Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (March 19th-25th)

It's been a few weeks since I done an In My Mailbox post, so if you have already seen some of these I'm sorry.

Trafficked - Sophie Hayes
The Other Life - Suzanne Winnacker
Second Grave on the Left - Darynda Jones
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece - Annabel Pitcher
Grace - Morris Gleitzman
Rosebush - Michelle Jaffe
Is This a Zombie vol 1

For Review:
Bound - Sarah Bryant
Fated - Alyson Noel
Indigo Magic - Victoria Hanley
Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
Surrender - Lee Nichols
Witchstruck - Victoria Lamb

On Loan:
Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Niffengger 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My thoughts on The Hunger Games Movie

Okay, I am literally just in the door from seeing the film. 
I had to write this while it's all still fresh in my head, so excuse any typos, it's 11:30pm here.
Also there will be major film and book spoilers, so if you haven't read the book or seen the film, I advise you to come back when you have.

I went into the cinema expecting A LOT from this movie, and I think that most fans of the books will do as well. I wanted it to stay as close to the book as possible, I know they have to make changes here and there in order for it to work as a movie, but I really didn't want anything major to change at all!

Opening scenes kinda threw me a little bit, I was like nooo please don't start by changing things about at the very start. But after a couple of minutes you realise it's just to set the background and nothing is really different from the start of the book. I will say I was confused at seeing the coal miners going to work, I thought that The Reaping was mandatory and everyone had the day off work for it? Maybe it's just to show that district 12 are coal miners at the very start of the film. But I still thought it was strange.

The Capitol is everything I expected and much more. There is one scene where you see a father playing with his two kids. Of course they are Capitol children and all dressed up, but I think it is placed in there to show that Capitol children are safe from the Games. There are also a few clips of President Snow which I really liked as in the book he only really pops up at the very end. There is one scene when he is in the rose garden talking to Seneca and just as her turns to walk away, I noticed a smear of blood at the corner of his lips. Obviously intentional, and if you have read Mockingjay you will know why.

As for the actual game, I thought it went by too quickly. It seemed to only be set over a couple of days rather than weeks as it is in the book. The timings for some events, such as the Tracker Jacker attack was totally off. In the film that happens on the second morning, but in the books I'm sure that happens later on. The fire attack was brilliant though, I enjoyed that. Apart from that everything that happens in the game in the book, happens in the film as well.

I though the game itself would be weird to watch, as at that point in the book it's Katniss on her own and all we are reading are her thoughts. Someone they manage to pull this one off by going back to Caesar Flickerman who is giving a running commentary on the goings on in the arena. I loved this, especially at the Tracker Jacker scene when it explains what they are.

Overall, I loved it!
Best book to film adaptation I've ever seen, and thats saying something coming from the girl with a Harry Potter tattoo! It was completely true to the book with some amazing extra scenes added in.

There are a few differences I spotted in the film, if you noticed any more please let me know!

Mockingjay Pin - We all knew the origins of this was going to be different anyway.
Katniss almost dying of dehydration - She manages to find water right away in the arena.
Katniss going deaf - There is some buzzing and hearing loss straight after the explosion, but it isn't mentioned again and afterwords she seems to hear okay.
Mutts - They aren't the dead tributes returned (thank goodness)
Sleeping Syrup - None of it, Katniss just snuck out while Peeta was asleep, no mention of the syrup at all.
Gift from district 11 - There was no gift of bread to Katniss from district 11

Thats all I can think of for now. My head is still spinning a bit from the film. I might edit this post in the morning and add some more n if I think of any. But for now I am off to start re reading Catching Fire!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On My Kindle #1


On my Kindle is a new weekly meme hosted by Totally Bookalicious, I think it's a brilliant idea as I find sometimes my In My Mailbox post is a bit too cluttered with both paperbacks and e-books.

So this week on my Kindle I got:

goodreads goodreads goodreads
goodreads Blood Shattered (Shattered Series, #1) Farsighted (Farsighted, #1)
Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)  Putting Alice Back Together
The Shapeshifter's Secret Hanging by a Thread Shaken
Somewhere Over the Freaking Rainbow  Entanglements goodreads

Monday, March 19, 2012

Iron Fey & Soul Screamers Winners

And the winner's of the Iron Fey and Soul Screamers giveaway are:

Iron Fey: Tammy

Soul Screamers: Sarah

Bookmark: Emma Louise

Congrats to the three of you! 

Remember my BelleBooks Charms giveaway is still happenening, this is the last day to enter!
Click Current Giveaways at the top right to find out more!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review: Spellbound (Spellbound #1) - Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellbound (Spellbound, #1)Name: Spellbound (Spellbound #1)
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Release Date: 21st June 2011
Date I finished it: 14th March 2012
Source: ARC from Netgalley

I have had Spellbound on my Kindle for ages now but never quite got around to reading it. As part of my Review Catch Up Challenge I decided to go ahead and read this one! I could kick myself for not picking it up sooner, much sooner! I was hooked on this book from page one, I mean come on the main character is also an Emma!

