Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Breakfast with the Bookie - Readers : Do You Judge a Book by the Publisher?

Breakfast with the Bookie is a weekly feature hosted here at Badass Bookie. Every Wednesday morning (or afternoon depending on where you are) I post a discussion post for everyone to read along with morning up of coffee ;)

Today's Topic - Readers : Do You Judge a Book by the Publisher ?

An author is a writer whose work has been published by themselves ( self-publishing) or by a publishing house. Today let's discuss whether a book can be judged not only by it's cover but by the publishing house as well?

I confess I do judge books by the publisher. When I buy books ( not so often now) I usually have a few that I want to take home with me but being a broke teenager, I usually can only buy one. That's when the publisher comes in, I not only judge books by their cover, I judge them by the publisher as well. I'm more likely to buy the book published by a bigger and more well-known publisher than a smaller publishing house or books written by Indie Authors.

It doesn't necessary mean books published by bigger publishing houses like Penguin, Random House, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillian and Hachette are better written than say, a book written by an Indie Author but the publisher is my safety rope for where I put my money. I feel safer buying a book published by a bigger publishing house because a) I have read other books published by them b) the part of me that says, if they're published by a big publishing house it must be good. That might not be true, I've read excellent books published by Indie authors and horrible books published by big publishers but like I said, the publisher is my safety rope.

It's the same thing with review requests. I read about ten books a month. I'm more likely to accept review requests reviewing books published by bigger publishing houses then a smaller one if I hadn't heard about the book before hand. The reason behind this is because of the safety rope as well as the fact that I want to review books that readers and bloggers have heard about, that way they are more likely to read the review. As well as that, since I no longer accept E-Book requests, only a limited about of small publishing houses are willing to send print copies all the way to Australia.

For me, the publishing house acts as a safety rope to whether or not I will enjoy a book. I judge books not only by their cover but also by their publisher, what about you? Let's discuss!

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Review Time! Embrace is the first novel in the Violet Eden Chapters, it's also the debut of Australian author, Jessica Shirvington. Embrace is currently not avaliable in the US for purchase but you can pre-order it $8.50 on Book Depository ( HERE ). I'm very excited to review this, as it's my first Aussie author novel I've read this year! Thanks to T. at Hachette for sending a copy for review!

( Goodreads ) Violet Eden is dreading her seventeenth birthday dinner. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. The one bright spot is that Lincoln will be there. Sexy, mature and aloof, he is Violet’s idea of perfection. But why does he seem so reluctant to be anything more than a friend?

After he gives her the world’s most incredible kiss – and then abandons her on her front doorstep – Violet is determined to get some answers. But nothing could have prepared her for Lincoln’s explanation: he is Grigori – part angel and part human – and Violet is his eternal partner. Without warning, Violet’s world is turned upside down. She never believed in God, let alone angels.

But there’s no denying the strange changes in her body ... and her feelings for Lincoln. Suddenly, she can’t stand to be around him. Luckily, Phoenix, an exiled angel, has come into her life. He’s intense and enigmatic, but at least he never lied to her.

As Violet gets caught up in an ancient battle between dark and light, she must choose her path. The wrong choice could cost not only her life, but her eternity...

The Short Story ? - The first novel in a brand new angel series that is exciting and original. A fresh take-on the 'angel' mythology and a brand new unique YA voice. Jessica Shirvington's debut is an excellent addition to the YA paranormal literature!

The Long Story ? - It's actually a little awkward reading a novel written by an YA aussie author. They are such a small bunch that I simply can't not feel proud of them ( even if I didn't write the book) but it also means I have high expectations. Jessica Shirvington is an excellent writer who has a unique and distinctive writing style. Embrace is exciting and fast-paced and well-written but there are also flaws to the novel. However, don't let that put you off because the goods outweigh the bad and seriously, how many perfect novels have you read anyway?

One of the highlights of this novel for me is the originality. Angel mythology is one aspect of paranormal YA that is used often, not over-used ( like vampires) but it's fairly common. The fresh take on fallen angels, good and evil and human/angel hybrids is one of the things that make Embrace memorable. It's shown clearly that the author has done thorough research and had well-planned her plot before beginning the writing process. While we commonly read novels about fallen angels and nephilim it's not often we read about fallen angels that are both good and evil or about Grigori ( brand new name for human/angel hybrids) who act as protectors of the human race. It's even more uncommon to read about angels that only physical form after they are fallen which means angels are actually incorporeal. These are only examples of the originality, the author as portrayed in this novel.

