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+

Sunday, 6 November 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

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.

Can I start off by saying I am so sorry that I haven't updated in so long! I've been super busy and I haven't had much access to a computer for a few months. I've still been reading like crazy though and now that I have a new computer expect lots of posts from me! Now, onto the books!


Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan: I saw this sitting on the shelf and was instantly reminded of Across The Universe by Beth Revis. I already knew that some people were comparing it to that book so I was a bit hesitant to pick it up because I've tried and failed to get into Across The Universe earlier in the year, but so far I am totally captivated by the story so fingers crossed that I love it as much as I want to! And can I just say, Cover Love! It's even more gorgeous in person!

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand: I am so excited to read this! I've gone a bit off of paranormal romances because I can't stand the protaganists, to be honest! They seem to (with a few exceptions) be boring, whiny and weak characters but I hear great things about this book and the characters. Please don't let me down, Mrs Hand!

Bright Girls by Clare Chambers: One of those rare books I buy before hearing anything about it! I am a huge fan of UK YA and I'm always so excited to find a British title. The plot sounds interesting, maybe like a slightly older Jacqueline Wilson? (Who used to be the only author I would read haha!) Looking forward to getting stuck into this one!

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, 20 April 2011

Book Review: The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

Goodreads Summary:

In the right dose, everything is a poison. Even love . . .
Jessamine Luxton has lived all her sixteen years in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle, with little company apart from the plants in her garden. Her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary, has taught her much about the incredible powers of plants: that even the most innocent-looking weed can cure -- or kill.

When Jessamine begins to fall in love with a mysterious boy who claims to communicate with plants, she is drawn into the dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined . .

My Review:

The Poison Diaries was a quick and thoroughly entertaining read.  The concept sounded fascinating to me and I definitely haven't read any other book like it.

I have to start by saying that the writing in this book is GORGEOUS. The imagery was lovely and I found myself enchanted by the setting and the atmosphere of the book. The words just flowed off of the page and I found myself flying through chapter after chapter, and when it was over I found myself wanting more. (Yay for the sequel!) Jessamine was quite a bland character to begin with but when she met Weed, he seemed to set off a spark in her and she became more gutsy and independent. Weed was a slightly odd but loveable character. I didn't really know what was going on with him at the beginning, but when I found out I was a little bit like "what the..?!" but Maryrose Wood definitely pulled off some plot twists that in the wrong hands would be totally unbelievable and cringeworthy. Weed had a lot to deal with but he really cared about Jessamine and was willing to sacrafice a lot for her. Their romance was sweet, and although it was quite subtle, there were some swoon-worthy moments!

I enjoyed the first 3 quarters of the book the most because the end got a little too dark for me. Some of the stuff that Weed had to do and witness I really didn't enjoy reading but it was over quickly and helped the reader to understand Weed and his character more. Near the end I got a bit confused but the last chapter wrapped it up, including a twist that I suspect many will guess but I didn't see it coming! The overall tone of the book was quite creepy and atmospheric and I look forward to reading the sequel. I really hope that
Weed has more screen (page?) time- I would love to know more about his background and 'talents'.

I would  recommend reading The Poison Diaries, especially if you want to read something that hasn't been done before with a huge dose of atmosphere and lyrical writing, just enough romance to keep a romantic like me happy and some un-expected turns. This book is part of a series but works well as a stand-alone too. I read this in a little over 2 hours so it's perfect for a rainy afternoon! 

Rating: A-
Cover: B+

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Book Review: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Goodreads Summary:

Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?
When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the “perfect” man.

Sadie, however, couldn't care less.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way.

My Review:

Reading a Sophie Kinsella book is like snuggling up on the sofa with a cup of tea on a cold night. It's cosy and comfortable, and you know exactly what you're in for. I know it isn't YA but I was having a bad week and I wanted to read something cute, fluffy and hilarious which is exactly what this book was! Most of Sophie Kinsella's novels stick to a formula- whimsical twenty-something girl gets into a crazy situation, everything goes wrong but in the end they all live happily ever after. It works and it keeps me buying her books because I know it will be light hearted and won't leave me in a deep state of depression after I've finished it and Twenties Girl was no exception.

