Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Did I Achieve My 2013 Reading and Blogging Goals?

Short answer: Nope, not really.


Let me elaborate. My goals were:

1) To read 50 books, or thereabouts.
I read 30. Woops. However, school cut into my reading time. Majorly. Especially around exam time. I definitely wish I had read more though. *weeps*

2) To post at least one or two reviews every week.
I've not been very consistent in this but I have written a total of 23 reviews this year. Which isn't that impressive now that I think about it...

3) To do more discussion posts.
I sort-of managed to do this one. I certainly posted more discussion posts in 2013 than I did last year. I think. Not as many as I wanted to, but I'm glad I managed to post up the ones I did because they were so much fun to write and I loved the response they got from all of you! :)

4) To read a few classics.
I failed at this one. Terribly. I SO wanted to get into classics and I even bought a few... but never got on to reading any of them. They're just so intimidating! I did receive 1984 for Christmas so, who knows, I might get into classics in 2014!

5) To take breaks when needed!
Now, this resolution, I achieved. I ended up being MIA a lot this year due to school and, in a way, I'm glad I took breaks because, otherwise, the content of this blog would have been extremely boring. Though sometimes I did go MIA without notice. *headdesks*

6) To meet new bloggy friends and to follow/comment more on other blogs.
Yes, yes, yes. Another resolution I managed to achieve. I've made a bundle of bloggy friends this year, followed their blogs and spammed them with comments! :)


7) To reach 80,000 pageviews (currently 73,356! :D) and, fingers crossed, get some more followers (currently 397 xD)!
Managed to reach 124,150 pageviews and 473 GFC followers as of right now and I am so happy! Couldn't ask for anything more! I'm so grateful to the people who look at my blog! :D

8) And finally, to catch up on my review pile!
At the beginning of the year, I was actually pretty organised with my review books but that slowly declined as the year went on. Now I'm super behind. *weeps*

So, as you can see, achieving goals isn't really my thing. I'm not good at it. At. All. So I won't be setting any for 2014 - I just want to enjoy blogging and be able to organise my time more so that studying and schoolwork won't get in the way of blogging and reading time.

What about you? Are you going to set any blogging or reading goals for 2014?

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Shout out to Lucy from Queen of Contemporary for giving me the inspiration to do this post!

Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Christmas Book Haul!


These are the beautiful books I received this Christmas from jolly ol' Saint Nick. *squeals* I was so excited for them that, over the course of three days, I managed to read Breathe by Sarah Crossan, Unbreathable by Hafsah Laziaf and Shadow and Bone by Laini Taylor. All of which I enjoyed! I've yet to read The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter, Ten by Gretchen McNeil and 1984 by George Orwell but I am hoping to get on to them soon because they've all been on my wishlist for AGES! The Kneebone Boy sounds incredibly unique while 1984 is a book that's been intriguing me for forever! I really want to get into classics and this one sounds like something I could easily enjoy! I am hoping to start Ten tonight and am super excited - it sounds amazing!
 
What books did YOU get for Christmas this year? Would you like to see reviews of any of these books?
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo
 
PS: Sorry about the quality of the picture but it was the best I could do with my phone! :3

Monday, 23 December 2013

Review: Earthbound

Author: Aprilynne Pike
Edition: HarperCollins Children's Books Paperback
Released: 21st August 2013
Series: Earthbound #1
Pages: 338 approx.

Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of a plane crash. Grief-stricken and alone, she's having strange visions of a boy she's never met. As her visions intensify, Tavia wonders, was the plane crash really an accident? Or is she part of something bigger than she ever imagined?

The only person she can talk to is Benson, her best friend, the guy who's somehow always by her side. But secretly she longs to confide in the boy who haunts her dreams...

Some of you may know how much love I have for Pike's other series, Wings. When I found out she was bringing out another series, I jumped at the chance to review the first book of it. It had a promising premise and, well, that cover refused to let me say no! Luckily, it turned out to be an entertaining and enjoyable read.

The first part of the book appeared almost quite cliché to me - a girl discovering she's different, having visions of a boy she feels something for then a love triangle forming. The love triangle is actually quite similar to the one in Wings. Tavia's stuck between the mysterious, new boy and her best friend. If I haven't made this clear before: I really hate the whole best friend romance. Especially when I prefer the other boy over them! Like in Wings where I found David - the best friend - irritating, I found Benson extremely irritating in this one. So, safe to say, I was annoyed when Tavia admitted she had feelings for him! I do feel like this love triangle is much more dramatic because of the... connection she has with one of the boys, however. Dat's all I'm saying. ;)

Tavia as a main character was decent. I didn't love her or hate her. Well, maybe I hated her at that one part near the end where I thought she was being completely insensitive and selfish but, overall, she was a fine narrator. She was flawed and sometimes I didn't agree with her decisions but, no, I didn't hate her. As I've stated previously, I found Benson to be annoying - he wasn't a nasty person or anything, just got on my nerves. A lot. -.-

The book really picked up toward the end and I found myself enjoying it so much more than the first few chapters. Plot twists were revealed and everything really started to heat up. I've come to the conclusion I enjoyed the plotline. At first I thought it was just going to turn out too cliché but the more that was revealed, the more unique it became. I really can't wait to find out more in book two!

To conclude, Earthbound was an enjoyable and enthralling read. I can easily see why some people don't have much patience with the beginning and DNF it, but I do say that you should really stick with it because it really picks up approaching the second half of the book and the ending is just so dramatic and overwhelming. I now can't wait for book two! :)

FOUR STARS!
Huge thanks to HarperCollins for my review copy!
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Showcase Sunday {24}

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits & Tea where book bloggers showcase the books they have received throughout the week.

I am SO unbelievably behind with reading review books it's crazy... and, lately, I've been plagued with surprise review books that are really reminding me that I need to get on top of it all again! I'm hoping to get some reading done over the Christmas holiday but, unfortunately, I will have to study for the majority of it!


For Review:

The Queen of Dreams by Peter Hamilton:
I literally only read the synopsis of this ten minutes ago and, put quite simply, it sounds amazing! Definitely something I could enjoy! I feel like it has a rather fairytale-esque premise so I'm excited!

Blackberry Blue and Other Fairy Tales by Jamila Gavin:
When I first received this I didn't give it much thought but the more I've read about it, the more excited I've become - especially since I've heard such good things about it! If its contents are as beautiful as its cover then I'm in for a treat! :)

Shine by Candy Gourlay:
This sounds so different from anything else out there that I'm really intrigued! From the few ratings it's gotten on goodreads, they've all been high so I have hope that it'll be a good read!

Junk Miles (Brenna Blixen #2) & Slow Twitch (Brenna Blixen #3) by Liz Reinhardt:
To be honest, I don't really know what to think of these books... Or whether or not I'll read them. For one, they are the second and third books in a trilogy of which I haven't read the first. Plus, the covers make them look like they belong in the erotica genre - which is a major turn-off. Obviously I don't not want to read them because they've been gifted to me but... I just don't know what to do!

