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 :)

Waiting On Wednesday #5

31 Aug 2011

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Expected Release Date: 29th September 2011

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive 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, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- 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.

Awwww how cute is the cover?!?! I loved Anna and the French Kiss, and I've no doubt that this will be just as great, if not better! Oh, and how awesome and original is the name Cricket? Haha, I really can't wait for this :) Only 29 more days!!

Book Review: Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

30 Aug 2011

Title: Hunting Lila
Series:Lila #1
Author: Sarah Alderson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 2011
Source: From publisher for review (Thank you!)
Goodreads Synopisis:
17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. Or thereabouts.After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets in a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them...

My Thoughts:

What an amazing debut! Not that I was surprised, since even before I got my hands on the book, I had read so many positive reviews and so I had exceptionally high expectations for it. In the end, Hunting Lila surpassed my expectations. This is definitely a book you can’t miss!

The storyline was solid and the twists and turns throughout the book were both unpredictable and fascinating. I loved every single minute of it; there was so much mystery that I was compelled to read more or else I couldn’t do anything else. And the thing is, it wasn’t the sort of mystery that just kept building and building, with no answers being given, but rather, the secrets unravelled along the way, giving me some satisfaction but also urging me to continue to find out more. The supernatural elements were particularly interesting; I mean, wouldn’t you want to have supernatural abilities and be able to win every fight by relying solely on your mind?! There was also this incredible twist at the end that I did not expect, and totally caught me off guard. But I loved it!

I especially loved the writing. It was the sort that flowed easily and drew you in, almost hypnotic in a way. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop.  That was the effect Alderson’s writing had on me, and it’s definitely not something everyone can achieve.

Lila was an amazing and realistic character; she was crushing on her older brother’s best friend, and always wanted to feel at home. The book is written from Lila’s perspective, and I really enjoyed reading her thoughts, which were quite amusing and very realistic. Not once did she annoy me, and I was able to relate to her easily. The romance between Lila and Alex was also swoon-worthy; they were perfect for each other! I was also fascinated by the secondary characters, especially Suki and Nate. They were such funny and entertaining characters. I hope they play a bigger role in the next book!

On a personal note, I really wish I had a brother like Jack. Okay, so he had a flaring temper that may not be very great at times, but he was protective and did everything he could to ensure her safety. If I had a brother, I would definitely want him to be like Jack!

Overall, this is an incredibly thrilling novel, with heart-pounding action and a writing style that literally mesmerises you. The characters are believable,the storyline is brilliant and you’ll be constantly turning the pages, eager for more. I’m highly anticipating the next book!

Rating: 5/5
 He bent his head and in a voice that Jack couldn't hear, said, "When you came down the stairs and fell into me, that was the moment.'" Then his lips pressed against mine. 

Winter's Shadow by M.J Hearle NEWS

So, I recently received an email from M.J Hearle, author of Winter's Shadow (a new Aussie YA novel). You can find out more about Winter's Shadow HERE.  I believe this is currently only released in Australia, BUT iTunes is selling Winter's Shadow for only $4.99! Awesome ehh?

Here's the message:
"Something exciting is happening: Apple are promoting the ebook through their iTunes store for a special price of $4.99 for a limited time. This promotion starts Tuesday 30 August  and I'd love to get the word out to as many readers and potential readers as possible. If you feel it would be appropriate to mention this news on your blog that would be very awesome. If not - no worries. "

M.J. Hearle 

If you live outside of Australia, & would like to read this, now's your chance!
Don't miss out :)

In My Mailbox #6

28 Aug 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.

Waterfall (River of Time #1) by Lisa Tawn Bergren 
I accidentally came across this on goodreads one day, and after reading the blurb and some reviews, I knew I just had to read it! I have no idea whether this is out in Aus.? Don't think so otherwise I would've bought it ages ago! About time I read some historical fiction again!

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (not pictured since I lent it to a friend)
I pre-ordered this a long time ago & it's finally out! Too bad, I probably won't get round to reading it anytime soon so I lent it to a friend who loves the VA series! Can't wait to read about Adrian again <3

For Review:
Glow (Sky Chasers #1) by Amy Kathleen Ryan [Thanks to Pan Macmillan]
I've read both positive & negative reviews about this, and I really want to read it myself. So, it's been compared to Across the Universe, but I haven't read that yet, so this is new to me :)

All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1) by Gabrielle Zevin [Thanks to Pan Macmillan]
So happy I received this! Am in love with Dystopian novels right now :) What sort of world bans chocolate and coffee!?!?! I've been recommended to keep both chocolate and coffee next to me while I read this,haha. 

