Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hi 5 - Crossover Couples

A meme hosted by Cara @Chasing Words, Anne @Potter, Percy and I and me...

This weeks topic: Take some of your favourite characters and hook them up with characters from different books. 

Here's some mix-ups I'd be into...

5. Patch (Hush, Hush) and Lilly Moscowitz (from The Princess Diaries). 

This match is for entertainment purposes.
Can you imagine Patch trying to seduce Lilly? 

Patch: (leaning in, lowering his voice): Shower. Naked. I know the drill.
Lilly: (disgustedly) Patch, grow up! And, must you constantly breathe on me?
Lilly would so stuff up Patch's plans... :) Bring it on!

4. Katsa (Graceling) and Alex Fuentes (Perfect Chemistry).

All right, I just want to see what would go down with Alex and the famously feminist Katsa.
Katsa: (offended) Perhaps I can stay by the fire and mend your socks and scream if I hear any strange noises.
Alex: Que mierdo!  (grinning) Mamachita, whatever gets you going.

3. To Peeta (The Hunger Games) I grant him his own love triangle to choose from:

  • the ever-so-lovely Cassandra Mortmain (I Capture the Castle) who writes: "I shouldn't think even millionaires could eat anything nicer than new bread and real butter and honey for tea." See, so perfectly suited to Peeta. And both romantics. It's a sweet happily ever after...
  • Or Miranda (Life As We Knew It) who so needs a little romance in her life. And Peeta would know just how to look after her and help her survive the apocalypse.

2. Patrick (Heath Ledger in 10 Things I hate About You) and Parker (Cracked Up To Be)

So, technically, Pat isn't from a book, but he is so awesome that I don't care about the rules :)

Patrick is the exact kind of Bad Boy idiot who is tough enough to put up with Parker, yet cool enough to help her see the lighter side of life.And Parker can give back as good as Patrick gives :) I'd love to see the two of them, sparks flying... I want to read that book. They even have the alliteration thing down.

1.  My favourite female of the year, Morgan (The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind) and Santangelo (Jellicoe Road)
Morgan is the coolest of day-dreamy but kick-arse characters. And Santangelo is the definition of hot but with a soul. Perfection. I love both of these guys <3 

Link up below to your blog post about five characters you'd love to see paired up and we'll be by to check them out :)

Oh - and Peeta was hard? If he doesn't get Katniss, who would like to see him with?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Catching Fire - Covers

Cover Comparison Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Bailey @ Abyss

Here's Catching Fire, book #2 in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy.
(I chucked up the #1 so you can see how they work togther (or, don't. Australia?)


I like this one - love the gradient of yellow to red and the continuity from #1. Also, it's simple but has cool little touches. Eg. the target on the mockingjay


This one doesn't look any better in the flesh. What is with the purple and white? I don't get it, all foggy and symmetrical. Someone, enlighten me. I wish they'd had Jason Chan illustrate something for this that would go with #1.


I like the mockingjay bird, looks pretty funky up close and orange is vibrant and, ah, so orange. Way more appealing than their #1.


I heart this. Such a perfect match to #1. How cool are the jaggedy leaves and glistening rain drops?


So I loved #1, but I think I'd feel ripped of with them using the exact same illustration, and just tweaking the background and colours/shades. Plus the fire and smoke is distracting and randomly placed. Still cool, I guess - but I think #1 worked better as a whole...


Loking at this makes me feel like I'm panning in on an island from a copter.I like all the cracked lines on it and the blood leaf they stole from Germany :) At least they thought up something original - although I really loved the spooked silhouettes on their #1...


The same image as the first one...
but, ah, it's in red. 
Ripped off.


It's the Rubik's Cube Girl again...
No comment :)

I'm crushing on Germany's and Taiwan and I think the US has a good thing going down.

EDIT: Russian Cover

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

RTW - Best book of the month

Road Trip Wednesday is a blog carnival courtesy of YA Highway who post a writing- or reading-related prompt for all the YA bloggers to participate in.
The topic this week is:
What’s the best book you read in July?

Easily one of the best books I've read this year: Stolen by Lucy Christopher. Stunning and scary and beautiful with the most crush-worthy of writing it messed with my head and completely spun me out.

