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Friday, 15 November 2013

New website alert - Indicated

Hi guys - long time, no type. Let's suffice to say that Year 11 is a bigger deal than I expected, with a lot of pressure.

Anyways, I'm here today to talk to you about a new website called Indicated. The lovely Louisa extended an invitation to me a couple of months ago to be a beta-tester for her new website, and I was given free-reign of the website and its unique features.

I'd say that Indicated is pretty one-of-a-kind - it offers both exposure to indie authors and help and advice on how to get the word out. It also allows bloggers like me to find books that we might not otherwise find, and help the author of the work get the recognition that they deserve. Online communities can make or break a book, and in an age where the internet rules all your online marketing and image mean everything. This site offers the tools with which an indie author can find their footing in the book world, and I'm pleased to be a part of the beginning.

Louisa is running a competition to launch the official opening of Indicated to the public - here are some details from the woman herself:



To celebrate our launch on Tuesday November 19th we’re giving away the 7 goodies below to help authors and thank people for helping spread the word.

1.      A $50 voucher for production of banners and bookmarks by Anastasia Creatives.

2.      A $50 voucher for editing services by Indie Editing by Kathy Lapeyre (Kathy is an awesome editor with over 25 years editing experience).

3.      2 x guides from the Savvy Book Marketer (How to Sell More Books, and your choice of either 1. How to Get Your Book Reviewed 2. Facebook Guide for Authors 3. Twitter Guide for Authors.) Valued at $54.

4.      1 x Gold membership to Indicated (includes access to the review and support system, and book promotion library). Valued at $77.

5.      1 x Silver membership to Indicated (includes access to the review and support system only). Valued at $27.

6.      2 x $25 Amazon gift vouchers.

 

Visit www.indicated.com.au or Facebook to find out more. Good luck!
http://bit.ly/1biDVT8

--

In other news, Catching Fire opens very soon, which I'm super excited about; Castle Season 5 came out on UK DVD on Monday but I can't get it yet; Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor is close and an event which I am helping to organise at school is mere days away! (If you live near Norwich then you can find more details about the event here - http://www.visitaylsham.co.uk/calendar/va112013s.html)


Thanks for reading, and I hope you check out Louisa's website (which will be even better once it's open to the public).

xxGEORGIExx (@G30rg13_R)

Friday, 2 August 2013

Apologies and some reviews

Dearest readers,

Today I gave myself the task of awkwardly writing you all an apology. If you are a regular reader (or were until recently) then you will know that my fellow bloggers and I have somewhat let you down this past 6 months. Even though 3/4 of us are only now reaching our last year of high school we have still found immense pressure thrust upon us from schoolwork, exams and ourselves. This has meant that we've had even less time to blog and release podcasts than normal, and for that I apologise.

I was hoping that we could continue the blog throughout the coming year, and for the most part we will endeavour to do so (even if I have to bully and blackmail my friends into posting :D), but at some points in the year you may find that we do not post any book reviews or updates at all. So I also apologise for any future disappointment that we may cause.

I really hope that you all stick with us as nothing makes my day more than a comment, tweet or other message sent to me by somebody who appreciates how much time we spend on the blog. It takes more time than you might think, even though I have extraordinary amounts of book reviews waiting in my notebook to be published and I love working on the blog. That said, the podcast takes even more work than our blog so we may have to give it up altogether.

In order to make up for not posting in aaaaaaaages, here are a few short reviews of awesome books that I've read recently:



Just One Day by Gayle Forman
A book about self fulfilment, with a romantic base and refreshing aftertaste.
Awe-worthy, gorgeously written and inspiring.
I preferred her first novel (If I Stay) but this is amazing on a whole other level.
What felt like a series was artfully crafted into a single novel, but never felt rushed.
****.5

Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Charming, witty and utterly original.
A little stereotypical of the teenage model genre, however the humour and quirkiness of characters more than makes up for it.
A must-read for anybody who enjoys a good laugh.
Footnote - suitable for tweens and teens alike as it doesn't contain adult themes (although they're not noticeably absent).
****

And now for some 3 word reviews:

Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia
Breath-taking, riveting and addictive.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Mesmerising, unique and beautiful.

Envy (Fury #2) by Elizabeth Miles
Consuming, unnerving and glamorous.

Please leave any thoughts, comments or queries in the comments section below!

Happy reading and have a great summer,
xxGEORGIExx      (@G30rg13_R)





Monday, 6 May 2013

Book review: Debutantes by Cora Harrison





Summary: It’s 1923 and London is a whirl of jazz, dancing and parties. Violet, Daisy,
Poppy and Rose Derrington are desperate to be part of it, but stuck in an enormous
crumbling house in the country, with no money and no fashionable dresses, the
excitement seems a lifetime away.

Luckily the girls each have a plan for escaping their humdrum country life: Rose
wants to be a novelist, Poppy a jazz musician and Daisy a famous film director. Violet,
however, has only one ambition: to become the perfect Debutante, so that she can go
to London and catch the eye of Prince George, the most eligible bachelor in the country.

But a house as big and old as Beech Grove Manor hides many secrets, and Daisy is
about to uncover one so huge it could ruin all their plans—ruin everything—forever.


