Archive for April, 2012

Bookish Ramblings: Is Your Blog Genre-Specific?

Hello and welcome to my sixth Bookish Ramblings post! Lovely to see you again :) This week I’m going to talk about the following idea:

Is your blog genre-specific? Do you review everything you read or is your blog and/or your reading taste restricted to 1,2 or 3 genres only?

The reason why I decided on this topic is that a blogger interview I recently took part in made me think. The interviewer, Bex from Kindle Fever, asked me to describe my blog and tell her what my blog is about, what genres it covers, what genres I usually read. Judging from previous blogger interviews, I gathered that the most common answers to this question are either a, YA or b, a whole bunch of different genres. I belong to the latter category.

And needless to say, this issue has been constantly on my mind ever since. I started wondering: is it a good thing to restrict yourself and your blog to just a few genres? Or is it better to read a greater variety of books and thus accepting the fact that your blog might not appeal to as many people as a strictly YA blog, for example?

Well, here’s my take on this issue. If you only ever read, for example, paranormal books and your blog is strictly about paranormal novels, good for you. I know several bloggers out there who focus on one or maybe two genres only and it works for them. The tricky part is to find readers who are interested in the same genre/s as you. On the other hand, I know some people who read a greater variety of books but still, they only blog about one or two genres. They read different genres, they just don’t review them all. What I like here is that they know what they want to do with their blogs – they know that they want to have a YA only, or fantasy only blog -and it’s a conscious decision on their part. However, it doesn’t always work out. I know several people who, after blogging about a certain genre for a given amount of time, simply got bored of being restricted to such few options. And they started thinking, ‘I read a lot of different books – then why shouldn’t I blog about them, why should I restrict myself’?

Well, you shouldn’t. If you ask me what genre(s) my blog covers, I’ll give you a list of about 5 different genres. I read and blog about a mixture of different type of books and I’ve never wanted to run my blog any other way. I don’t want to restrict myself to a YA only blog because I read a lot of adult fiction books as well and vice versa. I don’t want to blog about mysteries only because I love chick lit as well, and so on. My blog may not be as popular as some of the YA only blogs out there but do you know what? I don’t care because I’m blogging about what I like. So my tip for new bloggers would be: don’t put yourself in a box just to be popular or just to fit in. Blogging should be fun. You should write about what you like, what you feel passionate about. If you’re happy with your blog and you like what you’re doing, readers will keep coming back to your blog no matter how many genres you cover.

Is your blog restricted to a certain genre or is it rather a “mixture”?  Have you thought about blogging about different genres or are you happy with the way your blog works? 

Showcase Sunday #1

Hello and welcome to my new weekly meme, Showcase Sunday. From this moment on, I’m not participating in IMM anymore for reasons you may have already heard about. I do not support or approve of plagiarism and most importantly, lying about it. Hence I’m starting a new weekly meme which will replace IMM on my blog – and of course, everyone’s welcome to join in. The aim of this event is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.

I haven’t actually done any mailbox related post for a few weeks now since I’ve been really busy so it’s high time I did one. First I didn’t get too many books because I’m still trying to catch up with my previous review copies and I stopped requesting ARCs for a while, then I had no time to post and show them, so it’s about 3 weeks’ haul.

For review

To Turn Full Circle by Linda Mitchelmore (ebook)
Hitler’s Angel by William Osborne (paperback)
Reservation Road by John Burnham Schwartz (paperback)

I’m so excited about these three! I actually haven’t heard anything about Hitler’s Angel and I was quite surprised when it showed up but I hope it’s going to be good. A massive thank you to Choc Lit, Chicken House, and Constable & Robinson for the review copies!

Won/gifted

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (ARC paperback)
Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson (signed paperback)

So, Jenny from Chocolate Chunky Munkie – along with several other UK bloggers – attended a blogger brunch at Hachette in late March  and was kind enough to send me her spare ARC of Anna Dressed In Blood because she knew how much I wanted to read it. Eeeeee! Thanks so much, Jenny :) Also, Dani from Pen to Paper went to a book signing/reading event and also had a spare copy of Before I Go to Sleep – she had a giveaway on her blog and I won! Which is something I’m still really excited about, since it’s been on my wishlist for a pretty long time and I literally never win. Anyway, thank you so much!

