Bookmarks! [2]

After a very busy week of studying, assignmenting and general busyness – I decided to spend some of my free time watching Veronica Mars and browsing the internet for pretty easy to make bookmarks.

The theme for this week’s set – Corner bookmarks. (All links go to a tutorial where I found the pictures. None of these are my own work. Credit to those crafty people who created them)

1. Monsters!¬†– How awesome do these look? I love the way they look like they devour the pages ūüėõ My kind of monsters.

2. Super adorable Bunnies!¬†– Since cute little bunny rabbits are illegal to have as pets in my state, this is probably the closest I’ll ever get to a rabbit. The only thing I’d be worried about is¬†accidentally¬†bending and breaking their ears as they have to live in¬†captivity¬†in my bag…

3. Simple Origami bookmarks¬†– These are quick and simple. I love these. I’ve made dozens of this type in the past with lolly/candy wrappers or other stray paper I’ve had around the place. Very handy.

4. Cute little origami Heart bookmark¬†– I love the look of these. And the ones in this picture look like they’re made out of newspaper. Recycling is awesome.

5. Gorgeous Butterfly¬†Origami¬†corner bookmarks¬†– These are my favourite of the lot. They are just… so beautiful. Not the most practical but lovely.

Anyone come across any good bookmarks lately? ūüôā

Book Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 
Publication Date: June 2012 (I received this book as a digital ARC from NetGalley)
Pages: 336
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
‚ÄėIf she‚Äôd waited less than two weeks, she‚Äôd be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn‚Äôt consider that.‚Äô

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

My Review:

Harper Scott doesn’t know what to do or how to feel after her older sister June takes her own life just a week before graduation. All Harper knows is that her parents splitting her ashes is not what June would have wanted. For as long as Harper can remember, June had her heart set on escaping Michigan and going to the West Coast – more specifically, California. With no car, no money and no way her mother and overbearing aunt will let her go, Harper enlists the help of her best friend Laney and the mysterious boy who was somehow connected to June to help her do this one last thing for the sister she loved.

I enjoyed this book for many reasons. And the biggest of these was Harper. She’s hurting so much and is a little snarky and sarcastic and at times down right rude. But she still loves her sister so much regardless of what happened and she’s in pain over her death. Harper doesn’t always do the right thing but she’s just trying to get along with her life however she can. I really admired her for that.

As for Jake? I admit I was willing to write him off as a “hipster music snob with the tastes of a forty-year-old white guy” as Laney puts it. But Jake has more depth than that. He likes all kinds of music – not just the pretentious stuff – and I liked him as a character and loved him as a potential love interest for Harper.

Laney was a fantastic sidekick and character in her own right. More complex than first seems but doesn’t take the highlight off Harper and her story.

I loved the soundtrack to this story and the journeys that the characters took – musically, physically and emotionally. I thought the complicated issues of love, life and death were beautifully handled and I really enjoyed reading this novel.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #5

It‚Äôs Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey. This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well‚Ķ you never know where that next ‚Äúmust read‚ÄĚ book will come from!

What I Read Last Week?

Books I posted reviews for this week:

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
The List by Siobhan Vivian
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer 

This was an insanely busy week for me. I’m behind on reading and didn’t manage to finish the fourth book in the Morganville Vampires series. So no Morganville Monday this week but Feast of Fools will be read and reviewed by this time next week.

I also received my first ever digital ARC from netgalley to read and review! ¬†Saving June by Hannah Harrington has been read and I’ll post a review this week sometime.

Someone Else’s Fairytale¬†by Emily Mah Tippetts is also in my to-read list for the next few weeks. It looks fantastic and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

Big assignment due this week so I’m not sure I’ll be reading much – but then again sometimes when I have the most to do I need the biggest distraction.

Book Review: Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Storm (Elementals #1)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Magic
Publisher: Allen & Unwin (Also published by Kensington)
Publication Date: May 2012 
Pages: 368
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

When Becca Chandler saves Chris Merrick from being beaten-up in the school car park, she has no idea how dramatically this one action will change her life. Chris is no ordinary guy and neither are his three older brothers. The Merrick boys are Elementals. Hot. Powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

Then there’s Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time. With her life at stake, Becca doesn’t know who to trust or whose secrets she should keep. and with two boy vying for her affections, and pressure rising all around her, will she find out in time who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all?