Review: Upon picking up this book I didn't make the connection between the author
and the Jane Austen series which I avidly read a few years ago. Now, after reading this
book, I can say that this is even better than its predecessors.

I love the 1920s, so the blurb hooked me before I had even read a page - and Cora
Harrison's gripping book didn't dissapoint. I most related to the main protagonist Daisy,
as whilst I am a writer like her younger sister Rose I share her need to suceed and her
steadfast opinions. This made the story very readable for me, and I loved the use of
third person because although it was mostly restricted to Daisy's point of view it allowed
the reader to occasionally drift into conversations that she didn't hear. Her spiritedness
and barefaced truth-telling made her a character which I instantly liked, and her final
decision at the end of the novel did her character proud.

The plot itself is inspired; one of love and ambition alike, where the main character isn't
the one to fall in love (at least in the first book). And what's even better is that Cora
Harrison paints a beautiful story without the need for sex, drugs and rock & roll, instead
settling for "spiffing"s and jazz bands.

The sub-plot which I particularly liked is one which I won't reveal for risk of spoilers,
but all I can say is that it was masterfully written and I didn't see it coming. (You'll know
what I mean if you read it)

And finally, I can't wait for the next one! I would definitely recommend it, and for tweens
as well as YA readers, 4 stars.

Happy reading! (And keep an eye out for our blogiversary in July - all I can say is that
magic word - *giveaways!*),


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Book Review: Struck By Lightning by Chris Colfer


*This post may contain spoilers*


Ahh, I'm sorry this has taken so long! Lets just say that life has got in the way of a lot of things I've planned to do over the last few months, including writing reviews and discussions for this lovely blog. Unfortunately reading anything that isn't fanfiction has definitely been pushed down my list of priorities recently but with the start of the new year (Yes, I'm aware it's March, I'm just starting a little late!) I hope to change that. And with that, I bring you the review of the first book I've finished this year (aside from my reread of the entire Hunger Games trilogy in three days), Struck By Lightning!

Struck By Lightning is the deliciously sarcastic and witty YA book by the one and only Chris Colfer. Written in the form of a journal, SBL is an easy but dark read that will leave you laughing out loud at Carson Phillips' wicked sense of humour (trust me, I was sat in Starbucks and had a laughing fit) and his cynical view on high school life. His comments about his schoolmates are ones that any geek and nerd can relate to - after all we've all thought similar things about the people we've had the misfortune of sharing a classroom with at times.

With more colourful language than even I can get through at one time, Carson's descriptions and opinions on the world around him mean this book is not suitable for the younger reader. Unlike in some other books, however, I wasn't phased by the language and I don't think it detracted from the story at all. Readers have to remember that this is written by a seventeen/eighteen year old boy and you just have to think of the language your classmates use to remember that that's just the way people talk.

Perhaps one of the reasons why I loved the character of Carson so much is because he is so incredibly sarcastic, he is extremely ambitious and has a rather dark sense of humour. In fact, he reminds me of a combination of a very good friend of mine whom I have nicknamed 'Camp Bestie' and one of my fellow 'blog minions' as Georgie has called us, Issy. Definitely not perfect by a long stretch, Carson is a believable and realistic character, even if you won't meet too many people like him in real life. Other characters such as Malerie, Carson's best friend and 'sidekick', provide light relief is this rather dark story and Carson's interactions with his grandma leaving me smiling and crying all at once.

I think putting a copy of the magazine in the book was a very clever idea as you see a different side to characters like Remy and even Claire as your view on the characters aren't tainted by Carson's opinions. I also love reading things in the style of a diary or journal as it is called here since it is an American book. There's something about them that really appeal to me, maybe because I feel as though I know the character better than I would if it was written in a different style such as third person because you're seeing their inner thoughts and opinion on the events taking place.

Unfortunately I already knew the ending before I read the book, a downside that comes with being part of a fandom that is obsessed with Chris and have been tweeting about the book and film since they first came out. However, I still like the fact that it isn't your usual happy ending and, despite what happened, it's kind of a bittersweet ending because the character finally finds happiness in his situation, even though his life wasn't turning out the way he planned. I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much if he has gotten everything he had always wanted – not because I dislike the character, but because I don't think he would have grown as a person as much as he did if he had received everything he wanted.

Anyone who knows me could accuse me of being biased in this review, simply because of my love and admiration for Chris Colfer. However it isn't because of that that I love this book so much. Colfer was incredibly clever in this style of writing and portrayal of Carson whose thoughts and opinions are very familiar to those who feel they are simply surrounded by idiots at times... This is a book that I strongly recommend and I give it a well earned five stars =D

~Abi~

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Book Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick


Seventeen year old Alex is hiking through the wilderness when it happens: an earth-shattering electro-magnetic pulse that destroys almost everything. Survivors are divided between those who have developed a superhuman sense and those who have acquired a taste for human flesh. Alex meets Tom, a young army veteran, and Ellie, a lost girl. They will fight together and be torn apart but Alex must face the most difficult question of all in such a vastly changed world, who can you trust?


