A round-up: Because it’s been a while.

I am very, very sorry for peppering you all with reviews. I know personally that other posts are a little more…enticing. But reviews are definitely important. Here’s a bit of a round-up – I won’t be doing one like usual because it’s been a while since I did my last one and it’s too hard and too long to list everything that I’ve done since February (yes it’s been a while).

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The rules:

•Post a sticker – whether it be mine or your own (provided it has Counting the Stars on it).
•Either a) leave a link to your post in the comments below or b) tell me your answers in the comments – either is fine!
•Try to post titles under at least a few of the categories below.

Bought:

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  • The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

And via my Kindle:

Magonia (Magonia, #1)Made You Up

  • Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
  • Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Gifted:

We went away in April, and my mum was kind enough to buy me a book to take.

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  • Cress by Marissa Meyer

And she was also kind enough to buy me A Darker Shade of Magic when it was a Kindle Monthly Deal.

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

Read: 

Since this is already all over the place, here are my most recent reads:

  • Never, Always, Sometimes by Adi Alsaid
  • White Space by Isla J. Bick
  • The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Fae by C. J. Abedi
  • Phoenix Island by John Dixon
  • Need by Carrie Jones
  • The Boy Meets Girl Massacre by Ainslie Hogarth

To be read:

  • The Wrong Girl by C. J. Archer
  • Captivate by Carrie Jones

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I hope you liked this post and for sticking with me! Please feel free to share what books you’ve recently bought/read in the comments! I’m always interested.

Review: Skulk

Skulk by Rosie Best

Skulk

Publication date:  January 1st 2013

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Number of pages: 387

Series: Skulk (1#)

Genre: YA Paranormal

Source: Received in exchange for review. This has not influenced my review.

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Goodreads synopsis:

When Meg witnesses the dying moments of a shapeshifting fox and is given a beautiful and powerful stone, her life changes forever. She is plunged into the dark world of the Skulk, a group of shapeshifting foxes.

As she learns about the other groups of shapeshifters that lurk around London – the Rabble, the Horde, the Cluster and the Conspiracy – she becomes aware of a deadly threat against all the shapeshifters. They must put aside all their enmity and hostility and fight together to defeat it.

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Review:

Okay, I’m not gonna lie: my expectations for this book weren’t exactly extremely high. And before you go off skulking (geddit?!) let me explain.

You see, I’m not terrible keen on shapeshifter/talking animal books. Werewolves aren’t too bad but generally, this is a no-go area for me. But what can I say? I was pleasantly surprised by Skulk. Hoesntly, I wasn’t completely wrapped in the shapeshifter business, but really I thought that the author pulled it off quite well.

I absolutely loved the way that the author had seamlessly incorporated London into this book. I could really vividly picture it and it was actually one of the things I loved most about this book.

I have never come across a main character who does graffiti before. It was really interesting to see it from a different perspective, rather than just the defacing scribble of juvenile delinquents as it tends to be portayed as (or at least where I live). It was really cool to see it talked about as an actual art form with passionate supporters.

Overall I thought that Skulk was entertaining enough. The pacing was reasonable and I really liked the world that the author had created, with all the different stones and species (if that’s what you’d call them). I wasn’t super into the romance, at least not at first. I think that it grew on me after a while. I actually lost interest in the story a bit towards the end as well.

Probably my major issue with this book is the unrealistc reactions the main character had to a certain couple events. I am going to go ahead and describe them because they happen very early on in the book. First off, the main character witnesses someone shapeshift, and then die at the hands of a vicious fog in front of her eyes (keeping in mind she doesn’t actually know shapeshifters are real until that moment) and then her basic reaction is along the lines of ‘yeah, alright’. Really? And then she HERSELF shapeshifts for the first time, and yet again, she barely even reacts.

I think that this book was alright. It’s the kind of book you pick up should the chance present itself.

