Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 10 books from 2011

I am still internet-less at the moment :(
So I've jumped onto my mum's computer while she is out to do this post, hopefully I'll have my laptop up and running again by next week!

So I'm going to share my top ten books I read in 2011, it's going to be a hard one because according to Goodreads I've read 241 books this year!! 

So in no particular order:

Uglies (Uglies #1) by Scot Westerfeld

Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1)

Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Amanda Hocking

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare

Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1)

Wither (Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano

Succubus Revealed (Georgina Kincaid, #6)

Succubus Revealed (Georgina Kincaid #6) by Richelle Mead

Shadow Heir

Shadow Heir (Dark Swan #4) by Richelle Mead

The Night Circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

My Tattered Bonds (The Bloodstone Saga, #4)

My Tattered Bonds (The Bloodstone Saga #4) by Courtney Cole


Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

There are so many more I wanted to add to this list, I really should make it a top 20 instead of 10! But these are the ones that made the final cut. If your looking for something new to try in 2012 why don't you pick up one from my list, I certainly loved them, maybe you will too?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Faerie Ring Blog Tour Guest Post

Today I am super excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Kiki Hamilton's The Faerie Ring.

Why I decided to write YA
by Kiki Hamilton

Hi Emma! Thanks so much for inviting me over to your blog.

I’ve always thought that I would write a book one day, but my life was so busy I didn’t really have time. Then I read Harry Potter. (I didn’t actually start Harry Potter until the Goblet of Fire came out… then I read books 1-4 in a week.) I’d forgotten the magic of a well-told story. The magic of becoming the characters in a book and experiencing their adventures. I loved Harry Potter so much that I decided I’d write a little story for my daughter and that’s when the madness all started…

Anyway, at the time I started writing (about 5 years ago) my daughter was only ten. Initially, I planned to write something that she could read, but then the characters took over and I ended up with a YA story. That was my first book, which never sold. After that I started THE FAERIE RING. By then my daughter was twelve, so a young adult book was perfect for her to read. Plus, I find that the stories are usually more fast-paced than adult books and I love the wide variety of genres to pick from. As young adult books are becoming more popular there seems to be a larger crossover of adult readers as well as adult writers now writing for young adults. So, it’s a win/win for everyone!


I have read and reviewed The Faerie Ring already, to check out my review click here.
I want to say a massive thank you to Kiki for stopping by BelleBooks today for this guest post, and also for sending me my signed copy of The Faerie Ring as well as some awesome swag.

I'm going to share some of this awesome signed swag with all my lovely followers!
The giveaway is open to UK/IRE/EU residents only and there will be three winner.
1st place winner gets a badge, postcard and two bookmarks (one signed)
2nd place winner gets 2 bookmarks (one signed)
3rd place winner gets 1 bookmark (signed)

To enter this giveaway all you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends 1st Jan 2012.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Faerie Ring Review

The Faerie Ring (The Faerie Ring, #1)

I am so happy tp be taking part in this blog tour for Kiki Hamilton's The Faerie Ring.

Today I am going to share my review of the book with you all.

My rating: 4/5 stars

At first I wasn't too sure about The Faerie Ring because I'm not usually a huge fan of historical fiction. It was one of those books I put to the back of my mind and thought I'll get round to reading it at some point. Then I was asked to take part in this blog tour for the book and decided that was just what I needed to go ahead and give the book a try. I am so glad that I did read this book sooner rather than later, I actually really enjoyed it.

The book is set in Victorian London and features a lot of places that I'm sure most of my followers will be familiar with, King Cross Station, Buckingham Palace, Charring Cross and Trafalgar Square. I loved seeing all these places throughout the book, to me it seemed to make the story more alive and I could really see the plot playing out for real.
We follow teenager Tiki who lives in an old abandoned clockmaker's workshop with her little family of orphans who she cares for and she picks pockets to make a living. One day however she steals a ring, not just any ring though it belongs to Queen Victoria herself! The ring is said to have a tie to the faerie world and when strange things start happening around Buckingham Palace a reward for the safe return of the ring is posted. Tiki must somehow return the ring with and claim the reward money without being caught, which will set her little orphan family up for life. Of course nothing in books is as easy as that, there are twists and turns along the way which make Tiki question herself, her little family and what she is going to do with the ring.

The writing in the book flows together lovely, it is easy and straightforward to read. There are a few laugh out loud moments well placed throughout the book as well, which I think helps to lighten the tone a bit. The description and imagery used throughout the entire book is amazing, Kiki Hamilton manages to make the story come to life and place the reader right into the heart of this magical Victorian London setting.

