Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: Vampire Academy The Graphic Novel #1

Name: Vampire Academy The Graphic Novel

Author: Richelle Mead

General Release Date: 25th August 2011

Date I finished it: 27th August 2011

Type: Paperback

From: Amazon

My Rating: 5/5 stars

As I am sure most of you already know, I am a massive Vampire Academy/Richelle Mead fan.
I was so excited when my copy of this graphic novel came in the post, I started reading it right away!

The story follows the same plot as the original Vampire Academy novel, it does leave out a few scenes but all the main parts of the book is in there.
It's like Vampire academy, the condensed version!

The artwork in this book is really good, although I do think the graphics in the Storm Born comics are better.
The characters are pretty much the same as what I imagined them to be in my head when I was reading the book.
It had been a while since I read the Vampire Academy series, especially the first book. So I found this a nice little refresher without having too much information thrown at me.

I'll admit I had to get out my copy of the Vampire Academy novel to remember if this graphic novel covered the whole first book or not. It turns out it does, I honestly don't remember the book being that short, maybe because the last few books in the series were pretty long!

Overall it was a really great graphic novel and I'm glad I bought it, for fans of the series it is a must have. For those who haven't read the series, it gives the same story but a much more condensed version!

End of August RAK Wrap up

Random Acts of kindness is hosted by BookSoulmates

This is my third month of taking part in R.A.K :)

What I sent:

Sticky Fingers to Amber at Books of Amber
Beastly to Megan at Reading Away The Days

Ultraviolet to Michelle at Much Loved Books
My Soul to Save to Jess at Book Passion For Life

What I received:

Mortal Kiss from Kay at K-Books
Meant to Be from Megan at Reading Away The Days

I love taking part in R.A.K!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #14

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share one or two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

1. "Sometimes I think the only reason her parents had Penny was so that they'd have a babysitter for Annabelle. Like My Sister's Keeper, but in reverse and without the cancer"

2. "Penny's mom, who is always home whenever I go over to Penny's (noted by her gigantic silver Hummer parked in the driveway, but never by an actual sighting) is a QVC addict"

Sweet Venom 2 Title Hunt

I am so happy to be taking part in the scavenge hunt for the title of Sweet Venom 2 by Tera Lynn Childs today!

So what you need is my letter right?

Well it's:

Make sure to check out Tera's blog where all the blogs taking part in this scavenge hunt will be listed!

There are going to be some really cool prizes given away:
5 signed copies of Sweet Venom
a $50 dollar bookstore gift card

The scavenge hunt is open internationally!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) - Richelle Mead

Name: Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1)

Author: Richelle Mead

General Release Date: 25th August 2011

Date I finished it: 27th August 2011

Type: Paperback

From: Amazon

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Once again I don't really know how to write this review without it turning into a massive Richelle Mead Gust-Fest!
I think everyone has been waiting for this book to be released all year, I know I have!

For those of you who may have been living under a rock for the past year, Bloodlines is the new spin off from Richelle's Vampire Academy series. I loved Vampire Academy, it is one of my favourite YA book series', so I was super excited to eventually get my hands on Bloodlines.

This time around we are thrown into the world of Sydney who we met in the Vampire Academy series, but didn't really find out too much about her except for her job. She is an alchemist.
She pretty much cleans up vampire messes and works to make sure humans do not find out about the vampire world, even though she works with vampires, being nice, friendly or even tolerant towards them is strictly frowned upon in the alchemist world. After going rogue and helping Rose in the Vampire Academy series Sydney is in some series trouble with her family and the rest of the alchemists.

In order to save her younger sister from being thrown into the world of vampires, Sydney takes up a new job in Palm Springs, playing the role of Jill's (Queen Vasalisa's half sister) sister and dorming with her in a elite private school to keep her out of harms way.

