'Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.'- Angela Carter

Friday, 29 June 2012

Review: Halfway to the Grave - Jeaniene Frost


Halfway to the Grave – Jeaniene Frost
 Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)

Synopsis
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner—are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side... and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

My Review: 3/5*

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Quick Update :)

Recently, I've taken on a fair few books to review and this is basically just a blog to remind myself how much exactly I have to do! Lol! As I previously posted, I am taking part in a Paranormal Romance challenge where a vet (older member) and newbie (speaks for itself) suggest books to whomever they're paired up with to read, rate and review if they wish. My partner chose for my both of these books:

 Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1)   Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)

I chose to go with Halfway to the Grave as it sounded like a book which was more up my street. I'm 36% (hate this %! Only problem with an e-reader is the lack of page number!) through it and am very meh about it so far. The writing style is off putting but its story seems basic enough and it is an easy read. We'll see how it goes!

Other than these two, I got accepted to review a book from the wonderful site of NetGalley:
   Shadow Rising (Dark Dynasties, #3)  
I have never requested a book as fast as I requested this one! I was so happy when they accepted it and are allowing me to read and review it before the publication date. I didn't realise it was the third book in a series so I may have to have a quick read of the two before I even start reading this bad boy.

As well as these books, I've also taken on two books from Goodreads authors, and accepted a request for my first non-fiction book for review:

The Grimoire: Lichgates Empty Altars Tears for the Mountain
The only book I am a bit weary of is the non-fiction book as I don't usually read/ review that genre, but the author himself gave me some great advice and the journey that he has been on sounds fascinating to read about. It's way out of my comfort zone with regards to literature so we shall see :).

I cannot wait to sink my teeth into all of these lovely books!

xxx

Monday, 25 June 2012

Review: Deborah Harkness - 'A Discovery of Witches'


Deborah Harkness – A Discovery of Witches
A Discovery Of Witches

Synopsis

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism
.

My Rating: 4/5*

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

AARRGHH DEGREE! :D


I got my results today! Completing the most amazing three years at Swansea University with a 2nd class honours top division, a 2:1! Eeeeeek SO happy! It means I can now carry on to pursue a masters in English Literature. Been nerding out massively thinking of all the new research I can pursue with this masters course! Literally the best news ever. This, followed by my boyfriend getting offered a job interview and my sister passing into her final year of her college course has made it such an incredible day! Just gotta sort out the finance issues and it's DONE. SOOO much relief!

I celebrated by heading into town and having a couple of drinks and food with my boyfriend and best friend. Lovely Lovely. On a more book related note, I am working on my review of Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches and have just started reading JR Ward's Crave. As much as I adoooore my Kindle nothing beats curling up with a good ole paperback :). I also requested a few books to review on Goodreads so even more additions to my ever growing mound of books to be read this summer - celebrating the freedom to read my books before having to go back to university :).

Such a happy happy lady today!
xxx

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Success!

FINALLY, I have found an outfit to wear for my brothers wedding. A very productive day with me finding a lovely dress and wedges and the boyfriend buying himself a posh suit in a sale! All that's needed now is a bag and blazer and it's done. Thank God for that :).

For the challenge on Goodreads I've been offered two books to read, both which sound OK so going to attempt both and write up reviews!  They aren't exactly what I usually read with what seems to be a fair bit of eroticism but I'll give it a go. Neither of them are authors I've come across before so who knows :). Give myself a fortnight to read them, should finish off A Discovery of Witches tonight. There is definitely something frustrating about this book but I'm not sure what!
                                   
                                                                 xxx

Monday, 18 June 2012

Busy busy busy!

It's been a busy weekend! I supported my fellow archers at the BUCS (British University Championships) competition on Saturday followed by my final moving home trip from university :(. Sad sad times. The BUCS championships didn't get off to a great start with the good ole British weather: rain, rain, and a lota lota wind! As you can imagine, it wasn't the most ideal setting for an outdoor competition in which many would be shooting as far as 90meters! Despite this, our team came away with two 1st place medals, a 2nd place medal and a 3rd. Cannot complain with that :).

Moving away from Swansea for what is potentially the last time was incredibly sad. The look on my mam's face when I brought three years worth of stuff home was priceless! Countless amounts of books now surround my bedroom despite selling many to younger students. Unfortunately, they're not ones I'm particularly interested in. Somehow Dickens' Hard Times doesn't quite appeal a second time round! Anyway, the moving away is horrible. I definitely plan on moving back there once I have a decent paying job!

