Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

To celebrate the day, I've compiled a list of some of my 10 favourite supernatural fictional people - most of whom are also creatures that go bump in the night, and that would love to be out and about on Halloween!

1. Selene from the Underworld movies. Topping off the list is one incredible lady which, sadly, will not be returning to the next movies. Still, she was one badass vampire, and took no crap from anyone; I wouldn't want to be on her bad side, that's for sure! She's definitely more likely to kill first, and ask questions later.

2. Second on the list of awesome Halloween-ish creatures, is one dhampir that holds a very dear place in my heart. This Russian God, as he's known throughout his world, goes by the name of Dimitri Belikov, and to quote Rose, 'alive or undead... [he] was a badass'. Couldn't have said it better myself, Rose! Dimitri gets to be on here, even though a dhampir isn't technically so terrifying, because he spent a book and a half as an undead, evil vampire whose sole mission was to enslave all of humanity, with Rose by his side as his Queen of Darkness. Deliciously horrible. I even sometimes miss what me and my friends call Strigmitri, his soulless vampire side!

3. How to follow up from Dimka, right? Well, this is another incredible lady who, even though most people will say they hate her - because she's a psychotic maniac, and you're supposed to hate those people! - the entire fandom actually loves to hate, and I know it. It is, of course, the terrifying Bellatrix Lestrange. In all fairness, much as I love what her character represents, and I absolutely adore the way Helena Bonham-Carter portrays her, I'd be more scared if I bumped into her in a deserted alley than if I did with Voldemort. Dis bitch be crazy...

4. Next is another vampire - they seem quite popular these days haha! - and one that I have loved for all the wrong reasons for way too many years. I fell in love with the bad Salvatore in the books, and of course Ian Somerhalder playing Damon did nothing to diminish my love (on the contrary, in fact). Still, despite his tortured soul and deep-down good heart, you don't want to run across him on a night he's had a fight with Elena...

5. Moving away from the vampires now, let's talk witches again. She's a classic because she was Merlin's nemesis. Beautifully portrayed by Katie McGrath in BBC's Merlin, Morgana Pendragon started out like a lovely, sweet and innocent girl in a court where magic was seen as treason (I still can't look at Giles in Buffy without hearing the echoes of 'SORCERY!' in my head. Uther really needed a chill pill. Or twenty). But she found her magic, turned bad, and by the end of the series, was almost as powerful as Merlin himself. And yes, she does look lovely in a crown.

6. Another good girl-gone-bad situation with magic and a crown involved, comes in the form of the stunning Lana Parrilla, playing the Evil Queen (yes, the one from Snow White), in today's world known as Regina Mills, the tyrannical mayor of the little town of Storybrooke, Maine. Another case of really unfortunate parenting, Regina sets loose a curse that ends all happy endings and brings all fairy tale characters to the human world. She's another lady you don't want to catch on a bad day; and never, ever accept an apple from her, not even if she slips it into your trick or treat bowls! NO APPLES!

7. Moving on to the traditional Halloween costume, we find Helena Ravenclaw, more commonly known as The Grey Lady. The ghost of Ravenclaw House, she's a tad short-tempred, as Harry found out the hard way in Deathly Hallows, but hers is another sad story - and one worthy of Halloween: she was the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, but stole her mother's
magical diadem, hoping it would make her smarter. On her deathbed, Rowena sent for her daughter. The man who went searching for Helena, was a Baron (aka The Bloody Baron, the ghost of Slytherin House. Must make for awkward meals!) who harboured amorous feelings towards Helena. Enraged, he killed her when she refused to return with him to her mother, then proceeded to kill himself in despair at what he had done. Hence the blood all over him... That's a tale and a half!

8. Next is one devilishly clever and dangerous imp. We all know him - he's even been in Shrek, for crying out loud! He is, of course, Rumplestilstkin. I'm looking at that name and hoping I spelt it right. It's easier to say than to spell, honestly. But this little guy (or not so little, depending on which version we're talking about!) is not to be trifled with. If you don't avoid any of the others in this list, maybe consider keeping away from him - he'll have you signing away your firstborn before you even know what's going on.

