Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Review: How to Keep a Boy as a Pet by Diane Messidoro

How to Keep a Boy as a Pet by Diane Messidoro

Author: Diane Messidoro. Website|Twitter
Published: 7 May 2012 (Electric Monkey)
Format: paperback
Pages: 338
Amazon: paperback|Kindle
Waterstone's: paperback
Book Depository: paperback

Source: Borrowed from library

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Can taming a gorgeous boy really be as easy as walking a dog?
Circe Shaw is on a mission. She must transform into a fabulously sophisticated journalist and discover the amazing scientific truth about boys. Urgently.
But life is beyond complicated. Circe has to deal with a poisonous rival, her mum’s annoying ‘just friends’ men and her own Dark Past.
Can Circe’s daring investigation really teach her the facts of love?
Will it help her finally get a boyfriend?
Or will it break her heart…?

My Review:
When Circe Shaw's new best friend and her childhood guy best friend get together, she feels a little left out. She decides to start a blog to cover the hottest topics, only it turns out what she's best at writing about is her own life and her hopeless efforts at finding a boyfriend. With her new ambitions to be a top journalist, the book follows Circe as she keeps her readers up to date on life and love in "the middle of nowhere".

I LOVED this book. This is one of those reviews where I'm not quite sure where to start! I didn't know too much about the book but it grabbed my attention at the library with its super-cute cover. As soon as I started it I knew it was my kind of thing. The book is written through Circe's blog posts and any book written in a different style like that gets me excited! I think it's even more exciting reading a blog written through blog posts when you're a blogger yourself, too. The way its written means it isn't really broken up into chapters which I thought would bother me, but it didn't. It just made it harder to put down!

Circe as a character won me over instantly. Her voice throughout the book is just hilarious. She's so witty and funny and you get a great look at her personality through her blog posts, from her pets named after film stars, her love of R-Patz and her disastrous attempts at getting dolled up to impress a guy. Her character went a lot deeper when I expected as well. The book may revolve around her attempts to get some kind of love life but there is so, so much more to her as a character than that. Circe lives with her single mother and she's made the move from London to the middle of nowhere in the British countryside. (The overall British-ness was also something I adored, than that's coming from a Brit!) There's a lot of issues Circe keeps glossing over which are obviously quite important to her, and it's only a matter of time before they're explained a bit more, and I was blown over by the writing when things started to come to life.

When I picked this book up I was expecting a light, fun, girly read and whilst it certainly has those elements, it's SO much more than that. If you're put off by the title then I'd urge you to give it a try anyway because I think there's a lot more to this book than meets the eye!

How to Keep a Boy as a Pet gets the balance between fun, light-hearted boy drama and serious, real life problems bang on. I think there's something for everyone in this book, and if you're looking for a new contemporary read then I would urge you to go and look this one up!

Rating: 5*
What to read next: What Not to do in the Dark by Diane Messidoro - the follow up to How to Keep a Boy as a Pet - which is published in 2013.
Books like this: Dreaming of Amelia by Jaclyn Moriarty

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Teaser Tuesdays: 30th October

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"She's always telling us that the worst part of spying isn't the danger - it's the paperwork. After all, when you're on a plane home from Istanbul with a nuclear warhead in a hatbox, the last thing you want to do is write a report about it."

- page 6, I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

Monday, 29 October 2012

Weekly Book Round Up! 22nd October

Weekly Book Round Up!
22nd - 29th October
Hi everyone! This week's round up is a day late because it was my birthday this weekend and so I've been too busy celebrating to get a blog post together. But now it's back to reality and I have lots of good stuff to share so let's get cracking!

Currently reading: The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E Pearson. I put this aside for a few days to focus on another book so I'm going back to it now!

Books finished: How to Keep a Boy as a Pet by Diane Messidoro and Hidden Gem by India Lee. Reviews of both to come soon!

Library books: How to Keep a Boy as a Pet and I'd Tell You I Love You but then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter.