Told in a moving letter to her captor, sixteen-year-old Gemma relives her kidnapping from Bangkok airport. In a story of survival, passion and darkness, Gemma reveals how she had to deal with the nightmare or die trying to fight it. Sensitive, powerful and beautifully written. (from Coffs Harbour Library catalogue)

The synopsis? Basically, Ty kidnaps 16 year old UK girl Gemma from Thailand and takes her to his remote place in the Australian outback.
Goodreads blurb quote: Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous.

Um, agree :)

This book messed with my mind and made me question right and wrong and all the shades in between.

 The writing, holy guacamole, is so evocative that it seeps into you. So so much goodness to crush on. The setting was so rich: I felt the stifling heat and slipped right into the red earth with Gemma and Ty. 

The plot? It's psycholgical and twisty and I just had no idea what the ending would be or could be or even how I wanted it to end. I was so driven to see what would happen and it's been a long time since I've been so caught up in a story like that. 

The characters. Okay, hands down, Ty is a new fave literary guy for me. I cant even describe all the emotions he made me feel. Love , intrigue, pain, terror, sorrow, beauty and gratitude - he seriously is in a new dimension of his own reserved for the elitist of haunting and unique characters that make me ache in the most hard-core of ways.

The ending. Ooooh, the ending. It killed me and gripped me and lingered with me for days.

This book, is why I read.

And, it just intimidated me as a writer on a whole new level of whoah. 

Okay, so I feel like this response is a bit incoherent. Here's how John Marsden (legendary author of the Tomorrow series) figured out how to express all that I feel about Stolen:

"Stolen is a brilliant novel, which will pick up your world and shake it so hard that you can never be sure of anything again. Set in a landscape so exotic and powerful that it becomes one of the main characters in the book, this story of a boy and a girl delivers one compelling scene after another. Ty and Gem will be in your head a long time. If you were getting tired of reading, Stolen will turn you back into an addict."… John Marsden

Link to read the first chapter.

Obviously, 5 stars.  Couldn't put it down and can't get it out of my head.
And, totally rooting for it to win CBCA best book of the year. Winner announced in a few weeks :) Plus, it's nom'd for the Prime Minters Award (a prize including $100 000 cash). 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jaclyn Moriarty's Next Book... and a sneak peak at her new covers for Celia

Will be released in 2011. Notice how calmly I am delivering that info?

Kingdom of Cello #1 (currently untitled...) The first in a new trilogy.

"A series set partly in a Kingdom, and partly in the real world. I want a character to walk out free and clear, I want him to be tossing a ball, a red ball, and his hat is woollen and dark grey, and he’s walking across snowy fields. Across white, white, white, white fields." -Jaclyn Moriarty

I can't wait to meet the boy who walks across the white, white, white, white fields.

You can mark it as to-read on goodreads.

Check out Jaclyn's trippy little website which features Cures For Writer's Block, and How To Write a Novel in 47 Easy Steps and some FAQ that are, frequently asked...  I think her website is the best writer's website I've seen because it is so Jaclyn Moriarty and it will make you feel happy just being there. 

Some of the frequently asked questions: 

  • Why is everything so perfect today?
  • Did you notice the way that guy was looking at you?
  • Shall I put another log on the fire?
  • Should we be afraid?
  • What's with the attitude?

The way I feel about Jaclyn's books? It's like, you just had to be there. Once you read her, you'll know what I mean. 

Anyway, today, I kept thinking about Elizabeth Clarry (from feeling Sorry for Celia) and I realised just how real her characters feel.

Anyone else ever read about character that just feel real that you often find your mind wandering to them, as if thinking of an old friend and wondering how they are going?

Anyway, another new launch of her Ashbury/Brookfield High series is happening sometime, here Down Under. here's a sneak peak at her new covers... (because I can't help myself...)

Here's the new Aussie edition (not yet available)  v the original on the right


And the new UK v the original UK lemon one :)

And the US cover (hope you guys get a new one too :)

Is it just me, or does anyone else get tempted to buy their favourite books again when they are re-released with shiny new covers? I keep wanting to buy the new Aussie edition of Marchetta's On the Jellicoe Road.