9. Our favourite DADA teacher makes this list because of his... ah... extracurricular activities. By which I mean, of course, he makes a habit of turning into a giant stinking wolf every month. Luckily, Lupin is one of the few people on this list that are on the good side. Still, don't stick around to chat if he's in his wolf form - he won't recognise you, and neither will anyone else once he's done with you!

10. This one actually didn't make it into the movies, but he's my favourite ghost ever, and I think cutting him out was a complete travesty. Especially since they actually did film some scenes with him - the image is one of the few actual footage pictures we have of Peeves the Poltergeist, from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. From water bombs on terrified first-years, to chasing Umbridge out of the castle to the sound of hooves, Peeves, in my opinion, truly embodies the spirit of Halloween of having some spooky fun.

Now I'm going to curl on up on my bed and watch The Corpse Bride, followed by The Nightmare Before Christmas (both because it's about Halloween, but also because it's also about Christmas, so what's not to love?), to get into the mood for some Christmassy fun!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Crisis in Cali

Title: Crisis in Cali (Great Exploitations #5)
Author: Nicole Williams
Genre: Adult contemporary
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 10/10

This interrupted my binge re-watch of Sherlock. I got so excited when I saw this was out, Cumberbatch was left talking to John for an hour before I finished it and realised Sherlock was still playing on my computer. Oops.
Altogether, quite sad, too. I've said before, and you can see all about my love for these serials in the Spotlight Wednesdays for them here. So my excitement is understandable. The sad thing was, after all that waiting for the last instalment, it felt a bit rushed. And by that I mean, Eve seemed weirdly out of character throughout it; not in a major way, and I suppose that can mainly be blamed on her lack of enthusiasm for her job.
But what I did find weird was that, although the twist was a stroke of genius, it left a gaping plot hole in its' wake that I can't believe no one on goodreads (I read through a couple of reviews) has spotted it yet. If Henry did what he said he did, how does he - how does anyone, really - explain the presence of the woman from the competing Eve agency a few serials back, who had also been trying to nab him? She fits in nowhere, which is likely why she wasn't mentioned in Crisis in Cali, but I remember her, and I'm trying desperately to fit her into Henry's story somehow, because it is such a nice, neat story, but she just... doesn't. It's annoying, I've got this random Eve woman banging around inside my head, telling me something's not quite right with Henry's story, and that sort of ruined the happiness of the ending, because I kept waiting for her to find out he was lying to her.
Damn you Other Eve Plot hole!
Other than that though, a lovely ending, and one Eve very much deserved after everything.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Case of the Exploding Loo

Title: The Case of the Exploding Loo
Author: Rachel Hamilton
Genre: MG
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

I would like to thank Rachel Hamilton for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What can I say? I know it's not what I usually blog about, but the blurb made it seem like a good laugh, and I'm glad to say that it was. Absolutely hilarious from cover to cover!

Rachel Hamilton really captures the essence of the pre-teen girl. Noelle is funny because we've all been there before; we've all seen conspiracy theories everywhere, and we've all fought with out sisters incessantly, while loving them to pieces at the same time. Hamilton captured that mix of innocence, confusion and utter certainty that they know all there is to be known (though in Noelle's case, she has more reason to think that way than most of us, since she's like a mini Sherlock Holmes!). That vulnerability really made her a very likeable character.
I also applaud the way Hamilton presented Noelle's father, Brian. At the start of the novel, he is an almost god-like figure to Noelle, who looks up to her father and his intelligence. But, as readers, we know that something isn't quite right when Noelle tells us about his plans to eradicate the world of people with lower IQs. It is an important message, and one that Hamilton puts across beautifully in the book - that just because they're an adult, doesn't mean that what they say is always right, and that sometimes our heroes disappoint us in the worst way possible. And Noelle goes on with her life, visiting her father in prison, but well aware of the fact that his actions were wrong.

It's safe to say that this well please Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans everywhere.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Shipping Saturdays #4: It's a Dimka World

Last weeks' winner of Shipping Saturdays was: Sherlock Homes!

Welcome to Shipping Saturdays! Basically, I talk about my favourite ship in a book/series, and then you guys get to vote on which favourite pairing of that book/series you prefer. If there are any couples you'd like me to talk about, let me know in the comments (along with what book they're from, in case I haven't read it yet!) and I'll add them to the list.

