Friday, May 31, 2013

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go is the critically acclaimed novel from author, Kazuo Ishiguro. Published in 2005, Never Let Me Go has won many awards and was shortlisted as one of TIMES 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923-2005. I was lucky enough to be provided with a review copy of Never Let Me Go from The Folio Society. An online bookstore that creates THE most beautiful editions of classics and other literary goodness. They're of top quality and every book is illustrated with beautiful artwork! They are a little on the pricer side but these are the kind of books that will last forever! Check them out at The Folio Society!

(Goodreads) From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Daycomes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. 

Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.

The Short Story? - Set in dystopian England, Never Let Me Go is the coming to age novel of three freinds named Kathy, Ruth and Tommy. Filled with an air of mystery, Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go is a heartbreaking novel about love, hope and loss. Unlike other works of science fiction, Never Let Me Go isn't about cool gadgets or invading species, Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go is a grim interpretation of what the future could hold. Well written and different, Never Let Me Go is a must read for those who like extraordinary stories.

(Artwork from The Folio Society Edition of Never Let Me Go)

The Long Story? - This is definitely not a novel for everyone, especially if you feel out of your comfort zone with adult fiction however Never Let Me Go was a beautiful story. Very nostalgic and bittersweet, the novel pans over Kathy's entire life. Starting from her days growing up with Ruth and Tommy in Hailsham, their boarding school to her adulthood as a carer. It's a very passive novel, very slow and at times - boring. There is also this mystery element, we found out very early in the novel that these kids don't have parents so at first I thought they were orphans but the truth is so much worse. I didn't really fully understand what was going on until almost half way through the novel so I'm either slow and Ishiguro is a cracker at keeps things on the hush hush. Never Let Me Go is one of those novels that makes you feel things whether it be anger or grief or love, we're living through Kathy's memories. The ending was absolutely heartbreakingly, to hold out for hope and then for all of it to come crashing down - it's truly bittersweet. Definitely not your typical dystopian!

The characterisation wasn't the best that I've seen but it wasn't bad either. There was someone to love and someone to hate, there were characters that complete the story and more importantly there was a protagonist that was relatable. Kathy was a fabulous narrator but more than that, she was such an easy character to connect with. You can't help but feel a little sorry for her, for Ruth and for Tommy. Ruth wasn't the most likeable character to begin with, she was bossy and selfish and not a very good friend to Kathy and her relationship with Tommy just wasn't what it should have been but as Ruth grew up, I started to understand her. Tommy and Kathy had chemistry from the very start, they were meant to be yet they waited so long to finally get together. It's so sad to see two people who are very much in love being broken apart by life's injustice. I think it was their relationship that really sold me the novel.

I'm not really sure how to go about reviewing this book because it's so different from what I'm used to reading so I have nothing to compare it to. I'm not a huge reader of adult fiction but I did enjoy Never Let Me Go despite the slow pace. It wasn't my favourite book by any standards but it was different and somehow very touching. I completely understand why people would enjoy this novel, it's not everyday that you read something so raw and hopeless. Never Let Me Go is a very powerful novel, not everyone's cup of tea but you won't know until you've picked it up!

What's it Worth? - Squeeze Into The Budget

Badass Bookie xx

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Interview with Allison Rushby ( The Heiresses)

I'M BACK! Did you miss me? Apologies for pulling the disappearing act but really, it's not you it's me. I just finished my last exam yesterday and I HAVE ALL THIS TIME NOW TO MAKE IT UP TO YOU GUYS! So why not start today with an interview with Allison Rusby, author of the recently published NA novel, The Heiresses

Yet another YA author to venture into the NA genre, Allison Rushby is the author of numerous YA novels including Shooting Stars and Diamonds Are a Teen's Best Friend. However her latest is a glitzy NA historical novel set in 1926 about three sisters( triplets)! Dubbed as Downton Abbey for the NA crowd, I couldn't resist but beg Allison for an interview on the blog! We all know how much I love the twenties!