The reader also cannot help but fall for poor little Tiki and want the best for her. After you read about her heart wrenching past and how she became an orphan you will her on in your mind and hope for the best possible outcome for both her and the other children she cares for. Tiki is a great heroine and there is not one part of the book that made me think twice about her, she is selfless and lovable.

Overall I was really pleasantly surprised with this book, it seems to have changed my view on YA historical fiction and I'm looking forward to continuing on with the rest of this series now. I'm rather excited for the release of The Torn Wing  next year which is book 2. I'm super excited to see what is in store next for Tiki and what she will find out about who she truly is.

I just want to say a massive thank you to Kiki Hamilton for letting me part of this blog tour, for sending me a signed copy of the book all the way from the US and for all the lovely book swag she sent me as well. Kiki, you rock!

Remember to stop by again tomorrow for day two of my blog posts where I will have an exciting guest post from Kiki Hamilton and a Faerie Ring giveaway for you all!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Review: The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

Rating: 5/5 stars

The Night Circus is a book that seemed to pop up everywhere I looked online, but one the I had never really heard much about. It seemed to just magically appear almost overnight. If you have read the book you will realize that the book seemed to appear just the way the circus in the book does!
I had some extra credits and decided to go ahead and purchase the audio book of The Night Circus to give it a try, I was also super excited to find out Jim Dale was reading the book. For those of you not in the know, Jim Dale read the Harry Potter audio books and personally I will to listen to anything he reads, he does the best voices I've ever heard! After listening to the first few chapters of the book I ended up buying the UK Hardback as well, I fell so madly in love with it!

The picture above is the US book cover, which I prefer to the UK one. Although I have to admit the UK hardback is still the prettiest book I own, and probably ever will.

The book does jump from different characters and time lines, I do sometimes have difficulties trying to remember the different characters and plots, especially when I've not picked up the book for a day or two. With The Night Circus I had no problems what so ever. Perhaps that was because I was listening to it on audio so all the different characters had different voices. It's hard to pin point exactly what The Night Circus is actually about, as there is so many interconnected plots and characters woven throughout the book. What I will say is that even though there is so much going on, Morgenstern does an amazing job of tying everything and everyone back to the circus in their own way.

The story itself is completely one of kind and like nothing I have ever read before. Even though the essence of the book is following a travelling circus around the world, the circus itself and it's performers are the same which help to keep the main plot grounded.

I really can't say too much more without giving away any of the plot, which I am trying my hardest not to do.
Overall it is an amazing book with great, lifelike and loveable characters, awesome twisty plot lines and just enough magic and sparkle to leave you questioning yourself. I would highly recommend this book to all book lovers, not just YA book lovers.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: Destined (House of Night #9) - P.C. Cast

4/5 Stars

Destined is the ninth book in the House of Night series, as much as I am still in love with this series and it's characters I do feel that the past couple of books have felt a bit dragged out to me. So I was hesitant about this book, but at the same time I was still super excited to get my hands on it and start reading it.

So if you don't know what the House of Night series is, here is a quick overview:
School full of teenage vampires who have magic abilities based on one of the five elements, the schools headmistress is pretty much evil and is after one young vampire in particular, Zoey. The story follows Zoey and her witchy circle of friends as they find themselves in some very tricky situations.

Destined once again follows on where we left off in the previous book, to be honest I don't remember it's name and I can't be bother getting up and looking at my bookshelf to find out. The story centres around Zoey Redbird and her ever growing group of friends, boyfriends, warriors, half boy half bird people etc, (You get the picture) As they return to the House of Night after Zoey's mum has just been killed by none other than the evil Neferet.

This time around I found the storyline very predictable, maybe after 9 books I'm just getting used to the writing style in this series and am getting good at guessing what is coming next. There was a few new characters introduced in this book as well. To be honest I think there was just too much going on in this book to keep up with it all.
There was too many different points of view going on, I got confused over all the different characters names and what they did. All the jumping around felt out of place for a House of Night book to me. 
Maybe it's just been too long since I read the previous book but everything just felt too much to me.

Even with all that going on I did still really enjoy the plot and after about halfway through the book really did start to pick up again for me and turn into something that I've come to expect from the House of Night series.

Overall it was a good read and I'm glad I bought and finished the book. I will be carrying on with the series, but really feel like it needs to come to an end soon before it becomes even more dragged out.

Inside Out by Maria V Snyder UK Giveaway Winner!

Inside Out (Insider, #1)

And the winner is:

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