This week, in honour of Halloween next week, we're talking vampires! I may be persuaded to do one for the sparkly vamps eventually, but today is not that day. As most of you will know by now, I'm a strong Richelle Mead believer - I'll pretty much read anything she puts out, and most of the times am very happy with it.

Through her books, especially Vampire Academy, I've met four of my best friends today, so I really owe that series so much. But beyond that, it also introduced me to the fictional guy to end all fictional guys: Dimitri Belikov.

Confusingly, to me, some people don't share my love and appreciation for the Russian God of all things BAMF. I don't get it, I really don't, but some people insist that party boy Moroi Adrian Ivashkov (not-so-lovingly usually referred to me by simply Ivashkov) over Dimka.

I will admit that Ivashkov (see? It's almost ingrained in me now, I swear!) was actually a pretty cool character during Frostbite and about half of Shadow Kiss. By the end of Shadow Kiss though, I wanted to strangle him slowly, and I can't say that I was sorry to have Rose dump him (though, I will give him this much - the way she did it was shitty, and no one deserves to be cheated on). Plus, look at how cute Romitri look in the picture! Too cute!

Still, I'm unsure if Adrian fans have moved on from focusing on Rose now that he's a married man, but let me know who you think Rose should have ended up with.

Dimitri or Adrian?
Dimitri, aaaaall the way!
Nope, standing strong with Adrian.
I'm hopeless, and am clinging on to Mason :(
Other (who? Comment!)
Poll Maker

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cover Love: A Court of Thorns and Roses

It's been a busy day in the cover side of publishing. Quite funny, because both The Heir and A Court of Thorns and Roses come out on the same day, May 5th 2015.

Without further ado, here's the cover and blurb to the first book in Sarah J. Maas' new series.

"Beauty and the Beast blends with faerie lore in this steamy new offering from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas.

When nineteen-year-old Feyre plucks a forbidden rose from the ground, a wolfish creature arrives to punish her for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from stories, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin, a High Lord of the faeries. And as she learns more about him, her feelings for Tamlin transform from hostility to a fiery passion. But the threats against the faerie lands are growing, and Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse . . . or lose Tamlin forever.

This first book in a new series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series is salacious, action-packed, and impossible to put down!"

Cover Love: The Heir

We've still got seven months to go until The Heir is out, but the cover for the book came out today, along with a blurb!

For those of you who are confused about why this is exciting, The Heir is book #4 in Kiera Cass' The Selection series.

I can see you frowning and looking at me weirdly, saying 'wasn't it going to be a trilogy?'
Why yes, yes it was. And in a way, it really was just a trilogy. See, The Heir and its' sequel (still untitled as of now) is told from the point of view of Mer's and Maxon's daughter, Eadlyn. And even more exciting, her she has a twin brother who's called Ahren - for a couple that took 3 books to get their act together, they certainly didn't waste any time, did they?

Excited yet?

Here's the blurb for The Heir, out May 5th 2015!

"Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon's heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn't expect her Selection to be anything like her parents' fairy-tale love story. But as the competition beings, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she always thought."

Interestingly, out of the siblings, it's Eadlyn who has a Selection, even though princesses usually married a prince from a neighbouring country while the princes get the Selection. Kiera has said that there is a reason why Eadlyn gets one, but sadly we have to wain until May to find out what that is!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Infinite Sea

Title: The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave #2)
Author: Rick Yancey
Genre: Dystopia
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 7/10

Okay. Okay. It's taken me nearly a week to write this review, because I was sorting through in my mind what I could say without sounding like a whiny teenager. Fact is, after the awesome that was The 5th Wave, I was expecting to be blown away by more awesome in The Infinite Sea, but... alas, I was disappointed.
Talking it through with Kim, I realised that my main point of contention was that it felt like the book started, and then ended basically in exactly the same place it had started.
I missed Cassie, and would have liked to be in her head more - and, as Kim agrees, there was a distinct lack of Evan, which was very sad.

I did love Ringer, though. At first, I dismissed her, thinking we'd get a couple of chapters in her POV and then go back to mainly Cassie, but as it became more and more obvious that that wouldn't happen, I started paying more attention to her, and actually really liked her. She's not as easy to like as Cassie; she's more prickly and cold, but I loved her single-minded determination to get stuff done. Plus, the whole thing with Razor. I'm still in firm denial over that entire scene.