So without further ado...

(Did I forget to mention she's Australian? *waves Aussie Flag*)

Quickies -

Skittles or M&Ms? Until Skittles contain chocolate, M&Ms.

Black or white?

Coffee or Tea?
Lashings of coffee. 

Print copies or e-books? E-books.

Dog-ear or Bookmark? Dog-ear.

Cats or Dogs? Cats (have one on my lap right now!).

Reading or Writing? Reading (*hopes publisher never sees this*).

Vampires or werewolves? Neither vampires nor werwolves.

Favourite Harry Potter Novel? Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Have you watched Vampire Diaries? No.

Book you most want to see turned into a Movie? Catherine, Called Birdy.

Favourite day of the week? Friday.

Your perfect breakfast consists of - Anything I didn't cook. Preferably blueberry pancakes I didn't cook.


What do you think of Matt Bomer? I think he's someone I had to Google and still can't entirely work out who he is!

Long Questions -

1) Describe The Heiresses in Three Words. Dramatic, emotional, climactic.

2) How did you come up with the plot for The Heiresses? It's embarrassing, but I think it was actually from watching a Dr Phil show, years ago. I can't say too much as it will spoil the plot completely, but I saw a segment that involved a family and their genetic makeup and asked my husband (a medical specialist) about it all that evening. This led me to wondering how this family's scenario might have played out if genetic testing was not available to them, which is the case in The Heiresses, set in 1920s London.

3) What made you want to write a New Adult series? 
I started out writing women's fiction and wrote several books for adults before moving into young adult fiction. New Adult seemed the perfect balance for me. Also, the plot idea I had required my three heroines to be 18 -- the decision was made for me!

4) Character you feel you can relate best to? Why? Ro. Not because I'm particularly like her, but because I think we've all found ourselves in a place at one time or another where we know we're making bad choices, but just can't help ourselves!

5) Is there a story behind the names of characters? 
The girls' names come from Greek mythology -- an interest of their maternal grandfather's (their mother and aunt also have mythological names). Their names also suit their characters, which comes up in the book.

6) Ar you planning to write any other books outside the series? I have several ideas for more historically set New Adult work, including a story set in WWII and another set in Victorian London.

7) Who would play the characters in a movie adaption? 
That's such a difficult question! I think Lily James would be a fantastic Thalia (because her character Rose is so naughty on Downton Abbey). Daniel Radcliffe would be perfect as Edwin and Saoirse Ronan would be a lovely Ro.

8) Insider's Scoop? (Fun facts about the novel or it's process!) I was living in Cambridgeshire in the UK while I wrote The Heiresses, which was such a bonus. I was able to run down to London whenever I needed to, to research bits and pieces. I think the highlight, though, was the day I stumbled upon the village in Oxfordshire where they shoot the village scenes for Downton Abbey. It was a Sunday, they were to continue filming the next day and everything was set up, including the 'Downton Cottage hospital' sign and the bunting for Matthew and Mary's wedding. It was surreal and wonderful.

About the Author -

Having failed at becoming a ballerina with pierced ears (her childhood dream), Allison Rushby instead began a writing career as a journalism student at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Within a few months she had slunk sideways into studying Russian. By the end of her degree she had learned two very important things: that she wasn't going to be a journalist; and that there are hundreds of types of vodka and they're all pretty good. After several years spent whining about how hard it would be to write a novel, she finally tried writing one and found it was quite an enjoyable experience. Since then, she has had nine novels published. She keeps up her education by sampling new kinds of vodka on a regular basis.
Find Allison On - Website | Facebook | Twitter

About the Book - 

In Allison Rushby's Heiresses, three triplets--estranged since birth--are thrust together in glittering 1926 London to fight for their inheritance, only to learn they can’t trust anyone--least of all each other.

