Thursday, 29 December 2011

Top 10 book boyfriends of 2011



Top 10 of 2011


My top 10 boyfriends of 2011 are.....
1. Will Herondale from the Infernal Devices
2. Dimitri from The Vampire Academy series
3. Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instrument series
4. Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games trilogy
5. Ash from the Iron fey series
6. Four from Divergent
7. Adam from Shatter Me
8. Alex from Delirium
9. Kale from Touch
10. Lucas from Starcrossed

which are your favourite book boyfriends ? :D

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Top Ten Favorite Books I Read in 2011


Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and the bookish. This week it is my Top 10 books from 2011. This one is a tough one because there were so many good books out this year, so here it is:

What are your top 10 books of 2011??

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
2.Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
3.The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
4.The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
5. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
6. Ashes by Ilsa.J.Bick
7. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
8. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
9. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
10. Unearthly by Cynthia Hand


                 



Sunday, 18 December 2011

Review: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: young adult/ dystopian
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date published: 15th November 2011
Rating: 4/5

Good reads Synopsis


Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. 



My Review:
Honestly the first thing I have to say is "Tahereh Mafi's writing!!!" WOW. I mean she has immense talent, the book is written in such a beautiful prose that the reader cannot help but imagine that they are themselves part of the  dystopian world Tahereh has created. It's almost like she is painting a picture for us with her words.


Shatter Me focuses on Juliette the female lead of this shattering debut novel. Julliete's touch is fatal anyone who comes into contact with her suffers she has been locked up for committing a crime she did not intend to do. I loved how the reader gets to see the world from Julliete's point of view her hopes, dreams, worries this is a book with an amazing heroine who has a strong voice, who is trying to find herself in a world that tries to define her. Adam is the male lead in this book and I loved to see their relationship develop, he is an amazing lead and I couldn't help but love him. There is surely a lot of Romance in this book.
The world Tahereh has created is a haunting vision of a bleak future with ravaged lands and decreasing resources, Julliete has to make tough decisions and decide whether to use her power for the good or bad.
I could go on about this book for a long time, I honestly cannot wait for the sequel.
Hats off to Tahereh Mafi for creating this masterpiece. Shatter Me is a Dystopian with a paranormal twist and a great romance. A must read!


Click here to buy Shatter Me
Follow @TaherehMafi on twitter.
Website: http://www.taherehmafi.com/

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Review- Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork prince
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre:  Young Adult/Fantasy
Date Published: December 6th 2011
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Synopsis:
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
My Review:
I don't think any amount of words can justify how much I love this book. It bought out a rush of emotions for me. I laughed hysterically (Will - Demon Pox song! love it), cried A LOT!, shouting, anger.
Cassandra Clare is one of those few authors that builds up her world so well that the reader is instantly sucked in. Cassie's description's are vivid and her Victorian London mind-blowing she thought of everything right down to the last detail. Her characters as always are so well though out, and she really makes you imagine as if you are part of the Shadowhunter world. I love Cassie Clare she has got to be one of my favorite writers.
The book starts off with a Clave meeting where the issue of Charlotte running the London Institue is bought up by the increasingly annoying Benedict Lightwood. The Clave decides that Charlotte has two weeks to solve the Mortmain Problem and from there on you are taken on a thrilling journey full of twists and turns, heartbreak, romance (DSBS anyone? :P)
It is no secret I love Will Herondale ( Perfect!!) and in this book I loved him even more, you really get to see a amazing side of his character. Jem is as always nice and kind. Tessa .... Well she has a hard choice to choose between the two but you get to see her character develop more.
The other characters Henry, Charlotte, Sophie are brilliant. There is also Gideon Lightwood (Gabriel's brother) It was interesting to see a sub-plot emerge there!
What can I say about the ending! Will Herondale broke my heart! :( I felt as if his pain was mine! :( . I read this book at night and I was sobbing hysterically and I also I had dreams about it! Oh Will *sobs* *sobs more*.
I really do not think I can wait a whole year to read Clockwork Princess. Cassandra Clare is torturing me.
In honor of the beloved Will Herondale here is the Demon Pox song which I love! and is the funniest moment in the book for me:

Demon pox, oh, demon pox,
Just how is it acquired?
One must go down to the bad part of town
Until one is very tired.
Demon pox, oh, demon pox I had it all along—
No, not the pox, you foolish blocks,
I mean this very song—
For I was right, and you were wrong!”