Sadly, due to the events of the novel, I felt like Cassie, Ben and Sam (and Evan) showed little to no character development... again, mostly because we spent the majority of the book with Ringer, only to have them end up in pretty much the same place they'd been when the book started. Slightly annoying, if I'm honest. I did very much enjoying Cassie and Evan bickering like an old married couple, though.
All in all, a solid 4/5; and I hope #3 shows more character development in more than just one character (and even then, quite dubiously so)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft

Title: The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft
Author: Lola Salt (aka Sarah Alderson and Becky Wicks)
Genre: Adult contemporary
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 10/10

I was given an egalley of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

After my quick fall in love with Sarah's YA books, I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this novel. It sounded interesting, but nothing too incredible.

I was in for a pleasant surprise. I don't think I've laughed so hard since Seduction and Snacks. Seriously, the situations Lara finds herself in are absolutely hilarious in their impossibility. It was weird to think that a 27 year-old could possibly manage to get herself into so many ridiculous situations.
Admittedly, though, while Lara herself (and CP. Can I have one of my own? Pwease?) was amazing, I felt like Lucy and Jamie were slightly lacking. And it was sort of ok because they weren't in it that much, so their less 3D personalities didn't detract that much from the overall book; the one time when it did impact the story was at the end, which is really quite disappointing.
In a way, it almost would have been more satisfying if they had gotten together, as it would add some sense of backstory, rather than just kind of leaving them floating randomly at the end, like beautiful fillers.

That lapse notwithstanding though, a hilarious read that is definitely worth your time!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Shipping Saturdays #3: The Matter of John Watson

Last week's winner of Shipping Saturdays was: (quite unexpectedly, I must add) Harry Potter! Sorry, Ronald. You may have married her, but it seems your nuptials didn't go down too well with the fans!
This is a weekly addition to the blog. Basically, I talk about my favourite ship in a book/series, and then you guys get to vote on which favourite pairing of that book/series you prefer. If there are any couples you'd like me to talk about, let me know in the comments (along with what book they're from, in case I haven't read it yet!) and I'll add them to the list.

This one slightly veers into the world of TV, but since it was primarily in book form, I can still write about it here: John Watson. I'll probably do one for Sherlock soon enough, but this week we're discussing the pros and cons of the good doctor's wife Mary vs his (let's face it) soulmate Sherlock.

Now for argument's sake, let's base this primarily on the BBC series, since I figure that's probably the most well-known Sherlock version out there (though honestly, the truth is universal, and Johnlock is the truth in all versions... ahem). The movies did okay, but I think Cumberbatch wins. So.

Much as I love Mary's take no shit attitude, and the fact that she pretty much insists on John going to see Sherlock, and then pretty much single-handedly gets them to make up again, and soothes Sherlock's wedding jitters... well. She's a great character, and I love what Abbington has done with her, but come on. 

On the BBC, in the movies, in the gender-inverted version Elementary, even in the books and stories based off Sherlock (The Mentalist, I'm looking at you), John and Sherlock have so much chemistry, it's ridiculous. Obviously, Doyle would hate my guts for even writing this post, since it pretty much highlights the fact that Sherlock Holmes became very famous, and obviously in his time, homosexuality was heavily frowned upon, but come on. Is it actually possible to look at these characters and see anything other than Johnlock?

You tell me! And don't worry, I don't judge (and the poll doesn't tell me who you are, so vote away), so do vote for what you believe in :)

It's elementary, my dear Watson!
Sherlock, duh!
Mary Morstan-Watson the whole way!
Other (really? Please tell me, cause I want to know!)
poll generator

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fallen Fourth Down

Title: Fallen Fourth Down (Fallen Crest High #4)
Author: Tijan
Genre: YA contemporary
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 10/10

These books. Honestly, they keep on surprising me by how fast I get through them.