I won't say too much else because I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone who hasn't read the book yet.
I completely fell in love with this book from page one (which if you know me isn't a big shock, I fall in love with all of Richelle's books from page one!). At first I wasn't too sure about the story being told from Sydney's point of view. I didn't think she was that great of a character in Vampire Academy, she had some great parts in that series, but I didn't know if she had enough pull as a character to tell an entire story.
I was wrong, she did!

As the story unfolds we get to see some of our favourite characters from the Vampire Academy series, as well as some new ones from the Bloodlines world. I really liked how the two worlds mixed at the start of the book and there were characters from both series' sitting in the same room together.

As with all of Richelle's book there is a mysterious danger element in the book and when that mystery is finally unravelled I was completely shocked!

Even though Vampire Academy has come to and end, I'm looking forward to seeing glimpses of my favourite characters in the new Bloodlines series now.
Bloodlines will never be the same as Vampire Academy, it is not meant to be the same! I really cannot wait to read more about Sydney and her antics now.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review: Storm Born Comic #3 - Richelle Mead

Name: Storm Born Comic #3

Author: Richelle Mead

General Release Date: Unknown

Date I finished it: 28th August 2011

Type: PDF File

My Rating: 5/5 stars

A massive thank you to Sea Lion books for sending me this to review, I was a bit nervous as I had heard there was a bit of a delay with this issue!
The story starts off right where we left it in issue two, Euegnie has decided to cross over to the Otherworld in order to find and rescue the teenager Jasmine who was kidnapped by Aeson (some of us who have read the books know who she really is).

While in the Otherworld Eugenie gets help from King Dorian to reach Aeson's castle and rescue Jasmine but when she gets there things do not go as smoothly as she originally planned!

I love love loved this issue!I honestly do not know what I can possibly say that isn't going to turn into a Richelle Mead gush fest..ok so I'll try....
The art work in this issue is truly amazing! Being a fan of the original books I was completely surprised to see some of my favourite characters come to life. King Dorian, Aeson and Volusian are not what I expected at all. In fact they are a million times better than what I had imagined in my head!

King Dorian's court was exactly what I had imagined it to be like from the books, people kissing and doing who knows what out in the open! The Otherworld itself has some amazing details in it, especially the trees in the background I really loved those!I loved how the all of the characters have still kept all their individual traits and quirks from the books and of course they make me laugh like hell! Of course Eugenie is her usual bad-ass self like she is in the books, only this time it's as if she has come to life!

I honestly cannot wait for the fourth issue in this series now!

In My Mailbox (IMM) #14

Here is this week's In My Mailbox video

I bet your all glad it's only 5 minutes long compared to last week's video!

Review: Adrian's Lost Chapter (Bloodlines 0.5) - Richelle Mead

Name: Adrian's Lost Chapter (Bloodlines 0.5)

Author: Richelle Mead

General Release Date: August 2011

Date I finished it: 27th August 2011

Type: PDF File

My Rating: 5/5 stars

This was the first chapter of Bloodlines from Adrian's perspective.It was what was going to be the original first chapter for Bloodlines!I liked it, but am so glad Richelle went with Sydney's chapter instead!I much prefer the story being told form Sydney's perspective, she is such a great main character!
You can read it for yourself HERE

Review: - Pariah Comic #3 - Aron Warner

Name: Pariah Comic #3

Author: Aron Warner

General Release Date: September 2011

Date I finished it: 27th August 2011

Type: PDF File

From: Review Copy from publishers

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Another big thank you to Sea Lion books for sending me a review copy of this issue!

This is the third comic in Aron Warner's Pariah comic book series, and in my opinion I think this is the best one so far!

This issue follows another new character, a Vitro called Robert Maudsley,
Robert has the ability to understand human emotions and thoughts and likes to play people off against each other and see how far he can push people.

Robert kind of creeped me out a bit, he doesn't seem to really care about what is right or wrong, and only cares that he gets the outcome he expects or hopes for. It's strange watching him play with people and know exactly what he needs to do to get his end result.
I think he will be one to watch out for in the future issues, as I don't think he is exactly a "team player".

Once again, some great artwork. I really love the entire feel of these comics!
Anxiously awaiting issue four now so I can find out what happens next!

