Sunday, February 28, 2010

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly post created by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!!  (This post was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.)

This week there are only two books.

Up for Review:

Mieradome by Kate Hegarty (e-book out June 1st, Internationally)


Pathway of the Gods by J. R Mitchell.

Thats all for me.  So what did you get in your mailbox?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Before I die by Jenny Downham

Title:  Before I die
Author:  Jenny Downham 
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher:  Definitions
Publication Date: March 2008
Stand alone or series:  Stand Alone
Book Length: 327

Favourite Quote:  "I wish I had a boyfriend. I wish he lived in the wardrobe on a coat hanger. Whenever I wanted, I could get him out and he'd look at me the way boys do in films, as if I'm beautiful. "

Synopsis (From the back of the book)
Tessa has just a few months to live.

Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is sex.

Released from the constraints of 'normal' life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.

Tessa's feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, her new boyfriend, all are painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time finally runs out.

BEFORE I DIE is a brilliantly-crafted novel, heartbreaking yet astonishingly life-affirming. It will take you to the very edge.

My Thoughts
Tissues, and lots of them.  When I picked this book up I thought I wouldn't need them, by the end I think I used half a box.

Before I die is written in first person from Tessa's point of view.  Tessa is your average 16 year old girl except for one thing.  She has cancer.  Filled with a wonderful cast of characters, this story is both original and inspiring.  Jenny Downham has done a fantastic job drawing her readers in and I honestly felt I was there with Tessa, feeling the same struggles, hopes and fears she, her family and friends had to face.

Before I die is beautifully written, and one book you will remember long after you reach the last page.

If you loved this book you might also like Before I fall by Lauren Oliver.  Another awesome Book  

Horns by Joe Hill

Title:  Horns 
Author:  Joe Hill
Genre: Horror
Publisher:  Gollancz (an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group)
Publication Date: January 2010
Stand alone or series:  Stand Alone
Book Length: 435

Favourite Quote:  'He lurched in surprise, and for the second time in twelve hours he p***ed on his feet.'


At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.
Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all, and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.
But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside. . . .
Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge. . . . It’s time the devil had his due. . . .

My Thoughts

Joe Hill has done it again with Horns.  His style is out there, in your face, and I like it.  I'll admit though there were parts where I thought... oh.. I dunno about that, but it goes part in parcel with this terrible new gift that Ig now possesses.

Ignatius Perrish is quite a likable character, and I genuinely felt sorry for him being in his predicament.  I won't say anything more on the other characters as I don't want to ruin it for those who plan on reading.

Horns is complex and fast paced novel, that doesn't let you stop to catch your breath, instead shoving you deeper into Ig's world.  Be prepared to read with an open mind and not judge until you reach the end.

For a sneak peak of Horns you can find it here.  If you liked The Heart-shaped Box, you will enjoy reading this.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Very First Blog Award

I was so excited to receive the One Lovely Blog Award from Little Miss Becky at Stories & Sweeties. It's my very first award, and I'm so honored. Thank you, Christina!

The rules are:
•Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. 
•Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
•Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are the lovely blogs that I'd love to pass this award onto.

Congratulations everyone for having such fantastic Blogs

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday (1)

Waiting On Wednesday was created by Jill over at Breaking The Spine. It's a weekly post for you to share what upcoming books you can't wait for!

For my first Waiting On Wednesday Post I have TWO books up that I can't wait to come out.  Rachel Vincent's Shifter series are adult books.  All up there are six books: Stray, Rogue, Pride, Prey, Shift and Alpha.

 Shift will be out start of March, but from what I have read on Rachel Vincent's site, on certain bookstores you are able to get it now.

Book Five



Being the first female werecat enforcer isn't easy. Scars accumulate, but I'm stronger in so many ways.

As for my personal life? It's complicated. Choices worth making always are. Ever since my brother's death and my father's impeachment, it's all I can do to prevent more blood from spilling. Now our Pride is under attack by a flight of vicious thunderbirds. And making peace with our new enemies may be the only way to get the best of our old foe.