Mason was on top form here, I have to say. I kept screaming at Sam to tell him, but I could also see her reasoning. And yet this man... he never even hesitates. He loves her so much, and he gave me so many feels, I just. I need a Mason moment *deep breaths*
Logan, what can I say? He's never been quite so awesome as Mason, and I finally figured out why - his mood swings give me some serious whiplash. He goes from joking to I-will-kill-you mode in 1 New York second, and it seriously does my head. Also, he was a bit of an ass to Sam. And he never did answer her; I don't care what he told Mason, of course he'd say something that wouldn't break them apart, but I'm not quite sold on it yet. And I really like Kris, and didn't appreciate how he treated her.
Heather, though. I cannot wait to see more of her! That chick is crazy and she's awesome. I'm so glad Sam finally has a decent friend.
As for Sam herself, well. This book was a little bit of a tough one to like her in. She kept going on about how she's going to stand on her own two feet, and yet she didn't have the spine to tell her boyfriend this massive secret. I do absolutely applaud how she dealt with Jackson though. I was worried for a second there we'd have a love triangle - less worried about Marissa, which just goes to show how much I trust Mason. I don't trust the guys very easily, and I dare say the last book I reviewed, Pieces of You, only cemented that mistrust. And yet... not even a flicker of doubt or fear that he'd stray. Well done, Mase. You have officially entered the ranks of my book husbands. They would never ever cheat. Take a seat please - and that I'd have to scream at my kindle like a madwoman. Thankfully, it wasn't needed. A 4.5/5 for Sam's behaviour, though. Also, seriously, overreaction much with the whole Marissa/hall incident? Jeez. He had it under control, I don't see why she freaked so much. As for her assertion that she's going to stand beside Mason, well we'll see about that, I guess. I really hope that she does.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spotlight Wednesdays: Dark Days series

The Info
Series title: Dark Days
Title of First book: Nightwalker
Author: Jocelynn Drake
Genre: Adult paranormal (bordering on UF)
Rating: 5/5

Why you need to read it
It's not as well-known as it should be, quite honestly. The books tell the story of 600 years-old nightwalker (that's a vampire, in case you were wondering) Mira; she's the Protector of Savannah, USA, but she's also the right arm of Coven in Italy, and many times gets sent by them to reinstate law and order throughout the US.
But it's not only Mira's general badassery with her knives, guns and ninja moves that make this series awesome. She can also control fire - a very, very different and handy skill for a vampire; it not only makes her harder to kill, it also makes it that much easier for her to kill anyone who pisses her off. It's also the reason for her nickname, Fire Starter, which tends to inspire both fear and respect wherever she goes. As a bonus, she's a sarcastic bitch who takes no shit from anyone, is not above using her feminine wiles to get her way, making her both the wet dream and waking nightmare of many men.

In Nightwalker, the first book, we find Mira as a spoilt vampire, used to getting what she wants with just a flick of her fingers and the use of her name. But, when a vampire hunter shows up in town that actually seems to know how to spot vampires, she's forced to go after him personally before he completely decimates the vamp population of Savannah.
When they finally meet, neither can kill the other... and not only because the hunter, hunky Danaus, has news for her that just might turn her world upside down.
Absolutely recommended for all fans of Richelle Mead's adult series - especially Dark Swan and Georgina Kincaid - (as well the Vampire Academy lovers looking for an adult version of Rose). The action scenes are truly something to behold, magic abounds, and Wait for Dusk, book #5 of #6, ends in a bloodbath worthy of Hollywood.

And best of all: as of 2011, the series is complete, so there'll be no waiting for the next one! The goodreads page for Nightwalker is this one. Happy reading!

Covers are for the first and last book respectively.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pieces of You

Title: Pieces of You
Author: Ella Harper
Genre: contemporary
Rating: 5/5 painful stars
Cover: 10/10

It's been a whole day, and I'm still struggling to put into words all the emotions this books gave me.
The cover is so misleading, too. Seriously, that's a blooming pink dress.

I just, I have a lot of feelings about this book. About halfway through I literally had to put it down and go for a walk. I'd planned on coming back and reading something, but I physically couldn't. The characters were banging around in my head; at one point I swear there was a full-blown jury going on in my head. It ruled wrong, because it turned out he'd been guilty, but still.
Amazing characters, and really the whole story struck quite a few chords personally. I don't know about wanting babies, but I do know all about having a loved one in the hospital, and Harper captured the emotion range perfectly.
In a way, I liked the ending Harper gave to Patricia. It seemed to suggest that maybe Lucy would get there one day too, and that maybe not everything would be so bleak always.
I've heard a few grumblings about the multiple narrations, especially from Nell and Patricia. I have to admit that it threw me at first; it just doesn't make sense to have one narrator be in first person and the other two in third, and I still think that was weird. I did like stepping out of Lucy's head every now and then, though. The pain going on in there got to a bursting point every now and then, and it was always a relief to step back into the more detached third person; so, even though it's weird, I think it's just what this particular book needed.
Definitely read it, but be sure to have tissues around. You'll need them.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sisters' Fate

