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Saturday, 6 July 2013

Stacking the Shelves #4



Stacking The Shelves is a concept from Tynga's Reviews and it is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

My Haul


I won the book Never Fade, sequel to The Darkest Minds, written by Alexandra Bracken from Girls with Books. Thanks again, I'm really happy with it!

What books did you get this week?

Friday, 5 July 2013

Unwind - Neal Shusterman [Review]

This review may contain spoilers.


Unwind by Neal Shusterman



Title:
 Unwind
Author: Neal Shusterman
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Books
Series: Unwind #1
Release Date: November 6th 2007
Pages: 335
Rating: ★★★











Blurb:


Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.
The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

Feature and Follow Friday #5


Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. The goal is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community. If you would like to join in the fun just visit one of the host's blog for the rules.

Activity of the Week: Today’s (yesterday) is the US’ Independence Day. Share your favorite book with a war in it, or an overthrow of the government.

I really love dystopian books, most of which feature a fight against the evil government, which sometimes results in a war. But there are actually few books that feature an actual overthrow of the government. Most are just about escaping the control of the state or it's just about survival, there is almost never a real revolution. It's mostly a personal fight against the rulers.


The Hunger Games Series is the only one I can come up with with an overthrow, and it is also my favourite series, so that's good.
Maybe Divergent or Shatter Me in their last book? We shall see:)


I'd prefer it if you follow me via bloglovin', since GFC is stopping/has already stopped I don't know anymore.

Follow on Bloglovin

Share your FF links in the comments.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Across the Universe - Beth Revis [Review]

This review may contain spoilers.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis


Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Series: Across the Universe #1
Release Date: January 11th 2011
Pages: 398
Rating: ★★1/2












Blurb:

 

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Waiting on Wednesday #6


 
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Mara Dyer #3)


Expected publication: June 2014

I just finished book 2 in the Mara Dyer series. (See here my review) It had an enormous cliffhanger, so I'm dying to read the third book. At first it was to be published October 2013, but now it has been delayed until June 2014.. Why?!

What book are you waiting on?

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Book Blitz: Spiral Arm by Peter Boland [Interview + Excerpt + Giveaway]



Spiral Arm by Peter Boland





Title: The Spiral Arm
Author: Peter Boland 
Publication date: May 21st 2013
Genre: YA Dystopia









Blurb:


Wren Harper lives on an overcrowded Earth on the brink of apocalypse. There are just too many people. The answer lies 600 light-years away on Kepler; a planet more than double the size of Earth. For decades humans have been fighting another race for its control. Earth’s armies are depleted. So now 15-year-old cadets are sent to fight, trained along the way in vast combat ships. But why has Wren been chosen? She's small and geeky and not a fighter. Will she survive Kepler? Or will the training kill her first? This is a debut novella-length episode in a series full of cliffhanger endings.



Excerpt:


