Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2012

 The Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2012 is hosted by Historical Tapestry

My first ever reading challenge. I am super excited!  I decided to sign up for this one because I absolutely adore Historical Fiction but I don't read enough so hopefully that will change this year. The level I'm going for is:

Undoubtedly Obsessed: 15 books

I'm not sure what I'll be reading yet but I'll be sure to update this post with links to my reviews throughout the year.

Book Review: Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

Goodreads Summary:

Best friends Lani and Erin couldn’'t be more different. Lani'’s reserved and thoughtful; Erin'’s bubbly and outgoing. Lani likes to do her own thing; Erin prefers an entourage. There'’s no possible way they could be interested in the same guy.

So when Erin starts dating Jason, Lani can’'t believe she feels such a deep connection with him— and it may be mutual. The more Lani fights it, the more certain she feels that it’'s her fate to be with Jason. But what do you do when the love of your life is the one person you can’'t have?

My Review:

I first heard about Something Like Fate ages ago and I was really excited to see how Susane Colasanti would tackle the tricky situation of falling in love with your best friend's boyfriend. Sadly, it didn't live up to my expectations.

The situation being what it was, I wanted to feel heartbreak for Lani and Jason. I wanted to love these characters and root for them but instead I found myself wondering why they liked each other so much. If it was just a mutual crush, okay, I could get with that but Lani proclaiming them to be soulmates because they have the same poster in their bedroom and compare brands of water to colours and shapes (um, what?) and other random stuff like that just annoyed me. How can a bottle of water tastle like an orange rhombus anyway?? I know most teenage girls (including me) do obsess over little things that they have in common with the boy they like but Lani calling it 'fate' really irked me.

The two characters I did like, Blake and Connor, I thought were sadly not used to their full potential and I wanted to know more about them and their lives. Blake had a small subplot but it was just kind of brushed over and I thought he forgave Lani far too easily for what she did.

The writing was mostly good and I can't fault Susane Colasanti on her realistic dialogue. She writes exactly how a teenager would speak and I enjoy the banter between her characters. One thing that drove me up the wall though, was the constant use of 'so she was all' and 'I'm like' instead of 'she said', 'I said'. Argh!

I wanted to love it, but maybe it's just not my cup of tea. I know Susane Colasanti has a strong fanbase but this will probably be the last book of hers that I read. No matter how gorgeous the covers are!

Rating: C
Cover: A

Monday, 16 January 2012

In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren where you talk about the books you bought/received during the week.

I am so broke after Christmas (wah) so I haven't being buying many books but here are the ones I bought:

Between by Jessica Warman: I have been wanting this for what seems like forever and it didn't disappoint! Review coming later in the week.

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti: Review coming later in the week!

A Hopeless Romantic by Harriet Evans (Adult)

So that's what I got this week :) What did you guys get? Leave me a link to your IMM and I'll be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Book Review: Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Goodreads Summary:

Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

My Review:

Before I start this review, just a quick warning. Most of it will sound like this: gush..gush..gush..squee..squee..gush..gush..Luke Henry..sigh. Now, I've got that out the way, let's start!

I love this book so much. Easily an instant favourite. The second I read the blurb and saw the beautiful cover (I actually saw the Aussie cover so I had to settle for the UK one. Boo!) I knew this book would be something special. I love it when a book has such an amazing and original idea that makes you go 'wow, why didn't anyone think of that before?' and Forgotten certainly doesn't disappoint.

The condition that our main character, London Lane, has is fascinating and equeally heartbreaking. London can't remember anything that's already happened to her but she can 'remember' what will happen in her future from what she will wear the following day to whether she'll still be friends with people years down the line. Sounds pretty great, right? But what about all those special memories like birthdays and first kisses? London has to experience them second-hand every morning through the notes she leaves herself. And knowing the future isn't always fun when she sees the terrible consequences stemming from her friends and families decisions.