**HUGE thanks to Random House for all these surprise review books!**

Book Swaps:

The Dream Thieves (Raven Cycle #2) by Maggie Stiefvater:
Yes, Hawwa and I ALWAYS seem to be book swapping, but this girl is crazy awesome gifting me with books on my wishlist! I read The Raven Cycle last year and enjoyed it - though it was a little slow-going and confusing - and am hoping that I'll enjoy this one more! THANKS AGAIN, HAWWA! :D

*dusts off hands* So that's all the books I've got over the past few months - I think. There's probably some I've forgotten about but, oh wells! What did YOU receive this past week - or, in my case, months?! Leave links to your book hauls below, or just simply tell me what you got!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Should Cassie Clare Really Be Writing MORE Shadowhunter Books?!

My answer: Yes. She most definitely should.

It's been nearly a year since Cassie Clare announced she would be writing a new Shadowhunter series - The Dark Artifices - and, during that time, there's been a lot of debate. Some people (like me) are totally for it. They love the idea of a new series that will let them delve deeper and prevent them from having to wave goodbye to a world they love so much, while others are more hesitant... Isn't the Shadowhunter world going to become tiring? Too overused?

To those people I say:


Clare has spent so much time creating a fantasy world that we, as readers, find easy to escape into and become completely and totally lost in. It takes skill for an author to paint such a vivid picture of a world utterly different from our own and, if they aren't ready to leave it yet or feel like there are still many more tales to be written about it, who are we to say what the right thing is to do?

Personally, I'm excited about delving into another Shadowhunter adventure! Especially since, this time around, it will be mainly from the perspective of a fully-fledged Shadowhunter! Also: Why shouldn't Clare introduce us to another swoon-worthy fellow? We've had Jace, we've had Will... Maybe it's time to make the hunky duo, a trio! ... Though I highly doubt that this Julian could hold a candle to Will! -.~

Los Angeles, 2012. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to the eradication of demons and being the best, fastest and deadliest Shadowhunter since Jace Lightwood. Raised in the Los Angeles Institute, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian. As Emma hunts those who caused the death of her parents, the trail they’re following leads back to those they’ve always been taught to trust. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with Julian — her closest friend and, because he is her parabatai, the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. [To be released sometime in 2015]

You can see my review of (The Mortal Instruments) City of Bones here and The Infernal Devices book reviews here, here and here!

For those of you adamant that you do not want to read any more into the Shadowhunting world, you at least have the series Clare is co-writing with Holly Black, The Magisterium Series!


What do you think? Are you excited about The Dark Artifices? Why? Why not? Are you ready to move on or are you pretty happy delving deeper into this fantasy world? What about The Magisterium Series? Sound like your thing?

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Monday, 16 December 2013

Interview with Author, Kat Zhang!

I have a super exciting post for you all today - an interview with one of my favourite authors, Kat Zhang! I LOVED the first book in her Hybrid Chronicles series, What's Left of Me (review here) and am hoping that getting to know her and her books a little here will convince some of you to try it out!

First off, could you tell us a little about yourself and your (flipping amazing) book?

Aw, thanks, haha. I'm Kat, and I wrote the Hybrid Chronicles, which currently consist of WHAT'S LEFT OF ME and ONCE WE WERE, with Book3 to release in Fall 2014. The Chronicles are about an alternate universe, where everyone is born with two souls in one body. Usually, by the age of 4 or 5, one of these souls naturally fades away. But this doesn't always happen. The people who keep both souls are called hybrids, and they're feared and hated by society.

Eva, one of these "recessive" souls who should have disappeared, spends the series first fighting for the ability to even regain control of her body, then for the right for hybrids to be recognized and protected, instead of institutionalized and killed.

Where did the unique idea of two souls sharing the same body come from? Was it inspired? Random?

I suppose it was pretty random. I don't really have any one spark of inspiration! I just started wondering what it would be like to be stuck in your own body, conscious, but unable to control it. Or what it would be like to know the "little voice" in your head was a real other person.

Do you prefer Eva or Addie? Why?

I can't really say I prefer one over the other! They're very different people, and they'd probably have a lot of conflict, even if they were just normal sisters. Sharing a body definitely raises the stakes for them! 

If you could jump into your book, where would you explore first?

Hm...well, on a basic level, the Hybrid Chronicles world is much like our own. If I dropped you in the middle of the Americas, you probably wouldn't notice too much different from the United States in our world at first. Then you might start wondering at the slightly lower level of technology...computers are much rarer...no one has cell phones..etc. 

I think if I could jump into my book, I'd explore the world beyond the Americas...but it's a bit spoiler-y to say why :P

If you could be any character from any book in the world, who would you be and why?

I'd have to be pretty cliché and say a character from the post-Voldemort Harry Potter world, haha. But really, it would be pretty awesome, no?

Do you have a special place you like to write in? Any necessities you need whilst writing?

I like have peace and quiet when I write, but other than that, I don't have any specific needs. Writing during school meant I learned to write pretty much anytime and anywhere I could!

Finally, are you currently working on any other books you could tell us a little about?

Nothing I can talk too much about yet, but since I've finished writing all the Hybrid Chronicles books, I'm currently working on a YA fantasy. It's in early stages, though :)

Quick-Fire Questions

Favourite animal? Hmmm...some kind of falcon, maybe
Favourite colour? White
Favourite holiday spot? Someplace warm and beach-y, but with really clear water...snorkelling is always fun :P
Favourite weather conditions? If I'm going to be out, I'd like fair skies and warm weather and a light breeze, but if I'm going to be cooped up inside anyway, pouring rain is nice :P I love a good thunderstorm.
Favourite hot drink? Tea, coffee, I'm not picky :P

Huge thanks to Kat for letting me interviewing her and providing us with great answers!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Friday, 13 December 2013

Cast a Harry Potter Spell [Part 1/2]!

Okay, so I'm one of the biggest Harry Potter fans EVER. The books. The movies. I'm simply obsessed. So you can't really blame me for wanting to take part in another HP related post... It's just too good an opportunity to pass up! Especially since this one looks like so much fun and is a really smart idea (thank you so much for creating it, Jasmine)! A quick shout-out to Hawwa for 'tagging' me to do it too!

 
Reparo
fixes damaged objects
 
A book that needs some serious fixing: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda! The main character was horrible and arrogant and annoying and I couldn't stand him or his attitude one bit! If he had only been less infuriating then I probably could have enjoyed the book more than I did!
 
Lumos
creates a narrow beam of light
 
A book that deserves more attention: Without a doubt, Milledgeville Misfit by T.L. Gray. It is such a beautiful and heart-warming book and I seriously wish I could make everybody in the world read it. I love it so much. If you're only ever going to read one book from a very small publishing company, please make it this one!
 