Spellbound follows sixteen year old Emma as she moves in with her aunt in New York and attends a posh prep school with her cousin. While there she encounters the usual mean girls and befriends the freaky witch girl, Emma also feels a strange pull towards heart throb Brendan that she can't quite explain.
When some really strange things start happening to her, Emma confides in her new witch friend and attempts to do some research of her own, although she learns more that she bargained for about herself.

I really loved this book, It would have been a 5 star rating except I was really confused about where she was actually living until the very end of the book. Throughout the story the reader keeps getting told she was at her aunt's house, but then she would go over to her cousin's house to visit her? Maybe I missed it somewhere but right up until the end of the book I thought they should all be under the one roof. Until I realised at the end there are 2 aunts, one she is living with, and one who has a daughter, her cousin who lives nearby.

Honestly I went through the entire book so confused about this! It probably was explained somewhere but I just didn't get it. Thats the only reason this book didn't get a 5 star rating from me.

I loved the descriptive language used throughout Spellbound especially when it came to Emma's dreams. I don't want to give too much away but I loved seeing her past lives unfold in her dreams.
As for Brendan, I think we have a new book hottie to crush on!
I loved his character and personality, it fell in so well with the feel of the book! Personally I can't wait to find out how Brendan and Emma's relationship is going to unfold!

Loved this book, and really wish I read it sooner!
I'm glad I have an ARC of the second book, Spellcaster to get started on right away.

Review: Lenobia's Vow - P.C. Cast

Lenobia's VowName: Lenobia's Vow
Author: P.C. and Kristin Cast
Release Date: 31st Jan 2012
Date I finished it: 3rd March 2012
Source: Bought from Amazon

Lenobia's Vow is another short novella spin-off of the House of Night series.
I much preferred this one to Dragon's Oath, it was a lot more captivating and exciting.

Lenobia's Vow follows young Lenobia as she takes the place of her dead half sister and journeys to a new land to be married off. Wishing to start a new life instead of being known as the illegitimate child of her father, she is not expecting to find a priest that she knows well aboard the ship as well.
Having to fake sickness in order to avoid the priest who could recognise her for who she really is, Lenobia takes to wandering around the ship in the dead on night, where she stumbles across the horses and the man who cares for them.

As the days turn into months, Lenobia realises she is falling for this man and starts to make silly errors in her comings and goings meaning she is caught by the priest who reveals her true identity to the rest of the ship!

I really enjoyed this book and thought it gave a nice little glimpse into Lenobia's past.
I do like Lenobia in the House of Night series and getting to learn more about her past makes you understand why she is the way she is in the present day novels.

The book was fast paced and exciting, I really loved the writing style in this book. To me it seemed worlds apart from Dragon's Oath. Maybe thats because I like Lenobia and wanted to know more about her, rather that Dragon. I'm not sure.
A must read for fans of the House of Night series!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Introducing BelleBooks Charms

Some of you may have already noticed the BelleBooks Charms page on Facebook
For those of you who haven't you can check out the page here

I make book related bracelets, bookmarks, phone charms and earrings. With necklaces and other fun bits coming soon!

Here are some examples of what I've recently made:

I ship worldwide and take my postage prices via the Royal Mail website. I can also make custom designs if you are wanting something a bit different or something special just for you!
If you are interested on placing an order you can message me on facebook or email me bellebooksxATgmailDOTcom

At the moment I am hosting a 100 Facebook Follower Giveaway which is open internationally, all you have to do is like the BelleBooks Charm Page on Facebook!

So please stop by the page, say hello and have a look at my handmade items and don't forget to enter the giveaway below!

Review: Dragon's Oath - P.C. Cast

Dragon's Oath (House of Night)Name: Dragon's Oath
Author: P.C. and Kristin Cast
Release Date:  12th July 2011
Date I finished it: 26th Feburary 2012
Source: Bought from Amazon

This is the first in the short novella spin-offs from the House of Night series.
I am a big fan of the House of Night books, but recently have been straying from the series a bit. I bought Dragon's Oath as soon as it was released, but have only now got around to reading it.

I'll admit I wasn't expecting too much from this novella, it is short and Dragon is not one of my favourite characters in the series. He is alright, but someone I could probably do without learning more about.
But since I have the whole series so far, I wanted to collect these novellas to go with them.

I gave Dragon's Oath three stars, for me it wasn't really gripping enough. Even though it is super short and something that can probably be read in a couple of hours, it took me two days to finish! Because I just couldn't get into it, it seemed very different from the House of Night series which I've grown so used to now.