Lara is at the funeral of her 105 year old great-aunt Sadie, who she has never met, when suddenly a girl in her early 20s appears next to her. She is wearing a beautiful 1920s outfit and keeps asking where her necklace is. Lara figures out that it is in fact Sadie and resolves to help her great aunt find her beloved necklace.

Sadie is such a great character. She is bossy and can be a bit self-centred, but she helps Lara to come out of her shell and embrace life. She made me laugh out loud so many times and even though she drives Lara round the bend, Lara comes to think of her as a friend. I loved reading about Sadie's gorgeous 1920's dresses and learning about her past with a boy called Stephen, was the best part of the book for me. Lara is just as adorable as Kinsella's other main characters and being in her head is so much fun!

I also really enjoyed the cute relationship between Lara and Ed, even if my heart ached a bit for Sadie. Lara helped Ed loosen up in the same way that Sadie did for her, and the scenes with the Charleston lessons were so funny to read!

Sophie Kinsella is such a talented writer, and I think one of the things she does best is create a mystery with so many un-expected turns but it is still so believeable. I have been reading her books for years now, and she's definitely an author who I know will deliver time after time. So, if you're looking for something light and fun between heavier reads this book hits the spot perfectly!

Rating: A
Cover: A

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Book Review: Finding Sky by Joss Stirling

Goodreads Summary:

When Sky catches a glimpse of Zed for the first time, lounging against his motorbike at school, she is drawn to him just like every other girl in Wickenridge. But Zed sees something special in her that the other girls don't have. Zed tells her they are both Savants - people with special powers like telepathy and the ability to see into the future. Not only that, she is a Savant too, and his soulfinder - meant to be together.

When a soulfinder speaks telepathically to her partner, it's like all the lights coming on in a building. You lit me up like Vegas. But for Sky it's just not that easy - she's a mystery to herself, haunted by nightmares from her past before she was adopted, and riddled with doubt and insecurity. Just when Sky is slowly coming round to the idea of being with Zed she is kidnapped by a family of criminal Savants. In a chilling twist, Sky and Zed's relationship is put to the ultimate test and the fate of those she loves lie in Sky's hands. Will Sky have the strength to embrace her power and be brave enough to control her own destiny, or will the dark demons of her past prevent her from realising her true potential?

My Review:

I picked up this book in my local Tescos, and having not heard of it or anything about it, I started it with an open mind. The blurb peaked my interest immediately- English girl moves to an American high school and falls for a bad boy who she can talk to in her mind. Sounds great, right? So why did this book fall a little flat for me?

Sky was an interesting character. She can't remember anything from before she was 10. She doesn't even remember her name! That's gotta be really frustrating but she's a pretty grounded and normal teenage girl, if a bit shy and un-trusting. I felt that she really came into herself throughout the book and I was really happy for her when she found out some things about her past.

Zed, and the whole of the Benedict family for that matter, were totally charming! I thought that Zed was a really cute character. He cared alot about Sky and I thought they had a really sweet romance, but I don't think it was as intense and sizzling as we were promised on the blurb. Though, I was glad that Sky didn't just except that an almost stranger was telling her that she was his kind of soulmate and she didn't just fall into his arms straight away- he had to prove it! Zed's character totally changed overnight when he met Sky due to her being his Soul Finder, and I was really interested to learn the history behind soul finders and Savants but it never happened! I was so shocked as to how little was explained about Savants and it left me totally confused. Maybe more explanation will come in the sequel about Yves?

One thing I did like was how the characters actually had a sense of humour and there were a lot of fun scenes in the book, something that can be quite lacking in the paranormal genre! Both Sky and Zed made me laugh out loud, particulary Sky's narration at the beginning of the book. Oh, and another thing I enjoyed was how when Sky couldn't handle things in real life she imagined them as pages on comic books. I really liked that quirk of hers!

