Monday 30 September 2013

Broken - A E Rought

Broken - A E Rought @Twitter
ISBN - 9781908844316
Publisher - Strange Chemistry
Release date - January 8th 2013
Find - Book Depository/Goodreads

'Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.

The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks. And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks' estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.
- Goodreads

I've been a fan of the Frankenstein story for quite some time, I think I was twelve when I first read it and I've lost count of how many times I've read it since. I hadn't read a retelling of Frankenstein until earlier this year when I read This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel which I actually got a while after I bought a copy of Broken. As a retelling (or maybe re-imagining is a better word) I wasn't sure how Broken would work being set in the twenty-first century and everything that comes with it, the fact that it was set in high school and with a romance running through the entire book made me hesitate even more. I needn't have worried though as I loved Broken and thought it was fantastic. I think that's the case because of A E Rought's beautiful writing, the plot is modern and up to date  but her writing still manages to hold on to that amazing nineteenth-century Gothic tone, full of lush descriptions and slow moving passages which completely hold your attention.

There's so much you could say about Broken but it's hard to do so without giving away major clues about things that happen, hopefully this is spoiler free! The story opens with Emma Gentry grieving for her dead boyfriend, Daniel, who died under tragic circumstances four months earlier - don't worry, you find out exactly how he died so you're not left hanging at the end of the book. She spends her evenings visiting the graveyard that she & Daniel used to spend time in, fully aware that Daniel isn't there as he was never buried with his parents donating his body to science. The last thing Emma wants to do is meet someone new but when new boy Alex Franks appears at Shelley High she doesn't appear to have much choice, finding herself drawn to this mysterious, strange boy and catching glimpses of his face from beneath the hoodie he permanently wears. Emma & Alex become close but she knows there is something going on, something huge that Alex is hiding, not least why every little thing he does reminds her of her dead boyfriend. A painful meeting with Alex's father, the esteemed Doctor Franks only deepens the mystery after he reacts badly to hearing Emma mention his son's name.

The pace of Broken moves slowly but in a good way, it gives you time to appreciate the wonderful writing and helps to build up the anticipation of things to come and boy do those things come! The last quarter of the book moves at a much faster pace as secrets are uncovered and devastating events are played out. Although you know what is coming the story kept me reading, wanting to know how everything is going to unfold. The ending, when it arrives, comes with a bang and as far as I'm concerned gives a satisfying conclusion to a compelling version of a well-loved classic. There is a sequel, Tainted, which I'll be reading very soon and is told from Alex's point of view but you could definitely read Broken as a standalone. I'm looking forward to seeing what A E Rought writes in the future as I'm definitely a fan now.

Something Wicked Returns Giveaway!

Welcome to the Something Wicked Returns Blog Hop Giveaway, hosted by Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings Candace@Candace's Book Blog, Maja@The Nocturnal Library and Ali@My Guilty Obsession!

Anyone who knows me is familiar with my love of all things Halloween and spooky so this month long giveaway is perfect! The prize for this giveaway is a book (up to the value of $15) that's spooky, scary, or terrifying - or all three! If you don't want to choose a title then you can pick either The Shining or Doctor Sleep from the master of scary fiction, Stephen King. The giveaway is open internationally as long as you live in a country that the Book Depository ships to, check out this list to see if your country is there. The giveaway starts now and runs until midnight on October 31st, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter!

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Check out all of the other blogs taking part for more chances to win spooky reads! Thanks for entering and good luck!

Sunday 29 September 2013

Blog Tour - Six Months Later Review & Interview

Welcome to my stop on the tour for the fabulous Six Months Later by Natalie D Richards hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club and check out all the other amazing blogs taking part here!