Another highlight would be the fast-paced and adventurous plot. While I thought the action in this novel was not of my taste, it was nevertheless exciting to read. The constant battle between good and evil, internally and externally was both thrilling and extravagant keeping the reader at the edge of their seat. Filled with twists and turns, I felt like I was part of the novel myself. Both the beginning and the ending were satisfying which is one of the first things I look for in a novel.

I had a little bit of a problem with the characterisation. Although, Jessica, has managed to portray and describe her characters brilliantly. I found it hard to connect with any of them. Quite frankly, I thought Violet was a little hard to relate to putting aside her half angel heritage. Her personality tended to swing from normal teenager dealing with a big change to depressed, angry teenager who doesn't want to change in a matter of a few pages. Her personality changes throughout the book didn't flow nicely, changing from one extreme to another which was a little annoying and confusing.

Also, the romance in this novel I personally thougth could have been written a little better. While both love interests were without a doubt 'hot' and well portrayed. Lincoln being the 'good' guy who Violet has always been in love with and Phoenix being the 'bad' guy who Violet can't just can't keep but be attracted to, it's a well developed love triangle but it lacked passion. I thought even in kissing scenes and 'other' scenes while it's obvious they're in love it's a little distant. A little like reading a YA novel with a MG based romance. However, I'm liked that the romance wasn't one-sided. It's a balanced love-triangle where the reader doesn't know who Violet will pick to be with until the very last chapters.

Overall, Embrace was a enjoyable and original start to a series with a great deal of potential. I believe this will be one of those series' that get better with each book which is good since I have the second book sitting on my shelf at the moment ;) Very unique writing style filled with dry humour and witty lines. Fast-paced and action packed as well as a blossoming romance with many obstacles ahead. I can't wait to read more about Violet's adventures! Rating 4/5 ( I had to take marks off for the flaws but overall it was really enjoyable and hard not to like! )

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, March 28, 2011

Midnight Alley ( Spoiler-Free!)

Review Time! For those who haven't read The Morganville Vampires yet, I strongly encourage you to do so asap! It's really a fantastic series, I would also like to take the moment to thank-you Penguin for providing review copies! Alrighty, let's get started...

(Goodreads) Morganville’s such a nice place to live… And die. If you don’t mind that sort of thing.When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but the garlic may come in handy.Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire’s past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home.

The Short Story ? - Mmmm I think Midnight Alley was a little more laid back, less action than the previous book but still set at a faster pace than most books. It was a little bit more about the characters themselves, romance and adapting to change and a little bit less about saving the world so really it was perfect! Definitely my favourite in the series so far!

The Long Story ? - Let's just have a quick recap on reason why The Morganville Vampires is such a fantastic series. 1) The Originality or correctly the lack of originality, I'm sorry but is it just me whose a little bit sick of extreme take-ons on vampires. Bring back the evil Dracula types! 2) Fast Pace, I'm easily bored and like my book full of action so they keep me at the edge of seat, there is a reason why it only takes me a day to midnight Alley while it takes me three weeks to read a novel of the same length. 3) Fantastic Characterisation, I get annoyed when I read about characters who are just too perfect, it's simply just not real, the best characters are the ones that we can relate to whether it's through our similarities or a weaknesses. The characters in this novel aren't perfect, they have their weaknesses which makes them a little more real even when we are reading about vampires!

There you have it, top three reasons why The Morganville Vampires are awesome!

Midnight Alley was no exception, the plot was set at a slower pace then the last book but it definitely wasn't boring! A few near-death experiences, a few murders and dangerous secrets are so not boring. Each sequel is set immediately after the last book so it never really becomes boring, the action just keeps going, no break interval! This is literally one series with no boring bits ;) I especially loved the plot in this book because instead of just focusing on the storyline, it focuses quite a bit on character development as they all adapt to the changes in their lives.

The characterisation which is one of the highlights of the series only got better. It's really quite something to see the character development over the period of just three books. Claire has gained courage and instead of being just a whiny sixteen year old she's kinda of badass now. However the other roomies also went through some self reflection as they adapt to the 'new' Michael. The romance between Claire and Shane is really blossoming! They're so cute together I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!

Lastly, Rachel Caine is a fantastic writer! I absolutely love her writing style which really easy to read. It's comfortable and has a nice flow which makes it harder to put down because you just want to keep on reading! Rachel Caine would definitely be one of my favourite writers, her books literally just fly! I finished Midnight Alley in less then a day ( which is something when you're me) !

