WWW Wednesday 30.04.14

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: The Unicorn Thief by R. Russell. I requested this from Netgalley without realising that it’s the second book in the series…but it just looks so cute.

Recently Finished: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – so SO good. I’m finding it hard put together a review that isn’t just OMG THIS IS AMAZING, but I’ll try! I also finished Insurgent, which was pretty amazing too. I haven’t reviewed it (4/5), but Di did…when she was drunk.

Up Next: I really have to catch up on ARCS again…first on the list is After Wimbledon by Jennifer Gilby Roberts, plus I’m waiting on The One by Kiera Cass to arrive next week!

Leave the link to your post and I’ll come and visit 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books You Should Read If You Like…

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is 10 Books You Should Read if you Like X (TV show/Film etc).

Ooh I like this topic, it’s fun. But I had a hard time coming up with 10 books for just one TV Show or film so I’ve split it into a few categories.

Books you should read if you like…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
BTVS is my favourite show of all time. It’s everything a high school drama with vampires should be! It’s witty and has a kick-ass protagonist, as do the following books.

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The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Veronica Mars
V Mars is so awesome. She’s ridiculously intelligent and mature for her age, and she can’t help getting herself into sticky situations. Her dad -who is pretty adorable- is a PI, and the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. These books also have feisty female protagonists whose inquisitive natures get them into all sorts of scrapes, whether it’s fighting octopuses (Ruby Redfort) or studying poisons (Flavia de Luce).

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The Ruby Redfort books by Lauren Child
Skulduggery pleasant by Derek Landy
The Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley
The Lily Pascale mysteries by Scarlett Thomas

True Detective
I just finished watching this show last night (gooooood ending), and I did enjoy but it has such a slow-burning pace. And that’s what really reminded me of this book.

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The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

Guest Post: Di does…Insurgent!

insur One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

It turns out I don’t need to review Insurgent which I finished last week, because my friend Di got hammered and wrote this hilarious and strangely almost-insightful rant/review and sent it to me. She’s probably regretting that right now. But it’s too good to not share.

Here she goes…[I am butting in in square brackets]

When I was first handed Divergent it was with the promise of the Hunger Games but with guns. That seemed OK to me because of the Hunger Games shaped hole in my life that no matter how many times I reread, it never filled that first anxious fist-chewing time.

I did not have this feeling reading Divergent. In fact I don’t even recall a feeling. I was jet-lagged, it was 3 AM and it filled a space of time in my life that needed filling. And I don’t know if I even liked it, it was just… Fluff.

So, imagine my surprise whilst reading Insurgent to find that I’m so transfixed I can barely use my phone to inform Lipsy [Hi] of this unexpected glee. IT’S THE HUNGER GAMES ALL OVER AGAIN I believe was all I could text whilst not looking at my phone. Followed by FOUR IS BEING A DOUCHEBAG….This is amazing!

After that day, whilst a bit pissed reading The Sun in a kebab shop, I found a double page spread in which the chap playing Four in the film (not hot enough) [agreed x 1000] was heralded as ‘THE NEXT RPATZ’ and I stifled a smirk. Is this actually the new Twilight?

Fact: Factions, Districts, Tributes, Divergents – Hungervergents.[LOL]

[Anyway] Whilst reading Divergent, I spent a lot of time thinking (as you do) GOOD LORD I COULD HAVE WRITTEN THIS WHEN I WAS 20. Then I read that it was in fact written by a 25 Year old.

RESPECT!

Where Divergent was a bit meh, [I could not disagree more] Insurgent soars. Tris and Four argue a lot, it’s great. They are real people that you get pissed off with for their petty reasonings before remembering they are 16 years old. Also the make out scenes are hot. So much hotter than divergent, SRSLY [this I do agree with].

The relationships are real. Christina and Tris as Bffs is REAL YOU GUYS. Four and Tris as teenagers in love, real in the lamest way possible. As it should be.

HOWEVER what the Hunger Games lacked in hotties (let’s be honest, the movies tried and failed to make either Peeta or Gale ‘leading males’ – the Hunger Games is 100% Katniss…OK and a bit of Gale being moody) Divergent probably fills the Twilight / RPatz void.

Four is unavailable, distant, hot, moody, difficult, all the things we apparently want in a teen heart-throb (srsly though) and it’s strange to see the film version neatly slotting into the void left behind by Twilight, when the books are so obviously more Hunger Games in nature. It’s an interesting case study… except we know it’s all trash (apart from the Hunger Games which is genius). [Anyone getting a bit lost here?]

Let’s talk about the end of this book. ***no spoilers*** The end of this book… is perfect [I thought it went on a bit tbh] I could see it coming a mile off (to the point where I was like ‘that’s too obvious and clearly not going to happen’) then it HAPPENED and woah. Perfect.

In hindsight, Insurgent is a lot more like a Margaret Atwood novel than any YA I’ve read. You know, maybe… The Handmaids Tale or Oryx & Crake. I have heard nothing but REALLY BAD things about Allegiant, the final novel in the Divergent series, but controversially, I am gagging to read it and think it will be amazing. But then, I really loved Mockingjay so…

THIS HAS BEEN A DRUNK REVIEW WRITTEN BY DIANNE TANNER. [She wrote that, not me, honest!]