I bought Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick during half term, and had finished it within a matter of days. It was a very original story, which I loved about it, because a lot of books at the moment seem to be modelled from other books that are popular. I was worried this would be a similar case, but it appears not. What I also loved about this book was the character relationships. You were never quite sure where they were going; some were tense and some were compromised by that from others. This made up part of the story, but the plot itself was gripping and very exciting. I suppose you could say that this book is sort of a post-apocalyptic type story, minus the zombies, add in a few cannibals (I won't reveal anymore!). The author has taken the general view of an apocalypse and twisted to her own imagination, which I think makes this book different to a lot of mainstream novels at the moment. I'm told there is a sequel to this book, which I sincerely hope due to the major cliffhanger at the end, so I would definitely read that. 

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Book Review: Geekhood - Close Encounters of the Girl Kind by Andy Robb


I had the wonderful pleasure of winning this book from the lovely @Pruedence13's blog giveaway - and it's a signed copy too! I'm not sure what I was expecting from this book, but I was certainly impressed by the chatty-yet-witty writing style which kept me reading until... Really late at night.

I seem to be reading a lot of male-centric books recently, and this was one of the better ones. Andy Robb manages to convey 14 YO angst perfectly - you'd think he's been one! However the character of Archie is likeable and his 'Interior Monologue' (IM) is hilarious, with its sarcastic retorts and snide remarks.

I was impressed by the ending, as there were a few elements holding it back from being cheesily "happily ever after" and which kept it interesting. A good geek-angst read - 4.3 stars!

Try this: Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins and Sally Rideout.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Book review: Unrest by Michelle Harrison

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Elliott hasn’t slept properly for months. Not since the accident that nearly killed him. Sometimes he half-wakes, paralysed, while shadowy figures move around him. Other times he is the one moving around while his body lies asleep on the bed. His doctors say sleep paralysis and out-of-body experiences are harmless - but to Elliott they’re terrifying.
Convinced that his brush with death has attracted the spirit world, Elliott secures a job at a reputedly haunted museum, determined to discover the truth. There, he meets the enigmatic Ophelia. But, as she and Elliott grow closer, Elliott draws new attention from the dead. One night, during an out-of-body experience, Elliott returns to bed to find his body gone. Something is occupying it, something that wants to live again - and it wants Ophelia, too . . .

Review: This novel was another one of those books, written from a male perspective. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't automatically make it a bad book, it just makes it different from everything else. And this book was very different from 'Paper Towns', another male-POV book I've read recently. For one, the book doesn't centre around a girl - it centres on the protagonist's views of the paranormal. And Elliott's narration isn't too dissimilar to a girl's, so I was quite at home reading it.
What makes this book different is the plot, and generally spooky topic of possession. Elliott has been able to see the ghost of the previous resident of his house ever since a car accident which saw him brush with death. What follows is Elliott's quest to see if he really is insane or if he is seeing real ghosts.
The plot thickens at the climax towards the end of the book (which is sudden, yet well-written) catches you by surprise and leaves you with a feeling of unease at the events which have taken place. Michelle Harrison has most definitely moved on from 'Thirteen Treasures'.
To conclude, this terrifying ghost story will thrill and frighten you, and leave you with chills up your spine and fears of what goes bump in the night. 4.5 stars.


You would like: Torn by Cat Clarke

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Book review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Synopsis: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Review: This book is among the group of fairytale re-tellings that are becoming common-place, apart from the fact that this book is futuristic, talking about cyborgs, androids and hovers. It introduced fantasy with the graceful yet deadly lunars and the waging war between the humans and alien race. It includes princes, emperors and prime ministers; politics, love and war. It perfectly combines all of these elements to create Cinder: the tale of a cyborg mechanic in New Beijing; a fast-paced, action-packed novel which uses unique ideas and concepts.
I really like Cinder's character - she didn't know who she was in the World, and she had to obey her legal guardian no matter what the consequences. But despite this all she managed to maintain a quirky, witty personality and stood up for herself. I also liked the character of Prince Kai - he seems like the most down-to-earth monarch in literature and actually seems like a real person rather than a shiny object of women's affections.
The POVs of chapters switch from Cinder to Kai which really helped to develop the plot in certain aspects and showed how the characters viewed each other.
Overall I think that this is a good sci-fi read, which deserves 4.3 stars because it's original and gripping.



You would like: Mortal Engines by Phillip Reeve

Monday, 14 January 2013

January 'No Strings Attached' Blog Hop



Guys, I'm so excited to say this, we on BrainStorm Books are doing another blog hop! But this time, instead of promoting, we will be giving away a book of your choice from the selection below INTERNATIONALLY! (Ordered from The Book Depository)
I know, right! :)
So as this hop is called 'No Strings Attached' you can probably guess where this is going - to enter this hop all you have to do is enter your name and contact details in the Rafflecopter below, and you're done.

I have chosen to offer YA books which are being adapted into films in the near future. You can choose from:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
and finally,
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins!