That’s it for the past two or three weeks – it’s not much but it’s still more than I can cope with at the moment. What did you guys get this week? :) Feel free to leave a link to your own Showcase Sunday post in the linky below and/or a comment with a link to your IMM/mailbox post so that I can visit you back. xxx

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#DaemonInvasion 2012

Over the last few days, I’m sure many of you have seen several tweets and status updates about an upcoming event called Daemon Invasion. I’ve been really busy in the past few weeks but when one of my bookish friends, Anjana from Kindle and Me asked me if I wanted to join her team and take part in the #DaemonInvasion, I just couldn’t say no. It’s going to be EPIC!

What is it about, you ask?

Author Jennifer L. Armentrout was/is looking for Lux fans who want to be a part of an elite street team who will help promote all fun things related to the Lux series. As a member of the Lux Street Team, people will have access to exclusive swag, gift cards, exclusive content and much, much more. Our tasks start on May 15th and we’d really appreciate all your support for Team DaeVision! Yes, that’s us.

Our kick-ass team includes:

That’s our little team – I hope we get your support! I’ll keep you updated as soon as #DaemonInvasion starts :) Until then, make sure to enter the giveaway of Obsidian at Kindle and Me! If you haven’t read it yet, here’s your chance to win it.

Review: I’ve Got Your Number – Sophie Kinsella

Cover of I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Title: I’ve Got Your Number
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publication date: February 14, 2012
Publisher: Bantam Press (Transworld Publishers)
Format: Ebook
ISBN: 9780385342063
Length: 448 pages
Genre: Chick lit / Romance
Age group: Adult
Source: Netgalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

I’ve lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate Poppy. Stay positive!!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her ‘happy ever after’ begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect! Well, perfect except the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents… she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

I had no doubts about whether I would like this book or not since Kinsella has been one of my favourite authors for many years, but she managed to WOW me once again. You think you’ve seen it all before? Well, brace yourself – you’re in for another treat!

There’s literally nothing Sophie Kinsella cannot do. I picked up I’ve Got Your Number the other night, thinking I’d read a few pages before going to bed. Three hours and 130 pages later I was still clutching my Kindle, not wanting to let go. I swear I say this every time I finish one of her books but this has to be my favourite novel of hers so far. Well, maybe it’s a tie between this one and Twenties Girl, I don’t know. All I know is, it’s unputdownable.

I’m trying not to sound like an obsessed fangirl here (and failing miserably) but it really is that good. There’s a bit of a similarity between her books in terms of characters and plot but do you know what? I don’t even care. Poppy is an entertaining protagonist who, along with Sam, makes this book as good as it is. If you’ve read Kinsella’s novels before then you know what to expect: a laugh-out-loud plot, witty and funny characters, laughter, and some tears along the way. There’s only a few authors who manage to make me smile and cry at the same time and Kinsella is one of them.

Character-wise, I would say Poppy and Sam were my two favourites. Poppy is a bit clumsy, someone who tends to feel inferior to others and rarely dares to stand up for herself and confront other people, even if she’s right. I loved how much she changed by the end of the novel. Sam is your typical businessman who has confidence, power, but at the same time, some of his comments just made me laugh out loud – and as it turns out, there’s a more vulnerable side to him as well.

As for the plot, all I’m going to say is that it’s brilliant. It’s full of twists and turns and I almost never say this but I wouldn’t mind if there was a sequel to this book. You know that feeling when you find a really good book and by the time you finish it, it’s as if you had to say goodbye to your best friends? That’s how I feel about Poppy and Sam, and Kinsella’s characters in general. I just didn’t want the story to end.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who’s looking for an entertaining read or a swoon-worthy romance – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. It’s another masterpiece from the ‘Queen of Chick Lit’ – simply perfect. I just can’t praise this enough. Do pick it up and you’ll see I’m right. :)

Rating:
*Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for sending me a review copy of this book*

Waiting on Wednesday #16

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week:

Cover of The Calling by Alison BruceThe Calling by Alison Bruce
ISBN: 9781780333830
Format: Paperback
Length: 320 pages

Publication date: June 28th, 2012
Publisher: Constable & Robinson
Add it to your Goodreads wishlist

Kaye Whiting went to buy a birthday present and didn’t come back. When DC Goodhew hears the recording of the mysterious call made to the station, informing them that Kaye is still alive and that a man named Peter Walsh is responsible, he knows it’s more than a prank call. Why does Mr. Walsh not seem surprised to see Goodhew at his doorstep, and who is the woman who goes to the same diner every day, just so she can watch Mr. Walsh walk out of his building with his new lover?


