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Thursday, 31 December 2009

2010 UK Debut Authors List

As part of The Story Siren's 2010 Debut Author Reading Challenge, I have been searching for UK Debut Authors. I'm not sure if I will get through all the books that I find so I don't want to add them all to my challenge list. I will certainly do my best to read as many UK debut novels as I can. However, I will also maintain this list and link it in my sidebar in case it is of use to other bloggers and keep adding new authors as and when I find them. Please email me if you know of any that I haven't put on this list. A huge thanks to the bloggers and authors who have suggested titles. You are credited below.

January
07/01/10 When I Was Joe by Keren David, Frances Licoln (recommended by Luisa Plaja @ Chicklish) My review here.
04/01/10 The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh - My review here.
07/01/10 Castle of Shadows by Ellen Renner (recommended by Luisa Plaja @ Chicklish)
01/01/10 Desperate Measures by Laura Summers, Piccadilly Press (recommended by Jenny @ Wondrous Reads)
01/01/10 Monster Republic by Ben Norton (recommended by Jo @ Ink and Paper Fantasy Book Reviews)
04/01/10 Quicksilver by Samira Osman, Marion Lloyd Books
02/01/10 Mission Telemark by Amanda Mitchison, Walker Books - My review here.

February
01/02/2010 My So-Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray, Piccadilly Press (recommended by Jo @ Ink and Paper Fantasy Reviews
04/02/2010 Out of the Shadows by Jason Wallace
04/02/2010 Lex Trent Versus The Gods by Alex Bell, Headline


March
01/03/10 Pretty Bad Things by Claire Skuse, Chicken House (recommended by Lauren @ I Was A Teenage Book Geek)
04/03/10 Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide by William Hussey
18/03/10 Luke and Jon by Robert Williams, Faber and Faber  (found through Love Reading 4 Kids)
31/03/10 Waking Beauty by Julie Parrish, Matador (recommended by Lauren @ I Was A Teenage Book Geek)

April
01/04/10 The Truth About Leo by David Yelland, Puffin (recommended by Jenny @ Wondrous Reads)
05/04/10 Mortlock by Jon Mayhew, Bloomsbury (recommended by Jenny @ Wondrous Reads)
05/04/10 Inside My Head by Jim Carrington, Bloomsbury (recommended by Emma @ Bloomsbury)

May
13/05/10 Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw, Headline (recommended by Jenny @ Wondrous Reads)
03/05/10 Montacute House by Lucy Jago, Bloomsbury
06/05/10 Della Says: OMG! by Keris Stainton, Orchard (recommended by Luisa Plaja @ Chicklish)
June
03/06/10 Tall Story by Candy Gourlay, David Fickling (recommended by Keren David)

July
07/10 The Other Countess, Penguin Puffin

August

September

October

November

December

1/12/2010 Fire Season by V. H. Folland, Ragged Angel Ltd

Please email me at: thebookette @ googlemail.com if you know of any other debut novels by UK authors to be published in 2010.

A huge thanks to Sammee @ I Want to Read That for designing the link button. You're an absolute star!

Happy New Year Everyone!
The Bookette

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Review: The Unfinished Angel


Author: Sharon Creech
Release date: Nov 2009 UK
Genre: Fantasy/ Angel Fiction /
Target audience: 9+

Summary from Amazon:
'People are strange! The things they are doing and saying - sometimes they make no sense. Did their brains fall out of their heads?' Angel, not fond of people at the best of times and having an identity crisis, is about to meet Zola - a talkative young girl who makes herself at home in Angel's tower in a village high in the Swiss Alps. 'This Zola is a lot bossy,' Angel thinks. But out of their bickering an unexpected friendship forms, which benefits the entire village, reminding us that magic can be found in even the most ordinary acts of kindness.


Review:
It is hardly a secret that I have a thing for angel stories. I think perhaps I love them so much because angels are innately good, unless they're fallen angels obviously. But even then I love those types of angel books too. Okay, I have no idea why I have an angel book obsession but I do.

