Friday, 27 February 2015

SHE-HULK #12 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido & Mutsa Vicente


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She-Hulk #12 by Charles Soule
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, here it is. The last instalment in this very cool, exciting, action-packed, fun series.

I love how this ends. So much chaos came with the revelation, but I knew Shulkie & Co. would be able to deal with the evil guy who was so desperate to be good. Too bad he was still rotten to the core, huh?

Anyway, I loved this series! The stories were great, the artwork was awesome--asides from those two issues that were awful--and I loved the characters. Not just all the cameos, but the main guys. Jennifer/She-Hulk was awesome all the way through, Patsy/Hellcat really grew on me as the series moved along, and I loved Angie/Paralegal and her winged monkey Hei Hei. They were a great cast, and I imagine that with a new case on their desk, they'll continue to kick butt!

Loved it.

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SHE-HULK #11 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido & Mutsa Vicente


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whoa!

Seriously.

That got off to a flying start.

Seriously.

So, Titania was waiting for She-Hulk in her office. Holding the Blue File! And she starts a wicked fight that takes them out of the building and into the wilderness. Where Titania tells Shulkie that someone wants her to stop poking around the file, and in storms Volcana. The two of them are going to kill her, but then... Hei Hei arrives.

OMG.

And Hellcat. And Angie. So the secret is out.

Angie knows who's responsible for the Blue File and all the trouble it brings with it. But will Jennifer listen to reason?

Guess we'll find out in the last issue...

Another great action-packed, pretty instalment.

SHE-HULK #10 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido & Mutsa Vicente


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She-Hulk #10 by Charles Soule
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ah, this issue is the conclusion to the Captain America Courtroom Saga. And I really, really enjoyed it! That Steve Rogers sure is a clever chap, no matter how old he is. BTW, I found out that he (somehow) lost his super soldier serum and that's why he aged. Ouch. Don't know if he will eventually get it back, but this little side story was super cool and interesting.

Everything wasn't as it seemed, and Fogler's deathbed confession wasn't exactly accurate. It was fun to see the Cap's past catch up with him. Someone's trying to tarnish his legacy, but I'm sure She-Hulk and Daredevil made sure that doesn't happen. ;)

Anyway, another great issue!

I just hope we get back to that Blue File now...

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SHE-HULK #9 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido & Mutsa Vicente


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She Hulk #9 by Charles Soule
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know, I usually find courtroom dramas to be a little boring, but this one kept me very interested. I mean, come on, it's...

Jennifer Walters versus Matt Murdock in a civil case against Steve Rogers.

I'm really enjoying where this is going, and some very cool revelations occurred in this issue. So I'm not going to chat about any of it. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I reckon Captain America has something up his sleeve. That sneaky old man. ;)

I must admit that I love the interaction between She-Hulk and Daredevil. They always get up to some crazy acrobatic stuff that translates beautifully to comic books. I'm still loving Pulido's artwork, and when he does those two-page spreads--wow!

I'm looking forward to finding out how this court case ends...

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SHE-HULK #8 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido & Mutsa Vicente


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was another awesome issue, and the artwork is back to being lovely. :)

So, Jennifer has a new client: Captain America. And for some reason--I still don't know why--he now looks as old as he is, which makes him 90-something. Yikes! Anyway, he needs her help because he's being sued in California for wrongful death. Don't know all the details yet, but it looks like it's an old case that goes back to the 1940s.

Jennifer, Steve, Patsy, Angie and her monkey (his name is Hei Hei, I really should start using it) head to Cali. In Tony Stark's plane. Except, she can't practice there so she asks her friend Matt Murdock if he'll let her use his practice so she can go to court. He says no, so she finds someone else. And when she reaches the courtroom, she figures out exactly why Matt turned her down!

I really enjoyed this one. It was fun, informative, and... it has Captain America. I'm also starting to really like Patsy--who I thought was super annoying at first--and Angie--who I was immediately suspicious of. I think Shulkie has a great team.

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Thursday, 26 February 2015

BREAKABLE by Tammara Webber


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Breakable by Tammara Webber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read EASY last year and absolutely loved it. So of course I was interested in reading a book written in Lucas/Landon's POV. He was a great character, and the chemistry between him and Jacqueline is scorching.

Having said that, I was positive that I would love it... but I didn't. While his POV is well written and interesting, the going from Landon to Lucas put me off balance. Not to mention that reading about his wild past and sexual exploits was meh. And kinda annoying when he's falling for someone in the present.

I don't know. It just didn't work for me.

Sure, his tragic past is awful and I felt bad for him because when he lost his mother, he pretty much ended losing both parents, but the effect wasn't as strong. That might just be because I've read all this before.

Also, the fact he knew so much about Jacqueline before officially meeting her kinda bugged me. I think I preferred it when he was a mystery.

Anyway, in the end I'm glad I read it, but it was just okay for me. Nowhere near as good as EASY.