Review: Pariah Comic #2 - Aron Warner

Name: Pariah Comic #2

Author: Aron Warner

General Release Date: August 2011

Date I finished it: 24th August 2011

Type: PDF File

From: Review Copy from publishers

My Rating: 4/5 stars

A big thank you to Sea Lion books for sending me a copy of this to review!

This is the second comic in the Pariah series and this time around the story is told from Lila Elllerman's point of view.
Lila is a sixteen year old Vitro who was working in the Marinus lab when the disaster struck, so we see a first hand experience of what happened in the labs at the time.

Lila also discovers that she is the one being framed for the disaster, when she knows that she had nothing at all to do with those virus experiments. She takes her team on the run and makes a game out of who can find the best and more secure internet connection to ensure no one tracks them down, but someone has tracked them down!

I really liked seeing a different character's perspective in this issue, and especially a female perspective.
The art work is really great, as it was in issue one.
I'm looking forward to starting the third comic in this series now!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: Beauty Queens - Libba Bray

Name: Beauty Queens

Author: Libba Bray

General Release Date: 24th May 2011

Date I finished it: 25th August 2011

Type: Hardback (US edition)

From: The Book Depository

My Rating: 3/5 stars

When I first got Beauty Queens months ago I was super excited by it, but for some reason it got put near the end of my urgent TBR list. I don't really know why that is.
So I picked it out as one of my books for Project 10 Book. (If you want to know more about this challenge check out my You Tube videos)

I have not read any of Libba Bray's books before, so I wasn't entirely sure what to expect.
Beauty Queens follows a pack of teenage beauty queens whose plane crash lands on what seems to be a deserted island. After they finally realise that no help is coming their way the girls decide to have some fun while trying to survive. They turn building huts and weapons into a competition and use their skills to create safe drinking water and create a regular food supply.

But everything is not as it seems, there is in fact a secret compound on the island full of Corporation employees, the same Corporation who run the teen beauty pageant they were all meant to take part in!

I did enjoy this book, it was strange to get into at first as almost every chapter is from a different beauty queen's perspective. It was a bit confusing at first as there is so many of them, after a while though I soon saw who the main characters were and their stories were the ones that stuck n my head the most.
In between chapters there is also fact sheets on each of the girls, which does make it a little less confusing to remember who everyone is. There are also adverts and press releases from the Corporation, which at first I wondered why on earth those things would be in the book, but as I read more they made sense.

I did like how each beauty queen had their own little quirks and personalities and from a readers perspective, even though it got confusing I liked hearing from each of them.
I really liked how diverse the range of girls stranded on the island was as well, it's not often in books (tv shows, anything really) that you see a wide mix of girls from completely different backgrounds, cultures and ethnicities.

The story itself is pretty unbelievable, especially when the pirates showed up! But it was a fun read.
If you are looking for something light-hearted that doesn't make you think too much, this is it!

Friday, August 26, 2011

BelleBooks Catch up Challenge

I have talked about this challenge on Facebook and Goodreads, but now it's finally time to make it official (well almost).

I have bought, swapped and received so many great books this year and there are quite a few that I am desperate to read, but haven't quite found the time to read them. So I am setting myself a challenge to catch up with these books, hence the name Catch Up Challenge!

The challenge runs from the 1st of September till the 31st of December 2011.
I would love for people to join me with this challenge!

I am aiming to read 25 books during this challenge, which works out at about 6 books a month, to me thats an achievable number.
You don't need to read 25, you could set yourself a target of 3 books if you like!

I haven't quite chosen all of the 25 books I'd like to read yet, I think I might choose my first 15 and see how I go from there. Even picking 15 is tough! Luckily I still have about a week till the challenge starts to decide so I will do another post nearer the time with the full details of my first 15 books.

If you want to join in with the Catch Up Challenge, enter the linky below!
That way everyone can see who is taking part!

