Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Review: Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin


Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny. 

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it. 

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course…


Everyone in their early teens thinks the world revolves around them and their problems.  That school is the beginning and end of the universe and your family has signed up to some evil society that's sole purpose is to ruin your life and embarrass you.  It's never true but it feels real at the time the need to be cool, to get the dream guy/girl and to not look like a total idiot is the be all and end all of your life.  This is the basis for Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters and the life in question is one Kelsey Finkelstein.  She lives in Brooklyn, NY and she's decided that in her Freshmen year of high school is going to be the making of her and she's going to get THE guy, Jordan, and achieve greatness.  If that's not tempting fate then I don't know what is.

To start with reading Freshmen Year I found that Kelsey was a bit annoying because she's just SO self involved!  I couldn't believe that a teenage girl would be 'oh it's all about me' and think the world revolves around her.  Then I thought back to when I was the same age as Kelsey and gave myself the biggest face palm ever.  I was JUST like Kelsey at that age when I thought the world started and ended with whatever minor embarrassment I'd suffered that week and my parents were out to ruin my life and nothing was as awesome as I'd thought it should be.  I wanted life to be like Dawson's Creek or Saved By the Bell and it wasn't.  My heart warmed to Kelsey straight away after that because even though she was me, she didn't let the awfulness of being a teen stop her trying to make her Freshmen year the year she finds herself.

Friends come and go like they do in real life and drama's appear and fade within the space of days.  Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters is a whirl wind look at what happens in a teenage brain and how crazy it can be but you have the fun of watching it all and just enjoying the laughs.

If you're a fan of books like Adrian Mole or Keris Staniton's 'Jessie hearts NYC' or Susie Day's 'Big Woo' then you'd love this story.  It's got drama, heart break, laugh and all those teenage embarrassments you'd expect, fear and likely experienced yourself.  

Epic Trailer :

Rating:  7.5/10

Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, A Penguin imprint, is available here from March 2012

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Top Ten Books I'd Give A Theme Song To

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. If you can't come up with ten, don't worry about it---post as many as you can!

This was actually quite hard to find one song that represents a WHOLE book but these either captured the vibe of a book for me or references or just something I play and hear certain characters speaking or would listen to.  Links go to youtube for videos of the songs.  (bit worried about posting them directly on the blog)

The Demon Trappers Series: Burning Hell by Tom Jones (don't judge; just listen. trust me)

Monday, 27 February 2012

Guest Post: Mistry Monday!

Ash Mistry and The Savage Fortress is the latest book from Sarwat Chadda out on March 1st and quite frankly it's a banging book and I can prove it with my review (also known as a gush fest but honest none the less)  You can (and must) buy it here and bookshops in the real world too!  Sarwat kindly asked me to take part in a blog tour for the book and from today for the next few Mondays he'll be popping up across the blogger-verse with his wit and wisdom.  Over to the man himself:

I think I had a sudden epiphany during ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ when I realised I was cheering the bad guys. Up till then I was seriously on Indy’s side (less so Short Round, but there you go) but when there was the starving, feeble Indian villagers utterly incapable of saving themselves until the white hero turned up I was forced to look around the cinema and check that maybe, the film had actually transported my back into the 1930’s where Chinamen wore pigtails and sly Turks were busy engaged in the White Slave Trade. Perhaps there was another entrance to the cinema for ‘coloured’ and the like. This was wrong in a way that kind of stuck in my throat.

Then came the monkey brains and me saying “WTF?”
I left the cinema wondering when was the last time the world had been saved, you know, by someone not white. Nope, couldn’t think of any. Maybe something smaller, save the country? City? Village? 

Mowgli. He was the only one I could come up with. Respect to the little guy in the red nappy but there was a feeling this just was not good enough. I shook my fist towards the storm swept skies and swore, I SWORE, one day, a little brown kid was going to save the world. Remember, this was before the days of Will Smith.