I really felt for London. With her 'condition', I felt that she had to grow up quickly to cope. She was stuck worrying about the future when she should've been enjoying the moment and she felt responsible for the things that were going to happen because she didn't stop them. That's gotta be
exhausting! That didn't stop her from being sweet, strong minded and likeable, though and props to Cat Patrick for writing such a well rounded and realistic character.

Enter Luke Henry. Swoon. Luke was the new boy at school and London meets him during a fire drill but is totally confused when she can't see him in her future. Why can't she see him tomorrow in the lesson they share? And why didn't she write him into the note for that day so she wouldn't be wearing an awful lost-property ensemble when she met the hottie? She doesn't know but soon they start dating and she has to remind herself of him every morning. Luke is one of the hottest YA love-interests I've ever encountered. Gorgeous? Check. Adorable? Check. Sweet and funny? Check. Check. I seriously had to stop myself beaming at the book when I read about Luke and London's dates together. They are such an adorable match and I was definitely rooting for them every step of the way.

Forgotten is a gripping, unputdownable, heartbreaking but ultimately enjoyable read and I know I'll be visiting London's world many times. So raid the local bookshop/library as soon as you can if you haven't read it yet. Seriously, RUN!!

Rating: A+
Cover: B+

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Book Review: Amaranthine by Leah Crichton

Goodreads Summary:
Sixteen year-old Ireland Brady is sure she’s losing her mind.

After a horrific car accident leaves her barely clinging to life, she wakes from a coma with a renewed sense of gratitude to a world more surreal than she could have imagined, a world which includes Orion Alexander.

Darkly handsome, Orion is cool and confident and has his sights set on her—something she’s never experienced—and she finds herself falling hopelessly in love. But when Orion’s betrayal sends her straight into the arms of his rival, Damien, things go from bad to worse.

Despite Orion’s warnings, Ireland is attracted to Damien. He’s strong and protective, and harbors an intense dislike for Orion, which makes him… perfect.

But Damien is not one to be crossed.

When all the secrets are revealed, will Ireland trust the boy who broke her heart? Or is she doomed to suffer a fate worse than death?

My Review:

I started reading Amaranthine with no idea what it was about except for the mysterious summary from Goodreads. I don't want to give away any spoilers because this is one of those books that has a lot of 'oooh!!' mind blowing moments when you finally find out what's going on.

We meet Ireland Brady (can I just say I love that name?!) on the way to her new home on the other side of the country. She's hating her parents for forcing her to move and her bookworm brother is driving her mad with his optomistic attitude. Then the weather gets bad and they're in a car crash which leaves Ireland near death. When they finally arrive at their new house and Ireland goes to her new school, she meets a gorgeous boy who can't seem to leave her alone. But is he all he seems?

I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Ireland. At the beginning of the book, she's this strong, funny, no nonsense girl who I personally wouldn't want to cross but who is perfect as our protaganist. She meets Orion and they have this witty banter that I just LOVE even if Ireland is a bit stuttery (I would be too, what with Orion's "onyx hair" and "aqua eyes") but then what happened, Leah Crichton, what happened? Your awesome character turned into a needy damsel in distress! Okay, maybe I'm being a bit harsh but I didn't love her so much in the middle. When Orion hurts her she justs hops into a car late at night with a stranger that people warn her about. Now, I love a bad boy but Damien is just plain creepy.

I wanted to shake her and tell her to sort her head out and luckily by the last quarter of the book she's back to her badass self!

The story was relatively unique and one thing I really loved about this book is how I didn't see anything coming and I never knew what was going to happen next. The second half of the book was so different to the first and it was such a rollercoaster ride that when I reached the last page I
needed a cup of tea and a sit down!

The romance between Ireland and Orion was HOT and ladies, he's a pretty swoonworthy book crush. Orion was funny and teased Ireland (in a good way) and he was such a breath of fresh air. Even Ireland's mum was flirting with him!

Ireland's family were great. They were a big part of the story and were well written and realistic, as were Orion's group of friends.

Amaranthine was a fast-paced enjoyable read that made me laugh and maybe even cry a little, so definitely pick up a copy if you can!

Rating: A
Cover: B (love the top half with the girl and her beautiful hair!)