The Unfinished Angel is a very quick read. It is just 164 pages long. Yet every single page and every single word were simply a joy to read. Creech has written the most beautiful and endearing story about one Angel who is trying his/her best to protect the people in his/her care. For the purposes of the review I'm going to refer to Angel as a "he" but that is most certainly debatable. It is really hard to not give a character a gender when you're writing about them.

Angel wonders if he has been sent to be a ground angel too early. He worries that he hasn't been given a mission and if he is fulfilling his responsibility to the right people. Angel's voice is incredibly convincing. I actually giggled out loud as I read Angel's musings about peoples. Yes, we are always referred to as peoples. Angel believes he is missing some of the required vocabularly. He believes ground angels should understand every language of the world. Angel's difficulty with English was the most adorable thing to read and I'm sure he would disapprove of me saying such a thing. He is an Angel. I'm just a peoples and I most certainly should not think of him as a cute pet. But I can't help myself, I'm one of the peoples after all.

Zola is a young girl who moves into the Casa where Angel floats and flishes. He finds her bossy but he also admires her and their growing friendship was fascinating to follow from Angel's perspective. As the story develops, Angel shares with us some of the history of the characters that he watches over. There is Signora Divino who puts snakes in the yard of the Casa when she thinks no one is looking and her Grandson Vinny who is constantly making noise and mischief. Each new character adds another colour to the story.

The plot moves very swiftly and in some ways I think the way it unfolds isn't very surprising. There are no twists and turns and for once this is no bad thing. The nature of this story is about discovery and often what we discover about ourselves isn't all that surprising. Sometimes it is what we knew all along.

Overall, The Unfinished Angel is a simple yet beautifully written and well executed story. It is the type of book that you can read again and again just to hear the funny and at times grumpy voice of Angel. I absolutely loved it. This is a book of the highest quality of writing and I cannot recommend it enough. For an angel fan like me, it is a must read!




The Bookette

Waiting on Wednesday: Montacute House

Montacute House by Lucy Jago
Released 3rd May 2010
Bloomsbury

Summary from Amazon:
Cess works caring for the chickens at Montacute House but on her thirteenth birthday everything changes. She finds a precious locket hidden in the chicken coop and is convinced someone has placed it there for her to find. But the day is overshadowed by fear as a boy's body is found by the river, and then when John disappears, Cess is accused by the villagers of bewitching her best friend. Cess is determined to find John and prove the villagers wrong, but is soon embroiled in a plot that threatens her world and forces Cess to draw on powers she never knew she possessed, powers that will place her life in danger if they are discovered by the villagers. Witchcraft, politics and religious ambition combine in this gripping and wonderfully realised novel set in the Somerset of the 1500s.

The Bookette says:
I found this as I trawled through pages and pages of Amazon future releases trying to find UK debut novelists. Finding a book with a premise as exciting as this one made it all worth while. I cannot wait to read this now. I'm pretty sure Montacute House is an actual location in the UK which makes this even more fascinating.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Review: Dead Girls' Dance (Morganville Vampires Book 2)

Author: Rachel Caine
Release date: 2007
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Vampire Fiction
Target Audience: 12+

Morganville Vampire Book 1: Glass Houses. My review here.

Book 2 Dead Girls' Dance - Amazon says:
Claire has her share of challenges. Like being a genius in a school that favours beauty over brains; homicidal girls in her dorm, and finding out that her college town is overrun with the living dead. On the up side, she has a new boyfriend with a vampire-hunting dad. But when a local fraternity throws the Dead Girls' Dance, hell is really going to break loose.

Review:
I started The Dead Girls' Dance almost immediately after finishing Glass Houses. I read it in one sitting of about three and half hours. It was so easy to arrive right back in Morganville as this book starts where the first book ended. The transition is seemless and so I was absorbed from the very first page this time.

I will try to limit any spoilers but if you want to be left completely in the dark, please do not read any further.

Shane's father is hellbent on avenging the death of his daughter Alyssa. He takes on the roll of the villain in The Dead Girls' Dance and is portrayed as a brutal and tortured man. Shane is locked in an inner battle of loyalty to his father versus loyalty to his friends. In this book we find out more about Shane's traumatic past and his reasons for returning to Morganville.