Overall, my opinion about this series hasn't changed! READ THIS! Fantastic plot, fast paced and great characterisation! This is one vampire series that Bookie approves, do yourself a favour and go pick a copy :)
Rating 5/5 ( Did I mention the beautiful cover? )

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Badass Bookie 1st Blogoversary Giveaway!

Sooooo Guess What? Badass Bookie just turned ONE!!!! One year ago today I wrote my very first post ( which no one commented on BTW ). The past year has been absolutely amazing, so many wonderful authors, publishers and bloggers!

Some Highlights -
- Recieving email from Penguin asking me to Review
- Hosting the 2011 Debutante Event
- Meeting so many awesome bloggers
- Gaining 730 follower (!?!)
- Finally working out how to use Twitter

365 Days of Blogging is a LONG Time, I think WE ALL DESERVE SOMETHING SPECIAL!!!!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Bookie and Friends have put together a little something for everyone!

Three Giveaways! Something for Everyone!

Giveaway #1 - AUS $15 Book Depository or Any Other Bookshop of Choice ~ Any Book You Want. ( International) 

Giveaway #2 - ARC of Wither by Lauren DeStefano + Swag ( US/CAN) ~ Kindly Donated by Lisa @ A Life Bound By Books ( Thank-you so much! I <3 Lisa :P )

Giveaway #3 - $40 CSN Gift Certificate ( US/CAN)  ~ Kindly Donated by CSN
Can I just say I LOVE CSN! No exaggeration but they have absolutely everything! With 200+ Stores there is something for everyone! Affordable and free shipping! ;) From shoes to kitchenware to home decor to a book lover's best friend ~ Bookshelves !  Or maybe you're looking for a new LCD TV Stands ? I don't know but hey what about $40 to go towards your next purchase?

Rules of Entry -

* Must Be a Follower (  Give A Little Back? )
* Must Fill Out This FORM
* Must Enter Before 15th of April
* Extra Entries Not Required
* Please Note Only Giveaway #1 is International

Happy 1st Blogoversary Badass Bookie!

Badass Bookie xx

Through Her Eyes Tour Stop + Giveaway

Hello Lovlies! I have been very naughty...I'm actually supposed to be on 22nd of March BUT I was on camp in the middle fo nowhere so I didn't post it!!! I know, I know but well, I'm bringing it to you today because it's a pretty interesting guest post written by the author, Jennifer Archer!

Bookie Asked : What do you do in your free time when you’re not writing?

Most of the writers I know can’t go long without writing. They feel at loose ends if they aren’t working on a story, and have almost a visceral need to get back to the page. I’m somewhat that way, as well, but I cherish my free time and make the most of it. It’s my time to relax and “refill the well” by doing other things I love – and some I don’t! Tasks such as working on income taxes, catching up on paperwork, and cleaning house are among the free-time activities I don’t enjoy! But I also get to catch up with friends and family, which I love. I call people to go to lunch or dinner, go to the movies, or I cook a meal for my parents and siblings and their families. And I walk my dogs, Marge and Harry. Harry is a Dachshund and Marge is a mutt. They get very excited when they see me putting on my walking shoes. Neighbors have told me it looks as if the dogs are walking me, instead of the reverse, and I’m sure that’s true! I haven’t trained them to walk calmly at my side; I’m sure that Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer, would be appalled by their behavior! They run ahead of me, tugging at their leashes, sniffing every bush and tree and pebble along the way.

One of my favorite pastimes is reading, and I’m never without a book-in progress. I suppose that could be considered a part of my job, since writers need to read in order to continue learning and keep up with what’s selling, but I also read for pleasure. My taste in books isn’t limited to one genre; I read almost everything – a lot of YA, literary and mainstream adult novels, mystery, suspense, romance, even a little science fiction although I’m pickier about those titles. A friend invited me to join her book club about three years ago, and being a member has really expanded my reading choices, as well. At the end of each year, all of the women in my club bring suggestions for books to read during the next year, then as a group we choose twelve, since we meet once a month. I probably wouldn’t have considered reading many of the titles selected, if not for the club. It’s been great, because I’ve discovered new authors whose work I really enjoy, and I like to think I’ve broadened my mind as a few of the novels have been somewhat of a challenge!