One thing I didn't believe is how much her parents left her alone! They let her stay with a family who they had only met once for a over a week in a relatively new town to them. I don't think most parents would be too happy about that, but that fact that they had adopted Sky as a traumatised 10 year old should make them worry even more about her wellbeing. They always seemed to be out when she was at home which was a little too convenient!

Overall, while I did enjoy reading Finding Sky and I can see why some people love it, for me it was just an ok read. I probably won't be reading it again but it was a quick read and I might pick up the sequel to see where the story goes.

Oh, and kind of off topic but Sky moved to Colorado from Richmond-Upon-Thames which is fairly close to where I live! I just thought that was kind of cool as I love reading about people/places near me in books!

Rating: B-
Cover: C

Monday, 11 April 2011

Book Review: TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow

Goodreads Summary:

Liam O'Connor should have died at sea in 1912. Maddy Carter should have died on a plane in 2010. Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2029. Yet moments before death, someone mysteriously appeared and said, 'Take my hand ...' But Liam, Maddy and Sal aren't rescued. They are recruited by an agency that no one knows exists, with only one purpose - to fix broken history. Because time travel is here, and there are those who would go back in time and change the past. That's why the TimeRiders exist: to protect us. To stop time travel from destroying the world...

My Review:

I was so excited to read TimeRiders and it definitely didn't disappoint!

I have only read a few books involving time travel and I was worried
that the characters would be flat and one dimensional, just to carry along the action but that wasn't the case at all. I found myself really caring and worrying about what would happen to the characters, especially Liam and Sal.

One thing I especially enjoyed about TimeRiders was the history element. We got a glimpse at the assasination of John F. Kennedy which I found really interesting and I hope that in the next books the agency visit more important historic moments. I liked seeing how one small change in the past could make a huge difference to the present.

I found myself totally hooked on the story from page one! I did get a little bored in the middle when the focus shifted more towards Kramer but it was absolutely necessary to the story and the chapters that were written from his point of view were mostly short, so it was never long before we were back to the good stuff! I'm not really sure why I didn't enjoy the chapters about Kramer as much, but one thing I did like about it was how Kramer was an interesting villian who wasn't just downright evil- he was trying to make things better but went about it in a twisted way.

Liam was my favourite character. He was saved from drowning aboard the Titanic and thrust into modern day New York, which was completely alien to him and yet he lapped it all up. He was way in over his head at times but he handled it well and his friendship with Bob was very touching. I also really loved Sal! She is only 13 and finds herself living at the same time her parents were children, experiencing things she had only ever heard about as history. I thought it was so sweet how much she cared about Liam and Alex Scarrow did a really good job writing Sal, as I found her reactions spot on to how a young girl would actually behave in the situations that she was put in.

Another thing I love is how the cover matches the book perfectly. The Liam, Maddy and Sal on the cover, look exactly how I imagined them in my head! Everything on the cover is exactly as it is in the book and I find that rarely happens, so it definitely wins brownie points with me!

I am so glad I finally picked this book up after seeing it everytime I went into Waterstones! I hear there are going to be 9(!) books in the series and I couldn't be happier about that! I will definitely be reading every one! TimeRiders is an exciting book about time travel, consequences and friendship. It had me on the edge of my seat, flipping through pages at times and then a few pages on, I would be on the verge of tears. I would definitely recommend grabbing a copy as soon as you can!

Rating: A+
Cover: A

Monday, 4 April 2011

10 Good Things On A Monday: Ten TV Shows That Always Cheer Me Up

10 Good Things on a Monday is a weekly feature hosted by Brush Up On Your Reading. My 10 Good Things On a Monday this week is:

TV Shows That Can Always Cheer Me Up

10.The Big Bang Theory- This show is so cute! Sheldon cracks me up, Penny and Leonard are too sweet and it's always so silly. I always end up laughing goofily when I watch :)

9.Gavin and Stacey- Gavin and Stacey is such a sweet and funny programme. It's about two 20-something's Gavin- who lives in Essex, England and Stacey who lives on Barry Island, Wales who start talking on the phone through work and after months they finally meet and get engaged. (Not a spoiler- this happens within the first 2 episodes!) It's a really feel-good show with a sweet romance and Smithy, Nessa and Uncle Bryn always have me laughing out loud.

