Sunday, May 08, 2011

IMM 28

Hello and welcome to another IMM! In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren in which bloggers share the books that they have recieved in the previous week. It's a really wonderful meme, one I look forward to every week. Here are the books I've picked up lately... A really huge thank you to Phil Earle for the bulk of these. Phil, you are an absolute star.

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton - This page-turning debut novel will entice fans who like their paranormal romances dark and disturbing. It's a natural next-read for fans of Stephanie Meyer, Carrie Jones, and Becca Fitzpatrick. But instead of mythical creatures, blood magic has everything to do with primal human desires like power, wealth, and immortality. Everywhere Silla Kennicott turns she sees blood. She can't stop thinking about her parents alleged murder-suicide. She is consumed by a book filled with spells that arrives mysteriously in the mail. The spells share one common ingredient: blood, and Silla is more than willing to cast a few. What's a little spilled blood if she can uncover the truth? And then there's Nick—the new guy at school who makes her pulse race. He has a few secrets of his own and is all too familiar with the lure of blood magic. Drawn together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick must find out who else in their small Missouri town knows their secret and will do anything to take the book and magic from Silla.

I wasn't even expecting this one! It sounds amazing and was on my wishlist already so I'm thrilled and excited to get started.


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
- The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor's been expecting. He's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming... The monster in his back garden, though, this monster is something different. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Darkly mischievous and painfully funny, A Monster Calls is an extraordinarily moving novel of coming to terms with loss from two of our finest writers for young adults.

I'm not sure if it's possible for me to be more excited about a book than I am about A Monster Calls. I adore Patrick Ness and the sound of this one, and especially the absolutely gorgeous layout and illustrations for this book. Walker did an outstanding job with the visuals of this one. I'm pretty sure I'll be reading this one next.


It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
- Last year, all of Belly’s dreams came true and the thought of missing a summer in Cousins Beach was inconceivable. But like the rise and fall of the ocean tide, things can change-- just like that. Suddenly the time she's always looked forward to most is something she dreads. And when Jeremiah calls to say Conrad has disappeared, Belly must decide how she will spend this summer: chasing after the boy she loves, or finally letting him go.

Look out for my review of this one soon as I've already devoured it. I was in the perfect mood for a light, contemporary, summery read and this book filled that perfectly. Plus it's got bags full of heartbreak. I love this series.


A Tangle of Magicks by Stephanie Burgis - After her antics in A Most Improper Magick, Kat Stephenson is back to cause more chaos! Stepmama drags the family to Bath to find Kat's sister a new suitor. But, unknown to most of its gossipy visitors, Bath is full of wild magic. When Kat uncovers a plot to harness this magic in the Roman Baths, she finds her brother Charles is unwittingly involved. Kat must risk her newfound magical powers as she defies the Order of the Guardians to foil the plot and clear her brother's name.

Here's the second in a series that I really cannot wait to get started with. I just need to locate a copy of A Most Improper Magick and will get started on this one immediately. Absolutely adore the sound of it and Stephanie Burgis is just a lovely, lovely person!


Duty Calls: Dunkirk by James Holland
- Private Johnny Hawke, aged sixteen, awakens to artillery fire.

Hours later, Stukas scream down from the sky. Messerschmit fighters roar towards his regiment. Trucks burst into flames.

Now men and mules lay dead and dying, severed limbs twisted grotesquely as blood soaks the cobbled streets.

Young Private Hawke just wants to do his duty and serve his country. But as he – and his fellow soldiers – prepare to stop the German advance, there's only one question on everyone's lips.

Earlier on in the year, I was lucky enough to attend an event at Penguin and was able to hear James Holland speak about the research and aims for writing this book and it sounded really quite interesting. I look forward to seeing how well it all turned out!


Long Lankin by Lindsay Barraclough - A chilling, beautiful debut novel inspired by a haunting folk song about murder, witchcraft and revenge. Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss ...When Cora and her little sister Mimi are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Bryers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome, and are desperate to go back to London. But Auntie Ida's life was devastated the last time two young girls were at Guerdon Hall, and now her nieces' arrival has reawoken an evil that has lain waiting for years. A haunting voice in an empty room ...A strange, scarred man lurking in the graveyard ...A mysterious warning, scrawled on the walls of the abandoned church ...Along with Roger and Peter, two young village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries - before it is too late for Mimi. Intensely atmospheric and truly compelling, this is a stunning debut.