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SHE-HULK #7 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido & Mutsa Vicente


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She-Hulk #7 by Charles Soule
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hallelujah! That other artist is gone and Pulido's back. Phew.

The artwork is back to being lovely, shiny, and the page spreads are beautiful. And She-Hulk is once again looking like the Green Goddess she is. :)

So, the story. Patsy and Jennifer are in Rufus's lab. He happens to be a guy whose business is located in the same building as Jennifer's. Anyway, he's showing them one of his creations: the Shrinko. A device that can make things small. Except, his partner's upset at the moment and decided to use it on himself. And if they don't find him soon, he'll blow up. At least that's what Hank Pym reckons. So with Ant-Man in tow, Hellcat accompanies She-Hulk into a treacherous backyard.

And that ending. Whoa.

I loved this story. It was fun and suspenseful, plus it look SO PRETTY! Only problem I had with it was cats becoming villains. Boo.

We're back to 5-star ratings, baby. ;)

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SHE-HULK #6 by Charles Soule & Ron Wimberly


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She Hulk #6 by Charles Soule
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OMG. WTF is up with the artwork in this issue? It's EVEN WORSE than the one before it. Like, REALLY UGLY. This Wimberly's style is awful. It was so distracting, and... awful. This time I have to deduct from the rating because OMFG.

Let's get to the story. Nightwatch visits Jennifer in her office, but by now she knows not to say the trigger name--George Saywitz--because it'll drive the person crazy. Like it did to Tigra, who ended up putting Patsy in the hospital. While he's there, a bunch of demonic things attack the building and do something to She-Hulk. When it's over and done with, she decides she doesn't want to pursue this case any more. Even when Angie gets back from North Dakota, where she was shot and everything was stolen from her. Lucky for her, she's got a monkey. :P

Anyway, the story was still good but that artwork. It's terrifyingly ugly. Look at that cover, it's beautiful, but the inside. Ugh. Shulkie looks disgusting in this issue. So sad. :(

I hope they ditch this artist. Soon. No, now.

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SHE-HULK #5 by Charles Soule, Ron Wimberly & Rico Renzi


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She-Hulk #5 by Charles Soule
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Firstly, I just gotta say: Wow. That cliffhanger! Aaaahhhhhh.

I really LOVE the cover for this issue, but the artwork inside wasn't as good as the issues before it. I guess they changed artists, and I don't really like the way he draws She-Hulk. He's taken some of her femininity, and made her kinda butch. Which doesn't make sense because she's Jennifer all through the story.

Anyway, I was going to give a lower rating because of that... BUT the story is excellent. So, full marks again. ;)

Jennifer and Patsy are interviewing different people listed in the Blue File. Jennifer visits The Shocker and gets a few answers out of him. However, when Patsy broaches the subject with Tigra, she loses it. In the meantime, Angie is in North Dakota conducting her own research, and gets into a lot of trouble as well.

I really love how this story is shaping up. I just wish the artist wasn't so sharp edges and trying to make things ugly when they don't need to be. O_o

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SHE-HULK #4 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido & Mutsa Vicente


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She-Hulk #4 by Charles Soule
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the way this issue starts because it becomes very obvious that whatever sweet-talking power Angie has, it doesn't affect Jennifer.

Angie is trying really hard to convince her not to worry about Kristoff Vernard and the fact that although Jennifer won the case, Doctor Doom took his son back to Latveria.

But Jennifer refuses to give up, even if the money Kristoff paid her nearly got her into some trouble. What she needs is to go and see an old friend, a fellow lawyer. And so, she ends up in San Francisco with Daredevil! Super cool. I also loved it when they went out and had a blast, LOL.

Before heading home, she decides to go to Latveria to face Doom. That's where she encounters Gigantic Doom, which cracked me up.
 
Another beautifully drawn instalment, with a very cool story.

Can't wait to find out more about the Blue File!

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THE DAY I SWAPPED MY DAD FOR TWO GOLDFISH by Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My daughter's had this book for several years and really liked it, but I hadn't read it yet, so I borrowed it from her last night and got stuck into it...

What's a boy to do when he wants his friend's goldfish and nothing catches his friend's eye? Swap his Dad for the goldfish, of course. All Dad does is read the newspaper, so why not? :P And so begins a quirky adventure that sends a snickering brother and sister across town in order to swap their Dad back.

LOL.

This is a lovely little story with gorgeous and unique artwork. I also enjoyed the Afterword because I love reading about what sparks a story.

Great book! Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean sure make a great team.

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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

SHE-HULK #3 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido & Mutsa Vicente


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She-Hulk #3 by Charles Soule
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ooooh. I love that cover!

Kristoff Vernard, who happens to be Victor Von Doom's son, wants Jennifer to help him get asylum in the USA. He doesn't want to eventually inherit the leadership of Latveria, and although he might be a little snotty and spoilt, he isn't like his father. So, she decides to help him.