Fast forward quarter of a century and now we have ‘Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress’. As well as a little brown kid on world-saving duty this is my riposte to that Indiana Jones movie. Here the worshippers of Kali and the good guys and the villain is a evil archaeologist. 
Basically, Kali is cool. You want some serious god help, why not call on the gal with the bloodthirsty gaze and the skull-necklace? C’mon, you really think anyone is going to get in her way? If you spell Kali backwards you get BADASS. I would put Kali up against the entire Greek Pantheon and there’d be nothing left on Olympus but a few bloodstained togas and maybe a broken harp.

And Kali is just the beginning (and the end, if we want to get all metaphysical about it). Indian mythology is vast, intense and current. You wander around Varanasi today and it’s like being in a fantasy world of temples and holy men and burning ghats. The city of Jaisalmer could be straight out of the pages of Sinbad. It’s a cliché but it is magical. Its heroes and villains are as awesome as Jason or Thor. I love the Greek Myths and the Norse legends. But there is so much more out there. There are ten-headed demons, immortal serpents and there are gods, glorious and terrifying. That’s what I’m bringing. A new breed of bad guy and definitely a new type of hero. 

Ultimately ‘Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress’ is about a boy learning to kick ass very, very hard. And what better a teacher could there be than the goddess of death and destruction herself, Kali?

EPIC!  Thanks to Sarwat for the post and also for offering a giveaway! 

The prize is one SIGNED copy of Ash Mistry and The Savage Fortress and is UK only.  The contest ends on 23rd of March so get those entries in!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 26 February 2012

IMM: In My Mailbox [58]

In My Mailbox is an epic feature run by The Story Siren and my links go to Amazon UK but other book sellers are out there too!


2 for £3 in The Works! OMG! I have a proof copy of one I won and the other edition of Ballad but now I have a matching one.  *strokes*


I know the picture is flipped but had to take a quick snap the other day *squee*

Thanks to Stripes Publishing for sending me this one!



Saturday, 25 February 2012

Review: Dark Ride by Caroline Green


A mysterious boy. A haunting secret. 

A shiver crawled up my spine. It felt like the loneliest place in the world. For a second I thought I caught a snatch of music in the air, but it was just the wind whistling through cracks in the fairground hoardings. 
My instincts screamed, ‘Run away, Bel! Run away and never return!’ 
But instead my fingers closed around the ticket in my pocket. 
Admit one. 

Bel has never met anyone like Luka. And the day she follows him into the abandoned fairground, she is totally unprepared for the turn her life is about to take


A thriller mystery in a murky sea side town that if not for chance may never have happened at all.  Sometimes the call of a question and curiosity can't be denied and as Bel discovers in Slumpton; sometimes fate is what's in charge of your decisions.  Timing is everything for her and Luca the strange quiet boy that she keeps bumping into.  Bel isn't where she wants to be and her family is divided without any really answers as to why and she's unhappy.  Luca is exactly who she needs in her life because he gives her an escape and she in return gives him companionship and hope.  His mum has disappear and with Bel's help they try to find out where she is and why she's disappear.  Though as they find out more and more their precious abandoned fair ground is at risk as well as people's lives.

I was sent this from Caroline Green and read it in a day or so because I just couldn't put it down.  I loved the way she played out the delicate relationship between Bel and her parents as they have their own issues that filter out into Bel's life.   Also the groaning friendship between Bel and Luca made my heart do that flippy floppy thing around my rib cage.  So cute and sad at the same time because you sort of know where the story may be going but still hope it can change it's path for their sake.  

Something that was pretty cool was the chapter titles because each time I read I usually think 'oh i'll just finish this chapter and go to sleep/eat/work etc' and then i'd see the next title and think 'well i can't stop now.  I need to see what that's all about!'  It's a little teaser to suck you into reading the whole book.  It works pretty well I can tell you.  Aside from the adorableness of Bel and Luca (side note: don't you just love the name Luca? Rolls off the tongue like honey)  I also had a real love for Bel's mum because it's almost like you see her story appearing in pieces and I just feel so sorry for her.  Her life has been turned upside down just like Bel and because Bel exists in her own little teen world she doesn't really notice.  So sad that I was proud that she tries not to let her world crumble around her when it could so easily do so.

