Friday Finds #36

Friday finds is a meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading which showcases the books you've recently ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list.

Hey Book Nerds! ^.^ How are you all doing? Have you had a good week? :) I finally managed to post my review of Magic Study yesterday, I totally forgot about it until last night - so if any of you are interested in reading it, don't forget to check it out. ^^; Anyway, I'm really behind with my reading this month, I've only read four books, and only a small amount of my current read; Pretties by Scott Westerfeld. Out of the four, I've only read two review copies - so my wrap-up for this month is going to be really small. >.< I really don't know where the month has gone; I'm going to have to make sure to read lots next month to make up for it! I'm also really late in filming my November book haul, I'm really sorry about this - I've been meaning to do it for the past week, but I've had a cold with a sore throat and didn't feel up to it. I'm hoping to get it done this weekend though. That's it for today, hope you all enjoy this Friday Finds post; I haven't done one in ages! :D

Friday Finds

Strange Angels (Strange Angels, #1) by Lili St. Crow.
In Strange Angels, Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.) Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1) by Kresley Cole.
She could save the world—or destroy it.
Sixteen-year-old Evangeline "Evie" Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they're still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.
But she can't do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can't totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?
Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it's not always clear who is on which side.

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst.
Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.
Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees. The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

Seraphina (Seraphina, #1) by Rachel Hartman.
Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

Summaries from Good Reads. I think all of these books look really fantastic! I've not read really any dragon books before, but I've heard some great things about Seraphina so I really want to get myself a copy when I have the money! For once, I think the UK has the better cover this time! I've also been hearing a hell of a lot about Poison Princess over the last month or so, mainly because I think the sequel was recently released - so I looked it up on Good Reads and I think it looks really awesome - so I need to buy that one soon too. :D As for the other two, I think they just look really fun and interesting and want to pick them up when I have the money in the future. :3 Have you read any of my finds this week? Let me know! :)

What are your Friday Finds for this week? Leave me a comment or a link to your blog post and I'll be sure to check it out! ^.^ Happy reading! (:

Title: Magic Study.
Series: The Chronicles of Ixia, #2.
Author: Maria V. Snyder.
Publication Date: June 7th, 2013.
Publisher: Mira Ink.
Format: Paperback, 384 pages.
Source: Provided By Publisher.
My Rating:

Discovering her fate could prove deadly...
Yelena Zaltana has been found guilty of possessing magical powers. The Code of Behaviour that rules the land of Ixia states she must be executed.
Escape is her only hope.

But when the freedom Yelena has fought for is once more in jeopardy, she must use her magic to survive.

With only one year to prove herself, Yelena’s future is uncertain and when magic is involved one mistake could mean sudden death.

I really enjoyed reading Poison Study, the first book in this trilogy, and I have to say I was a little hesitant and apprehensive about starting Magic Study. I was mainly worried that it wouldn’t compare to the first book, but boy was I wrong! Magic Study went above and beyond my expectations and was just as good if not better than the first book. If you love fantasy, action, adventure, magic, well developed characters and bad guys – then I’m sure you’ll absolutely adore this series, just as I have. I’d recommend these books, even if you’re a little worried about the genres.

Yelena is our main protagonist, and I really love her! When we were introduced to her in the first book, I was a little unsure what to think of her – but now, I really wish she was real so I could meet her. You’re able to see Yelena grow throughout Magic Study and I loved how we learned more and more about her past in this book. It was so much fun to read about her developing and starting to learn how to control her powers, as it wasn’t the main focus in the first book. Yelena is a smart, fun, hard-working and a hot-headed girl who sometimes has a problem with her temper – but I love her all the same. She’s been through a lot since she was kidnapped as a child, and it was emotional to read about how everything still affected her, even a year or so later.