8. The Tudors- The last episode of the Tudors was shown this week and I'm really gonna miss it! It is full of scandal and I love anything to do with the Tudor period. Plus, there are some pretty fit guys in this. Hello, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Henry Cavill!

7. Extras- This show is genius! It's about 2 extras, Andy and Maggie, who are trying to become proper actors. It is so funny and some of the scenes are proper cringy! Loads of famous faces have appeared in it too from Orlando Bloom to Kate Winslet to Ben Stiller. Comedy gold!

6. Keeping Up With the Kardashians- I love watching this show. I have always been a little bit obsessed with reality shows (it started with Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica and Big Brother). It lets me escape my life and go in to the glamourous lives of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe. They always make me laugh and I love seeing them being normal and arguing at home!

5. The Middle- This is one of my new favourite programmes. It's about the Heck family who are just as crazy as most families in real life are! Axl and Brick are so funny, and Sue is probably one of my fave characters of all time. She is so sweet and happy and determined, even when she gets rejected by every club she tries out for. Such a sweet show!

4. Glee- How could I do a post about TV shows that always cheer me up without including Glee?! This show is just so bloody cute and I defy you not to have a smile on your face through it! Love the songs and Finn is a total fittie! My name is Natalie and I am a total Gleek!

3. Doctor Who- Call me a geek, but this is one of my top shows of all time. It has time travel, it has killer robots and it has a nine hundred and something year old time lord who changes his face! Amy Pond is one of my favourite companians and it's not just because she has the most beautiful coloured hair (Seriously, where can I get hair that gorgeous?)

2. Friends- No TV show list would be complete without Friends! I must have seen each episode a dozen times and they still crack me up. Especially ones where Ross gets drunk or Ross gets a spray tan. I love Ross!

1. How I Met Your Mother- Oh, HIMYM, how I love you. My new favourite tv show of all time. Barney is legen-wait for it-dary, Lily and Marshall are so cute, Robin is totally cool and Ted is a sweetheart! I seriously love every one of them. The show ALWAYS cheers me up and I only hope when I'm older I have a group of friends like them.

This has been so much fun- leave a link if you've taken part in 10 Good Things On A Monday!

Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Goodreads Summary:

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life--dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows.
After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues--and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.
Printz medalist John Green returns with the brilliant wit and searing emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

My Review:

Paper Towns is the first book I have read by John Green and I am fairly certain it won't be the last! This novel was everything I was hoping for and so much more. I'm finding it really hard to write this review becauase I loved it so much and I really want to do it justice.

Quentin, or Q, has been pretty much in love with his next door neighbour Margo since they were kids. 9 years after they last hung out, Margo sneaks into Q's bedroom asking for a ride. Q thinks that after their night together everything will change between them but Margo doesn't show up for school the next day which leads Q to go on a wild goose chase after Margo and leaves him questioning everything about who she was and who he is becoming.

Margo is such a fascinating character to the reader, and to Q. She is Queen Bee at school, without being a total bitch. She can get anyone to do anything for her because they want to please her and be around her. She's a free spirit and will do anything she thinks is fun, no matter the consequences which is why quiet, sensible Q is so drawn to her. Margo and Q are such awesome characters. They are flawed and unsure and real. Q will stop at nothing to try and find Margo, in two senses- where she is and who she actually is. Q realises that Margo is different things to different people and everybody she knows has a set version of her that they have built up in their heads.