It is set when Dragon is first marked as a fledgling and taken to the House of Night to begin his training. We do see a glimpse of Anastasia in this novella as well which I really liked. It was nice getting to see Dragon's past as it explains a lot about the way he acts nowadays in the House of Night series. However like I already said it just wan't gripping enough for me.

Overall a nice little story, probably a must have for fans of the original series but don't expect much from it!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Speed of Light (Fenestra #3) - Amber Kizer

Speed of Light (Fenestra, #3)

Name: Speed of Light (Fenestra #3)
Author: Amber Kizer
Release Date:  13th November 2012
Date I finished it: 8th March 2012
Source: ARC from NetGalley

I love this series so much, I actually squealed when I saw that Speed of Light was available on NetGalley! I honestly didn't think that ARC's would be out till  much later in the year!
This is this third book in the Fenestra series and just like the second book Wildcat Fireflies the story is told from alternating points of view, switching back and forth from Meridian and Juliet.

Speed of Light throws us right back into the story, straight away you are immersed in Meridian's world and all the crazy goings on that happens when she is around.
This time though Miss Asura is back and she is looking for something, something very important that she needs. She tries to enlist Juliet to help the search with promises of revealing the location of her mothers remains. While the others try to figure out what Miss Asura is looking for and why she needs it, human remains with links to DG are popping up which also need to be investigated, could any of them belong to Juliet's mother?

There are quite a lot of new characters introduced in this book, one being the group of Wood Hunters. These are people who protect Fenestra knowledge and family history.
At first I wasn't too sure what Amber Kizer was trying to do by introducing this new group, but as the plot plays out it soon becomes clear why they are a much needed asset to the story.
We also get to meet Fara, Juliet's protector who at first seems like a bit of an odd fit in the group. It also seems a little odd that she has taken almost forever to get there and was not there for Juliet's 16th birthday and her transition. I was thinking the same thing, all of these questions are explained in the book though.
I do like Fara, she seems strong-willed and acts like she really cares about Juliet. I don't know what is going to happen to them in the future as it's still early days but I think she is a great addition to the little group.

The plot in this book is awesome! There was so many massive plot twists that I totally did not see coming at all, even as things start to unfold around you you are still left guessing as to what is exactly going to happen. This book is not in anyway predictable.

I'm trying not to give too much away as I know this book isn't out for quite a while yet. But I do have to say this, Tens and Meridian finally get down to the dirty!
After all the talk about it in Wildcat Fireflies, it was really sweet to see them finally trusting in each other enough.

The ending did seem to me like the end of a series, everything is wrapped up and the reader is left on a happy note. Now I have noticed that there is going to be a fourth book in the series Counting Tens, due for release in 2013. I'm not sure where Amber Kizer could go with the story now, but from the title I have a feeling it will either be from Ten's point of view or about his past. I would love to learn about his past and everything he went through trying to reach auntie when he was young. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Overall to me Speed of Light was the perfect ending to this series (even if it isn't the final book), it was full of ups and downs, highs and lows and left me feeling thoroughly contented about the little group of characters I've come to grow and love.

Review: Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) - Rachel Hawkins

Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3)

Name: Spellbound (Hex Hall #3)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release Date:  13th March 2012
Date I finished it: 24th Feb 2012
Source: ARC from publishers

Spell Bound is the third and last book in the Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins.
After the cliffhanger ending in Raising Demons, Sophie is searching for her mother and has been told she is with the Brannick's, a family who she used to fear as they hunt and kill Prodigium. 
When she does finally reach them Sophie is finally told the truth about why her mother is there, which leaves her hurt and confused.
The Brannick's believe that Sophie is the only one who can stop the war and kill the demons. Although with her powers stripped how can Sophie be anything to them.

After the ending to Raising Demons I was anxious to find out what happened to Archer. I got sucked into this book the same way I did with the first two books. Rachel Hawkins writes some amazing story lines full of unexpected plot twists that keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way through the book!

I love the Archer, Cal and Sophie love triangle that Rachel has created in this book. I can sympathise with all three of them for different reasons, but of course I'm rooting for Archer to get the girl! I think he is a brilliant and complex character in these books, and especially in this last one he comes into his own.
I think that this book is my favourite out of the three, there is a lot more going on in this one. More family drama, romance and some serious demon butt kicking action!

The end of the book has one of the biggest plot twists I have ever read in a book! It completely took me by surprise, I loved it! I literally could not believe what I was reading! I would love to go on and tell you what happens, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone, lets just say what a great way to end the series!