But Doombots get in their way. Well, until Patsy makes an appearance and helps She-Hulk... but that's not The End, because Daddy Dear decides to pay the courthouse a visit. :/

OMG. I knew there was something about Angie. I'm pretty sure she's got some kind of mind control power where she can make you agree with her or do as she tells you. And that monkey, LOL.

This was another great issue. I really enjoyed it!

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Reading Week


I was going to pop in yesterday but Monday didn't turn out like I expected. My daughter woke up feeling sick, so she stayed home from school. Good thing I didn't have any real plans--asides from blogging and reading--otherwise they would have been turned upside down.
 
In the end, I spent the day making sure she had enough rest and ate/drank enough to get some strength back. And in between that, I read. I actually read WE WERE LIARS on my Kindle. It was SO GOOD that I couldn't put it down. Seriously. So good.
 
Anyway, that's what I've decided to do this week. I'm going to read as many novels as I can on my Kindle, read a YA short story anthology my daughter borrowed from the library, as many of the She-Hulk comic books as I can, and maybe even something from my bookshelf. :)
 
This is part reward, for getting the third/final draft of LAVIE done last week, and part trying to relax and not worry about deadlines. Until next week. I've been having a few anxiety episodes lately, and I want to do whatever I can to keep myself calm. And reading does just that. I've also got a sore throat, and that brings me down, so... reading it is! :)
 
OMG. You know what happened on Friday afternoon? Our TV started playing up. The screen just randomly went wonky. The image kept swiping across, there was a black smudge in the middle, what little you could see was reddish, and then changing channels made the whole image move from right to left. Not sure what's going on with it, but because it's under warranty--TG for extended warranty!--someone came over and took it. They'll be taking a look at it, and will shortly let us know if the problem is something they can fix or if we need to get a replacement.

Yikes!
 
I hope we hear back soon...  Until then, no TV.
 
So, you know, a few real life things trying to get in the way of my positive attitude. :/
 
Still, I'm determined to take it easy this week because next week I plan to read LAVIE one last time, on my Kindle. It's ready and waiting. LOL. And I think I might have (finally) settled on a title. 

Okay, I'm going to get some more reading done.

See ya!

SHE-HULK #2 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido, Mutsa Vicente


She-Hulk #2 (She-Hulk, Vol. 3, #2)She-Hulk #2 by Charles Soule
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After getting a surprise payment at the end of last issue, Jennifer has opened her own practice. But she doesn't have any clients. She also doesn't have any staff. Of course that changes when she hires a woman called Angie, who happens to have a monkey. And this monkey goes everywhere with her, even to the office.

LMAO.

Anyway, because things aren't going so well, she decides to go out for the night and meets up with her friend Patsy Walker, who also happens to be Hellcat! They both drink a lot and Patsy ends up getting drunk and irritated. She then drags She-Hulk to a warehouse, where they end up facing some action.

The next day, when she gets to the office, she finds an unexpected would-be client. But I wonder if she can actually trust this guy?

Another great issue. Love how this story is developing, and some of the pages were stunning. This is a seriously gorgeous series.

I love She-Hulk. She cracks me up.

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SHE-HULK #1 by Charles Soule, Javier Pulido & Mutsa Vicente


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really like She-Hulk. I find her fascinating, so I was very excited about reading this comic book series. And the first issue didn't disappoint, that's for sure.

Jennifer Walters, also known as She-Hulk, is about to get her annual review. She's accrued a lot of hours and cases, so she's pretty sure she's about to get a good review and a bonus. However, when it turns out that all the firm wanted to hire her for was her superhero connections, they announce there will be no bonus. So she quits.

While drowning her sorrows in a lawyer bar, a woman approaches her. She needs Jennifer's help, and because it's Tony Stark she has to deal with, she agrees. Except, Tony's hiding behind a Legal team. So she decides to do a little research and finds just what she needs to combat Tony.

I really enjoyed this! The artwork is beautiful, the script flawless, and the story interesting. I was surprised about Jennifer being green all the time, but who cares? She looks lovely. She really is a Green Goddess. :)

Monday, 23 February 2015

WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart


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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to start this review with a huge Wow. This book is amazing. And so addictive. I couldn't put it down.

My daughter actually read this before I did and kept telling me how good it was. Well, she wasn't wrong.

The funny thing is that I hadn't even planned to read it now. But last night while going through my Kindle books I decided to check it out... and before I realised it I was already on 8%. So first thing this morning I went back to it and just finished. I was hooked and couldn't wait to get to The End.

This is the story of the Sinclair family, who enjoy spending summers together on a private island. It's also a story of first love. And about the close ties of friendship. There's also a good dose of suspense, a pinch of greed, kids wanting to change the world, and a terrible tragedy.

And when it all comes together, there's a lot of sadness.

That's all I'm going to say about it because I don't want to give anything away. All you really need to know is that this is a brilliant book. I loved how it was written, the story, the lies, the messy familial ties... all of it!

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Sunday, 22 February 2015

THE RETRIBUTION OF MARA DYER by Michelle Hodkin


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The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, let me start with this: I LOVED the first two books in this trilogy. So I was looking forward to reading the last book.