“Will!” Charlotte shouted over the noise. “Have you LOST YOUR MIND? CEASE THAT INFERNAL RACKET!” 



If you have not read it! Read it now! :) and If you have read it! comment below I would love to discuss it! :) Also let me know are you Team Will or Team Jem? :)
Click here to buy

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Interview with Ilsa.J.Bick - Ashes

We recently had the amazing opportunity to interview Ilsa.J.Bick author of Ashes. Ashes has to be one of my favourite books I have read in 2011 and it is one book you do not want to miss. Check out our review of Ashes here.


1. How did you come up with the idea for Ashes?
Someone else asked me if I’d decided to write an apocalyptic novel because that was the trendy theme these days.  Honestly, for me, this wasn’t about catching a wave or anything like that.  In fact, anyone who writes and pays attention knows that the books you see now were acquired at least a year or more before they appear.  If you really want to see what might be trending, you go to Publisher’s Marketplace and see who’s buying what.

So ASHES had nothing to do with that.  I just wrote what I felt like writing.  I mean, really, what teenager doesn’t want to blow up the world?  Also, I’d been brought up on science fiction, a genre in which doomsday scenarios are a staple.  Frankly, I’d read several dystopian YAs and I thought they were okay but that, in many, people were too well behaved.  A ton of the set-ups were . . . not so believable or kind of all the same.  Above all, I wanted to write something that I thought a) could really happen; b) was grounded in real science; c) would be rapid as well as utterly devastating; and d) wasn’t caused by a virus/plague/genetic engineering.
Being a doctor—and a real science nerd—I figured EMPs would fit the bill.  Our Congress held a ton of hearings on the dangers of an EMP attack several years ago and concluded we had no adequate defense.  I know some policy and strategic analysts who’ve been worried about this threat for years.  So it wasn’t such a leap for me.

2. According to you what is the greatest challenge for a writer?
There are so many, where do I start?  If I had to pick one, I guess it would be putting your ego in a box.  Really.  And I’m not talking simple narcissism here.  See, I trained as a doctor; I wanted to be a surgeon; and surgeons and doctors are trained to a) take charge and b) believe in their own rightness.  Letting that go and understanding that there are a ton of other people in this biz who know what they’re doing way better than I has taken work.
Now, it takes tremendous courage to send out a story or novel so some editor can tell you that you stink.  I am actually very shy, with a long history of absolute geekiness, so I already think people are laughing at me.  (I know; I frequently have to lie down and wait for that to go away.)  Criticism of any sort really, really hurts. I take it all very personally, as in there is clearly something wrong with me. 
But when you speak with an editor or read an edit letter, you have to understand that the editor is a pro; you’re a pro; and when it comes to slicing and dicing and changes and all that, pros care about the story.  This isn’t about you; it’s not about liking you.  No one’s out to assassinate or trip you in the hallway, or diss you in the cafeteria.  The reality is that not every word you’ve written deserves to live, and many need to die.  So you have to balance what you might perceive as a personal attack (which it isn’t; an editor who’s talking about changes already likes your work or else he/she wouldn’t have bought it) against the needs of the story.  You can disagree, but you have to do it respectfully.  There’s just not enough air in the room for prima donnas or hours in the day to make you—that sniveling author—feel better about yourself.

3. How would you describe your publishing journey?
In a word?  Bizarre.
I’ve never dreamed of being a writer.  It wasn’t something I ever thought of doing, frankly, other than writing myself into a Star Trek adventure (which I did and failed, miserably).  So it was that show which sparked my desire to write, and then the fun of creating stories and books that kept me going.  But, really, I got started writing on a dare.
As you probably know, I’m a medical doctor: started out in surgery, ended up in child psychiatry, had a private practice for many, many years.  But I’m also someone who’s easily bored, so when I was in my psychiatry residency, I went back to school at night and got a masters’ degree in liberal studies with an emphasis on film and literature.  From there, I started writing, presenting and publishing academic papers on film and psychoanalysis—and then, one day, my husband dared me to take the next step: forget the academic stuff and try writing something creative.  I thought he’d lost his mind, but I never back down from a challenge, or rarely ever.  Two, three years later—and after about thirty stories and six deservedly unpublished books (three Trek because I just had to write at least one adventure where I saved the ship, had super-powers, and everyone on board fell in love with me, and three non-Trek)—I was ready to give up.