And, thoughts on the cover of Celia?
Or anything at all you feel compelled to share with me today?
Comment :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Heist Society - Ally Carter

US                                                      Australian/UK

Interested in what Ally Carter has to say about her cover story? Clicky :)

Kat Bishop wants to leave the family business. But that's not easy if your family are a gang of exclusive, world-class thieves...
When a mobster accuses Kat's dad of stealing his priceless art collection, Kat knows there's only one thing to do - she has to find the paintings and steal them back. But with only two weeks, a teenage crew, a plan that will take her across Europe, and her dad's life on the line, can she pull off the biggest heist in history? (from back cover)

Heist Society is like reading Ocean's Eleven but with a rag tag bunch of teens (including best friend hottie, glamour girl and geektastastic nerds). It's actually already been optioned for a film and I can see why.

Not only is the plot intricate with a glamorous setting, but the writing is really a cut above. I loved the sophisticated tone and intelligent humour that amused me from the first chapter. Even with teenage protags, it doesn't necessarily have a YA feel about it. It's in third person POV, mostly from Kat, sometimes bordering on omniscient.

Kat is the funkiest of main characters, spunky and determined, yet you see glimpses of insecurity that make her real and her motivations complex. In particular, I loved her dialogue. I wish I had connected to her a smidgen more though.

Ally Carter knows how to keep the pace cracking with plot twists and clever foreshadowing. Add an eccentric but eeevil villain who continually ups the stakes and a puzzling and complex climax and you have an impressive book that it just plain fun.


  • Occasionally, I got lost with the plot, haha. I think I don't have the brain of a criminal and I floundered every now and then keeping track of the players. Probably b/c the pacing is pretty hard-core. I am a fan of fast-paced plots, so bring it on anyway :)
  • I wanted to see more of Hale (Kat's best friend who is ever so cool and hot in the very best of ways). I'm wondering if it's the first in a series...
  • I didnt think it would be so well written. Continually startled by the intelligent wit and smooth narration. Some of it reminded me of Adult Fiction author Jeffrey Archer's style, who writes cleverly with foreshadowing and double-crossing and characters who spark with wit and high IQ's...

Conclusion: I gave it three and a half stars. Me & my ratings, it's a complex thing...
It's definitely got the making of a 5 star book, plot so brilliant, writing so unique and intriguing. So, basically, my three and a half stars hovers between I liked it and I really liked it. It's not a fave b/c I mostly love character driven books, and this is is mostly plot. Occasionally, my brain hurt figuring it out, LOL . However, I'll be reading more of Ally Carter for sure as she has talent (like, whoah) and I think this book brings something unique to the YA scene. And, when I see other 5 star reviews, yeah, I think it deserves it, b/c if this premise appeals to you, you wouldn't find much better than this...

Recommended if you like mystery and action and fast-paced round-the-world double crossing crime scene showdowns. If this sounds like your kind of thing you should definitely read the first chapter here. It showcases Ally Carter's beautiful writing and starts with intelligence and intrigue :)

Oh! Oh! The covers? Which one's your fave?

I think they're both stand outs and pretty brilliant. I'll confess that I became quite attached to my copy while reading it, so I'm choosing the Australian as my fave, but I have a feeling I will be in the minority...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hi 5 - Five Book Titles I'm Crushing On

A meme hosted by Cara @Chasing Words, Anne @Potter, Percy and I and me @inkcrush...

In which we feature our hi 5 picks for a different YA topic every Saturday and you join in with our Mister Linky doodad.

This weeks topic: Any book title you just love like wow. 
Book titles that are just so cool you wish you'd thought of them first or ones that beg for you to pick them up and read them... 

Guitar Highway Rose 
Three random nouns! Bring it on. I just adore this title. There's a guitar, and a highway, and the chick is named Rose. Saying this title just feels good, it's a bit elusive and original. Also, hippie :) 

The Sky Always Hears Me and the Hills Don't Mind
I love the voice in this. I'm instantly a fan of the sky and the hills seem quite phlegmatic.