Things start out pretty crazy, like they usually do. Mara is in a hospital environment and is imagining all kinds of things. Well, she might be. Or it might all be happening because her memory is splotchy and Dr. Kells is doing a bunch of experiments on her. But thanks to the insane Jude, she gets out.

But not without committing a little double murder first.

So, anyway, she gets out with Jamie and Stella. But not Noah, because apparently he's dead. And so begins a cross-country adventure that has them lying, tricking, killing, and stealing their way to New York. Where they plan to get some answers, conveniently find a place to stay, and amazingly manage to run into Mara's older brother. Yep. Daniel's gonna help them figure things out. :/

Everything does get revealed in this book and, I think that because of that, it ends up being the weakest of the three.

There are just too many coincidences making everything a little too convenient. And Mara just didn't feel like Mara. Plus Noah is MIA for most of the book, and when he is in it we get snippets of his POV that I didn't think were necessary.

The creepy factor that I enjoyed so much in the previous books was missing. I was mostly scratching my head about how everything seemed to work out okay no matter what crazy shit happened. Actually, I think Stella was the only one acting like a real person.

And the last 100 pages were pretty senseless.

What I did like a lot: the writing style, the snippets into Mara's grandmother, plus how the ending leads back to the beginning.

Unfortunately, although I really wanted to love it, I was ultimately disappointed with this book. :(

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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

It's Revision Time!


After completing the DASH editing process, I took the rest of last week off. After all, finishing DASH was my January goal. Yay. :)

I didn't end up doing much but sorting through my stationery. I needed the change of pace. But on Monday I decided that it was time to get back to my Goals schedule.
 
The next thing on that list involves the cute gal to the left. Well, she has hazel eyes but the doll maker website I used only had brown available. LOL. Still, it captures Lavie Grye perfectly. ;)

It's also why I haven't had a chance to stop by and post anything. I've spent every available moment I have alone on revision. It's time to tackle the third/final draft of her still-untitled story. I have a few ideas about what to call it, but haven't decided yet. That can wait for now.

So, I've now passed the 100-page mark. My goal is to get 40 pages revised/day this week. That'll get me to the end of the novel. And if I keep going at this pace, I think I can do it. Fingers crossed.

I'm enjoying it a lot more than the second draft, that's for sure. Because I added/changed SO MUCH during the previous draft it took me about two weeks to get through. The changes now are small: deleting a word here, cutting a sentence there, adding and/or replacing words. Plus making sure that the atmosphere and emotion is captured deeply enough. All the nitty-gritty details that will help finalise the story.

Other than that, all I've been doing is trying to get back into a workout routine. I'm not sure if it's an actual physical--or psychological--thing, but I usually feel better when we're working out to some sort of routine. Otherwise I start feeling like crap and then don't have the energy to workout, which makes me feel worse and becomes a vicious cycle. Better to try and stay on top of it.

As for reading, I haven't been able to concentrate on any books this week. I guess my mind is just so full of Lavie and Saul that I can't get stuck into another story. I've actually already put two books aside that I was intending to read but am just not in the mood for. I hate when that happens, so I hope it's not a Reading Slump but a Too Involved With My Own Book Slump. ;)

I've also been raving on about how much I'm starting to dislike The Walking Dead. If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that this has been one of my favourite shows since it began. I've enjoyed the seasons, become attached to the characters, buy a bunch of TWD Funko Pop! toys, and even got stuck into the comic book series because of it. But in this latest season, something awful has happened.

Season Five started with a bang! An explosive episode that kept me on the edge of my seat, and then blended into another two that were awesome and dealt with the assholes from Terminus. But when that story ended, everything seemed to shift into Crappy Storytelling. All of a sudden characters with established personalities started acting like strangers. Smart characters were doing really stupid shit. And killing off characters became an overdone shock factor.

Seriously, it's getting ridiculous. So bad that I've been super bored since the season return. I really hate how they're trying to be so smart by filling the entire episode with symbolism. It's such bullshit. Even The Talking Dead is boring. I hate what they're doing to this show. Where's all the good storytelling gone? I can't help but think that maybe the writers are starting to let the hype go to their heads and are ruining a good thing. Ugh.

Hubby and I are seriously considering cutting this show out of our Watch List. I'm not one of those people who holds on to a show for memory's sake. We cut Sleepy Hollow because the second season started out shit, and abandoned The Big Bang Theory because of the sexism and stupidity going on. Didn't bother with Gotham after the first two eps proved how crap it was. Oh, and we stopped watching Arrow because last season was just SO BAD.

Yeah, not afraid to let a once good show go when it turns to shit.

Anyway, that's my thoughts on what's quickly becoming--as my hubby called it--The Boring Dead.

Okay. I better get back to that revision. Need to reach page 120 by this afternoon.

See ya!