Take Cover.
The storm is coming!

My Review:

Every bookstore I’ve been into in the last few weeks has had¬†a big display of this book. And when there’s that much hype about a book (and when I’m at my most paranoid and am convinced said book is following me about) I know I have to check it out.

Storm¬†had me captivated from the first chapter. After skipping out on a boring self-defence class (and wasting $60!), Becca Chandler discovers a some guys beating up Chris Merrick in the car park. With a flat phone battery and no way to call for help what does Becca do? Find someone to assist with breaking up the fight? Run away? Neither. Becca jumps in her car and tries to run the bad guys off with her elite driving skills… I fell in love with Becca from this moment on.

Still petrified and with a half-dead teenage boy to deal with, Becca somehow manages to drive him to his home where he and his three brothers live; Michael – the oldest and somewhat strict guardian of the family and twins Nick and Gabriel – who seem to enjoy making their brother’s life difficult. If¬†gratitude¬†was what Becca was after, the Merricks are not the guys to get it from.

Things get a little more complicated for Becca when she catches the eye of the New Guy in town – Hunter – who asks her and her bestie Quinn to a party. Is it in spite or because of the rumours around school regarding Bex? The bad guys from the parking lot are back to cause more trouble. It doesn’t seem like Becca can get a break. In between her estranged father back in town or the mysterious Merrick brothers – Becca is in for a lot more drama.

Becca is a fantastic main character. I love people who perform acts of great bravery especially when they’re scared half to death and in my mind this describes Becca to a T. She’s petrified when she comes across Chris in the car park but she doesn’t run and hide. Whilst I’m not sure trying to run over people in your car is a great move (the police are sure to have issues with it) I admire her for not just running away.

People with magical powers are always ones that I love to read about and the Merrick Brothers are no exception. Gabriel is a laugh. He’s just so cheeky and half the time I’m not sure if I want to kiss him or kick him. The rest of the group is just as endearing in their own way. Hunter was an interesting character. I loved the psuedo-hippyness that was his style and beliefs. And Quinn? She irritated me a little but she was real. Her behaviour whilst slightly annoying added to the novel and Becca as a real person rather than just a fictional character.

There’s quite a bit of drama going on in this novel. Family drama, supernatural drama, school drama – it’s all there but it all is woven together beautifully. And there are some real and horrific issues in this book. I have to admit I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen regarding Becca’s¬†reputation¬†and was surprised with how it all went down.

The ending was good if not a little anti-climatic. But I’m very happy that this is not a standalone book and that Gabriel’s book is up next!

Storm¬†reminded me in many ways of Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout – the regular girl getting involved with the family that’s just a little bit different and in need of protecting from their supernatural rivals.

It was a great read. One that I devoured in one evening… it even kept me up way past my usual bed time.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: The List by Siobhan Vivian

Title: The List
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Genre: Contemporary, Teen Issues, Realistic Fiction 
Publisher: Push (an imprint of Scholastic)
Publication Date: April 2012
Pages: 332
Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
An intense look at the rules of high school attraction — and the price that’s paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn’t matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, “pretty” and “ugly.” And it’s also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

My Review:

The List offers a snapshot view into the lives of eight students from the same high school. Each year a list goes up at the start of homecoming week Рa list no one knows who complies but lists the prettiest and ugliest girl from each grade. This book chronicles the events in their lives for one week.

Conceptually I loved this book. It deals with so many issues facing teens – eating disorders, virginity, first loves and heartbreak, sisters, families, popularity and self-image. This novel tries to tackle so much. And to me, that was what let it down.

At only 332 pages, it means that each girl’s story gets more or less 40 pages. As a snapshot into their lives it’s enough to see what’s going on at that one moment but I guess I’m greedy. I wanted to see the fall out. I want to know what happens to these girls on a long-term basis. One week’s glimpse into who they are and the problems they face isn’t enough to satisfy me.