A huge thank you to Kirsty at The Overflowing Library for sending this out to me. I've heard such good things about it and I really hope that it creeps me out entirely.


Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien - After climate change, on the north shore of Unlake Superior, a dystopian world is divided between those who live inside the wall, and those, like sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone, who live outside. It’s Gaia’s job to “advance” a quota of infants from poverty into the walled Enclave, until the night one agonized mother objects, and Gaia’s parents are arrested.
Badly scarred since childhood, Gaia is a strong, resourceful loner who begins to question her society. As Gaia’s efforts to save her parents take her within the wall, she herself is arrested and imprisoned.
Fraught with difficult moral choices and rich with intricate layers of codes, BIRTHMARKED explores a colorful, cruel, eerily familiar world where one girl can make all the difference, and a real hero makes her own moral code.

Wow, how long has this been on my wishlist?! And now thanks to the huge generosity of Phil Earle, I now have a copy! How brilliant does it sound? I love dystopias at the moment and this one sounds like an absolutely fascinating read. One I'm sure I won't be able to resist for long!


Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

I really love the cover of this one, it's so pretty! Look out for my review of this book during the Death and Beareavement in Teen Lit event that I'm taking part in during the month of July!


The Cursed Ones by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
- The ultimate battle. The ultimate love.For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain's Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun. Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio; his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose. Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself - and her heart.

This one intrigues me. Something about the cover appeals to me. I'm a tad disillusioned with paranormal romances, but I haven't given up on them entirely!


Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton - Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

Is it just me or does the cover model resemble a moody Katie Price just a little bit? I can't say that I've heard much about this one, but I'm willing to give it a shot!


Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson - 17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. Or thereabouts.After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets in a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them...

I'm hugely excited about this one! After reading a review on Becky's blog The Bookette recently, this book shot onto my wishlist and was one I eagerly anticipated reading and now here it is, in my hands! So exciting. Look out for my review of this one soon, as I'm sure it'll land near the very top of my TBR pile! :)


Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler - Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.

She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?

Rich with emotion, Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery.

I was very lucky that someone on ReadItSwapIt agreed to swap for this book with me. I've yet to read anything by Sarah Ockler, though I have her debut novel Twenty Boy Summer on my TBR shelves. I'm looking forward to reading both!


Pride and Premiership by Michelle Gayle - This is the diary of Remy Louise Bennet, age 17-1/2. Remy Louise Bennet has one goal in life - to be a WAG. And as every true wannabe WAG knows, there are rules. One: pretend you don't know he's a footballer. Two: Don't get drunk (or he won't trust you while he's off on pre-season tour). Three: Never dispute a thing his mum says (they worship their mums). When Remy starts dating Netherfield Park Rangers' Robbie Wilkins (not Premiership, but good for starters), it seems like all her dreams have come true. Or have they? Remy soon realizes that being a WAG isn't all it's cracked up to be, that Robbie's balls aren't quite so golden...and that maybe there are smarter dreams to pursue. Michelle has already participated in workshops with The Reading Agency up and down the country, promoting literacy among teenage girls and encouraging them to aspire beyond the WAG myth. Michelle is an ex-EastEnders star, chart-topping pop diva and popular TV celebrity.

Probably not the sort of book I'd normally read, but I think it sounds fun and has a good message for young girls.


Living With Feet Too Big for A Glass Slipper by Lynne Tapper - Welcome to the mythical kingdom of It Is What It Is, where everything is as it seems and people are the perfect performers in the game of life. In the year of 1212 B.R., Before Reason, the beautiful Princess Innocent is born in the Royal Borough of Look At Me, one of the many Drama Districts that constitute the Kingdom. Having been raise on the propaganda of the fairytale, Princess Innocent is ill-prepared for her life's journey when she leaves the castle to find her one true prince. Unfortunately she finds Prince Badboy, Captain Unavailable, Lord Lie-A-Lot and Prince Rescue-Me, among others. Both a parody of the fairytale and modern-day satire on the search for love in all the weird and wacky places, Innocent's fraught journey captures the essence of what it is to be fantastically human. A whimsical tale of magical realism that takes readers on a journey to a mythical Kingdom, Living with Feet Too Big for a Glass Slipper is the first of five in The It Is What It Is Chronicles. It is illustrated by Monica Alesina.

I thought I might squeeze one more book in for my Fairy Tale Week, coming soon. I hope everyone's getting very excited?


Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon - On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she'd ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.

After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”

It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.

Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.

Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.