I loved Margo. She is so much fun and although she pushes Q out of his comfort zones, she doesn't do it to be mean. She tries to get him to loosen up and is ultimately trying to help him. She is the crazy, unattainable girl who comes up with the best schemes but there is a whole other side of her which she hides from everybody. She is deep and thinks about things a lot- probably too much. Margo feels like she can't be herself and feels very trapped in Florida which she describes as a paper town.  She may come off a little selfish, but seriously, what teenager isn't? I think she and Q compliment each other perfectly.

My favourite parts of Paper Towns were that first night Q spent with Margo in his mum's minivan and the road trip that Q and his friends take near the end of the book. I love every one of Q's friends, and Ben in particular provides a bunch of comic relief when things start getting too serious.

I found myself checking how many pages were left until the end of the book frequently because I was so desperate to find out how this would end. The plot slows down a bit in the middle but it is totally necessary to build the mystery and leads perfectly to the climatic conclusion.

John Green crafts such real and complex characters which totally make the book what it is.. I've heard that the main characters in his other books are very similar to Q and Margo so I really can't wait to see how they compare to Paper Towns. 

Paper Towns is such a joy to read and I whole-heartedly suggest reading it sometime soon if you haven't already.

Rating: A+
Cover: B+

Sunday, 3 April 2011

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and I am so excited to be taking part for the first time!


Angel by L.A Weatherly: I've had my eye on this book for ages but the cover really creeps me out haha! The premise of the book sounds really interesting and original though, so when I saw it in a 3 for 2 offer in Waterstones I just had to buy it. I might have to hide it at the back of my bookshelf at night though so I don't get freaked out by the girl!

Warriors of Alavna by N.M Browne: I hadn't heard of this one before I spotted in the shop. It sounds so good! It's about two students who are on a school trip and get sucked back to Britain in 70AD. It reminds me a lot of the film Timeline which I love a lot so hopefully it will live up to my expectations. The girl at the counter had read the series and couldn't praise them enough, so fingers crossed I'll enjoy them!

Time Riders by Alex Scarrow: I have seen the Time Riders series in the YA section for so long but though they wouldn't interest me. So on Saturday when I was looking for a book to complete my 3 for 2 offer, I was pleasantly suprised when I read the blurb. It sounds so awesome- I can't wait to get stuck into this!

Paper Towns by John Green: I have wanted to read Paper Towns for ages. I started reading last night and oh my gosh, it is so freaking good! I'll try and finish it tonight so look out for my review sometime this week. (I really hope the ending doesn't disappoint!)

So that's what I got this week :) What did you guys get? Leave me a link to your IMM!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Book Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

Goodreads Summary:
The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls school—that is, if every school teaches advanced martial arts in PE, chemistry always consists of the latest in chemical warfare, and everyone breaks CIA codes for extra credit in computer class. So in truth, while the Gallagher Academy might say it's a school for geniuses what they really mean is spies. But what happens when a Gallagher Girl falls for a boy who doesn't have a code name?

Cammie Morgan may be fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti), but the Gallagher Academy hasn't prepared her for what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she's an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without him ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her? Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, she's doing something riskier than ever—she's falling in love.

My Review:

This book is so much fun! Who hasn't been bored during school and daydreamed about being a spy? Well, at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women the girls don't have to because their lessons are preparing them for life as spies.

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You is a cute, fun, smile-enducing novel that despite being 308 pages long is a quick read. It reminded me a lot of St Trinians with a bit of Princess Diaries thrown in. Nothing too serious but very entertaining and I could definitely imagine seeing this on the big screen.

I really liked Cammie as the main character. She could take down a grown man in seconds but when it came to actually talking to normal boys, she was pretty clueless. Cue the other Gallagher Girls- kick-arse Bex (love her!), slightly geeky and loveable Liz and the new girl in school, boy-expert Macey. I loved reading about the gadgets and I could totally imagine the action scenes in my head. I'm glad Cammie got to experience life outside of being a spy with Josh, and I really hope he is in the next books!

