This Month in Books: March 2017 #TMIB #MarchReleases

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March has been a weird month. I spent most of it in a reading slump and watched a lot of TV instead. Bad Book Blogger! IRL I went home for a weekend to surprise my mum for Mother’s Day which made her happy, won tickets to a 20th anniversary of Buffy the Vampire Slayer party sponsored by the Syfy channel and Fandom which made me very happy (I was in heaven), and took a few days off work which was nice.

March 2017 Stats

Total Posts: 14 (+ 3 from previous month)

Books Read: 4 (-1)
All the Good Things ~ Clare Fisher
Girl in Disguise ~ Greer Macallister
The Invisible Hand ~ James Hartley
King’s Cage ~ Victoria Aveyard

 
The Breakdown:
Genres: YA (2/4); Crime/Thriller (2/4); Fantasy (2/4)

Formats/Sources: Advance Copy (2/4); Digital (1/4); Hardback (0/4); Paperback (3/4) / Owned (1/4); Borrowed (0/4); For Review/proofs (3/4)

Most Surprising: All the Good Things
Most Disappointing: King’s Cage
Most Exciting: Girl in Disguise
Most Swoon-worthy:  Hmm…King’s Cage I guess…
Most Beautifully Written: All the Good Things

Reviews

Most Viewed Posts

  1. This Week in Books 22.03.17
  2. This Week in Books 15.03.17
  3. Lazy Saturday Review: The Rest of us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Promos, Guest Posts and other Highlights

Awards

 

 

 

TBR Shelf Update

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Earlier this year I decided I HAD to do something about my physical TBR shelves. Each month I’ll be doing a quick update to see how I’ve done. See my original post here, and my updated TBR list here. 

Previous TBR Count: 85

Books Added: 0!

Books Read: 1

Remaining: 84

That was my month, how was yours?

Paladins & Politeness: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

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Title: Rebel Belle
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Rebel Belle #1
Edition: Paperback, 368 pages
Publication Details: March 3rd 2015 by Speak
Genre(s): YA; Fantasy
Disclosure? Nope, I bought it

Goodreads // Purchase

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.

Review

If you’re looking for a fun, quirky, fast-paced read then Rebel Belle should be right up your alley. It does exactly what it says on the cover – ‘high spirits and high-jinks’ it certainly was. I came away feeling elated.

Harper Price is a bit of a goody-goody. She’s that girl in school who’s involved in all the extra curricular events and a bit of a teacher’s pet, but she’s also extremely popular – and I liked that. I’m bored of the popular girls being the mean girls!

She can also be seen as your typical southern belle. She’s polite to the point of annoying, and holds old-school values like always respecting your elders (even when they’re trying to kill you) and not cursing (even in the face of death).

It all begins when Harper is attacked in the school toilets and ends up killing a homicidal teacher with her stiletto, discovering that she appears to have super-strength, ninja-like abilities. FUN!

I pretty much liked everything about this book. The action was good, I was invested in the characters, and it made me laugh. There were a few moments when I snorted at the ridiculousness of it, but that shouldn’t come as surprise with a book that was pitched as Legally Blonde meets The Terminator – seriously!

I can’t help likening this to Buffy as well, and not just because there are references to Harper trying to find ‘her Giles’; it has that perfect balance of wit, high-school drama, and mythology, not to mention an awesome, reluctant heroine.

Can’t wait for the next book!

unicorn rating 4

Introducing… Morganville – The Series (Buffy fans rejoice!)

I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t know anything about this until the press release landed in my inbox. And man, I was pretty excited!

Thanks to a Kickstarter campaign and Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry, Rachel Caine has adapted the first book in her Morganville Vampires series, Glass Houses, into a web series comprising of 8-12 minute long episodes, which began airing yesterday.

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Web series have been hailed as the new big thing for a while now, with the ability to reach a worldwide audience faster than any other format. You only have to look at the success of I Kissed a Vampire, Dr. Horrible’s  Sing-a-long Blog or the endless Netflix and Amazon Prime series to see that the way we watch TV is changing.