Review: Hunger (Horsemen of the Apocalypse #1) - Jackie Morse Kessler

Name: Hunger (Horsemen of the Apocalypse #1)

Author: Jackie Morse Kessler

General Release Date: 18th October 2010

Date I finished it: 23rd August 2011

Type: Paperback

From: The Book Depository

My Rating: 3/5 stars

Hunger follows seventeen year old Lisabeth Lewis as she realises she has been picked to become one of The Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Famine.
It's no surprise really that she has been chosen to play the role of Famine as Lisabeth is used to the feeling of being hungry all the time, she is anorexic.

Lisa works hard to keep her family and friends at a distance so they don't figure out her secret.
Being Famine is just another way for Lisa to escape her life, get away from all those prying eyes, hunger pains and the guilt.
When she is Famine she feels more powerful than ever before, travelling the world on her majestic steed and creating havoc. However Lisa soon realises that bringing pain and death to the world is not what she truly wants, in order to get out this situation Lisa has to face War, another horseman (horsewoman/horseperson?).

I didn't rate this book very highly, I have it three stars.
The story line was good, I liked seeing the two different sides to Lisa, her normal self and her Famine role.
I think the book itself was too short and too rushed, it could have been longer and certain scenes could have had more details in them.

I didn't really feel a connection with Lisa as a main character like I usually do with most books I read.
I don't really know why that is, I think I would have liked a bit more of a background story before Lisa became Famine.

I did however all all the little Nirvana touches in the book, especially when Death was singing "Come as you are" in Kurt Cobain's voice.

Overall, a quick but enjoyable read. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series and hoping it will be better than Hunger, as it touches on a subject very close to my heart.

Follow Friday #8

This weeks question is:

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?

Urmmm....Can I say Shadowhunters?
I would love it if Shadowhunters came "out of the closet" and let the world know they they were real and show us how hard they fight on a daily basis to protect us all!
I mean think about it, there must be Shadowhunters in every city in the world!!! There must be loads of them!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: Guardian - Courtney Cole

Name: Guardian

Author: Courtney Cole

General Release Date: 1st July 2011

Date I finished it: 22nd August 2011

Type: Paperback

From: Review copy from author

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Firstly, a massive thank you to Courtney for sending me a review copy of Guardian!

To be honest, I've lost track of how many of Courtney's books I've actually read now, but each and everyone of them I thought were brilliant and Guardian is no exception to that!

Guardian follows sixteen year old Whitney as she struggles to keep her family together after her father's death.
Her mother has been pretty out of it for a while now, but her mental health is rapidly deteriorating. Whitney is trying to keep her mother's problems a secret from friends by taking on all of her responsibilities when it comes to running the house and taking care of her six year old sister.

Whitney is also a normal teenage girl, she has relationship dramas and is trying to pass drivers ed and get her license as well as deal with her own grief over the loss of her father and when her guardian angel shows up things just go from weird to crazy for Whitney.

I loved this book so much, it was my first "angel" book and it has really made me want to read more books of the angel persuasion. Which is good since I have a few already in my to be read pile!
I really liked the fact that the main plot did not surround angels or anything paranormal really. The real grit of the story is about a girl coming to terms with her fathers death. To me the paranormal stuff was a behind the scenes story really.
Don't get me wrong I loved the paranormal parts to it, but for me it was a kind of added extra in the book.

As always Courtney has managed to write such an amazing twist in this book like she always does!
I honestly did not see that one coming, but once I read it a lot of things started to make sense to me.
I really loved seeing Whitney grow and the grief start to subside a bit as the book progressed.

The writing in this book is amazing, you can tell that Guardian was written from the heart and it touched a nerve in me. I'm not going to lie, I did have a few tears running down my face while reading this!
Even though there is the angel element to this book, it is completely believable.

Overall Guardian is fantastic and I think one of Courtney' best books yet!

