Archive for January, 2013

Review Copy Cleanup 3.0 – Sign Up

Hello and welcome to the third Review Copy Cleanup! After two successful editions in 2012, we’re back for another month of review copy reading madness. Whether you have a modest pile or a complete mountain of review books to get through, you are all welcome to join the fun.

What is the Review Copy Cleanup?

RCC is a month-long event in which Celine from Nyx Book Reviews and myself challenge ourselves to read as many review books as we possibly can. We are both notorious for accepting way too many review requests and consequently, our to-be-read piles are pretty daunting. In order to get some extra motivation we invented Review Copy Cleanup. This year we are keeping things simple – no challenges or scheduled Twitter chats, just weekly updates so we can all keep track of each other’s process – and lots of reading, of course. You’re welcome to keep track of the challenge in the way that’s most convenient for you.

Grab our button!

Show off our brand new Review Copy Cleanup button on your blog so everyone can see you’re participating!

Review Copy Cleanup 3.0

Grab code for the button:

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  • Review Copy Cleanup 3.0 runs from 1 to 28 February
  • It starts and ends at midnight in your local timezone to avoid confusion
  • To sign up, just fill in the linky below. Link to your sign up post directly, please! The linky is the same for both our blogs, so you only have to sign up once.
  • The Linky will close on the 15th, so make you sign up before then.
  • When you post your sign up post on your blog, either include the challenge button with your post or link it back to this article so that people know where to sign up. Thanks! (:
  • Every book you received for review counts towards the challenge, both e-books and hard copies (even audio books for review if you have those), including all genres and lengths.
  • Feel free to use the #RCCleanup hashtag on Twitter for your RCC related tweets or join the Twitter party at and meet lots of awesome bloggers (:
  • At the end of every week we will post our personal updates, and we’ll include a linky for you to add yours!


Showcase Sunday #33

Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight 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 each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.

For review

Showcase Sunday #33

Julia by Otto de Kat
The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran
The Library of Unrequited Love by Sophie Divry

I didn’t really expect any books this week (other than The Starboard Sea below) but Quercus surprised me once again. I’m super excited about Eleanor Moran’s book because it sounds like something I’d enjoy – I’ll keep you posted. I already read The Library of Unrequited Love and will post my review in early February. :)


Showcase Sunday #33 (2)

Out of Reach by Carrie Arcos
The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont

Right. So, a few weeks ago I asked my twittery pals if anyone was interested in a book swap. I had two copies of League of Strays and I knew some of you were dying to read it so instead of doing a giveaway, I decided to give it to someone who I know and who’s genuinely interested in the book. Faye from A Daydreamer’s Thoughts was one of them so this is how we ended up swapping ARCs and this is how I got The Starboard Sea.


Nail Your Books #3: City Skyline Nails (Divergent)

Nail Your Books at Books, Biscuits, and Tea

Hello and welcome back! Nail Your Books is a feature at The Princess of Storyland that Cristina created in order to show off some great book related nail ideas. They can be anything from a book inspired design to a matching nail varnish. Since I love nail varnishes and – as my Twitter followers know – I often create book cover inspired nail designs for myself, I decided to join this feature and bring them here to the blog to show you.

Hello everyone! Those of you who have been following me on Twitter for at least a few months might remember that a.) I’m a big fan of cutepolish‘s Youtube channel and b.) I adored her city skyline nails. So much so that I just couldn’t resist giving them a try back in August. (see the result here) When I was rearranging my bookcase the other day I realised it looks a little bit like the skyscrapers on Divergent’s cover. So I added a bit of glitter and silvery colours to the base coat and… well, this is how it turned out.

Divergent nails

If you’d like to recreate this look, you’ll need the following:

  • Base coat (Quick Dry Nail Colour 13 by Rival de Loop)
  • Silver nail varnish (Metal Shine by Miss Sporty)
  • Black nail varnish (Fatal Black by Miss Sporty) or a black nail art pen
  • Top coat (Ultra Gloss Nail Shine by Essence)
  • A cosmetic sponge


Showcase Sunday #32

Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight 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 each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.

Hello everyone and welcome back! Hope you all had a nice (and stress-free) week! I didn’t have time to do a SS post last week so the books below are from the past two weeks.


Showcase Sunday #32
The 5th Horseman by James Patterson (swapped)
Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant (for review)
The Love Book by Fiona O’Brien (for review)
Burning Blue by Paul Griffin (gift)
Within These Walls by Rev. Carroll Pickett (swapped)

First of all, an enormous thank you and lots of big hugs go to the lovely Henrietta from Leisure Reads who emailed me just before the new year, saying that she’s reading Paul Griffin’s Burning Blue (a book which has been on my wishlist for absolutely AGES) and she’s really enjoying it. Then I woke up the next morning and saw that she sent me an Amazon gift card so that I can order a copy. *sniffs* I’ve been blogging for almost 1,5 years but the kindness of bookish people still amazes me. Thank you so much, H! ♥

Also, a massive thank you goes to Hodder & Stoughton for the two review copies!