This Halloween, Morganville: The Series hopes to make a splash in the world of Webisodes…

The entire show was filmed on location in Dallas, Texas, in four separate venues, including a coffee shop, a turn-of-last-century Victorian home, a hospital,and a university, and I’m assured that nearly every episode ends with Rachel Caine’s infamous cliffhanger endings. But at least this time we won’t have to wait too long to found out what happens next. Hurrah!

But, how do you cram a whole book into such a small series?

“The first thing I tried to do, since I wrote the book in 2006,” said Caine, “was to write down everything I remembered from it without re-reading it. That was fascinating, because what I wrote down was really the core story, and that turned out to be what needed to be told in the show.”

It’s also pretty hard to believe that the whole thing was filmed in just 10 days.

Glass Houses was our first introduction to Morganville – a town riddled with vampires. The book centers around Claire Danvers who doesn’t quite fancy slumming it in the college dorms, and is looking for a room. She finds one, and a lot more in the Glass House. We meet a whole host of fun, and some not-so-fun characters, who are intent on helping or hindering Claire in her quest to survive in Vamp town.

So, is the web series going to tell the whole story?

“For practical purposes, you can only have so many characters in a show with this running time, so some characters from the novel, while really interesting, ended up not being central to the plot (like Miranda). However, I did think it was important to introduce Myrnin, a fan favorite, into the mix early, so he makes a short appearance this season,” explains Caine.

Hold the phone, is that Amber Benson?

Yep. The awesome Amber Benson, who you should all know as Tara from Buffy TVS landed the role of Amelie – the sort-of vampire queen. PERFECT!

I really enjoyed these books and I can’t wait to check out the series. I plan on marathoning it on All Hallow’s Eve. Who’s with me?

In the mean time, here are the first two episodes to whet your whistle…

 

 

Links:

http://www.morganvilletheseries.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/geekandsundry

http://www.morganvillevampire.com/

http://www.rachelcaine.com/

 

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

Not Your Average School Ski Trip…

Frostbite by Richelle Mead

spr4It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks… This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…

Well, getting hooked on this series was probably inevitable. Some hot vampires and a kick-ass female lead, in a high school setting…now, where have I seen that before!? I was really impressed with the first book in this series though, as I wasn’t expecting it to be so rooted in Vampire Lore. (You can check out my review of book 1 here.)

Frostbite, continues where we left off. Rose is getting closer to becoming an official guardian and trying to keep her distance from hot russian Dimitri, whilst Lissa is sickeningly in love with Christian and trying to control her weird Vamp powers.

It’s Christmas (yay) and they are all forced (not that you wouldn’t go willing by the sounds of it) to spend it at an exclusive ski resort to keep hidden from the deadly Strigoi who are still picking off the Moroi royalty one by one. Of course! Where else would one go?

I was pleased that this book has a prologue that went over what we’d learned thus far; the gospel according to Dhampirs, Moroi and Strigoi if you will (I still can’t pronounce them), to remind us of all the intricacies involved in their society and the stigma that comes from certain choices, should they make them. However what I wasn’t OK with was all of the other catch-up sessions in the book. The prologue was perfect, I really didn’t think we needed the rest.

There were a few other things I was disappointed with in this book as well, maybe disappointed is a bit harsh considering I couldn’t put it down, but I felt like all the dark shiz that made me love the first book was gone.

Now they know what Lissa’s deal is, there’s no self-harm (which is obviously a good thing but it made for good reading!), no dead animal corpses in her dorm, and now that Lissa and Rose are permanently back at St Vlads (yes, we’re on nick-name terms already, I move fast) no hot ‘dirty’ feeding sessions. Bore off.

But, I digress. Overall, Frostbite wasn’t boring at all. With the focus taken off Lissa and Rose a little, we get to explore some of the minor (and new!) characters a bit. There’s definitely more of Christian, Lissa’s boyfriend, who I’m really hoping is going to turn out to be evil, right? Because if not what is he good for?-Creating tension between Lissa and Rose I guess, but it was a bit meh.