My husband and I have a cabin in the Spanish Peaks of Colorado, and we go there as often as possible, especially in the spring, summer, and fall. My husband built the cabin himself – he’s touched every log and nail! It’s located in a fairly remote spot that is also really beautiful, and we hike quite a bit when we’re there. We have a goal to climb the west Spanish Peak this summer or next – it’s just under 14,000 feet, so I’m working on getting in shape for that adventure! We also plan to purchase an old Jeep so that we can start exploring surrounding areas too far for us to strike out on foot to see. Sometimes, in the evenings or during the night, bears come to visit us. We’ve had a few on our porch and deck. That’s always exciting. We’re always careful not to leave food outside or even drinks, because the scent draws them. They’re fun to see up close, but they can also be dangerous, as you might expect, especially a mother bear with her cubs; those mommas are really protective of their babies! I based the setting of my next book, The Shadow Girl, which will come out close to a year after Through Her Eyes, in a location loosely based on the site of our cabin in the Spanish Peaks.

My husband and I also love to travel and see new places. Last year, we took a dream trip to Spain with his brother and sister-in-law and friends. We bicycled across the Andalusian region of Southern Spain with a bicycle tour group. The fields of olive trees and orange trees were breathtaking, and the cities and tiny villages of whitewashed buildings were fun to explore.

Home, though, is where I spend most of my free time, doing the usual every day things: spending time with my husband, family, and dogs; puttering around the house; reading and watching television. I admit to being somewhat of a reality TV addict! My two reality shows are Survivor and American Idol – I’ve been watching them since the beginning and have become somewhat of an addict! I also really enjoy news-related programs (as boring as that sounds!), the show Biography, and a lot of the shows on the Travel Channel.

More About Jennifer and Through Her Eyes :
Website : Blog : Twitter : Goodreads

(Goodreads) Sixteen-year-old Tansy Piper moves with her grandfather and her mother, a horror writer, to the setting of her mother's next book--a secluded house outside of a tiny, desolate West Texas town. Lonely and upset over the move, Tansy escapes into her photography and the dark, seductive poems she finds hidden in the cellar, both of which lure her into the mind and world of a mysterious, troubled young man who died sixty years earlier

Trailer :

Giveaway :

Jennifer is having a HUGE giveaway on her website where she is giving away Signed Copies, Ipods, Kindles and more! It's ends 4th of April so hurry and enter HERE !

And that's a take!

Badass Bookie xx

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm Back!

Hey Guys! I'm back from a five day camping trip so I can blog and read as much as I want for TWO WHOLE WEEKS! I'm on HOLIDAYS!!!! Anyway, sorry for the lack of posts, as I said I was on camp and scheduling posts is one thing that I just can't do ( too long) . So, sorry and I'm back!

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Between Shades of Grey

Review Time! For those of you who don't know, Ruta Sepetys is my Debut of the Month for March so check out her posts to learn more about her and Between Shades of Grey! I'm also hosting an international giveaway ( HERE ) where you can win your very own Signed ARC along with some awesome swag :)

( Goodreads ) Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.

The Short Story ? - Deeply moving, a plot filled with compassion and a strong teen voice, this is one debut you don't want to miss. Between Shades of Grey is a novel about hardship, hope and the loss and sacrifices people made during the war. It's a novel that can change your perspective of the world around you.

The Long Story ? - The last time I willingly picked up a novel about World War II or any war the matter was never. I only read them for school, I actually quite enjoy all of them but it just never occurred to me to pick them up just for fun, so to put it quite simply I wasn't all that thrilled when an ARC arrived on my doorstep. In a way, it's also part of the reason I haven't read til now but mostly it's because I wanted to post it closer to the release date. Another reason I haven't read it til now is because I heard it was really sad and I don't really deal with sad things but I go with the mainstream so I had to pick it up at some point.

To my own surprise, I really enjoyed it. I couldn't put it down, I felt compelled to read on, page  after page even though my initial thought was ' this is going to be boring, it's history, ugh'. I admit my history about wars is a little rusty but from what I can gather, the novel is set during World War II which is also when something happened in Russia, my guess is Communism and Cold War but I have a feeling I'm wrong? ( ahhh I'm so sorry, my history is crappy, believe or not I don't even know what the Russian communism is. ) Anyway, I think that most of us don't realise but it wasn't just the Jews who suffered during the war, although they suffered from genocide, there were also other political prisoners of war. Many people from small European countries were captured and used as free labour. Good people who only tried to help were captured and many of those people died.

Ruta Sepetys is a fantastic writer, very strong teen voice portrayed through her protagonist Lina. Although Between Shades of Grey is a work of fiction it contained a lot of elements of truth and Lina could have been any other teenagers who was held prisoner. Lina was just a name Ruta chose for her character but the character was real. Bottom line, the characterisation is wonderful, the characters were just so real. Even better, Ruta managed to add a little romance amongst the the chaos which for me was just the cherry on top!