Books reviewed: In Your Dreams by Amy Martin

Birthday: My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

What have you been reading this week? Let me know!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

News: Trailer and excerpt for Reached by Ally Condie

Gahhh I'm so excited for the final book in Ally Condie's Matched trilogy! I adored Matched and Crossed, and I'm super excited for Reached. You can watch the trailer right here on Even more excitingly, you can also read the opening chapters from Reached right here as well! I'm quite excited ;)

Reached is published on 30th November in the UK. You can find out more about the book on Goodreads here and pre-order the book now at the following links.

If you've yet to read the first two books in this amazing trilogy then you can read my reviews of the first two books below!

Matched by Ally Condie
Crossed by Ally Condie

Friday, 26 October 2012

Friday Finds: 26th October

FRIDAY FINDS is hosted over at Should Be Reading and showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

I've been to the library this week so this is a combination on library finds and Goodreads recommendations! I finished the first Hidden Gem book which led me to add the sequel, as well.

How to Keep a Boy as a Pet by Diane Messidoro
Diamond in the Rough by India Lee
Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Book Trailer: Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick

With just a one day left until Finale, the final book in the Hush, Hush series, is released, take a look at the book trailer below! I enjoyed the first few books in the series and will probably be checking out this one, too. Are you excited for this book? Finale is released in the UK on 25th October.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Teaser Tuesdays: 23rd October

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 "I sip my nutrients, which are tasteless. I swig down the last of them in a quick gulp and ask, "Was I a history buff?"

- page 31 (e-book version) The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E Pearson


Monday, 22 October 2012

Review: In Your Dreams by Amy Martin

In Your Dreams by Amy Martin

Author: Amy Martin. Website|Twitter
Published: 16 August 2012 (self-published)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 253
Amazon: paperback|Kindle
Smashwords: e-book
Barnes & Noble: paperback|Nook

Source: Received free copy from author for review

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Zara "Zip" McKee lives for three things: basketball, books, and bailing out of tiny Titusville, Illinois, where the junior high and high school are in the same building and everyone's known everyone else since birth. But when Kieran Lanier moves to town and passes out on her desk on his first day at school, Zip's life gets complicated in a way she never dreamed.

Kieran has narcolepsy, and although he sometimes struggles to stay awake, he has no trouble capturing Zip's heart and trusting her with his most guarded secret--he sees bits and pieces of the future in his dreams.

My Review:
I was sent a copy of this book by the author and after reading the plot summary I was completely intrigued! In Your Dreams tells the story of Zip, who ends up befriending the new guy Kieran when he starts at her school. Kieran has narcolepsy, and when Zip witnesses one of his attacks she soon becomes someone he can confide in, and there's a lot more to Kieran than meets the eye!

I was completely hooked from the first couple of pages of this book. I really loved the writing style and Zip was a character I was drawn to instantly. She's smart and great at basketball, and I just loved her voice throughout the book. Then we're introduced to Kieran and his sister Kayla. Kieran was a totally lovable guy character and I really enjoyed his developing friendship with Zip. I thought Kayla was a fascinating character, too, and she really added some depth to the story. She's been the one that always looks out for her brother so when Zip gets close to him, there's some jealousy there which added a bit of drama. I found the exploration of Kieran's narcolepsy really interesting. I don't think I've ever read anything that explores that condition.

As the book goes on we learn Kieran has another secret. I was expecting it to turn into a fantasy/paranormal story at that point but it didn't, and that's something I really loved about this book. Instead of using magic the book sticks to scientific and medical reasons to explain what's going on. I won't go into it in too much detail but it meant the book kept that contemporary/realistic feeling which I really liked. It was a completely fresh approach and made it stand out from a lot of other books I've read.

The second half of the book focuses on more secrets being revealed. That added a mystery element to the story which kept my attention. I sometimes got a little confused with the back story and had to re-read a few sections, but I think that was just down to the upping of the pace from the first half of the book. When the action kicked in towards the end I couldn't put the book down!

There's a sequel planned for this book and I'm intrigued to see where it ends up. I'd really recommend it book if you're looking for something a bit different!

Rating: 4*
What to read next: The as yet untitled sequel to In Your Dreams will hopefully be released in 2013
Books like this: Justice by Jade Varden

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Weekly Book Round Up! 21st October

Weekly Book Round Up!