I Capture the Castle
There's a castle, and there's some capturing. And it's in present tense, which gives it a quirky little feel. Also, slightly whimsical. I want the castle.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Seriously, best most evocative image-inducing title. And, then, when you realise its about a forest full of Zombies... OooOooh. Even my book shop lady had a little shiver over this one.

What I Saw and How I Lied
This one gets you mad curious about the book based on the title alone. 
I want to know what went down...

Author Michelle Hodgkin names a bunch of titles that make her drool in a nifty cool post.

Now...da da dum... what are five titles you're crushing on? Link your blog post below and we'll be around to check it out. And, ah, you don' have to leave a comment, haha :)

The Low Down on the Hi 5

So, I've teamed up with two of the best to bring you guys a brand new meme. *drumroll*

First, meet Anne and Cara:

Anne blogs @ Potter, Percy and I. She's 12, sweet but funky and will give you the low down on all things MG and YA from the POV of a real live pre-teen :)

Cara from Chasing Words is 16, slightly cynical and all the way rockin' it out with the cool factor.

Five Facts

1. Last book you bought/ordered?

Anne: I preordered Linger a few weeks ago from the Book Depo. It wasn’t released until the 20th (even though it had been moved up), so I still haven’t gotten it!!! :(
Cara:  I actually had a buying spree (Well, it was a spree to me.) and bought Linger, The Alchemyst, & The Secret Hour. Alright, so it's technically not a spree.
Nomes: The Body Finder. Pre-order, paperback. Now, I’m suddenly noticing everyone raving and November feels like a crazy way away.

2. Favourite snack to eat while reading?

Anne: Anything. I don’t typically eat while reading unless its a really good book.
Cara: Anything within arm's reach that doesn't move when I poke it.
Nomes: Chips are the ultimate. Chupa-chups, mmm. Never chocolate - too risky for the hallowed pages.

3. Favourite childhood book

Anne: When I was little, I loved Babar and Angelina Ballerina. Then I moved on to Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, etc.
Cara: Are You My Mother? Seriously, that book rocks. I made my mom read it to me every night until I was six. She hated it. (;
Nomes: My dad used to read Little Black Sambo to me like he was auditioning for an Academy award. I was a Blyton-aholic and tried to be cool by reading lots of TinTin around my big brother and his mates.

4. Favourite comfort re-read

Anne: Any Harry Potter. Or Percy Jackson... Or Beautiful Creatures. Or any other book I love.
Cara: The Mortal Instruments series. I love the characters so much that I slip right back into the story every time. Also, The Sky is Everywhere.
Nomes: Jaclyn Moriarty’s Finding Cassie Crazy (The Year of secret Assignments). It’s like a drug, that book.

5. First literary crush

Anne:... None that pop into mind...
Cara: I’ll admit it, Jasper from Twilight. God he’s so angsty.
Nomes: confessions of a past seven year old... Julian from the Famous Five. I know, hindsight clearly shows Dick’s the spunkiest brother :)

Fast Five

1. Pirates or ninjas?

Anne: Ninjas. You don’t even know they’re there until you’re dead! How awesome is that??!!
Cara: Seriously. Ninjas are made of win, while pirates walk about making chainsaw noises.
Nomes: Pirates. Ninja’s prance about in poncy outfits and their stealth has nothing on a swash-buckling treasure-hunting lifestyle.

2. Zombie Apocalypse or Alien Armageddon?

Anne: Zombie Apocolypse. Aliens usually come in peace.
Cara: Zombie Apocalypse! You could not have picked a more perfect question if you pulled it out of my head. I literally own a Zombie Apocalypse survival guide. It's gonna happen.
Nomes: Zombieeeesss. I will create my own sisterhood. You can join me. Conditions apply.

3. Gale or Peeta?

Anne:  Never read them! (I know, I know. I’m a disgrace! Hahahahaha! I’ll read them soon!)
Cara:  I say, "Down with Dough Boy!" Nah, Peeta's okay. Gale's just better. (;
Nomes: Peeta sulks. Gale broods. Brooding wins out any day.  

4. Flight or invisibilty?

Anne: I want both! Flight would be best, though.
Cara:  Invisibility. Do you realize how much fun I could have. [insert evil laugh here]
Nomes: Flight. Also, kinda wishing teleportation or time-travel was an option.