 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

SAGA, Volume 1 by Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples


Saga, Volume 1 (Saga #1-6)Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hubby borrowed this comic book from the library, and it grabbed my attention. I mean, come on, the cover features a horned guy, and a winged woman breastfeeding her baby! That's pretty brazen. And cool.

Anyway, I picked it up today and wound up reading the whole thing in one sitting. It's that good. Seriously.

The story starts with Alana giving birth while Marko delivers the baby. They're supposed to have the place to themselves for a while, but of course don't. Still, they manage to escape but now have a whole bunch of people after them. Including the freaky freelancer, The Stalk. As well as The Will and his cool Lying Cat. Not to mention the Prince Robot IV.

When The Stalk almost kills Marko, Alana has no choice but to trust a ghost. But outside forces aren't the only things in their way to finding a way off the dangerous planet...

I really enjoyed the first volume of this very intriguing story. It's an awesome blend of Fantasy and Sci-Fi, with a bit of eroticism thrown in. It's also a love story between two enemies that just want to be left alone with their baby. I also liked the baby's POV, and the other stories threaded through Alana and Marko's tale.

This is a unique book with some very unusual creatures, freaky situations, and awesome artwork.

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Saturday, 14 February 2015

VANISHING GIRLS by Lauren Oliver

Dara and Nicola used to be inseparable, but that was before - before Dara kissed Parker, before Nicola lost him as her best friend, before the accident that left Dara's beautiful face scarred. Now the two sisters, who used to be so close, aren't speaking. In an instant, Nick lost everything and is determined to use the summer to get it all back.

But Dara has other plans. When she vanishes on her birthday, Nicola thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl has vanished, too - nine-year-old Elizabeth Snow - and as Nicola pursues her sister, she becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances may be linked.


I  was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book--thank you Hachette!--and couldn't wait to read it because the premise sounded so intriguing. I knew that the story of these two sisters would be twisted in some way, and I wasn't wrong.

Nick and Dara have always been close. Two sisters who did everything together. Along with their neighbour, Parker, the two girls enjoyed many childhood adventures together. But they haven't been on such good terms lately.

Dara is a problem child always sneaking out and getting into trouble. While Nick is the good girl, who spends a lot of time covering for her sister.

When Nick  returns home from her father's place, shortly after a horrible car accident that caused some pretty serious injuries to Dara, her younger sister doesn't exactly welcome her home with open arms. But Nick is determined to reconnect. 

The truth is, things haven't been the same between them for a while. Even before the accident, a boy managed to come between them.

The sisters might now be under the same roof, but Dara keeps avoiding Nick. But that's okay because Nick is busy working at a local amusement park and reconnecting with Parker. Besides, Dara's birthday is coming up and she won't be able to avoid their annual family birthday dinner.

But then Dara doesn't turn up to dinner, and Nick becomes convinced that the disappearance of a little girl is somehow linked to her sister and goes on a wild goose chase. What she didn't realise was that she would find a deep secret Dara was concealing from everyone. 

Or that Nick's life isn't as straightforward as she thought.

This is an amazing story with several twists. I have to admit that I worked out one, but it didn't ruin anything for me. The story is told in the alternating POVs of Nick and Dara. It's also told in different times, jumping from Before and After (the accident), which is done so well the technique enhances the story. And sometimes, I felt like the reader was supposed to be a few steps ahead of Nick and Dara.

But I can't say too much more. This is one of those books where you're better off not knowing much about it. And spoilers are too easily revealed if I say any more. So I won't. ;)

Vanishing Girls is an addictive, surreal, tense story that hooked me in so deeply I wanted to follow Nick every step of the way, until she got all the answers. Lauren Oliver's writing style is lovely, and her stories compelling. I also liked how the events unfolded naturally.

I loved every minute of this book. It's awesome. Actually, it's hard to express just how awesome without giving anything away.

Vanishing Girls, March 2015, ISBN 9781444786804, Hodder & Stoughton

Friday, 13 February 2015

It's Friday the 13th + TGIF!



That's right. TGIF.

But it's also that creepy time of the year when Jason Voorhees is stalking the shadows with his trusty machete, waiting for someone to get up to some hanky-panky. 

As long as you behave, you'll be fine! ;)

Oh, and FYI... there will be TWO more Friday the 13th days this year. In March and November. Yikes! 

Jason's gonna be super busy. :P

Hope you all have an awesome day! And a great weekend.

THE SERPENT PAPERS by Jessica Cornwell (DNF)


The Serpent Papers (Serpent Papers Trilogy #1)The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell

Okay, I'm officially calling this my second DNF of 2015. Because I only reached page 156, and won't be skimming ahead, I'm not going to rate it.

I received this book for review. It sounded intriguing. It was intriguing at first. The main character seems to have a peculiar gift that isn't explained very well. I also liked the setting. And the horrible mystery of the dead girls, but... the fragmented storytelling style killed it for me. Instead of grabbing me and keeping me hooked as different pieces of the puzzle come together, it threw me out of the story. Kept me from returning for days.

