May 30, 2013

Reviewing... [27] Boys For Beginners

Messing with quotes (in bold) because they were too good:
“’re... you’re the gingerest person in the world!” (pg 193)
That wouldn't hurt, he knows he is... Wait, no he's not! I am.
Yes, I'm proud of it...
Kimba's response (pg. 101) “Does lack of dress sense count as a disability?” I can tell that’s Kimba being mean.
It doesn't hurt... "It's not dress sense! I didn't dress up as a ginger, I was born like it. Your hair colour however? That was out of a bottle." BURN.

Reviewing... [27]

Source: Library. Author: Lil' Chase
Recommended for: Girls who aren't proper girly (but probably younger YA/pre-teen)

Once again, Lil' Chase has written a humorous book with a serious side. The serious side wasn't as big but it was there alright allowing Boys For Beginners to become one of those worthy, quotable contemporaries (as you can see above).
I may not have been as interested in the idea of emphasis being put on a football fanatic who is friends with tons of boys, and girls...? To her, they're crazy. Yes, her. I didn't know if I'd like the fact she was so obviously not girly yet but would be transform into much more of a "GIRL". 
It was done well, and she was told she was "acting like a muppet" (pg 123). Her response?
“I’m just acting like your precious girlfriend Jenny Gregson. You don’t say this stuff to her.”
“Because you’re different to her.”
Hallelujah! Yes, we're not all popular mean girls who need make-up like others need water. Some of us are girly (I might even confess to this on some days- not today, I'm wearing no make-up now) & perhaps sort of popular. What type of more girly girl will Gwynnie learn to be? Can we trust her to stop playing with footballs?... Is she being someone she's not?
That's the moral of the story & it's not being preached at all. This is a light-hearted tale & I hate to say it but it won't appeal to everyone. Luckily it appealed to me just like others by this author but it won't speak to everyone & I cannot guarantee it's the easiest to cotton on to. It's either understandable or it really seems like a load of gibberish. What will it be for you readers?

I'm asking you something! *raises eyebrows* Read it?
I couldn't really hate Gwynnie, she's one of those main character's who wasn't made to be likeable. It's quite thought-provoking thinking about other characters & their flaws in comparison. Are we seeing too many Mary-Sue's? If you think you are, and they are one of your pet peeves (like they are mine) then read this. You will pleasantly be surprised to see that there are girls who can make such a ton of effort and yet still doesn't have tons of boys falling at her feet over anything other than her football skills. She definitely has them & Gywnnie may not be the quiet, bookish type but she somehow manages to be A-MAZING!
Both 'Boys For Beginners' and the characters are real. Start to finish I was captivated so once again, I recommend this. If nothing else at least borrow it from the library so if you don't like it... Well, you know!
I think any of Lil' Chase's novels are worth the read, I'll be looking out for more. Will you?

Amy Bookworm (@Amy_Bookworm) rated Boys For Beginners

Other novels by Lil' Chase:
Secrets, Lies & Locker 62 (my review)
Coming 2014 - THE BOYS’ SCHOOL GIRLS (Books 1 & 2)

May 28, 2013

Top Ten... (THREE #7) Tuesday (Freebie): What Reviewing Means...

Hosted by The Broke And Bookish (go check 'em out?)
Today is another occasion when I can think of a list which only has three things in but it’s definitely more of a discussion. I’m not very good at simple lists which don’t involve the simplest bookish things. That basically means book cataloguing is my thing (but not too much). Anyway, why am I writing this?
Oh yeah. It’s because I might be getting more viewers today. Maybe (everyone is at BEA it seems, I wanted views still :/). So, I saw that Top Ten Tuesday, which is a meme I wanted to get round to (I knew I’d probably not be able to list ten... the jinx of three? Or maybe four!), has...
Top Ten Tuesday Freebie (Anything you want!) listing today ;)
Hoorah! Perhaps it's because of BEA? Moving on...
For this, I already knew I’d only be able to list 3 but I’ve decided that’s enough because I’ll end up being quite wordy... By this I mean, if you don’t like *cough* rambles *cough* words... Yes, there may be a lot of words; something like that. Feel free to click away if you don’t like that or the topic which is about reviewing... I’ve seen a bit about all of these & I felt the urge to put my two “pennies” worth in.

What it means to:

1) To those in self-publishing
In other words, what is it like for indie authors? We don’t really care about the other “party”, Amazon. Not in this context, anyway. To them they are just things which sell lots of products & may stop a few products selling. But it’s not a massive loss if there’s an honest, or just plain negative, review out their which isn’t adding to the sales. They still have the advertising...
But what about indie authors? Can advertising match up to a review? I don’t think so.
They may not get lots of advertising like Amazon, site-wide? I don’t think so. Promotion is a big thing & that’s why it exists. That’s why book bloggers promote for them & many authors do lots themselves. Book bloggers often are along for the journey & it can be one of the most rewarding journeys. It tells us that just because a publisher didn’t put lots of work into a book it doesn’t mean the author didn’t. They did a lot of work.
And the end result? A product which can be still be bashed. Not in the same way, you can see the book around but there’s a war between indie’s & those who aren’t independent. Will this mean something? Not so much if the book gets reviews. 5* are obviously the best but anything 3* or above could potentially sell the book. Some indie’s clearly have put in half-hearted effort & decided the book is ready for publishing. Would that have 3*, 4* or 5* reviews? Not predominately by a long shot! Others have put in that work publishers would & made an outstanding book that should outsell many traditionally published books. That’s why we review them. They need the help to sell like traditionally books could and every little helps. People look at that book & know it’s been enjoyed. It promotes better & that’s why it means tons to self-publishers- we might sell books (a lot better by reviewing, ya think? That’s the point of this post). Whereas for the other party...