We also get more of Mason, who grew on me throughout the book, he’s pretty adorable. And then there’s the introduction of tall, dark, mysterious and probably deadly Adrian who seems to be stalking Rose a bit. Well, who wouldn’t!?

AND OF COURSE, there’s Dimitri. Oh delicious Dimitri… Richelle Mead you really are spoiling us!

I liked that they didn’t get together too quickly (because you know, it’s wrong), but I really hope it’s not going to end up being a whole on/off, on/off thing for the next 4 books too.

I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS right now. Sigh.

One thing I wasn’t expecting however, was that Rose started to annoy me a bit in this book. I like a protagonist that is confident, but in Frostbite, her self-assuredness (that’s not even a word is it? Bitca!) got a bit too much. She’s constantly pointing out how hot her body is, like anyone actually ever says that to themselves all the time! Pfft, anyway…

No matter what, I couldn’t put Frostbite down. It definitely has some flaws but I’m too far gone to care. I’m invested in Rose, Dimitri and Lissa, and GIVE ME THE NEXT ONE NOW.

Ahem. Please.

unicorn rating 4

Disclosure?: Nope, I bought it!
Title: Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)
Author: Richelle Mead
Details: Paperback, 327 pages
Published: April 10th 2008 by Razorbill
My Rating: 4/5

March Finds

This is a monthly post where I share some of the books that I’ve found through fellow bloggers that I HAD to add to my wishlist immediately. I’m hoping I’ll look back on these posts and remember to buy/request the books (wishful thinking!).

I’m still working on reducing my TBR pile, not increasing it, but these are the books I found in March that reeeealllly want to buy!

Click on the links to go to the original posts.

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Found on: Tempest Books
Why: There’s a prince called Tristan (swoon), plus the Cover!

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Found on: Exploring All Genres
Why: I can see boobs and Buffy…nuff said.

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Found on: MegaMad 4 Books
Why: I haven’t read any of Melissa’s books yet but I’ve seen some of The Witches of East End TV show and liked what I saw. This Vampire series of hers sounds good!

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Found on: Required Reading
Why: This book set in the 60s and 70s about Intersex/gender identity looks amazing. I can’t believe I’ve never seen it before.

Happy Halloween! (Best Buffy Episodes for your Halloween viewing pleasure)

If you’re celebrating today, I hope you have a great Halloween!

I kind of wish we celebrated it more in the UK. I mean there are still parties and stuff, because y’know any excuse to get drunk, but it’s nowhere near as widely celebrated as it is in the US.

I’m celebrating by having a get-together on Saturday to watch Horror films, eat a lot of badness and drink a lot of witches brew. So that leaves tonight free, and what am I going to do I hear you cry…I’m going to watch my favourite Halloween Episodes of Buffy of course!

And here they are:

Hush (1999, S4E10)
This isn’t an official ‘Halloween’ episode but it has to be the scariest, right?
Gentlemen In “Hush”, a group of fairy tale ghouls named “The Gentlemen” come to town and steal everyone’s voices, leaving them unable to scream when The Gentlemen cut out their hearts. Buffy and her friends must communicate with one another silently as they try to discover why no one can speak and find whoever is murdering the townspeople. They must also find ways to express their feelings about each other and keep some semblance of control as the town descends into chaos.

The Scary: The Gentlemen are seriously freaky, floating around the streets of Sunnydale with permanent grins on their freaky faces looking for hearts to tear out. Not to mention the eerie silence…
The Funny: The ‘Giles’ Slides’ scene as I like to call it has me in tears of laughter every time without fail. How is this whole scene not on you tube? Ack. Here is the gist:

[no one can speak; all written or mimed]
Giles: Who are the Gentlemen? They are fairy tale monsters. What do they want?
[Willow points at her chest]
Xander: [cups hands at his chest and mouths] Boobies?
Giles: Hearts. They come to a town. They steal all the voices so no one can scream. Then…
[Giles shows drawings of Gentlemen ripping out the heart from a person in bed]
Giles: They need seven, they have at least two.
Xander: How do we kill them?
[Buffy mimes stabbing, but looks more like masturbating; Giles, Willow and Xander look at Buffy with disturbed faces; Buffy mimes again with a stake; they all look relieved]
Giles: In the tales no sword can kill them.