Today, I managed to get myself an internship which will last for roughly six weeks - an addition for my cv and vital marketing skills to be gained :). I will literally do anything to get any form of marketing or publishing experience. Such a competitive business, whether you're trying to get your work published or trying to be a part of the team which publishes the work.

Needless to say, this past week hasn't left much time for reading! I am 64% of the way through A Discovery of Witches. It's taking me an age to read this book. The more I read the less taken by it I am. Hoping things pick up pace a bit! Even though I love a bit of paranormal romance, the relationship between Diana and Matthew is seriously grating on me >.< get on with the story!

I've taken up a challenge on a recently joined group on Goodreads: 'Gotta have paranormal romance with a kick'. It is a challenge in which a newbie within the group is paired with a veteran and we have to set each other a book to read within the genre and by a date in July we must rate and review (if we wish) the books we have read to see which are the winners. Come on, newbies! :). Also joined BookBlogs which is AMAZING. Still need to figure my way around the site, but everyone is so helpful :).
                                                                          xxx

P.S I would love to know HOW to get rid of stupid white background stuff appearing behind my text! RAAGE!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Wedding Woes and Archery Blunders


Not a very happy bunny. For the past few days I've been trawling the internet and various shops for SOMETHING to wear to my brothers wedding but no luck. When I find one dress in every twenty that I like the price is ridiculous or the sizes are sooo small! Gaaaah. Any recommendations of what a 21 year old could wear to a wedding would be SO welcome. 

Aside from this, I shot my bow for the first time in a week - my god I might as well have not bothered! It was going fine until the arrow kept slipping off the rest THEN I started shooting 3s?! 3! When I usually average 7s that is appalling. Needless to say, the bow went back into the bag and the Kindle came out. TGFK - thank god for Kindles ha. Harkness' Discovery of Witches is going amazingly. Just over 30% in and am fully hooked! It does admittedly remind me of my childhood pleasures found in Twilight in places but written so much better and with a lot more literary and historical references - I love it! Reading through my stack of books is making me hope hope hope for a secure place on a masters next year, I'm not ready to leave my studies of literature yet!

It's officially six days until my final results and thirty two days until graduation,. So, so scary - makes A Levels seem like less than nothing! Here's hoping for a 2'1 and a 'confirm your masters' study letter *pray pray pray*.

xxx

Monday, 11 June 2012

New Toys and Difficulties


FINALLY, I've finished Lawrence's Women in Love. Not a bad novel in itself, I just found myself analysing and picking it apart due to my degree. I find it incredibly difficult to lose myself in a classic now because of this. Despite this, it was a very good book if not an exhausting read in some parts. I'm now reading A Discovery of Witches. Having seen the mixed reviews I'm praaaying it's as good as it sounds, the genre is right up my street! :). 

The Penguin Book of Classical Myths For awhile I've been wanting to learn more about Greek and Classical Mythology. Thanks to various recommendations on Goodreads I decided to purchase The Penguin Edition of Classical Myths by Jenny March for only £2 on Ebay! It arrived today so I can't wait to sink my teeth into it :). Having seen the price within the cover I'm ecstatic with the bargain I snapped up with it! Fingers crossed it will be just what I've been looking for to get into the subject. 

Following on from goodies, I spent the entire day attempting to find SOMETHING to wear for a wedding - being a girl who lives in leggings and vests/ dresses it's very difficult to find something suitable! I'm never happier than in a pair of boots or trainers and a pair of leggings making the task of finding something formal to wear incredibly difficult. It was made even worse by the mass of amazing sounding books in The Works Shop! Despite having a Kindle I still find myself missing the feeling of finality and closure you get my closing an actual book, nothing will be able to replace that.