2) To those in traditional publication
This is the other third (penultimate) point of the post. It’s about those publishers & their authors. We can all list a few traditionally published authors even if we couldn’t indie’s. You may not know who publishes them but they have opinions on reviews, promotion & that includes author chats. Is Twitter a promotional tool for them? For how long for?
Well, firstly when it started... I read a post the other day where Sophia Bennett said, “How the Brontes lived without Twitter I will never understand.” She was talking about readers talking to authors, not promotion. But that, in part, got me thinking for this point.
Are we tweeting & expecting it to help traditionally published authors & all the others in that industry? Or are we just trying to make a connection (I swear I do this with both but ponder this yourself...) I think a connection matters to both. Of course, reviews do matter to traditional published authors in the way that they appreciate them & often retweet them. But do they actually sell them all the time? They might not. There really isn’t a lot of promotion besides so reviews are nice to see but I’m not kidding myself that they are appreciated beyond a certain time. I love authors appreciation but will I get publishers?
I have, sort of. I always say thanks for this especially as I don’t tweet to the publishers, just the authors. There are obviously some fantastic publicists. In light of this, you’d think a publisher connection would matter, wouldn’t you (already, in my case... I’m waiting :P)? I’ve heard annoyances of it. I don’t want to be a marketing tool. I haven’t posted reviews of ARC’s (yet but my first ARC review will be of an indie book FYI); I don’t always grab & review books within 6 months of publication. So I’m not the ideal, helpful blogger. In every case. I looked forward to helping authors, publishers & you name it. But I know that, or heard from somewhere & am led to believe- I’m unsure, publishers widely tend to promote the beforehand period, if they can be rolling in money soon it’s fantastic but after 6 months? That’s why I mentioned it. After that other books are the competition and what’s more likely is the book’s sales will start to dwindle. Is it really worth it having the majority of your sales over? Only... what is it normally? 20% royalties, a third if you’re lucky? And it’s done. It’s dusted. The books are sold, promoted, reviewed & that might be it. There may be reviews later, promotions & author/reader contact. I didn’t know I had so much to say on traditional publishing but my point is, I think book reviews for these books have good days & then all the rest are not of the same significance.

I’d rather not have a fleeting moment...

But is that what I have as a reviewer?

3) To those reviewers and readers
I’m not just saying book bloggers because book bloggers can have definite not fleeting moments. We’ve seen those spotlights which have stuck electrics, both ways. There’s some which aren’t making it. I like to think I’m not one of them but you can’t spot them. You can guess. It doesn’t take such a guess to see who is making it. It’s there in the stats, the review requests & the connections. Bloody hell, to quote Ron Weasley! You can watch it from the distance and...
It’s love. At first sight & every sight after that.
Gosh, this sounds corny. Hopefully reviewers & readers aren’t just after that dream. It can be one of the aims but every little helps us too! Every review request, every library book & every pageview. We can be seen more & value some reviews over each other. Personally the reviews I know authors have seen might be the ones that seemed like the most fleeting moment but they stick with me.
To us, reviews mean a lot. There’s a reason one doesn’t just read a book & tick it off.
Reviewers care. That’s what I believe. Reviews are why many of us are here. How many would just be here to promote without reading. Just promoting, just reviews... It would be horrible, I imagine, to just be bogged down in that. What if meme’s became more important than reviewing? What if tweeting was the no.1 priority? Imagine it.

Do you think they are my priorities? Do you think they are yours? What are your thoughts on the meaning of reviews? Let me know what they mean to you & if you agree or not. These are just my opinions & as always, I need yours!

May 25, 2013

Entertainworm: BBC's Doctor Who Series 7 [An Overview]

~If you haven't watched Series 7 but wish to not know the result, or my opinions, click away!~
Series 7 began with the "Asylum of the Daleks” where we meet the most insane Dalek of them all, Souffle Girl. Oswin insists that she has managed to fend off the Daleks, not just make souffles. Neither the Doctor, Amy or Rory are aware that Clara is of such intelligence and emotion she has become a Dalek Cyborg- one who cannot kill the Doctor. And neither can the other Daleks, the conclusion is none of them know who he is. Oswald seems pretty remarkable... Can she get better?

To be honest I don’t remember much of the second and third episodes. Let’s just they weren’t as critically acclaimed as the previous episode and the following “The Power Of Three”. Essentially an episode about black boxes which the Doctor cannot figure out. Are they part of a Big-Brother-esque campaign to watch humanity?... Will they drive the Doctor insane? Timelord turned insomniac, the Doctor watches, and watches and, well, is very impatient. Even the TARDIS hasn’t been a cat so how is he supposed to know what’s inside seemingly ordinary boxes? They start to blend in with everything else in the world becoming paperweights and building blocks. All the time being watched by Brian Williams. All the time undergoing tests- they are indestructable.
BBC images. Not my own... obviously :P
UNTIL... they start to activate. They all have different “functions”, some completely harmless but obviously the Doctor has the laser-firing one! :P Suddenly ‘7’ is illuminated on the cubes surface- it’s a count down til’ the point at which quite a number of hearts shall stop. Including one of the Doctor’s (he can’t cope with one heart, how does humanity do it?) Although his heart is restorted billions haven’t been. This is the point at which the Doctor can swoop in, saving the day in another fantastic episode.