The plot itself was a wonder. It was truly a touching story. I don't think we all realise how lucky we are to live a reasonably stable, peaceful world. How lucky we are to be able to eat everyday, have a bath everyday, have an eduction and live freely. The hardship and tough journey Lina and her family went through in this novel, changed my view of the world. Suddenly, I appreciate the food on the table, the shower I take everyday and even the mountain load of homework I get.

Overall, Between Shades of Grey is a touching novel that will make you want to cry your eyes out and sing in joy every time you get homework. It's a novel that can change your perspective of the world. It about hardship and loss and the hope that you must keep even when the world seems wrong. It's about wanting to live even when death surrounds you. Beautiful novel, fantastic writing and a story that will surely move your heart. Don't let history turn you off, because history is awesome! Rating 5/5

ps- I'm sick. I apologise for the wonky review, it doesn't really flow right but bottom line, fantastic plot, great characters and heart wrenching reality that will change you.

Badass Bookie xx

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Review Time! Firstly, I have to say this is one review that I would love if you guys would read it. To me, this review is special, I invested a lot of time into it because it was a life-changing moment for me. Thank-you to Pan Macmillian for the review copy, truly I am so grateful for this copy!

( Goodreads) The same questions whirl round and round in my head:

What does he want from me?

How could I have let this happen?


17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?

The Short Story? - Wow, for the most part I just have to say - it blew me away. I don't even like dark contemporary and I'm speechless. Truly beautiful writing, best protagonist I have read about in a long time, moving story and one amazingly talented author!

The Long Story? - For me, reading Entangled was a life changing moment. It's common knowledge that I avoid dark contemporary when possible. I hate depressed teenagers whinging about how life in unfair but I truly loved Entangled. I wouldn't say that it changed my perspective on dark contemporary but it certainly made me doubt myself. Doubt myself about whether there are actually some good dark contemporary out there.

I loved Grace. Best protagonist I have read about in a long time. Someone I felt I could really connect to even when we are worlds apart. Grace is one tough cookie. She's had the worst and while she's slowing breaking on the inside, she can still put on a happy face and get on with her life. To me Grace was realistic, she has practically no family, a not-so-best best friend and a boyfriend who keeps secrets and slowly her life starts to unravel even more but in the end she say ' I keep on trying' to me that's a major part of the novel. Unlike most dark contemporary where the protagonist starts whinging from the start, Grace is trying her best to hold herself together but some time by the end she starts to break down, realistic, could happen to anyone. To me, Grace was real, could have been the girl I passed on the street today, she wasn't perfect, far from it but she made the best she can, she had her flaws and was annoying at times but it all went back to being realistic. And for me that was a highlight, best protagonist in a long time.

Something else I loved was the plot. For someone like me who *dislikes* dark contemporary is was just right. Not too depressing, not too dark, something that I could stomach. One of the reason I avoid dark contemporary is because of gory descriptions of accidents, cutting etc. Blood, blood, blood something I can't stomach, luckily blood played a minor major part in this novel.  Did I mention how realistic this novel was, characters and plot both believable. I loved how the novel was written in a way like a recount but not quite, it's rather confusing to follow until the very end where EVERYTHING is revealed but just go with the flow because it was worth, trust me.The complexity of the plot is really admirable, I'm not sure whether a lot of planning went into it but it was simply very clever.

Which leads me to my next point. Cat Clarke, the YA community is very lucky to have such a talented newcomer. Some of the best writing I have seen in a long time. Unique writing style, particularly for this genre. People don't often associate humor and 'normalness' with dark contemporary but you have done it in a way that is natural! I ranking you right up there with Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare, some of the best talent I have read, I simply can not wait to read more of your writing!

Overall, Entangled was a truly remarkable novel. Deep, moving, dark but yet filled with hope. Beautiful writing that can only be described as pure talent and one of the best protagonists I have met in a long time. Entangled is a novel about staying strong even when you're secretly falling apart. It's about hope and never giving up. It's AWESOME!!!! Rating 5/5 ( nothing less and beautiful cover btw)

Badass Bookie xx

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Debut of the Month - All About Between Shades of Grey + Giveaway

Book Profile

Name - Between Shades of Grey ( Goodreads )
Author - Ruta Sepetys ( Profile )
Genre - Historical
Release Date - 22nd March 2011
Avaliable - The Book Depository / The Nile

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.