Review: Bleeding Hearts (Drake Chronicles #4) - Alyxandra Harvey

Name: Bleeding Hearts (Drake Chronicles #4)

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

General Release Date: 3rd October 2011

Date I finished it: 22nd August 2011

Type: Paperback

From: Review copy from publisher

My Rating: 4/5 stars

I was so excited when this book arrived in the post for me to review from Bloomsbury! I was a latecomer to the Drake Chronicles series, but am actually glad of that now! I don't think I could have waited in between books to find out what was going to happen. I am so lucky to have read the first four books in the space of a week!

Bleeding Hearts is told from Lucy, Connor and Christabel's points of view. Which is a little different this time around, the past 3 books have only been told from two characters points of view. I liked this little change as it was nice to hear from Lucy again, I hadn't read her point of view since way back in book one.

Christabel is Lucy's cousin, who is living with Lucy for the time being. Although Lucy hasn't told her anything about the Drakes or vampires. Instead she lets her cousin think that her parents are just really strict because there are gangs in Violet Hill, so they both have a sunset curfew. Christabel is mistaken for Lucy and kidnapped by the new Hel-Bar leader. Connor Drake who is falling for Christabel goes after her which soon finds them both trapped in an impossible situation and neither of them know if they will survive.

I really enjoyed all the little quirks that Christabel has, especially her passion for reading! She is a really great new addition to the series and I'm looking forward to reading more about her and Connor in the future!
We do see some more of our other favourite couples in this book as well, Lucy and Nicholas, Solange and Kieran, Isabeau and Logan, Hunter and Quinn.

I'm really starting to feel like every single Drake brother is going to fall in love before this series comes to an end, I really cannot wait to see who the rest of the brothers are going to fall for!

The ending of this book left me completely shocked!
Lucy has made a completely life changing decision and Solange leaves the reader on a complete cliff-hanger!
I really cannot believe the book ended like that, I need book 5 pronto!!

Review: Out For Blood (Drake Chronicles #3) - Alyxandra Harvey

Name: Out For Blood (Drake Chronicles #3)

Author: Alyxandra Harvey

General Release Date: 1st November 2010

Date I finished it: 20th August 2011

Type: Paperback

From: Review copy from publisher

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Bloomsbury very kindly sent me this book to review, so a massive thank you to everyone over at Bloomsbury!

This is the third book in the Drake Chronicles series, and this time the story is told from Hunter and Quinn's points of view. At first I wasn't too sure about the fact that every book in this series so far has been told from different characters points of view. After reading Out For Blood however I don't know why this hasn't been done in a book series before (okay maybe it has but I'm just not aware of it or haven't read a series like that...yet!)
I honestly love this concept, and it works so well for the Drake Chronicles. As we know there are already so many different characters, the seven brothers, Solange, Lucy etc. To me it feels as if Alyxandra is giving each and everyone of her characters a voice and a chance to speak up with every new book!

Out For Blood introduces the Helios-Ra Academy, a boarding school for young vampire hunters.
I am a total addict when it comes to boarding schools in books. I honestly don't know why I just love reading about them! Because of that right away this book had me interested!

There isn't really much I can say about the main plot in this book without giving too much away, to be almost everything in this book seemed important. There are still Hel-Bar attacks happening, and this time they are targeting the Helios-Ra Academy, but there is something strange about them this time around. There is also some weird new drugs doing the rounds at the academy, which are supposed to make the kids better and stronger fighters, but all it seems to be doing is giving kids the flu.

I really loved this book, it's my new favourite out of all the Drake Chronicles so far!
Other characters from the first two books show up in Out For Blood as well, I really liked seeing what Lucy and Solange had been up to as a bit of a background story, it broke up Hunter and Quinn romance nicely.

Overall, I want to go to the Helios-Ra Academy...someone sign me up please!!

400 Follower Giveaway Winner!

There was over 100 entries to my 400 follower giveaway!! WOW!
The winner who has bagged them self a copy of After Obsession is....