Fingers crossed for my bids on Graceling and Incubus on Ebay! 

xxx

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Bows, Busby and Books

 Today I travelled down to Loughborough with my boyfriend to Duncan Busby's Masterclass Session at Merlin Archery. Incredible. With Duncan as a pro archer we had high expectations of what was to come in the 6 hour session and needless to say we were not disappointed. Despite not having coaching myself, Busby's wealth of knowledge, endless patience and stories were a gift in themselves. He started by helping each of the six archers with their bow set up, assisting with the tuning of each ones kit. Following this, they were taken to the outdoor range where Busby spent the entire day advising, assisting and chatting with each archer giving no preference to a single archer. I spent the afternoon listening to his stories from his travels as a pro archer, from competitions in   Vegas to field shoots in Germany. His girlfriend was also there, who is a lovely lovely individual. Couldn't have asked for a better day :). Managing to get Phill confident in his shooting again is a struggle in itself and to manage it in a single day is insane! Amazing, such a lovely man and well worth a second visit in the future, perhaps for a one on one rather than a  group session :).





As well as the coaching session, I've been dragging myself through DH Lawrence's 'Women in Love'. As a classic I expected the book to be fairly heavy but I cannot wait to reach the end! The book in itself isn't necessarily bad but I'm itching to get on with the maaaassive list that is on my Kindle! My usual genres of fantasy and the paranormal are calling to me and I'm eager to lose myself in these new worlds :). Goodreads will be the death of me, finding new books to read very day with my to-read list forever expanding. I thought I would paste up my first review for people to read of Cynthia Joyce Clay's 'New Myths of the Feminine Divine':

New Myths of the Feminine Divine

Synopsis: 

A collection of sf, fantasy, and myth:
The Three Fates are down to only One Fate, and does She need some help! 

Aliens in a ceramic spaceship ruin Patricia’s love life. 

A man-eating ogress wins her prince through her fine culinary skills. 

A theater professor travels back in time to find Shakespeare was just a “spear-carrier.” 

A soldier saves her city by laying down her sword. 

A singer curses a city of fairies for their murderous xenophobia. 

Geneticists and shamans pool their talents to make a demi-goddess to save the dying environment. 


My Review: 2/5 Stars

Cynthia Joyce Clay’s compilation of short tales 'New Myths of the Feminine Devin'e grabbed my attention from its synopsis and promise of a wealthy range of perspectives. The introduction to this compilation held my attention immediately and brought out my understanding and sympathies of the struggle of the fantasy genre and female authors in their fight to establish their place within literature. This introduction held my hopes high for the following tales – how disappointed I was. The majority of the tales heavily contrasted with the informative and interesting introduction, with many anti-climactic endings and superficial tales and characters. Despite the style in which they were written, the ideas themselves were incredibly inventive and original. I thought that, despite their superficiality and disappointing endings, that a number of the stories held much potential to be further developed into longer stories; stories such as ‘Io Copiano’ and ‘The Spring Waters Dance’. I found that with both of these tales I would have loved to have learnt more of the developments following the death of the Supreme Ruler in ‘Io Copiano’, and the future developments within ‘The Spring Waters Dance’: as I was reading these tales I kept a rating of each tale and the only thing which prevented ‘The Spring Waters Dance’ from achieving its 5* was the ending. The fact that the magical cure to the drought was to simply pull a trigger was immensely disappointing and anti-climactic and I felt the tale held much more potential than that and it would be incredibly interesting if Clay was ever to enhance this tale further.


The reasoning for my rating the compilation as a whole as 2* is due to 2/13 tales holding my attention and allowing me to immerse myself within the tale and allow myself to feel for the characters. Despite this, I felt that the tales themselves contained a lot of potential to be further developed and bettered through this. The introduction remains fascinating, but overly I was bitterly disappointed with the collection.

I'll be adding more as I go :)
xxx

Friday, 8 June 2012

First time lucky!


Righthooo, my first blog. I apologise now for the rusty and misshapen form that this will inevitably take! So, where to start?! I've been meaning to set up my own blog for awhile but have only just picked up the motivation to do it! Writing my first review for a book on goodreads.com was my first step towards setting this up, and after about an hour of fussing over the layout and text I am finally up and running!

I'm Leah, 21 years old and just completed my undergraduate Ba in English at Swansea University. The main purpose of this blog is to review books that I am reading and to accept books to review from anyone who needs a proofreader or just an opinion! It is one of my first steps towards pursuing a career in publishing *fingers crossed*, and there's not a much more enjoyable way than indulging myself in books and writing about them :).



I'll also be posting about various other interests which I have as a form of keeping track e.g. my improvement or fall backs in archery, hopefully chatting with others who are interested in literature, and my thoughts on probably far too much stuff! 

xxx