In front of me are temporary metal barricades arranged to herd multiple columns of people. Beyond these stretch rows of long trestle tables, behind which are wide utilitarian metal shelves that reach up into the ceiling and nearly across the entire width of the space. The place is deserted. I quickly figure out that everyone has already gone through processing. I must be the last one. 
I can’t stand here any longer so I shuffle forward, between the barriers, still unsure if I’m doing the right thing. Any moment now I think a loud metallic voice will tell me to halt and drop to the floor. I keep moving and pass through the queuing arrangement. When I’m out the other side I hear somebody clear their throat, but I can’t see anyone.
I’m at the rows of tables. I look one way and then the other. Off in the distance to the right I see a seated figure. He’s typing into his com screen. As I get closer I see he’s playing some sort of game. He looks up startled and shuts the game off. I sort of bow my head in submission, thinking he’s going to start shouting at me like General Stone did.
“Name?” he says. It’s not friendly but it’s not aggressive either.
“Wren,” I say. The croakiness of my voice surprises me. “Wren Harper.”
His fingers flick over his com screen and I see my name come up in reverse through the back of his screen. His eyebrows raise. “Mmm, Alpha One. Well done.”
“Excuse me?” I ask timidly, thinking he’s going to bite my head off. “What’s Alpha One?”
“You don’t know?”
“No. I, er, didn’t realize I’d be selected to be a cadet.”
“Okay, well, all cadets on board ship are divided into groups or pods, there are hundreds of pods on board. Your designated pod is Alpha One. Wait here a second.”
I still don’t understand as he turns and starts searching through metal shelves stacked with clothing. He busily moves along the shelves until he finds what he’s looking for and then returns with a pile of five crisp white t-shirts. Printed across the front in a no-nonsense military style typeface are the words: Alpha One. He hands them to me.
“I’m afraid this is the smallest size we do; might be a bit baggy on you. Let me get you the rest of your kit. What size shoe are you?”
“Four.”
“Four? I think the smallest we do is a five, let me check.”
A few seconds later he places five pairs of green combat pants in front of me, some thick blue underwear, several pairs of woolen socks and two pairs of boots. “These are size five but I’ve given you double the number of socks. If you wear two pairs at a time it should take up the slack. Go behind the shelves and change.”
I clutch my new uniform with both hands and follow his directions. It takes me an age to get around the giant metal shelves. On the other side is the strangest sight I’ve ever seen. Gargantuan stacks of discarded civilian clothes, piled up so high they form conical heaps. One is made entirely of shoes and sneakers. Another is just pants and others are full of t-shirts and tops. These must have been left by other cadets who came through here earlier today. Thousands of them must have passed through here because the piles are mountainous. It’s a surreal sight, seeing all this abandoned clothing. Reminds me of 20th century concentration camps just before the prisoners were gassed. They were told they were having showers and were made to dump their clothing before they went in. The thought sends a shiver through me.
There are no cubicles to change in so I just strip off where I stand and toss my old clothes onto the piles. My new T-shirt is huge and so are my pants, it’s like I’m wearing hand-me-down clothes. I decide to knot the back of my shirt to make it look less ridiculous and move on to the next station. Even with two pairs of socks the new boots slop up and down – I might have to add a third pair. They’re as stiff as hell and creak when I walk.
Past the piles of clothes are more barricades arranged to funnel people into hundreds of different queues. I naturally follow the arrangement until I’m faced with a row of medical screens stretching across the width of the vast space. The screens form little cubicles and I peer into one of them. It has a bed and some hi-tech medical equipment I don’t recognize. It’s military stuff so you can’t get the details on a com chip. I know I should try and find someone to help me, but curiosity gets the better of me. I step inside and begin poking around. There’s a stack of computer panels and readouts, and hooked up to this are two long snaking tubes, each with a gun on the end. These are not firearms, as the General would say, and are made from sleek stainless steel. As I pick one up it hisses with compressed air.
“Put that down,” a firm voice says behind me.
I drop the gun immediately and swing around to see a stern-faced doctor who wears a white coat over his uniform. He’s flicking through his com screen.
“Harper, Wren. Park yourself on the bed,” he says. I sit down and place my uniform next to me and opt to sit on my hands to stop them shaking.
“Don’t do that,” he says, “I’m going to need them.”
“Sorry?” I say, uncomprehending.
“Your hands. Hold them out. I’m going to be removing your domestic com chip and replacing it with a military one. An upgrade, if you like.”
I nod.
He takes my left hand and feels around near my wrist until he’s located the chip underneath my skin.
“Ah, there it is.” Then he takes one of the guns, the larger of the two and places the nozzle over it. “You might feel a little scratch.” He pulls the trigger and I hear the air pressure building in the gun, until suddenly there’s deep thud. I feel the chip being ripped from my skin. Pain spreads across the top of my hand like a giant bee sting. I bite my lip to stop from screaming. He takes the gun away and I can see a small tear in my flesh. Almost immediately he picks up the other gun and places it over the same spot. There’s a build up of air again and then a higher pitched thud. I feel the cold metal chip as it’s rammed into my hand. The pain has just increased ten times. I will not scream. I will not scream. I try controlling my breathing, taking slow breaths in and out. This helps a little. My hand feels like it’s been knifed all the way through. But it’s okay, I think I can keep a lid on it. Just.
He takes another gun-like object and waves it back and forward over the hole in my hand.
“This is a cellular accelerator to plug up the hole I’ve just made,” he says, as if he’s a plumber fixing some pipework. There’s a pins-and-needles sensation across the back of my hand. I watch in wonder as thin layers of skin build up, closing the wound. First pink and fleshy, then white and smooth, until there’s just a pale patch where the hole was. My head starts to swim so I concentrate on a spot on the floor, focusing to stop myself fainting.
“Right, now the other one.”
“What?”
“You need a chip in both hands.” He tells me casually.
“Why?”
“In case one hand gets blown off during battle.”
My day keeps getting better and better.