Thanks to Kathy at 'I'm a Reader, Not a Writer' for this opportunity, and with that I say good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 7 January 2013

Book Review/Rant: Divergent by Veronica Roth

I suppose a lot of you have read this book, so this isn't so much of a formal book review as a rant about it.
I bought this book on my Kindle a couple of days ago, and I haven't been able to put it down. I finished it last night, and I wanted to talk about it while its fresh in my mind.
I absolutely adored this book. The plot itself was such an original idea, and the characters were realistic and believable, which made it all the more fun to read. This is the kind of book that sends that shiver down your spine and makes you wonder what the future will actually be like for society.
This was also the first book where I haven't turned my nose up at the romantic side of it. I admit I am usually a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to romance in books, but in Divergent, I found myself cheering them on instead!
Personally, I think that this book is even better than The Hunger Games, and I am a massive fan of The Hunger Games, so a book has to be good to beat it!
I just loved this book, I can't wait to read the sequel!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Book review: The Betrayal of Natalie Hardgrove by Lauren Kate


Summary: Natalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school's Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn't share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie's nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party - when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.

From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should've messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrove.

Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth in this seductive, riveting tale of conscience and consequence.      

Review: This book is very strange. Well, not strange in a sci-fi way but strange narration style, ending, etc. The book is written by Lauren Kate, the woman who brought us Fallen, Torment and Passion (and I can't say that they float my boat) but this story is entirely different. It's less like Twilight, and more like Gossip Girl - with corruption, rumours and popularity featuring heavily.



Now, whilst it's not a slow-moving book it's not fast faced either, and it's quite short for a novel. To conclude it was okay, but not amazing. 3.8 stars.

You would also like: The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shephard and The Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Book review: Paper Towns by John Green




Summary: Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

Paper TownsReview: Apart from Michael Grant's 'Gone' series, I haven't read many books told from a guy's
point of view. It's a wierd experience for me, being a girl and all, with differences in
speech, topics of discussion and friendship groups. Wierder still is the protagonist
(Quentin) and his fascination with the popular girl Margo who he was friends with as a
child. This girl, who the very idea of is made up from stories he's heard or things made
up inside his head.

For me, the main difference with a male narrator is that he and his friends talk a lot
dirtier, and have less meaningful discussions. Even in the 'Gone' series the male
narrator is often thinking about a girl or his woeful troubles as leader.

But despite the male protagonist, I ate this book up. I can't say I enjoyed it as much
as experienced it, and couldn't wait to finish it (and not in a bad way). The plot is so
inventive, and although I don't believe that people like Margo Roth Spiegelman exist,
she was an intriguing character to decipher. Her whole image is based on "oh did you
hear that Margo..." but you never actually saw any real truth behind her until she had
disappeared.

The ending is perfect - not too soppy and gooey, walking hand-in-hand towards the
sunset, but not too stark and cold like everyone being shot then finito, the end. And by
the grand finale you are able to meet the real Margo Roth Spielgelman and find out the
truth.

So to conclude, this book was good, but in a different way to most that I read. It didn't
hold much appeal, and I didn't like or feel emotionally attached to any of the characters
(although there were a few cringey moments when I thought "Oh Q, don't do that"). By
the end it had a good road-trip vibe and then retreats back to a deep, angsty poetry-
esque feel, but overall the writing style makes you want to read on long after the book
has ended, so much so that you'll read the 'author's note'.

So 4 stars!

You would like: 'Gone' by Michael Grant and 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Xmas Bumper Giveaway Winners Announcement


Hi there!

Thanks to everyone who entered my Xmas Bumper Giveaway this December, and I hope to host many more giveaways in the future! Reading your comments and seeing ever-growing blog follower stats makes my day, so thanks for commenting (if you ever do).

So, time to announce the winners!
And in 1st place, winning the bumper box of books is...
Shakira!
And in joint 2nd, winning a book & assorted swag each, are...
Jamie and Megan!

Hopefully in the coming months we will (finally!) get some more reviews posted, and I might eventually finish editing the Hunger Games Movie Commentary we recorded back in September (I need to get to work!).

Thanks again to everyone who entered, and please make sure to read, comment and interact with us all on the blog!

Best wishes for the New Year, and happy reading!
xxGEORGIExx (@G30rg13_R on twitter)

Book Review: Numbers by Rachel Ward

First off, I'd like to apologise for my complete lack of involvement in this blog. I have been part of it for quite a while but this is still my first post (I'm ashamed to admit) so I'll try and make it worthwhile.
I received the Numbers books for Christmas from my parents, and I'm partway through the third and final book. However, this review is on the first book; I may post reviews on the next couple later on.

"Since the day her mother died, Jem has known about the numbers. When she looks into someone's eyes, she can see the date they will die. Life is hard, until she meets a boy called Spider. Suddenly her world seems brighter. But on a trip to London, Jem foresees a chain of events that will shatter their lives forever..."