Nox
counters the effects of lumos

An overhyped book: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. Before you all freak out, it's not because I didn't like it - I did! - it just wasn't... what I thought it would be, I suppose. I didn't warm to the writing style and, at times, the pacing was quite slow and my attention would begin to wander.
 
Accio
summons an object from a significant distance
 
A book you're anticipating: Hmmm... Oh, I know! Idols by Margaret Stohl! The sequel to Icons which will be coming out next year some time! I know a lot of people who just couldn't get into Icons but, to my surprise, I loved it! 
 
Alohomora
opens unlocked doors, unless bewitched
 
A book you want to be more open about: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I studied this one for English and didn't like it at all. But I really want to give it another try and see if I'll appreciate it or like it more now that I'm older!
 
Expecto Patronum
conjures an incarnation of positive feelings
 
A book that made you cry, or at least want to: I think I've only ever really cried at one book - Milledgeville Misfit by T.L. Gray (if you haven't caught on already, you need to read this book)! Cat Clarke's Entangled was also one powerful book and I think I teared up a little reading the concluding book to the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie, Reached.
 
Morsmorder
conjures the Dark Mark
 
A book you wish to mark as one of your favourites: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. I absolutely ADORED this book! Totally recommend!
 
Petrificus Totalus
petrifies victim
 
A book you wish to keep forever: Dragonfly Pool or Star of Kazan or Journey to the River Sea - all by Eva Ibbotson. For some reason, these books always seemed to transport me into a new and exciting world and, well, they're childhood favourites so I'll always have a soft spot for them. :')
 
Protego
shield charm
 
An intimidating book you keep putting off: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I really want to get into classics but, as I've discovered through past experience, I don't have much patience for the old writing style. So, on some level, I do want to read this but.... on the other hand, I don't want to end up not liking it.
 
Riddikulus
used against a boggart
 
A book with a deceiving synopsis: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke. I went into the book expecting one thing and came out of it slightly annoyed because it hadn't followed through on what the synopsis had conveyed. I still liked the book though - just not as much as I could have.
 
Lacarnum Inflamarae
shoots fireballs
 
A book you wish to burn out of your mind completely: Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky. Just because it's what I would expect a New Adult book of 50 Shades of Grey to be like... It was quite disturbing for me to read because of all the, uhmmm, hanky panky stuff going on in it. :3
 
Wingardium Leviosa
levitates objects
 
A book you wish to reread: Hmm... Now that I've been talking about some of the Eva Ibbotson books, one of them! :P
 
Avada Kedavra
causes instant death
 
Worst book EVER: I hate saying that a book is the worst book ever 'cause I feel like I'm trashing the author, but a book that was simply not my cup of tea was Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. I just couldn't get into the storyline - there just wasn't anything exciting ever happening - the pacing was just too slow for me and the characters too bland. I know loads of others who liked it though!
 
Stupefy
puts victim in unconscious state
 
A book with a chapter you couldn't seem to get over: An epilogue is counted as a chapter, right? If so, boy oh boy did the epilogue of Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare kill me! It was heart breaking and extremely frustrating! Even now I get both sad and angry at the thought of it!
 
Confundo
causes befuddlement or forgetfulness
 
A book that generally confused you: My Name is Mina by David Almond. I remember reading this one years ago and not ever completely grasping the whole concept of the novel... It was just strange. I can't remember it at all now! :O

This is only half of the survey so expect to see the other half up sometime soon! I definetly think if you're a HP geek, you should take part! :D
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Monday, 21 October 2013

50 Facts About Me Tag!

So I've been tagged by the lovely Sophie from A Day Dreamer's World and Sunny from A Sunny Spot to do the 50 Facts About Me tag! I hope you enjoy it!
  1. I'm 15 years old.
  2. My birthday is on the 7th November and, as weird as it may be, I'm extremely proud to call myself a Scorpio. ;P
  3. I have a younger brother who hates reading. Sadly, I cannot disown him. Apparently it's frowned upon to ask parents to sell a sibling... My bad. :3
  4. The fifth member of our little family is a very cheeky, five-year-old gun dog named Otto. A German Shorthaired Pointer with a German name. Fitting, right? ;)
  5. Up until last year, we actually had a sixth member of the family. Taz. Another German Shorthaired Pointer and, in actual fact, Otto's uncle.
  6. When I was younger (around mid primary school age) I found a copy of Jane Eyre (by Charlotte Bronte) in the spare room. I started reading it (thinking of how smart and cool I would be reading an adult book) and got practically half way through before realising it was a waste of time - I wasn't understanding anything...
  7. I once managed to drop my shoe in the toilet in primary school. And my teacher made me lift it out. Everyone found it hilarious.
  8. I love horses and horse riding.
  9. I've had a horse on loan before. He was over 16hh (for those who don't understand what I mean by that, let's just say he's talllllll), chestnut coloured and called Harley. I loved him dearly and still believe I do though I haven't seen him in years.
  10. I had an obsession with climbing trees and jumping off of crates when I was younger. I roped my bestie, Cat (Through a Cat's Eyes), into doing it with me.
  11. I started the eco committee at my primary school and spoke at quite a few assemblies because of it. Funny how I have a fear of public speaking now though, huh? ;3
  12. My friends and I got called into the headmistress's office more than I would like to admit... :3
  13. The book blogger I go the furthest back with and am still in contact with today is the awesome Zoe from Bookhi! (THREE YEARS, ZOE! *high five*)
  14. My favourite colour is turquoise.
  15. I have to take the bus to school.
  16. I have a lot of favourite heroines but my ultimate favourites have to be Tris (Divergent) and Allie (The Immortal Rules).
  17. My favourite hero is without a doubt William Herondale. BACK OFF GUYS, AS I'VE SAID REPEATEDLY, HE IS MINE! DIBS! Muhahahaha!
  18. I'd love to travel the world some day.
  19. If I manage to fall completely in love with a storyline, I don't pay as much attention to the characters. Though if the storyline is less bold and outstanding, I do need A LOT of character development!
  20. Ah, yes. DEVELOPMENT! The most essential thing needed for me to like a novel. Character development, plot develop, relationship development... I just need development, ok?! :P
  21.  I'm very much a country girl - having lived in the country for more than half my life. Try and get me to sleep next to a busy main street and you're just asking for trouble.
  22. My favourite (not bookish) quote has got to be: "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain." :')
  23. My favourite  book-to-movie adaptions are Harry Potter (obviously) and the Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
  24. I hate tea and coffee. I'm a hot chocolate girl. ;D
  25. Wooo! Half way! Are you bored yet?
  26. I let my friend cut my hair a few weeks ago. CALL ME BRAVE!
  27. I detest Maths with a passion yet am currently taking Higher Maths - talk about SUPER hard. :(
  28. I love high heels.
  29. And getting dressed up with high heels on.
  30. Though I tower over six foot when I do this (and I know this by standing next to my dad).
  31. Otherwise, I love my baggy t-shirts and leggings.
  32. I'm not much of a clothes shopper... A book shopper? YES! Clothes? Not so much.
  33. I don't own a Kindle and am not sure if I ever will... I have my iPad for ebooks.
  34. My favourite TV shows are Friends, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and The Vampire Diaries. I can quote all of these.
  35. I've more or less gone off Pretty Little Liars... The last season was just too boring for me. :3
  36. I'm obsessed with all the Barbie and Disney movies. Who isn't?!
  37. I really want to work in publishing and/or be an author when I'm older!
  38. I love writing short stories for English though we barely do any. :(
  39. I've been chased by cows three times. Once, by a bull (where my friend and me ended up hiding in a hollow tree). Twice, by a herd. Yes, a HERD! Third time, from a cow called Cookie because I got too near to her calf. For the record, I was at least four metres away from it!
  40. Consequently, I have a fear of cows. As well as mice and enclosed spaces (lifts, in particular, and being locked inside a car).
  41. If I have too much sugar, I go really hyper and can't settle... Especially if I'm in class! :3
  42. I'm a Shadowhunter and Dauntless initiate and study at Hogwarts.
  43. I recently went to see The Lion King musical. Twas good. :)
  44. I love me blogging besties loads! ;)
  45. As I'm writing this, I should really be writing an essay. Which is due for Wednesday. -.- PROCRASTINATOR RIGHT HERE!
  46. I have a new blog design.
  47. Do you like it?
  48. I'm still not sure... Sorry about the size of the font! I'm working to fix it!
  49. Hmmmm, have to make the last fact gooooood.
  50. I love Douglas Booth, Jamie Campbell Bower, Jennifer Lawrence and Lily Collins - they're perfect! :D