Then, quite by accident, I saw an advertisement for a Star Trek fiction competition called Strange New Worlds.  In a nutshell, you could write a story set in any of the Trek universes (the shows) and send it in to Pocket Books.  So I figured, okay, this one last time and then I’m done.  So I wrote a story in about a week, typed it up, sent it in and forgot about it.  It was the fastest I’d written anything to that point, and that was at the end of August 1998.

Long story short: flash forward to November, the day before Thanksgiving, and I get a call from the editor at Pocket Books telling me that I’d won Grand Prize in the competition.  I was floored.  Not only was I paid and published, I won enough prize money to buy a refrigerator J

I also learned a valuable lesson—for me, anyway: write fast.  Any slower, and I tend to censor myself.

Anyway, that first prize winner, “A Ribbon for Rosie,” gave me the confidence to try again and again.  I won several more prizes and then started getting my short stories published—and then that led to a phone call from an editor at Pocket Books who asked if I wanted to write a Trek novel for “The Lost Era” series.  Of course, I said yes.

And that was the beginning.  I would write in the morning before seeing patients and then again at night if I had time after dealing with kids and dinner and all that.  I wrote on weekends.  I set challenges for myself: a story a week, that kind of thing.  When we eventually moved to Wisconsin, I cut back and worked part-time as a psychiatric consultant to a women’s prison and tried speeding up my writing so I would have more product.  Finally, I quit the shrink-job in 2006 or so and devoted myself to writing full-time but didn’t pen my first YA until late 2008.

4. Is writing something you always wanted to pursue? and why the young adult genre?
I’ll answer the second one since I cheated and answered the first part in #3 J  I just like YA, I guess.  I didn’t start here.  My big dream—after writing Trek—was to do original mysteries.  But then I took a workshop on synopses and queries and did this synopsis of a YA novel that I was kind of interested in doing but, obviously, hadn’t written.  After the workshop was over, I decided to send out the synopsis and query to a couple editors, just to see what would happen.  Well, one editor wrote back right away and said that was exactly the kind of book she was looking for and wanted to see it.  After picking myself off the floor, I wrote back and gave some story about how I was in the middle of another project and wanted to give the book another read-through but, sure, you bet, I’ll send that right to you—and then I sat down and wrote my fingers off for eight weeks.  That book eventually became DRAW THE DARK, although how it got that name and ended up where it did is a whole other story. 
But I like YA.  Being a child shrink, I guess I really groove on kids and I like trying to understand how they tick, what they think and feel.  Honestly, adults can get so mopey and, yes, things are bad, but one of the things I love about YA is how redemptive it is. These kids are in crummy situations, ones their society or parents created,and what these books are about is changing the world and making it better. We desperately need that kind of energy and optimism.  We need teens and young adults to realize that they’re the game-changers here.  The adults had their shot.  Time for a change, you ask me.

5. Alex is a very strong young heroine, why do you think it is important for writers these days to portray girls in this way?
Well, I think that’s related to what I wrote in #4, and I also don’t believe that this is something peculiar to contemporary writers.  If you stop to think about it, there have been TONS of interesting books written over the last couple hundred years with very strong female characters.  I mean, look at the work of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and, despite all his sentimentality, Charles Dickens as just some examples. While it’s true that some of what these girls and women want in those books seems very parochial and pedestrian to us, to them and in their time, these characters challenged convention.  That’s why they’re still so appealing today.  So I don’t think the importance of portraying strong female (and male) characters is specific to a certain time or place; what’s important is conviction and strength of character.  Those are the elements which favor a clash or conflict with prevailing culture which then drives and makes the story. 
The message is nearly always the same, too, regardless of time or place: be true to yourself even if this causes you pain or means you’re not the most popular kid in school.  Life is too short to live a lie.