ANGELS TAKE MANHATTAN next. I'm capitalizing that because it’s a scream. A cry. Manhattan took the Ponds! So glad I don’t live in Manhattan. Do you need a reason? Yes, Rory couldn't be saved & that means Amy would wish to go too... As heartbroken as the Doctor was it was the right ending; I like how River could do a sort of something about it whereas the Doctor? He’s a lost timelord who really needs to watch a certain video once done with that fabulous afterword! *heart breaks* The video he needs to watch? It's the cutest storyboard ever! Have you watched?

When she was little... If you thought Clara was a timelord!

Then what did I think of The Snowmen? *shivers* Halloween may not be the creepiest holiday sci-fi wise! This was actually a mid-series episode. That’s weird for Christmas episodes but it was good- it meant we wouldn't be given as little episodes in 2013... We wouldn't be on a cliffhanger about Clara, well... not for too long anyway! It didn't take ages really ;) Just long enough for lots of theories to pop up! But this isn't about the theories yet. This is about the girl who was... well, clueless. She asks ‘Doctor Who?’, and he shortly after tells her to forget him... The worm didn't really work out! And neither did that. Clara’s curiousity controls her actions and it all ends up fine, well... not really, but on a cosmic level. The Great Intelligence's physical's bodies have... well, had a nice little ending. 
Anyway, Oswin's Victorian body... RIP. Clara may have a grave, which is definitely a good reason to die twice... How are you supposed to have a grave when the first time you were left behind as a Dalek Asylum exploded with your obviously insane concious in it?
Well, this isn't the last we saw of the the mysterious Oswin Oswald... We even see Clara as a lil’ one, and this was my favourite theory just for the simple reason a picture said it all.

Clara just so happens to, even if she's not a timelord, meet The Great Intelligence twice. And she may just say "Run you clever boy and remember" lots, too. This time it becomes apparent that the GI can also inhabit machinery... They didn't settle for just Miss Kizlet... She's nothing special. Unlike Clara, the WIFI, The Doctor, River Song & about a million other things, obviously. Like how Clara now has computer skills which'll help the Dalek's... There is no way Clara couldn't accompany the Doctor! So, he's gained a companion who has a certain book... And another book with a leaf in. It's all related to that little child Clara there, and her family. You're probably familiar with all the awesomeness in TBofSJ and also in Rings Of Akhaten- there wasn't a lot of trivia in that episode IMHO but the speech...  'WOOOOAAHH'- in Doctor Who! To be honest I wouldn't like the premise of Episode 7 as much as the actual episode... 
The reverse for  The Cold War (I'm trying to not make this overview too ranty, but obviously... this is just my opinions, spoilers  I'm no TARDIS). The premise was better. It wasn't a bad episode but the links with wolves & so on unfortunately didn't have a deep meaning in the whole series. We can conclude that Clara's impossibility has not got much to do with Rose; it was just a nice reference. We also would easily infer that Clara is fairly... headstrong. That's a good thing, she can appeal to Doctor's, Ice Warriors...

"Hide" is a fantastic title for an equally stunning episode. Short, sweet, snappy title and the episode seemed it likewise. We weren't bombarded with references that would fuel certain theories. We were simply thrown into an episode which'd confuse us very little. I personally don't think just because Clara & Rose both struggled to accept the long-dead Earth they have a strong connection. That's like saying they're connected because they both have hearts.
Talking of hearts, apparently the Doctor has a sliver of ice in one of his hearts. What's the other one? I'm guessing she's not as empathic as she'd like. Perhaps it takes another Doctor to diagnose Doctor Who (or What)?
Just when I though Dr Who couldn't get much weirder I'm proved wrong. Clara starts driving the TARDIS... Brotherly betrayal pops up. Who has the "android" cold emotion? Not Tricky, bless. The TARDIS reveals secrets to Clara but they are snatched away by a man who'd function better if he was an android... Perhaps. OK, android NOT cyberman. I know Clara wouldn't feel safe with a cyberman... But an android would probably be damaged in The Crimson Horror whereas knowing the cringey cyberman they'd be fine!
Well, whovians, what was your reaction to seeing a red Doctor? It's the second time in the series we've seen the proper detective trio. They were probably wondering, like I was, what the Doctor hoped to achieve by taking the 2nd version of Clara to 1893 London... I've got to tell you 1893 must've been a creepy year. This episode was well-paced, dramatic & sort of a twisted fantasy... Bit like The Snowman? Maaaybeee. 
It was such a great episode- the fact that the children found out about her time travelling (and have a picture which isn't ringing bells to this Clara) was completely amazing. How dare they travel in the TARDIS without me? Oh wait, they met cybermen... I am not jealous, they are the "monster" I despise the most. Cybermites *shivers* 
Mr Clever... Wasn't it weird? I struggled to keep up with the fast pace but I think I managed it. I didn't like the title sequence until after this episode. It made more sense having seen the Doctor's face all creepy and with background effects in this episode to see it in the title sequence. Don't ask me why. It was a humourous identity struggle but, seriously... The Man-Who-Will-Not-Reveal-His-Name is such a weirdo... Suppose living thousands of years drives ANYONE insane. Slightly. Luckily we also learnt about Clara and her relationship with him in the episode with amazing Porridge (that sounds weird, doesn't it?). Angie started with my phone (the Samsung Wifi) but may have ended up with a superphone... 
And then they had to rush to reveal Clara to us. In Trenzalore. The Doctor risks a murder most horrid but Clara was born to save the Doctor. And apparently somewhere along the line she would have to meet River... There wasn't conflict there like I imagined (not that I knew they'd meet). Somehow River knows what'll happen & refuses to state what happened to Clara. She saved him. He won't run away... That's what we know! The question, "the question that must not be answered", has been answered. River's daring, ain't she? I was sort of hoping for a conclusion regarding Clara that wasn't a paradox. But obviously, if they can confuse us they will!... 
I sort of dislike that. And the cliffhanger...
*angry face*
Also, why must they insist on having Strax gender-confused every time he's in an episode? Seriously... What does that add? 
I know this wasn't the best substitute for Doctor Who... But hey, it's Saturday! You need Doctor Who in some form. And Big Bang Theory... Which I haven't watched for ages, but hey... Doctor Who was on!
Looking forward to November, aren't you? Catching Fire. Doctor Who *sighs*