Elemental: The First by Alexandra May [ Thanks to Pauma Publishing] 
Haven't heard too much about this, but the blurb sounds really interesting. Can't wait to read it :)

Far from the War by Jeffery David Payne [ Thanks to Roche Harbor Books]
This is a new YA Dystopian novel about a modern day civil war in the US. Interesting eh? I haven't read many politics-related novels, so I'm looking forward to reading this!

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson [Thanks to Simon & Schuster]
I've heard so many great things about this book, so I was ecstatic when I received it in the mail! I finished reading it last night & absolutely loved it! Can't wait for the second book and Sarah Alderson's  new novel - Fated. 

So, what did you get in your mailbox? 

Follower Friday #7 & Book Blogger Hop #4

26 Aug 2011

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

Q. In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical 
creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?

Truthfully, I wish all paranormal creatures- angels, vampires, demons, faeries, etc. would come out of the closet! I'd love to meet them :) But maybe I'll rule out demons and vampires, since demons are destructive and scary, and vampires will probably start killing people in the middle of the night. (oops, except Adrian of course!!) So, I think  I'd rather have just angels and faeries reveal themselves to the world :)

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy for Books

Q. Non-book-related this week!! Do you have pets?
No, I don't. (mainly because my mum is scared of animals, haha , and also because I live in a townhouse, and pets aren't allowed...I think..) I used to own a rabbit, but then my grandma gave it away :( 

What about you? 

Anyways, have a great weekend guys!

Book Review: Mammon by J.B Thomas

25 Aug 2011

Title: Mammon
Series: The Ferryman Chronicles #1
Author: J.B Thomas
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: September 1st, 2011
Source: From Publisher (Thank you)
Goodreads Synopisis: 
Forget anything you ever heard about possession, exorcisms, salt circles and pentagrams. The modern demon is far more difficult to catch - and even harder to destroy.

After the savage, tragic deaths of their parents, Grace and Joe Callahan learn that they they are descendants of the sarsareh - an ancient order of mercenaries who hunt very special prey. Grace and Joe take their place in the Order, but are treated with hostility and fear by other recruits.

For the Callahan siblings have powers that fascinate and terrify.

Joe is a Ferryman, capable of opening dimensional rifts, while Grace's telepathic abilities surpass anything the Order has ever seen.

To complicate matters, Grace falls for her older, more experienced squad leader, Ivan. Meanwhile, the sarsareh elders have their own plans for Joe.

But none of that will matter if the powerful demon Mammon manages to convince Joe to open a gateway to his demon world and overrun Earth with his armies.

If he succeeds: game over.

My Thoughts:
I’ll start by saying that Mammon is now up there on my list of all-time favourites and is worthy enough to rival some of my favourite series (The Mortal Instruments, Divergent… you get the picture.) The entire book, from start to finish was action-packed, thrilling and just plain remarkable.

Just so I can dedicate the rest of my review to just how marvellous the novel was, I’ll first mention the not-so-good parts of the book, although truthfully, there’s not much. The only problem for me was the beginning. While it was written brilliantly, the start was rather slow, and just wasn’t strong enough to leave an immediate impression on me. Several times I did stop reading it to do other things (yes, my attention wavered), but the rest of the book more than compensated for the beginning.
Now, on to the good part. What did I like about the story? Everything. The characters, plot, writing style and pace; everything was perfect. After the first 20 pages or so, I was utterly hooked; my attention never wavered again and I stopped reading halfway through another book just so I could finish this one. The whole demons and sarsareh concept completely enraptured me. Since I haven’t read many books that focused mainly on demons, Mammon was a fresh and unique read for me.

The plot was compelling and I liked how all the events that occurred happened for a reason. It all developed and built up to the intense and riveting climax near the end of the book. I loved how Mammon never strayed from the main plotline, and there were subplots that enticed me they but never overrode the main storyline. The relationship between Grace, our main character and Ivan, her team leader was a nice complement to the main plot. I also liked how there was no unnecessary love triangle – finally!

The characters were all incredible! But one particular character totally won my heart. Ivan. Sexy, charming and strong.

“And boy, was he ripped. Not obscenely, his muscles weren’t bursting through his sleeves, but just enough to create an impression of lithe, gymnast-like strength.”