Valek makes another appearance in this book, and I’m so glad he did. I love Valek’s character so much, he’s dark and brooding, but has a really sweet and caring side that he rarely shows. I think Valek and Yelena are a perfect match for each other and I love their relationship so much; it’s sweet but passionate at the same time. There are also quite a few new characters that make appearances in Magic Study, and unfortunately I can’t talk about them all – however they were all really strong and well developed characters. I don’t think I came across an underdeveloped character in this book at all, and there were plenty to read about! It was great being introduced to them all, and learning about their personalities over time.

Maria V. Snyder’s writing is really amazing, and I love pretty much everything about it. My only problem was that, once again, the ending was a little rushed and I did wish it could have been a bit longer. Other than that though, the book was perfect and I thought it was really fantastic! I rarely give books half star ratings, but I thought that it was smack bang in the middle of a 4/5 and a 5/5, and I couldn’t decide at first which to choose – so I went with a nice and comfy middle; 4.5/5 stars. I think it well and truly earned the rating I gave it and I really can’t wait to read the third and final book in this trilogy and see what happens next and where all the characters end up! I’m also definitely going to be picking up the spin-off series, which is set in the world of Ixia, as I just can’t get enough of it!

"Living is a risk," I snapped at him. "Every decision, every interaction, every step, every time you get out of bed in the morning, you take a risk. To survive is to know you're taking that risk and to not get out of bed clutching illusions of safety." - Page 244.

He made a weak attempt to look innocent, but I knew better. "Should I guess how many concealed weapons you have or should I strip search you?"
"A strip search is the only way to be absolutely certain." Valek's deep blue eyes danced with delight.
I took three steps and was wrapped in his arms, where I belonged. No worries here. No troubles here. Just Valek's scent, an intoxicating combination of musk and spice. - Page 285.

"Why did Mother ask you to help me rescue Gelsi?" I asked Leif.
"She thought I could assist you in some way. Instead, I had tried to-"
"Kill me? You can join the 'I Want to Kill Yelena Guild.' I hear they have six members in good standing. Valek is president since he had wanted to kill me twice." - Page 398.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Hey Book Nerds! :) I have to apologise AGAIN for being so MIA recently. On Tuesday, my parents and I picked up our new kittens, and they've been taking up a lot of my time! They're absolutely adorable, and I hope to have some footage up for you soon. :3 I've also been sick for the last few days, I've had a cold, sore throat and every muscle in my body seems to be aching. ;_; Silly immune system! I really am trying to keep up with this blog, but recently it’s been very stressful and busy so I am very sorry for the lack of updates. I do hope to have my review of Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder up in the next couple of days, so keep an eye out for that if you're interested. Anyway, that's it for today - I hope you'll all enjoy this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post; It's very different from the usual ones (sorry, I could only think of five things I am truly grateful for). :)

Top Ten Things I Am Thankful For
1. My Family.
Although on many occasions we argue and I end up resenting them at times, I honestly don't know what I'd do without them. I have a really close friendship with my mum - and a pretty good one with my dad. I'm somewhat close with my sister and brothers - even though we do argue quite a bit, I still love them. It literally hurts me to think about them not being here, and I'm so grateful to have them. My heart goes out to everyone who has lost one or both of their parents/family, I can't feel your pain - but I wish you the strength to carry on.

2. My Pets.
This seems a little ridiculous, but I love my pets so much. When I have animals, they become a big part of my life and it pains me so much to see them go. But I'm grateful for all the pets I've had in the past and the ones I have now. Pumpkin is our big fat grumpy but sweet ginger tom that’s 8 years old. Mulberry is our 3 year old Labradoodle who never fails to brighten up my day. Polo, my hamster who's got everyone wrapped around his little feet. And the most recent additions to our family, our Ragdoll/Mainecoon/Russian Blue kittens Violet and Ambrose - who are about 10 weeks old.

3. Books.
What kind of world would it be without books? Without the amazing words authors have written down and shared with us? I'm so thankful for them, and for my book collection. They keep my mind occupied when it would rather be in horrible places and gives me a place to lose myself in when I need an escape from reality. So much love!