As well as not getting to see enough of each girl, there were just too many characters to keep track of and get to know. Each girl had a family, friends, sisters and boyfriends. It was just too much to delve into properly. I would have loved this book so much more if there were less story lines and more time shown.

I thought that the author did a fantastic job at showing how much appearance and public image is important to high school students. As well as how rumours spread and the origin of the rumour doesn’t matter – as soon as it’s in the public realm, it’s as good as gospel. As far as being realistic – this book was brilliant. I could relate to ¬†each of the eight girls. I had been there myself or had a friend who was when I was in school. But there was just too much tried to be¬†condensed¬†into the book.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fairy Tale, Dystopia 
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (an imprint of Macmillian)
Publication Date: January 2012
Pages: 387
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

My Review:

I’ve been told by a lot of people that¬†Cinder¬†was one of their favourite reads of 2012 and because of this I was nervous to read it. I tend to find that books that have people rave about almost never live up to my expectations. Luckily this was not the case with Cinder.

This is a retelling of the famous story of Cinderella but this version is set in a future where a race of people live on the moon and the people of Earth are celebrating the 126th anniversary of the end of World War IV. Lihn Cinder is one of the most gifted mechanics in New Beijing but she’s also a cyborg – a half human, half machine after suffering¬†devastating¬†injuries in a hovercraft accident when she was a child. As a cyborg, Cinder has no rights and must do all she is ordered to do by her stepmother and owner, Adri. True to her traditional counterpart, Adri forces Cinder to work all day long to finance her own lavish lifestyle and also forbids her ward to go to the ball. The ball where it’s rumoured the handsome Prince Kai will be finding a wife.

Cinder could care less about the ball and the Prince – all she’d be going to the ball for would be the food – until a chance encounter has her meeting the Prince. Finally the young cyborg understand what all the fuss surrounding him is about. But the Prince has more important things to worry about than a Ball and a wife – his father and his country is dying from a mystery disease which is spreading like the¬†Plague¬†and is fatal within a week of contracting it. The Queen of Lunar – the people of the moon – is also circling like a shark who smells blood. She wants to force Kai into marriage or she proposes war against the entire planet.

After an incident in a¬†junk-yard, Cinder is forced to participate in a clinical trial to try to find a cure to the mystery virus that plagues the Earth when actions are set into motion that will change her whole life – and possibly everyone else’s too.

For me the strength of this novel is that as a retelling of an old classic it stands up well. But it also¬†delivered¬†so much in terms of being a fantastic story in its own right. Cinder has the wicked step mother and horrid step sister but I loved the change of having one of the sisters being Cinder’s best friend and one of her closest companions. I truly enjoyed finding the similarities between the story I’ve grown up with and Cinder, but also I loved the differences.

In terms of characters – I loved them all. Cinder is a strong and tough heroine who hasn’t had an easy life and has a delightful sarcastic streak running though her thoughts. Her android, Iko, was fantastic. I think it said a lot about Cinder’s character that what she loved most about her robotic friend was her defective personality chip. The Prince, Kai, was every bit the classic Disney prince to me. He was gorgeous, flirty and trying to do what was right for his people at the expense of his own happiness. And the Doctor? He made this story for me. I found myself looking forward to his scenes in the book.

There’s a lot going on in this story – Evil Alien Queens, deadly viruses, a mechanic who dreams of running away to Europe – but Marissa Meyer managed to weave everything together in away that I found the entire book a pleasure to read. The twist at the end was fairly obvious to me from the first few chapters but that didn’t bother me at all – in fact I thought that it made the fairy tale feeling to the story all the more real because of it.

I have no idea where the sequel is going to take me but I am eagerly anticipating its release.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #4

It‚Äôs Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey. This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well‚Ķ you never know where that next ‚Äúmust read‚ÄĚ book will come from!

What I Read Last Week?

Books I posted reviews for this week:

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Immortal City by Scott Speer
Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine 

I loved the Jennifer Estep Mythos Academy series. I have preordered the third book, Dark Frost, which is released in a few weeks.

Insurgent was a fantastic follow-up to the first book in the series, Divergent. If you’re an¬†Divergent¬†fan then I can not recommend Insurgent highly enough.

