

Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.

I love the simplicity of this cover. Usually I'm not a massive fan of covers with people on them, but this stands out from the crowd for me. I love how the bottom of her braid is twisting and curling, and it fits with the idea of the main characters being descendants of the snake-haired Medusa of Greek myth.

I even like the print on the hardcover of the book itself. The swirl really echoes the slipcover and the print is the most gorgeous metallic turquoise colour.

So what's your shelf candy this week?

Friday, 17 February 2012

Fade Out by Rachel Caine

Title: Fade Out
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Allison & Busby
ISBN: 978-0-7490-0749-2
Pages: 345
Series: The Morganville Vampires #7
Type: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Purchased

Now Bishop has been removed from Morganville, Claire and her friends are enjoying a modicum of peace. But when Eve's role in the town play brings Kim into their world Claire begins to feel left out. Kim has a history with Shane and as Eve's new best friend, Claire is left to deal with a homicidal computer by herself. When Kim mysteriously disappears, it soon becomes apparent that Kim was playing with forces in Morganville best left alone.

This is the seventh book in the Morganville Vampires series (after Glass Houses, The Dead Girls' Dance, Midnight Alley, Feast of Fools, Lord of Misrule and Carpe Corpus) and was a little disappointing after the previous installment. While in some ways it was nice to take a break from the frenetic pace of the last book, this takes half the book to even get started. The slower pace does allow a more normal day-to-day view of life in Morganville and there are as many twists and turns as usual.

Claire acts more immature in this book than any other. She spends most of the book whining about how Shane had a relationship with Kim and how everyone seems to like Kim more than her. By the time Kim goes missing (in chapter 9) I was already bored of her drama, especially as Ada's attempts to kill Claire have been getting more and more worrysome. Also Kim's activities in Morganville were really interesting and could have been far better developed had she disappeared earlier. Michael is also put in the position of choosing between being on the human side or the vampire side, leaving his relationship with Eve more strained than ever.

Sadly the vampire/human relations post-Bishop are not fully explored, and with the new rights awarded to Morganville's human residents at the end of the last book I was really looking forward to this. Some plot lines are continued, one of which is Amelie's grief over the loss of Sam and it is cleverly written echoing throughout her whole existence.

All in all this was a fun read and I'm looking forward to reading Kiss of Death.

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 9/10
Cover: 8/10

Overall: 42/50

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Booking Through Thursday (15)

Have you every written any fan-fiction? If yes, why and for which book(s)? If no, would you like to and for which books(s)? For that matter, do you ever READ fan-fiction??

No. I've never written any fan-fiction and nor do I really want to. I'd rather see what the author comes up with for the characters than what I can create in my head. I understand why fans enjoy fan-fictions of their favourite series, especially after a series has finished or while they are waiting for the latest release, but for me those characters sprouted from inside the author's head and so the author is the only one who really knows them.

How many times has an author managed to throw a total game-changer into a story based on a character who has not previously revealed this part of themselves? The Mortal Instruments did it. Or how about when a character's backstory is revealed later in a series and goes to places you'd never expect? Twilight, the Black Dagger Brotherhood, the Dresden Files - it's a common storyline.

I have tried reading fan-fiction before and sometimes it can be pretty good but I can never stop the nagging feeling that something isn't right. It is a great way of exploring concepts and storylines away from the main books, it just doesn't work for me.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine

Title: Carpe Corpus
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Allison & Busby
ISBN: 978-0-7490-0777-5
Pages: 382
Series: The Morganville Vampires #6
Type: Young Adult Paranormal
Source: Purchased

Morganville has now been completely reshaped by Bishop. Myrnin, Claire and Michael have joined his side and Shane has been thrown into jail. With Bishop's reign of terror seemingly unending Morganville is starting to pull apart at the seams and it is the human residents at greatest risk. Until Amelie emerges from hiding and Claire can free herself of Bishop's influence, Morganville's destruction is imminent...

This is the sixth book in the Morganville Vampires series (after Glass Houses, The Dead Girls' Dance, Midnight Alley, Feast of Fools and Lord of Misrule) and is a brilliant return to form. While the previous book was still enjoyable it wasn't as action-packed or fast-paced as the other installments. This however is a tightly plotted read that is overflowing with action, twisting storylines and revelations.