Di Di has a photo blog called Icefloe, which is awesome. You can go there by clicking on the image.

Dear Netgalley….

…You have been an invaluable service to me and my blog. You have allowed me read an abundance of books before their release date. You are extremely easy to use, and have asked for little in return – a review.

However, if you ‘archive’ one more book BEFORE the publication date so I can no longer download it, and therefore can not read and review it, we are going to have words. This has been the second time in as many months that a book when originally requested, had no archive date set. And then, at least one week BEFORE the publication date you have suddenly archived it, making it redundant.

It’s not just the missing out on reading the book itself, it’s more what it is doing to my NetGalley profile. I now only have a 60% feedback to approval ratio. That can’t be good can it? Can I dispute it?

Answer me, Netgalley Gods!

Sincerely Annoyed,

Lipsy

Friday Feature – Let’s Fangirl for a Second

I had a a proper post all planned out for today’s feature – with notes and everything – but then I saw that the cover reveal for Throne of Glass #3 came and went yesterday and it got me excited/distracted!

The ToG books, not to be confused with GoT which I kept calling it at first, is becoming one of my favourite series. I haven’t found them perfect reads by any means, but the protagonist Celaena Sardothien is so awesome I’d probably read about her painting her nails and still enjoy it! Not to mention how pretty they are…and you should all know by now that pretty book covers will eventually be my downfall.

So here are the two covers revealed on the Throne of Glass Fb page yesterday. They may be pretty similar but I still think we Brits get the better one! In your face America. Ahem.

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And while I’m in fangirl mode, guess what’s coming out in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS….

….THE ONE (The Selection #3), OBVS!

FINALLY!!!

Blog Tour: Cutlass by Ashley Nixon (Review & Giveaway)

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I’m delighted to host a tour stop today for Ashley Nixon’s pirate adventure, Cutlass. It made me want to be a pirate, you guys! Keep reading for my review and to enter the awesome giveway.

cutTitle: Cutlass
Author: Ashley Nixon
Series:(Cutlass Series #1)
Publication date: April 23rd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Purchase from Amazon: Paperback / Kindle

Synopsis
Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.

Review

I don’t think I’ve really read many good pirate books, certainly not since I started blogging, so all I really had to compare Cutlass to before I started reading was classics like Treasure Island and Peter Pan, and it turns out Cutlass, is completely different to both of those, but just as fun!

As all good pirate stories should, Cutlass starts with the kidnapping of a beautiful young woman. The infamous-beyond-his-years pirate Barren Reed and his crew gatecrash his brother William’s engagement party to kidnap Larkin (the fiancé) in an attempt to exact revenge for their father’s death. The only problem is that Larkin doesn’t seem too keen to marry William anyway, and is not quite the damsel in distress that Barren expected her to be.

I was hooked from the start of this book, despite it taking me a while to warm to Barren himself. I felt like he really came into his own as he got to know Larkin better. Larkin was such a strong, feisty character I really felt like she carried a lot of the book, which is no bad thing.

The relationship between Barren and Leaf was adorable too. Other than Larkin, Leaf seemed to be the only person who could put Barren in his place, without fearing for his life. He’s mischievous and funny, and it was easy to believe that they’d been friends forever.

Ashley Nixon did such a great job at world-building. I felt like the history of The Orient was rich and interesting and I just wanted to jump on board and sail along with them.

I did think it took a bit too long to get to the main body of the story – the hunt for the mysterious bloodstone – but even though the pacing was a bit slow at times, it reminded me of a good old-fashioned yarn so I was OK with that! I mean, everything about it screams epic adventure, from a chapter entitled Old Salt, to Barren yelling “If the sea had wanted you, I wouldn’t have been able to save you.”

I also devoured it in two sittings (OK, so I kind of had to because -DEADLINE- and I left it to the last minute but that’s besides the point!), they were two very enjoyable sittings!

I thought the use of elves, magic in a story centered around a pirates was unique and clever, and the myth of the bloodstone was intriguing. And yes I admit it, I was totally in love with Barren by the end of the book. I look forward to reading more of his and Larkin’s adventures.

“I am a pirate, I always follow my heart. It is the only thing I am loyal to.”

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Meet the Author

Ashley Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren’t used as much as she’d like.

When she’s not writing, she’s hard at work on her Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Technology, working out, or pretending she’s Sherlock Holmes.

Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she’s loved everything Fantasy–resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the ‘geek’ tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.

 

Links:
Twitter
Goodreads
Facebook
Website

Giveaway

Tour wide giveaway (INTL)

• Prize 1) A signed Paperback Copy of Cutlass, a cute octopus mug (it’s purple and ADORABLE), Bookmark, and maybe a poster.
• Prize 2) A signed Paperback of Cutlass + a bookmark
• Prize 3) E-book of Cutlass

Enter Rafflecopter giveaway

WWW Wednesday 23.04.14

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: I’m almost done with Insurgent and I’m also reading Cutlass to review for the blog tour tomorrow. It’s piratey good!

Recently Finished: Dark Eden by Chris Beckett which I reviewed here.

Up Next: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer… I know I keep saying it but I WILL get to it in the next few days! I’ve been busy with ARCs!