Thursday, 31 May 2012

Review: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride


Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Format: Hardcover
Released: October 12th, 2010
Rating: 7/10


Amazon summary:

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak. Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else. With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

Review:

Firstly, can we all just take a minute to appreciate the genius title of this book? It rolls off the tongue, and makes me want to listen to Ironik's song of almost-the-same name. Also, it just sounds cool, don'tcha think?! I'm glad the actual book lived up to its title, because if it hadn't, I'd have been more than a bit disappointed. I wasn't though, and instead I'm simultaneously enjoying a new appreciation for werewolves and hankering for a sequel.

Each chapter of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer opens with song lyrics that give you a hint of what's to come. As soon as I saw that, I knew I was in for a good read of dead people and their masters. I never expected werewolves to play a big part in the story, nor did I expect it to be as laugh-out-loud funny and snarky as it was. It's what I imagine the '99 movie Idle Hands would have been like if it was a book: sharp, clever and ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek. You know the saying heads will roll? Yes? Well, in this book, they really do. I was shocked for a couple of seconds but then had the urge to burst into laughter. I'm sure that's not the right response to someone getting decapitated, but whatever. McBride delivers it like an unexpected punch to the face, and I loved it.

Samhain Corvus LaCroix is a fry cook at a fast food joint, and he hates it. He's also a skater boy, general layabout and, oh, hey, a necromancer. Bet he didn't see that one coming. He's soon stuck with a power-mad necromancer who goes by the oh-so-evil name of Douglas, and finds himself imprisoned next to a naked female werewolf called Brid. Either he's the luckiest guy on earth, or he's soon to be flayed by a raiser of the dead. I'll let you decide which it is.

McBride's plot is compelling, her dialogue is snappy a la Master Joss Whedon, and her characters rock. Sam's like a deer caught in headlights at first, but he quickly steps up to the necro-plate and does some damage. Him and Brid are by far my favourites from this book - I didn't really get attached to any of the others, though Brooke would be next on my list - and I do hope I'll get to see more of them in the future. I have no idea if this is the start of a series or a standalone, but I hope it's the former. Necromancy is a neglected theme in YA paranormal fiction, and Lish McBride is well on her way to rectifying that. Rock on dude!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Review: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford


Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: Hardcover
Released: September 1st, 2010
Rating: 7/10


Amazon summary:

The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die . . .and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.

Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year's Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.


Review:

I'm quite a big fan of Natalie Standiford, and it all stems back to when I first read How to Say Goodbye in Robot. I fell head over heels in love with that book and, while Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters was good, for me it didn't come close to Standiford's debut novel.

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters is a contemporary story about three sisters and their rich family life. Almighty, their incredibly wealthy grandmother, tells them she's dying, someone has upset her and that the family will be cut out of her will unless the culprit confesses their crimes by New Year's Day. How deliciously cool and twisted is that? I think it's quite a genius plot, if I'm honest. It's like what would happen if the Pretty Little Liars had to open up about all of their sordid affairs! Teenagers and secrets go well, which is obviously what Standiford tapped into here.

This book is split into three parts, each told by one of the Sullivan sisters: Norrie, Jane and Sassy. They all have secrets to spill - some worse than others, some truly disastrous for the family and some that are a bit misguided. None of the confessions really shocked me or were as bad as I thought they would be, though I have to say that Jane's is probably the worst. Hers was my favourite part of the book, actually. She's my kind of girl!

While I read this book pretty fast, I didn't find it all that compelling. Not like the aforementioned How to Say Goodbye in Robot. None of the Sullivan sisters struck a particularly strong chord with me, though I did enjoy reading about their lives in the upper class.

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters is a fun book that unfolds piece by piece, and the idea is great. The characters unfortunately didn't win me over like they could have done, but they're still a worthy addition to what I hope will be a long YA writing career for Standiford. Now to wait for her next book, The Secret Tree. It sounds all kinds of awesome!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Review: Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales


Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover
Released: October 5th, 2010
Rating: 5/10


Amazon summary:

It’s Violet’s junior year at the Westfield School. She thought she’d be focusing on getting straight As, editing the lit mag, and figuring out how to talk to boys without choking on her own saliva. Instead, she’s just trying to hold it together in the face of cutthroat academics, her crush’s new girlfriend, and the sense that things are going irreversibly wrong with her best friend, Katie. When Katie starts making choices that Violet can’t even begin to fathom, Violet has no idea how to set things right between them. Westfield girls are trained for success—but how can Violet keep her junior year from being one huge, epic failure?