Since I think everyone I know has already done this tag, it's going to be quite tricky for me to tag anyone... but I'd love to see Kezia (Chapterosity), Beverley (A Reading Daydreamer), Maya (The Book Nook) and Jack (The Book Stop) do it! However, if you've already done it or don't really want to, it's fine! ;P

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: I can now reply to comments! Woooooooop! xD

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Celebrating 3 Years of Booktastic Reviews!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR BOOKTASTIC REVIEWS, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! HIP HIP HOORAY, HIP HIP HOORAY, HIP HIP-


MY BLOG IS NOW THREE WHOLE YEARS OLD, GUYS! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?! *reaches through screen and cradles blog* I CERTAINLY CAN'T! 368 posts, 110 reviews, 117402 pageviews, 471 GFC followers and 193 Bloglovin' followers later and here we are.


Yep, I can't quite believe it either. I mean, over 100,000 pageviews?! That's amazing! And a combined following of over 600 followers (not including twitter)?! WHAT?! I am SO lucky! Huge thanks go out to everyone who follows or even takes time to browse through my blog! :)

I LOVE YOU ALL!<3

I do want to thank a few specific people though - mainly book bloggers. Now that I think about it, it might be best to grab a cup of hot chocolate or tea because when I say a few, I actually mean a LOT... Also, since I have no idea how I'm going to order this, I'm just going to go alphabetically, here's hoping I don't miss anyone out! :3


I'm not even sure if Amber knows this or not but she's the one who introduced me to the book blogging community. Years and years ago when I was just a life blogger - documenting my very boring day-to-day life - a fellow blogger (HINT: Amber!) started up a book blog. Since I'd had no idea there was such a thing as the bookblogosphere, I instantly wanted to jump on the band wagon! It was the perfect blog for an avid reader like myself to start! So, HUGE thanks go out to Amber as, without her starting up TMLB, this blog probably wouldn't exist! She's also a pretty awesome person in general. :)

Catherine (The Book Parade)

Even though I feel like I haven't talked to this girl in so long - WE SERIOUSLY NEED TO CATCH UP BIG TIME! - she's been a blogging buddy of mine for a good while now and, of course, I had to include her! She's such a lovely person and I adore her blog! :D


My goodness, where do I start with Cat?! This girl... Well, if it hadn't been for her, I would never have even come across blogger! She's the one who introduced me to the website all those years ago and helped me start up my first ever blog! She's amazing! THANK YOU SO MUCH, CAT! So happy we've stayed close all these years! xD


Francoise is one of my newer bloggy friends and I'm so glad to have met her, she's so nice and I just love her blog! The design is so pretty! I also love it when I see she's left a comment on one of my posts. :')


Eeeeek, this girl is crazy awesome. Emphasis on the crazy. ;) If you ever need someone to cheer you up, talk to this girl! She's hyper, prone to fan-girling and just so much fun! She's been a blogging bestie of mine for what seems like forever now! Her blog is perfect and her personality shines through every post, you'll love her! Thanks for being awesome, Hawwa! ;P


This is another newer bloggy friend that I'm so glad to have met! His blog is always updated with a variety of interesting and fabby posts and there's something for everybody! I always just want to go for a good ol' browse whenever I visit it (which is often)! He's also great to talk to on twitter! :)

Jessica (Booked Up!)

I absolutely love this girl and her blog. They are both fabby! We came to the realisation we've actually got quite a few things in common (which is why we must get along so well! ;D) and, if I remember correctly, my blogoversary and her birthday are on the same day. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESSICA! xD


You seriously need to check out her blog. Her posts are always interesting and fun to read (I especially love her discussion posts!) and she updates her blog regularly! She's also recently become a booktuber and I just love watching her videos!


Okay, well, for one, Ruby is amazing with everything and anything technical and so her blog design is gorgeous and she's always so willing to help me out if I'm stuck with a graphic/widget. She also writes amazing reviews - seriously, I don't know how she does it! - and I love just simply talking to her about books and fictional boys and everything in between. She's also quite the Pottermore geek and can best me in all the duels. ;D


Another lovely girl with a great blog. I love all her posts (especially her amazing discussion posts)! Her blogger header is so pretty too! She's great at writing stories too! Everyone needs to go visit her blog now - you won't regret it! xD

Sunny (A Sunny Spot)

Sunny is also such a nice book blogger (I know I'm repeating myself but all my bloggy friends are super lovely, okay? ;P) and her blog is a ray of sunshine! I love every post she writes and she leaves such lovely comments on my blog and they never fail to bring a smile to my face! :)

Zoe (Bookhi)

Ohmygoodness, where on earth do I start with Zoe?! She's one of my very oldest bloggy friends and has stuck by this blog all this time. I cannot thank her enough! Especially since my first reviews were dreadful! :3 She's great to fan-girl with and is just, simply, amazing. We have quite a similar taste in books so if she recommends anything to me, I'll instantly look it up. SIDENOTE: More GIFs, Zoe! Are you proud? ;D

A few more shout outs are needed for Beverley, Rita, Kyra, Kezia, MayaFionnuala and Amy who are all super awesome and great twitter buddies. I also want to send out a huge thank you to Cliona at Bookster Reviews because, even though she is no longer blogging, she was one of the very first bloggers (along with Zoe) I became friends with and one of the first bloggers to comment on my blog. So thank you for everything, Cliona! I hope you return to blogging someday! :)

So, there we go. I am so grateful to have such fantastic bloggy friends! They make blogging all that more fun! LOVE YOU GUYS! Of course, if you're new here, introduce yourself! I adore making new bloggy friends!