Interview:


Where did the idea for The Spiral Arm come from?
It started off as a TV script about seven teenagers floating across the universe in an escape pod, a kind of Big Brother in space. Getting TV made is notoriously difficult, so I tried adapting it into a book. It didn’t work. So I rewound the story. Where did this escape pod come from? Why were they all teenagers? The idea of a vast training ship full of teenagers popped into my head, a kind of Hogwarts in space. That’s when the Spiral Arm took shape.

Wren Harper is an intriguing character
Yes, she’s shy and a bit of a loner. She thinks she’s weak but there’s a thread of steel running through her. She’s a fish out of water, surrounded by elite super fit, aggressive teenagers who are all ultra-competitive. But Wren’s smart and uses her brain to get her out of some pretty nasty situations.  

How many seasons of The Spiral Arm will there be?
Well, it takes four years for the training ship to get to its destination, the planet Kepler. The cadets will be trained along the way. When they finally get to Kepler, the cadets on board will be young adults and expected to fight, so there’ll be at least four seasons, maybe five.

About the Author


After studying to be an architect, Pete realised he wasn’t very good at it. He liked designing buildings he just couldn’t make them stand up, which is a bit of a handicap in an industry that likes to keep things upright. So he switched to advertising, writing ads for everything from cruise lines to zombie video games. After meeting his wife Shalini and having two boys, he was amazed when she sat and actually wrote a book. Then another and another. They were good too. Really good. So he thought, I’ll have a go at that. He soon realised there’s no magic formula. You just have to put one word in front of the other (and keep doing that for about a year). It also helps if you can resist the lure of surfing, Taekwondo, playing Lego with the boys and drinking beer in front of the TV. 


Purchase:

  

Giveaway:

One ebook of The Spiral Arm. Open internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 1 July 2013

Mara Dyer #1 and #2 - Michelle Hodkin [Review]

This review may contain spoilers.


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (#1) and The Evolution of Mara Dyer (#2) by Michelle Hodkin



The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)

★★★★☆


Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.


The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2)

★★★★☆

Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.
They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.
She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

A Monthly Round Up: JUNE




A Monthly Round Up is a meme hosted at Feed Me Books Now!!!. The purpose of this meme is to sum up the month's blogging in one post. In the post you can mention the books you read that month, things that happened in the bookish world and blogs you discovered/read that month.

Books read & reviewed this month


  1. Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer Armentrout
  2. Of Poseidon (#1) by Anna Banks
  3. Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo
  4. Siege and Storm (Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  5. What really happened in Peru by Cassandra Clare
  6. Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand
  7. Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand
  8. Sweet Evil (#1) by Wendy Higgins
  9. The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa
  10. The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden #2) by Julie Kagawa
  11. Legend (#1) by Marie Lu
  12. Throne of Glass (#1) by Sarah Maas
  13. Scarlet (Cinder #2) by Marissa Meyer
  14. Under the Never Sky #0.5, #1 and #2
  15. Daughter of Smoke and Bone (#1) by Laini Taylor
  16. Ascendant by Rebecca Taylor
  17. Oath of Servitude by CE Wilson
My favourites of this month were The Grisha 1 and 2, Unearthly 2 and 3, Blood of Eden 1 and 2, Under the Never Sky 1 and 2 and Throne of Glass.