The Nuts and Bolts of ...EVERYTHING!

• Revision MadnessI revised quite a bit for my agent prior to submitting the book to publishers. This is a picture of a revision in progress.

The colored notes represent places I had to revise the manuscript.

• Writing on the Road
I wrote a lot of Between Shades of Gray while on the road for work. I spoke many chapters into this voice recorder while driving and also wrote big chunks while in the Cotswolds.

• Name Changes

I had to change the names of the main characters because the names I originally chose were not used in 1941, when the story takes place.
- Lina was originally Indre.
- Jonas was originally Linas.

• Titles

The original title of the book was Between Shades of Gray, but at one point we considered changing it. Alternate title options were Ice & Ashes and The Jar of Silence.

• Behind the Scenes Movie Cast

Most people want to cast the characters in their book. Instead, I’m going to cast some of the incredible team behind the scenes at Philomel/Penguin:

Ralph Fiennes as publisher, Michael Green.
Helena Bonham Carter as editor, Tamra Tuller

Gwyneth Paltrow as publicist, Shanta Newlin

Nicole Kidman as School & Library Dir., Scottie Bowditch

Emma Stone as Online Marketing Director, Anna Jarzab

~Giveaway ~

Ruta has kindly offered ONE (1) winner a chance to win the following -

- One Signed ARC of Between Shades of Grey
- One 'Hope' Keyring
- One Between Sahdes of Grey Soundtrack Download Card
- Bookmarks and Book Plates

Rule of Entry -

- International
- MUST leave a comment on this post or Ruta's post HERE 
- Must fill out this FORM
- +1 Leave Comment on My Review HERE
- Extra Entries Not required
- Ends April 5th 2011

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Debut of the Month - All About Ruta Sepetys

Debutante Profile

Name - Ruta Sepetys                                                                              
Debut - Between Shades of Grey
Genre - Historical                                                                          
Website - Ruta Sepetys : Between Shades of Grey                     
Facebook - HERE
Ruta Sepetys was raised in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. She wrote creepy stories as a child and told anyone who would listen that she was going to marry Roald Dahl. In addition to music and writing, Ruta enjoys teaching at the university, collecting eccentric art, and traveling with her dreamy husband. Ruta’s work has taken her to 41 countries on six continents. Her adventures have inspired dozens of stories and since she has intimate knowledge of heartbreak and teen angst, she decided to write books for young adults. Ruta’s degrees have nothing to do with literature, but do involve failed attempts at becoming an opera singer, an investment banker, and Roald Dahl’s wife.

Dream Debutante Dress - In which Ruta took the time to photoshop....

HOW cute is that???
What the Deb has to say about herself :

Badass Bits About Ruta:

• I have a problem pronouncing my own name, which makes introductions a bit difficult.

• As a child, each Christmas I begged for a badass Big Wheel like this one so I could race cars on the street and tie myself to their bumpers. Santa never came through. Badass bummer.

Oh, the big wheelie....

• My sister and brother both have psychic ability. I do not.

• In high school I was voted ‘Best Dancer.’ I was pretty excited until my friend informed me that the translation was, ‘most likely to be a stripper.’

• When I was in Lithuania on a research trip for my book I prank-called everyone in our group at 3 a.m. They still talk about the phantom caller at the hotel. They still don’t know it was me. Bad, bad debutante.

• I am a trained and seasoned wedding crasher. Check your wedding video. I might be in it.

• I used to have Camaro hair. It was so big it wouldn’t even fit in my passport picture. One Christmas Eve I accidentally set my hair on fire and well…that was the end of the Camaro hair.

• I am currently working on my next book and the research required interviewing prostitutes in New Orleans. See! Historical fiction is not boring!


Well, that was certainly exciting! I have got to say I'm still laughing about the hair on fire thing :) BTW, I had to google Camaro Hair. Also, what kind of historical fiction involves prostitutes??? All these pictures of New York in 1800s is coming up in my head, I think the girl on the cover of The Luxe just popped up too, oh and there goes Ian Somerhalder.... Anyway! Guys, please, please check out Between Shades of Grey which is on sale...March 22nd? I've heard great things about it and my copy is sitting beside me right now so if you want read my review that's coming up! This novel makes you want to cry, so be prepared for some heart moving story....