Claire maintains her role of child saviour as she crusades to save nearly everybody's backside in one way or another. Naturally her annoying naivity meant she has to be rescued at least once. Her irritating innocence was not as grating in this book and I like where the Shane/Claire romance is heading. He is definitely my favourite character. 

We meet Sam a new and most interesting character who I found rather adorable really. I hope we find out more about him in the other books. We also meet Jason who is perhaps at the opposite end of the spectrum on the likeability scale. He was a dark shadow in this book but I get the sense that there is more frightening episodes to come from him. I shudder to think of him. I don't like people who lurk in alleyways. They give me the heebie-jeebies.

The plot raced quickly along and although at time certain things were not always clear, it still had me hooked. Overall, this series is already growing on me. It is just so easy to read. It requires no effort. The characters are well developed and on the whole compelling. I really enjoyed The Dead Girls' Dance and have ordered Midnight Alley from the town library. This series definitely has something. Thanks to Jenny @ Wondrous Reads, Chloe @ The Book Bug and Carla @ The Crooked Shelf for encouraging me to read these.

Monday, 28 December 2009

2010 Debut Author Challenge

Some of my favourite bloggers have signed up to Kristi, The Story Siren's 2010 Debut Author Challenge and I am going to join them. I have been holding off posting this for as long as possible because I wanted to try find as many UK author debuts as I could within my favourite genres. I haven't got very far to be honest but I'll add more as and when I find them.

Here is the challenge info from The Story Siren:

What is the Debut Author Challenge?

The objective is to read a set number of YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels from debut authors published this year.* I'm going to challenge everyone to read at least 12 debut novels! I’m hoping to read at least 30! You don’t have to list your choices right away, but if you do feel free to change them throughout the year. I will also be focusing on mostly Young Adult novels.


Anyone can join, you don’t need a blog to participate. If you don’t have a blog you can always share your views by posting a review on Amazon.com/BarnesandNoble.com/GoodReads/Shelfari, or any other bookish site.


The challenge will run from January 1, 2010- December 31, 2010. You can join at anytime!


My list of debut novels to read:
  1. When I Was Joe by Keren David UK author (Frances Lincoln, January 2010) Read my review here
  2. Mission Telemark by Amanda Mitchison UK author (Walker Books, January 2010) Read my review here
  3. Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore (Bloomsbury UK, 1st February 2010) Read my review here
  4. Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw UK author (Headline, May 2010) Read my review here
  5. The Other Countess by Eve Edwards UK author (Penguin Puffin, July 2010) Read my review here
  6. Montacute House by Lucy Jago UK author (Bloomsbury, May 2010) Read my review here
  7. The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh UK author (Chicken House, January 2010) Read my review here
  8. Tall Story by Candy Gourlay UK author (David Fickling Books, June 2010)
  9. Dark Life by Kat Falls (Simon and Schuster, April 2010) Read my review here
  10. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Hodder and Stoughton, March 2010) Read my review here
  11. 13 to Life by Shannon Delany - Read my review here
  12. Theodore Boone by John Grisham (Hodder and Stoughton, June 2010)  Read my review here
  13. The Moonstone Legacy by Diana de Gunzberg and Tony Wild (Pushkin Press, June 2010) Read my review here
  14. Mistwood by Leah Cypess (Greenwillow Books, April 2010)
  15. The Bodyfinder by Kimberley Derting (Harpercollins, March 2010) Read my review here
  16. The Line by Teri Hall (Dial Books, March 2010)
  17. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Walker Books, June 2010) Read my review here
  18. Time Riders by Alex Scarrow UK author (Puffin, February 2010) Read my review here
  19. Matched by Ally Condie (Penguin Razorbill, December 2010) Read my review here


The Bookette

Review: Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires Book1)

Author: Rachel Caine
Release date: 2006
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Vampire Fiction
Target Audience: 12+

Amazon says:
College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation, where the popular girls never let her forget just where she ranks in the school's social scene: somewhere less than zero. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they come out fighting when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood...