3/5 comets
The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before…

Add Skulk to Goodreads

 

 

Apologies for the sketchy-ness

If you follow any other blogs (how could you?!), you will probably be well and truly sick of bloggers going away and coming back with a post complaining about their problems.

Well I’m sorry ok?

Just kidding.

There are multiple reasons why there is a lack of posts on this blog.

1) School

Yes, I’m playing THAT card. But it is a fantastic reason. A terrible reason, actually. As a Year 11 student, I have my first exams coming up not next week, but spread over the two weeks after that. Do you know what that means? I have to sit five three hour tests that can be worth as much as up to 50% of my grade, which scares me. That’s a lot of essays, people. So I have been spending all my time doing assignments and tests and now I have to study for these things.

2) Holidays

During my last holidays I went away for a week. And the entire week at home was spent trying to rush through all my holiday homework so I could get it done = no time to blog.

3) My other blog(s)

Recently I have set up another two blogs for my other two interests. I’ve almost completed the design of one of them, but again I haven’t really had time.

4) THIS blog’s design

Before I could post again, I absolutely had to change my blog design. I apologise for the abomination that it was.

—-

So what I plan to do is begin posting again on the three days I have after exams before I go to school. Who knows if I’ll post before then?!

Well if you do know, please tell me.

The Atrocity of the Real World.

I found about this thing called ‘the real world’ the other day. Apparently other people have been living there for a long time.

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But anyway, I was talking with my friend at lunch and (for some reason) we were talking about this couple and I was happily like, “I ship them.” Then I was really proud because I used “cool speak” and beamed at my friend happily.

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But she was staring at me like this:

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I got an answer somewhere along the lines of a confused “what?”.

Tragically I can’t remember the conversation, but it probably went little like this:

“You know, shipping.”

“What?”

“SHIPPING.”

“What?”

“Shippingshippingshipping.”

So basically I ended up explaining what ‘shipping’ means. She was amused. Then my other friend came and my friend was like something along the lines of: “Hey! Liv ships something.”

And then I had to explain the whole shipping thing again.

And then I had to explain the whole thing again to yet another unrelated person at the end of the day.

#fangirlproblems

But basically what happened was that I discovered that perhaps the word ‘shipping’ is a fangirl only thing, not “cool speak”. I was pretty crushed. I had been pretty proud.

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But deep breaths later I came to the conclusion that I just speak a second language. Fangirl language.

I don’t know if it’s just people around me who don’t know the “flingo” (fangirl lingo. Just came up with that then. COPYRIGHTED. MWAHAHAHAHA) or if normal cool people elsewhere do use these terms as well. Feel free to let me know.

Oh my goodness. People who speak flingo can be “flinguists”. I love my nerdiness. NERD PRIDE.

But I can see this problem arising again with phrases like “OTP”. It’s hard being a flinguist.

 

A Small Madness Review

A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

A Small Madness

Publication date: January 28th 2015

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Number of pages: 240

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction

Source: Received in exchange for review (thank you so much Allen & Unwin!!). This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Rose didn’t tell anyone about it. She wondered if it showed. She looked at herself in the mirror and turned this way and then that way. She stood as close to the mirror as she could, leaning over the bathroom basin, looking into her own eyes until they disappeared behind the fog of her breath. Looking for something. Some evidence that she was different now. Something had shifted inside her, a gear being ratcheted over a clunky cog, gaining torque, starting her up. But it didn’t show. How could all of these feelings not show? She was a woman now but it didn’t show and she couldn’t tell anyone.

A devastating, compelling novel that will get everyone talking, from the author of Creepy and Maud.

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Review:

My head hurts so badly right now. It’s expected since it was ONLY TWISTED TO EPIC PROPORTIONS.

There just aren’t words for what this book made me go through. Thank goodness for that, actually.

A Small Madness tells the story of a girl named Rose. I will warn you, that if you are really uncomfortable with the topic of teen pregnancy or particularly, sex, in books then I’m telling you now that you will not be comfortable with this book. This is a raw, gritty portrayal of teen pregnancy and the author doesn’t gloss over anything.