6. Any general advice for aspiring writers?
Dare to be bad. I’m serious. I have this artist-friend—a pretty famous painter, actually—and he hates letting go.  He’ll work on a canvas forever unless there’s some sort of external deadline.  For him, the work’s very Roseanne Roseannadanna: It’s always something.
A lot of writers behave the same way.  They hang on to a story novel, trying to craft and mold every syllable before sending their baby into the world.  I’m not making fun here; I have the same problem.  But I know that if I hold on too long, all I do is write the life and freshness out of the work, and that’s no good. 
Instead of trying to be fabulous or brilliant, dare to tell your story and stretch yourself while you’re at it.  Try something you’ve never done or thought you could do.  Write it and then get that sucker out the door in a timely fashion.  Pretend there’s a deadline and stick to it. Do your best, of course; don’t send out typo-ridden slop on fuchsia paper with lavender scent.Editors are busy, overworked pros who deserve your respect.  But write, send, and then celebrate because you’ve finished a book. What’s more, it’s out the door.  Yay!  You rule!  You’ve just done something so many people wish they could but don’t have the tenacity or courage or grit to see through to the end—only you have.  So pat yourself on the back and order pizza. 
Then, get cracking on the next book.  Take a page out of Trollope’s playbook.  Now, that was one disciplined guy.  He worked a set amount of time every day, seven days a week.  If he finished a book before time was up, he started another.  Like, immediately. 
So you need to do the same.  Write; finish what you write; send what you’ve written to someone who can pay you money; celebrate that you’ve finished; and then, immediately, begin the next project.  Always be working on the next book because that will help when the rejection comes—and it will, trust me.  You will be rejected oh-so-many-times.  Rejection is inevitable and resistance is futile, no matter where you are in your career or who you happen to be, so put that ego in a box and move on.  Of course, if you sell your book or story, pop a cork and then continue. 
But always, always: dare to be bad.     
    



Check out Ilsa J.Bick's website here
Follow her on twitter:@ilsajbick
Buy ashes here

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Interview with Emilyn Chand - Farsighted (GIVEAWAY)

We recently had the incredible opportunity ask Emilyn Chand questions on her newest book Farsighted! Check out the interview below.

Blurb:  
Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he’s blind. Just when he thinks he’ll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.
Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.

1)Who was your favourite character to write in Farsighted?
Shapri Teak. She’s the kind of the person I wish I could have been back in high school. She’s strong, always true to herself, and won’t let anyone disrespect her. Sure, she has fears, but we all do. Shapri is the kind of girl I would love to be friends with. You know she’ll always go to bat for you when you’re too tired to step up to the plate.


2)Is their a book you've read recently and loved?
Well, I didn’t read the Hunger Games trilogy until this year, but my word! I’m a HUGE fan now. Go Katniss, go! I’m currently reading Matched and really enjoying that as well :-D


3)What inspired you to become a writer?
I was born with a fountain pen grasped firmly in my left hand, at least that’s what my Twitter bio says. But seriously, I do believe writers are born into the craft—we haven’t got much choice, but it’s a great calling to have. As a child, I always had a story to tell. I also loved illustrating my own books and comics. I first became a writer writer when I began doing a book review column for the local paper. That taught me the importance of deadlines and letting the words flow out even when I had no idea what direction they’d take me in.

4)Why did you decide to write for this genre?
I actually just wrote a blog post about that (it’s here). It all comes down to the enjoyment factor. YA is my favorite genre to read, so it’s only natural that I would choose to write it as well. I like the vulnerability and changeability of the characters. I love the ease of language and the connection that is created by writing in first person point-of-view. But mostly, I like the readers of YA. YA readers WANT to enjoy books .Their primary goal is not to dissect the literary merit of a story but rather to find a bit of entertainment. YA readers are also extremely loyal to authors they like and can border on fanatical. It makes you feel good as an author ;-)


5)What do you think separates Farsighted from all the other paranormal YA reads out there?
Farsighted is YA and thus written primarily for a teen audience. It’s a bit cleaner than other YA on the shelves so would also be a safe bet for slightly younger readers. Adults seem to enjoy it as well :-) Farsighted is paranormal that’s a touch more normal, so yes, it can be likened to Twilight, Harry Potter, or Hunger Games. But Farsighted’s world is much more like our own than any of these other settings.

*Emilyn Chand is doing a give away of  a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour so leave your comment below with your name and email address for a chance to win.


Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit www.emlynchand.com for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!

Author Website: www.emlynchand.com
Novel Publicity: www.novelpublicity.com
SUPER AWESOME BOOK TRAILER:  http://youtu.be/tZjskE5zjzM
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