Review: Survive – Alex Morel

Cover of Survive by Alex Morel

Title: Survive
Author: Alex Morel
Publication date: August 2, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin Books)
Format: Ebook
Length: 273 pages
Genre: Adventure
Age group: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository


Jane is on a plane on her way home to Montclair, New Jersey, from a mental hospital. She is about to kill herself. Just before she can swallow a lethal dose of pills, the plane hits turbulence and everything goes black. Jane wakes up amidst piles of wreckage and charred bodies on a snowy mountaintop. There is only one other survivor: a boy named Paul, who inspires Jane to want to fight for her life for the first time.

Jane and Paul scale icy slopes and huddle together for warmth at night, forging an intense emotional bond. But the wilderness is a vast and lethal force, and only one of them will survive.

My thoughts

I don’t know what it is about plane crash/survival stories that fascinates me but I’ve always loved these types of books. Judging by the synopsis, Survive sounded just like my cup of tea but it turned out to be even better than what I expected. There are actually no words to describe how much I enjoyed reading this book, other than… oh my goodness.

In terms of the plot itself, it’s not the most mysterious story you’ll ever read. Basically, a girl called Jane Solis, who’s been living in a mental hospital for the past 12 months or so, is on her way back home for the Christmas holidays – the problem is, she doesn’t intend to leave the plane alive. She carefully planned her own death down to the tiniest details – but things don’t go her way. Just when she’s about to hit the switch and swallow a handful of pills, the  plane hits turbulence and crashes. They landed on a snowy mountaintop in the middle of nowhere and no one seems to be alive but her. Jane, who was about to take her own life a few hours ago. Then he finds a guy called Paul and as much as they irritate each other at first, they join forces and try to figure out how to stay alive and get out of there as soon as possible. Since most of these are given in the synopsis, things don’t take you by surprise – but still, there was something about this book that made me keep on reading. I’m quite a slow reader but I devoured the first half of the book in one sitting. I think that says it all.

One of the things I loved the most about Survive is how much Jane changed during those 6 or 7 days they’ve spent on the mountain. She’s definitely come a long way from being a suicide, someone who’s constantly angry, anxious and just bored with her own life. I also loved how her relationship with Paul has changed during their adventure and how they kept motivating each other to go on and fight. I pretty much sobbed my way through the last 40 or 50 pages – it was beautifully written.


Bookish Ramblings: Audio Books – Love Them or Hate Them?

To be frank, I’ve never been into audio books. My daily commute doesn’t take more than 10 minutes each way, I don’t normally drive and even if I do, it’s never for great distances and I’m never alone. Ever since I’ve been blogging I kept saying audio books are not for me. I once listened to the first few minutes of an Agatha Christie audio book on a friend’s computer and I didn’t like it. At all. I found the reader’s voice slightly irritating, she talked too fast for my liking – or at least faster than what my reading speed would have been – and even in that short time, my thoughts sort of just… drifted away from the story. So how is it that here I am a little more than a year later, listening to one of Lindsay Barclay’s thrillers, just for fun?

I had an English literature exam the other day, for which I had to read a huge amount of books. Most of them I’ve already read a few years ago but obviously, I can’t remember all the details about them and while I needed them for the exam, I didn’t have time to re-read all of them. And that’s when I decided to give audio books a try one more time – and that was when I realised they are actually really good.


Showcase Sunday #31 – The Post-Christmas Edition

Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight 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 each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.

Hello everyone and welcome to our very first Showcase Sunday in 2013! *does a little celebratory dance around her desk*

First things first: as you can see we have a brand new Showcase Sunday button for the new year so feel free to use it if you’re doing a SS post and you like it. :) (you can open and download the original size from here or you can even use this banner)


Showcase Sunday #31

Sanctuary Line by Jane Urquhart (for review)
This Body of Death
by Elizabeth George (purchased)
League of Strays by L.B. Schulman (from the publisher)
Vortex by Julie Cross (for review)
In the Gold of Time by Claudie Gallay (for review)

SCREAM! My copy of Vortex has finally arrived! I’ve two exams next week so I won’t be able to pick it up for a while but still. At least I can stare at it. Is anyone else reading it at the moment?

You may remember that I reviewed League of Strays a few months ago since I was part of the official blog tour and I really enjoyed this book. When the hardbacks came out, Lisa and the publishers were lovely enough to send all of us a copy so a massive thank you goes to them. Thank you! In the Gold of Time and Sanctuary Line arrived just before Christmas (talk about great timing, eh?) so thank you to Quercus for the lovely surprise (again) :). I’m not familiar with these two authors but they do sound interesting so I’ll be looking forward to reading it.

As for Christmas presents, I didn’t get any books – it’s sort of a family tradition, actually. No one really knows what type of books I like or which ones I haven’t read yet so I almost always get book vouchers instead. So a few days after Christmas I went to one of our local bookshops and picked up this Elizabeth George mystery which I can’t WAIT to read. I’ve heard so many great things about her books and even though I do own the very first book in this series, I haven’t had time to read it yet. So now’s the time to finally pick it up!