When three teenage girls, Thalia, Erato and Clio, are summoned to the excitement of fast-paced London--a frivolous, heady city full of bright young things--by Hestia, an aunt they never knew they had, they are shocked to learn they are triplets and the rightful heiresses to their deceased mother's fortune. All they need to do is find a way to claim the fortune from their greedy half-brother, Charles. But with the odds stacked against them, coming together as sisters may be harder than they think.

Purchase The Heiresses: Fishpond | Booktopia | Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository 

Badass Bookie xx

Thursday, May 16, 2013

KINSLAYER by Jay Kristoff US & UK COVER REVEAL + Giveaway (Int'l)

Alrighty! Among the ten of you who actually read my blog (this including my family members), a few of you might remember that last year around this time, I was part of the Cover Reveal team for Jay Kristoff's YA Debut STORMDANCER. Apparently I did such a good job that this year's I've been invited back again to participate in the Cover Reveal for the sequel KINSLAYER.

So today, when THIS post goes live, 9 other blogs will also be revealing the cover for KINSLAYER ( that's one more blogger than last year, obviously some poor individual has past Kristoff's hazing ritual to join the wolf pack - I won't go into too much details but it involved Celine Dion and a sacrifice). Now some of you might have already seen the covers floating around on the blogosphere, this is because we suffered a serious breach of security  at the Macmillan Headquarters earlier this week where one of our agents went rogue and released these top sekret covers to corporations like Amazon. However please rest assured that we have an alpha team hunting down the leak and when ( not if) we find them, they will be punished severely (read - forced to listen to Nickelback and watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians).

Since, the majority of you probably won't even read anything I write in this post, HERE ARE THE COVERS:




These covers are absolutely stunning! The US cover definitely has more of a draw on me since I'm on the cover it's so freaking badass, I mean she's looks like she wants to rip my head off like a GUMMY BEAR. The UK cover is also gorgeous! More reserved, less frightening - for people who like books with lighter colours on covers. Although that ninja outfit is really unflattering, on behalf of the male population - I DEMAND LYCRA CATSUITS FOR THE NEXT COVER. 




The mad Shōgun Yoritomo has been assassinated by the Stormdancer Yukiko, and the threat of civil war looms over the Shima Imperium. The Lotus Guild conspires to renew the nation’s broken dynasty and crush the growing rebellion simultaneously - by endorsing a new Shōgun who desires nothing more than to see Yukiko dead.

Yukiko and the mighty thunder tiger Buruu have been cast in the role of heroes by the Kagé rebellion. But Yukiko herself is blinded by rage over her father’s death, and her ability to hear the thoughts of beasts is swelling beyond her power to control. 
Along with Buruu, Yukiko’s anchor is Kin, the rebel Guildsman who helped her escape from Yoritomo’s clutches. But Kin has his own secrets, and is haunted by visions of a future he’d rather die than see realized.

Kagé assassins lurk within the Shōgun’s palace, plotting to end the new dynasty before it begins. A waif from Kigen’s gutters begins a friendship that could undo the entire empire. A new enemy gathers its strength, readying to push the fracturing Shima imperium into a war it cannot hope to survive. And across raging oceans, amongst islands of black glass, Yukiko and Buruu will face foes no katana or talon can defeat.

The ghosts of a blood-stained past.


About the Author:

Abandoned as a child by his people, Jay Kristoff was sent to earth in his crib where he grew up as the baddest baby on the streets of Perth. Dangerous and ruthless, Jay didn't have many friends and spent his childhood pretending to be Tarzan, dancing to Wham! and fighting crime. Twenty years on, Jay has relocated to Melbourne where he spreads the word of Christ by day and writes YA novels through the perspective of a girl by night. An alcohol enthusiast, STOP SHAVING YOUR FACIAL HAIR activist and ambassador for the international Inner Beauty organisation, Jay lives with his beard, his UGG boots, his wife and his dawg. 
You can find Jay on Website | Twitter | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

Purchase STORMDANCER from The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Fishpond | The Nile | Bookworld


There are TEN ARCS of KINSLAYER up for grabs! You can win ONE ARC from this blog and if you hop along to the other blogs part of this cover reveal, you can win ARCs of KINSLAYER from their blogs as well! 