Review:

I wanted to love this book and, while I liked it, I didn't think it lived up to all the online hype I'd heard. I think this was a case of my high expectations getting the better of me, as I was fully prepared for a laugh-a-minute book like Sloppy Firsts but at a posh girl's school. Maybe my sense of humour was out of sync, because I didn't find it all that hilarious. Certain snippets of dialogue made me laugh, but that was about the extent of it for me.

I liked both Violet and Katie and their different personalities. Their friendship was one of those that lasts forever, even though it may hit a barrier or two along the way. Acceptance and diversity were also things I took away from Mostly Good Girls, in the sense that it's okay to stand out from a crowd of seemingly identical girls. What's right for one person won't be right for someone else, and Leila Sales did a great job of highlighting just that.

The private school setting was awesome, and it reminded me of Constance Billard from Gossip Girl. That is exactly what I imagine all private girl's schools to be like, complete with uniforms and a distinct lack of boys. Basically my worst nightmare! I'm looking forward to reading more from this author. She's definitely a talented writer, but this book unfortunately didn't do much for me. I hope I'll like Leila's next book, Past Perfect, more than I did this one. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: Such a Rush

Waiting on Wednesday idea from Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Such a Rush
 by Jennifer Echols

* Published by: Gallery Books (US)
* Format: Hardcover (US)
* Release Date: July 10th, 2012 (US)
* On Amazon: here


Summary from Amazon.com:



High school senior Leah Jones loves nothing more than flying. While she’s in the air, it’s easy to forget life with her absentee mother at the low-rent end of a South Carolina beach town. When her flight instructor, Mr. Hall, hires her to fly for his banner advertising business, she sees it as her ticket out of the trailer park. And when he dies suddenly, she’s afraid her flying career is gone forever.

     But Mr. Hall’s teenage sons, golden boy Alec and adrenaline junkie Grayson, are determined to keep the banner planes flying. Though Leah has crushed on Grayson for years, she’s leery of getting involved in what now seems like a doomed business—until Grayson betrays her by digging up her most damning secret. Holding it over her head, he forces her to fly for secret reasons of his own, reasons involving Alec. Now Leah finds herself drawn into a battle between brothers—and the consequences could be deadly.


I *love* Jennifer Echols. Ever since I read The Boys Next Door. She's really good at writing hot, contemporary teen romance, and her characters are always people you either wish you knew or wish you were. Such a Rush is her first hardcover release, and I hope it does well enough to warrant more. If you've never read one of her books, check her out immediately!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Night Circus Blog Tour: Exclusive Extract and Giveaway!


The Night Circus is published in the UK in paperback this week, and to celebrate Vintage have organised a pretty cool blog tour featuring extracts and other fun things. If you're nor too familiar with the book, here's what it's all about:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads: Opens at Nightfalll Closes at Dawn As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears. Le Cirque des Rêves The Circus of Dreams. Now the circus is open. Now you may enter.

You can also find out more at the Vintage site here.


~

Exclusive Extract!

As part of the blog tour I have an exclusive extract for you guys to read as well as a giveaway that you will find at the bottom of this page. Hope you enjoy this little taste of The Night Circus!