4. Book Blogging/Vlogging Community.
You guys are my inspiration, my light at the end of the tunnel. It's seems really amazes me how so many of you are interested in what I have to say. And I wouldn't be here today if it weren't so you guys, so I'm really thankful, to all you! :) Thanks so much for being with me along this journey and for your wonderful comments, advice and help.

5. My Friends.
I don't have that many friends; I can probably count them on my hands and my closest on just one. However, this doesn't make them any less amazing. I don't know what I'd do without them, and I still find it hard to comprehend how they're still here for me, even after all I've put them through in the past. They truly are amazing; I never feel I'm being judged for who I am and I'm so thankful and grateful to have them in my life. They are incredible!

What are your Top Ten Things You Are Thankful For? Leave me a comment or a link to your blog post and I'll be sure to check it out! ^.^ Happy reading! (:

Hey book nerds! :D I have something really different to share with you guys today, and I hope you'll all check it out. Over the last couple of months I've been in contact with Ann Stampler, and she ever so kindly sent me an ARC copy of her soon to be released novel, Afterparty. I have yet to read it, but I can't wait and I think it looks really fantastic. :) I just wanted to share it with all of you and to tell you that the first three chapters of Afterparty have been released online by Simon & Schuster for you lucky viewers! :P So, if any of you are interesting in reading a sample of it, I've put it below - along with the information and everything else you may need! There is also an international giveaway that Simon & Schuster and Ann are holding for a signed ARC of Afterparty - which I think it pretty awesome! ^.^ If you're interested in entering that, then just scroll down to the rafflecopter below. :3 Enjoy!

About Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler

Title: Afterparty.
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler.
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult.
Publication Date: January 7th, 2014.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster.
Format: Hardback, 384 pages.

A toxic friendship takes a dangerous turn in this riveting novel from the author of Where It Began.

Emma is tired of being good. Always the dutiful daughter to an overprotective father, she is the antithesis of her mother—whose name her dad won’t even say out loud. That’s why meeting Siobhan is the best thing that ever happened to her…and the most dangerous. Because Siobhan is fun and alluring and experienced and lives on the edge. In other words, she’s everything Emma isn’t.

And it may be more than Emma can handle.

Because as intoxicating as her secret life may be, when Emma begins to make her own decisions, Siobhan starts to unravel. It’s more than just Dylan, the boy who comes between them. Their high-stakes pacts are spinning out of control. Elaborate lies become second nature. Loyalties and boundaries are blurred. And it all comes to a head at the infamous Afterparty, a bash where debauchery rages and an intense, inescapable confrontation ends in a plummet from the rooftop...

About Ann Redisch Stampler

Website | Good Reads | Facebook | Twitter

Ann Stampler was the mild mannered author of literary picture books when she broke out, tore off her tasteful string of pearls, and started writing edgy, contemporary young adult novels set in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband and writer’s-helper rescue dog – without whose compelling distraction she would have no doubt penned dozens of novels by now.
Read The First Three Chapters

Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler (Excerpt) by Simon and Schuster

  • International residents may enter.
  • I'd really appreciate it if you were a follower of my blog via Bloglovin' or GFC.
  • The giveaway will end on; 3rd December, 2013.
  • This giveaway is hosted by Simon & Schuster, so I'm not picking the winners - sorry!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

E-Book Haul #10

Hey book nerds! :D I'm so sorry for my absence over the last week, I've had some personal issues going on and I've just not felt up to posting anything. I've barely been reading much as well, which is so strange! However, I do have a lot of stuff to keep my mind busy this week, today is the day I volunteer at one of my local Charity Shops, and tomorrow me and my parents are going to go pick up our kittens! I'm so excited, and can't wait to have them here. I'll be sure to post pictures if any of you are interested in seeing them. ^.^ I was also hoping to film my November book haul at the weekend, but I was so tired that I just forgot. I have a HUGE pile of books to show you for this month already, so I'm going to try and film that soon and maybe have it up by the weekend, but I can't promise anything. I'm sure the kittens will keep me busy. :P Anyway, that's it for today - I hope you all had a great weekend and you're looking forward to this week. x3

E-books Bought

Cerulean by Anna Kyss.
Cipher (Cipher, #1) by Cindi Madsen.
Skinless (Skinless, #1) by L. M. Davis.
Kami Cursed (Dragon and Phoenix, #1) by Julianne Price.

