Sunday, 29 May 2011

Signed City of Fallen Angels Giveaway!

In my mind there is one question that determines whether or not you're sane: Do you like Cassandra Clare's books?

If you answered no, get away from this blog. No, don't do that! I'm just kidding but this probably isn't the kind of giveaway for you. If you answered yes, you and I are going to get along awesomely.

For anyone unaware, Cassandra Clare's fourth The Mortal Instrument's book came out at the beginning of last month and since then she has been touring even making her eventual way all the way down under to Australia!

And of course as a massive Aussie fan of hers I went to a few of her Melbourne signings the last of which was her tour wrap up party!

The event was awesome and Cassie was so nice and did a great talk. Amongst all this fun, I made sure to get an extra copy of City of Fallen Angels signed so I could give it away to you guys!

So here's the deal:
- The giveaway is international, so where ever you live you can enter
- You must be a follower of the blog to enter
- 1+ entry for following on twitter
- 1+ entry for tweeting about this competition
- 2+ entries for blogging about this contest. If you don't have a blog facebook is included in this.

The giveaway will run for two weeks closing at midnight on Sunday the 12th of June Australian EST. To enter fill in this form.

And go! If you have any questions comment below and I'll do my best to answer!

Edited: Due to a complete lack of anyone entering this contest I'm extending the date to Friday the 24th of June.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Badass. That is my word of choose to describe both the protagonist and the author of this amazing book. I’d had my eye on this book for a few weeks after hearing amazing things about it and now after reading it, I want to write so more amazing things about it as it is, as all the reviews said; amazing.  
Divergent is one of those books where you pick it up, begin to read and can’t put it down. You physically can’t. From the moment I began reading I could not be detached from it and read the entire thing in one sitting. I was walking the streets of Melbourne with book in front of my face, stepping on more than one set of toes and getting yelled at for not looking where I was going but I really couldn’t care less. And now that I’ve finished, I’ve already picked it up again to lose myself in this astonishing world Veronica Roth has created.

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her. (Taken from the Divergent Trilogy fansite here)

Without being too spoilery, the book is set in a world where when you turn sixteen you must choose a faction in which to spend your life. You can stay with your family in the faction you grew up in, or you can leave and make a home for yourself elsewhere. There are five factions; Amity, Erudite, Abnegation, Candor and Dauntless. And they each represent something different.
This was an aspect of the book I loved. I loved sitting there after I’d finished the book and mulling over exactly which faction I think I would belong in. Would I brave enough to join the Dauntless? Good enough for Abnegation? Which would I choose, and could I ever belong there? This is an amazingly thought provoking novel.
With all the layers of secret and mystery in Divergent, it is truly a page turner that you will not be able to forget. An intricate plot unravels in this action packed novel through the eloquent writing of Veronica Roth. It will have you screaming at the book, laughing out loud and when you turn the last page, begging for more.
As I said at the top of this review, I cannot describe Tris, the protagonist, with any word more appropriate than badass. Tris is everything I wish I could be, brave, strong, smart and and at her core essentially good. She is also real. I'm not a fan of characters who show no indecision and don't even think about what they may have done after it and therefore I loved Tris who reflects back, shows regret and thought on what she's done. And loved watching her grow as a character and can't wait to read more about her,
Also this book offered me yet another fictionaly guy to crush on. And oh how I love him so. Four. He is the man I want to have my fictional babies with! I don't want to say too much about him so I don't ruin him for anyone, but just remember, when you read abourt him and subsequently fall in love with him, I've called dibs!
With a cast of memorable and sometimes sinister characters Divergent is something special all fans of dystopian fiction should read!

4/5 silver platters!

- Laura

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Recently, I've developed a bit of a crush on the dystopian genre. All the new ones coming out have been awesome, (such as Matched by Ally Condie and Delirium by Lauren Oliver) and I've found myself picking up all my old favourites (such as the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins). Even the next book on my to-be-read list is a dystopian, Divergent by Veronica Roth. And if you too haven't jumped on this genre to give it a massive loving bear hug like I have, well, why not?! The only thing is, I think Lauren DeStefano may have ruined all other dystopians for me with her brilliant debut novel, Wither.
(Look at that beautiful cover! After reading Wither I can’t wait to see the cover of Fever)
What if you knew exactly when you would die? Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb -- males only live to age twenty-five and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden′s geniune love for her, and a tenuous trust amoung her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape -- to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden′s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
(Taken from Harper Collins website)

I'd heard many good things about Wither before it had even been released and couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Though living in Australia meant I had to wait a little longer, definitely worth the wait!. And now that I've read it I don't think any of the reviews I've read could ever depict acurately the sheer amazingness that is this book. I don't I think I can either but I'm going to do my best.

Wither is a story set in the future in a world where through genetic alterations all the diseases we're accustomed to have been eradicated. In the wake of one generation of perfectly healthy babies came all the generations affected by a virus that causes all the men to die at the age of 25 and all the women to die at 20. Lauren DeStefano has done a beautiful job explaining the intricacies of this world she's created. Not only are we given the impression that this is a future that could actually happen we're horrified by the terrible consequences it has.

The novel is told from the perspective of 16 year old Rhine Ellery, a character I can't get enough of who is practically over-flowing with depth and life. There are many layers to Rhine and we're shown who she is when she faces the challenges of being sold into a marriage with a rich man she's never met before.

There is a full and realistic cast of characters including my favourites of Gabriel and Jenna. The interactions between these characters feels genuine and even those you don't want to you fall in love with simply for their depth.

What I loved most about this book though was Lauren DeStefano's writing style. Wither is written in beautiful prose using imagery and metaphors that bring this compelling story to life.

It's a thought provoking novel that left me longing for more. I now can't wait for the sequel Fever to come out. Waiting for it is going to feel like forever!

Miss DeStefano also tweeted this afternoon (afternoon in Australia at least!) "So there is a character, in book 3, that everyone will just adore. And if you don't, I'll bake you a muffin and serve it to you myself" I really want someone to remind me to remind her of this when book 3 comes out so if I don't actually adore this character we at least get her to come to Australia to serve me that muffin so I can meet her! Because in my opinion Lauren DeStefano is a genius and you should all go read her book!

4/5 Silver Platters!

- Laura