Excerpt from Nights at the Circus: The Collected Writings of Friedrick S. Thiessen (1905) Original article first published March 21st, 1895.
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Chicago Columbian Exposition with my friend Mr. Ethan Barris. We both remarked on multiple occasions that it was reminiscent of Le Cirque des Rêves, only on a grander scale.
Mr. Barris was particularly taken with the remarkable observation wheel of Mr. Ferris, and said that he might like to create something similar for the circus. I imagined a wheel towering over the striped tents and thought it would be fitting.
What Mr. Barris devised is something rather different. Truly, I doubt anyone who rides The Stargazer would guess that the work of Mr. Ferris provided the inspiration for it. I would never fathom as much had I not been privy to its development.
The Stargazer is only open to the public when the night is clear. On cloudy, overcast nights it is closed. It is, as far as I know, the only attraction in the circus with such stipulations.
When one enters the tent, they are met with a long, winding staircase that is often occupied by the waiting line. On the walls there are diagrams, framed maps of constellations. At the top of the stair there is a small platform. From the platform there is nothing to be seen but blackness and a white-costumed circus worker who guides riders to their seats.
The seats, which are something like a sleigh or carriage, move slowly along the edge of the platform. They do not stop completely, but they move gently enough to enter or exit carefully. Inside they are quite comfortable, cushioned seats with high backs and walls, all in deepest black. They might sit three or four people across, though most ride solo or in pairs.
When the slowly-moving cart reaches the end of the platform, some hinge or other clever mechanism releases and the cart falls just a bit and sways as if it is only suspended from above, though it is too dark to discern how. At the same time it tilts backwards. And once in a reclining position, one can understand how The Stargazer was so named.
The tent has no top. The upper portion of it is open, uncovered. The night sky is fully visible above. The elevated height removes any horizon or tree line, the high walls of the cart disrupt all peripheral vision. One is left with nothing but an expanse of stars and darkness.
It is different from watching the stars on one’s back in a field, both because of the altered perspective and because the gentle swaying of the cart adds a sensation of weightlessness.
There is no sound in the Stargazer. It is preternaturally quiet. Though there are other riders traveling in a slow circle, they can be neither seen nor heard. It is a wondrous experience, peaceful and lulling. Sometimes I feel it seems too soon when I reach the platform again, guided by another circus worker to another stair, this one descending back from the heavens to the ground. It is an amazing feat of engineering, the great wheel turned on its side. Though I think perhaps part of the charm is that the work of the engineer remains invisible.
Of course, the experiences at Le Cirque des Rêves range from such remarkable feats of engineering and architecture to tents that are simple and straightforward in their construction, though no less wondrous. There is one such tent that I am rather fond of, myself.
It is called The Drawing Room. The interior of the tent is something like a gallery, with walls along the sides and partitions spread throughout the space. Not a large room, it is low-ceilinged and almost cozy. The walls alternate from solid black in some sections to solid white in others, and there are bowls and bowls of chalk. The bowls, which are black or white depending on which color chalk they contain, are suspended in the air with cords or sunken into the ground. The chalk itself comes in different sizes, thin and thick to produce different lines. It creates remarkably little dust. You may draw whatever you wish, wherever you wish. I find I spend more time looking at the images and words left by others than I do making my own, though I never leave the tent without leaving something behind. A bird or quotation or, if I am feeling particularly artistic, a rendition of a clock. It is freeing to design a clock without worrying oneself about the mechanics of it. It lives on the wall, frozen at a specific time and not ticking. Though perhaps then it is not really a clock at all, and simply the idea of a clock. I suppose it does not matter. I find it enjoyable.
I cannot resist entering The Drawing Room whenever I happen upon it, for it is always unique. Because it is an interactive experience, it is different every night. There are always new images to see. The drawings will range from the haphazard scrawls of children to beautiful renditions drawn by clearly gifted hands. Often there are images culled from the rest of the circus: cats or acrobats or mythological creatures from the Carousel. And every night it is different. I imagine at the end of each night the walls are cleaned of chalk and left as blank canvas for the next evening. Though even when I have visited The Drawing Room at an early hour, there is much to be seen upon its walls. Perhaps some circus members add their own drawings before opening time so there is something for those early visitors to see. Or perhaps it is just one of the many little mysteries of the circus.


 Giveaway!

I have two (2) shiny new paperback copies of The Night Circus to give away, courtesy of Vintage. All you have to do is fill in the form below. Good luck!

Rules & info:
  • Open to UK only.
  • End date: June 2nd, 2012.
  • One entry per person.
  • You do NOT have to follow my blog to enter.
  • Books will be sent out by the publisher.




Monday, 21 May 2012

Review: Spaceheadz by Jon Scieszka



Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Format: Paperback
Released: August 4th, 2011
Rating: 7/10


Amazon summary:


Michael K has just started at his new school, but as if his very first day wasn't going to be hard enough, he's been forced to make friends with the two other new kids who are really weird. But, as Michael K soon finds out, Bob and Jennifer are not actually weird kids, they're aliens! Real aliens who have invaded our planet with one very important mission to complete: to convince 3,400,001 kids to BE SPHDZ too, or the Earth gets turned off! But with a hamster as their leader, "kids" who talk like walking advertisements and Michael K as their first convert, will the SPHDZ be able to keep their cover and complete their mission?

