Sunday, 22 January 2012

Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Bookish Details:
Released: February 9th 2010 (US) September 1st (UK)
Pages: 287 Paperback
Publisher: Hyperion (US) Orchard Books (UK)

Goodreads Summary:
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

My Review:
I love Ally Carter. I will forever love Ally Carter. Simply for creating the epic Gallagher Girls series. But, I’ve got to admit, it took me a while to get into Heist Society. *Insert your angry face here*

The idea of the story itself is fantastic. I’ve read so many great things about the book, so I was expecting it to be amazing but I did find myself feeling slightly disappointed. It wasn’t until the second half of the book that I found myself really enjoying the story. I thought that the first half of the book was kind of slow and didn’t keep me hooked.

The travelling aspect of the story was great. I loved the characters literally going all over the globe to try and place the missing art. Ally’s writing style is brilliant and I love how she always adds in some humour.

The characters are fabulous. Hale was the reason that I kept turning those pages! He is an awesome book boy! I also loved Kat’s attitude throughout the story, I love protagonists who are totally kick-ass!

So even though I was slow getting into the story, I’m glad I stuck with it because I totally couldn’t put it down during those last few chapters!

Royal Rating:

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Lyrical Foxfire Tour - Alexandra Lanc Guest Post!

Hello everyone!

I am pleased to present a guest post from the fabulous Alexandra Lanc on her Lyrical Foxfire Tour. I'd just like to say
a big thanks to Alexandra for including me in her tour!

The Picture, the Words, and the Solace

For me, writing is like breathing -- in fact, it always has been like breathing, ever since I was a kid and picked up my first pencil, my first crayon, my first pen.

When I was little, I loved making up stories, and if I look back, most of the young memories I have are of TV shows or movies -- stories that I picked up on -- and I’ve always loved to read. When I was in kindergarten, I used to draw a lot of pictures, and that continued through my school grades, though as time went on, I added words with
those pictures.

I remember that the first real “story” I ever wrote was about Yoshi (from Super Mario Bros.) and his friends. Most of the story was in pictures, but I wrote some short “verses” as well, and then I bought a plastic school “binder” and put the pages in it. I liked the “book” so much that I wrote more, going on to various other video game and TV characters (which included, but were not limited to: Kirby, Sailor Moon, and the TMNT).

When I was in middle school, I wrote my first novel. It was mainly about a girl who had superpowers, and how she discovered the uses of those powers, and dealt with everyday
life at school (as well as an evil villain who was trying to take over the world, who just so happened to be her long-lost father). Middle school was hard for me, and my friends and I were bullied quite extensively. Looking back, I think that is part of what pushed me into writing novels in the first place -- I had words, and they had to be said, and though I couldn’t do anything about my situation in real life, I could do something about it in the book.

I finished the novel when I was thirteen, and I went onto write many more things through
middle and high-school -- mostly crazy comedies, dark drabbles, and fanfiction. I loved writing, but I could never actually finish anything, and I had new ideas all of the time, so I started new books constantly, and then left the old ones, pushing them aside.

I was home-schooled, so instead of attending normal classes, I dual enrolled and went to college for most of high school. I also took theater and chorus classes at a local high school for extras credit, so I spent most of my time at school, and didn’t have as much time for writing. During that time, I really missed it, but it wasn’t until I reached the summer of my sixteenth year that I really got back into writing.

It went like this: tragedy struck again, and I had to have an outlet, a place to say things, to get out what was bothering me. The tragedy was my brother’s motorcycle accident, and the outlet was a story that you are probably familiar with. It’s called “Shadows of Past Memories”.

Of course, it wasn’t called that at the time, and it was nothing like it is now (and well
over 700 pages), but that is when I started writing it. The change in my life -- my brother’s accident, him coming to live with us, and the growing up that I had to do -- fueled my writing again, and led me to writing Shadows of Past Memories. And the things that I went through trying to sort my life out, and trying to become someone that others could depend on, were my inspiration for the book, as well as the things that I liked to read, and the authors who I looked up to (most notably Mr. Eoin Colfer, whose book Artemis Fowl made me want to write for others).

Now, I write because I love it, and I can look back on everything that I’ve been through in
my writing and truly marvel at it. Because though things were hard then, I love my job now, and I have more than enough things to write about -- experiences I’ve been through, and things that I’ve learned from them. Writing will continue to be my life, but now I hope that I can write not only for entertainment, but to say something and to help someone -- because I know that books were my solace when I was going through rough times, and I want my writings to be a solace to someone else.

Thank you to the Queen of Teen Fiction, Katie, for having me, and I hope you all enjoyed
the post!

Thanks again Alexandra!

Read more about The Foxfire Chronicles here.

And be sure to read Lyrics of the Heart, due out January 20th!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Indie Author Month!

This March I am going to be hosting an Indie Author Month, focused on celebrating the work of the fabulous self-published authors out there. During the month I will be posting several interviews with indie authors about their self-publishing process and I will also be reviewing and picking out some awesome indie reads!

If you would like to get involved in any way, shape or form then please feel free to get in touch! You can email me at or you can drop me a tweet.


Friday, 6 January 2012

Review: Angel by L. A. Weatherly

Pages: 506 Pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Released: 30th September 2010 (UK)

Goodreads Summary:
Angels are all around us: beautiful, awe-inspiring, irresistible.

Ordinary mortals yearn to catch a glimpse of one of these stunning beings and thousands flock to The Church of Angels to feel their healing touch.
But what if their potent magnetism isn't what it seems?
Willow knows she's different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars.
Willow has a gift. She can look into people's futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. But she has no idea where she gets this power from.

Until she meets Alex…
Alex is one of the few who know the truth about angels. He knows Willow's secret and is on a mission to stop her.
The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous – and irresistible.
In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy.

My Review:

I’ve owned Angel for ages now but I just never seemed to get round to reading it sooner… I really wish I had! Angel follows Willow and Alex on the battle to save society from the Angels on earth who are feeding of humans.

The pace of the story if perfect and I adored how the point of view changed from Willow and Alex. Angel changes from first person to third person throughout the story and it totally adds an extra level of awesomeness to it. It gives you a chance to read about small things other characters are doing away from Willow and Alex. It really kept the story fresh.

The relationship between Willow and Alex developed throughout the book at a great pace. I loved the two of them going through the conflicting love/hate emotion stages. As far as guys in books go, Alex is up there with the best! The one thing that I didn’t like about their relationship was that some of the things they said to each other were just a bit cheesy and cliché at times.

The plotline itself is fantastic. It’s full of action and cliff-hanger moments that make you need to continue to the next chapter (even at 2am when I had to awake at 6am the next day).

I am so going to be reading the sequel, Angel Fire.

Royal Rating:

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

The Cover for City of Lost Souls has Landed!

The cover of City of Lost Souls has been released and isn't it just gorgeous! Personally, I think that it's the best cover yet because you can actually see their faces, which is a total bonus because the cover model version of Jace is just super hot!

So excited for the release of the book in May!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Product Details:
Pages: 372 Paperback
Publisher: Harper Collins
Released: 29th September 2011
Goodreads Summary:
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left wi
th few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.
My Review:
I decided that I absolutely must read The Name of The Star after I saw the recommendations from Cassandra Clare and Ally Carter, two of my favourite authors. I was quite intrigued by the sound of it: a story set in London about a copy-cat Jack the Ripper, it sounded awesome.

And awesome it was.

As an English girl, it’s always quite entertaining to read a story about an American character being thrown into England. I love reading all the little English stereotypes! Of course, with the story being about a killer basing his crimes on Jack the Ripper, London made a fabulous setting for the story.

There was a bit of everything in this story: action, humour, mystery and even a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. The fact that the story was more about Rory finding out about her ability to see ghosts rather than focusing on a romantic relationship was really refreshing.

Rory is a worthy heroine, she knows how to stand her ground and her narration is really entertaining. I like that even with the dark storylines, there was still plenty of laughs to be found.

The characters and the storylines are all really great and I’m so glad I decided to give the book a try. I can’t wait for the next instalment in the Shades of London Trilogy!

Royal Rating:

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