But that’s one of the reasons why this book really touched me.

We see how the way that the main character, Rose, is forced to deal with her pregnancy and how it transforms her. The things she does. I can’t even. It’s so heartbreaking and really does bring up themes that really aren’t dealt with enough in YA.

There are many reasons which drew me to this book. The initial being the both the topic and the writing style. I’ve never read anything before on teen pregnancy and I was pretty curious. Also, from the synopsis I could tell I would like the writing style (I love books written with that kind of detached but yet very intimate and descriptive style). I also love reading books by Aussie authors and the cover is stunning. And totally suits the tone and mood of the book. And this is weird, but it actually feels really nice.

So when I completely (unexpectedly) got this in the mail for review I completely freaked. And I may have ditched the book I was reading in favour of A Small Madness. I know. Terrible. I had just really, really looking forward to reading this ever since I first heard about this, ok? So I sat down and read, starting it late on a school night (with not much time left after homework before I actually had to go to bed) and finishing it within half an hour the next morning. I was just so, so into the story and needed to know what was going to happen.

I also read with my mouth gaping open for a short while. True story.

I just had this feeling of complete and total dread as to what was going to happen (which was thanks to the author’s brilliant writing) and knew that I wasn’t going to be completely with it until I knew what was going to happen to the characters.

Although I was not a fan of the ending. It was a little too open for my liking. I just think that while open endings can work, in realistic fiction it is particularly important to wrap-up the story and preferably provide closure.

If all Dianne Touchell’s books are like this, then I really need to look into reading them.

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show.

Add A Small Madness to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Dianne TouchellDianne Touchell is a middle child who feared Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy — and any other stranger who threatened to break into the house at night.

She has worked, amongst other things, as a nightclub singer, a fish and chip shop counter girl (not with Pauline Hanson) and a bookseller. Dianne would rather talk to her dog than answer the phone.

Review: Heartbeat

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Heartbeat

Publication date: March 1st 2014 (first published January 1st 2009)

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Number of pages: 223

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary/Realistic Fiction

Source: Purchased. This is my honest opinion.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Does life go on when your heart is broken?

Since her mother’s sudden death, Emma has existed in a fog of grief, unable to let go, unable to move forward—because her mother is, in a way, still there. She’s being kept alive on machines for the sake of the baby growing inside her.

Estranged from her stepfather and letting go of things that no longer seem important—grades, crushes, college plans—Emma has only her best friend to remind her to breathe. Until she meets a boy with a bad reputation who sparks something in her—Caleb Harrison, whose anger and loss might just match Emma’s own. Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death—and maybe, for love?

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Review:

Let’s be honest here: we’re all good people. I actually had no expectations when I went into this book. No good ones, no bad ones. Pretty cray.

When ever I say “cray”, I  always want to say “fish”. Ya know, as in “crayfish”.

I’m sorry.

But really, I was actually mucking around when I started reading this. I was in a total not-reading mode. I had read a 49 page book that night purely because it was a 49 page book and I felt guilty for not having  read in a while. Then I picked up Heartbeat, just randomly. But that’s when I knew…

That we were going to be married.

Well, no. But I knew that I’d finally found a book I could stick through reading.

The things dealt with in this novel were just chronic. Everything the main character and her stepdad went through was just so, so painful. It really makes you question yourself and your ethics. What’s right and what’s wrong.

I have to say that my favourite character was easily Dan. Emma’s stepdad. I sympathised with him so much and he almost tore me to shreds. You could tell how much pain he was in, from his wife, from his stepdaughter and from his unborn son. And every time Emma said something awful to him, I could practically feel his pain.