Review:

Spaceheadz is a mad little book, and just happens to be the first in a new series from the talented team that is Jon Scieszka and Francesco Sedita. It's funny and zany, has fantastic illustrations and includes a character called Major Fluffy. He's the leader of the aliens, and is a teeny tiny talking hamster. I want him and I want him NOW!

Spaceheadz chronicles Michael K's first day at his new school, and his chance meeting with aliens Bob and Jennifer. Their mission is to turn over 3 million kids into Spaceheadz and save the world from being turned off. It's a bit job to take on, which is why they need Michael K's help. He knows what all the world's odd groceries are, and he can explain the human way of life to the aliens. He's quite handy to have around really, and is also Bob and Jennifer's first successful Spaceheadz!

As well as hamster fun and alien invasions, Spaceheadz is also full of scientific facts, ranging from gravity and physics to single root systems. I'm 25 and even I learnt some new things, then I went straight online and registered on the interactive website mentioned inside. I'm now a Spaceheadz, and I have to say I'm rather proud of that. I wonder what my first mission will be?

Friday, 18 May 2012

Review: Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi


Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's
Format: Hardcover
Released: October 25th, 2005
Rating: 9/10


Amazon summary:

In addition to the fifteen creatures featured in the first five Spiderwick adventures, this extensive volume features an additional fifteen creatures to delight and astonish, such as mermaids, gargoyles and leprechauns. It also features snippets from Arthur Spiderwick's journal...information that specifically links the Guide to the Spiderwick Chronicles. There are even cameos from all the favourites in the series. From clever and informative introductory sections on essential materials and faerie world basics, through sections featuring fabulous faerie species, to an addendum created by Jared Grace, correcting Arthur Spiderwick and cross-referencing with the story books, this is the field guide to end all field guides!

Review:

If you're a fan of the Spiderwick Chronicles, you *need* to get this book if you haven't done already! It's a beautiful large format hardback that really does look like an authentic magical field guide, and it's also fully illustrated. Amazing!

I like the Spiderwick Chronicles because of the mystical creatures that crop up. I always want to know more about species like this, and this book has told me all I need to know and more. It's written as if this really is Arthur Spiderwick's journal, which is so much fun. I mean, who are we to say that faeries and boggarts aren't real?!

The Field Guide starts with pages about The Invisible World and The Sight, then goes on to equipment and protection. You'll learn why a satchel is useful (it carries everything) and why a magnifying glass is essential (it's useful for seeing smaller creatures). From then on, this book is basically incredible, and it's a must read for anyone interested in faeries and other creatures.

Each section explores a different part of the world. It goes from Arthur Spiderwicks's house and yard to what lives in lakes, streams and seas. It also covers night creatures, hills, mountains and lots more. Everything you want is in this book, and each creature is accompanied by lengthy descriptions and amazing illustrations. Honestly, I can't describe just how beautiful this book is!

Arthur Spiderwick's Field Guide is essential for anyone interested in creatures like this. Even if you've never read the Spiderwick Chronicles, this book will prove to be an invaluable resource for the next time you need to identify a sprite or goblin - you have to know what you're dealing with!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Waiting On Wednesday: A Long Way from You

Waiting on Wednesday idea from Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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A Long Way from You
 by Gwendolyn Heasley

* Published by: HarperTeen (US)
* Format: Paperback (US)
* Release Date: June 5th, 2012 (US)
* On Amazon: here


Summary from Amazon.com:

For too long, Kitsy has had to satisfy her dreams of becoming a real artist by giving her friends makeovers before prom. So when her best friend Corrinne's family offers to sponsor her for a summer art course in New York City, Kitsy bids a temporary good-bye to Texas to say hello to the West Village. 

Between navigating the subway and the New Yorkers—namely, the Art Boy who has a nice trick of getting under her skin—Kitsy knows that this summer is going to be about a lot more than figure drawing.


I really enjoyed Gwendolyn's first book, Where I Belong, and this one sounds like it will in the same lighthearted vein. Even though A Long Way from You is set in NYC, I'm sure it will still have plenty of southern charm and Texas accents. I'm hoping there'll be a cowboy again too... you can never have too many of those!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins


Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Format: Hardcover
Released: September 29th, 2011
Rating: 8/10


Amazon summary:

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, the outfit - more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. 