Why I can’t wait:
I’ve noticed The Calling on the publisher’s website last month and I fell in love with it right away. It’s the third book in the DC Goodhew series, something that I’m not familiar with, so I’ll make a mental note to check this series out. Judging by the description, I don’t think I’d have any problems with the story and I’m pretty sure it can be read in any order, but who knows? Haha.

Has anyone read this series yet? What are you waiting on this week? Make sure to leave me a link below! :)

Week off

Good evening, ladies and gents! :) It’s just a quick post to let you know that I’m taking a week off in order to catch up with reading and to SLEEP before my dreaded exams start.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been M.I.A in the past few days – it’s been quite a hectic weekend because we’re writing our end term papers this week and the past couple of days were all about studying. I have one more test to write tomorrow morning before  I can finally get some sleep and go back to normal. Since May and June are always very busy at uni and I have 3 exams coming up, I decided to take this week off and try to get some last-minute reading done before I have to start preparing for the exams.

Plans for this week:

– scheduling my reviews, Blogging Know-How and all the discussion posts for the following weeks. Which means that I’ll be back on April 30, with the next instalment of Bookish Ramblings. :)

– Spring Into Horror Read-a-thon: I’m taking part in this event which runs from April 23 to 29 (this Sunday). It’s a perfect timing because I wanted to dedicate this week to reading and laziness anyway.

I hope everyone will have a lovely week and see you soon! :) I might be back sooner with some read-a-thon updates but other than that, see you next week! x

Review: The Truth About Celia Frost – Paula Rawsthorne

Cover of The Truth About Celia Frost by Paula Rawsthorne

Title: The Truth About Celia Frost
Author: Paula Rawsthorne
Publication date: August 1, 2011
Publisher: Usborne
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4095-3109-8
Length: 342 pages
Genre: Contemporary / Thriller
Age group: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

Celia Frost is a freak. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. Her life is ruled by a rare disorder that means she could bleed to death from the slightest cut, confining her to a gloomy bubble of ‘safety’. No friends. No fun. No life.

But when a knife attack on Celia has unexpected consequences, her mum reacts strangely – and suddenly they’re on the run. Why is her mum so scared? Someone out there knows. And when they find Celia, she’s going to wish the truth was a lie. A buried secret, a gripping manhunt, a dangerous deceit… What is the truth about Celia Frost?

The Truth About Celia Frost is without a doubt one of those books that grabbed my attention even after reading the synopsis. I don’t know why but I seem to like books where the main character has some sort of an illness – whether it’s a contemporary novel with a more emotional approach or a paranormal/thriller one with an element of mystery. Celia Frost belongs to the latter category. I had high expectations for this one and although it didn’t let me down, for me something was still missing.

What I liked about this book the most was the whole concept – I know I’m not the only one who’s getting fed up with all the zombie/vampire books out there. There are so many similar books nowadays that sometimes when I pick up a YA book, it’s almost as if I already read it before. Concept-wise, Celia Frost is nothing like that. I’ve never read anything like this before and even though I’ve heard about this illness before, I haven’t actually read any books about it. Rawsthorne certainly did a great job with the main idea: it’s unique, very clever and well-researched.

On the plot level, the book has everything you need for a gripping young adult novel: a cute male protagonist, tension within the family, action, great friendship, danger, you name it. I love the fact that it’s not one of those sappy, over the top stories where the cute guy falls in love with the cute girl and even though they go through a lot, they live happily ever after. Sol, the male protagonist is everything but over the top. He really is a nice guy and I would be really happy if he was my friend. I just love their friendship, the way he looks after Celia and tries to help her live a normal life. Reading about the time they spent together was definitely one of the best parts of the story.

As much as I wanted to love this book, there were still a few things I didn’t really like. As for the plot itself, even though I enjoyed it most of the time, for me it was a little bit predictable. You know that feeling when you’re watching an action-packed film where the good guy gets into trouble but you still know s/he will win in the end? Or when you’re watching a horror film and someone’s heading towards an alley on a deserted street (in the dark) and you already know what’s coming. That’s what happened to me a lot of times while I was reading this book. I don’t know whether it has something to do with the fact that it was written for a younger audience or not but most of the time I had an idea about what would happen next and it did. I loved the concept and the twist (i.e. the story behind Celia’s illness), it just didn’t WOW me as much as I think it would.

However, it definitely was a fast-paced story and all in all, I quite liked it. If you’re looking for something you’ve never read before, something with a twist then The Truth About Celia Frost is your best choice.

Rating:*Thank you to Usborne Publishing for sending me a review copy of this book*