Review:
Glass Houses had a slow start and at first I wondered if I would even be able to force myself to read to the end. However, once I got to around Chapter 4, I began to actually become interested in the story.

The main character - Claire Danvers - is sixteen and studying Sciences at the college in Morganville. She is quite a boring character to read about because she is a brainiac, well-behaved and colourless girl. I guess she lacks flavour and at times I imagined her as a Nancy Drew type.

It is the other characters that she decides to move in with that make the book an interesting read. Shane is goofy, witty and highly likeable. Michael is more mysterious and is the authority figure within the Glass House. Eve is a gothic girl who is loyal and funny. The background to these three characters made compelling reading. I wanted to know why they stayed in Morganville. As soon as Claire meets these three differing personalities, the story takes off and I didn't want to put it down.

Morganville is a fascinating setting which in places had me chilled to the bone. The concept of the town being controlled by the vampires kept me intrigued and I can see that the details of how their society functions will be slowly revealed in the other books in the series. The quality of the writing was somewhat lacking but that didn't put me off once the plot began to race towards the climax.

Overall, I liked Glass Houses. It held my attention and certainly had me hooked. Shane was such a great character that I will read the next book. I hope the other characters rub off on Claire and make her more interesting to follow. Read this if you are a sucker for vampire fiction.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

In My Santa Sack

Hello everyone, welcome to my Santa Sack edition of In My Mailbox. Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Thanks to my husband and my mum for these fabulous books.

All descriptions are taken from Goodreads.

Top row from Left to Right:





Graceling by Kristin Cashore




Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight--she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug.
When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Fire, Graceling's prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells.

Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals: mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.

 


The Midnight Guardian by Sarah Jane Stratford

It's 1938, and the tentacles of Hitler's terrifying Third Reich have commenced their stranglehold on Europe. The Nazi empire will soon be clean of all bloodlines deemed tainted or undesirable…including vampires.

London's ancient tribunal of vampires is aghast at the destruction taking place on the Continent. Though vampires try not to interfere with human politics, Hitler's terrible plans force them into action. They resolve to send five of their most formidable vampires to Berlin—millennials who have lived more than a thousand years and whose age and wisdom make them close to invulnerable—to infiltrate, disrupt, and destroy the growing Nazi war machine.

Bottom row from Left to Right:


Numbers by Rachel Ward
Since her mother's death, fifteen-year-old Jem has kept a secret. When her eyes meet someone else's, a number pops into her head - the date on which they will die. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, Jem avoids relationships, but when she meets a boy called Spider, and they plan a day out together, her life takes a new twist and turn. Waiting for the London Eye, she sees everyone in the queue has the same number - something terrible is going to happen.

Wake by Lisa McMann

Ever since she was eight years old, high school student Janie Hannagan has been uncontrollably drawn into other people's dreams, but it is not until she befriends an elderly nursing home patient and becomes involved with an enigmatic fellow-student that she discovers her true power.





Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

1910. A cabin north of the Arctic Circle. Fifteen-year-old Sig Andersson is alone. Alone, except for the corpse of his father, who died earlier that day after falling through a weak spot on the ice-covered lake. His sister, Anna, and step-mother, Nadya, have gone to the local town for help. Then comes a knock at the door. It's a man, the flash of a revolver's butt at his hip, and a mean glare in his eyes. Sig has never seen him before but Wolff claims to have unfinished business with his father. As Sig gradually learns the awful truth about Wolff's connection to his father, Sig finds his thoughts drawn to a certain box hidden on a shelf in the storeroom, in which lies his father's prized possession - a revolver. When Anna returns alone, and Wolff begins to close in, Sigs choice is pulled into sharp focus. Should he use the gun, or not?

 


The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech

Peoples are strange!

The things they are doing and saying—sometimes they make no sense. Did their brains fall out of their heads? And why so much saying, so much talking all the time day and night, all those words spilling out of those mouths? Why so much? Why don't they be quiet?