Review:

Stephanie Perkins is, without a doubt, one of my favourite contemporary YA writers. She's up there with the likes of Jenny Han and Elizabeth Scott, who are also both brilliant. Perkins' novels are really easy to read and get lost in, and Lola and the Boy Next Door is a fantastic, romantic addition to her growing library of novels. I was hooked within the first couple of chapters and didn't put it down until I'd finished it!

As was the case with Perkins' first novel, Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door features characters so layered and complex that they actually seem real. So much time and effort seems to have gone into making them this way, and every little detail is presented and explained on the page. I come away from these books feeling like I really know these people and understand what they're going through, and that to me is great storytelling.

Lola and the Boy Next Door is about exactly what the title suggests: Lola Nolan and Cricket Bell, the boy who moves back to the house next door after two years away. Even though Lola already has a boyfriend, the sexy bad boy Max, there's something about Cricket that leads her to reevaluate her life and her choices. It's typical of teen drama, there's nothing new in terms of plot, but the way Perkins writes her characters is what makes all the difference. It seems almost effortless, although I'm sure it actually isn't!

I liked every character in Lola and the Boy Next Door, especially lovely Cricket and Lola's parents Andy and Nathan. They're the coolest gay parents I've read about, and props to Perkins for rightfully including them in her story. She rocks! I also liked Lola, but not as much as Anna, which brings me to one of the most exciting parts of the book: cameos by Anna (*fangirl*) and Etienne (*swoon*)! I couldn't have asked for more, really.

Although I really did enjoy Lola and the Boy Next Door, parts of it seemed a little unrealistic, like how Lola could make an item of clothing perfectly in just one night. I also didn't like it quite as much as Anna and the French Kiss, though it wasn't far off. I can't wait to read Perkins' next book, even though it's not being published until 2013. I'm sure it will be well worth the wait!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

GIVEAWAY: Win Jenna Burtenshaw's Wintercraft Trilogy! (UK only)


 Thanks to the nice folk at Headline publishers, I have one set of the Wintercraft trilogy by Jenna Burtenshaw to give away. Here's more about the series from Amazon UK:


Ten years ago Kate Winters’ parents were taken by the High Council’s wardens to help with the country’s war effort.
Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane – the High Council’s most feared man – recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council’s experiments into the veil, and he’s convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace.
The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft – a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft.

One lucky winner will get copies of Wintercraft, Wintercraft: Blackwatch and Wintercraft: Legacy, complete with lovely UK covers! All you have to do to enter is read the rules below and fill in the form. Good luck!

Rules & info:
  • Open to UK only.
  • End date: May 20th, 2012.
  • One entry per person.
  • You do NOT have to follow my blog to enter.
  • Books will be sent out by the publisher.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Hunt Blog Tour: Andrew Fukuda's Movie Cast!


 Movie Casting for The Hunt 
by Andrew Fukuda

When I wrote The Hunt, I didn’t have any actors or actresses in mind so my picks below are somewhat inexact fits to how I picture the characters in my head. Still, the actors I’ve chosen have a certain essence that closely matches their respective characters. So here are my picks: what do you think?

Gene – He’s enigmatic, a loner, intelligent. He’s also got a vulnerability which he keeps carefully hidden. Anyone playing him on the big screen would have to exude depth and emotion through a bland expression. Not easy. But I think both Penn Badgley and Ian Somerhalder have the chops to do it, and I can’t decide between them.



Ashley June – Vivacious and direct, she’s popular, in demand, and with a facial structure that screams extrovert – even when expressionless. I could go with either Emma Stone or Amanda Seyfried (she’d have to dye her hair, though).



Sissy – She’s tough, athletic, and striking in appearance. Anyone who’s watched Ana Ivanovic in action on a tennis court knows she fits the bill. As does Phoebe Tonkin. Maybe you’ve never heard of her, but watch this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOP_x9gnDUs) and tell me she isn’t the very personification of Sissy.



Epap – Tall and gangly but with a heart that, given the chance, could move mountains. Andrew Garfield has always struck me as an actor capable of playing characters on the cusp of such growth and self-discovery.



Gene’s Father – A man enshrouded in mystery and with extreme gravitas. Daniel Craig has that gravitas.



The Director – A smarmy character with the kind of punctilious demeanor that makes you want to punch him, even if it is through a movie screen. Anyone who watched Christoph Waltz chew the scenery in Inglorious Bastards knows he’d be perfect as The Director.



So what do you think? Those of you who’ve read The Hunt, who would you cast?