The story follows 15 year old Jem who lives with her foster mother in London. Her mother died of an overdose when she was younger, and from that day she could see a sequence of numbers for every person, which foretold their death date.
Jem is a slightly complicated character. She has a unique outlook on life which comes partly from the numbers and partly from witnessing her mother's death.
Throughout the novel, we see a definite development of Jem's relationship with Spider. At the beginning, she sees he has only a few weeks to live, and has neutral feelings about this. They develop from acquaintances to friends in a short time. However, for me personally, I feel that the romantic side of their relationship was rushed and, although not completely obvious to the reader to begin with, becomes a fairly strong one quite quickly.
I also feel that although Jem and Spider are quite "rough" characters, there was an excessive amount of swearing in the book.
Overall, I would probably give this book 3 stars. It is a good read if you're looking for a new idea in YA fiction that doesn't include vampires and werewolves, but there are a number of ways I could criticise it.
I will, however, assure you that I found the second book in the series to be a lot more gripping, and finished it in a day. I will post a review later on. This one has been rather vague, but I am in a hurry, so I apologise for that :P

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Book Review: Crossed by Allie Condie (Matched #2)



Summary: In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky — taken by the Society to his certain death — only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander — who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart — change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Crossed (Matched, #2)Review: So I finally finished it! Sometimes I lie to goodreads about how long I have been reading a book, as I'm too ashamed to admit the truth, and that is the case with this one. I started reading it a while ago, and got less than 1/3 through before giving up. I then read a few other books, but after enouragement continued to read this one (after being told that the finale to the series is set to be amazing).

This book is the kind that doesn't hold your interest, you just have to plough your way through. The characters don't connect with you and you just don't care anymore if they live or die or fall out of love.

To be honest, I don't remember if 'Matched' held much intrigue either (I imagine not) and as with 'Wither' by Lauren DeStefano the idea behind the book is amazing, but the story just doesn't deliver. I feel really bad for saying this but it just wasn't all that good (better than some though).
So... 3.1 stars (because it didn't make me want to "microwave my face").

You would like: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Book Review: Forgotten by Cat Patrick



Summary: With the intrigue of "Memento" and the romance of "The Time-Traveller's Wife", "Forgotten" is the perfect YA novel.

Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.


Review: This book is a great example of both romance and an air of mystery combined. I felt just that little bit sad and definitely wierded out by London's memory losses, but I can't say it blew me out of the sky because it didn't. It is, however, still the sort of book that I stay up all night to read. What's the word... Gripping.

London's memory loss issue also proves to add an awesome writing style to chapters - it's as if the start of each chapter is the start of a new book, with London re-reading her notes to find out what happened in her life on the previous day. It made me feel sad when she tells herself lies ( which she believed because of course someone would trust themself to tell the truth) or leaves information about her day out of the note, or can't remember her first date, or tenth.

But the one drawback of this book if that the ending feels rushed; the further into the book you get the more time skips between each passing chapter. Until the end arrives and it's 10 years later and you don't have a clue what's going on.

It also feels rushed because the climax is the whole last wedge of book, leaving you feeling that there should be a sequel, although there shouldn't - I may be many things, but I don't condone sequels made for money, rather than love for the subject matter.
Overall, an interesting topic to cover in a book, which I haven't read about before. 4 stars.

Happy reading,





Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Bumper Xmas Giveaway

This Christmas season, I'm running a Bumper Xmas giveaway from the start of December till New Years Day. In this giveaway I will provide one big 1st place prize, of a box full of books & swag, and multiple 2nd place prizes. It's UK only I'm afraid for the 1st place prize, but 2nd place prizes will be international, so there are separate Rafflecopter widgets for each.
All you have to do to enter is fill the form in with your contact details, and perform any additional tasks listed to gain extra entries.
So far the books I'v collected are:

A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable

Keys to the Repository by Melissa de la Cruz

Sister Missing by Sophie McKenzie

Wolf Springs Chronicles: Unleashed 
by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie

and many more!

(1st Place Prize - UK only)


(2nd Place Prizes - INT)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Please tell your friends and publicise it on social networks to encourage others to enter, and the best of luck to you!

Also, I've made a blog button, so if you're a fellow blogger or have a website with HTML coding, please post it to spread the word! (It's in the sidebar, and let me know in the comments section, so I can give your blog a follow! :D)



There are a few people who are commenting on the post via the rafflecopter widget. Just to let you know, I meant comment in the section below. But as I appreciate the entries, I will count them, and here they are:

Zoe: My favourite Christmas tradition has to be opening the presents together and then sitting down to Christmas dinner with all the family!!

Emily: Play LOTS of Monopoly games on Christmas day!

Fia: Leading up till Christmas, I always make a ream of paper-chains and tell myself 'This will be the year I make it go all the way around the house' - every time, I don't...

Alena: Decorating Christmas tree and baking together.

Amanda: My girls get to pick out a new ornament for the tree every year, then when they are older they take them with them for their first tree.

Book Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

I'll start this review by talking about the context of this book. I originally read it as a part of the 'Random Reads' meme hosted by I'm Loving Books, but soon forgot all about it (which I am embarrassed to admit). I actually read this back in May, but due to exams and outside commitments I have not had a chance to pot this.

I am really grateful to Sarah at I'm Loving Books for running this meme, as it gave me a gateway to books I'd seen but not really been drawn to, and now absolutely love. So I give you... Unwind.

Summary: Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives. The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end.

Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound.
Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Review: Call it science-fiction, call it dystopia, call it whatever you want. What you can't deny is that this book is amazing. It's thought provoking, suprise enducing and terrifying, and yet somehow Neal Shusterman managed to turn this tale into a work of art.

It's written in a format that I haven't come accross before, with chapters in the voices of not only the 3 protagonists, but also side characters who don't even have names (e.g. Guard) that are merely passers by in this grand adventure.

I must say this was my favourite of the few random reads that I read, and for a book published nearly 6 years ago you'll be suprised how up to date and on-trend it is.
So give it a go; it may horrify you, move you and amaze you throughout the epic journey its characters lead, which will keep you reading all night! I will certainly be ordering the sequel, as I can't wait to read more Neal Shusterman! 4.7 stars.

Happy reading.



Thursday, 29 November 2012

Blog Hop: Impossible by Komal Lewis (Giveaway)

Hey guys,

So... I'm doing a book blog tour! This book sounds great, so if you get a chance go and give it a read! As far as I can tell it's available in eBook and paperback, both in the UK and US!


Title: Impossible
Series: With Me, #1
Author: Komal Lewis
Self-Published
Release Date: October 26, 2012
Pages: 254

Blurb:
 Ashton Summers is on her way to becoming the most popular girl in school and nothing—or no one—is going to stand in her way. Especially not Luca Byron, her freak neighbor, with his tattoos, loud music, and distracting green eyes.
 Luca Byron has three goals in life: get through high school with a low profile, make sure his garage band becomes something more than a hobby, and try to forget about his insufferable ex-best friend, Ashton, who he can’t get out of his mind.
 The last thing Ashton and Luca want to do is rekindle their friendship, but when Ashton takes a tumble down the social ladder, Luca—with his new makeover—is the only one who can help her rise up again by pretending to be her boyfriend. At first, being together is unbearable and annoying, but things start to change as Ashton and Luca discover the real reasons they drifted apart seven years ago.
 Now, keeping their hands off each other seems impossible.

AUTHOR BIO:
Komal Lewis is an author who writes both Young Adult and Adult novels in the Contemporary and Fantasy genres. Her debut novel IMPOSSIBLE is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance about a girl who will do anything to become popular, and the rocker boy-next-door.

Komal lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and one too many dogs and cats (although she never seems to think they have enough). She is overly enthusiastic about video games, comic books, Batman films, Byronic heroes, baking, reptiles, and pretty shoes.

Now, if you fancy getting your hands on a copy of this amazing sounding book (and if you don't believe me, read the amazon.com reviews!), you can enter below. This is an international giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, without further ado, please welcome the lovely Komal Lewis!


Questions

1. Have you always wanted to be an author?
I’ve wanted to be an author since I was five, but I thought that it was more of a hobby and that I would have to find another full-time job. This was long before e-publishing became such a big thing and paved the way for authors to make their own way in the publishing industry.

2. What is the most interesting job you ever had?
When I was 14, I was in a dance group. We used to perform at events and it was so much fun. More recently, I worked in promotions for an independent record label. It was such a great learning experience for me.

3. What sort of books did you read as a teenager?
Between the ages of 10 and 17, I read all the classics. Wuthering Heights, Anna Karenina, War & Peace, Dracula, Dune, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Papillon were just some of the books I read (and loved!) as a teenager.

4. What is your absolute favourite book ever?
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Hands down, it’s the best book I’ve ever read.

_________

Top 10 TV shows

I’ve probably missed a few great ones, but these are the ones I could remember off the top of my head. The list doesn’t include cartoons which I love, such as Rugrats, Hey, Arnold!, Arthur, Little Elvis and the Truckstoppers, etc. (Yes, I am secretly a six-year-old child.)

1. Veronica Mars – This is my absolute favourite TV show EVER. I love all the characters in it and I especially love Veronica and Logan. Best couple on TV for sure. If you haven’t seen this show, you need to get on it A.S.A.P.

2. The Big Bang Theory – I seriously love this show to the point where I crazily wait for new episodes. The jokes they make are hilarious, the characters are fun and quirky, and I love seeing how they all fit in together. This show is a must-see for lovers of all things geeky! (P.S. Sheldon Cooper is the best!)

3. Modern Family – This show has me in stitches every time I watch it! I reserve my “hyena laugh” especially for this show. It is SO funny seeing that family dynamic and how everyone reacts to one another. It’s also an extremely relatable show that lets you know how important family is. You will definitely see yourself in at least one of the characters.

4. Supernatural – Sam and Dean Winchester are the second best couple on TV! I seriously love this show and the characters in it—the brothers and Castiel are definitely my favourites. The pilot episode was one of the most memorable pilot episodes I’ve ever seen. Also, I was kinda scared for a whole month after I watched it.

5. Charmed – I really enjoyed it until Season 3 when you-know-who dies. I loved the interesting witchy problems that the sisters encountered. This was seriously a great show. Plus, Phoebe and Cole were smokin’!

6. True Blood – There is so much to love about this show, especially the characters. Although, the plot has become a bit crazy, I am still waiting obsessively for the next season to come out.

7. Fawlty Towers – This show always has me in hysterics. I’m so sad that there are only two seasons, but I just watch them over and over again like a crazy person. John Cleese is brilliant in it!