In the ancient stone tower of the Casa Rosa, in a tiny village high in the Swiss Alps, life for one angel has been the same, well, for as long as she (or he?) can remember. Until Zola arrives, a determined American girl who wears three skirts all at once. For neighbors who have been longtime enemies, children who have been lost, and villagers who have been sleepily living their lives: hold on. Zola and the angel are about to collide. Figs start flying, dogs start arfing, and the whole village begins to wake up. Zola is a girl with a mission. And our angel has been without one—till now.


This fab meme is hosted by Kristi, The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea, Pop Culture Junkie.
I can't wait to read every single one of these books!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Review: Hush, Hush

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick

Release date: 2009
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Angel Fiction
Target audience: 13+

From Amazon:
A sacred oath, a fallen angel, a forbidden love...This darkly romantic story features our heroine, Nora Grey, a seemingly normal teenage girl with her own shadowy connection to the Nephilim, and super-alluring bad boy, Patch, now her deskmate in biology class. Together they find themselves at the centre of a centuries-old feud between a fallen angel and a Nephilim...Forced to sit next to Patch in science class, Nora attempts to resist his flirting, though gradually falls for him against her better judgment. Meanwhile creepy things are going on with a mysterious stalker following her car, breaking into her house and attacking her best friend, Vee. Nora suspects Patch, but there are other suspects too - not least a new boy who has transferred from a different college after being wrongly accused of murdering his girlfriend. And he seems to have taken a shine to Nora...Love certainly is dangerous...and someone is going to have to make the ultimate sacrifice for it.

Review:
Hush, Hush pulled me straight into the story from the prologue. I cannot tell you how unusual this experience is for me as I have a complete dislike for prologues. I just don't understand why a book needs one. Surely an excellent writer should be able to put all the pieces of their story into the novel without needing these extra parts? I'm sure many people will disagree with me so feel free to give the points in favour of prologues in the comments. Anyway, I digress. I simply want to illustrate that this book had me leaping over my own prejudices before I'd even started Chapter One.

Nora is an interesting character who is piecing her life back together after the death of her father. Her mother is working away to bring in a good enough salary so that they can keep their family home. As I reflect on this, I imagine that many families must experience similar hardships if one parent dies. Nora is responsible and a typically average girl. Patch on the other hand is anything but ordinary. I fell for him hook, line and sinker. He is dark, mysterious and quite frankly trouble with a capital T. A great and intriguing love interest that had me turning the pages and every so often looking up to tell to my family, "This book is just awesome. I love it!"

I found the plot fast moving and gripping. Although I had sussed early on who was actually stalking Nora, I didn't know why until the very end. Even if I had worked it out, I would have kept reading, such is Becca Fitzpatrick's skill of creating a compelling male lead. Vee and her complete ignorance also kept the story moving along. At times I found her annoying and certainly would have given her a few choice words if she had been my best friend.

The ending had my heart racing and me squealing with joyous triumph. I cannot wait for the next book. There is going to be a next book, right? Title anyone? Overall, I recommend this to anyone and everyone! For a fan of anything angel like me, this book is the equivalent of growing my own set of wings. If my TBR pile wasn't so high, I would start right from the beginning. Hush, Hush is fallen angel perfection.


Waiting on Wednesday: Rebel

Rebel (Black Apple) by R J Anderson

Released by Orchard on 7th January 2010

Can you all remember back to September when I reviewed Knife?  No? The review can be found here. I gave it FIVE stars. It was an amazing book so I'm delighted that it is only a few weeks until the sequel Rebel is released. I adore the UK cover! This has been WOWed by a number of US bloggers but I've only just discovered the UK version on Amazon.

Here's the blurb from Amazon:

Linden's cage glowed with fiery heat, burning her fingers when she tried to cling to the bars. She fluttered helplessly in midair, wing muscles aching with the effort, knowing that she couldn't hover much longer before her strength gave out – and that the moment it did, she would die...

I hope it lives up to my expectations!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Review: Nickolai of the North

Author: Lucy Daniel Raby

Release date: 2005
Genre: Fantasy / Christmas Theme
Target Audience: 9+

From Amazon:
Nickolai is the last true elf left in the world, rescued from the fate of his people by Comet, a flying reindeer.