15th - 21st October

Hi everyone! Another week, another round up. This week has been a very exciting one for the blog because I launched my first ever giveaway! It's still open and you can find out all the details and enter to win a copy of Delirium right here (UK only). Good luck! I've also redesigned the blog logo which I've meaning to do for a while! I wanted to use the pattern I'd created for the background in the main logo itself, and I think it looks great! I hope you guys like it.

I've been on a library ban recently so I haven't taken out any new books, but here is my catch up on what I've been reading and reviewing!

Currently reading: Hidden Gem by India Lee. This was a free download and I'm really enjoying it! I'd started this book last week but I'm reading on my iPod touch which I can't do for too long without hurting my eyes.

Books finished: In Your Dreams by Amy Martin, The Hunger Games audio book by Suzanne Collins. Reviews of both to come soon!

Books reviewed: Uglies by Scott Westerfield and Turned by Morgan Rice

Free e-book downloads: Raven by Suzy Turner and The Deepest Cut by J. A. Templeton.

Also this week, I've signed up for the debut author challenge hosted by I'm really excited to take part in that. I'm also gearing up for NaNoWriMo! It's creeping up on me again.

What have you been reading this week? Let me know!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

News: Cover Reveal for Confessions of an Angry Girl!

I've been waiting to hear more about the UK release of Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett. This week Mira Ink have revealed the UK cover!

It's certainly fiery! ;) you can find out more about the book on Goodreads here and pre-order at Waterstone's now.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Friday Finds: 19th October

FRIDAY FINDS is hosted over at Should Be Reading and showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).
This week I signed up to the 2013 debut author challenge hosted by It seems a little scary to be thinking ahead to next year already, but at least it gives me the chance to go and look up some books I'll be trying to get my hands on as part of the challenge! Here are some of the books I added to my TBR this week that I'll be hoping to read next year:


Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Premeditated by Josin L. McQuein
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfield

Uglies by Scott Westefield

Author: Scott Westerfield. Website|Twitter
Published: 4 March 2010 (Simon & Schuster Children's)
Format: Paperback
Pages: 425
Amazon: paperback|Kindle
Waterstone's: paperback|e-book
Book Depository: paperback

Source: Borrowed from library

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to "the Smoke" and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The "Special Circumstances" authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

My Review:
I love a good dystopian novel and this was one series I really wanted to read. Uglies is set in a world where when you turn sixteen, you undergo an operation to become "pretty". Tally's friend has already undergone the operation, and so she must wait it out living in the ugly side of town, dreaming of the day they'll be reunited and their lives will get back to normal. But not everything goes according to plan when she meets the rebellious Shay.

I really, really liked the concept of this book. It plays a lot on the fact that so many of the world's problems can supposedly be solved if everyone looks the same and I found that really interesting. The futuristic landscape the book is set in also made for a great reading. I loved all the descrptions of New Pretty Town where, surprisngly, the new "pretties" live (even if it does have the least imaginitive name ever). But I thought all the futuristic technology like hoverboards and bungee jackets were pretty cool. The only place that faletered a bit was when Tally discovers old human technology, how people used to live. When characters are getting amazed at things like roller coasters and train tracks it gets a bit tiresome, because as the reader you know perfectly well what those things are and so sitting through explanations of what they do becomes a bit boring.

The writing style was quite simple and it felt like a light read which I liked. Sometimes you need something that bit lighter! It made it quick to get through but it was enjoyable at the same time.

I liked that Tally went on a kind of journey the more she discovered. She starts to become influenced by Shay the people she introduces Tally too so that was good development. I didn't always get the connections between the characters. At first I thought Tally and Shay's friendship was a bit convenient and they were sort of thrown together rather than shown to be building up a friendship. I liked Shay as a character, though. She was probably my favourite thoughout the book.

Uglies held my attention throughout and there's plenty of action and adventure to keep you hooked. The climax to the story was brilliant and really kept the suspense up. I'm definitely excited to see what the next book has in store. I'd really recommend this if you love dystopian and post apocalyptic fiction.