Congrats!! The winner was chosen by and has been emailed!
Don't worry if you didn't win this time, I'm planning a 500 follower giveaway now!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Author Interview: Nicole Peeler

I am so excited to have Nicole Peeler on the blog today!
Nicole is the author of the Jane True series, which aside from having some amazing covers sound like really good reads!
I am ashamed to say I haven't actually managed to read any of the series yet, but I hope to very soon!

Thanks very much for stopping by BelleBooks today Nicole!

What made you venture into writing something in the paranormal/fantasy genre?

Hello, and thanks for having me! As for why I chose this genre, it's what I read and loved when I was young. It felt really natural to try my hand at a genre with which I'd grown up.

Your Jane True series has a lot of different characters in it, witches, vampires and a half mermaid?!
Did you intentionally set out to have so many different types of creatures in the series?

Jane's not actually a half-mermaid, she's half-selkie, which is a seal shapeshifter. The mythology is Scottish, actually, so nice and close to home. And I did intentionally use many different mythologies. The "joke" in my book is that all of our myths are based on reality, but we got things a bit wrong. So my vampires aren't quite "normal" vampires, nor are any of my other creatures.

What is your favourite book in the series so far?

I think it's probably book three. I had a lot of fun writing that book.

How much say do you have in the artwork for the book covers? (Because I love them and think they covers are awesome and so unique!)

Thanks, but authors never have any say over their covers. We just write what's inside. That said, I do love Sharon Tancredi's artwork.

What inspired you to write?

I think it's that I wanted to make people feel the way I do when I'm reading a book I enjoy. It was about telling a story and thrilling an audience.

How long does it generally take for you to finish writing a book?

I'm a pretty fast writer, but a slow plotter. A rough draft takes me anywhere between 2-4 months.

What would you say is the worst part of the writing/editing/publishing process?

Probably the publication! It's always nerve wracking to wait and see what people think about your latest book.

And the best bit?

Probably the letters from fans and the interactions with readers. That's always very enjoyable.

Is there anything you are working on just now?

I'm revising book five, Tempest's Fury, to be handed in very shortly.

Do you have any advice for young authors out there?

My advice is to know your first draft is a rough draft, and to focus on finishing a whole project rather than writing a perfect book on the first go. Rough drafts are supposed to be rough, and it's more important to finish and polish than to spend years on a single chapter.

Vampire Academy Giveaway Winners

The first place winner who gets a VA bookmark, 2 pins and a keyring is....

The second place winner who gets 2 pins and a keyring is...
Nat Cleary

Congrats, both winners have been emailed!
Winners were chosen by

Thank you to everyone who took part!

Review: Oblivion (Witches of Santa Anna #13) - Lauren Barnholdt

Name: Oblivion (Witches of Santa Anna #13)

Author: Lauren Barnholdt

General Release Date: 17th August 2011

Date I finished it: 18th August 2011

Type: Kindle book

From: Review copy from author

My Rating: 4/5 stars

Firstly a massive Thank You to Lauren Barnholdt who very kindly gifted me a copy of Oblivion to read and review.
As most of you will already know I love this series!
A lot of bloggers I know have given up on this series, or are waiting for all the short novellas to be released together as one book before they start up with the series again. I on the other hand am completely hooked, I honestly search Amazon at least twice a week to see if any new books in the series has been released yet!

Oblivion is the thirteenth book in the Witches of Santa Anna series and it is also the last book in season two of the series.
At first when season one ended I was a little confused about the whole thing, I didn't really know how many more books there would be and I still don't!
The way Oblivion ended, I know there has to be third season!
Like almost every book in this series so far, Oblivion leaves us on a cliffhanger ending, which I have now come to expect from all of Lauren's books!

As usual Oblivion is only a short novella and takes about half an hour to read.
Even though it is short, it is not short on action!
I really enjoyed this book, as a reader a got a bit more of a glimpse into what is actually going on in the Santa Anna world as I do with every new book in the series.
Again there are a few twists in the plot line, and just when I think I know what is going to happen next, bam something new happens which changes everything!

Overall I love this series and I am going to be sticking with it, although I am looking forward to a bit of a break between seasons two and three.
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