Oh, why don’t you exist in real life? Ivan did remind me of Four from Divergent, (whom I love) but Ivan is still Ivan. I’m certainly looking forward to learning more about Ivan in the next instalment. Grace was also likable. She wasn’t whiny or immature and I really liked how she stood her ground and never allowed anyone to take advantage of her, thereby earning my respect. As for Joe, he was impulsive, and much in need of anger management. At times, I really wanted to just smack him and shake some sense into him. But then again, he was an essential character and the catalyst for some of the major events that occurred. Without Joe, Mammon would just not be complete.

Overall, Mammon is an exciting and character-driven novel packed with endless action and unpredictable twists. It will leave you aching for more, especially the heart-pounding fighting scenes and the deliciously sweet relationship between Grace and Ivan. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll pick up a copy of this book and read it immediately. I don’t know how I’m going to survive until the second instalment comes out!

Rating: 5 stars!

"He was using that voice again, that deep, soft tone that was just for her."

Waiting On Wednesday #4

24 Aug 2011

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Author: Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Allen & Unwin (Aus.) 
Expected Release Date: November 2011 (Aus.)

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days and the last time was an accident. Now accidental murder has her locked up in an asylum where happy is a hot meal and not being dead in the morning. No one knows why touching her skin for too long is fatal. No one knows how to fix her problem. No one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population. The ozone layer is deteriorating. Farms are scarce, food is hard to find, temperatures are unreliable and the clouds are the wrong colour.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things. They said the people were to blame for wasting and raping the land of its resources. It's time to start fresh, is what they said. Bleach the past and throw away the freaks. So they threw Juliette in a cell and chopped up the opposition while she blinked. Now enough of the population is dead that the rest are whispering war and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she might be useful. Maybe a Venus flytrap is exactly what they need right now.
And maybe Juliette doesn't give a damn what The Reestablishment needs. Maybe she's tired of being a monster. Maybe she wants to be a human being for once in her life.
Maybe she wants to fight back.
But Juliette has to fight much more than a war. She has to fight herself for the right to be human and fight the world for the right to be free.
She has to make a choice.
Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

- Gorgeous cover - loving the white dress :) I'm currently going through my Dystopian phase; I'm willing to read any books set in a dystopian world! I have to wait over 2.5 months until this books comes out - I don't know how I'm going to survive!

Book Review: The Eye of the Crystal Ball by J.P. Boje

22 Aug 2011

Title: The Eye of the Crystal Ball
Author: T.P Boje
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: 23rd June, 2011
Source: e-book from author for review (Thank you) 
Goodreads Synopsis: 
When Sara was newborn her parents left her at the doorstep at Mr. and Mrs. Schneider's house.

When Sara was ten she discovered she was telekinetic. She began to move stuff around when she got angry just by her will alone.

When Sara was twelve her real parents came for her and took her with them to live like the Gypsy that she was - or Romani as they like to call themselves. They told her she was going to fulfill a prophesy. That it was once said that out of the Romani people the greatest sorceress who had ever lived would be born.
When Sara was thirteen she had a baby brother and when she was fourteen he got very sick with a strange illness.
To save her baby-brother Sara sets off on a quest to find his cure - well knowing that it will cost her dearly.
Soon Sara finds herself going through the Singing Cave, crossing Wild Witches Valley, talking to a ten foot giant snail, rescuing the Beads of Souls from the Hell-hounds, escaping a spell in Vamila, the Forest of Vanity, visiting the king at the City of Lights before she finally reaches the Black Castle where she is told the Eye of the Crystal Ball can tell her how to cure her brother's strange illness.

But nothing is free in this world - and as Sara soon will know - everything has a price.

My Thoughts:
When I first started reading this, I had the impression that a narrator was telling either a story of the past (like a prologue) or a nice bedtime story and that the real tale would be told years later. Except, I realised later on that the story had indeed started already, and it was merely the writing style that confused me. The beginning was mainly a narration and it felt like I was being told a story rather than being shown it. There were sudden changes from third person to second person, which didn’t work so well. While reading it, I felt like a bystander watching the proceedings from a distance instead of experiencing the actions with the characters.

Unfortunately I did not feel a connection with any of the characters. Perhaps it was because everything happened too fast, some characters jumped in and out, never staying long enough to make an impression. Sara and Manolo’s characters were not as well developed as I’d liked. Being the main character, I expected to understand more of Sara’s personality and behaviour, but as the book focused mainly on what she did and what happened to her, occasionally mentioning what she felt, i personally felt no connection with her. The blurb mentioned Sara being telekinetic but in the book, there was hardly any reference to her telekinetic abilities. She discovered her ability one day, was told to learn to control it, and almost never used her ability again.