With the body count rising and treachery everywhere, my instincts tell me to look before I leap. But sometimes a leap of faith is the only real option...

Book Six (last book in the series)



The unscrupulous new Council chair has charged Jace, Marc, and me with trespassing, kidnapping, murder, and treason. Yeah, we've been busy. But now it's time to take justice into our own hands. We must avenge my brother's death and carve out the rot at the heart of the Council.
It's not going to be easy, and loss seems unavoidable, but I have promised to protect my Pride, no matter what. With a target on my back and Marc at my side, I'm heading for a final showdown that can--that will--change everything forever. A showdown I'm not sure I'm ready for.
But life never waits until you're ready.
Alpha is the sixth and final Shifters book. The culmination of everything Faythe and I have been working for in the Shifters universe. All the plotlines will be tied up. All the decisions will be made. No one will remain unchanged. Not everyone will survive.
Alpha will hit the shelf on October 1, 2010

Surprises are good

My other half took me out to the Drive in movies to see Shutter Island as a surprise.  I've never actually been before so it was really exciting.  Only issue was the mosquitoes that made a big meal outta me.    Next time I'm taking bug spray and fix those little suckers.  Am heading off to bed so will do a big post tomorrow.

Good night all

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hush, Hush Book Trailer

I've read this book and really enjoyed it.  So I'm here to share the book trailer with you guys.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is a weekly post created by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!!  This is a list of books that I have received this past week, either by mail, bookstore/e-bookstore, library, for review or gift.  I will also include books that I've bought for my little boy too, since his collection of books is constantly growing and he is only 14 months old.  Kids are never too young to read (or be read to in my case)
(This post was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.)


Crux by Moira Rogers
Before I die by Jenny Downham &
Horns by Joe Hill

Cruzito's Mailbox

The Great Escape from City Zoo by Tohby Riddle

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

Title:  Bleeding Violet
Author:  Dia Reeves
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Publication Date: January 2010
Stand alone or series:  Stand Alone
Book Length: Ebook (not all that reliable for page number)

Favourite Quote:  'Usually my hallucinations made sense: a whispering voice in my ear, a room full of birds only I could see.  Nothing like this randomness.'

Synopsis (taken from Booksamillion website)

Love can be a dangerous thing....
Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.
But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

My Thoughts
Bleeding Violet is totally different to what I've read.  Hanna comes across as a crazy nutcase but she is such a unique character I couldn't stop reading.

The story has been written in first person, from Hanna's point of view.  Hanna runs away from her Aunt, in search of her mother, who doesn't exactly welcome her with open arms.  The deal is if Hanna can last two weeks and fit in with the town folk then she can stay.  Peace of cake, so Hanna thinks.  Until the next day she is sent to school.  Things aren't as easy as they appear and Hanna is filled with a mission of not only fitting in with her peers but also determined to earn acceptance and love from her mother.

Dia Reeves has created unique and captivating characters and the setting is quite fitting for the story.  What kept me most interested was the developing relationship between Hanna and Wyatt and the unknown threat that inhabits the town.  But in saying that, Bleeding Violet is not some fluffed up fairytale but a dark and slightly disturbing story where you can't help but be drawn in.  Plus the fact that Hanna's stuffed animal Swan comes to life.  Now who wouldn't want that in real life!

Hourglass by Claudia Gray

Title:  Hourglass
Author:  Claudia Gray
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Publication Date: 9th February 2010
Stand alone or series:Third Book in Evernight Series.  Evernight, Stargazer are the first two.
Book Length: 339
Favourite Quote:  Vic said, "You got spammed or something?"  "Spam is good with breakfast foods," Ranulf said, proud to have remembered something about the current world.  "I shall have Spam with my eggs."

Synopsis(From Booksamillion website)
Bianca will risk everything to be with Lucas.
After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas take refuge with Black Cross, a fanatical group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at their hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend--the vampire Balthazar--hiding is no longer an option.
Soon, Bianca and Lucas are on the run again, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they travel, Bianca can't escape her destiny.
Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything . . . but can it survive what's to come?