Brought up by human parents in the distant north, Nickolai knows that there's something different about him. Teased and bullied because of his pointed ears, he seeks solace with the reindeer in the enchanted forest.

But when Magda starts to steal children's youth in order to regain her own beauty, Nick must travel north to foil her evil plans ...
Review:
Nickolai of the North is a sweet story full of festive feeling and magic. It is the story of how Nickolai, the last elf, becomes Santa. We follow him through his childhood as he struggles with being labelled as different by the other village children. We experience his curiosity as he ventures into the forest against his parents wishes. We love Elvina his Light Fairy even though she does not speak a single word throughout the book.

The author created a most interesting tale of Nickolai's hertiage. The idea of using the northern lights as the source of magic was intriguing and beautifully descriptive. The Light Fairy concept was my favourite part of the book and was perhaps the only original part of the tale. It must be very difficult to retell the story of how Santa came to be and give it an original twist.

I felt that the plot of the story was highly predictable but I also think this I what I wanted from the book. If you choose to read a Christmas themed book, I guess you are looking for the festive feeling and the generous spirit which is at the heart of Nickolai of the North.

The writing was elegant and easy to appreciate. The characters were all well rounded but again perhaps rather predictable. I read this novel in one sitting which shows that it can hold your attention. However, it certainly wasn't a page turner but I guess that's because I knew how the story was going to end. At over 300 pages long, I think the target audience may lose patience with the slow pace of the story. It certainly could have been shorter.

Overall, Nickolai of the North is a perfect read for conjuring up that special festive feeling. It is full of magic, wonder and friendship. A sweet read that will leave you singing Jingle Bells or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. However, it will certainly not make it into the category of great fantasy reads for tweens.


Saturday, 19 December 2009

My Year in Pictures

So 2009 is coming to an end. I thought I'd do a post which tells the story of my year in pictures.

January

I landed my first post as the School Librarian rather than the Assistant. This is what I saw when I visited for the day before I actually started the job.

February

After a lot of hard work, this is the sight that greeted the children when we opened the library.

March, April and May
These months were dedicated to planning the wedding, learning to waltz and missing my sister. No one needs to see pictures of this crazy time.

June
Mum's dog is found to have tumours. Talk about stressful for everyone, especially me as I nearly pass out in the vets. I am such a wimp. Thankfully she pulled through the operation and is still going strong!

July


This was such an awesome month. Firstly, I went to Cassandra Clare's City of Glass book signing in London. One of my best days of the year. Her Q & A was fascinating.

Then there was my Hen Day. We went to an artist's studio and tried our hands at pottery. It was such a fun girls' day and totally me! I think I look a little crazy in this picture...


The big day finally arrives! Me and my sister getting ready in the Bridal Suite before the ceremony. How much do I love my sister? Loads, she is my best friend!

Wahoo! I'm married. I spent the whole day laughing. Here, because I'm having a cup of tea in truly Becky style. My wonderful husband is wearing the green tie.  My brother is the short guy drinking champagne. Figures! For me it was truly the most joyous day of my life.

August

We went to Mexico for our honeymoon. It was amazing! Check out the biggest sunglasses ever!

September
This was when I properly got into the swing of things with The Bookette and so no surprises, I have no photos of this month. I guess I must have been glued to the computer or a book.

October

I go to Maggie Stiefvater's London Book Signing in London at The Golden Treasury. Another bookish highlight of my year.


I go with my mum and my sister to the O2 to see Disney Princesses on Ice. It was totally girly fun. Naturally my favourite princess is Belle, my sister's is Ariel. She has always wanted to be a mermaid.

November

I go to see Terry Prachett's Nation adapted for the stage at the National with hubby. It was a seriously weird play but it was also the saddest day of the year. This is the day that we lost Phyl. The inlaws forced us to go to the theatre anyway as there wasn't anything we could do to and they thought we should keep busy.

December

Yay! It is nearly Christmas. This is our tree. My sister and her husband are home tomorrow and so I'm very excited. I cannot wait to see them.