Six Months Later - Natalie D Richards
ISBN - 9781402285516
Publisher - Sourcebooks Fire
Release date - October 1st 2013
Find - Goodreads / Book Depository / AmazonUS (eBook) / AmazonUS (paperback) / Barnes & Noble / Indiebound

Chloe didn't think about it much when she nodded off in study hall on that sleepy summer day. But when she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can't remember the last six months of her life. Before, she'd been a mediocre student. Now, she's on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he's her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won't speak to her.

What happened to her?
And why can't she remember?

I love reading thrillers/suspense/mystery novels, as there aren't that many around in YA fiction when you do find one that sounds so original you just know it's going to be good and Six Months Later was no exception! When Chloe wakes up Six Months Later her world has changed beyond all recognition. She's gone from average student to A-grade student applying to all the best colleges, from a huge crush on the best looking boy in school to being said boy's long-term girlfriend, but worst of all, her best friend no longer wants anything to do with her. The first few minutes of waking up and realizing her world has changed were both satisfyingly creepy and wonderfully brought to life, it was truly horrifying for Chloe to discover that she really had gone to sleep in summer and woken up in winter. Even worse, realizing that the one person you want to call, that knows you the best, no longer appears to be part of your life and having no idea why. Right from the very beginning I had all sorts of weird and wonderful explanations about what had happened to Chloe, the truth was certainly not what I was expecting it to be but what an amazing idea. The whole story kept me guessing, just when I thought I'd worked out who was a good guy they turned out to be the bad guy and vice versa! 

There were some real 'love them/hate them' characters but one of the things that impressed me most was that Chloe's parents were very much involved in her life even if if they didn't appear to be much help at times which doesn't seem to be the norm in most YA books I've read over the years. I adored the character of Chloe from the beginning, not sure if it's because of the great writing but she came across as so real. I loved how even though she was confused and in danger for much of the book she kept on pushing to find out what had happened and what was still happening, even though her parents and so-called wonderful boyfriend kept insisting there was nothing wrong, with Chloe or themselves. I also adored Maggie, the best friend, who had gone through so much already during Chloe's 'lost' six months. I love that she made Chloe work to renew their friendship and to earn her respect again, that she didn't let Chloe waltz straight back into her life again. The other character that I really liked was Adam, the bad guy - or is he? I loved how he was there for Chloe, letting her lean on him even though he didn't want her to and wanting to help her knowing that he had his reasons for holding back. Thankfully any confusion over what he may or may not have done is cleared up by the end of the book so there are very few loose ends. Not so much a loose end but I would love to hear more about Julien, a girl from Chloe's class who obviously went through the same things as her and ended up moving away from her home. Who knows, maybe that would make a great novella???

Between the characters, the storyline and the beautifully descriptive writing Six Months Later kept me glued to the pages until the last one was turned, I read it in one sitting finishing about 4am the following morning so that's how much I liked it plus I desperately had to know who was really involved and why. I loved the twists and turns, the ups and downs, the thinking you've got it all worked out only to be proved wrong on the very next page, even the romance which was completely realistic - they all added up to one fantastic read. Six Months Later will no doubt feature in my top books of 2013 list, if you only read one YA thriller this year make it this one.

About Natalie:
At seven, Natalie D. Richards wrote about Barbara Frances Bizzlefishes (who wouldn't dare do the dishes.) Now she writes about awesome girls, broody boys, and all things dark and creepy. Natalie lives in Ohio (Go Bucks!) with her techno-wiz husband, three amazing kids, and a seventy pound dust-mop who swears he's the family dog. Her psychological thriller, Six Months Later, will be released on October 1, 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire. Until then, you'll probably find her writing her next book or trying to wade through the towers of dog-eared paperbacks that have taken over her bedroom.
 Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Natalie was kind enough to endure the Spanish Inquisition and answered a few bookish questions I had to ask her!