5. Rough it out camping or 5 star hotel?

Anne: 5 star hotel all the way.
Cara: I’d go Harry Potter camping. Ya know, where the tent is the size of a mansion?
Nomes: Camping! There’s something about a campfire that makes even the stupidest conversations somehow noble and profound.
And the meme? Each Saturday we'll be posting out top five YA picks for a specific topic. And, you guys can join in by posting your 5 picks and linking in with the Mr Linky. We'll let you know the upcoming weeks topic in advance.

So, pretty pumped about finding the Awesome Anne (even though she hasn't read The Hunger Games yet!) and Cara (the closet Jasper fan) and for the meme, which launces today for me. I'll be back with our first topic soon: 5 titles I'm crushing on...


And tell me I have some fellow pirates out there? 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cover Art and Graphic Hamlet

Check out a sneak peek @ the soon to be released graphic novel of Hamlet. Awesome, yeah? (Photo courtesy of Alien Onion)

I'm digging it. It's from Melbourne author/illustrator/lawyer Nicki Greenberg, who sold her first series, The Digits, when she was fifteen (& sold more than 380,000 copies).

Speaking of illustrators...

Jason Chan the guy who illustrated the UK/Australian cover of The Hunger Games also illustrated:
Katniss for The Hunger Games
Katniss and Peeta

Eyes Like Stars for Lisa Mantchev

Perchance to Dream - for Lisa Mantchev
For Book of the Order by Phillipa Ballantyne
Makes me think of Nya from Janice Hardy's The Shifter
The Girl Who Could Fly for Victoria Forester
And... Star Wars Rebellion Era Campaign Guide
Love it!
Personally, I love illustrated book covers, especially ones by Jason Chan who is just whoah-talented.


Nomes (and, thank God it's Friday night! Whoo Hoo!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Twenty Two International Covers for The Hunger Games

Cover Comparison Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Bailey @ Abyss
This week: Twenty different covers of the Hunger Games


This is clean and iconic and I think it works for marketing the series logo-style, but there's really nothing about it that makes me want to read the book. Don't hate! :)


I have Katniss on mine, but it has the design on the left with the target frame and bullet holes. I think the target and bullet holes is only on the Aussie editions, so I think it has a slight edge over the UK. I like this cover, I think it's by far the best out of the three Australian editions for the series.

I bought this one for a friend... kinda wanted to keep it for myself though. It flips out, so you can choose your own cover. See below :)

Each character card has stats on it:
Katniss: District 12. Main Skills - Archery, Trapping, Hunting
Peeta: District 12. Main Skills - wrestling, camouflage, hand-to-hand combat
I wish there was picture of Gale though ;)


This has a sense of urgency about it.
I love the light and shade in the logo, pretty dynamic.


A kind of muted Taiwanese version. Hmm...


This one looks a bit wobbly. Like the scene is made out of play-doh.
I think the full moon and the font is meant to give it a slightly creepy sense of doom and foreboding.


I love this one. Blood on the leaves = my kind of thing :)
The green eye is just hypnotic. I keep staring at it.


This looks like a paranormal creature gone wrong. 
Hiding in a dark dark giant cabbage.


I love the Japanese. Characters are all video game avatars, LOL.
I mean, check out Katniss', ah, assets!
And Peeta! Savage warrior god FTW!


I love this one. Katniss is my hero.
And she's a hot little thing.


While I think the guy here is a great match for Peeta, and the image is evocative and slightly luminous - I know for a fact my husband would not want to be seen carrying this book around. Maybe Russian guys would still pick this up? ;)
Also, is it just me, or is Peeta's chest slightly girlishly raised? :)

She looks a bit like she's sinking into a watery grave or something? haha.

Here's covers that are a variation of the US. They all are kind of the same thing, really...



So, which one has you chuckling gushing? 
Give a shout out to your fave :)

And... next week - Catching Fire Covers. OooOooh :)

Also, check out the ever-so-divine Bailey's comparisons on The Hunger Games

EDIT: 2 more editions

Russia version 2

Sweden - Paperback