I know I am a late-comer to this series, but I'm definitely going to have fun catching up with the sequels!

Rating: A
Cover: A+

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Book Review: Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Goodreads Summary:

There are six things very wrong with my life:
1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.
2. It is on my nose
3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.
4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic teachers.
5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.
6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.

In this wildly funny journal of a year in the life of Georgia Nicolson, British author Louise Rennison has perfectly captured the soaring joys and bottomless angst of being a teenager. In the spirit of Bridget Jones's Diary, this fresh, irreverent, and simply hilarious book will leave you laughing out loud. As Georgia would say, it's "Fabbity fab fab!"
My Review:

I think Louise Rennison must have snuck a look at my diary from high school. Seriously, this book is my life from when I was 11 until 15. I love Georgia's character so much! She comes out with some great one liners and had me laughing the whole way through. I rarely read things from books out loud to people but I found myself reading out pages at a time as it was so funny.

I have been meaning to read this series for ages! I first entered the world of Georgia when I was about 11 and randomly read a few chapters of the 4th book and found it hilarious. I totally forgot all about it until the film came out. I watched it and loved it, and when I saw the first 2 books in a charity shop for £2 I bought them straight away and read them in a day.

Georgia is a self-centred, vain, moody drama-queen and I love her for it. Most of her time is spent obsessing over boys or how to make herself prettier to attract the boys. She is obsessed with the size of her nose, and her increasingly big nunga-nunga's (boobs), and through her diary entries we get to see the totally crazy lengths that she (and nearly every teenage girl) goes through on her quest for beauty eg. shaving off her eyebrows, making her legs look like Wotsits with fake tan and spending hours putting on make-up to get the natural look!

The supporting characters are just as fab, especially her rather embarassing little sister and her cat that is half scottish wildcat, Georgia's mates- the Ace Gang and of course Sex God Robbie. I love the way Georgia's parents react to her and know how to wind her up, especially her dad. Just like mine! The whole book is laugh-out loud funny but here are a few of my favourite quotes:

(After shaving off her eyebrows)
7:00 p.m
Dad is annoying me so much. He just comes to the door, looks in and laughs, and then he goes away... for a bit. He brought Uncle Eddie upstairs for a look. What am I? A daughter or a fairground attraction? Uncle Eddie said, "Never mind, if they don't grow back you and I can go into showbiz. We can do a double act doing impressions of billiard balls." Oh how I laughed. Not.

Sunday February 7th
Got dressed in a short skirt, then me and Jas walked up and down to the main road. We wanted to see how many cars with boys in them hooted at us. Ten!! (We had to walk up and down for four hours... still, ten is ten!!!)

Louise Rennison's writing is so strong and Georgia's voice is hilarious which totally makes the book. I will definitely be re-reading this one a lot, especially when I need cheering up! If you haven't read this yet, I recommend you get a copy as soon as you can but don't read it in public if you get easily embarassed, as I guarantee you will laugh out loud. There are 10 books in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson Series and I can't wait to read the rest! (Also, the film is just as good so I suggest checking that out too!)

Rating: A+
Cover: B

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Book Review: Entangled by Cat Clarke

Goodreads Summary:

The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?

A story of dark secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction.

My Review:

I knew I wanted to read Entangled as soon as I saw the cover and read the synopsis. The cover is GORGEOUS! I love the model's red hair and does anyone else think she looks like Naomi Watts? Anyway, onto the less shallow things!

I was sucked into this book from the very first page. I honestly don't think anyone could read the first chapter and put this down. The book was so addicting that I read it in one sitting. I loved the fact that it was British because although I am British, I don't find that many contemperary young adult books set here. It was a gritty book and felt very true to life.