Scott Speer’s Immortal City was a book I was really looking forward too and I felt a little let down by the characters but the plot was fantastic enough to keep me hooked until the last page.

I’m really starting to enjoy my Morganville Mondays. This series just keeps getting better with each¬†instalment.

What I Plan to Read This Week:

I’m definitely going to read¬†Cinder by Marissa Meyer¬†this week. It’s sitting right here on my desk looking very handsome indeed with some of the bookmarks I made this week.

20120522-001539.jpg

I bought a copy of Embrace by Jessica Shirvington the other day and hopefully will get around to reading it but first I need to finish reading The List by Siobhan Vivian.

I’m going to continue my reading of the Morganville Vampire series with the fourth book in the series, Feast of Fools.

 

This is the plan. But as John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,” so who knows what I’ll get up to. I have a few non-YA books I’ve been wanting to read but can’t seem to find the time.

Morganville Monday!: Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine

After discussing this series with a friend the other day, I realized that I stopped after the first two (because that’s all that had been released at that stage). I want to get back into this series that many people I know rave about! So I’ve decided to read one Morganville Vampire book a week for the next twelve weeks! Morganville Mondays I shall call the days when I post my reviews!

Welcome to the third Morganville Monday –¬†this week focusing on the third book of the series, Midnight Alley

Book Review:

Title: Midnight Alley (Morganville Vampires #3)
Author: Rachel Caine
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Vampires
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: January 2011 (first published 2007)
Pages: 372
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Morganville is such a nice place to live… And die. If you don‚Äôt mind that sort of thing.

When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but that garlic may come in handy.

Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden, people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire’s past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home.

My Review:

WARNING: This review will contain spoilers from the first two books in the¬†Morganville Vampires¬†series. I tried to write a spoiler-free review but so much of what happens in this book is a response to what has already happened in the series and it was just too hard for me to review without major spoilers. If you don’t want to know what happens the in the first two books then please stop reading now.

Things in Morganville are really starting to heat up. In¬†Midnight Alley,¬†Claire and the other inhabitants of the Glass House have to get used to some new developments. Michael is no longer a ghost bound to his house but rather, now a fully fledged vampire. Not so lucky for him that his best friend is still on a rampage to kill all the filthy bloodsuckers that dwell in Morganville. Shane needs to work out if he considers Michael worthy to live now that he’s one of the living undead.

Things aren’t smooth sailing for Eve either. On top of having to accept the fact that her boyfriend is now on an all liquid diet, her brother is still in town and up to his old tricks.

After signing her allegiance to Amelie in the end of The Dead Girls’ Dance, Claire now has to accept all that the Founder’s protection gives her. I don’t think she ever expected that it was going to end up with her playing student to a crazy and blood thirsty mad scientist who is trying to save the vampire race before insanity claims him entirely. She sure does manage to get herself into some tricky situations.

I’m really starting to enjoy this series. The writing in this book felt more comfortable to read – the characters are starting to get into the right groove and act like the teenagers they are. I liked the often use of pop culture references as well as the character development. Claire is starting to show that she’s as smart as she’s always claiming to be. And on top of that she’s starting to act as street smart as she is book smart. I was so proud of her with regards to her interactions with Monica Morrell in this book. And I love the romance between Claire and Shane. The constant references to their lack of sex due to her age are getting a little old but I love how they interact with each other. They’re adorable.

Shane is one of those characters that I’m not sure my feelings towards him. There are times when I think he’s awesome and others when I just want to shake him and ask him what in the world is he thinking? He’s so hot-headed and his outlook on the world is a little black and white but in this book I thought he might slowly be coming around to see all the shades of grey. One of my favourite things from the first two novels was his relationship with Michael and to see him trying to ruin things infuriated me. Lucky for him that he’s got Eve and Claire to try to kick him into line.

The plots are starting to get more complex and interwoven with the fabric of the rest of the series. I can feel that there’s something amazing planned in the future. I loved how the series is growing – both with regards to the characters and the world that this particular type of vampires inhabit.