So, yeah, the way this book is written didn't work for me. I really wanted to like it because it sounded like the kind of thriller I usually enjoy, and the mention of alchemy was cool. But I can't keep reading something I'm not feeling.

It's such a shame. :(

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Thursday, 12 February 2015

HORROR BLOCK


Last month I spoke about LOOT CRATE, and posted a bunch of pics to show you what the January box contained. I also mentioned that we'd subscribed to another cool subscription service called HORROR BLOCK.
 
Well, the mystery box finally arrived yesterday:
 
 
Love that tape! Actually, the whole box is really cool and captures the horror theme very well.
 
Anyway, this is what the inside contained:
 
   
And these are the goodies:
 
 
There are some really cool things in this one. I'm looking forward to reading my copy of Rue Morgue, as well as the Twilight Zone comic book. And of course, that Chucky tee is AWESOME. Can't wait to wear it. But you know what my fave thing was?

This little beauty:
 
 
OMG. Pink Posey is SO pretty. She's adorable, and tiny. I love the way she looks. I've always found Living Dead Dolls intriguing.
 
As you can probably tell, I was the one who kept most of these goodies. It wasn't much of a surprise to anyone since I love all things horror. :P
 
I can't wait to get the February box. I just need to be more patient. It's coming from Canada, so it takes about two weeks to reach Oz.

Have a horror-filled day!


Wednesday, 11 February 2015

DASH is done!


That's right.
 
I spent the last two days reading the PDF proof and emailed the small list of corrections to my editor yesterday. Yay.
 
Then this morning, I got a surprise in my Inbox: the final copies! OMG. I'm SO excited. I'm really looking forward to this book's release in May. Mark your calendars, because it will be released on the 26th of May. :)
 
In case you missed the blurb, here it is:
 
 
She escaped the arena of death, but trusting him might be the death of her.
 
Recast, Book 4
 
Taylor may be the Clash Arena’s most dominant—and only—female gladiator, but today she just can’t catch a break. After winning yet another brutal fight, with the arena inexplicably falling down around her ears, she jumps at the chance to escape the prison of her subterranean pit.
 
Instead, she finds herself knocked unconscious more times than she can count, and pursued over the edge of a sea cliff by an AI enforcer she can’t shake off her heels.
 
Walsh has been living a double life, masquerading as a tyrant’s enforcer while hiding his true agenda. When the despicable arena falls, there’s only one thing on his mind—saving the savage blonde who doesn’t trust him as far as she can throw him. Which is a considerable distance.
 
Once he convinces her he’s not out to kill her but help her survive, they form an uneasy alliance. But Taylor senses he’s keeping a secret, not just from her, but about her. And the truth will show them exactly what it is to be human.
 
Warning: This book contains some girl-on-girl action, a kick-ass gladiator who takes no crap, an AI who puts it all on the line, a band of misfits who aren’t as merry as they seem, cute tadpoles with sharp teeth, and grip-you-by-the-hair kisses. Strap in, interstellar turbulence is a bitch.
 
 
Well, what do you think of the blurb? This is the fourth book in my SFR RECAST series and features two characters that made brief appearances in CLASH. Actually, Taylor is even in SHIVER. And you might recognise several other couples from previous books. ;) I also wrote it during NaNoWriMo 2013.
 
*takes a deep breath*
 
Now that the DASH editing process is done, I'm going to take the rest of the week off. Then, I can get stuck into finishing the two Sierra Fox spin-off novels I've been working on. And after that, I'll be writing some new stories. But I don't want to get ahead of myself, or get overwhelmed by my goals. LOL.
 
I haven't been feeling 100% during the last week. I mentioned it before, but it seems to have chased me into this week. I think it's because the weather is so crazy right now. I usually feel crappy when the season changes from winter to spring, and summer to autumn. But this year, the weather is all over the place I don't think my body knows what's going on. So it looks like I've caught a cold or something, and it's making my breathing prob flare up. :(
 
Just need to ride it out, I suppose. Ugh.
 
Anyway. I'm hoping to spend the rest of the week catching up on some reading and sorting out a few things. Whenever I get stuck into a project I find that I make a lot of clutter and usually don't get around to putting everything away until that book is written, revised or edited. Weird, huh?
 
That's about it for today.
 
Have a great week!
 
 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses
Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price...
 
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
 
The start of a sensational romantic fantasy trilogy by the bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series.
 

I'm a huge fan of the Throne of Glass series, so when I found out that Sarah J. Maas had a new trilogy coming out this year, I was intrigued. It sounded really interesting, so I was looking forward to it. What I didn't expect was to receive an ARC of the book, as well as some other awesome goodies from Bloomsbury Australia!
 
Check it out:

It's all very cool, and after reading the book, I know what the mask symbolises. :)
 
Feyre made a promise to her dying mother. She promised she would look after her father and sisters, as well as help them stay together. Now, years later her father is a ruined man who lost all his wealth. He doesn't provide for the family and they live in a cramped cottage. Four people living inside a dilapidated house with hardly enough food to eat is a hard life, but Feyre has taken charge.
 