ENTERTAINWORM, signing off. Bookworm signing in :D

May 22, 2013

Reviewing... [26] Zelah Green, Queen of Clean

This is pretty much a re-blog :P This is my first review at...

Next one up soon!! I just wanted to publicize this review (:

Author: Vanessa Curtis
Source: LibraryRecommended for: Gigglers who really do like the serious stuff too ;)
Zelah Green was a really interesting look at life for a variety of “issues”. I’m only saying issues not characters cos although the characters were different this isn’t as rare as them all pretty much having issues.

Like OCD. Welcome Zelah and her rituals which are just beyond belief. Some things I really believed; I squirmed, cringed, giggled ‘aww’ed, ‘Gah’ed and was...

((To see the gif & the rest of this paragraph check out my full review linked above)).
...Can skipping dozens of jumps change your life? You’ll see if ritual cutting down can change her life or if it’s Forest Hill. In the end the stepmother didn't properly seem real. Disappointing as she was a main character (even more than Sol, aka. the love interest). Yup, guys- this is a hardly a romance. Chances are you’ll love the characters even though and curse the stupid person who took Book 2 out of the library I want to have the next one now. There wasn't a major cliff-hanger (if there was you’d have seen depressed tweets). However once again I have a book leaving me wanting more information. Like NOW.

May 20, 2013

Reviewing... [25] Secrets, Lies & Locker 62

What would be your response if I said my locker was number 62?... Well, not the only one. There's like 5 Locker 62's at our school probably... They have letters before them, that ruins it a bit.
The reason I'm telling you is because I'm thinking how awesome it'd be if I'd found it in my locker. So maybe oprene of the other "Locker 62's" would like me to hack their locker & put this in. But probably not... And I like this book too much. ((I'm going to just call this book 'Locker 62' in this review)).

Reviewing... [25]

Author: Lil' Chase 
Source: Bought.Recommended for: YA contemporary fans (:

This book is just so much more than other "school stories". It's not even set in a boarding school, but this book is sensational. Or should be in more than one way. There's just the teeny weeny matter that it only has less than 50 ratings (Goodreads). It's on a few piles to be read... And if you ask me it should be one of the top ones.
Why? Technically I should've started Boys For Beginners first... However, this one sounded more serious, interesting & more what I was in the mood for. So I ignored, and am still not paying much attention to, the due date for Boys For Beginners, and proceeded to shove this in my school bag.
It would not stay there. Far too addictive, Locker 62 is definitely in my Top 5 for the books I've read this year. This book isn't a light read but it is an easy read & is dotted with humour.
For example, a quote I loved:
"Oh, and let's make him a Sagittarius- they are so sexy!" ...Sure.

I found it so easy to get into Maya's head. She's not the most likeable and seems to attract mixed opinions from the other characters. If I was getting such mixed messages all the time & dealt with it all very well. She walked on the fence between "cool" and "uncool". I personally adored how it wasn't as clear as she thought. The lines started to blur and the figuration of her thoughts and promises to herself started to shift. I understand her difficulty at school and I understand the majority of the characters.
I think secrets & labels are siblings... There are the things which aren't your character, they are public & they can be devastating. Labels. Beyond your reputation but tied so effectively in are secrets. The scrawled words pouring out from the heart.
Some people want to get an upper hand...
Maya has so much power & I hadn't predicted it but she doesn't revel in this power at all. Very few know she has this power & she would rather not "sell secrets" in anyway. She's definitely herionesque in that way...  It's all in her hands, or is it?
Although there is a lot of diversity in the book and to some point in the secrets if you read between the lines everybody relates to each other. I relate, it's so honest & to the point even though there is a lot of mystery. If you're into fast-paced books this is for you! The only critism really is the fact that it ended less polished. It was a good ending but it could've been less succinct.
It's definitely worth a read! So. Brilliant.