Dark Ride is an emotive and harrowing tale where the puzzle pieces slowly come together and it's left to Bel and Luca to make them fit, bringing them closers as the solution tempts to tear them apart.  Excellent!

Rating: 8.5/10

Published by Piccadilly Press and is available here now

Friday, 24 February 2012

Review: Witchblood by Emma Mills


When Jess steals a glance at a gorgeous guy in a Manchester nightclub, little does she realise how he is going to change her life…or should that be death? Yet, the vampire clan could never have predicted what they were taking on.

With Luke pronounced ‘off-limits’ and the blood of a vampire simmering in Jess’s body, can she forget the love of her life and move on? If not, she will risk exposing the entire Northern vampire clan to untold dangers, in order to live her life the way she wants.

Can Jess be sure that Luke is all he appears to be? Will she succumb to the attraction she desperately tries not to feel for Daniel? And why does she still crave a packet of crisps more than a tasty teenage boy’s blood?


Normally I don't take on many self published e books only because if I were to take some then i'd feel bad rejecting loads and plus I don't want my email inbox to explode everyday with requests and stuff.  When I got my Kobo ereader over Christmas I decided to break my usual rule and accept a few select ones from either people I'd spoken with before or had recommended to me.  I'm back on my no unsolistated self published or ebooks policy just because the TBR pile is too big but Witchblood by Emma Mills is one of the novels I agreed to read and review.

Big selling points for me were the fact that Emma is not only a debut British author but her supernatural vampire YA is set in Manchester, UK and I just love the idea of reading more UK set paranormal YA as there are just so many out there set in America and it's wonderful to find something fresh.  The story is what you'd expect to be from a vampire novel really; it has some good and unusual twists in there too but it's well written and the characters are hard to tear away from.  At first I wasn't to sure of where the story was going because it seemed very much a model Vampire story with the attractive and dark figures that almost mystify our female lead and then she is attack by a girl gang trying to steal her purse and that's when things change.

jess's "saved" by Daniel, the guy at the club that is seductive and scary, and whisked after to the secluded house in the country until they are forced to return to Manchester with friend and Daniel's "saviour" the charming and sassy Eva.  Alex is coming to terms with her new life as a vampire which is more complicated as they find out more about her past and her ever growing draw to Daniel.  She's torn between her love and memories of Luke, her teenage soulmate, and Daniel who she can't seem to deny herself.

For the first in the series it has definitely wanted me to find out more and read the next book, the characters stayed with me even after i'd put the book down and the idea was clever and something I don't think i've seen before or at least not just another rehash of every other vampire tale.  Witchblood takes the things I love about a supernatural story but puts it's own slant on it so you can get all that scary and sexy vampire action you like and don't feel like you're being sold that same old story.  Worth a look and it's on a bargain price so why not try something new?

Rating: 7/10

Published: Self Published as an ebook and is available here now

Website for more information is here!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Tag! You're It!

I was tagged by Laura over at Scattered Figments and I thought 'Hey; this sounds fun' 

The Rules 
1. Answer the eleven questions that were asked of you by the person who tagged you
2. Make up eleven new questions and tag eleven new people to do the meme! 
3. Let them know you tagged them!

So here are the questions Laura asked me and my answers.