The Bookette would like to congratulate Cassandra Clare for winning her Best Book of 2009 Award for City of Glass.

The Bookette would also like to say a huge Thank You to all her followers and commentators. Becoming a blogger is one of my favourite things that I've done this year and it is all because of the amazing people that I've met along the way. I just want to say a few personal thank yous.

To J Kaye @ J Kaye's Book Blog
For being my first ever follower. I'm not sure I would have even written anything on my blog if you hadn't followed me without me having even one post.

To Jenny @ Wondrous Reads
I still remember my delight and surprise when you featured The Bookette as Blog of the Week.

Thanks for being such an awesome blog and Twitter friend.

To Carla @ The Crooked Shelf
For being so generous and just plain great fun. You are the Wolf Girl and you rock!

To Juju @ Tales of Whimsy
Thanks for being my Top Commentator. For making me and smile and always willing to help me out.

To Chloe @ The Book Bug
For being such a cool fun blogger who is anti-Twilight (even though I'm Team Edward) and very generous and such a loyal commentator.

To Luisa Plaja @ Chicklish
Author extraordinaire and Twitter buddy who just simply rocks!

Thank you one and all! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
I leave you with the fan girl image of me!


Friday, 18 December 2009

Review: Tempted (House of Night Book 6)

Authors: P.C. and Kristin Cast

Release date: 2009 UK/US
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Vampire fiction
Target audience: 15+


The House of Night Series
Book 1: Marked
Book 2: Betrayed
Book 3: Chosen (my review here)
Book 4: Untamed (my review here)
Book 5: Hunted (my review here)

Amazon says:
Zoey needs a break after some serious excitement. Sadly, the House of Night school for vampyres doesn't feature breaks on its curriculum - even for a High Priestess in training and her gang. Plus juggling three guys is no stress reliever, especially when one is a sexy Warrior so into protecting Zoey that he's sensing her emotions. Wider stresses lurk too, and the dark force in Tulsa's tunnels is spreading. Could Stevie Rae be responsible for more than a group of misfit fledglings? And Aphrodite's visions warn Zoey to stay away from the immortal Kalona and his dark allure - but they also show that only Zoey can stop him. She's not exactly keen to meet up, but if Zoey don't go to Kalona he'll exact a fiery vengeance on those closest to her. She just has to find the courage to do what's necessary, or everything that's important to her will be destroyed. - Not suitable for younger readers -

WARNING: This review contains spoilers for earlier books in the series

Review:
When you get to the sixth book in a series, you've committed yourself to seeing it through to the very end. You've grown to accept the annoying traits of the characters you dislike and grown to love the traits of those you do. It's a difficult place to be in to write yet another review. I don't want to regurgitate the reviews I've already written for the previous three books. So, this review will be short and focus on how Tempted differs from other books in the House of Night Series.

When I heard that Tempted was going to be told from six different characters' viewpoints, I was a little apprehensive. As I've already said, you've come this far in the series, why change what is obviously successful? However, even though Tempted focuses on different characters, it still feels as if Zoey is narrating. At least this is how it was for me. It didn't feel like reading the story from six perspectives. It felt just like reading all the other House of Night books and it felt good.

Certainly, we get to see and hear from Stark which is my favourite aspect of this book. I really like where the Casts are taking him and I could have read about him all day. Rephaim was a slightly disconcerting addition and I'm interested to see where the story goes with him in Burned. I get the feeling that his journey could be highly predictable. Sadly, there was not so much of Aphrodite in this book and that was disappointing because I love the spark that her witty and sarcastic voice brings.

Finally, I just have to mention the ending because it was a complete cliffhanger. I really didn't see it coming. I cannot wait for the next instalment which according to Amazon is released on April 27th 2010. Finally, I have a question for fellow House of Night fans: how many books are planned for the series? I want to know there is an end in sight. Overall, the quality of the writing seemed to improve in this book and the story was full of twists and turns. It was awesome! My rating is going up for this book because the ending was a complete shocker!



If you've read House of Night books, tell me in the comments who your favourite character is and why. I'm just curious!