Amy Bookworm (@Amy_Bookworm) rated Secrets, Lies & Locker 62

May 17, 2013

Reviewing... [24] Me, Suzy P

They say count your blessings. If you count crazies as blessings Suzy would lose count. Crazy family, crazy friends, crazy life, crazy school... I fully understand if Suzy doesn't want to count her "crazies".
Is it not crazy that the popular girls are such an exaggeration? Yes, Jade apparently was seen "grabbing GHDs, a hair dryer, three different brushes and an armful of products from her locker." Banter, much?

Reviewing... [24]

Author: Karen Saunders
Source: Bought.
Recommended for: Those wanting a click-flick.

This book was one of those endearing books, the ones that have moments which are cute (in a sort of, I don't want to roll my eyes way). I mean seriously... I'll quote Me, Suzy P:
“What do you want to wear feathers on your head for?” Dad says, looking baffled. “Won’t you look like a cockerel?”
I don't think this book would've been so good if there wasn't so many funny passages if I'm honest. I don't how so but the humour seemed to tie it all together! Suzy, and Millie, were definitely absolutely hilarious & I hated it when they weren't getting on...

 Regardless of all the mushiness it did seem quite serious at some points. Nothing really stood out for me as "a big issue", I had to go "fictional peat" digging (that's not a bad thing even if it didn't sound it) to find all the moralities. I did appreciate that Suzy just had to keep getting up & brushing herself off.
But there were some things I didn't understand. I know to some these may not seem blatantly self-focused but I genuinely think you cannot think this just because you're single. How does one think the whole world is coupled off?  There were characters in it that clearly didn't have someone... It's life. How much you are willing to groan at all the couples crossing your path just because you feel unhappy? I can't picture that image... I tried. I really did; it started to interfere with the the lighthearted vibe this book had given off.
There are many ways to be happy. Just with your friends, just by reading or watching something good. Trying to make certain guys jealous isn't supposed to be one of them. Please, just please, do something else.

Unfortunately this book just wasn't my total cup of tea (I don't even like tea, bad metaphor). I found it funny yet it could've been more relatable to me (ooh, I could totally relate to sausage losing Germans though) personally.

Amy Bookworm (@Amy_Bookworm) rated Me, Suzy P

May 14, 2013

Book Promo [#7]: What's Next? (5 books!)

What's Next? is a weekly meme hosted by Icey Books. For this meme, participants select 3-5 books (not too many, not too little!) that they want to read but can't decide which one to read first. You vote on which one we read next!
So, I'm interested in this & headed over to Icey Books. Seems like the correct thing to do, right? Well, which one of these should I read next? (BTW I've gone for the maximum)...

ReEarth by Adam Howell | Tethers by Jack Croxall |

Tethers (Tethers Trilogy #1) was promoted here (please click for book info) and I received in a free eBook promotion on Amazon.
ReEarth has not yet been promoted (info below) and I received this from a First Reads giveaway on Goodreads.

Nothing on the Rhealian network is private. A few reckless comments online can do a great deal of damage to a person's reputation. 

When Detective Joseph Pimm is placed in charge of a murder investigation, where the chief suspect is an Earth women, uncovering the truth risks putting him out of step with Rhealian society.


Far Out by Fiona Ross | Fire by Heather James |

Both of these have been received, and will be read for (but you determine in what order) Say It With Books' Self-Published Author Event.
Here is the information on them:

Life in the Seaweed Slum under the rule of The Servers is hard and Saffron has to grow up fast, but when it takes a turn for the worse, is she up to the challenge?
In twenty-second century Britain, seventeen-year-old Saffron and her father, the astronautics engineer, live in Seaweed Slum. Nate the astrophysicist seeks her father's help to recover his space probe, but he brings trouble. They flee to Earth Station and are arrested when things go wrong... 

~Far Out

Is control over the elements a gift, or a curse?

Roxy thinks that she is in control of everything: with flames flaring at her fingertips and an equally fiery attitude, what more could she need? But then she meets Brae, a prince from a rival Realm, who turns her assumptions of superiority upside down.

Jasmine has none of Roxy’s confidence or intensity. But she does have a secret - and Brae - and she’s not going to give either up willingly.
~Fire (Elements Of Power #1)

And lastly...
Runners by Sharon Sant
The cover hasn't yet been released. I wonder where I'll be getting this book with no cover from? ;) Hey- it's not published yet!
Well, here's Runners' synopsis:

Elijah is nothing special. He’s just a skinny kid doing his best to stay one step ahead of starvation and the people who would have him locked away in a labour camp – just another Runner. But what he stumbles upon in a forest in Hampshire shows him that the harsh world he knows will become an even more sinister place, unless he can stop it. As past and present and parallel dimensions collide, freedom becomes the last thing on his mind as he is suddenly faced with a battle to save his world from extinction. But before Elijah can find the courage to be the hero the world needs, he must banish his own demons and learn to trust his friends. And all the while, the sinister figure of Maxwell Braithwaite looms...


