Book Haul: November 2013

I got some absolutely gorgeous review books this month – every single one of which I am super duper excited about. Here’s what I’ve received/bought lately a-la Showcase Sunday/Stacking the Shelves/Mailbox Monday.


For Review:

Upcoming Events in Londontown

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Book Notes is a regular feature at Dead Book Darling highlighting bookish news, curiosities and gossip spotted across the blogosphere. May the drama be with you…

It’s a conspiracy of authors

The London HQ of Forbidden Planet has a tonne of brilliant author parties/signings coming up this February – seriously, I’m drooling here.

On Friday 9th February the events kicks off with the launch party and signing for Laura Lam’s debut novel Pantomine. (I am so in love with this cover, it’s not even funny.) Then, the very next day, two more debut authors, Liesel Schwarz and E. J. Swiftwill, be having their first Forbidden Planet signings (it’s “A Conspiracy of Authors“, y’all).

Author Christopher Brookmyre will be signing his book Bedlam on Tuesday 19th February. While this book doesn’t seem like my cup of tea, it should be perfect for Tron fans out there.

The month concludes on Tuesday 26th February, with Peter V. Brett reading from and signing copies of The Daylight War – his newest book in his Demon Cycle series.

Pretty brilliant, huh?

Lauren Oliver - Author PhotoLauren Oliver Event 

The lovely Lauren Oliver will be coming to the UK to promote the final book in her Delirium trilogy, Requiem. She’ll be doing a special event at Waterstones Piccadilly in London on Tuesday 19th March. Tickets are £3 – but trust me, having met Lauren a couple of years ago, I can tell you that she’s worth 100 times that! You should reserve your place ASAP – just click here to learn how.

E-book exclusives you need to get!

Deals and Freebies

I’ve recently joined the 21st century and bought myself a Kindle (read this post to find out why I finally gave in). It seems I’ve joined the club just in time to take advantage of some fantastic digital exclusives!

Here are a few short stories and anthologies that are only available as e-books – you’ll recognise the authors as some of the very best in YA fiction. They are absolute musts for fans, even those of you who don’t have an e-book reader should consider getting them!

Hana by Lauren Oliver

UK readers / US readers

This short story takes place in the Delirium verse, and tells the tale of Lena’s best-friend Hana. According to the publishers, “there’s a shocking twist to her tale that will leave you with your heart in your mouth”. Sounds good to me! I’ve already got it on my Kindle and cannot wait to get to it!

Hana is only available in eBook and, for a limited time only, is just 99p! You can also make a really neat Lauren Oliver themed Christmas decoration that uses text from Hana. Check it out here!

Darkest Powers Bonus Pack by Kelley Armstrong

UK readers / US readers

Kelley is a fan’s dream author. Why? Because she just keeps on giving! She’s released three online novellas set in her Darkest Powers verse, and is currently in the process of writing a fourth (read it here). Unfortunately, these stories have just become non-free – but all three are available for your Kindle for just 72p! They are fantastic and well worth it – I’ve bought them even though I had downloaded the free pdf versions! Read my reviews of two of the stories: Divided and Dangerous.

The First Time Anthology edited by Jessica Verday

UK readers / US Readers: B&NAmazon

The First Time Anthology is solely available as an e-book, but features a tonne of YA authors you’ll recognise from printed works, including: Cyn Balog, Teri Hall, Heidi R. Kling, Saundra Mitchell, Jackson Pearce, Carrie Ryan, Kristina Springer, and Jessica Verday. In 25 stories, the authors explore firsts: first loves, first kisses, first zombie slayings, etc.

I’ll admit that I am not quite running out to get this anthology, mostly because I already have so many anthologies I need to get to! Still, it sounds fab.

Shelf Analysis: Pandemonium or…

So, I’ve just gotten a look at the cover for the next Lauren Oliver novel, Pandemonium, the sequel to her dystopian YA novel, Delirium.  The cover is pretty different to the original Delirium cover, so I think the publishers may be going for a bit of a re-branding.  It matches the “special edition” version of Delirium is supposed to be coming out with this new cover sometime in the fall – which will include a Q&A with Lauren Oliver and an excerpt from Pandemonium.  Anyhow, take a look:

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

OK, so the new cover style is very different to the original (which I loved, by the way), but I like it.  It’s fierce and a little bit scary, and the fall colours make it look somewhat apocalyptic…  In fact, I’d say it’s more like the long lost cover The Hunger Games.

No, seriously.

Is anyone else looking at these covers and seeing Katniss Katniss Katniss?  I can just picture Katniss looking just like that, peering at me from behind a bush before killing me.  And to prove that I am not the only one who has thought of this, I present the following evidence: the cover to the German edition of The Hunger Games (aka Die Tribute von Panem – Tödliche Spiele)


See what I mean?

I am pretty sure this is just me, but it irks me none the less.  Delirium was a fantastic book and, yes, it’s a dystopian YA novel.  But is it anything like The Hunger Games?  No it is not.  And unless the protagonist, Lena, has a dramatic character-modification in the next book, I am not picturing her as the next Katniss.

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Review: Delirium by Lauren OliverDelirium by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #1
Published by HarperTeen, Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 411
Genres: Dystopian YA, Young Adult
Source: Received for review from publishers
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Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

Thoughts: I read a number of reviews for Delirium before writing mine, and was surprised by the diverse reaction. There are a ton of glowing reviews out there, a few “I don’t get the fuss” reviews, and a some “this is just a bad book” reviews. And each and every review I’ve read – across the spectrum – I have agreed with. There are some themes are raised by the book that some people hated and others loved – it’s just a matter of taste. You know when you really enjoyed a book when the negative reviews don’t change your mind.

While I really enjoyed the plot and the characters and all of the over-arching themes explored in Delirium – it is Lauren’s writing that makes this book a keeper.  Lauren just has such a soft, elegant style to her writing. She molds and shapes her words and sentences with stellar technique. The way she writes reminds me of Maggie Stiefvater: she writes lyrical books that make you want to draw hearts around paragraphs while you’re reading.  Lauren understands love – not just romantic love, but family love – and her descriptions of the emotion are simply stunning.  This book made me re-examine the relationship I was in at the time, reminding me to appreciate love – and the delirium that accompanies it.

Even though I wasn’t over-the-moon-in-love with all of the characters, I enjoyed their part in the story.  I went in expecting to read a straightforward forbidden romance, but what I ended up with was, well, something else altogether.  Delirium was romantic, but it was also so much more than that.  It was a book about the bonds we share with family, friends and even our pets.  Stunning stuff. Not to mention, it has a few pretty fantastic twists that I never saw coming.

Bottom line?  Go out and get yourselves a copy right now – especially if you are a fan of Linger or Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.  Delirium is a lovely, elegant novel that I’d recommend to even the most hesitant of readers.  And don’t be put off by the doom-and-gloom you’re rightly expecting – it’s totally worth it.