Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

In My Mailbox #3

31 Jul 2011

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, which allows bloggers to share what books they've borrowed, received in the mail or bought in the past week.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (finished reading- AMAZING!!!)
Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent (not pictured..oops must've forgot!)

Pig Boy by J.C Burke (goodreads giveaway)
Chasers (Alone #1) by James Phelan (Winter Flings)
Survivor (Alone #2) by James Phelan ( Winter Flings)

For Review:
Blood Song by Rhiannon
Mammon by J.B. Thomas 
Thank you to Random House Aus!
So, what did you get in your mailbox? Link me and I'll be sure to check it out! :)

Book Review -Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires #1) (mini)

Title: Glass Houses
Series: Morgansville Vampires #1
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: Penguin Aus
Release Date: 04/01/2011 (Aus)
Summary: Welcome to Morganville. Just don`t stay out after dark. Morganville is a small town filled with unusual characters - when the sun goes down, the bad come out. In Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows - one that will spill out into the bright light of day.For Claire Danvers, high school was hell, but college may be murder. It was bad enough that she got on the wrong side of Monica, the meanest of the school's mean girls, but now she's got three new roommates, who all have secrets of their own. And the biggest secret of all isn't really a secret, except from Claire: Morganville is run by vampires and they are hungry for fresh blood . . . 
My Thoughts:
 Unfortunately, I didn't quite finish reading this book. I got around half-way and I just couldn't bear it anymore. Nothing exciting ever happened and Claire was probably the most annoying MC I've ever read about. All I remember was the different ways Monica & her clique bullied Claire and then Claire declaring that she would continue school even if it meant getting killed.  Wow. I felt the author wanted Claire to be strong and independent (for not leaving the school even though she almost died), but there is a difference between being strong and being stupid. It's a shame this wasn't my cup of tea, since I really like reading about vampires. I don't know whether I'll finish this book or not, maybe it will get better but it's unfortunate that the beginning wasn't engaging enough to capture my interest. 

Favourite Quotes: 
"Damn, Claire. Warn a guy before you do a face-plant on the floor next time. I could have looked all heroic and caught you or something" -Shane

Follow Friday #3

29 Jul 2011

Follow  Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can Read

Q. Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?

Truthfully, I don't actually pay much attention to T-shirt slogans. I usually read them, laugh if they're funny and forget about it. But I really like this one...

Well, what do you think? It doesn't necessarily describe me  but I really like this one! 
Soo...what's your T-shirt slogan? :)

Book Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

28 Jul 2011

Title: The Iron Knight
Series: The Iron Fey #4
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin 
Release Date: 25th October 2011
Source: Netgalley 
Goodreads Synopsis: 
Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.

Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

My Thoughts:
Amazing, riveting, brilliantly written…I can use a whole dictionary of adjectives and it won’t be enough to describe just how fabulous this last instalment in the Iron Fey series was! I absolutely LOVED it! Kagawa has guided us on yet another spell-binding journey across the realm of the Nevernever, this time, to an even more sinister place – The End of the World. There are no words to describe just how captivating this imaginary world is; I felt like I was part of their world, roaming the faerie lands and having to fight gremlins every day!

The storyline was solid and straightforward. In order to be with Meghan, Ash must earn a soul. And the only way to earn a soul, (which I might add, has never been accomplished before), he must embark on a dangerous quest to the End of the World and pass all the trials that stand between him and mortality. There were so many twists and turns; each as unpredictable as the previous turn of events! I loved how I couldn’t guess what would happen, and that kept me reading, page after page, impatient to find out what would happen next.  There were some majorly unpredictable twists that left my heart pounding furiously, and I was constantly holding my breath while reading, not knowing what was to come.

I must admit however, I was a bit doubtful and scared of what was to come during the middle because of something that happened (You’ll have to read to find out!) but as always, Kagawa managed to think of a perfect solution! There were several heart-wrenching scenes that left me aching inside. Which leads me to a certain question - Is it normal to actually feel the character’s pain? Because really, it’s never happened before!

The ending was perfect; a stunning and unforgettable finale to the Iron Fey series. I could not have asked for a better ending. I’m just terribly sad that The Iron Fey series has ended. No more Ash, my cold and mysterious-no-more Winter Prince, Puck, whose pranks will never cease to amuse me and Meghan, who will always be one of my favourite heroines! Goodbye Ash, Meghan, Puck, Grim and Wolf, don’t worry, you won’t be forgotten!

**Puck, my prankster friend, you have truly showed what a loyal, and dependable friend you are. If you ever get banished from the Summer Court by Lord Pointy Ears, feel free to visit me! I’m sure we’ll become best friends!

Rating: 5 stars

Favourite Quotes: 
Aren’t you already centuries old?” Ash lowered his head, drawing us even closer. “I went to the end of the world for you, and all you have to say is how well I’ve aged?”

