Archive | April 2013

Book Review: Evermore by Alyson Noel

Evermore cover

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Ever Bloom used to be the popular cheerleader. Tall, blonde and living the spoiled life in Oregon, looking good was her main responsibility. That is until her entire family died in a car crash. Ever survived, but can now read people’s thoughts and see the colour of the auras. Human touch creates thoughts and feelings that make life unbearable. Living with her Aunt in California is only the beginning of this new life.

Hiding from the world as much as she tries to hide from herself, Ever is confronted by the hot new guy Damen in school. His mind calms hers and he can make scarlet red tulips appear before her when he wishes. Falling in love is the least of Ever’s interests, but try as she might to ignore him; he always creeps up when she needs him the most. Can she find the strength to accept who she now is? Or will she fade into nothingness to reunite with her family?

For a paranormal romance, Evermore follows most of the traditional YA rules, making this first in a series one that teens and tweens will love to swallow up. I really liked Ever as a character. She’s not oblivious and has a good head on her shoulders. She’s still selfish and native about things, but she’s 16 and that’s to be expected.

Ever has guts and it’s nice to read about a strong female character in a romance YA book. It’s a rarity. Ever doesn’t even want a boyfriend, that’s not a concern of hers and it’s a refreshing thought to see that she understands she doesn’t need a man to consider herself worth something.

There’s a lot more to these books and I can’t wait to see here Noel takes this type of genre.

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April 2013 Purchases

Ah how things have changed. No longer do I have the opportunity to stumble upon local bookstores in London. Sadly, my favourite bookstore, an enormous two story Borders based in downtown Redmond is no longer there. Devastating news. As soon as I earned my driver’s license I would spend endless hours at that Borders. Now there is no longer ANY bookstore in Redmond, WA where one can purchase new books. (I’m sorry, grocery stores don’t count). 

Instead Redmond has used bookstores. Some have new titles, but most are gently used. It’s not a terrible thing, it’s a grand idea to reuse titles that might mean more to someone else. I just hate how the world is turning into relaying on the Internet to purchase books when bookstores are struggling. 

My purchases for this month are not YA based and next month for my ‘May reads’ you’ll see why. Instead I have indulged myself with craft books that I have been wanting for a long time. 

knitting books

The knitting book is pure gold, so I’m curious to see how I get on with the crochet book. These two are purchased from Amazon. Glamknits is from a used bookstore in Redmond. It has a fantastic open cardigan pattern. 

Also, special mention:

Although this book was purchased in March, it truly deserves special mention. I purchased this lovely piece of book art from the Victoria and Albert Museum gift shop after experiencing the David Bowie exhibit that’s currently running. 

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Seriously, if you’re in London and enjoy David Bowie’s music, GO to this exhibit! It’s amazing and exciting and absolutely fantastic! 

Until next time,

Ashleyisee

xx

Book Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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“The monster showed up at just after midnight. As they do.”

Thus begins the emotional story of 13-year-old Conor, who struggles to come to terms with his mother’s illness in England. This work of art is blended beautifully with the realistic story that no child should ever endure. Conor’s harsh reality includes everything a present day child can face. A father who remarries in America, a cold grandmother and bullies at school along with facing how terminal cancer affects his mother.

Written for a slighter younger audience this book transcends age limits. The monster, a creature comes to Conor in the form of a Yew tree is evil, scary and has a sense of humour. Telling Conor three tales, the monster will force Conor to see the truth that he’s been avoiding.

The late Siobhan Dowd, who unfortunately passed away before the story was finished but Ness has done an outstanding job, inspired this story. The result is a piece of work that anyone can relate to.

Crafted with amazing illustrations of shadow and shapes A Monster Calls is an important book to be on everyone’s bookshelf. 

Event: World Book Night 2013

Hi res WBN logo 2013

Just a quick shout out to one of the best days of the year! World Book Night has arrived for both the USA and the UK! If you’re lucky enough to be a book giver – I tip my hat to you! If you’re even more lucky to be a recipient of a World Book Night book – well I am just plain jealous!

World Book Night is (from the WBN website):

“Why does World Book Night exist? Reading for pleasure improves literacy, actively engaging emerging readers in their desire to read. Reading changes lives, improves employability, social interaction, enfranchisement, and can have a positive effect on mental health and happiness. Book readers are more likely to participate in positive activities such as volunteering, attending cultural events, and even physical exercise.1

Or more simply put, books are fun—and they can be life-changing.”

If you aren’t fortunate enough to take part in this fantastic event, please pick up a book you might not normally read and give it a go. Have a book trade with some friends, family or even coworkers! Books are unique to each person and your mind deserves to be stretched every once in a while! 

For more info on the USA books.

For more info on the UK books. 

Happy reading!

Ashleyisee

xx

Freshly Published: April 2013

Although Spring seems to be hiding throughout most parts of the world. This luckily doesn’t stop books being published! Here’s what’s freshly available this month! All summaries are from Goodreads. 

Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman (April 16th)

Taken

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

The Program (Program #1) by Suzanne Young (April 30th)

The program

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith (April 2nd)

Happy

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds. 

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs? 

The Ward by Jordana Frankel (April 30th)

The Ward

Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.

Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre.

Acid by Emma Pass (April 25th)

Acid

2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.

The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago.

That’s it for now! Do any of the title grab your attention? 

Ashleyisee xx