I know I haven't been around much lately (and that's likely to continue *sniffles*) but I hope you stick by the blog! I'll try and get the odd post up whenever I can!

Wish I could stay longer but, alas, I have to prepare the birthday cake...

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Cover Reveal: The One by Kiera Cass!

Okay, guys, the cover of the last book in Kiera Cass's Selection trilogy, The One, has been revealed... EVERYBODY WANNA SEE?!


 
IT'S SO BEAUUUTIFUL! I reckon it's my favourite cover of the series. I just love the simplicity of it, the white dress and the delicate positioning of the hand near the face... It's just, quite simply, gorgeous! This series definetly has some of the prettiest covers ever! I LOOOVE!<3 :')
 
So, yeah, as for the actual content of the books so far, I'd have to say... Good. Simply because I gave the first book four stars and the sequel, three and a half (reviews here and here). I'm really hoping The One will give the series the extra kick I'm looking for! Here's hoping it'll end with a bang! After all, I'm expecting a lot from it! *crosses fingers*

What are your thoughts on the cover? Is it your favourite of the covers or do you prefer one of the others? What have you thought of the books so far? Looking forward to this one? Oh and, of course, the BIG question: Team Aspen or Team Maxon? ;)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Review: From What I Remember

Authors: Stacy Kramer, Valerie Thomas
Edition: Electric Monkey Paperback
Released: 7th January 2013
Series: No, standalone
Pages: 436 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Authors Website | Buy the book!

At midday, class brainiac Kylie Flores is due to give the most important speech of her life. And yet somehow she's woken up in Mexico, in a bed she doesn't recognise, with the hangover from hell and the hottest boy in school - and they're both wearing wedding bands.

She might be a budding screenwriter, but even Kylie's vivid imagination can't come up with the ending to this movie.

Rewind 48 hours...

You are in for one rollercoaster of a ride with this one. Seriously. This story will reel you in, strap you to your seat and throw you in every direction. Never have I had so much fun reading a book as I did reading this one. It's one big whirlwind of adventure. You cringe, you laugh, you feel. You'll whiz through it and come out the other side breathless but with a smile on your face. But don't be fooled, beneath the light-hearted, easy-going premise is a book with more depth than you'd think. It ain't all sunshine and sombreros.

I can't deny the clichéd loner girl/popular boy romance but, come on, it's a classic. You've got to love a She's All That kind-of storyline. And, yes, I just referred to a movie. I reckon Kylie would be proud. Anyway. The book is told through alternating POVs. We have Kylie, Max and Will to name but a few. Will being Kylie's very flamboyant, very sassy, very gay best friend. ;)

I adored most of the characters. They're quite the more-than-meets-the-eye lot. Each with their own issues and struggles. None of the characters affected me enough to say I had a favourite but Kylie's younger brother, Jake, came very close. He's just one of those characters you feel yourself attach to very early on and find yourself wanting to protect. I certainly just wanted to reach through the pages and hug him. Of course I can't not talk about our main duo - Kylie and Max. Our very realistic, down-to-earth heroine is fiery, determined and stubborn while our hot male lead has much more to him than the arrogant, dumb-jock image he projects around himself. Though he doesn't score high on my book boyfriends list, he isn't exactly at the bottom either.

Overall, I really recommend this book. It's a lot of fun and very easy to get into. If you want a break from really hard-hitting novels, go for this one. Though it isn't as fluffy as you'd expect it to be, it's still more light-hearted than it is heavy and you'll fly through it. With a vast range of characters and a whole lot of sub-plots to keep you entertained, From What I Remember is one heck of a rollercoaster. You'll laugh, cringe, smile, empathise and have one whale of a time.

FOUR STARS FOR THIS BOOK! :D
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Friday, 13 September 2013

Excerpt: Teardrop by Lauren Kate!

As some of you may know, I received a proof of Lauren Kate's up-and-coming release, Teardrop, a few weeks ago. I've yet to read it but am certainly intrigued as to what I'll think about it considering I had a love/hate relationship with the author's Fallen series... Anyway, thanks to Random House, you can read an excerpt of Teardrop here! Before you get on to it, here's some more about the promising book!

Never, ever cry... Eureka Boudreaux's mother drilled that rule into her daughter years ago. But now her mother is gone, and everywhere Eureka goes he is there: Ander, the tall, pale blond boy who seems to know things he shouldn't, who tells Eureka she is in grave danger, who comes closer to making her cry than anyone has before.

But Ander doesn't know Eureka's darkest secret: ever since her mother drowned in a freak accident, Eureka wishes she were dead, too. She has little left that she cares about, just her oldest friend, Brooks, and a strange inheritance—a locket, a letter, a mysterious stone, and an ancient book no one understands. The book contains a haunting tale about a girl who got her heart broken and cried an entire continent into the sea. Eureka is about to discover that the ancient tale is more than a story, that Ander might be telling the truth . . . and that her life has far darker undercurrents than she ever imagined.


RELEASES 22ND OCTOBER 2013!

 
What'ya think?! Does this seem like something you'd like? Did you enjoy the excerpt? Tell me below!
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Monday, 9 September 2013

Giveaway: Win a Copy of Amber by Julie Sykes (INT)!

The lovely Curious Fox publishers have very graciously provided a copy of one of their new releases, Amber by Julie Sykes, for a giveaway on this blog. Oh, and did I mention it's an international giveaway?! How amazing is that! It looks like a seriously amazing read (I have it on my TBR pile and cannot wait to get on to it!) so, it goes without saying, I think you should all enter! ;)

How do you live by the rules if you don’t know what they are?

Amber’s lost her memory. She doesn’t even know her real name. The only clues to her identity are a beautiful amber necklace and a broken mobile phone. She’s determined to learn the truth about her past life, and the secrets she’s hiding, but how many rules will she break along the way?