I was in love. With a human. I smiled bitterly at the thought. The old Ash, if faced with such a suggestion, woul've either laughed scornfully or removed the offender's head from his neck." 

“My loyalty-and my heart-belong to another queen now”

&& so many others! But that's all I'll put up for now :)

Book Review: The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa

27 Jul 2011

The Iron Fey series: 
- The Iron King
-The Iron Daughter
- The Iron Queen 
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

I decided to write a combined review of the first three books in the Iron Fey series, before I post my review of The Iron Knight. Oh and be warned, this MAY contain spoilers so if you haven’t read the series, then you might want to skip this review, although I’ll try to keep it non-spoilery. But, if you haven’t read it yet, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!

The Iron Fey series has been one of my favourite books of all time! Not only because of Ash, who I might add is by far my favourite YA bachelor, but also because of Kagawa’s amazing writing style and the captivating world she has created. All three books were outstanding; each book just kept getting better, even outshining its predecessor.

The Iron King was the first faery book I’ve ever read, so to me, it was original and unique. I have read a lot of reviews stating that there are a lot of similarities between The Iron King and other faerie books - Summer Court, Winter Court, A Midsummer Night’s dream references. I only realised it when I started reading other books that featured faeries, and I was like ‘Hey, that’s what I read in The Iron King!’ So now, when everyone’s comparing The Iron King to other faerie books, I’m sitting here comparing every book out there to this! But I suppose it’s also a bad thing that this was the first faery book i read, because now I have high expectations for every upcoming/already released faerie books!

Meghan was an admirable heroine throughout the series! She was brave, selfless and extremely stubborn. She was willing to make a contract with the enemy,(which I interpret as sacrificing herself) to save her brother! Now that’s what I call admirable! She has definitely earned my respect! Although I must admit her character in the first half of The Iron Daughter really annoyed me. She became really whiny and all ‘Does he love me...does he not?’ But then again, I guess she had the right to think that under the circumstances...nevertheless, I thought she could’ve guarded her feelings better. Then, in the third book, The Iron Queen, she became even stronger and more praiseworthy! She was willing to hunt down the Iron King and save the whole faerie realm despite the fact that her Iron and summer powers were literally going to kill her! Now, that is courage! I loved how Meghan’s character developed throughout the series; from an insecure, vulnerable girl to a selfless, courageous and devoted QUEEN!

Oh, and how can I forget the other characters? ASH! PUCK! & GRIMALKIN! Each had their own unique traits and I loved them all for different reasons! Ash, because he’s well...Ash; Puck the prankster – I don’t think anyone would not like him! And GRIM, without you the others would never have survived their journey! I don’t think there is a character in the series that I didn’t care about. Every character mentioned played a role and without these characters, the book just would not work!

There’s so much I can write about the series, I can probably write a whole novel full of praises but I think I’ll stop here . To sum up, this is an absolutely amazing series! Definitely recommend it to everyone!

In My Mailbox #2

24 Jul 2011

In My Mailbox is weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, which allows bloggers to share what books they've borrowed, received in the mailbox, or bought in the past week. 

For Review from Netgalley :

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa 

School has just started for me, so I haven't had time to go book shopping :( But, after my exams, I'll be going on a book spending spree...again :)

On My Wishlist #1

23 Jul 2011

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where I list all the books I desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

Anna and the French KissAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything- including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Book Review: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

22 Jul 2011

Title: Personal Demons (Personal Demons #1)
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: September 14th, 2010
Rating: 3.5 stars
Goodreads Summary: 

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance—-even her closest friends—-and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him. 
What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy—-all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.
But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them.

My Thoughts:
I’m at a loss for words. I loved the book so much in the beginning – it captivated me from the very first word. However, as I read on, I became increasingly frustrated with our MC, Frannie and was soon torn between liking the book and feeling pangs of disappointment.  Having said that, I’m going to write this review a bit differently…

What I liked:
Luc: I’m still swooning over Luc, the sexy, dark, baddass demon from hell. I really enjoyed reading the scenes from his POV. His snarky comments, combined with his never-ending string of hellish puns totally won me over.

Frannie: , I liked her character at the start of the book; she spoke her mind, stood her ground, never let anyone take advantage of her and was pretty much the sort of heroine I truly admired! But my positive impression of her only lasted for perhaps the first 100 pages or so.

The Storyline:  The storyline seemed simple enough: Heaven and Hell both want Frannie’s soul and have sent their best – Luc, a demon from Hell, and Gabe, an angel from Heaven- to tag her soul. I found this plot intriguing and since I’ve never read about angels and demons on a quest to tag souls, this was new and original to me.