What books inspire you?
I like your wording, here!  I'm fortunate enough to write in a genre overflowing with amazing things to read.  But when I think inspiration, I think about the books that actually changed me--they grabbed me by the chin and shifted my perspective.  Books like John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible, Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why, Gayle Forman's If I Stay....those are the ones that changed everything for me.
What authors inspire you?
I admit, this one is impossible.  Writers, in general, inspire me.  Since I'm lucky enough to call many of them friends, I'm inspired pretty often!  But for your purposes, I'm going to go with writers that possess a voice and creativity that blows me away.  Hope that's okay!  
If I listed them all, I'd be here all day, but the list would never be complete without Neil Gaiman, Libba Bray, Suzanne Collins, Maggie Stiefvater, Laurie Halse Anderson, and my amazing blog-buddy for this tour, Romily Bernard.  
What's your favorite childhood book?
A Light In the Attic, The Hobbit, Jumanji, Frog and Toad books, and absolutely anything and everything by Dr. Seuss.  My baby nursery was Dr. Seuss.  And it was AWESOME.  
Do you like to listen to music whilst writing?  If so, what sort of music?
Yes, I do!  And boy do I listen to an oddball mix.  The xx, Florence & The Machine, Placebo, and Lana Del Rey were frequent repeats on my playlist for Six Months Later.  I tend to like music that's pretty dark and broody when I'm writing.  Music that sort of swallows me, if that makes any sense.
What's the last book you read?
Dare You To by Katie McGarry, I think.  Not positive though.  I've been reading a lot lately.  Dare You To is beyond awesome, for the record.  Go. Buy. Devour.
What's the last book you bought?
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han.  And I really want to read it, but work has to come first.  Dang it.
Apart from being an author, what's your dream job?
I really can't imagine doing anything else.  I usually go with editor or writing teacher.  Though it might be cool to own a bookstore, too. I'm sure I'd get SO much work done.  ;-)
What's the one question you'd love to be asked, but never have?
Hm....I'd love to be asked "Would you mind if I sent you these really cool pajama pants I found with Chewbacca/Blade Runner/Wile E. Coyote/insert-nearly-any-geek-character-here printed all over them?"
The answer would be, "Yes, Please!  I'll send you my size!"
Seriously, though, it's hard for me to think of a question I'd love to be asked, because I think bloggers are a heck of a lot better at it than I am.   My blogger interview questions have been a blast, and have managed to stump me a few times -- which is the mark of greatness in interviews, I think!
Fi, thank you so much for having me!   I'm so thrilled to be here! 

Natalie, thanks so much for writing a fabulous debut novel and for giving some great answers to my questions, if you should ever find the perfect geeky pajama pants feel free to send a pair my way ;) Last but not least, here's an amazing chance for lucky readers in the US/Canada to win a signed copy of the book & some promo goodies! The giveaway ends on October 3rd 2013, good luck!

Question of the Day

If you woke up Six Months Later who would be the first person you called?

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Saturday 28 September 2013

Book Haul #44

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews and Letterbox Love is a UK edition hosted by Narratively Speaking. Here we can share what new books we've picked up this past week. There are also lots of other 'book haul' memes out there for you to choose from!

A good week book-wise but a horrible couple of weeks health-wise, I'm having a major RA flare which seems to be mostly affecting my hands, elbows and shoulders - great for reading but terrible for taking notes, writing reviews and typing them up. My poor blog feels horribly neglected and my participation in Classics Retold is ridiculous, I had quite a few posts already done and scheduled to go but now I need to write reviews, pick some new WoW's and try to get ahead generally! Bear with me, I'm hoping this flare will be over soon :) Anyway, back to the important things - the books! Here's my haul for this week.


Doctor Sleep - Stephen King

The Falconer - Elizabeth May

Asylum - Madeleine Roux

The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland & Cut The Moon In Two - Catherynne M Valente

Beyond The Glass Slipper - Kate Wolford


Pawn - Aimee Carter

Into The Dark: The Shadow Prince - Bree Despain

White Space - Ilsa J Bick

Suburban Legends - Sam Stall
What did you get this week?