Friday, 11 May 2012

Review: I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella


Publisher: Bantam Press
Format: Hardcover
Released: February 16th, 2012
Rating: 8/10

Amazon summary:

A couple of glasses of bubbly with the girls at a charity do and Poppy's life has gone into meltdown. Not only has she lost her engagement ring, but in the panic that followed, she's lost her phone too. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number with the hotel staff. It was meant to be! Except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn't agree. He wants his phone back, and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, phone messages and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents, can things get any more tangled?

Review:

I don't read many adult novels at all - I pick and choose the odd ones that I fancy - but I will always read anything Sophie Kinsella writes. I think she's absolutely hilarious and very easy to read, and I've Got Your Number is no exception. I laughed, I gasped, I urged the characters to do things they so obviously needed to. You could say I was a little bit invested in their fictional lives!

Of all Kinsella's standalone novels, I've only read The Undomestic Goddess (I do have the others waiting, though). I've read all the Shopaholic series and love those, and am really glad that I've Got Your Number was worth the wait. Once again there are embarrassing moments you can't even imagine happening to you, realistic characters and quite an unusual premise. Kinsella does tend to think outside the box when it comes to her standalone novels and I really like that.

I've Got Your Number starts when Poppy Wyatt loses her engagement ring and then her beloved mobile phone. She finds a discarded one in a bin, and soon realises that it's connected to businessman Sam Roxton [insert swoon here]. There's plenty of texts and emails sent back and forth and each person helps the other in some way. It's a fast-moving story that incorporates Poppy's girly world with Sam's strictly business one, and it works.

I enjoy Sophie Kinsella's books because of her down to earth characters, realism and humour. Although certain events probably wouldn't happen to any of us, they *could*, and that's what I relate to. Kinsella also always fleshes out every single character in her books, even people who don't make many appearances. Wanda (Poppy's fiancee's mother) was one of my favourites from I've Got Your Number, and I would have liked to have seen more of her. She made me laugh!

I would highly recommend I've Got Your Number, and all of Sophie Kinsella's other books, to anyone who enjoys titles by Carole Matthews or Sarra Manning. I'm no expert when it comes to adult chick-lit fiction, but those are similar authors I've enjoyed and read as much as possible. Sometimes a good, funny book is all you need in life, and Sophie Kinsella can provide just that. I already can't wait for her next book!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Guest Post: Rebecca Serle Talks When You Were Mine!



When You Were Mine is published by Simon & Schuster in the UK and is in all good bookshops now. Thanks to Rebecca for writing this fun post for me!




Rebecca Serle

Hey There, It’s me here, Rebecca Serle. The author of When You Were Mine—a modern re-telling of Romeo and Juliet from the perspective of Rosaline, the girl Romeo was supposed to love. Maybe you’ve seen my tagline: “What if the greatest love story ever told was the wrong one?” Challenging Romeo and Juliet? What was I thinking?

Great question.

A lot of people have been asking me how I came up with the idea for When You Were Mine, and the truth is the book was born out of my own heartbreak—sappy, I know, but we all start somewhere, right? I was completely and totally devastated over a boy. One who had recently, just, forgotten about me for someone else. I was over at my best friend’s apartment and we were talking about love stories. We were watching Bridget Jones’s Diary, too. Do I sound like a cliché? I sure felt like one.

In the midst of my sobbing, Romeo and Juliet came up and with it this question: “Whatever happened to Rosaline?”

 I felt like I had stumbled on a buried treasure chest. I started writing the next day.

Rosaline is so much of me. We journeyed together, she and I. Everything she learns in When You Were Mine were lessons I, myself, was learning. I taught her and she taught me. That may sound silly, but if it wasn’t for this book I’d never be here—far on the other side with (hopefully) some perspective to offer.

My one hope for When You Were Mine is that it touches you. I’d like Rosaline to be your friend, if you’ll let her. I know heartbreak is a universal experience—I also know how lonely it can feel. Has anyone ever been in this much pain? I’m here to tell you that yes, they have. I’m also here to tell you that there is life after--- life as a published author, as it turns out. In other words, it gets better. And pretty soon you wake up to find yourself wiser, older, more sure of yourself and your place in this world. And that boy? You can’t remember why you ever cried over him to begin with.

I hope you enjoy the book! And I hope that you’ll stop by and visit me at www.rebeccaserle.com or chat with me on twitter: @RebeccaASerle

With love,

Rebecca