Title: Sisters' Fate (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #3)
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Genre: YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

I finally lost my patience for waiting until January for it to come out on kindle, and got it in hardback. And now it has nowhere to go, since my room is already overflowing with books. Ah, well. 'Twas worth it.
I'm not ashamed to say I read this instead of reading my set text for this week. Weirdly, I found witches more interesting than the morbid what-ifs of Hitler winning the war. Hmm.
Hitler notwithstanding though, Sisters' Fate was such a roller-coaster of emotions, I'm not even sure where to start.
Cate was, as usual, so easy to relate to. She's only trying to do what's right - even, and maybe especially, when it's not the easy thing to do - but there isn't always a black and white with those kind of decisions; should she save innocent girls and risk exposing the Sisterhood? Or save the Sisterhood and let 60 innocent girls die? She had no easy choices this book, but I found her strength and determination to do what she believed to be the right thing very inspiring. She never backed down from a decision. And seeing her with Finn, while heartbreaking, was also quite sweet, sort of like in the first book, when they were still falling. Bittersweet, really.
Finn was amazing. Spotswood did a fabulous job of keeping him in character even without his memories. That boy is way too smart for his own good. And while I would have liked some kind of magical cure to his erased memories, or for the book to have ended slightly further on in the future, the promise made at the end was enough to leave me with a happy smile on my face; they'll be fine... eventually.
Tess was weird, though. I still can't quite figure how Inez was able to control her if she's supposed to be so strong not even her own sisters were able to do magic on her. It didn't add up, and I got really confused; I get that something like that had to happen, but still. It was weird.
Maura... what to say? Deep down, she had a good heart. Really, really deep down. As wrong as it was, as deluded as she was, she really believed that she had helped Cate by erasing Finn's memories of her, and I can't really fault her for doing what she thought was best for her sister, even if it was cruel. Love is weird sometimes, and at least they got to make up at the end. But, oh what an end. I cried like a baby.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Shipping Saturdays #2: Why Poke a Sleeping Dragon?

Last weeks' winner of Shipping Saturdays was: Dorian Havilliard!
This will be a weekly addition to the blog. Basically, I talk about my favourite ship in a book/series, and then you guys get to vote on which favourite pairing of that book/series you prefer. If there are any couples you'd like me to talk about, let me know in the comments (along with what book they're from, in case I haven't read it yet!) and I'll add them to the list.

This is a controversial one, and it's rather a divider one, too. I'm tackling the big guns today, poking a sleeping dragon and talking Harry Potter. Keeping in mind that I started Potter when I was 6, and thought boys had cooties, let's dive in.

I've always, always, always been a devoted Harmony (Harry/Hermione) fan. I can see you pulling a disgusted face in the background. Yes, I know. Trust me, I know. But, to a six-year old, when a girl hugs a boy, she has got to want to marry him, because ew.
So, at age 7 (when the Chamber of Secrets movie came out), Hermione ran and hugged Harry. Ergo, they were going to get married. And that just sort of sat in the back of my mind since then, with me subconsciously rejecting the idea of Ginny/Harry and Ron/Hermione out of principle.

As an adult, I realise that Ron and Hermione's relationship is one of the best things of the series, because for once the hero doesn't end up with the sidekick. But, I also know that in all my similarities with Hermione, I'd kill Ron within a week of being married, so who knows.
So, yes, while I now recognise that there had been hints of Romione throughout the series, I also hold steadfast to my childhood belief that Harry and Hermione would have had a much happier marriage (plus, their couple name is Harmony. It says it all, really!).

Funnily enough, the fighting seems to mostly take place between Harmony and Romione, though I've seen some bizarre pairings out there - Draco, Snape, Dumbledore... 
Vote and let me know which category you fit in, and feel free to drop a comment to defend your team!