8. Pokemon – Gotta Catch ‘Em All! I had to put this one in there. Too many childhood memories are attached to it. The first season is my favourite!

9. Once Upon A Time – Fairy tales? Evil queen? Rumpelstiltskin? A curse tying everything together? Seriously, why wasn’t this show made ten years ago? I love, love, love Once Upon A Time! It is definitely one of my favourite shows at the moment.

10. Lost Girl – This is a gem of a show that I don’t think many people know about. It’s about a succubus named Bo and her human friend, Kenzi. There’s also a hot werewolf named Dyson in it. Steamy!

11. Daria – Well, I obviously can’t count, but I just had to put it on the list. Does anyone remember this one? Daria’s sarcastic humour is still relevant today.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I really appreciate it!


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Dearest followers...

As there are so few of you, I have decided to create postcards to send to all of you in this festive season.
If you are fine giving me your email or mailing address (UK or International, I really don't mind where I post  it to) please send it to brainstormbookcast@gmail.com or ask about it in the comments section below.

Thanks so much for your continuing support,
xxGEORGIExx and the BrainStorm Books team

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Catching Fire Icon and Tagline!


Every revolution begins with a spark...

So, Hunger Games fans, the promotion starts here! Please comment with your thoughts on the film series and/or your thought on what Catching Fire should be like.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Site updates etc.

Dear lovely BrainStorm Books readers,

Just posting to let you know about the changes that have been happening all over the blog.

As you may have noticed, we have updated out look (and although Issy may not like pink, I think it works). Once I get more knowledgeable about HTML coding and photoshop elements I may even try my hand at designing a blog template, rather than just a header :)

We have also (although you probably don't know yet) created an app for smartphones - I'm not sure if it's downloadable yet, but I do have the web address for you to check it out.
BrainStorm Books Updates App

Whilst the blog and podcast have been a bit quiet recently, we are hoping that with the school Christmas holidays will bring time to blog and record our bookish thought, so keep an eye or ear open for that!

And on the topic of podcasts, we recorded a while ago a Hunger Games Movie Commentary, which I should be editing and publishing soon,

So, bye for now!
xxGEORGIExx
Editor

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Winner of my halloween giveaway!

Hey guys,

I know it's only November 1st, but I already drew the winner of my Halloween giveaway! (I know, I'm actually organised today!)

If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen my earlier tweet:


So, well done to Becky! Yet again, I was so pleased to see all your entries, and have already started planning an extra awesome bumper xmas one! (It will hopefully involve a box full of books, and possibly some paperchase goodies etc. We'll have to see how my finances go, and how much a parcel costs!).

So thanks to everyone, and hugs to you all!
xxGEORGIExx

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

New podcast episode - a special Halloween short story!

Hey guys,

Check our the new episode of our podcast (BrainStorm BookCast) which will hopefully be submitted to the iTunes store soon, for your listening pleasure. Until then, you can listen manually via this here blog, or go to our podomatic page where you can listen or download to your PC.

The Churchyard - a special Halloween Short Story - Chapters 1-3

When Alice, Georgie and Lia leave after school revision late on All Hallows Eve, they don't expect things to take a turn for a worse as they walk through their local churchyard...

That’s all we have time for today, but more chapters are coming soon…
If you have any feedback, or questions you’d like to ask us, please email brainstormbookcast@gmail.com or tweet us at @b_s_bookcast.

Happy halloween!
xxGEORGIExx

Monday, 29 October 2012

Book Review: Adorkable by Sarra Manning


Summary: Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World.

And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend.

Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can't she stop talking to him?

Review: Before I even finished the first chapter of this book I was in love with Jeane. She is a girl of my own heart: a blogger, twitterer and has a 'unique' sense of style - although I don't go that far!
I just LOVED this book (Thanks to my history teacher @history_ahs/@overflowingklc for letting me borrow her copy!) and the values it spoke for - feminism, individuality, the list could go on and on. And I love how by the end of the book her views on the un-dorks have been changed.

The chapters of Adorkable are written alternatively between Jeane and Michael (the love interest, if you can call him that). What struck me is how the author doesn't patronise you by writing 'Jeane' or 'Michael' at the start of each chapter, leaving you to decide (although it's fairly easy to tell after a page of inner dialogue).

And yes, intrusive parents, Adorkable does have a sex scene. But it is done in an un-Hollywood, completely British way - it is awkward, and does more to teach teens about how life is than any Rom Com rated '15'. It doesn't talk about everything, but it manages to portray the characters even better than if she (Sarra Manning) had glossed over it all.

So, this book was worth the wait - I did read it back in May, but I'm only just posting the reviews on my blog, so bear with me readers ;) It made me laugh, cry and wish I had a friend/dual personality half as cool and kooky as Jeane. 5 stars (Obviously!)

Sincerely,
xxGEORGIExx

And to be honest readers, I couldn't for the life of me think of a single book as similarly awesome as Adorkable. So you'll just have to look through my blog for more great books!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

New Halloween Giveaway - part of the 'Month Before Halloween' Blog hop

Hey guys,
Sorry for not regularly posting these days, but homework and a new blog I'm making (for school) are taking up a lot of my time. But here's a giveaway which I'm doing as part of Nina (of 'Death, Books and Tea')'s blog giveaway hop.