And finally, I've seen reviews of this one quite a bit this last week and I was starting to feel mighty left out :)


And that's it from me! Which books have come into your possession lately?


  1. That's quite the IMM this week!

    A Monster Calls. Doesn't it just look AMAZING? As soon as I've woken up properly and finished doing bloggy stuff, I'm settling dow to read it. (From what I've hear I'll need the rest of the day to recover!)

  2. Wow, that's a fantastic selection of books, I wouldn't know how to pick which one to start with! I love the cover for Birthmarked.

  3. Wow, great, GREAT books this week! So jealous...

  4. Wow, some great books this week Michelle! I am jealous! I cant wait for your reviews as the descriptions have made some of these sound awesome!
    I really really want Birthmarked! :( x

  5. Fab books this week! Fixing Delilah And Amy and Roger's Epic Detour look awesome! Darkness Becomes Her is fab, hope you enjoy everything!! x

  6. Fab books this week! I really want to read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour too.

  7. Great IMM! =)
    I hope you enjoy Fixing Delilah (I swapped with you and found your blog with your email!)
    Happy reading =)

  8. I didn't know Patrick Ness had another book coming out but it sounds fantastically creepy. I can't wait for your review especially after just finishing the brilliant Chaos Walking trilogy!

    I loved Amy & Roger's Epic Detour a lot. I have the US cover but I actually kind of like the UK cover more :)

    I hope you enjoy all your books!

  9. Brilliant books, and I've heard so much praise for so many of them! I can heartily recommend A Tangle of Magicks. Happy reading!

  10. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is amazing and I love the Kat Stephenson books.

  11. Wow! They all sound fab! I think I want to read ALL of them! :-D

  12. Darren - To be honest, the only reason I haven't read it as yet is that I don't think I have enough time to properly devote myself to it as yet. I think it'll be a heart-wrencher!

    Jenni - I quite love the cover of Birthmarked too, that one is VERY high up my list of what-to-read-next. Very exciting week for books, really.

    Cliona - Thank you! I'm looking forward to every one of them :)

    Raimy - Birthmarked is one I'm really especially excited for. Will get to it soon, I'm sure.

    Iffath - Thank you very much, I hope that I enjoy them as well :)

    SJH - I've actually already read Amy and Roger, but I ended up swapping my US HB awhile ago. This is the shiny and pretty UK PB that I got this week :)

    BooksForCompany - Oh, fantastic! Pleasure swapping with you :) Also? Great detective skills!

    TLO - YES! He does, and it looks wonderful, I'm really excited to read it.

    I also loved Amy and Roger, but I'm with you on the UK pb love. I prefer it as well.

    Luisa - Thank you very much! I think I'll placing an amazon order this week for the sole purpose of ordering A Most Improper Magick so that I can start on A Tangle of Magicks :)

    Sophie - Yay :) I love having great recommendations like yours!

    TSB - ME TOO :)

  13. Just read Darkness Becomes Her, not too long ago.. Loved it! I am looking forward to more in that series!

  14. So many on my wish-list so many :D I really need to sort my wishlist out lol

  15. A Monster Calls looks fabulous!

    Here's mine:

  16. Wow, lots of great books! I really want to read Birthmarked! Happy Reading!

  17. Becca - Oh good, I'm glad you loved it as I really haven't seen much around for that book. Perhaps I've just not been paying attention! :)

    Emma - That's what I love most about IMM, it brings so many wonderful books to everyone's attention :)

    LibrarySnake - It really does, doesn't it?!

    Vicky - I do too :) Thanks for commenting!

  18. Wow, what a great selection. I'm looking forward to seeing the reviews.

  19. Julianne - Oh, the pressure! :)

  20. Ooh!
    I love the look of Hunting Lila and Living with feet too big for a glass slipper :)

    I have size 7 feet...I have kind of grown into them now but I always got teased :( touchy subject haha.

    Ooh. Exciting book times ahead for you! Can't wait for guilt free reading in the summer after essays and exams !

  21. Fiona - Yes, I'm pretty it'll be a great relief for you after exams and things are finished! Size 7 feet.. that doesn't sound THAT big, is it? (I've just checked, I'm a size 6. Is that massive too? I've gone all paranoid!)

  22. I don;t know whether to thank you or curse you so I'll do both.

    THANKS for bringing so many awesome looking books to my attention. I heart Patrick Ness and his latest looks just gorgeous!

    CURSE YOU for ensuring that I spend too much money on books AGAIN...


  23. scatteredfigments - You're welcome! And oh, I'm so sorry :(


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