Rating: 4*
What to read next: Pretties by Scott Westerfield, book 2 in the Uglies series
Books like this: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Giveaway! Delirium by Lauren Oliver

This blog has been going a while and there's been one thing missing... a giveaway! I'm SO excited to announce the first ever giveaway and it's such a super awesome book to be giving away! I have one copy of Delirium by Lauren Oliver to give away to one lucky winner. If you haven't read this amazing book yet then read the plot summary below:

Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the government demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love

Find out more on Goodreads and you can read my full review of Delirium right here!

This is a UK only giveaway so if you live in the UK and would like to win a copy then all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter below. The competition is open until 05.01am BST Wednesday 24th October so get entering and share with your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and Conditions
Open to UK residents only
You must be 13+ to enter and have parental permission if you are under 16
The giveaway is open from Wednesday 17th October until 05.01am on Wednesday 24th October 2012. The winner will be contacted on the 24th October.
The winner has 48 hours to respond and claim their prize once they have been contacted. If they do not respond a new winner will be chosen.
The prize is 1 paperback copy of Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The prize will be sent via Royal Mail once the winner has been successfully contacted TotalTeenFiction is not responsible for any loss or damage to the prize in the post
If you have any queries about the giveaway email

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Teaser Tuesdays: 16th October

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"They whipped out their iPhones to conduct a little photo shoot. She was a fairly convincing model with her long slender limbs and pouty lips, but Gemma couldn't help comparing Madison's amateur moves to the ones that she posed in while serving as the face of Zhe last year."

- page 60, Hidden Gem by India Lee

Monday, 15 October 2012

Review: Turned by Morgan Rice

Turned by Morgan Rice

Author: Morgan Rice. Website|Twitter
Published: 24 January 2011 (Noah Lukeman)
Format: E-book
Pages: 196
Amazon: paperback|Kindle
Waterstone's: paperback
Kobo: e-book

Source: Free Kindle download

Plot Summary (from Goodreads):
Eighteen year old Caitlin Paine finds herself uprooted from her nice suburb and forced to attend a dangerous New York City high school when her Mom moves again. The one ray of light in her new surroundings is Jonah, a new classmate who takes an instant liking to her.

But before their romance can blossom, Caitlin suddenly finds herself changing. She is overcome by a superhuman strength, a sensitivity to light, a desire to feed--by feelings she does not understand. She seeks answers to what’s happening to her, and her cravings lead her to the wrong place at the wrong time.

My Review:
I got this as a free download from the Kindle store. I'd sort of vaguely heard of the series and author and decided that for free I didn't really have anything to lose! Turned tells the story of Caitlin. She's starting a new school and faces all the drama that comes with it; learning her way round, noticing a cute guy at school, struggling to adjust to her new surroundings whilst all the time battling bouts of rage and a strange craving for blood.

This book was complete and utter silliness. The writing was pretty bad and extremely repetitive. You'd get 5 sentences in a row starting with "she" or "Caitlin" which got annoying pretty quickly. It's a pretty short book and the pacing suffers because of it. Things move along stupidly fast with very little explanation. The back story of Caitlin and her family is barely glossed over.

Then you get to the actual plot. Caitlin's attraction to Jonah was incredibly cheesy, and then he ends up being forgotten about pretty quickly when another guy appears on the scene. Given the title of the series (Vampire Journals) and the completely obvious symptoms Caitlin was having (superhuman strength, a craving for blood...) it took a pretty long time to actually get round to the vampire action. But the low point for me was when Caitlin starts to wonder if maybe if she had a boyfriend everything would be ok. *headdesk*

For the most part the book is told from Caitlin's perspective but then suddenly halfway through, it switches to someone else's perspective, and then shortly after it switches again. It felt completely random to be jumping about like that and it didn't work for me.

Saying all that, I still managed to get through it all. I think if you're looking for 2 hours to kill then this book is perfectly acceptable for that. There's plenty of action towards the end when things kick off but I have no desire to read the rest of the series.

Rating: 2*
What to read next: Loved by Morgan Rice, book 2 in the Vampire Journals series
Books like this: Evernight by Claudia Gray

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Weekly Book Round Up! 8th - 14th October

Weekly Book Round Up!

