Hi there! I’m Kay: an opinionated book blogger enamoured with the world of novels. Reader of Speculative Fiction (the posh word for Sci-Fi/Fantasy) and Young Adult (don’t judge, it’s brilliant). Believer in the many uses of the towel, the science of deduction and other fandom in-jokes.


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Recent Reviews

Magic Burns by Ilona AndrewsAurelia by Anne OsterlundUprooted by Naomi NovikShadow Study by Maria V. SnyderThis Shattered World by Amie Kaufman, Meagan SpoonerUnited We Spy by Ally CarterAll Fall Down by Ally CarterEve and Adam by Katherine Applegate, Michael GrantHex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

Shelf Analysis: Ivy vs. Tantalize

I have purchased two books over the past few weeks that have something in common.  It won’t take you too many guesses to work out what!

Ivy by Julie Hearn
Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Is it the exact same stock photo, or did they just use very, very similar models?  Who knows.  But it is worth noting that that is the UK cover for Ivy – the US one is totally different.  Why change the book cover to make it look identical to another?  Yet another publishing mystery never to be resolved!

In My Mailbox (Dec. 20th, 2009)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren ( inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie) and explores the content of your mailbox!  Or bookbox, as they should now be called.

I went shopping over at the Borders closing down sale.  I felt guilty about it, as I LOVED the Borders on Charing Cross Road.  I wasted many hours at their Starbucks, flicking through books. Am really sad to see them go… I guess Waterstone’s and Blackwells are all that is left for me now.

Young Adult Books:

Tithe by Holly Black

A gripping tale of a teenage girl finding out how different she is – and how she must use her ingenuity to survive, and save her friends. A teenage girl goes back to her childhood home – the place where she used to talk to faeries. Coming up to Hallowe’en, she meets her old friends – and Roibin, who tells her his true name. Discovering the truth about herself, she agrees to go along with a plan to disrupt the human sacrifice that binds her faery friends to unkind masters. But she is to be the human sacrifice, and not everyone has been telling her the truth…

My Soul To Take by Rachel Vincent

She doesn’t see dead people, but…
She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.
Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next…

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything?

Urban Fantasy:

Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow

Not everyone can take on the things that go bump in the night.

Not everyone tries.

But Jill Kismet is not just anyone.

She’s a Hunter, trained by the best – and in over her head.

Welcome to the night shift…

Night Life by Caitlin Kittredge

The first book in a thrilling, addictive new series by a talented new voice in dark fantasy. Welcome to Nocturne City, where werewolves, black magicians, and witches prowl the streets at night…

Among them is Luna Wilder, a tough-as-nails police officer whose job is to keep the peace. As an Insoli werewolf, Luna travels without a pack and must rely on instinct alone. And she’s just been assigned to find the ruthless killer behind a string of ritualistic murders—a killer with ties to an escaped demon found only in legend…until now.

But when she investigates prime suspect Dmitri Sandovsky, she can’t resist his wolfish charms. Pack leader of a dangerous clan of Redbacks, Dimitri sends her animal instincts into overdrive and threatens her fiercely-guarded independence. But Luna and Dimiri will need to rely on each other as they’re plunged into an ancient demon underworld and pitted against an expert black magician with the power to enslave them for eternity…

Review: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Review: Poison Study by Maria V. SnyderPoison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Series: Study #1
Published by MIRA
Pages: 400
Genres: Fantasy YA, High Fantasy
Source: Purchased myself
Add to Goodreads
Also in this series: Magic Study, Shadow Study

Murder, mayhem and magic…

Locked in a coffin-like darkness, there is nothing to distract me from my memories of killing Reyad. He deserved to die—but according to the law, so do I. Here in Ixia, the punishment for murder is death. And now I wait for the hangman's noose.But the same law that condemns me may also save me. Ixia's food taster—chosen to ensure that the Commander's food is not poisoned—has died. And by law, the next prisoner who is scheduled to be executed—me—must be offered the position.

Thoughts: This book was out-of-this-world amazing!

This was the first pure fantasy book I have read in a LONG while, and it was a great reintroduction to the genre. Heavily plot driven – featuring a lot of death, betrayal, and random attempts of murder – focussing on a heroine who could kick ass without having an ego. Brilliant secondary characters who, luckily, got a fare share of page-time from the author. Also, the love interest? Fierce. There was some serious tension, what with the whole will-he-won’t-he!kill her thing they had going on.

Overall, amazing start to the trilogy. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good plot and a great heroine!

2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge

YA_ReadingI have decided to join my first reading challenge in a looooong time – J. Kaye’s 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge.  I took up reading a lot more YA books this year and have every intention to read more!  For now I am going to stick to the “Just My Size YA Reading Challenge” which means reading 25 YA books next year.  Check out the link in the image to join yourself.

ETA:  Decided to up my reading plan to 25 books, as I am also taking part in the Debut YA Author Challenge. So along with those books (12), here is my preliminary list for 2010 YA Reading:

(Books in Bold have been read!)

  1. Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
  2. Betrayals by Lili St. Crow
  3. Jealousy by Lili St. Crow
  4. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  5. Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
  6. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  7. Frostbitten by Richelle Mead
  8. Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
  9. Need by Carrie Jones
  10. Captivate by Carrie Jones
  11. Shiver by Maggie Steifvater
  12. Linger by Maggie Steifvater
  13. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
  14. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
  15. Fade Out by Rachel Caine
  16. Kiss of Death by Rachel Caine
  17. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
  18. The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
  19. Tempted by P.C. and Kristin Cast
  20. The Espressologist by Kristina Springer
  21. Firespell by Chloe Neill – 2010 Debut Author!
  22. Fallen by Lauren Kate
  23. Hearts at Stake aka My Love Lies Bleeding by Alyxandra Harvey  – 2010 Debut Author!
  24. Beating Heart by A. M. Jenkins
  25. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  26. Ondine by Ebony McKenna – 2010 Debut Author!
  27. The Line by Teri Hall – 2010 Debut Author!
  28. Old Magic by Marianne Curley
  29. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner
  30. Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
  31. TimeRiders by Alex Scarrow – 2010 Debut Author!
  32. The Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda
  33. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
  34. Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson – 2010 Debut Author!
  35. Stargazer by Claudia Gray
  36. Dark Life by Kat Falls – 2010 Debut Author!
  37. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting – 2010 Debut Author!
31/12/2010 – Challenge complete!  I read 37 YA books this year, which even I am rather impressed by.  Some of them were beyond fantastic – others less so…

Shelf Analysis: Teens and Coffee

As a highschooler, coffee was an adult thing.  Something that you drink when you are old and have no energy.  A drink for those who are so desperate for caffeine they ignore the horrible taste.  Going to uni brought me over to the “dark side” and far too much of my work was done with a latte in hand.

And even though I am not long out of my teens, it seems things have changed.  Kids line up at Starbucks after school for their mochas, and can’t get by without a morning latte.  Not sure if that is good or bad, but it has affected the YA genre.  Has anyone else picked up on the coffee-infused stories and covers that have been published lately?  Well, if not, here’s a shot.

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer
Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
Death by Latte by Linda Gerber
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