Terms & Conditions:
  • You must be 12 years or older to enter this giveaway.
  • It is an international giveaway (which is awesome because the book is only published in the UK right now)!
  • There will be one winner.
  • I will not be sending out the book, the publishers are in charge of that and neither myself or Curious Fox are responsible for any packages lost in the mail.
  • The giveaway is open from the 9th September until the 24th September (12AM).
  • You must understand that, if you win, I will ask for your address so as I can forward it on to the publishers.
  • If the winner does not reply with their address within three days, another winner will have to be chosen.
  • To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter below. There are a number of ways to gain more entries so feel free to enter all of them!
 
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! xD
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Showcase Sunday {23}

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits & Tea where book bloggers showcase the books they have received throughout the week.

So it's been a while since I've done a book haul, and that's because I've not really received any new books. I'm not taking much on at the moment in terms of blogging/reading due to school and stuff but I'm trying to post at least once/twice a week. Anyway, here are the few books I have received. :P


For Review:

Earthbound (Earthbound #1) by Aprilynne Pike:
This book looks AMAZING! I loved Pike's other series, Wings, so have high hopes for this one. It has such a great premise and just sounds so promising! Hopefully I'll be able to get on to it soon! xD HUGE thanks to HarperCollins for my (BEAUTIFUL) review copy!

A Foot in The Grave by Joan Aiken and Jan Pienkowski:
This one came through the post from Random House as a complete surprise. I believe it's a compilation of ghost stories so I'm certainly intrigued!

Amber by Julie Sykes:
I AM ALSO SUPER EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE - IT LOOKS FANTASTIC! And the cover is so pretty! Huge thanks go out to Curious Fox publishing for this one! :D

So that's my haul. What'd you think? I'm not sure when I'll find the time to read any of them but I'm hoping it will be very, very soon! Feel free to leave your own book haul link below! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Monday, 26 August 2013

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie Review!

Directed by Harald Zwart. Starring Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan, Kevin Zegers, Jemima West and Jonathan Rhys Meyers (for full cast and crew, click here). Based on Mortal Instruments novel, City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare. Release date was August 21st 2013. Rated 12A. Running time is 130 minutes.

When her mother disappears, Clary Fray learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called Downworld. {movie synopsis}

First off, I should probably tell you that I read Cassandra Clare's book over two years ago, loved it and was expecting great things going into this movie. Luckily, I ended up absolutely loving it! It's easily become one of my favourite book-to-movie adaptions of all time. No, scratch that, one of my favourite movies ever. I loved it so much that I'm planning on going back to see it again sometime this week!

It goes without saying that I think you should read the book beforehand. I'm not saying that because I think you'd get confused if you didn't but because I feel you could appreciate it more because of how true it stays to the novel. Seriously, the opening scenes are pretty much exactly what happens in the beginning of the book! I'm not denying there weren't differences because, of course, there were - that's pretty much a given when a book's being adapted into a film! - but it stayed true enough to the book to keep me happy. However, I did go with a friend who hadn't read the book and she still ended up loving it just as much as myself. True, she did need me to clarify a few bits and pieces afterward, but nothing major. She did ask me about something that even I didn't quite understand though and that was *SPOILER*why Valentine tried to get Clary to drink out of the Mortal cup. I didn't get this part of the movie because, not only was it not in the book, but it just didn't make any sense. Clary's already a Shadowhunter so there should be no need for her to drink out of it... right?!*SPOILER OVER*

Okay, on to the cast! A few of you will know that I wasn't all too happy about Jamie Campbell Bower being cast as Jace at first. But then the trailer came out and he looked so promising that I instantly took back what I'd said. And in the movie?! He was freakin' amazing! Though he wasn't exactly like book Jace, he did an amazing job. By the end of the movie, I was just like:

source
So, yes, I'm now a huge fan of Jamie/movie Jace. Of course I can't not mention Lily Collins who also done a fantastic job bringing Clary to life. She was perfect. And, thanks to Robert Sheehan, I actually liked Simon! *gasps* (if only a little) For those of you who don't know, I find book Simon annoying... But that wasn't the case in the movie! Kevin Zegers (who I'd seen before in It's a Boy Girl Thing) also did a great job portraying Alec though he wasn't in it all that much. I think I'm a little in love with him too.

Okay, so I'm going to stop rambling now. Basically, I loved this movie and really recommend you go see it. It's AMAZING! The cast are great and you literally feel like you're in the book when watching it. If you haven't read the book, I totally recommend you do before going to see it - you'll really be able to appreciate it on a whole new level! Of course there are little things that aren't perfect but I loved it all the same and can't wait to see it again and again and again. They truly did a wonderful job turning a great book into a great - no, amazing - movie.


Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: This is the first movie review I've ever done on the blog. Did I do okay? What'd you think? Also, don't worry, I won't be making this a regular occurrence. I only post stuff about movies if they are being adapted from YA books! :)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Interview with Book Blogger, Rebecca!

Well, hello there! How are you? Good? To those of you still on your summer holiday... YOU ARE SO DARN LUCKY! My new school year is so demanding! When I'm not doing homework, chances are I'm sleeping... Anyway. Who wants to hear all about my school life when I've got an interview with Rebecca from Rebecca-Books to share?! Thought so. ;) Well, I hope you have as much fun getting to know this lovely book blogger as I did! Afterward, I suggest you hop on over to her wonderful blog and give it a follow! :)

Hey, Rebecca! *waves*

Hey Rachel! Glad to be here.

Would you mind introducing yourself and your lovely blog?

Sure. Well guys, I'm Rebecca, I'm 18 and I run a little blog called Rebecca-Books where I review and just basically plain fangirl about books. My life is pretty bookish actually outside the blog (which I am totally NOT ever complaining about). I've just finished my A levels which involved a LOT of reading and studying and I have a part-time job at my local Waterstones bookshop. I'm also a HUGE Tudor geek. I started my little area of the internet about 3 years ago after I discovered some other blogs like The Broke and the Bookish, Fluttering Butterflies and G-Reads and thought how great fun that looked. My first reviews though....let's not think about how much I cringe when I read them...

What do you love the most about book blogging? I'm feeling pretty generous so you can mention up to three things! ;)

AH. So. many. things.

Okay, let's do this. Definitely the interaction with bloggers in sharing something you love and cherish. When I started my blog, I was like 14 or something and most of my friends at the time thought it was weird that I read a lot. So having that community that supports and understands me has been a life saver in my teenage years. I also love the freewill of writing my own opinions about whatever I choose on something I love and that is shared by others: books.

Knowing about the publishing industry has also been amazing to learn about in book blogging and it's kind of that, that has made me want to go into the publishing industry. Just finding out about all the different books out there and how hard the industry is especially for the authors themselves - it makes you appreciate reading and books in general more I think.

And one more...I know I said about the interaction with bloggers but I also love, love, LOVE the bloggers themselves. Because let's face it without the friends we make in blogging, it wouldn't be as fun.

Your top five bookish pet-peeves?

Oh my. Okay, some of these have developed from becoming a bookseller.