These books are all on my Indie list for the June Indie Event ! I need to know which ones you want to see first so I can schedule it in a good way for the readers (that's you!)
It does need doing already- by the 19th May I've got to have a schedule up involving book promo's (maybe cover reveals), interviews, giveaways (hopefully) & obviously reviews (only 6 for whole books, I know what I can cope with)! Think I should review a certain book first? Then vote.
If this goes well I'll probably do one after (hopefully not during June, but I don't want to jinx it so let's be clear, I could be panicking & feeling lost in a month's time just as much as in 2 months)... 

May 10, 2013

Reviewing... [23] Afterlife Academy

Do you remember Jaimie? Tea-drinking arachnophobic author? If you don't it's because I mainly talked about her YA book Afterlife Academy last time (by which I don't mean last blog post... it was the cover reveal- lovely that).
Now I've read said YA paranormal romantic comedy.

Reviewing... [23]

Author: Jaimie Admans (as I've remembered to you, we are buds*) Source: Review copy for tour*

Recommended for: Teens (or above) who've been bullied/been unpopular (and it's got something for a goth not just us laughing readers XD)

It was enjoyable seeing Riley step inside (having not mastered the magically appearing thing after 5 minutes of death) a school identical to her old school- the contents of the school are much different & they are all in their afterlife and apparently understand her "adjustment issues". Yeah, well- it'd be easier if their was a thing to like underneath all the maths, redemption, haunting, visualisation and... well, therapy. It'd have been quiet cool to see Riley learn that but, perhaps, she learns some more valuable lessons (minus maths in this case). There are definitely paranormal aspects but they all seem to be described early on, there wasn't a lot of emphasis put on red-horned dinner ladies, vampire pumpkins and Art rooms devoid of colour. This is just the world which fades into the background (perhaps that's how Wade- the living boyfriend- you & I missed it?) "Death World" wasn't entirely likeable to me (it seemed more "parallel universey", they even called it "life") but this is a paranormal novel- not "Afterlife- the theology" so I suppose it would be original for the death theme.

It's comedy, it's paranormal & it's romance? With a death theme?... *fangirls*
Well, the characters were quite original too. Riley wasn't what she seemed. Sure, she was a bully (and she won't lie, but rightfully shares the blame) but she doesn't want to continue being a bully, especially when it seems like she wouldn't be getting a popularity as a reward. Now, I expected to sort of like Riley but to be honest she spent most of the book getting on my nerves. I don't know why but books that seem to focus on character's & have a plot facade annoy me... I was honestly thinking the reason she must be going in circles so much was so that she could wear a hole in the ground or something & go into a vortex.
However, in hindsight I realize how well it was executed- even with the snakes 'n' ladders I was engrossed, the story was embellished in that respect. I loved Adman's style, it didn't seem like Riley was just whining for the sake of it, it felt like... I don't know, real. Even though the book didn't span over much more than a few weeks it felt like it did. It felt like there was a reason she wasn't learning & if I felt at any point that it was like Riley was just turning to her "readers" to moan every minute I'd have put it down. Probably.
She didn't just get away with it- people do guide her (firmly) & Riley doesn't have her emotions spared (poor girl). I'd like to share one little quote with you that I loved in Afterlife Academy, it summarizes this: "Accepting that you weren’t always fair goes a long way to righting the wrong."
So, I accepted Riley's turmoil eventually- thanks to the goths/emos (and the above). Eeek, I love how there seemed to be a mix of cultures (stereotypes or not, they're up my street) that had to come together! They were the BOMB because they were so realistic. If you're wondering, it wasn't much of a romance (however the visualisations & flashbacks were umm... something like that)- she didn't create a romantic relationship with a goth either. Bonds and friendships seemed to mean more in the afterlife & I think that's something Riley struggled with- I know I would... I do know, I was concealed but I was THERE. Pretending to be the Haribo-eating- and apparently vampire- pumpkin of course... I felt like I was there though (:
Nice bit of scenery, me! Not. :P If I wasn't scenery in the book I'd have created more action... not the bad kind, readers of this know what I'm on about, there was some "action" but not a lot of real of edge-of-the-seat moments (I did read this in two places anyway, neither car: a) bed    b) car on 3-4 hour journey) but there was tension. Tension has more beauty to it... Y'know?
I may have (actually or am I still talking about if I wasn't scenery?) visibly been laughing at Riley's humour. She'd probably appreciate (maybe not on second thoughts) the girl laughing at her & her comical (not clumsiness though) ways/words (yes, I didn't actually laugh out loud, I didn't want family getting grouchy every 5 minutes)... Ooh, it may have distracted her from moaning. I should've been in Afterlife Academy :P

Given that I actually wanted to be in the book (and sorry that I kept stating reasons I should've been like, umm... Caydi a character), I think it's better than the average star rating... That's about 3 and ¾ out of 5.

Whereas, Amy Bookworm rated Afterlife Academy:

However at the end I'm not sure if I'd have read it for more than 3 hours straight if the circumstances had been different. Admans did create a novel worth the read (and the magnet & postcards in my case).

Talking about magnets... That's one of the prizes in this wonderful international giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can win Afterlife Academy notebook, pen, magnet, and signed postcard swag set (INT) during May! Why not enter and buy the ebook?... Here's the blurb (yes, it does sound funny but not romantic, doesn't it? Hence Puck's raised eyebrows, and clearly well-contained fanboying, above):

Even being dead isn’t enough to get you out of maths class.
Dying wasn't on sixteen-year-old Riley Richardson's to-do list. And now, not only is she dead, but she's stuck in a perpetual high school nightmare. Worse still, she's stuck there with the geekiest, most annoying boy in the history of the world, ever.