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, March 14, 2011

Masquerade ( Blue Bloods #2) Spoiler-free

Review Time! I've been dragging this review out! Meant to post this on Friday but then the blogging hangover kind of got the better of me so now it's being posted on Monday! Now, Masquerade is the second book in the Blue Bloods series which is like, an International Bestseller. When I read the first book I wasn't all that impressed, it seemed a little average to me but apparently it gets better so I just had to give it another go!

(Goodreads) Schuyler Van Alen wants an explanation for the mysterious deaths of young vampires. With her best friend, Oliver, Schuyler travels to Italy in the hope of finding the one man who can help—her grandfather. Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly underway for the Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful, and unhuman—a true Blue Blood affair. But it's at the after-party, a masquerade ball thrown by the cunning Mimi Force, that the real danger lurks. Hidden behind the masks is a revelation that will forever change the course of a young vampire's destiny.

The Short Story ? - I have say that it definitely did get better! One thing about the blue bloods is that they are addictive! I couldn't put the book down, it was either read it all or don't read it at all! I stayed up late finishing it! Love the plot, love the originality, love the blue bloods!

The Long Story ? - So I would like to thank-you my bestie for recommending this series to me in the first place. Believe it or not, I used to hate reading paranormal but my bestie persuaded me to read Vampire Academy and then BAM! Paranormal junkee was born....

One thing I love about the series? It's very original. For example, the blue bloods are immortal but they grow old and die just like anyone else BECAUSE they reincarnate. Plus, their blood is blue and they're just as bratty and snobby and bitchy like the girls on gossip girl even if they're a million times older. Maturity does not come with age, it depends on who you are.Which is quite interesting since I LOVE books about social hierarchy ( don't judge me) and designer clothes :P Think of The Blue Bloods as Gossip Girl with Fangs!

Another thing I liked is the lack of Human and Vampire romance! No offence to anyone but it's just getting so old, two years, too old. Even if it's fiction keep it realistic, there a higher percentage of vampire-vampire romance than vampire- human romance. However, I smell a vampire-human romance blooming near the end of this book so *hopefully* I'm wrong!

Romance! This brings me to my next point! Oh, what a tangled web! The book is written in the perspectives of so many characters that while it's not that hard to follow, it's still a struggle to keep up with who loves who and whose going to cheat on who! And let me tell you, it's a temptation not to flip ahead and read the more interesting romances first but then the book wouldn't make sense soooo I restrained myself :) However, I can't complain about a lack of romance. this one is for the romance junkees!

Last but not least, the characterisation is wonderful! Reading Masquerade is like watching soap drama, there is someone to play every role - the nice one, the mean one, the boy whose stuck in the middle, the wealthy, the poor, the weird and the list goes on! Beautiful characterisation truly! Best of all, everyone is beautiful yet they are flawed in one way or another making them more human? Whether it be jealously, insecurity or just the passionate love of teenagers, there is something for us all to relate to!

Overall, I simply can not say enough about how great this book is! This is definitely a series that gets better and better! Masquerade had it's flaws ( like over describing designer clothes when I'm sitting at the edge of my seat waiting to see what comes next) but I have to say I loved it! Schyuler is a great characters and I can't wait to see what happens next. Beautiful, dark and totally awesome! Bookie Approves! Rating 4.5/5

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In My Mailbox #24 + Winners!

Hello Lovelies! I sorry I've been a little MIA this week but unfortunately my school life has caught up and I was desperately trying to finish my science essay draft and then I went into this blogging hangover from too much school but I'm back, back, back so everything good! In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Basically we showcase the contents of our mailbox! I do IMM every two weeks btw!

In My Mailbox -

For Review -

ARC Entice ( #2 Violet Eden Chapters) by Jessica Shirvington
ARC Forgotten by Cat Patrick ( debut - I think)

( Thanks to Hachette and Hardi Grant Australia)

Won -

Signed XVI by Julia Karr + Swag ( 2k11 Street team)
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Firelight by Sophie Jordan

( Thanks to 2k11, Candance @ Candance's Book  Blog and Laura @ All of Everything)

That's it for IMM and here are the winner for The Book of Tomorrow and Here Lies Bridget Giveaway!

The Book of Tomorrow - #38  Jacinda @ The Reading Housewives

Here Lies Bridget - #57 Maddie.M & #13 Lisa Potts

I have emailed you all and please reply within 48hrs or else....

Badass Bookie xx

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Breakfast with the Bookie - The Big Question: How Old is Too Old for YA ?