1) OKay, you know when Twilight went BIG, suddenly all these authors kind of jumped on that paranormal, dark romance, cheesy band wagon? And then Fifty Shades of Grey came riding along and suddenly THAT kind of book was like the thing to read. And then Suzanne Collins came in with Jennifer Lawrence in her convertible and then immediately, everyone believed you when you said that series was good and people SAW the movie before reading the book and you're like 'WHY DO THAT?'. That hype thing that ALWAYS ALWAYS happens? I really dislike that.

2) Linking from that...I really dislike watching a movie adaptation willingly before actually reading the book. Classics like Pride and Prejudice or Les Miserables, I make an exemption because a) Les Mis is HUGE and b) EVERYONE knows the plot already. For instance, The Great Gatsby came out. Lots of people saw it. Only after they had complained about the lack of plot, the excess and then (the clincher) how 'shallow' Daisy is...they read the book. And found out that that all happens in the book (Had to study TGG for A level English Literature so I KNOW that book well. Good book).

3) This is more a book peeve at myself. But I have this thing where I don't like buying books that I'm not sure what they're going to be like despite my Waterstones discount, despite the tons of reviews I may see. It annoys me A LOT.

4) That general universal thought that reading equals geekiness. Sure I'm a total geek, I'd admit that. But because I read is not the reason. I also dislike it when people just hate a certain book without giving it a chance or just hate the whole idea of reading without giving it a chance (I know, I know, people actually DON'T read?!)

5) Bend or dirty books. I can't...

(Loved this question, Rachel, let me bookish anger out a little bit!)

Quick, a demon is running straight at you! Which hunky fictional guy do you bring to life to protect you? Why?

Well. This kind of changes depending on my recent reads, like I had a huge French guy phrase after I read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins because you know, Etienne St Clair...

At the moment, I'm all for Jamie in Louise Rozett's Confessions series (which is bad because he's all, well, bad). However, my ultimate fictional guy who I will ALWAYS love is Wes from Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever. He made me realise what a true boyfriend or even guy friend should be like which was muchly needed when I read it.

If you could only read books by one author for the rest of your life, which author would you choose and why?

THIS IS SO HARD RACHEL. I'm just going to throw John Green in there because I like all his books and I don't think I will ever not like one of his books. His books just make me feel so good, you know?

The world is ending and you have to jump into a book! Which book do you seek refuge in and why?

AGAIN, SO HARD. Hmmmm, probably The Other Countess by Eve Edwards. As I said, I love the Tudor period so much and it'll be pretty cool to live in that era for a bit.

Finally, can you recommend one popular, well-known author and one underappreciated and not-so-popular author to us?

AH. So many. Erm, I would recommend Marie Lu and her Legend series as the well-known one as well as Veronica Roth *whispers* I think Divergent is so much better than The Hunger Games...

Underappreciated...Erin Morgenstern probably. Seriously, The Night Circus is one of the best, most amazing books I have ever had the fortune to read. It is truly beautiful - everyone should read it.

Quick-Fire:

Physical book or ebook? ALWAYS physical. I love my Kindle and Netgalley, I'm a little obsessed with. But you can never beat the physical book in your hands.
Snow or rain? Snow. Walking home on a snowy evening in winter with snow crunching, just reminds me of my childhood.
Ron or Hermionie? Okay, this is going to get me a lot of 'WHAT?!' and a guy at work told me he didn't want to talk to me when I told him this. BUT...I've never been a huge fan of Harry Potter. And...thought the movies were so much better than the books. I get why people like it and it's so watchable...but I don't like it THAT much. Hermionie was my favourite character in the series though....
Blue or Pink? Blue. I wear too much navy...
Chick-lit or Fantasy? Hmmm...chick-lit. You can never beat a good chick-lit when you're feeling down.

Thank you so much for being on the blog today, Rebecca! I had a lot of fun reading your answers! I, too, cringe A LOT when I read my first reviews! *lowers voice* I also like Divergent a little bit more than The Hunger Games! *raises voice into a shout* YOU DON'T LIKE HARRY POTTER?! WH-WHAT?! Just 'cause I'm feeling friendly, I won't disown you. ;P

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Monday, 12 August 2013

Review: Diary of a Mall Girl

Author: Luisa Plaja
Edition: Curious Fox Paperback
Released: 15th March 2013
Series: n/a (Standalone)
Pages: 269 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

The mall is the heart of fifteen-year-old Molly's suburban town. Most teens hang around with friends there, get their first job there, and experience their first kiss there. And Molly? She actually lives there, in the complex's residential wing.

But living in a massive shopping centre isn't as much fun as it sounds. That is, until mysterious twins Jewel and Jasper move into the flat upstairs. Suddenly life is a lot more exciting - and complicated. Will Molly get what she wants, or will it all come crashing down?

This is the third Luisa Plaja book I've read and so can now say for sure I know what to expect from this author. When I picked this up off my review pile I was looking for a light, fluffy read. Something I wouldn't take all too seriously. And this proved to be the perfect read for the mood I was in. Though I didn't love it, it was a fun book to pass the time.

If there's one thing I love in chick-lit books, it's how the main character always seems to embarrass themselves one way or another. In Molly's case, she really did have some super cringey/awkward moments. Most of which had me laughing hysterically. Seriously, Luisa Plaja has a talent for making me as giggly as I was whilst reading this book! At certain points I even had to sit the book down and take a breather because I was so embarrassed on Molly's behalf!

Speaking of Molly, she was a fun character - likeable enough. Admittedly, when she fussed over her problems, I wanted to shake her. Her problems were just so juvenile! However, I would always remind myself just to enjoy this book for what it was - a harmless, light-hearted read - and it wouldn't bother me as much. Jasper was also likeable, despite being quite hot-headed and stubborn. I really didn't like Wendy and Ameera though! Molly's supposed 'best friends'. I found them to be too immature. There was a quote from this book that did make me stop and think though.

"Friends are great, but they're also weird. I'm not completely convinced that you choose them any more than you choose your family. You just deal with what you've got."

I can actually believe that to be true. No matter how much my own friends annoy me, I love them - despite their flaws. I think a lot of people can relate to that quote too. Anyway. To conclude, I enjoyed this book. It was a light, fun, fluffy read with some truly hilarious moments. I managed to get through it in only a few hours. Though Diary of a Mall Girl isn't amazing or complex, it's still a great read for a rainy day. I can easily recommend it to a number of teenage girls!

THREE AND A HALF/FOUR STARS FOR THIS BOOK!
Huge thanks go out to Curious Fox publishers for sending me a review copy! :)
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo
 
PS: I apologize for not having been around much this past week. School is starting up again this Friday so I've been busy preparing for it and relishing the last days of the holiday. I suspect I'll also be a little absent over the next couple weeks but hopefully everything will settle down quickly. I'll still be on Twitter though. ;)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Interview with Author, Sangu Mandanna!