8th - 14th October

Hey everyone! Including new followers - thank you for following and I hope you stick around! This week I've been trying to get through the massive pile of books on my bedside table and clear the backlog so I haven't taken any new books out of the library (although I did have to go in to return a book and came very close to coming home armed with new books...). I did download an audio book from the library this week, though. I also downloaded the Kindle app for my iPod touch. I already use iBooks on there occasionally to get my hands on freebies but I haven't had chance to sample Amazon's collection of free Kindle books before so I've been enjoying that! Here's my round up for the week:

Currently reading: In Your Dreams by Amy Martin - got this book for review and I'm loving it! Hidden Gem by India Lee - a free Kindle download.                           
Books finished: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (review here) Uglies by Scott Westerfield, Turned by Morgan Rice, The New World by Patrick Ness. Reviews of the last three coming soon!

Free Kindle downloads: Turned by Morgan Rice, Hidden Gem by India Lee, The New World by Patrick Ness, The Fallen Star by Jessica Sorenson, The Ivory Prison  by Ashlyn Daube, Frey by Melissa Wright. (I downloaded more than this but I'll be here all day if I keep going!)

Library books: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins on audio book. Really enjoying listening to this! I haven't had chance to re-read the trilogy yet and I love audio books.

What have you been reading this week? Let me know!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Opinion: To re-read or not to re-read?

Before starting this blog, one thing I did an awful lot was re-read old books. There's something comforting about going back to an old favourite but for me there was always a lot more to it than that.

I've mentioned occasionally on my blog that I find reading quite difficult because of health problems that I have. Some of the symptoms of M.E - the illness that I have - are difficulty concentrating, poor memory and headaches, as well as severe fatigue. For me that means reading in short bursts and taking rests between reading sessions. But there was a time when I couldn't read at all, for a few years.

When my health started to improve a little I went back to reading. The easiest way for me to get back into it was to go back to books I was already familiar with. This meant my brain didn't have to work as hard to process the information because I already knew what would happen. Gradually I started adding in new books to my reading routine but I always found them a lot harder to read.

Over the past few years I've really broadened what I read. This is mainly down to borrowing books from friends that I wouldn't usually buy, and being able to get books at the library without worrying about buying something I won't like. Starting this blog has shown the biggest shift in my reading, though. It's made me really focus on discovering a wealth of new titles. Through following other book blogs and utilising Goodreads I discover more and more books every day that I want to read, and in a mission to keep this blog fresh and interesting I often go for new and exciting titles and mix up what I read (okay, my enjoyment may come slightly before the blog...).

Recently, though I've really missed re-reading books. I always have a re-read of all or part of the Harry Potter series each year but I don't think I've even gotten round to doing that this year! Luckily I have 4 of the books on audio book so I might have to dig those out soon. I'm currently listening to The Hunger Games on audio which is the first time I've gone back to that book since I initially read it early last year. It's so nice to revisit it!

You can get so much out of re-reading. There's always something you didn't spot the first time round. Plus, if it's a book in a series, there's nearly always some foreshadowing that you only notice when you've read later books. I'm finding that to be the case with THG at the moment! There's something wonderful about immersing yourself in one of your favourite books and rediscovering your love for it.

Of course there are some downsides to re-reading, The main one for me is my inability to throw away books. I'm so short on space for them and so every book I keep is less space for a brand new book! I think cutting down on how much I re-read has given me the opportunity to read some amazing new books I wouldn't have discovered yet if I spent all my time on old books.

What do you think about re-reading? Do you go back and revisit books? Or are you a read it once and move on kind of reader? I'd love to hear from you!

Friday, 12 October 2012

Friday Finds: 12th October

FRIDAY FINDS is hosted over at Should Be Reading and showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

My finds this week come from a combination of browsing the library and Goodreads. I'm really excited to check these books out! I've heard Between Shades of Gray is a must read.


Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Clean by Amy Reed
Every Day by David Levithan
Mind Games by Kiersten White
Through a Glass, Darkly by Jostein Gaarder

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