Ocean of Dust by Graeme Ing.
Be Here Now by Andrea Wolfe.
Play With Me (Grover Beach Team, #1) by Piper Shelly.
Avenging Amethyst (Immortal Eyes, #1) by Kaitlyn Price.

Six Days by Jennifer Davis.
Cave Dwellers by Jonathan Randall.
Erin the Fire Goddess: The Beginning by Lavinia Urban.
Werewolf Dreams (Taming the Wolf, #1) by Katie Lee O'Guinn.

Okay, so first off; aren't all of these covers just GORGEOUS?! :D I think all of them look really fantastic as well, so that's a plus. Add the fact that when I brought them they were all freebies on Amazon and I think it's a pretty sweet haul. :3 I think I may be most excited about Kami Cursed, mainly because it has hints of Japanese mythology in, and if you know me, then you'll know I love everything to do with Japan. I don't think I've heard much about any of these, and I'm not sure when I'll get around to reading them, as I have hundreds of e-books, but I may bump them up in my TBR list. :) Have you read any of these e-books, or have you heard of them? Let me know! ^.^

What e-books did you get this week? Leave me a comment or a link to your blog post and I'll be sure to check it out. ^.^ Happy reading! (:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Hey Book Nerds! ^.^ I'm so sorry this post is so late today! I had to go out this morning, and then when I got home; my dad was having computer troubles and I've been helping him for the last couple of hours. It's only just been sorted out, and I nearly forgot to post this at all, I'm sorry! I could only come up with four out of ten for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post, as I decided to go for books that I've read and would redesign the cover - rather than just in general. :D Lastly, I posted my October 2013 Favourites video on my YouTube channel this morning, so if you're interested in that - feel free to go check it out. ^.^ Anyway, that's it for today, I hope you'll enjoy it, even if it's really short this week! I hope you have an awesome day/evening guy. :)

Top Ten Covers I Wish I Could Redesign

1. Pushing The Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1) by Katie McGarry.
Okay, so first off I would like to say that yes, I do know that Mira Ink is redesigning this cover (thank god!). However, this doesn't change the fact that this cover is horrible! I would never have picked this book up if I hadn't heard good things about it already. Also, I refused to actually buy a physical copy, preferring to have it on my kindle - due to the ugliness of this cover. I just think it ruins the fact that it's an incredible book - I don't think I need to say anything else!

2. As You Wish by Jackson Pearce.
This is a really fun and cute book and I really enjoyed reading it. However, the cover is too tacky and immature for my opinion. I love the starry background, but the girl on the cover has just been slapped on there and looks really out of place! The only redeeming quality this book cover has is the font, which is nice but the colouring doesn't match at all. I just think it looks ridiculous!

3. The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1) by Carrie Ryan.
This was a really awesome book, but the cover is just a big piece of rubbish in my opinion! I honestly have no idea what it's supposed to be... I prefer the US covers SO much more, and I wish I'd brought the other edition, but I found this one cheap and I wasn't sure if I'd like it. I really don't have a clue what on earth is going on with this cover, it's just ugly and a book I definitely don’t want displayed!

4. Ten Things We Shouldn't Have Done by Sarah Mlynowski.
Why, oh WHY did I buy the UK version of this book?! It's friggin' UGLY as hell! What on earth was I thinking? It's tacky and looks like something a little kid put together. Actually, saying that is being mean on the child! This book is really cute and fun, but the cover screams TRASH. I'm seriously considering re-buying the US copy and getting rid of my UK one, because I'd NEVER display it. At the moment I keep it stashed away in the back of my cupboard and have no plans to change that. Ever.