The book was easy to read and reminded me of an innocent children’s bedtime story. There were mentionsof folklore that was quite intriguing but would certainly have appealed to me more if I was younger. However, I did find many of the fantasy creatures very imaginative. Some were incredibly amusing and sweet, while others were plain evil. Unfortunately, the journey took too long to describe and when I finally read up to the climax, everything resolved too quickly. At least, the ending was satisfying. I was happy that it wasn’t a typical happily-ever-after ending.

I would recommend this to younger readers, as there were appealing qualities which younger children may find interesting. I know for a fact that, had I been younger, I certainly would have enjoyed this much more. Overall, it was fast-paced, and fairytale-like, but sadly, it wasn’t quite my cup of tea. 

Rating: 2 stars

"It is for us to use them, to neglect nature’s cures is to turn away our greatest treasure.
 "Never doubt yourself. Fear makes you lose your powers and drains your energy. You must focus on what you are doing completely and believe that you can do it. "

Book Review: Crushed by K.C. Blake

20 Aug 2011

Title: Crushed
Series: The Witch-Game #1
Author: K.C. Blake
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: July 13th, 2011
Source: e-book from  author for review
Goodreads Synopsis:
The Noah sisters rule Titan High with their beauty, brains, and magical powers.

Each year they play a secret game: Crushed. The girls pick their targets carefully and blow enchanted dust into the boy’s faces, charming them, but this year Kristen makes a grave mistake. She chooses the wrong boy and almost dies that same day. Coincidence? Maybe.

But something isn’t quite right about Zach Bevian. He doesn’t behave like a boy who’s been Crushed. He goes from hot to cold, from looking at her with contempt to asking her out on a date. She doesn’t know what to think. Does he hate her or is he truly falling for her? Is he trying to kill her, or is he trying to save her?

My Thoughts:

Witches. I’ve been eager to read novels about witches and wizards but I haven’t come across any witchcraft-related novels, until ‘Crushed’ came along. I initially expected a sinister and mysterious novel (because witches are evil, right?) but what I read was almost the complete opposite. It was like a typical high school romance novel but with an added paranormal twist – witches playing a game with their power. At first, I found this concept difficult to believe; I mean, witches attending high school and pretending to be normal just seemed strange to me, but I was able to adapt to this and ended up actually enjoying the book.

Crushed has a great premise; the Noah sisters play this game called Crushed where each person must ‘crush’ a guy (with magical dust) and the guy will have to comply with anything she asks of him. There were many scenes which involved the girls fighting with their power, but I had hoped these spells could’ve been described and explained more.

The characters weren’t overly impressive or anything as they didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. Zach, the male lead is supposed to be the ‘bad boy’ but apart from his tardiness and tendency to appear to not care about anything, there really wasn’t anything else that suggested a bad boy image. Kristen, smart, pretty and popular is the polar opposite of Zach; she’s perfect. I usually don’t quite like reading about popular girls, because really, what is there to say, apart from how everyone envies them? But Kristen was tolerable; I might not have liked her at times, but at least she wasn’t annoying and whiny. I did however, like how the Blake effectively captured a teen’s inner feelings of guilt, jealously and competitiveness.

There was a fair amount of teenage drama; girls stealing boyfriends, competing to be popular, you name it. I had no problems with the situations that arised, but most of the drama resolved too fast for my liking. It’s like, a major problem occurred and five minutes later, everything was fine again. Most of the dialogues were colloquial, which was fine since teens do talk like that these days, but I still felt there was an overuse of OMGes and FYIs.

I’ve realised many books use ‘love’ as the ultimate weapon to defeat the enemy. While love is definitely powerful, I feel like it’s being overused. Whenever a difficult problem arises, the only method to resolve it is to use the love one character feels for another, and the enemy will somehow lose. This has officially become a clich├ęd resolution to me. However, apart from that, I truly enjoyed certain scenes from the novel .

Rating: 3.5 stars 

Follower Friday #6 & Blog Hopper #3

19 Aug 2011

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

Q. If you could write yourself a part in a book, what book would it be and what role would you play in that book? 

I probably won't ever want to read about myself in a book, because I'm just not the kick-ass  heroine I love reading about in novels. But if I could be featured in any book, I'd like to write myself a part in The Iron Fey series, and of course, I'd love to be the main heroine, Meghan! What's better than having the prankster,Puck as your best friend and Prince Ash as your knight? It would be a dream come true! Oh, and wouldn't it be fun to meet all those incredible creatures living in the faerie world? 