She hunts and kills animals so they can eat and trade the fur at the market. If she doesn't hunt, the family starves. Winter is the worst time, so when she scores by killing a huge wolf as well as the doe she was stalking, she's sure they can have meat for a long while and make a bit from the pelts. However, she didn't count on the wolf being a faerie. And certainly didn't expect a beast to storm into the cottage to spirit her away for her crime.
 
As the Treaty states, she now has to pay for the life she took by giving her life over to the beast. Tamlin takes her over the wall and deep into the Spring Court of Prythian. Where she's supposed to live the rest of her life. But she's not really a prisoner, or a slave. She's just to stay within the estate's boundaries and listen to what she's told. She hates it at first and dreams of escaping to return to her family. It's not until Tamlin finally tells her he arranged for her family to be taken care of that she finally surrenders to her fate.
 
Living in such luxury with the mysterious Tamlin and mischievous Lucien isn't as bad as she imagined. And before she realises what's happening she starts painting her days away and spends fun days with the masked men. Tamlin introduces her to their world, and it's not long before she gets comfortable and realises there's love building for one of the men, and deep friendship for the other one.
 
But life in Prythian is dangerous and a lot more than she suspected is going on. There's danger at every turn, and a situation dawning that will ruin Tamlin and his court. He tries to do what he can to save her--a mere human--from being in further danger, but Feyre can't let go.
 
Instead of listening to reason, she listens to her heart and throws herself at the mercy of a very dangerous faerie. A faerie determined to ruin everything for the one thing she wants.
 
This book hooked me in right away. I loved the lavish and dangerous world Feyre lives in, and got swept up in the story. There's a lot of heart in this tale, and though there are faint shadows of fairy and folk tales we've all heard, it's also a very unique tale of its own. I have to admit that although it was great and very well written, I found the middle to drag a little. But it was definitely worth staying to the end, because everything erupts in a very violent and devastating way.
 
A Court of Thorns and Roses is an intriguing story set in a very dark, yet wondrous world. The book is filled with interesting characters and a strong narrator who doesn't give up. I found myself racing to the end because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. 
 
I have to admit that although I enjoyed it, I didn't love it as much as the Throne of Glass series.

A Court of Thorns and Roses, May 2015, ISBN 9781408857861, Bloomsbury Childrens

Friday, 6 February 2015

Weird Week


I took this photo of Loki a few days ago. Isn't he gorgeous? :)
 
It was early in the morning and shortly after sunrise. He always tries to avoid the camera (I mean, phone) but I managed to snap this one a few seconds before he looked away.

It's a very pretty pic of my handsome boy. ;)
 
This week turned out to be a weird one.
 
After the DASH proof didn't come in on Monday or Tuesday, I decided to read and plan my upcoming Writing Projects. I didn't want to get stuck into revision or write anything new. Not until I get DASH completely finalised and ready for publication.
 
Problem is, I didn't get as much reading/planning as I wanted to. I've been feeling pretty crappy. I kinda feel like the flu is trying to grab a hold of me but because I had the flu shot last year I don't think it can grab me fully. So, instead of a full-blown cold it attacks my nose and throat. My rhinitis and nasal drip problems flare up.
 
It's a condition I (unfortunately) developed several years ago and have to live with. I have a supply of nasal sprays to help, but when the seasons change it gets so bad that eating becomes a chore because I can't swallow properly. And since it's supposed to be summer but the weather feels more like winter right now, I'm not surprised I'm feeling crappy. I hate feeling like this. It's scary and makes me nervous, anxious, lightheaded... which soon becomes a panic attack. Before I know it I'm so exhausted all I want to do is go to sleep.
 
It sucks. And this is how I've been feeling the last few days.
 
Seems to be better this morning, but just writing about it is making me anxious. So let's chat about something else...
 
I mentioned DASH. Well, the proof came through this morning so I'll get started later. I'm looking forward to reading it as a clean PDF. Always exciting when I'm this close to being done. Next week I need to contact a few places to schedule some interviews and blog stops.
 
As far as the writing planning goes, I printed out some inspirational pictures and will soon pick a notebook to start taking notes, adding research, and brainstorming a new book idea that's been hounding me for a few years. It's set in a very dark and gritty world. It's going to be a bit of a genre mesh: SF elements, UF attitude, heartbreak, futuristic setting. Yeah, I'm looking forward to this one.
 
My reading has been going well. I read an awesome YA fantasy book the other day. It's called RED QUEEN and it totally blew me away. It was fantastic! Then I made an executive decision and stopped reading THE MARTIAN. This was a book I started loving, before the shine started to wear off. After stalling for weeks, I just couldn't bring myself to finish. It's my first DNF of the year. Hope there aren't too many of those. O.o
 
Now I'm reading an ARC that I am enjoying and hope to finish during the weekend. It's moving a little slower than I thought it would, but I know it's building up to something huge. So I'm looking forward to everything exploding on the page. LOL.
 