Breakfast with the Bookie is a weekly feature hosted here at Badass Bookie. Every Wednesday morning (or afternoon depending on where you are) I post a discussion post for everyone to read along with morning up of coffee ;)

Today’s Topic – The Big Question: How Old is too Old for YA?

It’s common knowledge that authors write for different age groups. We start with the picture books, then the chapter books, then the middle aged books then the YA books and finally the Adult books. The transition for me through the previous stages have been easy but YA is such a broad genre with so many great books that I don’t think I can ever let it go.

YA or Young Adult refers to the age bracket, 13 – 21 year olds. Well, I guess we can stretch the bracket to 24 but you get what I mean. I have never thought about this before but how do we make the transition from YA to just plain old A? One of my biggest fears is that one day I will magically stop reading YA without finishing all the good books out there ( scary aye? Global Warming and World War Three are nothing compared to it pfffft.)

So I’m curious, what age do you think is too old for YA? A part of me wants to say 30, but that would be hypocritical since I’m probably going to be ones of those Twimums that wear Team Jacob (FTW!!!) t-shirts to the bus stop and carry around books about teenagers falling in love and social hierarchy. Another part of me wants to say never but I would imagine there must be a cut off line between young adult and plain old adult. If not, why do authors bother writing adult fiction?

For me right now, I’m going to just go with the flow. I highly doubt that I will read YA for the rest of my life (the truth hurts). If I get to the age 30 and think I’m too old for this, I probably pick up my first book where the protagonist just went through and ugly divorce and am currently unemployed. We put an age group on a book depending on how well we can relate to it.

I like to think I’ll never get old, never have to do my own laundry and never have to pay the bills but that’s wishful thinking, just like the fact that I will forever read YA. However, in the mean time I going take down the YA genre one book at a time ;) BTW I’m betting 30 as too old for YA.

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Prom and Prejudice

Review Time! Two weeks ago I received a copy of Prom and Prejudice for review from Penguin ( thanks!) I have to say I was very excited to read it, I loved Elizabeth Eulberg's first book, The Lonely Hearts Club which btw is fantastic and if you haven't read it you should ( I insist you do :P) ! Anyway, my thoughts...

(Goodreads) After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be — especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.

Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?

Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making?

The Short Story ? - Undoubtedly a fantastic and enjoyable read! It was simply such a relaxing read! I'm a little disappointed in the romance ( or lack of romance) but even with the celibacy going on, I still enjoyed it which is saying something when this bookie is a romance junkie...

The Long Story ? - I going to start this review with a confession - I haven't read Pride and Prejudice, I haven't even watched the movie. I haven't read anything by Jane Austen and can't see myself doing so in the foreseeable future. Classics and I have a love-hate relationship that will probably blossom into something else when I'm 40 and too old for YA. Right now I am taking down YA one book at a time.

However, that being said I would probably enjoy it if it was even half as good as this retelling! I can't emphasis enough how good it is! It was like a stress relief, I have been doing some 'hard-core' reading lately and a light contemporary ( the kind I like) was just what I needed! I love, love, loved it! It was really cute and 'light'. Something that you don't have to predict what happens next, something that you can just go with the flow. Sick of boys? Date this book ;)

Elizabeth Eulberg was one of my favourite 2010 Debut Authors, I absolutely love her writing style! It's comfortable, it's quirky, it's funny and more importantly it's so YA. I'm not sure whether it's just me but some YA authors write using language that I feel is too complex for YA readers, it's uncomfortable because you skip over every second word. What I love about Elizabeth's writing is that she understands her readers!

The plot can only be seen as cute and quirky! Can it be true that opposites attract? Throughout the whole book, Darcy and Lizzie have this rocky relationship where they strongly dislike each other ( on the outside) but they feel this strong pull towards each other ( it's called love). The development of the story is really quite excellent! Very  free willing and ...relaxed :)

I'm a little disappointed in the lack of romance but I can somewhat get that 'maybe' that's what the author intended on. I would imagine that a kiss would have caused a scandal back in the days when the original Elizabeth Bennett was alive let alone what we teenagers today call hook up so maybe the lack of romance all relates back to Pride and Prejudice. However, there was not ONE kiss through the whole book, bit a extreme but I still liked it so....

Overall, a quite excellent read! Very well written, comfortable and interesting! Fantastic characterisations that can easily be connected to original characters with a quirky modern SO twenty-first century twist! Who needs romance with such fantastic writing? Ms. Eulberg you have done it again! Rating 4.5/5 ( hey, romance junkie, I can only rank it so high with a lack of romance, talk about prejudice)

Badass Bookie xx