Anyways, Have a great weekend guys :)

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy for Books

Q. What’s the LONGEST book you’ve ever read?”
(Note: I’m putting one caveat on this question. You aren’t allowed to say the Bible, Torah, Qur’an, or other religious/spiritual text.)

hmm..LONGEST book huh? Well, some books i read were long but didn't feel long since it was so good but with others, I felt like it was taking me forever to finish reading it since I didn't like it :/. But I guess the longest book would have to be Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix (which I absolutely LOVED) so it didn't feel long at all! As for Breaking Dawn, (a few pages less than HP) I think it took me ages to read it since 1) it WAS long & 2) nothing seemed to happen so it just dragged on. 

Waiting On Wednesday #3

17 Aug 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Title: Angel Arias (Night Creatures #2)
Author: Marianne de Pierres
Publisher: Random House Aus.
Expected Release Date: October 3rd, 2011

In the sequel to Burn Bright, Naif is caught in the unrest on the island owned by the pirate, Ruzalia. To stop Ruzalia harming the rebels, and to uncover more answers to the mysteries of Ixion, she has to return to Grave. There she confronts her domineering father and the sinister Grave Elders.

Don't you just love the cover?!?!? It's gorgeous - but in a dark and sinister way. The first book, Burn Bright was amazing- absolutely loved it! I can't wait to read the second installment!

50+ followers GIVEAWAY!

16 Aug 2011

So, my blog has officially reached over 50 followers (and is nearing 60)! Thank you so much to my lovely followers and everyone who has visited my site! During my very short span of 2 months of blogging, I have met so many amazing bloggers and dedicated book readers. Before I started blogging, I didn't even know book blogs existed and I always sort of thought I was weird due to my obsession with books. But now, I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one in the world with a passion for reading!

Now, on to the good part! [For those of you who might've skipped the first paragraph, you'll be glad to read this! ;) ] To show my appreciation, I'll be hosting my very first giveaway!  There will be ONE winner who gets to choose a book from the list below. If I somehow, miraculously reach 100 followers, I'll be adding another winner!
EDIT: There will now be TWO winners instead of just one!

If I Die by Rachel Vincent
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
Frost by Marianna Baer
After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E. Wedel 
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen
Possess by Gretchen McNeil
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

To Enter:
- You must be a follower.
-  Fill out the form below
- You may only enter once. 

Other Info:
- It will be INTERNATIONAL as long as The Book Depository ships to you. (Check link)
- Deadline: September 17th
- Winners will be chosen by
- Winners will be informed by e-mail & have 72 hours to respond

Entra Entries:
- {+1} Twitter Follower (@shiirleyyyxxx)
- {+1 each} for every time you link back to the giveaway e.g. Twitter, Facebook etc.
- {+3} Putting it on your sidebar
- {+5} Blog about this! (Does not have to be a dedicated post, you can just mention this giveaway &amp; provide the link!)

Want to Enter? Fill out this FormGOOD LUCK!
Comments are appreciated :) but will not count as entries.

In My Mailbox #5

14 Aug 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.

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (This finally arrived from The Book Depository - I've been waiting for 2 months. I've already read this and absolutely loved it! So happy I have my own copy now :) )

The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorenson (won from giveaway hosted by author -thanks!)
Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston (thanks to Liz @ Midnight Bloom Reads)
Forever (ARC) by Maggie Stiefvater (thanks to Connie@A Girl With Books)

For Review:
Tuesday's Child by Carolyn Gibbs (thanks to author)
The Space Between (e-book) by Alexandra Sokoloff (thanks to author)
The Rising Moon by Nilsa Rodriguez (thanks to author!)

Shiver/Linger bookmark
Tuesday's Child bookmark
Beautiful Creatures bookmark
Princess for Hire bookmark
Pitch Dark (The Dark Days of Superntural) book
& a This is Teen USB!

A lot of goodies this week :) So, what did you get in your mailbox? Link me, and I'll check it out!

My blog has reach over 50 followers, so to celebrate, I'll be hosting a giveaway! I'll be posting it soon, so stay tuned! Oh, and it will be international! :) 

Book Review: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

13 Aug 2011

Title: Burn Bright
Series: Night Creatures #1
Author: Marianne de Pierres
Publisher: Random House Australia
Release Date: March 1st 2011
Source: Borrowed (love my school library!)
Goodreads Synopsis: 
Into a world of wild secrets and deadly pleasures comes a girl whose innocence may be her greatest strength.