The Best: The fact that there is no dialogue at all for 3/4 of the episode but it is still one of the funniest (and scariest) episodes proves just how much of a genius Joss Whedon is. It was the first Buffy episode to be highly praised, earning various Emmy nominations.

Fear Itself (1999, S4E04)
This has to be the best episode for costumes!
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Gachnar, a fear demon with the ability to materialize terror, is accidentally conjured and wreaks havoc on a Frat Halloween party.
The Scary: A fear demon sounds pretty terrifying to me….
The Funny:…unless he’s only a few inches tall
The Best:

Giles: Oh, bloody hell. The inscription.
Buffy: What’s the matter?
Giles: I should’ve translated the Gaelic inscription under the illustration of Gachnar.
Buffy: What’s it say?
Giles: Actual size.

Halloween (1997, S2E06)
The first Buffy Halloween special!
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On Halloween, Buffy and her friends patronize an unusual costume shop where customers turn into whatever costume they are wearing.

The Scary: It’s kind of freaky to imagine that all the things you could dress up as has Halloween could come to live, plus, there’re little kids inside those demons so you can’t even kill them!
The Funny: SMG’s Victorian noble woman accent is pretty hilarious.
The Best:a6d4c922f4b4154f71a2198d0d9855e9

Tabula Rasa (2001, S6E08)
Again, this isn’t an actual Halloween episode but it might be my favourite ever.
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Willow tries to solve too many problems with magic, accidentally making herself and the others forget who they are just as a demon loan shark and his boys come looking to collect a debt from Spike.

The Scary: There’s nothing too scary in this episode I don’t think, it’s just hilarious
The Funny: Due to Willow’s spell fail, the gang don’t know who they are and so hilarity ensues. I think my favourite is Spike assuming that he’s Giles’ son.
BUFFY
The Best: I can’t choose! UMAD!

Spike: *Randy* Giles? Why not just call me Horny Giles or Desperate-For-A-Shag Giles? I knew there was a reason I hated you.

Dawn: So, you don’t have a name?
Buffy: Of course I do. I-I just don’t happen to know it.
Dawn: You want me to name you?
Buffy: Oh, that’s sweet, but I think I can name myself. I’ll name me… Joan.
Dawn: Ugh.
Buffy: What? Did you just ‘ugh’ my name?
Dawn: No. I just – I mean it’s so ‘blah.’ Joan?
Buffy: I like it. I feel like a Joan.

All the Way (2001, S6E06)
This episode isn’t all that great because it was back when Dawn was really annoying, but it’s still a good Halloween watch. “Mist, cemetery, Halloween… This should end well.”
resizedimage600335-Dawn-and-JustinDawn lies to Buffy and goes out with a boy on Halloween, but when the boy turns out to be a vampire ignoring the Halloween-no-killing rule, Buffy and the guys must save her…again.

The Scary: The beginning is pretty freaky with the creepy old man with his big knife, who we’re clearly supposed to think is the baddie, but then Dawn’s new boything gets fangy. Poor old man.
The Funny: Buffy – “Did you know about this?”
Giles – “No. Unless I blocked it from my memory, much as I will Xander’s vigorous use of his tongue.” [takes off his glasses and starts wiping them]
Buffy – “Is that why you’re always cleaning your glasses? So you don’t have to see what we’re doing?”
Giles – “Tell no one.”
The Best:
Xander’s pirate costume, which shows us things to come in the next series when Xander loses an eye. 😦
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Nightmares (1997, S1E10)
Parts of this episode still really CREEP ME OUT.
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The students at Sunnydale High beginning to experience aspects of their worst nightmares while awake, leading to the Scooby Gang’s investigation to a young boy with a secret. However, before they can get to the bottom of things, they must face their own nightmares, which are rapidly taking over reality.
The Scary: CLOWN
The Funny: Willow’s operatic debut!
The Best (WORSE):
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Have a great time everyone!

Sources: Wikipedia & IMDB