The storyline is completely packed with action, twists and turns and revelations about Morganville's structure and purpose. The world building is complex and unexpected, with the introduction of Ada coming out of the blue and yet fitting incredibly well within the existing plot lines. The tension builds throughout to a shocking conclusion, resulting in the loss of a favourite character. A few unfinished plot lines are also picked up and concluded, like the mysterious deaths of young girls in Morganville before Bishop's arrival which leads to some surprising character developments.

Claire is really caught in the middle of Amelie and Bishop's war in this book and because of this she has become separated from all her friends. Michael has been forced onto Bishop's side and Shane is imprisoned with his father, leaving Eve living alone in the Glass House. It is the first time in the series that each of the main four characters have been isolated and it gives the book a brilliant jumping off point, especially as it begins with Claire's seventeenth birthday that she had expected to be spending surrounded by her friends.

This edition also includes a brand new Morganville short story called "Murdered Out". It basically shows Shane buying a car and arguing with a powerful vampire which is a nice bonus.

All in all this was an awesome read and I'm really looking forward to reading Fade Out.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 49/50

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (19)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the Broke and the Bookish where a new top ten list is posted each week. This week is: Top Ten Books That Broke Your Heart a Little.

1. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
I stumbled across this as a teenager in my local library and picked it up expecting a standard paranormal romance...but it isn't. This is a more realistic love story where people aren't perfect and don't necessarily react in the best ways, ending up in a totally different place to what I expected.

2. Daughters of Darkness by L.J. Smith
It is a little difficult to talk about why this book broke my heart without revealing huge parts of the plot, but one of the characters makes a choice to go off and become worthy before taking what they want. How could a line like "see you next year...with slain dragon" not break your heart a little?

3. Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Acheron had been a favourite character of mine from the start of the Dark Hunter series so when it came to his own book I couldn't wait. I knew his past had been bad, but the first half of this book shows exactly how bad. This didn't just break my shattered it.

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
I would not be surprised if this pops up on a lot of lists this week purely because of the body count. J.K. Rowling didn't hold back and some of my favourite characters didn't survive this book. Two of the death scenes were particularly heartwrenching, not to mention unexpected :(

5. Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Zarek is another tortured hero but it isn't just Zarek's past that broke my heart. His entire life is a torment thanks to a sadistic deity and this book takes place as a divine judge is sent to determine whether he is too dangerous to live. But even as Zarek embraces his insanity, his truly sweet hidden side sneaks out and that is what broke my heart.

6. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
At an event with Maggie Stiefvater last year she announced one of the things she hoped to do with her books was to make the reader cry. With me, she succeeded - and I rarely ever cry at books. Some how she's managed to create incredibly realistic heartwrenching stories that succeed in making her readers cry, especially with the end of Shiver.

7. Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
Zsadist is another one of those broken characters who you fall in love with only to end up with your heart bleeding over what happened in their past. Zsadist also doesn't think he is worthy of love anymore so he pushes everyone away, especially those who truly love him.

8. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
The scene when Edward leaves is heartwrenching, but that is not the part of New Moon that managed to break my heart. Nope - my heart was broken by four little pages: OCTOBER. NOVEMBER. DECEMBER. JANUARY. The fact that Bella's life loses meaning without Edward is more painful than anything else from the book.

9. The Haunted by Jessica Verday
This book has one of the few cliffhangers that I don't hate. The end of the book changes everything for Abby and Caspian and left me completely crushed. I haven't managed to read the final installment yet but I'm desperately hoping it gives these guys the happy ending they deserve.

10. Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My final pick didn't break my heart because of the storyline, but because of a single event. The main character Grace has a library of her books tucked away in her home and a psycho breaks in and shreds them. Her reaction combined with the details of the book massacre (we're talking destroyed first editions here), and the reaction of hunky Julian totally broke my heart.

Teaser Tuesday (19)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.


My teaser:

"If by snacks she meant students, then Claire supposed she was right. And the university was full of cavernous buildings, many of which were deserted at night."

~ Page 302, Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Glamor Amour by Irene Alexeeva