Grace's voice was very strong. She was sarcastic, moody and self-centred, especially when it came to her best friend Sal but despite that I still felt myself warming to her. She comes across as a tough cookie but inside I felt she was just lost, scared and lonely. Her mum is never there for her, Sal has a huge problem of her own and the person she loved more than anyone is gone. As the book progresses, Grace works through everything that's happened and she learns a lot about herself. She drags you through every emotion she feels and it's hard reading at times, because you're feeling what she feels every step of the way. Cat Clarke dealt with some difficult issues but they were never over-dramatized or so uncomfortable that it would make you want to put the book down.

One thing I was a little disappointed with was the whole Ethan/kidnapping scenario. I was expecting a bit more from this, and to have my mind blown at the end but it fell a little flat for me. I probably hyped it up too much in my head because I was expecting something different but I don't think it made the book any less enjoyable.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone looking to get engrossed in a well written, thought-provoking book. But be warned, you might want to set aside a few hours or you'll have to drag yourself away from Grace's addicting story!

Rating: A
Cover: A+

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Just HAD To Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Bookshelf

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it is my first time taking part. Yay! It's very fitting for me to start this week because the topic this week is....

Books I Just HAD to Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Bookshelf

I buy books I must have like crazy and then they end up gathering dust on my shelf. Oops! I'm sure I would love them but there's just not enough hours in the day! So here is the shortlist...

1. Noughts and Crosses Series by Malorie Blackman: It is stupid how long I have had these books!I think I bought the first one in about 2005 when I was 12!The premise sounds so good so I don't know why I haven't read them yet.
Hopefully I'll get round to them this year?!

2.A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray: Saw the cover,
read the blurb- had to have it! I still really want to read this one so will
deffo make time for it soon (and the sequels!)

3.Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and Through  The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll: How did I go through childhood without reading this? I finally bought it last year because it was the gorgeous Vintage Classics cover with the original illustrations but I haven't had a chance to pick it up.

4.Wuthering Heights/Pride & Prejudice/Anything by a Bronte sister or Jane Austen: Shameful, I know! I pretty much know what happens in most of them from my love of period dramas but haven't had time to actually read them yet :(

5.Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz: I love the cover and have heard great things but I've just never got
round to it. It seems I have a lot of firsts of series on this list but at least this way I don't have
to wait for the sequels!

6.Torment by Lauren Kate: I think I need to read Fallen again before reading this as I've kind of
forgotten exactly what happened!

7.Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink: I wanted this one for aaages but it was only available in
hardback and then when I finally got it, it kept getting pushed down my tbr list. I'm gonna try and
read it soon!

8.Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld: Got this to read on the Eurostar but bought another one at the station and
forgot all about it!

9.One Day by David Nicholls: Technically, this doesn't count because I've read half. I think I started a new book and just forgot about it. Oops. I was enjoying it though so I'll have to get cracking to read it before the film comes out!

10.The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: Got the book, decided to wait for the film to come out. Loved the film but haven't got round to the book yet! :(

Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, I have a problem. My name is Natalie and I am a book-a-holic. I'm just gonna have to step up my game and read like crazy!! Then I can add more books to my shelves haha!

Book Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Goodreads Summary:

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that one love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

My Review:

I. Am. Not. Worthy. There is no way I could ever do this book justice in my review and I bow down and kiss the feet of the genius that is Lauren Oliver! I count Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver's debut novel, as one of my top 5 of all time. At the back of  the book was a passage from her second novel, Delirium, and as I read it I fell in love all over again. Then I found out it would be a whole 7 months until I could get my hands on it! Man, was it along 7 months but it was so worth it! The concept in itself is just so original. Lauren Oliver's writing is just so beautiful and dreamy and GAH..She could re-write the phonebook and I would lap it up.