What are your Top Ten Covers You Wish You Could Redesign? Leave me a comment or a link to your blog post and I'll be sure to check it out! ^.^ Happy reading! (:

Title: Substitute Creature.
Series: Tales from Lovecraft Middle School, #4.
Author: Charles Gilman.
Publication Date: September 24th, 2013.
Publisher: Quirk Books.
Format: Hardback, 176 pages.
Source: Provided By Publisher.
My Rating:

It’s Valentine’s Day and a monstrous blizzard has descended upon Lovecraft Middle School, trapping twelve-year-old Robert Arthur inside the building! He and his companions have no choice but to spend the night – while snacking on cafeteria food, sleeping on the gymnasium floor, facing off against a sinister substitute teacher, and thwarting an army of abominable beasts.

This fourth novel in the Lovecraft Middle School series begins right where Teacher’s Pest ended – with more action, more adventure, and more outrageous monsters!

I always make a comment in my reviews about the awesome covers in this series, and today is no exception! Substitute Creature’s cover is just as awesome and weird, if not more so, than the others in this series. It even freaked my mum out when she walked past the book! Charles Gilman has done it once again; created another fantastic book in the Tales from Lovecraft Middle School series! I never thought I’d enjoy reading a middle-grade book so much, let alone a series. I’ve always found that middle-grade characters are just too immature for my tastes, but Robert and his friends are very grown up for their age! Just because these books are meant for younger readers, it doesn’t mean that only that age group can read them! I believe that anyone, whether you’re a young-adult or just an older adult, should try them – you’ll easily get swept up in the suspense, mystery and adventure.

Substitute Creature is packed full of action, and twists that will keep you guessing until you’ve reached the end of the book! The illustrations throughout this series are fantastic and really creepy – I love them. They add an edge to the book and help make it as wonderful as it is. I love going along for the ride on Robert’s and his friend’s adventures – and there’s always something different, yet important, in each and every book! The Lovecraft Middle School is an enchanting and freaky place to be, with some terrifying and fascinating monsters that I’m sure will creep out even the bravest of people.

With every novel, Charles Gilman’s writing just keeps getting better and better, and I love slowly getting to know our main characters. Robert, Glenn and Karina are really fun and interesting kids to read about; they’re all kind, funny and such a joy to read about. Our main characters all come from very different backgrounds, and have very different personalities, but they don’t let that get in the way of their friendship – and this is one of the main reasons why I love them so much. There aren’t a lot of kids now who put prejudices’ aside and just be friends with someone. I especially love Robert, who was able to actually forgive Glenn for bullying him in the past.

Overall, I really loved Substitute Creature, it was an amazing book – and as I’ve said plenty of times before, a brilliant middle-grade series! Charles Gilman’s writing is fun, creepy, unique and quirky all at the same time – he’s definitely someone I want to read even more from in the future. I believe it well and truly earned the 4/5 star rating I gave it, and I can’t wait for the next book in this series - especially seeing as the end of Substitute Creature had a big cliff-hanger! Why do we have to wait so long for the sequel? I’ll just have to wait until I get my hands on it!

Glenn turned to Robert. "What's more important?" he asked. "A stupid Valentine's Day concert of saving the world from an army of ancient monsters?"
When Glenn put the question that way, Robert felt as though he had no choice.
"I guess saving the world."
"I'll save your seats," Karina offered. "Have fun." — Page 19.

On the far side of the hole was the generator – a large rectangular box about the size of a railroad car, with slatted vents and long, raking claw marks over the front. The side panel had been peeled back like the lid of a tin can. Frayed bands of wires dangled out of the generator, as if someone or something had bitten clean through them. - Page 79 – 80.

“What is this place?” Karina whispered. Her voice echoed throughout the tunnel. Clusters of icicles hung from the ceiling like stalactites. Ahead of them, icy stone steps descended into darkness.
“I have no idea,” Robert replied. He had never heard of an underground cavern anywhere n the village of Dunwich. And yet this space seemed like it had existed for centuries. Robert snapped a small icicle from the ceiling and tossed it down the stairs; it disappeared into the gaping black void without making a sound. - Page 90.