The moment of truth: Harry or Ron?
Ron, of course!
What? Neither, Hermione belongs with Draco!
Other (comment and let me know!)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cold Feet at Christmas

Title: Cold Feet at Christmas
Author: Debbie Johnson
Genre: Adult contemporary
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 10/10

I was given an ARC copy of this book by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

On the last day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.... a dishevelled, frozen bride?
It wasn't in Rob's plans - hell, it wasn't anywhere even near Leah's plans. But when she finds her groom "playing hide-the-sausage" with one of the bridesmaids, she does the only thing any sane woman would do: she did a runner. Only she forgot her wedding was going to take place in a castle in Scotland, with a whole lot of nothing going on around it.
So by the time the car broke down, it was Leah, the snow and the sheep, alone on Christmas Eve.

Seriously a comedy delight. Leah is a hilarious character, and her resilience as a person was really endearing - that a person that had been hurt as much as she had by life could still shrug it all off (I can quite easily see her dancing around to Taylor Swift's Shake it Off) and crack a joke was amazing. The fact that she has no filter whatsoever certainly made for an entertaining read - the comment about the Italian sandwich had me fighting for air through giggles for nearly a full minute. And the whole debacle at the end with the fancy dress honestly had me in absolute stitches, because for some reason I pictured Leah as Billie Piper in that scene, with the cockney accent. A slutty Rose for Christmas, please! But shh, don't tell the Doctor ;)
As for Rob, this was a little harder. Sure, he's hot, and he redeems himself, but he was also a grade-A asshole to Leah for long there, I was almost hoping she'd go for Marco, to be honest. Serve that patronising idiot right for taking her for granted; his push-pull routine got old really quick, and really, I get the guilt, I do, but that's no excuse for how he treated her. So, I guess you could say I had some trouble connecting to the main guy. Luckily, Leah's antics pretty much outshone any negative effects of Rob's moodiness, but still.

A solid 4/5, maybe a 4.5/5, for the hilarious character, good plot and great world building! This is a definite read for the holiday season. Cold Feet for Christmas comes out November 6th.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014


Title: Breakdown
Author: Amanda Lance
Genre: YA/NA
Rating: 3.5/5
Cover: 9/10

This is part of the Review Blitz for Breakdown - all info about where to buy the book, etc is below my review.

Let me just start by saying that I'm a sucker for bad boys, and so for me, William was just... *sighs* not to mention his name. So many of my favourite characters are Wills, that name has a special place in my heart already, and he didn't disappoint.

However, that said, I will say that while the plot and characters were good, the editing of this book left so much to be desired, it was actually painful to read at times. Things like verb conjugations, typos and the narrative perspective would shift out of the blue, ruining the overall novel, which is a shame, because it really could have been to good. Also, I felt a slight laziness from Ms Lance in continuously referring to Lottie's co-workers as 'the manager', 'the illegals' and 'my fellow counter girl'. I felt like an extra layer could have so easily been added there by simply giving them names, and the fact that they didn't have any actually started seriously pissing me off, because if also effectively made them so one dimensional, it was painful.

That said, I really enjoyed the relationship between Lottie and Will. Their banter was fresh, and even though her backstory felt slightly like it was decided on last minute, it worked. It worked for her character, and it worked for their relationship.

Overall, a good book with interesting characters and a decent plot. If the grammatical mishaps and lack of names for people won't bother you, definitely give it a go!

Breakdown by Amanda Lance REVIEW BLITZ October 6-10 2014

Charlotte Ferro is about to jump.
Yet nothing ruins a perfectly good suicide attempt worse than a handsome do-gooder. After William O’Reilly convinces her to take one last ride with him, Charlotte finds herself forgetting about her own problems and enjoying a world of which she never dreamed.
Now addicted to the rush of fast cars and cool criminals, Charlotte finds herself leaning less towards the ledge and more toward the arms of her savior. But with reasons of his own for keeping Charlotte safe from herself, William is reluctant to involve her in his criminal undertakings. Will his career choice keep them apart? Will Charlotte’s painful past?


A native of New Jersey and lifelong nerd, Amanda Lance recently completed her Master in Liberal Arts at Thomas Edison State College after her BA in English Literature and AFA in creative writing. As an avid reader of all genres, some of her favourite authors include Hemingway, Marquis de Sade, Stevenson, Bukowski and Radcliffe.