Well, that's about it. I thought I'd pop in for a bit of an update since I didn't have the energy or motivation to post much of anything this week.
 
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir (DNF)


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My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Okay. It's time to let this book go. I've been stalling for weeks, determined to put it aside for a while before returning to finish.

But I just can't do it...

I don't know what happened to me while I was reading this on my Kindle, but I can tell you that it's my first DNF for 2015.

I'd heard great things about this story, and because it's about Mars, I grabbed a copy and got started. Mark Watney gets stranded on Mars because his team assumed he died after a violent storm. Turns out he survived. Mark is actually quite the survivor and does everything within his power to stay alive.

The story started out interesting. I was intrigued and wanted to find out what was going to happen next. I didn't even mind the overabundance of tech talk and scientific explanations.

Well, I didn't at first...

After reaching 40% of this, it started to weigh on my nerves. Suddenly, Mark was more of a pain than a charming survivor determined to live another day. o_O And the other POVs, ugh.

Not working for me.

I started falling asleep every time I got back into it. Just kept putting it off for weeks. And skimming. Boy, was I skimming! I even tried to get back into it this morning.

Nope. Can't do it.

So, I'm putting it aside and calling it a DNF because of the sheer boredom I felt during the last half of this book.

I've since found out that Matt Damon is going to star in the movie. Which to me means snorefest. Don't like Damon, and attaching him to this story...

*yawn*

Monday, 2 February 2015

RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard

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This is a world divided by blood - red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart . . .
 

Last week I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of this book and decided to get stuck into it as soon as I could. I love the creepy cover, btw.
 
Mare Barrows lives in a divided world. There are two classes--the Reds and the Silvers.
 
Mare happens to be a Red, which means she's red-blooded and lives in a small rural village. Her family barely manages to survive, so to help them along she steals whenever she can. But her eighteenth birthday is fast approaching, which means she'll be sent off to serve in the never-ending war. Three of her brothers are already there, and her best friend is just about on his way. So the future isn't bright at all.
 
The Silvers are rich and powerful elites who have silver blood and superhuman abilities. They consider themselves to be greater in every respect and take pride in keeping the Reds stuck in their poverty-stricken cycle while they enjoy the lavish lifestyles of royalty.
 
Life is completely out of balance, but no one is ever going to change what's going on. Until she discovers that there are Red Rebels trying to fight back, but doesn't have a chance to join in the fight because a chance encounter throws her life upside down. Before Mare realises what's going on, she's been whisked away from her family and taken to the castle to serve as a servant. A position that doesn't last long because on her first night, while witnessing the Queenstrial, the unthinkable happens. She displays some pretty awesome powers of her own.
 
The Silver crowd is horrified and confused, because Reds don't have any powers of their own. It's the reason why Silvers can keep them down and rule over them. But now Mare has obviously displayed an ability. To cover it up the King and Queen decide to create an elaborate story to conceal the fact Mare is Red, and instead make her into a long-lost Silver. But not just that, she's also betrothed to the youngest prince.
 
Now she's living inside the castle and discovering the ways of the Silvers. Studying, training and learning how to behave like one, Mare decides there's only one way to make it through the lie her life has become. She will shut her mouth, learn as much as she can, and will then use it against them. For the safety of her family and to give the Reds the chance of a real future, she decides to suffer through the hypocrisy. She also finds herself caught between the prince brothers.
 
But Mare isn't the only one plotting and scheming...
 
Wow. What a tale of struggle and betrayal! At first, this book seems to echo stories we might have read or heard about before, but soon makes you realise it's a unique tale of its own. It's a story of greed and power. It's about the desperate need to overcome oppression even when the odds are stacked against you. It's also a story of forbidden love that gets twisted out of proportion by the deceitful strings being pulled by those with evil ambition.
 
Red Queen is an awesome, action-packed book. The worldbuilding is interesting, detailed, and so vivid I got swept away in the imagery. This dangerous and unjust world is filled with a great cast, and strongly sets the scene for Mare's heartbreaking and impossible story. I enjoyed every heart-pounding minute, and can't wait to see what happens next.
 
This is definitely a book you want to read!
 
 
Red Queen, February 2015, ISBN 9781409155843, Hodder Children's Books

Sunday, 1 February 2015

100 GHOSTS by Doogie Horner


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My daughter and hubby surprised me with this book last year. My daughter found out about it and because she knows I love ghosts/ghost stories, and happened to be writing my own ghost hunter series at the time, she thought I would get a kick out of this book.

She was right.

I picked it up today. There wasn't much reading involved, but I loved turning the pages to find out what ghost was next. I loved them all, but some of my (most) faves were Classic, Homemade, Pac-Man and 8-Bit. They're especially cute!

This gorgeous hardcover book is an awesome, quirky gift for any ghost lovers out there.

I'm very glad my daughter found it! ♡

 
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