Overall, I really did love this book and I hope that Rachel Hawkins writes more in the future as I love her writing style and her characters.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cover Reveal: New UK Covers for Uglies Series

These are the new UK covers for Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series.
Due for release at the end of March.

What does everyone think of them?
I still prefer the broken Barbie doll covers, I'm not so sure about these ones though.
I still love this series, after The Hunger Games it's my favourite dystopian series.

Interview With River and Flynn from Sophie McKenzie's Falling Fast

I am so excited to be taking part in the Falling Fast Blog Tour, I want to say a big thank you to Simon and Schuster publishers and Sophie McKenzie for making this blog tour happen!

I have already read and reviewed Falling Fast. It was my first Sophie McKenzie book and I really enjoyed it, you can check out my review to Falling Fast here.

For this stop on the blog tour I was lucky enough to have a special interview with River and Flynn, the two main characters in Falling Fast. To make things easier, River's responses are in red and Flynn's in green.

Hi River and Flynn, I’m super excited to have you stop by BelleBooks today!

River: Was it strange going to the boy’s school to audition for the play?

Yeah, it was weird to be there. The boys made it weird. I don’t know why – perhaps because it’s a male-only school, maybe they’re just not used to having the opposite sex around but they stared at us like they’d never seen girls before. That is, they were staring at Emmi. I’m not sure any of them really noticed me.

Flynn: What was it like to have girls come in to your school to play parts in Romeo and Juliet?

It was okay. Not that big a deal. I mean, think about it. What else were they going to do? And yes, I know in Shakespeare’s day boys often took girls parts but if Mr Nichols even dared suggest I might play Romeo with a boy as Juliet I’d punch him, I don’t care if he is a teacher. Some of the guys were really uncool about it. Like they’d never seen a girl before. I like being around girls, sure, but to be honest most of them aren’t worth the trouble of noticing them.

River: What did you think of Flynn when you first saw him?

I dunno, there was definitely something about him. Or maybe lots of contrasting things: Like I noticed his clothes were a bit worn out, but he also had an aloof manner like maybe he was a bit arrogant. And he behaved like he couldn’t really be bothered with the auditions, but then when he acted he just sounding AMAZING as Romeo. And the way he looked, not obviously good-looking but really comfortable in his skin and with these amazing greeny-gold eyes that were so intense when he looked at me I couldn’t look away.

Flynn: What did you think of River when you first saw her?

I thought she was fit. And a bit goofy. She kept losing her place when she was saying her lines, and at one point she said them really quiet then suddenly really loud. Weird. But a good actor. And, like I said, fit.

Flynn: What is your favourite thing about River?

I can’t pick one thing. I like everything about River, from the way she looks to the way she tries to help people to the way she makes me feel good about myself. 

River: What is your favourite thing about Flynn?

His kiss.

Flynn: What is your least favourite thing about River?

Sometimes she wants to talk about stuff that I don’t want to talk about.

River: What is your least favourite thing about Flynn?

His short temper. He gets really angry about things and often I don’t properly understand why. I don’t like it.

River: What are your hopes for the future with Flynn?

I really want to be with him forever, but he’s got to open up more and lose his temper less or I can see us not making it.

Flynn: What are your hopes for the future with River?

That’s private!

Thanks for stopping by BelleBooks today River and Flynn!

Don't forget to stop by the rest of the blogs taking part in this blog tour!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Iron Fey & Soul Screamers Giveaway

I have two winners not get in touch with me after sending them three emails each.
So instead I'm going to hold a giveaway again for these.
This giveaway is only open to UK residents sorry.

First prize is:
The Iron King and The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa.
Plus an Iron Fey bookmark that I made.
(other bookmarks are available for sale on my facebook page BelleBooks Charms)

The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, #2)

Second Prize is:

My Soul to Take, My Soul to Save and My Souls to Keep by Rachel Vincent

Third Prize is:

A bookmark if your choice from my page BelleBooks Charms

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Show off Your Pile!

I really haven't had a chance to even start my review copy clean up challenge yet! So today my plan is to try and make some progress with these books. And to help motivate me a bit here are just some of the review books that I have and need to get through. 
There is no way I'll manage to get through all of them this month, but if I at least make a bit of a dent in them I'll be happy!

Hard Copy Books:

I don't think that this is all of them, but these are the most recent ones.
I know I have so many, I really need to stop requesting so many from NetGalley!

Speed of Light (Fenestra, #3)Romeo Redeemed (Juliet Immortal #2)Hanging by a Thread
The Stone GirlLies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)Starters (Starters, #1)
White WitchDead of Night Intangible
Spellbound (Spellbound, #1)Spellcaster (Spellbound, #2)Dark Frost (Mythos Academy, #3)
The White OakThe Fire WarsSupernatural Devices (Steampunk Scarlett, #1)
Blog design by Imagination Designs