In a school where the geeks are popular and just about everything is wrong, Riley has become an outcast. She begins a desperate quest to get back home, but her once-perfect life starts to unravel into something not nearly as great as she thought it was. And maybe death isn’t really that bad after all...

Welcome to Afterlife Academy, where horns are the norm, the microwave is more intelligent than the teachers, and the pumpkins have a taste for blood.

*Even if a review copy is provided my review will still be honest & not affected.

May 08, 2013

Special: Wednesday's edition (It's NOT Monday but what are you reading?)

Morning bookworms (or afternoon, perhaps...)
So, I was thinking about how neither my Quarterly Updates (often combined with something else) or the May wrap-up of sorts really include what I've read. At least not in the same way most bloggers tend to.
When Chrissie @ Once Upon A Series (I blog there now too) talked to me about the post that links to (it's the What Are You Reading meme) I started thinking...

Do I think I read less than lots of you? Yes. I've read 22 books so far this year & I read 66 books last year. Apart from the fact the numbers have stuff in common there isn't anythings special about that. Many read weekly what I read in a month and 66 seems to be about a third of what book bloggers tend to read.

But instead of thinking I don't read a lot I'm going to celebrate that I do read & I do blog (especially since I've read/am reading all the books I mentioned on my Quarterly Update). I may not have abundant free time but I do, and enjoy, both when I have the chance. So I joined in with that meme, OK? I told Chrissie what I read & you can go see too (that is just what I read for that blog though).
You can tell what I'm reading by my reviews but I'd like to tell you a two others.
I completed, and shall be reviewing on Friday, Afterlife Academy for the blog tour (I also did an interview with Jaimie Admans to appear tomorrow on Once Upon A Series)!

And currently I'm reading Me, Suzy P
It's a really good comedy so far!

...I don't exactly know what's up next but it's either ReEarth or one of these (probably Young Moon... that's the last left from my Quarterly Update, perhaps I should've mentioned books last week? Good job I am now).
That page should give you some idea of what I am/will read, yes?

Well, not enough!...
I've decided that (probably not regularly) I'll rewind & take a book blast from the past. If it's regular it'll get an image but for now label it is... And it'll be a Page 99 Test (for reference my only other was here).
I hope I'll do one of them monthly, either in a Feed My Reader (like before) or one of these XD

I realize just selecting randomly from my 2012 Challenge list (I joined Goodreads in 2012 so...) won't necessarily mean I'll feature a UKYA but who cares? I'm not always going to be really selective. I need to get practice talking about books that aren't Brit Lit XD

Does Delirium look like UKYA to you?...
OK, you can't tell by a book cover if it is- it takes research/knowledge!
 So I'll tell you, it's not. But I'm happy as I liked it & hope to read the rest of the series next year
 (and maybe this test will determine if I re-read this or not!)
The Page 99 Test works for Delirium in my opinion!
The reason I think the test works for the 99th page of my edition of Delirium is simply that it's an argument between Lena & Hannah. Both are different girls & their relationship is dynamic in Delirium. Even from this page you can tell that & tell they perceive things differently. Oliver writes this in her amazing way & just from this page I feel sucked in as if I'm there with the characters head moving like I'm watching a tennis match. Except tennis matches don't involve talk of dead mothers- who is important to the book, in one part of my mini-review I said: "It was pretty great because Oliver doesn't just focus on the impact in relationships & how they appear a lot emptier, she focuses on platonic love.", this page shows this both in relationship's remains and the alive one between Lena & Hannah. At the end of the page I want to turn over to see (because I've forgotten) how their relationship fixes. Does Lena continue thinking Hannah is a spiteful snake? Does Hannah take the cure? How do the relationships develop? What has Oliver done...?
I think I'll re-read it next year, ha! *rewind to the future*
...Well, only kidding. I'm not the kids in Doctor Who that will be taken in The Tardis.

With that high note...

May 06, 2013

Book Blogger Confessions [#6] Reading Challenges... YAY!

Hosted by For What It's Worth and Midnyte Reader
Reading challenges: Do you host or join in any? What is your success rate on completing them? Do they keep your reading goals on track, put too many restrictions/pressure on you? What do you think makes for a successful reading challenge?

I don't join challenges in abundance (and haven't hosted one). I always tell myself that the Goodreads Challenge is a minimum- it keeps me on track reading a book a week (or more). I may change it late on but yes, it's started at 52 both my GR years!
This is (and has been yearly) a good start- it's a simple challenge that gets you in the community. I don't consider it too imposing but see why it's not for everyone (some people don't like cataloguing books at all). 
My Goodreads Challenge & my British Book Challenges read amounts don't really fluctuate & they are the same- what I don't count for one (ie. short stories) don't count for the other. I'm also only reading British Books until I've reached the aim- that's 50. That means a slight number will be tagged on the end that aren't by authors living/born in the UK.
I wouldn't consider challenges if books read for one couldn't crossover. I think this is how challenges are kept fun- you can perhaps read one book that counts for several and that's a boost (I'd never decide which challenge a book counted for). 
Recently I've found that challenges where you don't link up reviews and completion posts to be half the challenge they could be. I like finding more books even if I find more than I read because on the way you often find reviewers, genres or authors that are absolutely amazing. You end up enjoying the challenging- it's not just about numbers. Set an achievable target & watch as your enjoyment & book count soar.