I also enjoyed the interactions between Luc and Gabe. Their constant banter, glaring and smartass comments directed at each other made me laugh heartily. Those were probably my favourite scenes from the book!

What I did not particularly like:
Frannie.  Sure, I liked her at the beginning of the book but as I read on, she really began to get on my nerves. What happened to the strong girl who never went weak over a guy? She was changing back and forth between the two guys, dating one person today and kissing the other tomorrow. I was constantly thinking ‘geez, just choose who you like already!’ Even at the end of the book, I felt as if she was still undecided.

The Love Triangle: I usually like a good, well thought out and balanced love triangle.  This particular love triangle unfortunately didn’t work out so well. In fact, I probably wouldn’t even call this a ‘love triangle’ but rather a ‘lust triangle’. Frannie seemed to have fallen for both guys in a matter of a few days and her intimate interactions with both guys happened so fast!  And, like I said above, having the main character change back and forth between the two potential suitors really doesn’t help to create a satisfying love triangle.

Overall, I did enjoy Personal Demons, only because of LUC and this whole battle/antagonism between Heaven and Hell, which really fascinates me. If you feel like reading a dark, sexy and flirty novel with two gorgeous guys for pure entertainment, then this is the book for you!

Favourite Quotes:
“He raises an eyebrow, slides my pen out from between my fingers , crosses out ‘Luke’ and writes and ‘Luc’ above it” pg. 19
“I’m literally too hot to handle”. (Luc) – So true! Pg. 27
“I’m capable of all levels of hotness, from Luc-warm to –and I’m being literal here-hotter than hell” pg. 50

Follow Friday #2

Follow  Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can Read

  Q.Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?

1. J.K Rowling - I love the Harry Potter series and I never get tired of reading them over and over again!
2. Cassandra Clare - Love, love, LOVE The Mortal Instruments + Infernal Devices! 
3. Julie Kagawa - My heart ached so much after reading The Iron Daughter + The Iron Queen! I'd love to be able to sit down and talk non-stop about The Iron Fey series (esp. Ash) and get advice on how to write such an amazing series! 

Teaser Tuesday #1

19 Jul 2011

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare:

"Most of the rest of the Enclave wouldn't be able to pass convincingly as a handsome young human subjugate-"
"Because the rest of us all are hideous, are we?" Jem inquired.

Gosh, I can't wait for Clockwork Prince to come out!

Book Review: Released by Megan Duncan

18 Jul 2011

 Title: Released (Agents of Evil #1)
 Author: Megan Duncan
 Publisher: Createspace
 Release Date: April 1st, 2011
 Rating: 4.5 stars
 Goodreads Summary:
After a demon apocalypse kills their parents and everyone they know, 17-year old Abby Phillips, her brother, Carter, and friend, Max flee their home to travel through what has become the wastelands of America. When radio transmissions of a resistance offering shelter and safety cease, Abby is tempted to give up. Struggling to overcome life-threatening obstacles in their dangerous journey, Abby and her companions quickly discover there are much worse things lurking in the dark than they could have ever imagined.

 My Thoughts:
I first started reading dystopian novels early this year, and every one of the dystopian novels I read were amazing! I was not disappointed with any of them, and I’m happy to say that Released was a magnificent read as well! 

Released is set in world where demons are taking over, and Abby, Carter and Max are the only survivors in their town.  Abby and her companions flee their town to take refuge in the only place where shelter and safety may be offered - Air Force Base in New Mexico, which they heard through radio transmissions. However, their only hope may be shattered when the radio transmissions suddenly stop broadcasting, and their lives are on the line as they encounter even more demons along the way.

I thought the setting and world-building were both done brilliantly. I was able to envision this isolated and bloody town that’s almost been completely destroyed, with demons lurking in the shadows, ready to pounce when least expected. I also liked how Duncan was able to create such a dark, dangerous and gloomy atmosphere. It was like I was part of the world as well. 

I really liked Abby as a character! She was daring and strong – exactly what I look for in a heroine! In fact, I’d say she’s one of my favourite heroines from a YA novel. (I really don’t like weak, and i-need-my-boyfriend-to-protect-me-or-else-I-won’t-survive sorts of characters.) I absolutely loved Max as well! He was caring, protective and I loved how he always teased Abby which lightened up the otherwise dark and forlorn atmosphere. Taya really annoyed me sometimes, but that’s what she’s supposed to be like, and I thought Duncan did a fantastic job capturing her feelings and character. 

The overall story was fast-paced, which I liked. However, every so often, there were certain scenes that slowed down the book for me. I thought certain details were unnecessary, but afterwards the pace picked up again when something major began to happen. The action scenes were literally AMAZING. Half the time I felt like I was there fighting off those demons as well with a huge gun and knives slashing back and forth.(I wish!) 