Giveaways









Sunday, 30 June 2013

GoogleFriendConnect is stopping TOMORROW!

                                                                  
As many of you hopefully know Google Friend Connect is going to stop tomorrow (July 1st).
This means bloggers will have to find an alternative for their followers.

I have recently created a Bloglovin' account. This is not only a great follower site, you can also import the blog you are following with GFC into your Bloglovin account. That way those blogs won't be gone when GFC quits.


You can read more about Bloglovin' and importing blogs here:

Bloglovin as Google Friend Connect Replacement / Alternative

I would really love it if you could create a Bloglovin account. That way I won't have to miss your posts, and you will still get mine!


You can follow my blog via Bloglovin here:

Follow on Bloglovin


If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask:)

PS: You can also follow me via email, Twitter or Networked Blogs:)

Birthday of The Moon Dwellers by David Estes


Today, The Moon Dwellers by David Estes turns 1 year old!

 It was 1 year ago today (June 30th) that David Estes first published the first book in his first ever YA dystopian series, The Dwellers Saga, and changed his life forever. Since then, The Moon Dwellers has outsold and drawn more hype than any other of his 13 published books, and has risen to the top 10 of many YA dystopian lists on Listopia, finding a place amongst bestselling books such as The Hunger Games, Delirium and Divergent. The birth of The Moon Dwellers also changed David’s life forever. As he’s gone from struggling Indie author to fulltime writer, he’s watched in amazement as his Goodreads fan group has swelled from 300 members to over 1,300. Since writing The Moon Dwellers, David has gone on to write and publish two sequels, The Star Dwellers and The Sun Dwellers, as well as three books in a sister series, The Country Saga (Fire Country, Ice Country, and Water & Storm Country). He plans to release the 7th and final book, The Earth Dwellers, in the combined series on September 5th later this year.
So what did David Estes want to do to celebrate The Moon Dwellers book birthday? His answer: “Give away as many free ebooks of The Moon Dwellers as possible!” So if you’re like so many others who are obsessed with YA dystopian novels like The Hunger Games, Delirium, and Divergent, and haven’t yet read the growing phenomenon that is The Moon Dwellers, now’s your chance to do so FOR FREE.
You can grab your free ebook of The Moon Dwellers from Smashwords.com using the coupon code below. And please feel free to share with your family and friends and pets, the more ebooks are given away the happier David will be. The only thing David asks for in return is that if you enjoy the read and continue on with the series, to please leave a positive review on Amazon.com for each of his books that you read.


Where you can find The Moon Dwellers: SMASHWORDS

Coupon Code: AQ92E

Please note, this code expires on July 31, 2013


a Rafflecopter giveaway


David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife and soul mate, Adele, who he’s now been happily married to for more than two years.
A reader all his life, David began writing novels for the children's and YA markets in 2010, and has completed 13 novels, 11 of which have been published.  In June of 2012, David became a fulltime writer and is now travelling the world with his wife while he writes books, and she writes and takes photographs.
David gleans inspiration from all sorts of crazy places, like watching random people do entertaining things, dreams (which he jots copious notes about immediately after waking up), and even from thin air sometimes! Recently he’s been inspired by some of his favorite authors, like Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Maggie Stiefvater.
David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, an obsessive Goodreads group member, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.  He loves responding to e-mails, Facebook messages, Tweets, blog comments, and Goodreads comments from his readers, all of whom he considers to be his friends.

Where you can find David Estes hanging out: 
David Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite
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