Cheer on "Challenge FC", yeah? XD Perhaps pop over to a certain
challenge competitor (if you think of them as that) & wave the pom-poms?
<--- It was a Football weekend really...

Challenges, for me, are great. I don't often lag behind- I don't really think you can fail a challenge. There's often different levels and everybody experiences the challenge in different ways. If somebody, somewhere is getting something out of it (ie. they aren't reading half the books they would) then it's worth it. It doesn't matter if they add pressure or have restrictions as long as it's accessible. Often you may have a rough idea of what you read but aren't sure how you'll plan it out or if you'll reach it. Well, go easier on yourself.
If the challenge comes later when you really put your blogger heart into it then that's fine. Just keep reaching for the moon, you'll land among the stars- yes?
Challenges can be eye-openers. You can realize you read a certain thing much more than you thought- it often isn't a fluke for me (hmm... apart from the UK element, even so I read about half/half before!) or frankly you might just be heading in a new, different direction. The BBC (yeah, same abbreviation as this meme, oops) has really helped me explore fantastic UKYA. It's got to the point where I know I'm not just reading for the sake of it (yeah, I may not have known what to expect *shifty eyes*). 
Authors, I'm not meaning to include one over another but if you hadn't guessed- it's a challenge which I am falling in love with. There are plenty more goals and challenges I set myself. This is just the obvious one (:

It's OK if you react to challenges like I do! *cough* You get into them... *cough*
I'm actually, these days, considering & enjoy signing up for read-a-thons and other short while challenges- things that I hope to get into & feel the pressure. Challenges are odd... Pressure, then no pressure, then.... Yeah, well.

May 02, 2013

Hello!... Is it May already? Yeah?

Yeah, hello!
You there...?

Right. MAY!!
Normally I stick with Quarterly Updates because can I really be expected to do a monthly update on/before the 1st of a new month? Well, not sure. It is the first week though & I’m just here (well, it won’t be this concise actually) to say:

May The Fourth Be With You!

I won’t be posting on the fourth. Well, not on the 3rd/5th either (hello Bath- as in the place). I may be busy reading Sci-Fi books. But more likely books that don't actually count as Sci-Fi, just Paranormal. Well, it's still awesome! And must be reading for my first blog tour *raises eyebrows*
I hope I can watch Doctor Who when I'm on holiday (long w/end) AND read lots. It's bad enough not doing a review this week... I want to make up for it next week! And not just because it's the blog tour, ha.
It’s not because I posted two last week, it’s not because I’m in a reading slump & I’m obviously not really going to go on a blogging hiatus (I already blog pretty little but y'know... BLOG TOUR!) I’m not starting a meme-only blog. This blog is still here to spread UKYA & not be dominated by meme’s.
However it’s not my only blog now... I write reviews (I mean, am) for Chrissie's blog, Once Upon A Series. It's got some other new people on the team now & I'm delighted to be writing a few reviews for Chrissie, and other posts too!

There you go, my reveal is over.


Rory waves. Yes, I almost missed it too!

No, no... That’s stupid. What about the...

I'm out of sorts- you're not feeding me enough {wood}!

You get it... Don't you?
Well, actually- it was the kindle's fault. It didn't really have an appetite (unlike me, for real food AND sleep)!
Yeah, I unfortunately didn't have an appetite for tests (shove ‘em in near parents evening for a reason?)
So tests reminds me of something... And it's not a quiz...
I need to have some targets or something (Just so you know I'm only doing this as I've done it on loads of sites I've been on- quite a lot there were stat related) so this month (and the next- I’m working towards my end of June/beginning of July Quarterly Update):
1. Keep getting blogger friends ;) And have 100 blog followers.
2. Either keep up my two meme's or have new ones- must do two different ones during May/June.
3. Read 12 books (both months, of which I'll try & read 6/6 male/female author- or at least 5/7!)
4. Have 3000 blog views by May 31st (at midnight).
5. Tell you about awesome stuff (not just books)- I mean, there's a meme called 'Cat Thursday'. If that's not a good opportunity... What be good?

((OK, I wasn't really reminded of targets because of tests, it was because of challenges!

1. I completed the Woman Challenge (and I don't just mean my level, I read over 16- think 18- books by a woman- so yeah... not just SUPER GIRL).
2. I want to start a new challenge!... "This challenge is for those books that are 2nd in a series, or if you are going back for a second time reading an author that you've experienced only once." (it crossovers with other challenges, all books in 2013 meeting the criteria read count).
I will sign up officially soon for 'Just A Spoonful'*. Five books! More info in sign-up.
So that's an awesome thing- AND I’m backwards (if really so- yay, I’ll have 3000 blog views soon?).
Ooh, no... Today I ain’t doing meme’s. Is this like... Administration?
With awesome stuff! Like Trish's, she's awesome, linkie for YOUR FAVOURITE book. Check it out & add your link to your review:

*Might go higher if it's true that I've read 3 already that count: Malorie Blackman (second time read a book by her), What's Up With Jody Barton (ditto reason) & actually... Bridget Jones: Edge Of Reason (2nd book in series).

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