I wanted to scream at Emma a lot of the time. Her character was so frustrating. She hurt everyone around her because she was hurting. She was really quite self-centred to tell the truth, and I felt awful for Olivia (doesn’t she have a wonderful name?!) when every thing that Emma said was about how badly she was dealing with her grief. Please, don’t call me insensitive, but I don’t like the way she dealt with her grief. And it was totally wrong of her to blame Dan.

But again, I think that’s part of the whole theme.

I thought that the pacing and length of the story were pretty much dead-on. Perfect length. Really. In that time Caleb and Emma’s relationship had enough time to bloom from zero to head-over-heels on the love scale. I loved their relationship, just a little FYI there. And I loved her relationship with Olivia too (and not just because of her gorgeous name). The pacing was great because it kept the story moving and interesting, which I find can be a little iffy in contemporaries. And I need to read more of her books.

Heartbeat will tear your heart, make it ache and make it break. Go on, let it.

4/5 comets
Meteor shower. A great show.

Add Heartbeat to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

Elizabeth ScottHey there, I’m Elizabeth. I write young adult novels. I live just outside Washington DC with my husband and dog, and am unable to pass a bookstore without stopping and going inside.

All right, and I can’t leave without buying at least one book.

Usually two. (Or more!)

My website and blog are at elizabethwrites.com, and I’m also on twitter, tumblr, and facebook

Counting the Stars 79#

counting the stars

Counting the Stars is a weekly meme hosted here at Bookcomet! This meme allows you to display what books you have gained in the last week! Feel free to join.

It’s been a while since I’ve done this, but I’m probably just going to do the last week or two. Or just relatively recently.

The rules:

•Post a sticker – whether it be mine or your own (provided it has Counting the Stars on it).
•Either a) leave a link to your post in the comments below or b) tell me your answers in the comments – either is fine!

I am considering making this maybe a monthly feature rather than weekly. I haven’t done this since BEFORE Christmas, so I’ll be showing what I got and some other recent purchases.

Christmas haul:

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  • The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson
  • Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

I’m really excited for both of these! My shadow hunter collection is almost complete except for that I don’t have The Shadow Hunter Codex (or whatever it’s called). And of course I’ll get Lady Midnight when it’s released!

As for Afterworlds, I’ve been wanting to read it for a while now. I almost bought it in England but I was literally one pound short. I think it sounds really interesting and unique, but I haven’t really seen that many reviews and the ones I have seen have been mediocre.

Scholastic:

As part of a Scholastic sale, I picked up these two super cheap! AND ONE OF THEM IS HARDCOVER! Unbelievably, they both amounted to less than $10 in total as well, shipping included. Not bad, eh?

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Sorry about the glare 🙂

  • Unhinged by A. G. Howard
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

That sale was actually a while ago, but the books didn’t come until after my last Counting the Stars post.

Received more recently:

A few days ago another order arrived!

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  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
  • Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

I needed Lola and Isla in my life because I absolutely adored Anna and the French Kiss also by Stephanie Perkins. The three books look absolutely gorgeous together. And when I saw them quite cheaply on The Book Depository, I knew I that I had to have them.

All the Bright Places and Falling Into Place look amazing. I have heard so much hype about both (particularly All the Bright Places, which was just released) and think they both sound amazing.

For review:

  • I Was Here by Gayle Forman (see my review here)I Was Here
  • The Winner’s Crime by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)

Read:

I have no idea what I read in December, but here’s what I’ve read so far in January:

  • I Was Here by Gayle FormanI Was Here
  • City of Bones by Cassandra ClareCity of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
  • City of Ashes by Cassandra ClareCity of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)
  • City of Glass by Cassandra ClareCity of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)
  • City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareCity of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)
  • Clockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareClockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)

All of those except I Was Here are rereads. Unfortunately it’s been two years since I read The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices series so I had forgotten a great deal about what had happened. I want to reread both series in preparation for reading City of Heavenly Fire and The Bane Chronicles.

Currently reading:

  • The Winner’s Crime by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)
  • City of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareCity of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)