Bout of Books 11 – Day 2

August 20, 2014 1 comment

Tuesday – Day 2

The second day of this read-a-thon went much better than the first, at least as far as reading was concerned.

I didn’t participate in any of the challenges, though I did think about them. Infinite Ink’s challenge (more info here) sounded particularly interesting… So I thought I would say something here instead.


For this challenge, I want to hear all about your favorite literary OTP.  Tell me why you ship them.  Tell me how perfect they are for each other.

I have to admit that I don’t have a single OTP, and most of my preferred OTPs are not by any definition canon. So thinking of a canon based OTP has been a bit of a challenge, but I think I’ve managed to come up with a couple, one of which was inspired by Crystal’s example on Infinite Ink. So here goes…

Li Syaoran & Kinomoto Sakura from Card Captor Sakura and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles both by CLAMP.

I was first instroduced to Syaoran and Sakura through the anime Card Captors, and I just fell in love with the characters and the world. Then I read the manga on which the series was based, and it was awesome. So when I heard that CLAMP were re-using the characters in Tsubasa I had to read it too.

I ship Syaoran/Sakura because they are just adorable together. It was really fun in both mangas watching them fall in love with one another, and the other characters’ reactions to their relationship.

If you’ve never read a manga before, then I totally recommend anything by CLAMP as a great place to start. They typically write really cute romances with adventure and magic.

Alanna & George from The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce.

I’m afraid I’ve been an Alanna/George shipper from the start. I know a lot of people wanted Alanna to be with Jon, but I always felt that Alanna would have to bend too much for the relationship to work long-term. I ship them primarily because George makes Alanna laugh and take life less seriously – sometimes she can be too serious, and life has to have fun times too. I also ship them because George is always there for Alanna even when she’s made it pretty clear that she just wants them to be friends.

Books Read Today: 1
Pages Read Today: 241
Total Pages: 279

Categories: Challenge, Meme Tags:

Bout of Books 11 – Day 1

August 19, 2014 6 comments

Monday – Day 1

The first day of this challenge was both a resounding success and a complete disaster.

I didn’t do much reading at all. Like almost none. However, I did manage to participate in a challenge (see below) and in the Twitter chat which was fun and hectic.


The Book Monsters held a scavenger hunt (you can find more details here) and here is my entry:

1. A Book that begins with “B” (for Bout of Books!) –> Beka Cooper/Bloodhound
2. A book that has been made into a movie/tv show –> The Last Song
3. A series you love –> Beka Cooper Trilogy
4. An anthology of poems or short stories –> The Assassin’s Blade (kind of a cheat, I think)
5. A book on your TBR shelf, or your full TBR shelves –> The Assassin’s Blade

It was quite fun doing this challenge.

Books Read Today: 1
Pages Read Today: 38

Categories: Challenge, Meme Tags:


August 18, 2014 1 comment

I received a really interesting email from Penguin Random House UK several weeks ago, about something called #Penguinjourneys. It sounded really interesting, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get up a post in July. But because I quite liked the idea, I thought I’d put a post up now – better late than never!

#PenguinJourneys is basically a campaign by Random Penguin House UK to give holiday reading recommendations from both the Random Penguin House UK team and some of their authors. They also encourage other people to take part by offering some selections of their own.

My #PenguinJourneys is going to start in Africa before moving on to Asia, then on to Australia, then on to North America, before finally stopping in Europe. I am going to recommend a couple of books set in the destination or some authors from the continent. I would love any recommendations you have, so please feel free to leave a comment below.

Let’s start…


I read both these books a long time ago – I think I was pre-teens – and I have very find memories of both of them. At the time I was very into “animal books” and these very much fit the bill. In retrospect I don’t think they are a particularly good representation of Africa, but I think Campbell does a fantastic job of painting the landscape.



TIGER’S CURSE by Colleen Houck & INK by Amanda Sun

Both books are the first in the series, and are actually set in two different areas of Asia. TIGER’S CURSE is predominantly set in and around India, whilst INK is set in Japan. What I like about both these books is that the authors pay attention to the culture of the country in which the book is set in. Never having visited either country, I think both authors do a good job in painting a vivid picture of the country in which their book is set.



Garth Nix & Trudi Canavan

I am ashamed to admit that I cannot recall reading a book set in Australia, and a quick look at my Goodreads lists didn’t find anything either. However, I do have two lovely Australian authors to tempt you with… Nix and Canavan are both brilliant fantasy authors. Nix created a really interesting and fantastical world in his ABHORSEN series – there is even a fourth book CLARIEL coming out later this year. Canavan’s THE BLACK MAGICIAN trilogy is equally as good.



DEAD WITCH WALKING by Kim Harrison & BITTEN by Kelley Armstrong

As with our stop in Asia, both of these books are the first in the series. DEAD WITCH WALKING is set very firmly in the United States – Cincinnati to be exact, whilst BITTEN starts in Canada before crossing into the United States. Although both books fit firmly within the paranormal romance/urban fantasy genres I think Harrison does a good job in painting what the city of Cincinnati is like and Armstrong does a good job in showing the difference between city and rural – though both countries have both, as Armstrong illustrates in later books in the series.



BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys & ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

We’ve reached our final destination, and have two disparate books. BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY is set in Lithuania during World War II. It tells the story of Lina who is forced to work in Siberia in terrible conditions. Whilst ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is a contemporary set mainly in Paris, where Anna attends boarding school. We don’t see much of Paris, but what we do is beautifully done and really fits in well with the overall story.



So that was my #PenguinJourney. I hope you enjoyed the trip. If you want to learn more about the books then follow the links.

Categories: Uncategorized

Bout of Books 11- Signing-up & My Goals and Updates!

August 17, 2014 3 comments

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

As I am currently running super behind both in signing up for this Bout of Books, and in blog posts in general, I have decided to combine what would normally be two posts… Sorry in advance if this post gets super long!!

Bout of Books 11 is my fourth time taking part in this read-a-thon. On the whole I have found the read-a-thon to be really enjoyable, and I have been on the whole quite successful with my goals. Taking part in the read-a-thon has also helped me to get back on track with my reading schedule, which I’m falling behind on yet again. Here’s hoping that this one will continue that pattern.

So without further ado, here are my goals for Bout of Books 11.

Time Devoted To Reading … I think I’m going to go with the same goal as I did with Bout of Books 10, I’m going to aim to read about 2 hours a day for the whole seven days.

My Goals for Bout of Books 10:

  1. Read 100 pages a day minimum.
  2. Take part in 1 Twitter chat.
  3. Participate in 1 Challenge.

Books I want to Read:

These are the books which are next in my TBR pile. I doubt I will manage to read all of them, but it would be nice to make a dent into the stack. I’m going very much by my mood this time, so which ones I read will definitely depend on how I feel on that particular day.

Links to Goal Updates:

Good luck and happy reading to everyone else entering!

Categories: Challenge, Meme Tags:

Review: Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce

August 7, 2014 1 comment

Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce

Title: Battle Magic (The Circle Reforged, 3)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: Sword and Sorcery, Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Press (24th September 2013)


Mages Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy are visiting the mystical mountain kingdom of Gyongxe when they are suddenly called away. The emperor of Yanjing has invited them to see his glorious gardens.

During their brief stay, though, the mages see far more than splendid flowers. They see the emperor’s massive army, his intense cruelty, and the devastating magic that keeps his power in place.

It’s not till they leave that they discover he’s about to launch a major invasion of Fyongxe. The mountain land is home to many temples . . . including the First Temple of the Living Circle, which Rosethorn has vowed to defend.

With time running out, the mages race to warn their Gyongxin friends of the emperor’s plans.

Duty, mystery, magic, and terror will drive them apart on the way. And while new friends will do their best to bring the mages together again on the field of battle, deadly enemies hide in every mountain pass, just waiting to destroy them.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

BATTLE MAGIC is Tamora Pierce’s latest novel set in the world of Emelan;it tells the story of the journey that leaves Briar with nightmares mentioned in THE WILL OF THE EMPRESS. The story follows Briar – one of the four mages of Pierce’s CIRCLE OF MAGIC series -, his mentor Rosethorn and his pupil Evvy as they travel through the Gyongxe and Yangjing regions of Emelan.

Read more…

Review: Dinner With A Vampire by Abigail Gibbs

July 31, 2014 2 comments

Dinner With A Vampire by Abigail Gibbs

Title: Dinner With A Vampire (The Dark Heroine, 1)
Author: Abigail Gibbs
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Voyager (11th October 2012)
Source: Secret Santa

One moment can change your life forever . . .

For Violet Lee, a chance encounter on a darkened street draws her into a world beyond her wildest imaginings, a timeless place of vast elegance and immeasurable wealth – of beautiful mansions and lavish parties – where a decadent group of friends live for pleasure alone. A place from which there is no escape . . . no matter how hard Violet tries.

Yet all the riches in the world can’t mask the darkness that lies beneath the gilded surface, embodied in the charismatic but dnagerous Kasper Varn.

Violet and Kasper surrender to a passion that transcends their separate worlds –  but it’s a passion that comes at a price . . .

Rating: **** (4 stars)

DINNER WITH A VAMPIRE by Abigail Gibbs is the first book in THE DARK HEROINE series. It tells the story of Violet Lee an almost eighteen-year-old who stumbles upon something she shouldn’t have, and gets drawn into a strange and dangerous world.

Read more…

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

July 24, 2014 1 comment

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium (Delirium #1)
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Publisher: Hodder (4th August 2011)
Source: Secret Santa

They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed. Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years suffocated by a lie.

There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.

Then, at last, they found the cure.

Rating: *** (3 stars)

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver is the first book in the trilogy of the same name. It tells the story of Magdalena “Lena” Haloway, a girl who is less than a year away from her eighteenth birthday when she will receive the cure for “amor deliria nervosa” – love.

Read more…


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