I loved the characters and in particular, I liked how much Lena grew as a person over the course of the book. What she wanted and her hopes for the future at the start couldn't have been more different than what they were at the end. When we meet Lena she followed the rules and not only did she accept that when she turned 18 she would never feel love or passion again, she looked forward to it! She counted down the days to her operation like a teenager girl in our world would to their prom. Then she met Alex. Alex is pretty much everything that Lena has been taught to fear and he makes her question if a life 'cured' of love is really as perfect as it seems. I love love love Alex! He was sweet and passionate and you could tell he really cared for Lena. I thought the way Alex first saw her and why he was drawn to her and what he left for her was adorable. He's definitely a rebel with a cause but he's not all brooding doom-and-gloom serious all the time like some love interests are in a lot of YA books. It makes a nice change because he is cheeky and charming. Here's a quote from Lena that I think sums Alex up nicely: "I've never seen anyone maintain a smile for so long. It's like his face is naturally molded that way." And he recites forbidden poetry to boot! Alex is definitely a ray of sunshine in this book (and Lena's life) and probably the reason I loved it so much!

The world Lauren Oliver creates feels so real and desperately sad. A world where love is considered a disease is unthinkable. I guess life would be a lot simpler, but it wouldn't be so beautiful either. The members of Lena's family who have gone through the procedure are very cold and the way that the relationship between Lena and her sister has changed is heartbreaking to read. Her silent cousin Grace is also a character I adored.

Another thing I love is the way the chapters start with a quote from the Book of Shhh (The Safety, Health and Happiness Handbook) or a childrens nursery rhyme. It gives us a look at how they have been brought up and manipulated to believe that love or amor deliria nervosa is a dangerous disease that should be feared. I particularly thought it was a nice touch to have Romeo and Juliet presented to them as a cautionary tale.

The ending was just CRUEL. I have to know what happens next!! I honestly don't know what's going to happen between Lena and Alex because it's such a heartbreaking situation and I am so super excited (and terrified) to see how their relationship is going to work or not (gulp!).

If you haven't got a copy yet- WHY NOT?- run to the bookshop pronto! Beg, borrow, steal if you have to (just kidding!). Seriously though, it is such a delight and experience to read Delirium and now begins the pain-staking wait for Pandemonium to come out!

Rating: A+
Cover: A

Friday, 25 February 2011

Book Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Goodreads Summary:

When Sophie Mercer turned thirteen, she discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-Gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary.  But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hecate Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fae, and shapeshifters. By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard. Three powerful enemies who look like supermodels; a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock; a creepy, tag-along ghost; and a new roommate, who happens to be the most-hated person and only vampire on campus. Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her friend Jenna is the number one suspect.  Meanwhile, Sophie has a more personal shock to grapple with. Not only is her father the head of the prodigium council, he's the most powerful warlock in the world, and Sophie is his heir. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all prodigium, especially her.

My Review:

Hex Hall has been sitting on my shelf for months now and I'm not really sure why I waited so long to read it. I definitely wish I'd read it sooner but now I don't have an agonizing wait until the second book in the series is out (3rd March)!I LOVE books set in boarding schools and I haven't ready many books about witches so I
was super excited when I sat down and started reading. Within the first 8 pages there is a prom, a thunder cloud dubbed the Magic Doughnut and a football player seranading a girl on his knees. By then, I knew I was in for a hilarious read!

Sophie Mercer is a very likeable and relatable character (except that she's a witch, of course!). She is funny, sarcastic and she never wallowed in self-pity when things didn't turn out quite the way she wanted. Archer Cross is pretty swoon-worthy and I love Jenna, Sophie's vampire roommate who has a pink stripe in her hair.

The book got a little darker than I was expecting towards the end and left off with a cliffhanger that has me itching for the second book in the series, Demonglass/Raising Demons to come out! Overall, this was a hilarious, (mostly) light, quick read with a touch of romance and mystery.

Rating: B+
Cover: A


Hi, I'm Natalie and this is my first ever post on my first ever blog :) I am an avid reader of books and book blogs which is why I decided to start this blog! I read a lot but my tbr pile is still HUGE hence the name I've chosen. I mostly read young adult books but if I happen to stumble into the adult fiction section I usually find something that grabs my interest! I can't wait to start blogging and hopefully I'll make some like-minded friends along the way and learn of more books to add to my tbr pile (uh oh, I can here my purse and bookshelves groaning already!)
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