My Thoughts

I'm speechless.  I just finished reading this five minutes ago and I'm shocked.  If you haven't picked up Evernight and Stargazer, what have you been doing????

BEWARE: If you haven't read the previous two books, this may contain spoilers so read at your own risk.

This book stirred up many emotions for me.  Bianca and Lucas take refuge with the Black Cross but the fact that she is hiding what she is becomes harder and harder for them both.  Things are more desperate for Bianca as she tries to fight the evergrowing need inside her while Lucas struggles to keep their secret hidden, all the while taking care of Bianca.

Throw into the mix a herd of other obstacles and you have yourself a story filled with suspense, romance, a sprinkle of betrayal, action and loss. I'll admit I shed a few tears.

Bianca and Lucas have done alot of growing up and with the circumstances dramatically changing you can't help but feel for them.  With Vic, Balthazar and the other characters, it makes for quite a memorable read.  I'll warn you now that the story for me was left on a cliff hanger, and I am hanging for the fourth and final book Afterlife. 

If your after a book with twists and a rollercoaster of emotions be sure to pick this up and devour it.  Because thats certainly what I did.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

Title:  Once Dead, Twice Shy
Author:  Kim Harrison
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher: HarperColins E-Book
Publication Date: May 2009
Stand alone or series: Series - 2nd book is Early to Death, Early to Rise
Book Length: Ebook (not all that reliable for page number)

Favourite Quote: ' My gaze dropped to my shoes.  Yellow with purple laces, and skulls and crossbones on my toes, they matched the purpled dyed tips of my short blond hair, not that anyone else had ever made the connection.'

Synopsis (From Harper Collins Website)
My name is Madison Avery, and I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I'm there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.
Madison's prom was killer—literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.
Now she's stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.
With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.
Well, if she believed in that stuff. 

My Thoughts
This is the first book I have read of Kim Harrisons.  I actually stumbled onto this while on the Mobipocket website, and it was the cover that initially lured me in.

Madison Avery was an amusing and easy going character.  Her life was cut short after she ran out on her date who she found out had only asked her because their parents set him up.  She leaves annoyed, with a mysterious cute guy only to find that he wants her dead (body and soul).  And only partially succeeds.  With Madison's quick thinking she nabs his amulet (which has power)and takes off.  Without her body.  So now she is living her life as normal as she can, with the illusion of a body, thanks to the amulet, and a light reaper named Barnabas who was assigned to her.

While Madison was a delight, Barnabas was my favourite character hands down.  I only wished he was in the novel a little more.  Josh was the typical jock, but he grew on me once he began to spend more time with Madison.

The pacing in this novel is amazing filled with action around every corner, not to mention a few twists.  I'm looking forward to reading the next novel Early to Death, Early to Rise.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hourglass Book Trailer

I'm waiting excitedly for Hourglass to turn up in my letterbox, still not here though. So heres the book trailer for it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title:  Fallen
Author:  Lauren Kate
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Doubleday
Publication Date:  8/12/09
Book Length: 452 pages

Favourite Quote:  "Trust is a careless pursuit at best.  At worst it's a good way to get yourself killed."

Synopsis (from the back of the book)
Some angels are destined to fall.
Instant.  Intense.  Weirdly familiar...
The moment Luce looks at Daniel she knows she has never felt like this before.  Except she can't shake the feeling that she has... and with him - a boy she doesn't remember ever setting eyes on.

Will her attempt to find out why enlighten her - or destroy her?

My Thoughts
I was surprised to find mixed reviews on this.  Some absolutely loved it, others thought it was too much like another very popular book, and hated it.

I personally thought this was a great book.  Luce is thrown into Sword & Cross a reform school for "troubled" teens.  She sees shadows and has ever since she was young.  Shadows that have caused her parents to resort to numerous psychologist appointments, medication and finally reform school.