The next book should be interesting. This one ends in such a way that I’m very eager to read on and find out exactly how things are going to play out.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Book Review: Immortal City by Scott Speer

Title: Immortal City (Immortal City #1) 
Author: Scott Speer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Angels 
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: April 2012
Pages: 384
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
WE PAY THEM TO PROTECT US. AND WE’RE THEIR BIGGEST FANS.
They are our celebrities, and we worship them with paparazzi and endless gossip and speculation. To us, they are glamour. To them, we’re assignment. Their job is to guard us-that is, those of us who can afford them… Because the only thing stronger than a Guardian Angel is the rule they must obey.


So what happens when one of them falls for one of us?

In the city of Angels,
the rules are about to be broken. 

My Review:

I’m not normally a fan of book trailers but this one caught my eye and before I knew it I was rushing out to a bookstore to purchase myself a copy. Angels as celebrities, forbidden love – oh I’m so there.

I was surprised at just how much was going on in this novel.

Maddy¬†is a seventeen year old waitress who can’t wait to get into college and get out of Angel City. As far as she is concerned Angels are over hyped celebrities who only save the wealthy and don’t spare a thought for the rest of the population.

Jackson “Jacks” Godspeed is the hottest new Angel who is just days away from everything he’s ever wanted – being¬†commissioned¬†as a Guardian Angel.

After a chance encounter between Maddy and Jacks, neither one of them can go back to how their lives were before. But an Angel and a human? There’s no way the powers-that-be will stand for that. Maddy and Jacks’ relationship seems doomed from the start and now with an immortal serial killer is on the loose – with Jacks as his next target.

There’s romance, there are celebrities and there’s a fantastic serial killer story that I was not expecting from the trailer and blurb. And to be honest, whilst the mystery plot line was my favourite I also enjoyed how Maddy and Jacks came together. But by the time I finished reading this novel I realized that I didn’t like any of the characters (with the exception of Detective Sylvester). Maddy and Jacks were a little too two-dimensional for my liking. She hated him because she hates all Angels. He wanted her because she didn’t like him based on the fact that he was an Angel and everyone loved Jacks Godspeed. I didn’t feel like there was much substance to either of the main characters. I would have liked them to be a little more complex with more hidden layers and motivations that weren’t apparent at first glance. In terms of the characters’ characters, I felt like I didn’t know any more about who they were as people at the end of the novel than I did in the first few chapters.

One of the highlights of this book for me was how vivid the storytelling was. From the first chapter I was right there with the characters. I could almost believe that I was in the sports car riding along and listening to old school hip hop. It comes as no surprise to me that the author is a director of music videos and films. This book is written in a way that’s beautifully¬†illustrative.

I also liked how very “now” this book was – twitter, facebook and other social media sites were shown to be very important. It helped add to the atmosphere that the Angels are the ultimate in¬†celebrity¬†and that as such they are going to have followers follow them in any way possibly.

This novel is the first in a series and I will be reading the next book. Whilst I didn’t care one way or another what happened to the main characters I¬†thoroughly¬†enjoyed the journey that they took me on. I did want to know how everything was going to go down.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 


Bookmarks!

It’s no secret that I love books. All books. E-books, paperbacks, hardcover – I love them all.

But I’m not a fan of people who treat their books badly. Cracked spines, bent down corners and ripped pages all make my book loving soul tear up a little.

So it may come as no surprise to learn that I LOVE BOOKMARKS. I have dozens from all over the world. And not all of them are fancy. I have grocery receipts from a supermarket in Italy that is among  my favourites of the bookmarks that I own.

I’m a fairly crafty person¬†(and that’s arts and crafts not the sinister kind… although… :P)¬†I’ve recently decided to make some of my own.

There are so many amazing talented people with great ideas – and luckily many of them post easy to follow tutorials so that I too can seem just as talented and amazing as they are.

I’ve decided that every Friday I’m going to post a few of the D.I.Y. bookmarks that I’ve found online with you ūüôā Most of the ones I post will come with a link to the tutorial just¬†in case¬†you want to try them out yourself.

All five of today’s bookmarks are coming from Martha Stewart’s website.

They’re all so pretty. If I get any spare time this weekend I think I’ll give a few of them a go. And then post photos. ūüėÄ

Happy Friday. ūüôā