In Ixion music and party are our only beliefs. Darkness is our comfort. We have few rules but they are absolute . . .

Retra doesn’t want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night, ever-youth and never-sleep. Retra is a Seal – sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn’t crave parties and pleasure, experience and freedom.

But her brother Joel left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him. Braving the intense pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she’s ever known, Retra stows away on the barge that will take her to her brother.

When she can’t find Joel, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me, whispers a voice in her head. Who are the Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion?

Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures, but its secrets are deadly. Will friendship, and the creation of an eternal bond with a Riper, be enough to save her from the darkness?

Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark.

My Thoughts:

I’ll admit, I only picked up this book from my library because of the cover. It just looked so eerie yet attention- grabbing at the same time and I just couldn’t resist borrowing it and leaving it on my bookshelf to gawk at. I didn’t have high expectations, but after reading it, i must say that it was a nice and refreshing read for me.

Retra has lived her entire life in a secluded environment, away from the rest of the community. Her actions and everyday life are heavily monitored; she is not being allowed to talk to anyone without permission and gets punished for almost everything she does. Her brother ran away the previous year to Ixion, and she is determined to find him. She is unlike the other runaways whose sole reason for escaping to Ixion, is to live a free life of eternal pleasure and partying. Once she arrives, she realises that there is more to Ixion than what appears on the surface and, are the Ripers, the guardians on the island, really protecting it? As she uncovers the secrets of Ixion and the mysterious guardians, she’ll be fighting for the survival of both herself and her friends.

The setting and world-building were incredibly imaginative; I can’t even start to describe how creative everything was.  The setting was completely original and unique and I was lost in the imaginary world created by the author. Ixion was truly an intoxicating world with its endless parties and everlasting pleasure. Sometimes, I really wish I was a character in the book, having the privilege of never ending partying and living life in the present. Marianne de Pierres is no doubt a master of world-building!
I like a bit of romance in every book I read, and there sure was romance in this book albeit a little…different. But I still enjoyed it. Initially, I rooted for Markes to end up with Retra, but unfortunately his character just wasn’t as fully developed as I’d liked, and his lack of appearance in the second half of the book lead me to eliminate him as a potential suitor. As for Lenoir, the head guardian, I’m still confused over what I think of him. On one hand, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about him and Retra and found their connection really sweet, but on the other hand, I have no idea whether he’s seriously interested in Retra or not. I guess I’ll have to wait for the next book to find out!

I especially loved how the atmosphere created was dark, creepy yet captivating at the same time. It really suited the imaginary world of Ixion. The action scenes were well-written and kept me on the edge of my seat and the layers upon layers of mystery kept me turning page after page, impatient to read more. I also liked how nothing was held back, especially with certain scenes which were described in detail and I was able to conjure those images in my mind.

I guess the only problem for me was the ending. It was one of those unsatisfying endings that didn’t feel rushed, but was certainly abrupt. It just didn’t feel finished, like it ended halfway through a scene. Nevertheless, the ending left me wanting more and I’m anticipating the next instalment which will hopefully provide answers to the questions raised in Burn Bright.

Rating: 4.5 stars

"Ixion exists as an antidote to the rules and conventions of other places. We believe that indulging in pleasure will make better people. Self-denial and discipline and virtue are all myths invented to control you."

Follow Friday #5 & Blog Hopper #2

12 Aug 2011

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

Q. How has your reading habits changed since you were a teen? or if you are still a teen what new genres are you in love with? 

Since I'm still a teenager, I probably won't be able to fully answer the first question, but when I was a young teenager, I used to love children's books and certain YA books. I loved Twilight (as did almost everyone at school), but now I'm over it. As an older teenager, I've grown to like adult fiction, crime & thrillers. I read pretty much everything now although I must admit, the whole Twilight phase got me started on paranormal romance which is currently my favourite genre!

The Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy for Books

“Let’s talk crazy book titles! Highlight one or two (or as many as you like!) titles in your personal collection that have the most interesting titles! If you can’t find any, feel free to find one on the internet!”

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

I love this title! As soon as I read the title, I knew I just had to read it! 

Across Europe by Kangaroo by Joseph R. Barry

I came across this title online, and it immediately caught my attention. I have no idea what this book is about, but it definitely sounds like an interesting read!