The opening chapter didn't barrel me over, although, this was mainly to tie in with the rest of the book it didn't capture me until right at the end.  Then in steps Luce, and once she was in the picture I couldn't put it down.  Seriously.  All through the book I felt like I was standing there with her, watching the story unfold.  

I found the other characters intriguing and I especially adored Penn who was so lovely and open.  I'm glad that Lauren Kate didn't rush into things regarding Luce and Daniel.  I think it would have ruined the story for me.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, my only issue is having to wait so long for the next book to come along.  Torment will be out in September 2010. (so it says in the back of Fallen)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Contests To Check Out

Contests happening around the blogosphere right now. 

Sophistikatied Reviews is having a Contest for Writers: Book Cover Give Away.  The contest ends on Sunday 28th February at midnight EST.

Story Wings is having a 49 Followers Contest.  The contest is international and will be running until 19th March.  So check this out for the cool prizes they have up for grabs.

Cherry Mischievous is having a number of contests right now including Win YA Trio which ends 19 March, February Valentine which ends 28 February, Poison Study Giveaway which ends 16 April, and Pyjama Police Central which ends 31 March.  These contests are open to international participants!

Just a few contests I have come across at the moment.  So check them out when you have the time.  There are some great prizes been given away.  If you know of any other contests that are running right now.  Leave a comment below!

The review for Fallen will be up tomorrow. So Stay Tuned!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Title:  Beautiful Creatures
Author:  Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Genre:  Young Adult
Publisher:  Penguin Books
Publication Date:  2010
Book Length: 563 pages

Favourite Quote:  "Mortals.  I envy you.  You think you can change things.  Stop the universe.  Undo what was done long before you came along.  You are such beautiful creatures."

Synopsis (from the back of the book)

In Ethan Wate's Hometown there lies the darkest of secrets...
There is a girl.
Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head ... green eyes, black hair.
Lena Ducannes.
There is a curse.
On the sixteenth moon, of the sixteenth year, the book will take what it's been promised.
And no one can stop it.
In the end, there is a grave.
Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love.
But Lena is cursed and, on her sixteenth birthday her fate will be decided.
Ethan never even saw it coming.

My Thoughts 
From the great reviews of this book I decided to finally pick it up and read.  I have to admit, it wasn't what I expected.  I did like the fact that the synopsis didn't reveal much of the story apart from the basics.

One of the things I found different about this story was that it was told from a guy's point of view.  It was quite refreshing, since most of the YA novels I have read so far have female protagonists.

I really fell in love with the characters especially Ethan, who is a compassionate and down to earth character.  Lena was also a likable yet mysterious character that keeps you guessing.  I didn' like the clique of snobby girls who stick together when Lena enters the story.  But where would we be if we didn't have them somewhere in the picture.

Beautiful Creatures unravels at a steady pace, full of history of the town, and amazing love story with unexpected twists and turns woven in, all wrapped up in a creepy goth setting.  If you liked Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, chances are you will like this.  It is well worth a read.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Welcome to Spellbound By Books

Since this is the first post, you will notice that my blog is quite empty. I plan on changing that fact but it will take a little time. So check in with me from time to time and before long I will have things on a roll.

Here’s a little about me. I’m a 25 year old Aussie Mum of a 14 month old boy (who is growing up way too fast for my liking) When I’m not working, being a mum, girlfriend, etc you will find me curled up on a couch with a good book to read. There’s not really much use talking to me when I’m absorbed in a book because I have a hard time listening.

I read a wide range of books which include, urban fantasy, young adult, crime, and most stuff in between. I hope to mostly stick with YA books but don’t be surprised if other books find their way on here. I hope to eventually have more than just reviews, and info about myself on here so if you have any suggestions or whatever, head on over the to contact page and drop me a line.

Before I go, just a quick shout out to Rachel at Parajunkee Design for creating an awesome design for me.  Thanks heaps

Ok that’s all from me for now, and I hope to see you all again.


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