All in all, Released was an action-packed, and thrilling read! I cannot wait to read the second book and join Abby, Max, Carter and Taya on their next journey! 

Thank you to Megan Duncan for providing me with a copy to review!

In My Mailbox #1

17 Jul 2011

In My Mailbox is weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, which allows bloggers to share what books they've borrowed, received in the mailbox, or bought in the past week. 

Shirley's Mailbox: 

Before I Die by Jenny Downham

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong


Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Oh, and it's SIGNED!) 


Across the Universe by Beth Revis (I got this book for FREE when I pre-ordered my copy of Bloodlines!)


16 Jul 2011

All the Vampire Academy fans out there - YOU'RE IN FOR A TREAT! 
The first chapter of BLOODLINES has just been released online!
I really don't know how I'm going to survive the next 38 days until the release of Richelle Mead's Bloodlines! I have exams coming up but I don't think I'll be able to concentrate. I'll probably be daydreaming about Adrian everyday! ( Apparently Adrian will have a major role in this book!) 
Being an aspiring match-maker (not), I'm thinking that maybe Adrian will fall in love with Sydney?  
hmm... What do you think? 
Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead 
Publisher: Razorbill 
Release Date: August 23rd, 2011  
Goodreads Synopsis: 
 When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning. 

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.   

Book Review: Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

12 Jul 2011

okay, so my internet hasn't been working for the past 4 days!!! (and it still isn't working). But luckily I'm taking refuge in the library, where there IS internet but it's limited to one hour per person. :( Anyways, here's another book review :)

 Title: Inside Out
 Author: Maria V. Snyder
 Publisher: Harlequin
 Release Date: 1st April 2010
 Rating: 4.5
 Goodreads Synopsis: 

Keep Your Head Down.
Don't Get Noticed.
Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

My Thoughts:

Another delightful dystopian novel under my belt! I was a bit doubtful at least as to whether I would like this or not since I have high expectations for dystopian novels (after reading Divergent and the Hunger Games), but I was really pleased with this book!
Trella, the main character, is a scrub, one of thousands who work in the lower levels, keeping the Inside clean for the Uppers. No one has ever been to Outside, although there are rumours and myths claiming that Gateway exists as a physical doorway to Outside. Before long, Trella has unintentionally started a rebellion; found impossible leads on the location of Gateway and pretty much turned Inside up-side down with the help of Riley, Broken Man, Cogon and her fellow scrubs.
I loved Trella, a.k.a Queen of the Pipes, despite her flaws. She is daring, fearless and always willing to take on a challenge – the type of heroine I love! I really admired her bravery and independence, especially when she was willing to sacrifice herself for the safety of her friends. On the other hand, Trella is alsofull of cynicism, always believing the worst in others and constantly jumping to conclusions. I was occasionally extremely frustrated by her behavior but I felt her good qualities balanced out her flaws, and this only made her seem a more believable character. 
I was quite content with the overall storyline. There were many twists and turns throughout the novel; some were predictable but others came as a complete surprise to me, which I liked. I was a bit confused about what happened towards the end; it felt like one second the characters were doing one thing and the next second, they completely changed direction and started doing something else. (Okay, that might’ve been a bad example, but that particular scene was really confusing to me). I was also hoping for more action but overall, I was still happy with the story. Oh, and I was really happy how the book jumped straight to the plot instead of spending the first half of the book setting the scene/describing the characters/ you get the picture JI thought the writing was a bit hard to get into, but once I got into the flow, I started to want more and more!
All in all, I was really happy with the book. Perhaps, with a little more action, I would have given it 5 stars J(Yes, I love novels with action ). I’d definitely recommend this book to readers who like dystopian novels, and as for everyone else, give this one a try! I personally can’t wait to read the second book, which is already out. Looks like I’ll be making a special trip to the bookshop this weekend to purchase Outside In!

Follow Friday

8 Jul 2011

Follow  Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee
This is my first time participating & I hope to meet many other bloggers!

Q: Let's step away from besties...What is the worst book that you've ever read and actually finished?
Well...when I read a really terrible book, I tend to give up. E.g. Numbers by Rachel Ward.
But I guess the worst book that I've ever read and actually finished is probably Emma by Jane Austen. (Okay, I hope there's no super hardcore Austen fans here who're going to bash me!) I had to read Emma for English at school just a few weeks ago, and it totally bored me to death. It took me like 10 weeks to finish reading it, since I was reading 2-3 pages per day, and during that time, I was also reading Vampire Academy! So, you can guess how utterly bored I was when reading Emma as compared to VA! But since I had to present a speech on it, I finished it one week before my speech was due! I think I'm going to stay away from Austen's books for now :)

Soo....what's the worst book that you've ever read?