So I've interviewed the lovely Sangu Mandanna. How amazing is that?! Her debut novel, The Lost Girl (you can find my review HERE), is one of my absolute favourites so I advise - after you read this interview and leave a delicious comment - you go buy it! It's a real one-off read! Anyways. Hope you enjoy the Q&A! :D

To begin with, can you tell us a little about yourself and your book?

I'm 25, obsessed with reading and Doctor Who, and spend my days dividing nonexistent time between writing, making things up in my head, and running around after my toddler. Sometimes I tell people I'm a stunt motorcyclist just to see the looks on their faces. The Lost Girl is my first book and it's about death and love and how far we'd go to keep the people we love. It's about a world where it's possible to make copies of the people you've lost, only those echoes aren't perfect and one of them - specifically my main character Eva - is determined to be more than just a copy.

What made you want to [partly] set your book in India? Were there any specific reasons?

I don't think it was something I thought about; the book just was partly set there. It was like it was already decided. I don't often have as much control over my stories and characters as I'd like! But I'm also sure part of it was the fact that I grew up in India and know Bangalore so well.

If you could jump inside your book, what would be the first thing you'd do and why?

I'd go to the Loom and look inside all the rooms and try to spy on the Weavers at work. So much of the Loom is a mystery to Eva and so much of it is a mystery to me still; I also love the idea of literally stitching a person into life, so I would love to be able to watch Matthew or Adrian or Elsa do that (given the choice between the three, I'd probably pick Matthew. I'm sure he has his own quirks and methods and I bet he chatters nonstop while he works, so it'd be intriguing and hilarious...)

Did you encounter any struggles while writing The Lost Girl? How did you overcome them?

I remember there was a point, round about Chapter 5, that I stopped writing it altogether. It was like my enthusiasm for it just died. I don't know why, but I suspect it had to do with feeling burned out. I'm very manic when I work - or I used to be before my son was born and I had free time, anyway! - and used to write anywhere between an hour to twelve hours a day and stay up all night and sleep in the afternoons and that kind of thing. That kind of process means it's easy to get exhausted and burned out. In the end it was just time away that fixed it; six weeks later, I went back to the book and never looked back! I think that's how I always overcome writing problems or struggles: it seems to work best. Taking a break and getting some perspective really brings the enthusiasm back and also gives you room to come up with new ideas.

Quick, an alien has barged into your house! Which fictional character will you bring to life to protect you?

Oh, without question it would be the Doctor from Doctor Who. Who else? Alien expert: check. Suitably badass when the situation calls for it: check. Funny and sexy to boot: check.

A YA book genie has granted you 3 wishes! What do you wish for in YA literacy?

1. More Harry Potter books. 2. [WARNING: Harry Potter SPOILER!] That Sirius Black never died. [SPOILER OVER!] 3. To be able to snap my fingers and have any book, whether it's published yet or not, in my hands instantly.

Finally, can you tell us about any books you're currently working on?

I'm currently working on a book I call GREY. It's a fantasy, steampunk-esque, about a girl who turns vigilante and gradually becomes a hero and a symbol of hope to a city. It's bleak and romantic and tragic and thrilling (I hope, anyway!) and working on it has been incredibly hard but also brilliant!

Quick-Fire:

Toffee or Caramel? Caramel
Blue or Pink? Blue (though I do have a soft spot for pink tech: my iPad has a hot pink cover and my stylus is pink and it's so pretty!)
Dogs or Cats? Oooeeer can't choose! Maybe dogs?
Dystopian or Contemporary? Contemporary right now, but I have phases and if you'd asked me last year it would have been dystopian!
Keyboard or Notebook? Keyboard for drafts, notebook for scribbles and notes.

Oh how I'd love to visit India! It looks like such a beautiful county - really rich in culture! *gazes off dreamily* I'd also love to visit the Loom! See what's going on in there! And more Harry Potter books?! YES PLEASE! The book you're currently working on sounds AMAZING! Thank you so much for letting me interview you - I love your answers!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Showcase Sunday {22}

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky over at Books, Biscuits & Tea where book bloggers showcase the books they have received throughout the week.

I'm really excited about all the books I got this week! I received some great review books through the post (one of which was a complete surprise!) and, a few days ago, I went into town with a friend and bought a few more books with my own money. All of which I can't wait to show you!


For Review:

Teardrop (Teardrop #1) by Lauren Kate (ARC/Proof):
This was the surprise review book of the lot. I'm not quite sure when I'll be able to get on to it - it'll probably be a good while yet - but the synopsis is really intriguing! I read the first couple books in Kate's Fallen series a couple years ago and enjoyed them. Though I won't be going back to finish off the series... I've gone off angel books, unfortunetly! Luckily, this isn't an angel book so I should be ok! Huge thanks to Random house for sending me out a copy!

Soul Shadows by Alex Woolf:
I joined an awesome group of book reviewers last week - Team Fox! - and got to choose a couple books to review from the publishers website and this book was one of them. It doesn't sound much like the usual books I read so I really don't know what I'll think of it! Apparently it's meant to be scary so I can't wait to give it a go!

Diary of a Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja:
This is the other book I chose and I'm glad I did - I really enjoyed it! I'd read a few of Luisa's other books before (and rather enjoyed them) so knew what to expect with this one. My full review of the book will be up sometime this coming week!

Sample Chapter of Amber by Julie Sykes:
This was also included in the package along with the other two review books from Curious Fox publishers. The synopsis of the book sounds very promising so I can't wait to get a taster of it with this little excerpt! Huge thanks to Curious Fox for sending me all of this! :)

Purchased:

Stormdancer (The Lotus War #1) by Jay Kristoff:
I have wanted this book for months now. Ever since I first heard of it, in fact. It sounds so unique and promising and I've read loads of glowing reviews on it so how could I not?! I really can't wait to find the time to delve into it - I seriously hope it meets my expectations!

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa:
Eeeeeeeek! I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS ONE! I loved the first book in the series, The Immortal Rules, and cannot wait to see what happens in book two! I especially loved Zeke so are hoping to see more of him in this one! :')

City of Bones and City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #1 & 2) by Cassandra Clare:
I'VE FINALLY GOT MY OWN COPY OF CITY OF BONES! Everyone may rejoice now! ;) I LOVED this book and can't wait to continue the series on - especially now that Clare's other series, The Infernal Devices, has finished. *sniffles* I'm planning on re-reading CoB before moving on to CoA - which I think the lovely Zoe and I will be buddy reading together, I hope! But it won't be for a while yet so I'm glad I've got all these other goodies to keep me entertained! :P

*dusts off hands* Well, there we go! That's all the books I received this week! I am seriously SO excited right now! I can't wait to get started on them! xD Leave a link to your own book haul and I'll try and stop by! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo