Saturday, July 31, 2010

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

Review: White Cat
Series: Curse Workers – Book 1
Author: Holly Black
No of Pages: 310
Release Date: 4 May 2010


Cursed by the memory of the fourteen year old girl he murdered. Life at school is a constant trial. Life at home even worse. No-one at home is ever going to forget that Cassel is a killer. No-one at home is ever going to forget that he isn’t a magic worker. And now he is being haunted by a white cat...

Cassel’s family are magic workers. Ever since magic was prohibited in 1929 magic workers have been driven underground and into crime. And while people still need their touch, their luck, their curses, their magical killings, their transformations, times have been hard. His grand-dad is a black fingered death-dealer, his mother is in prison and his brother’s detest him as the only one of their family who can’t do magic.

But there is a secret at the centre of Cassel’s family and he’s about to inherit it. It’s terrifying and that’s the truth.

My Thoughts:

After getting past the initial confusion, White Cat became quite interesting.

White Cat follows the story of Cassel, a non-Worker in a family of Workers. Workers are basically magic wielders each Worker has a gift whether it be Memory Working, Luck Working or even Death Working.

Cassel feels left out in his family, not only is he a non-Worker, and the youngest. He is also a murderer. When he was fourteen Cassel killed his best friend, who also happened to be the girl he loved.

Now he is trying to fit in, in the “normal” world. Workers have been outlawed throughout the world. Everyone must wear gloves and laws are trying to be passed to document every known worker. Workers are feared and hated and are treated as criminals. It doesn’t help though, that most of them are criminals.

Cassel may not be a worker, but he is a very talented con man. At the tender age of seventeen he already has his own illegal betting pool at his private school. He is trying desperately to fit in, even though he knows people don’t consider him a friend, they do trust and almost in a way, respect him, something he has been longing for his whole life.

It was wonderful having a singularly male viewpoint in a YA novel. Cassel is a little self-centred, and a little bit depressed which makes him annoying at times, but he is also extremely intelligent. He works things out very early on, and although he is continuously questioning his theories he also expands on them.

We don’t get too much into the secondary characters. His mother is in prison for Working a man and making him fall in love with her, and then signing over his wealth. His grandfather is a death worker and one of his fingers rot every time he kills someone with his touch. We also get to reminisce about Lila, the girl Cassel killed. To be honest, she doesn’t seem like the nicest of people, more like a spoiled, over excited bully.
There were two things that I absolutely loved about White Cat: The Mystery and the Magic. The Mystery actually kept me guessing. Although some of it was an easy guess there were things that came out even halfway through the book that turned it onto a completely new track.

The Magic, was real magic with everything having a balance. If you were to kill someone, part of you was also to die. If you were to give someone good luck, you in return would receive it. If you were to take someone’s memory, one of yours would also be lost. Magic had consequences, so people weren’t just running around with the ability to do whatever they wanted to when they wanted to do it.

White Cat was an intriguing read and built up a world that I can’t wait to get back into.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review: Twilight: The Graphic Novel - Volume 1 by Stephanie Meyer; Illustrated by Young Kim

Review: Twilight: The Graphic Novel – Volume 1
Series: Twilight Graphic Novel – Volume 1
Author: Stephanie Meyer, Illustrated by Young Kim
No of Pages: 224
Release Date: 16 March 2010

I’ve never given much thought to how I would die – though I’d had reason to in the last few months...
Surely it was a good way to the place of someone else, someone I love.

When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret...

My Thoughts:

Ah, the world of Twilight, now in pictures. I will make no secret of the fact that I too am affected by the Twilight Haze and going back into that world once again is just as enchanting in pictures as it was in words.
Yes, the vampires are all wrong, yes Bella is annoyingly boring and Edward is a controlling, stalking weirdo but you just can’t help yourself.

I read this every morning before work for a week until I was done, and I will admit that I was slightly late a few mornings.

Now, Twilight is my first ever graphic novel so I don’t know if this is standard, but if I hadn’t read the book, I wouldn’t have had a clue about what was going on. Even having read it, I was still confused at times.

You really can’t get the same detail through pictures as you can words. So for those thinking of reading it, definitely read Twilight (I can’t believe I just said that) before you read this.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Droolworthy Covers: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Isn't it gorgeous? I don't know which one will be available to me, but I really, really like this one! The first thing I thought about this cover though was....True Blood. The chick doesn't resemble anyone but look at the two guys...

<< Luc from Personal Demons

    Luke from True Blood >>

<< Gabe from Personal Demons

 Jason from True Blood >>

Now, I am not saying this is a bad thing (because it's inevitable that someone will take it that way) all I'm saying is that, that's what I thought when I first saw it. I think it's a gorgeous cover. Can't wait to read it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Two Cents: The worst reason not to read a book...EVER

Feet on the cover.


I hate feet, any feet. The only feet I don't hate are my cats feet, because they are paws and don't count.

 This might be the most awesome book in the world, but I will never ever read it because it will mean having to touch the feet on the front.

Some say this is the most awesome book in the world...I almost feel bad that I am missing out.

And then comes it's sequel which brought on this post, because it reminded me of the former and how I reacted to it. I will admit though, this one isn't nearly as bad as the first two pictures I posted, probably because you can't really see the toes.

I hate toes.

I hate the freaky long toes (you know the ones) that are longer than the big toe. I hate the big toe altogether because it just looks weird, especially when people have meaty toes and the nail looks too small...or they have ingrowns...ewwww.

I hate looking at feet, hate touching them, even this post is making me grossed out. And I hate when people touch my feet.

My boyfriend often calls me weird because I have come close to kicking him in the head when he went near my feet.

I have given someone a concussion after holding me down and tickling my feet.

That is how much I hate feet.

I even hate the word feet.

I don't know where it came from, but my disgust with feet comes close to my fear of spiders (only spiders are way more evil).

So yes, now you know a little bit more about how weird I am and also why unfortunately I will never read the above books, or most books with feet on them.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Question of the Week: Do you read the book before the movie?

This question comes from Eleni at La Femme Readers

When a book is made into a movie or TV show, do you read the book before watching it? Or it doesn't matter either way?
(Thanks to The Book Vixen for question idea!)

My Answer: This is definitely one of the tougher questions to answer for me so I will put it this way, if the book is paranormal, I have more than likely read it before the movie came out. 

I am the type of person who doesn't watch a lot of movies. When I do though I usually don't know if it's been a book in another life eg The Notebook, The Devil Wears Prada.

If I watch the movie and then I find out that there is a book before it, I might read it, but it's unlikely. Books are books and movies are movies in my mind. And when you take a series like True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse, well, you really don't even need to read the books because they are so different.

So I don't know if I even answered this question, but the majority of the, I think.

I will say that if there is a movie I want to see and it's coming very soon eg Tomorrow When the War Began, I won't force myself to read the book I have enough "urgent" books as it is.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Two Cents: Why I Love Blogging

I am very bandwagonny when it comes to blogging, so I'm going to participate in this Thanksgiving blog doody that seems to be going around.

I love blogging first and foremost because it combines my two favourite pastimes: reading and writing.
I love blogging because it validates my book addiction.
I love blogging because it gives me something to do when I'm bored at work.

There are my three selfish reasons for blogging. Now here are the rest.

The Community
I love the community that comes with book blogging, the companionship that comes from reading. I love how I have exchanged emails, comments, debates, well-wishes and condolences all to people who I might never ever meet in "real" life, but who I consider friends.

I love the fact that I am not looked down upon here, no matter how much I read, rant and rave about books, blogging and reviewing there will always be someone that says: I agree with you. Because we are a diverse community.

I also love the fact that we (most) are able to take a nasty comment every once in a while without it turning into a massive fight, I also love the fact that we (most) can understand that people have a difference of opinion and can have mature debates about the topic at hand.

And most of all, I love all of the new books that blogging has introduced me to.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book Review: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Review: Dead Until Dark
Series: Sookie Stackhouse - Book 1
Author: Chralaine Harris
No of Pages: 326
Release Date: 1 May 2001

Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much. Not because she's not pretty. She is. It's just that, well, Sookie has this sort of ‘disability’. She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome - and Sookie can't 'hear' a word he's thinking. He's exactly the kind of guy she's been waiting for all her life.

But Bill has a disability of his own: He's a vampire. Worse than that, hangs with a seriously creepy crowd, with a reputation for trouble - of the murderous kind.

And when one of Sookie's colleagues is killed, she begins to fear she'll be next.

My Thoughts:

Sookie Stackhouse is definitely odd, but I like her.

Sookie has grown up being thought of as either crazy or slow. Not because she is though, it is because she is constantly trying to stop the stream of chatter from people’s minds. Occasionally Harris gives us a peek into what Sookie is ‘hearing’.

Sookie is a down to earth lovable character. She is a little bit annoying and very helpless, but it only concretes the fact that she is realistic. A human among vampires who accepts that fact and uses it, somewhat, to her advantage.

Bill is definitely tall, dark and handsome (nothing like the character on True Blood). After getting into a spot of trouble at the beginning of Dead Until Dark he goes on to introduce Sookie to the vampire world, dangerous as it may be.

I love that Sookie isn’t some swooning woman infatuated with Bill, if he cheeses her off she leaves and will not talk to him until he apologises. She doesn’t put up with anything that’s not warranted and isn’t always the first to call.

For being so physically fragile, mentally she is one tough chick. Dealing with death threats, a whole new world with a different set of rules and the constant stream of chatter Sookie also holds up against all the death suddenly surrounding her and not just in the form of vampires.

Sookie's workmates are being picked off one by one and her brother Jason is a prime suspect, so it’s up to Sookie to help clear his name.

I love Harris’ vampires. They are very traditional in that they don’t like the sun and can be staked. They are also pretty evil with their loss of humanity and therefore don’t see death or horrifying wounds as anything worth worrying about anymore, unless of course they are the ones in danger.

Harris’ writing style was odd at the beginning, almost simple in a way with far too many words and then she fell into a good rhythm about half way through which helped the story flow much easier. I loved her use of southern language even though it wasn’t always consistent and her world building was clear and painted a beautiful picture.

Dead Until Dark threw me back into the world of mystery and suspense with a beautiful touch of old fashioned vampires to spice things up. Once it had me in the grips of having to know what happened it wouldn’t let go until the final page, and even then I can’t wait to get into Living Dead in Dallas.

Others in this series:
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Dead and Gone
Dead in the Family
Dead Reckoning

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Book Review: Blood Song by Cat Adams

Review: Blood Song
Series: Blood Singer – Book 1
Author: Cat Adams
No of Pages: 364
Release Date: 8 June 2010

Bodyguard Celia Graves plies her trade in a world where vampires roam the alleys of Tinseltown and movie stars openly practise witchcraft, where street corner psychics have real powers and cops use memory enhancement spells on witnesses. An ordinary human, Celia relies on street smarts and charmed weapons to protect the rich and famous from mortal and supernatural threats.

She’s landed a plum job protecting the prince of a small but politically vital nation while he tour’s Los Angele’s least savoury hot spots. But what should be a routine assignment goes badly wrong: Celia is attacked by a master vampire and knows she is about to die.

To her shock, Celia wakes on a cold metal table in a university lab. Celia Graves has become an abomination, neither fully mortal nor fully vampire. Her “master” is hunting her, to destroy her or finish what his bite began. She’s accused of murder, and the cops aren’t sure whether she should be locked up or staked. And then there’s the demon she glimpsed during the vampire attack....

Struggling to cope with her new powers and trying not to terrify everyone she meets with a flash of fang, Celia reaches out for help from her once (and future?) lover, a powerful mage; his warrior-priest brother; a handsome werewolf who keeps his lupine nature concealed from the world; an elderly clairvoyant; and one trustworthy cop.

Celia Graves has three days to save the world, her sanity, and her soul.

My Thoughts:

Blood Song was definitely not what I expected, but I am in two different minds about whether or not I like it.

Blood Song follows the story of bodyguard Celia Graves. On a very high profile assignment, she is attacked and turned into an abomination a partially turned vampire. She can still go out in daylight, but the sunburn is terrible, isn’t affected by holy items but can only consume liquids.

Celia is tough; there is no questioning that, she has the training, the knowledge and the intelligence to put it to good use. Yet I didn’t connect with her at all. I think this was my main drawback with Blood Song. We were told that she was traumatised as a child, but that was it, no depth to that, no details no show of emotion. Instead of feeling what Celia was feeling, we were just told. For a good chunk of Blood Song I thought she was a weak minded whinger because we weren’t told anything.

Blood Song was a shallow read, even though it kept me coming back for more. There was an extremely funny part that had me laughing out loud, but I can’t actually remember it. There was a smattering of secondary characters that made no impact on me and I had a hard time remembering who they were when they were mentioned later on.

I loved Adams version of vampires though. They are the old-fashioned truly evil mind controlling kind. Not sexualised with people wanting to join their ranks, but with people holing up in Holy places just so they feel safe.

The world of Santa Maria de Luna was interesting enough. Adams created it from scratch, although not everything made sense, it was easy to picture and the strongest imagery was created when they described the ocean through Celia’s eyes. I could hear the gulls and taste the air as well.

From the description, you expect a story about a bodyguard. You don’t get one though, you get a half vampire chick that is constantly driving somewhere and losing weapons. But that in itself is realistic in an odd way. The way Celia reacted, fought and dealt with the situation – sometimes crumbling, trying to keep it together, looking for help – was realistic. I think that was the draw point for me. She was playing tough chick, but not to the point where you thought you wouldn’t do it yourself.

Although I had trouble connecting with Celia, or really feeling much of what was going on for the duration of the story. I want to go back into that world. I want to find out what happens even though we seem to be taking a completely different turn. I want to find out if anything will ever happen with the obviously forming love triangle.

Blood Song draws you in, and doesn’t let go even if you are confused for a good chunk of the story. It becomes a need to find out what will happen, and I intend to find out.

Also in this series:
Siren Song

Friday, July 16, 2010

Weekly Question: Do you need quiet when you read?

Monday's Question of the Day is hosted by Eleni at La Femme Readers

When you're reading do you need a quiet environment to focus or can you read through a natural disaster?

My Answer:

It really depends. I can read through a natural disaster, living with my family sometimes you have to, and I read at work as well. But I don't like to. I can block out all the noise and continue being absorbed in a story, hell, people have been trying to talk to me and they thought I was ignoring them...I actually didn't hear them (it was a really good book) but I don't like to read in a noisy environment. Even though that's where most of my reading gets done.

I used to be able to read with music on as well and I liked it. Until, one day during my Guy Sebastian phase I was reading an awesome book. I can't remember the name, I can't remember the author, but I can remember the story and the setting and something about a painting and a dead girl. Every single time I listen to the Guy Sebastian songs I was obsessed with at the time I think of that book and it frustrates me because I can't remember what it was.

So because music started attaching itself to my books, I stopped listening other wise my favourite song which makes me happy, would start making me sad, lonely, excited, angry, on edge and every other emotion that I feel when reading books.

So in short, I can read with the TV on whilst playing the computer, listening to music and telling my brothers to stop fighting (seriously, I can, no sarcasm in that statement) but I don't like to, because I feel that each book deserves my full attention.

Who wants a free e-book download?

The lovely Daniel A. Rabuzzis' book "The Choir Boats" Is currently available for free here. This offer is only standing until the end of july though so if you want to read this awesome cross between "The Golden Compass" and "Gulliver's Travels" with a hint of "Pride and Prejudice" hurry!

The Choir Boat:

What would you give to make good on the sins of your past? For merchant Barnabas McDoon, the answer is: everything.

When emissaries from a world called Yount offer Barnabas a chance to redeem himself, he accepts their price -- to voyage to Yount with the key that only he can use to unlock the door to their prison. But bleak forces seek to stop him: Yount's jailer, a once-human wizard who craves his own salvation, kidnaps Barnabas's nephew. A fallen angel -- a monstrous owl with eyes of fire -- will unleash Hell if Yount is freed. And, meanwhile, Barnabas's niece, Sally, and a mysterious pauper named Maggie seek with dream-songs to wake the sleeping goddess who may be the only hope for Yount and Earth alike.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Book Review: Stray by Rachel Vincent

Review: Stray
Series: Shifter Series – Book 1
Author: Rachel Vincent
No of Pages: 618
Release Date: 1 June 2010

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I’d been warned about Strays – werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back... for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever and whoever--I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays--'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them...

My Thoughts:

I can’t believe I didn’t read this earlier, it was absolutely fantastic.

I will be honest and say that the sheer size of Stray did deter me from it for a couple of months. But once I started I couldn’t stop.

Faythe is not only a tom-boy and extremely stubborn. She is resourceful and smart and can absolutely kick butt when she needs to. She is trying to lead a normal life away from her Pride by going to college and having a normal boyfriend.

Inevitably she gets called home, because someone is hunting down tabbies (females) and she could very well be next on the list.

Even after being put under 24 hour surveillance Faythe is kidnapped by a psychotic jungle stray, one of the most dangerous breeds of cat known to them. She is held against her will in a prison with only a sobbing teenager, an empty coffee can and the stench of blood to keep her company.

Faythe could become one of my favourite female characters with the way she is going. She is smart mouthed and not afraid to pick a fight with someone bigger than her...and win. No matter what kind of situation she was put in, she never lost hope and always tried to find a way to escape, whether that be her prison or her bedroom. She could be a complete girl at times as well though which brought her character flawlessly together.

Vincent also did very well in fleshing out the other characters even though we were told the story through Faythe's eyes, we got a good insight into her father, brothers, ex-lover Marc and close friend Jace.

I will be honest and say that I don’t like Marc; I am definitely on team Jace for this one. Marc is too intense for my taste, which is understandable because of his job as an enforcer (which is like were-cat FBI) and background as a mistreated stray. Although it’s understandable, I still don’t like his possessiveness and short temper with other males. What I do like however is Faythe’s strength to stand up to him.

I really liked Jace; he was definitely my kind of guy, funny, laid back yet serious when needed. His role as close family friend and brother like relationship with Faythe maturing after she comes home is really sweet and well paced, too bad Marc kept getting in the way.

Vincent had an odd style that noticeably changed throughout Stray. In the first ten chapters there were too many words, too many embellished sentences and too many unneeded statements memorably the three sentences needed to describe how Ethan (Faythe’s brother) pulled himself off the bed using the end post.

Yet after the initial greetings and falling back into rhythm at Faythe’s home, the style changed to exceptionally good writing and gut wrenching emotion. Stray literally pulls you in after those initial chapters and literally will not let go.

The only other thing that got on my nerves was the ending. It ended just like that, no tying off loose ends or wrapping anything up. It just stopped.

Aside from the minor flaws Stray is absolutely incredible. It has strong characters and an even stronger plot. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next in this series as soon as possible.

Others in this series:

Also reviewed by:
Sarah's Book Reviews

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Got Books! - 14/7/10

Ok so this isn't an IMM post (because they're on Sunday's and I don't get books regularly enough to do them) but it is an I got books! post which I can accredit to Kristi from the Story Siren. But this one is my version.

So what books did I get you ask?

I got:

The Awakening by Kelly Armstrong from the gorgeous Kirk Trio over at Teens Read and Write from their huge giveaway week.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer by the lovely Lori over at Pure Imagination from her Twilight Takeover Giveaway.

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready from the beautiful author herself through Simon Pulse UK!

 I got a different cover but I can't find it :( If anyone knows what the UK trade paperback looks like...that's the one I got

and just because I love him and he might read this post....I got White Cat by Holly Black from my awesome boyfriend on the weekend (he knew I needed it for the Blog With Bite July feature....*sighs* so lucky!)

I didn't include the books I bought in this post, but I will post some photos later on.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Two Cents: Books that take FOREVER

Books that take know the ones, you're sitting there reading and reading soon an hour has passed and how far have you moved? 14 pages. What?!

I have had a few books like that now with my ever expanding horizons.

Currently I'm reading Interview With the Vampire. It has taken me a week to get 120 pages in. A week. I have half an hour at lunch, which is when I do a lot of my reading. My record so far has been 130 pages in half an hour (Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost) and yet yesterday I was sitting there for my entire lunch break reading and reading and actually getting pretty engrossed in what's becoming an interesting story, how far did I move? 9 pages.

9 pages.

The average for Interview with the Vampire has been seven pages per half hour.

Beautiful Creatures, Catcher in the Rye and Moon Called all had the same problem...but I didn't like them. Whereas I am liking Interview with the Vampire, it has a pull. So why is it taking so long?

It could be the size of the print, but even so it really shouldn't be taking this long...

What books have taken you forever to read?

I'm going on a holiday! (Which means I am no longer accepting Review Books)

I am going on a holiday!!!

A much needed holiday at that, but I will still be around. Still be reading, reviewing and ranting.

BUT, and this is a big BUT, I will no longer be accepting any review books because apart from the fact that it will be iffy if they even get to me in time, but also I am going to be all over the place in the lead up to my holiday.


I quit my job!

I know a lot of you are probably face palming at the moment because who would quit their job in times like these but it's all good! The plan is to temp for now and then when I come back I will go full time again, but even if I don't...well, I have tech to keep me busy and my mum could always use some help at home.

So yeah, that is what's happening in my neck of the woods for the moment, so just to clarify...


Monday, July 12, 2010

Would you like to do a survey?

I have just done up a survey on StoryWings that I would love to get some feedback on.

It is a little long (maybe 10 mins to complete) but would help me out soooo much. So if you have time could you pretty please fill it in for me :D

Here is the FORM

Thank you!


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