Thursday, 29 December 2011

My Favourite Christmas Prezzie

I hope everyone had a wonderful christmas full of opening presents, being around family and generally stuffing your face full of turkey and yummy food. I know I did!
Anyway, this is going to be a pretty gushy post about my new baby....

Yes, I got a Kindle from my lovely parents! It was such a suprise! Now, I've never been sure if I wanted an e-reader being the beautiful cover and book smell junkie that I am. But when I opened one of my presents to find a Kindle case (my mum wanted me to open that first so she could play a joke on me but it didn't work haha) I'm not ashamed to say I let out a girlish squeal and started shaking the presents I hadn't opened yet until I found it.

And let me tell you, it is true love foreverz. I am obsessed with it. I've already read two books on it and I really don't miss having the feel of paper in my hands. I do occasionally go to turn the page or flip to the cover though!

Now, I'm not giving up 'real' books because I love browsing the shelves of Waterstones and curling up with a dog-eared, tatty copy too much. Plus, I've got to have gorgey covers I love in my hands! But now my room (hopefully) won't be covered in stacks of books anymore and I won't have to lug around a bag of books when I go on holiday (18 this summer, I counted!)

So...what bookish presents did you guys get?

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Book Review: Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

Goodreads Summary:

Katrina works in her grandmother's coffee shop in a small town in Washington State, which isn't exactly the coolest job, given that it's an old-world Scandinavian coffee shop rather than the ultra hip Java Hut next door. One morning, when she gives a free cup of coffee and muffin to a homeless guy sleeping out behind the shop, this random act of kindness turns her life upside down. She soon learns that the homeless guy is actually a teenage guardian angel intent on returning the favor. Fame and fortune seem like the obvious requests, but after two botched wishes, Malcolm knows Katrina is hiding something from him. But how can she tell him the truth, when her heart's desire has become Malcolm himself?

My Review:

Coffeehouse Angel was such a perfect, cosy winter read. I loved the whole atmosphere of the book.

Most of it takes place in an old Scandanavian coffeehouse (obviously) where Katrina, our main character, works and lives above with her grandma. I love that little shop. As I was reading I could practically smell the delicious aroma of coffee beans and hear the babble of chatter from the regulars.

Katrina was a likeable protaganist. She wasn't annoying (HUGE deal for me), she matured as the story progressed and her life didn't grind to a halt when she met a cute boy. A cute angel boy, no less.

She finds Malcolm in the alley outside of the shop, and initially thinking he's a tramp, leaves him a cup of coffee and something to eat before getting on with her life. Little did she know, he's actually an angel and because she performed a selfless good deed he has to repay her by making her deepest desire come true. With magic chocolate covered coffee beans!

The blossoming romance between Katrina and Malcolm was cute. He was trying to convince her to eat one of the beans but she was having none of it. The beans cause absolute havoc when they get into the wrong hands and soon Katrina's life is thrown into chaos. As if trying to keep the customers coming through the door and out of next door's more 'current' Java Heaven wasn't problem enough!

Malcolm was an adorably quirky character. He walks around in a kilt, calls Katrina out of an assembly in front of the whole school and relentlessly sticks around trying to find out her deepest desire. I loved the fact that their relationship kind of took a backseat to the rest of Katrina's life. She actually has one outside of her boyfriend!

The rest of the characters were well-written and endearing, especially Katrina's two best friends Elizabeth and Vincent. Elizabeth is a character I absolutely loved. She is outspoken but sweet and supportive and doesn't mind telling Katrina to get a grip when things get out of hand. Everything a good best friend should be. I found the friendship between Vincent and Katrina to be totally realistic and I'm glad things ended the way they did for those two. Also, can I just say Katrina's cat Ratcatcher is awesome?!

The writing was simple but engaging and I found myself rooting for all the characters I was supposed to. The ending was just the icing on the cake, and I look forward to reading more by Suzanne Selfors. If you're looking for a light, warm hearted read then I highly recommend getting your hands on this book!
Rating: A
Cover: B+
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