On top of that, Jay is running a scavenger hunt where the winner will win a super awesome prize pack filed with exclusive goodies unknown to mankind. All you have to do is answer this question -

5. Name the rebel Guildsman who helped Yukiko and Buruu in STORMDANCER:


 head over to Jay's blog - HERE. Check out of the other blogs part of this cover reveal and answer all their questions as well! DO NOT RECORD YOU ANSWER IN THE COMMENTS. Please tattoo it on your heart and carry it with you as you leave this blog and move onto Jay's!

Fill out the Rafflecopter Form Below to Win KINSLAYER ARC:

OPEN Internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Indigo Spell

Review Time! The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead is the third book in the Bloodlines series, a spin-off the bestselling Vampire Academy series, which is being turned into a movie (yay!). I'm a huge fan of the VA series and I've enjoyed the first two books of the Bloodlines series, you can purchase a copy of The Indigo Spell from The Book Depository | Fishpond | The Nile | Bookworld. Thanks to Penguin for the review copy!

(Goodreads) In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

The Short Story? - My favourite book of the series so far, The Indigo Spell was nothing short of amazing! This is definitely two steps forward for Mead, a spectacular plot filled with action, suspense and danger. Beautifully written, a compelling narrative voice and fantastic development in the characterisation department - I'm so proud of Sydney! However the romance definitely took the spotlight, FINALLY Mead throws the readers a bone! A pleasure to read from cover to cover, Mead does not disappoint with the latest edition to her spin off series!

The Long Story? - Although I enjoyed The Golden Lily very much, it was nothing compared to my love for The Indigo Spell. You guys are lucky I'm not blabbering and talking mush right now because my feels for this novel are ALL OVER THE PLACE. The plot was nothing short of perfect - what The Golden Lily lacked in action, Mead has doubled in The Indigo Spell. Multiple plots weaved together to create a bigger picture, there was something enticing for everyone. A little mystery, action, suspense, tension, drama and let's not forget - romance. I was initially against the idea of Adrian and Sydney but The Indigo Spell has proven to me that they CAN work. I'm so happy that everything is working out and that things are HAPPENING instead of just kinky chemistry between the two. THIS, is the reason I fell in love with Mead's novels, her beautiful balance in her plots, compelling narrative voice and the ease of the prose! Entertaining and exciting, The Indigo Spell is not one to be missed!

Although The Golden Lily made a lot of headway in the characterisation development, I think The Indigo Spell really hit the nail on the head. I wasn't the biggest fan of Sydney to begin with, partly because of her relationship with Adrian ( who I used to think belonged with Rose) and partly because her personality wasn't very likeable. I find that it's very difficult for me to connect with characters that have a very serious personality and Sydney was the poster child for serious. She has come so far from Bloodlines and she's really turned into someone I have grown to adore and respect! I can't wait to see further development in Fiery Heart! If Adrian wasn't perfect enough to begin with, he is now. I would be lying if I said that I didn't think Sydney has changed Adrian for the better. He is still as sassy and charming as ever but he's so much more now. Adrian Ivashkov is just perfect!

Fans of Richelle Mead definitely have something to look forward to in The Indigo Spell, one of my favourite books of the year so far, I couldn't put it down! New elements, new romance, new friendships and new developments, The Indigo Spell is the book of fresh beginnings. Wonderful characterisation, excellent plot developments and a blossoming romance, Mead's The Indigo Spell is original, entertaining and seductive. Beautifully written, I await impatiently for the release of Fiery Heart!

What's it Worth? - Break Out the Piggy Bank 

Badass Bookie xx