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Waiting On Wednesday #44 - Fearsome Dreamer

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

Fearsome Dreamer - Laure Eve @Twitter
ISBN - 9781471400803
Publisher - Hot Key Books @Twitter
Expected release date - October 3rd 2013
Find - Goodreads/Book Depository

'There is a world where gods you’ve never heard of have wound themselves into hearts, and choice has led its history down a different path.

This is a world where France made a small, downtrodden island called England part of its vast and bloated empire.

There are people here who can cross a thousand miles with their minds. There are rarer people still who can move between continents in the blink of an eye.

These people are dangerous.

And wanted. Desperately wanted.

Apprentice hedgewitch Vela Rue knows that she is destined for more. She knows being whisked off from a dull country life to a city full of mystery and intrigue is meant to be. She knows she has something her government wants, a talent so rare and precious and new that they will do anything to train her in it.

But she doesn’t know that she is being lied to. She doesn’t know that the man teaching her about her talent is becoming obsessed by her, and considered by some to be the most dangerous man alive...'
- Goodreads

When I was at the Patrick Ness event at the beginning of the month I had the pleasure of meeting Laure. I'm sure she thought I was a blithering idiot, I really can't do the whole talking to authors thing. I get so stupidly nervous which, considering my extremely advanced age is utterly ridiculous but she is absolutely lovely and has great taste in tee's! Anyway, Laure's books sounds amazing, I'm intrigued about what an apprentice hedgewitch does and I'd just like it now!

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #24 - Best Sequels!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is -

Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

This was a tough one yet again! I had a list of over twenty sequels before I cut it down to ten, maybe I should have posted all of them... Here are my top ten sequels, in no particular order!

The Ask & The Answer - Patrick Ness

Lost In A Good Book - Jasper Fforde

The Pool of Two Moons - Kate Forsyth

The Two Towers - J R R Tolkien

Stolen - Kelley Armstrong

The Drawing of the Three - Stephen King

Dust & Decay - Jonathan Maberry

Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins

A Clash Of Kings - George R R Martin

Girl of Nightmares - Kendare Blake

What are your favorite sequels?

Saturday 21 September 2013

Book Haul #43

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews and Letterbox Love is a UK edition hosted by Narratively Speaking. Here we can share what new books we've picked up this past week. There are also lots of other 'book haul' memes out there for you to choose from!

The week started off well as far as trying not to buy books was concerned, I had a fantastic time at the Samantha Shannon signing and managed to only come home with two books (including Bone Season, so nice to have a physical copy!) but by the end of the week? Well, that was a different matter. And I forgot it was library week too, although I only got four books this time which is the lowest number of books I've ever got from the library!


Descendant - Lesley Livingston

Unthinkable - Nancy Werlin

The Ravenglass Eye - Tom Fletcher

The Dragon's Path - Daniel Abraham

The Vampire of Highgate - Asa Bailey

Charlotte Markham & the House of Darkling - Michael Boccacino

The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon


The Fall - Claire Merle (from Viv at Serendipity Reviews)


Heaven - Christoph Marzi

Promise of Blood - Brian McClellan

Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes

Slated - Teri Terry
What did you get this week?

Thursday 19 September 2013

Stuck In A Good Book Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Stuck In A Good Book Giveaway Hop, hosted by Stuck in Books and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer!The prize for this giveaway is a book that's so good you're stuck to the pages until it's finished! I started writing a list of books that I've been stuck in this year and when it hit 50 titles I thought probably better narrow the list down slightly. So, you can choose from any of the following titles and the giveaway is open internationally as long as you live in a country that the Book Depository ships to, check out this list to see if your country is there.

Bitter Greens

Viral Nation

The Testing

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane


The Fairest Of Them All

The Weight of Souls

If You Find Me

The House of the Scorpion

Eleanor & Park

The giveaway starts now and runs until midnight on September 25th, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter!

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Check out all of the other blogs taking part for more chances to win! Thanks for entering and good luck!

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