Question 1
What is your favourite thing about blogging?
Honestly, I get to talk about books with so many different people and get recommendations all the time!  I love learning new stuff and the fact I can talk to authors about their books is like a dream
Question 2
Who is your favourite literary hero or heroine and why?
Matilda.  There are lots of heroic types I've read and loved but she was my first real hero.  She was different from all her family and friends and used her brain and love of books to keep herself company and she beat the bad guys.  She never tried to change herself but just tried the best to accept those in her life that wouldn't except her.  I love her
Question 3 
Who is your favourite villain?
I love a good bad guy and my favourite is hard to pick so I'll give you a few of my favourites.   Mrs Coulter from His Dark Materials, Lady Macbeth and Death herself in the Wicked Lovely Series.  (Also I've just noticed they are all girls but I think that women make really good bad guys..though the bad GUYS are just as bad)
Question 4
If you ever wrote your autobiography, what would the title be and why?
hhhhmmmm.  probably something simple like 'Fangirl'  because most of my life and 'exciting' stuff i've done or seen has been down to my fangirl-ing with music, books and geekery
Question 5
If you could choose any famous figure (dead or alive, past or present) to spend a day with, who would it be and why?
SO HARD!  I'd want it to be someone I'd get on with and is quite fun if i've got to spend a whole day with them.  Maybe Stephen Fry because he'd be so interesting to talk to and explore the city and then maybe a spot of tea later.
Question 6
As a kid, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?
I used to have a Fashion Wheel (pictured) and for so long wanted to be a fashion designer because I thought that all it meant was basically having a professional version of the Fashion Wheel and that was it.  It isn't.
Question 7
What are you most looking forward to in 2012?
My holiday.  I'm off on a long family holiday for 3 weeks in July to America and I'm already planning all the books I'm gonna buy.  Plus I'm also going to be there for 4th July so that'll be interesting to say the least!
Question 8
What happened in the last dream you had? 

At the moment I'm reading 'The Things We Do For Love' by Natasha Farrant and it's set in late 1940s in France and it's a teen romance.  I'm totally in love with it and I think my last dream was in a French town like in the book.  Can't remember much more about the dream though.

Question 9
Do you have any bad habits that you're willing to admit to?

TONS!  I bite my nails, curse like a trucker, I lie, I drink WAY too much coffee.  The list could go on but nothing like smoking or stealing is on there.  Sorry to disappoint!

Question 10
What was the worst job you ever had and what made it so bad?

Think the worst was when I had a Saturday job in a dry cleaners.  Handling dirty clothes and it was standing all day and the worst bit was when I had lunch one day on the little stool round the back of the steamy ironing room and a mouse ran past my feet.

Question 11
Are you a practical person or a bit of a daydreamer? 

A practical Daydreamer.  lol.  My head is always in the clouds and it's handy for work because I get to be creative and thinking outside the box but I'm an avid list maker and tend to be the one at work to remember the little things to do so i'm practical in that way.  Maybe like 65% daydreamer.

My questions for those I tag and those who fancy doing it too!

1. What's your favourite dessert?
2. What's the last book you read that completely knocked your socks off?
3. What's your snack food guilty pleasure?
4. When you were little did you have a favourite toy and what was it?
5. Is there any skill or talent you wished you had but just don't? (wished you could play the piano or juggle??)
6. What kind of music do you like? Any recommendations?
7. Last movie you saw at the cinema and what you thought of it?
8. What is your dream job?
9. What is your favourite kid's TV show (now or when you were a kid)?
10. Favourite ice cream flavour?
11. If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you go and why?


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

I Wanna Be A Demon Trapper!

So I've gone all potty over the Demon Trappers Series by Jana Oliver.  I love these books and Jana is one of the nicest authors I've met so I made a vlog.  Yes; I'm regretting it already but I've uploaded it now so I can only present it to you and await for the fall out.

Forgiven, The 3rd in the Demon Trappers Series is out March 1st in the UK from Macmillan Children's Books and you can check out more cool Demon Trappers stuff on Jana's site, The Demon Trappers UK site and the MyKindaBook page.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Top Ten Books I'd Save If My Home Was On Fire

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. If you can't come up with ten, don't worry about it---post as many as you can!

My signed copy of Rockoholic by C.J.Skuse (it's got the best message in it)

Torn by Cat Clarke (signed)  An epic read that I'd gladly re read any day

Forsaken by Jana Oliver (signed)  I ADORE this series and it's just cool as hell

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson  One of the best books I read last year and just perfect for a holiday, lazy weekend and so wonderfully written and put together with the visuals

Revolution by Jennifier Donnelly  (Hardback) I think i've made my point several times about how much I love this book

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (US Hardback)  I MADE my mum by me this edition on her holiday to Canada.  I told her not to come back without it.  *strokes cover*

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (signed) This book deserves to be away from any flames or things that have the potential to burn

Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway One of THE books I won't stop loving and would re read just to get that warm fuzzy feeling again and again

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (signed) I would read it while I watch the rest of the building go up in smoke.