When she isn’t writing or reading, Amanda can found indulging in film noir or hiking with her other half and their extremely spoiled dog. She is obsessively working on her next book and trying to tame her caffeine addiction.

Monday, October 06, 2014


Title: Locked
Author: Parker Witter (aka: Rebecca Serle)
Genre: YA
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 10/10

To any of you who don't know, Locked is the e-novella published by Rebecca Serle as a kind of introduction to the world of her novel, Famous in Love which is out later this month. You can find my review for Famous in Love here, along with all the info on how the novella ties into it, and links to both the novella and a free short story that is a prequel to it at the end of the review.

I said I'd read it! It's actually a really nice, sweet novella, and having read Famous in Love definitely added a certain edge to it, since I felt like I already knew the characters.
I like that in Famous, we never do find out for sure the ending to Locked, so in a way it was still a surprise, even though I guessed by what Paige said at the end. And that's a point: I get what Paige meant at the end of Famous in Love now. Which is both good and really, quite sad.
I really enjoyed reading the parts that we see filmed in Famous, because even though I knew they were coming, it was fun to see the difference in how a character living the moment sees it, and how Paige, who just has to act it, treats it. It's especially good fun when the paradox in the characters' characters is considered. This is almost like book Inception, but I think it'll make sense once you read Famous!
My only consolation is Paige has two more books to right her wrongs (technically, so does August, but I don't think we'll get to see that, to be honest). Plus... well, let's just say, I don't think a certain someone will be too happy when he finds out why she did what she did.

Cover Love: The Hidden Prince

For those of you who don't know yet, Jodi Meadows' upcoming (next year! It's too far!) The Orphan Queen is, as of about a month ago, the book I'd kill to read. I read the excerpt up on edelweiss, and it has me convinced that this book will be the best thing since sliced bread.
Sadly, I now have to wait until March 10th of next year to read the rest of the book, but I'm sure it'll be worth the wait.
If you want to know why this book is going to be so amazing, here's the blurb from goodreads:
"Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world."

Good, right? So imagine my delight when Jodi revealed the cover of the first novella of the series, The Hidden Prince, today. No blurb for that one yet, since pretty much any info about the novella could spoil The Orphan Queen, but the cover is pretty, hmm?

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Shipping Saturdays #1

This will be a weekly addition to the blog. Basically, I talk about my favourite ship in a book/series, and then you guys get to vote on which favourite pairing of that book/series you prefer. If there are any couples you'd like me to talk about, let me know in the comments (along with what book they're from, in case I haven't read it yet!) and I'll add them to the list. 
Weekly poll winners will be announced in the next Shipping Saturdays post.

This week, the spotlight is on Celeana Sardothien and her veritable harem of men. May contain spoilers for Heir of Fire; definite spoilers for the first two books.

So I've always been an avid Doraena (Dorian x Celaena) shipper. He gets her in a way that Chaol never could, because he too knows what it's like to have to hide part of yourself, out of fear and protection. This quote from Heir of Fire, when Dorian tells Chaol that he 'can't pick and choose which parts of her to love' really touched me, and reminded me why I shipped them so hard back in Throne of Glass.
Also, by the end of Crown of Midnight, I was all but convinced she'd have to marry him to help seal the peace between Terrasen and Adarlan. And they could have a plethora of royal babies. And while that's still definitely a scenario I'd be happy to see, Heir of Fire introduced another contender - Rowan.
And I know, chances are it will never be more than platonic because of his mate way back when, but a girl can dream, right? I mean, can you imagine the badassedness that would be a marriage between those two? And the same reasoning applies here - this wedding could also help seal peace between Terrasen and the Fae kingdom, since I'm sure Auntie Dearest will declare war soon enough.

My friend Kim disagrees and tells me I'm insane for shipping anything other than Chaolena, and how dare I. It's weird, cause it's one of the few times we've disagreed on a ship, so Aelin should feel special - she's one of two to divide me and my bookworm friends!

But you tell me now, through comments or just by voting: who do you think Celaena should end up with? (taking into consideration, there are still 3 more books to come, so don't rule out any characters as of yet!)

Who do you ship Celaena with?
Other (including Sam. Comment & let me know)
Poll Maker