(By the way, thanks to Nina for understanding my situation and allowing me to submit content a tad late!)

So I'm giving away a copy of Candace Fleming's 'On The Day I Died', which is a collection of Halloween related, spooky short stories.

Hopefully by now you know how this all works, but if you don't just do all the tasks on the rafflecopter widget below, and voila! You have yourself some comp entries.

So, without further ado, please enter and good luck!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

New! BrainStorm BookCast: Episode 6 - How did I not pick up on that?!

Hey guys,

Sorry that the podcast's been slacking recently (not to blame anyone, but it was Abi's fault! :D), but we've all had homework, coursework etc. that our parents think are more important than blogging and podcasting (I know; the cheek of it!).

So in actuality this episode was recorded at the beginning of the summer, but it just took me a lot of time to get around to editing it. But here it finally is; and it's a cracker of an episode. Featuring myself and Abi, alongside special guests Raimy and Lily, we talk about sex drugs and rock and roll, with tons of other stuff (book related, of course).


This episode we discuss:
  • Classification in books
  •  Darker themes in YA
  •  eBooks vs. Audio-books vs. Paperbacks
  •  Comfort books and beach reads
  •  How much description do you really need?
And much, much more!

Join us next episode as we chat to our first international guest Ellie!


Lots of internet hugs,
xxGEORGIExx


Book Review: We'll Always Have Summer (The Summer I Turned Pretty #3) by Jenny Han


Summary: It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.

Review: Whilst these books may not be as deep or moving as some, they are a good beach read. I was able to finish in a couple of short sittings and get a tad emotional (when it comes to the dead friend of her mother/mother of her boyfriend).

Susanna (or Beck) seems to be the deepest character, despite being dead. Belly (or Isabel), the protagonist, I sometimes find a bit shallow, but her friends Taylor and Annika more than make up for a lack of personality. The book soley focuses on 'Belly's Boyfriend/Fiance blues' (as if you couldn't already tell from the cover) and the *spoiler* destruction of a relationship.

I give this book 3.8 stars for making me cry and feel sorry for Belly (despite her insescent whining annoying me).

You would also like: What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Winners of my 'Back to School' giveaway!

Hey guys,

I really do need to post more often these days, but as normal time flies when you're at school and I've been waylaid with homework etc. to do.

So thanks to you all for entering my Back to School giveaway, and I managed to get even more entries this time than my summer one! (Only 3 more, but who cares :D)

So (drum-roll please), the winners of my Back to School giveaway are...

Natalie/Grace Lavender (who won Angel) and Lyndsey Rushby (who won Ultraviolet)!


Thanks to you all for entering, and please do enter my Halloween giveaway which will be launching soon ;) [Tell your friends; spread the word!] Also, a big thank you to Luisa from Chicklish who kindly offered these books for the giveaway - thanks Luisa!

Lots of internet hugs,
Georgie

PS My lovely winners' twitter usernames are @NovaSilence and @Fiction_Fan, so go follow them!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Brand new - Back to school giveaway! (UK ONLY!)


Hey guys!
Sorry for not posting in aaaaages, but to be honest I really can't be bothered to do anything till school starts again next week! ;(

But here's a something to keep you going, as Luisa Plaja of the 'Chicklish' blog has kindly offered me 2 books for the giveaway.

So up for grabs are:

Ultraviolet by R.J.Anderson
Alison finds herself on her way to Pine Hills Psychiatric Treatment Centre. She doesn’t really know why she’s going there. Stretched out before her are many weeks of getting used to the other patients and dealing with daily therapy sessions... It soon becomes clear that an event at school where her classmate, Tori seemed to break up in to many pieces in front of her has caused everything. Tori’s reported missing by her parents and the police can’t find her. Deep down, Alison doesn’t think she killed Tori – not really - but why did she disappear like that? What else could explain it?



and
 
AngelIn a world where angels are beyond redemption, Alex thinks he's found one that might deserve mercy. Alex is a ruthless assassin - of angels. Forget everything you've heard about them before. Angels are not benign celestial creatures, but fierce stalkers whose irresistible force allows them to feed off humans, draining them of their vitality until there is barely anything left. As far as Alex is concerned, the only good angel is a dead angel...until he meets Willow. She may look like a normal teenager but Willow is no ordinary girl. Half-angel, half-human, Willow may hold the key to defeating the evil angels. But as the hunter and the hunted embark on an epic and dangerous journey and Willow learns the dark and terrifying secrets of her past, Alex finds himself drawn to Willow...with devastating consequences.

So just enter your email into the widget below and do some of the tasks to gain entries. There will be a one book per winner policy, so please specify in the rafflecopter widget which book you'd prefer. A big thanks to Luisa - and good luck!

(Please note that this giveaway is for the UK ONLY as I cannot afford postage for an international one. Sorry :( Also, please do not spam the giveaway with invalid entries as I will just delete them!)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7eaf6e1/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway