So Long

Thursday, 28 July 2011
Yes, yes, I'm leaving for a little island tomorrow for a week! Sorry to all of my amazing followers but I might have to desert you for the seven days :( I'm not sure if where I'm going has internet or even if I'm taking my laptop with me, but if I don't then there's possibly not going to be anymore posts until next Friday. I'm going to miss commenting on all my favourite blogs but I will try and catch up on all the posts/book reviews I miss!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xx :)

Interview with Author Rachel Higginson

Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Today I am very glad to welcome talented author, Rachel Higginson to Booktastic Reviews! After reading only the first of her ebooks in the The Star-Crossed Series, Reckless Magic (review here) I am hooked and can not wait to read the next in the four-part series, Hopeless Magic.

Where did you get the inspiration for The Star-Crossed Series?
That's a really good question. I had been reading a lot of fantastic young adult paranormal stuff and was actually inspired by great writers. But I also wanted a very strong female character, someone who would fall in love but have a bigger destiny. When I sat down to write Reckless Magic, I had an entirely different intention and idea in mind, but Eden just came to life in front of me and once she was there, the rest of the story fell into place.

If you could meet any of your characters, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Eden! I wrote her as sort of an exaggerated version of myself and I think it would be so fun to get to know her. I would also love to spend a Friday night with Avalon and his team, Jericho, Titus, Xander and Xavier. I think we would have the best time and they would probably get me into all kinds of trouble, like cow-tipping!

If you could have any supernatural power, what would it be - it can be any of the four magic groups in your novels?
They would all be great to have! But if I had to pick one... I think it would have to be shape-shifting! Wouldn't it be great to get to be something entirely different for a day? I would shift into some tiger or something and spend the day in the jungle getting a totally different perspective on the world!

Have you always wanted to be a writer, if so, what sort of genre did you write as a child?
I have always been a writer, journaling or short stories, or different endings to stories that I didn't like. I really have always written. I remember as a fourth grader, I wrote a play that was a sequel to Alice in Wonderland and then I had all of the neighborhood children in the middle of the street in costume, acting it out! In junior high, I really found my niche in poetry. I had notebooks full of poetry. I really feel like writing down all of my thoughts in a creative way helped me to figure out who I was and what I wanted out of life. It was very self-defining.

Do you have a favourite place to write? Any necessities you need while writing?
Alone! I have three little kids and so anytime I can find and hour or two by myself turns into my favorite place to write! And I absolutely must have chocolate when writing!! If I sit down at the computer without it, it's not long before I'm up again rummaging through cabinets looking for something chocolate! If it has caramel inside, all the better!

Quick Fire Questions:

Dark Chocolate or white chocolate? Dark, most definitely. But I'm not one to turn down any kind of chocolate.
Printed or ebook? Oh, can I cheat and say both? Nothing beats curling up with a book in hand and reading it straight through, but ebooks are so life-changing! It's too hard to choose.
Favourite animal? Elephants! And in Hopeless Magic, there is a great chapter where Eden gets to ride elephants and I am so jealous!
Favourite colour? Pink. I am a girly girl to the core!

Rachel xx :)

PS: My friend, Zoe from Bookhi has now got a facebook page. Click HERE to go see it, make sure to like it though! Booktastic Reviews has got one too, make sure to go see that by clicking HERE. Thank you :D

In My Mailbox #3

Sunday, 24 July 2011
IMM is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where readers can share what books they received throughout the week.

Ebooks Gifted By Author For Review...
House Trap by Mike Mauthor - This book had recently been showing up on a few book blogs I read so when the author contacted me I decided that I would give it a go because of the great reviews and that I haven't ever really read a thriller novel before. I hope I enjoy it as much as some of the other bloggers have! :D

What did you all get in your mailboxes?

Rachel xx :)

Reckless Magic by Rachel Higginson

Saturday, 23 July 2011
Goodreads Summary
16 year old Eden Matthews has been in and out of private schools for the last two years. She can't seem to stop herself from closing them down. Kingsley is her last chance to finish high school and the last private school willing to accept her. She is focused on just getting through graduation until she realizes Kingsley is not like the other private schools she's been to. The students may be different, but so is she. And after meeting Kiran Kendrick, the boy who won't leave her alone and seems to be the source of all of her problems, she is suddenly in a world that seems more make-believe than reality. To top it off, she is being hunted by men who want to kill Kiran and her best friend Lilly is taken away to a foreign prison. Eden finds herself right in the middle of an ancient war, threatening everything she loves. She alone has to find a way to save her best friend and the boy who has captivated her heart. Reckless is an intricate story about mystery, adventure, magic and forbidden love. Eden Matthews is an unlikely heroine determined to save the world and be with her one, true love before it's too late.

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Publishers: Kindle & Smashwords
Recommended Age: 13+
Notes: Use of mild swearing
Rating: 5/5

Where can I begin? I absolutely loved this book! I loved the plot, the characters, the style of writing... everything!
The main character, Eden Matthews is just your usual "freak" but when she is introduced to her own world - a world that had been kept a secret from her - she finds that the people are just like her. When I found out that it was written in first person I was a little bit sceptical because I usually read third person novels but I actually enjoyed reading Eden's thoughts and opinions. It gave you a better insight as to what kind of person she was. I loved the fact she's determined and slightly stubborn as well as brave and opinionated. The perfect main character for this novel.
Since I have already mentioned that the writing is in first person, I suppose I don't have to go into much detail. Basically, it's told by a teenage girl with a load of personality.
I really hope I can get my hands of the next book in this four-part series (The Star-Crossed Series), Hopeless. Thank you so much to the fantastic author Rachel Higginson who gave me the opportunity to read this!
I hope I've got the message across about just how much I love this book and I hope that you have obtained from this review that you simply must go and read it.

Rachel xx :)

Review - Rémy Brunel and the Ocean of Light Ch1

Friday, 22 July 2011
No-one performs on the circus trapeze like sixteen-year-old Rémy Brunel. But when the circus closes for the night, Rémy leads another life, as a cat burglar and jewel thief. Forced by the evil circus owner Gustave to attempt the theft of one of the world's most valuable diamonds, Rémy thinks it will be just another heist, but when she meets determined young detective Thaddeus Rec, her life changes forever. Will Thaddeus manage to rescue the jewel from Rémy’s nimble fingers? Or is it really Rémy that he needs to save?

Author: Sharon Gosling
Publisher: Fiction Express
Chapter Rating: 5/5

Before I go into my review I would just like to tell you of how I will review this e-book. Basically, each week, a new chapter of this book will come out so I will be reviewing each chapter separately. Click on the Fiction Express link to go check this e-book out. The first chapter is free!

When I first heard about this book I instantly thought "is this my type of thing?" but, now having read the first chapter and got a little taster of it, I think it will be! I was instantly intrigued and was very glad when it got straight into a little suspense and action!
The main character, Rémy Brunel, is very likeable, even though she's a jewel thief! There's just something about her that you immediately like.
I really can't wait to see what happens, I'm impatiently awaiting the next chapter!

Rachel xx :)

The Harry Potter Depression Can STOP!

This Saturday teams from Random House will be handing out copies of the international bestseller, The Ruins of Gorlan (Ranger's Apprentice Book #1) by John Flanagan at Odeon Glasgow Quay, Cineworld Sheffield, Odeon Manchester Trafford Centre, Cineworld Nottingham and Odeon Wimbledon. These FREE books will be handed out around the Harry Potter screening times, so be on the look out! :D

Rachel xx :)

PS: You can now find Booktastic Reviews on Facebook! :)

In My Mailbox #2

Sunday, 17 July 2011
IMM is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where readers can share what books they received throughout the week.

Ebook Gifted by Author for Review...
Crushed by K.C Blake

The Noah sisters rule Titan High with their beauty, brains, and magical powers.
Each year they play a game: Crushed. They choose their targets and blow enchanted dust into the boys' faces, charming them. Now they'll do whatever the witches ask them to do. Each successfully completed task performed by the boy makes the witch's power grow stronger, and whoever has the most power at the end of the game wins. But this year is going to be different. Kristen picks the wrong boy and almost dies that same day.
There's something off about Zach Bevian. He doesn't behave like the other boys do under the spell. Although he complies with Kristen's demands, there is always a flicker of resentment in his eyes. Confused, Kristen doesn't know what to think. Zach is hot and then cold, hostile towards her and then flirting with her. Does he hate her, or is he falling for her? Is he trying to kill her, or is he trying to save her?

This book sounds fab! What a great idea for a novel, don't you think? I can't wait to get on to reading this! :D
What did you all get in your mailboxes?

Rachel xx :)

Guest Post by Author Samantha Boyette

Saturday, 16 July 2011
I’ve been writing for years, it’s almost like therapy for me. Last year I finally started to get serious about it, sending out some short stories and entering writing contests. Low and behold I actually won a contest! It was the 2010 writing contest, and I won with my book Prime which is in the limbo process of finding publication. While waiting for that to happen, I decided to jump on the ebook band wagon with another book that is close to my heart, Morning Rising.

At it’s core this YA fantasy novel was inspired by a friend’s issues with drugs, and the ups and downs that had on her life and everyone around her. Of course this book is a fantasy, so it’s not straight up an issues book or anything. Instead, it follows Kara, who thought her best friend Dylan was just a normal, messed up teenage girl, until they were both pulled into the world of Inbetween. There she discovers that Dylan is a princess from the Daylands, and Kara is her Guardian. They were both sent to the human world to hide Dylan from Demitar, the ruler of Inbetween, who wants to claim her because she was born of light and darkness. Whichever side she chooses, she will become their most powerful ally. As her Guardian, Kara is the only one who can help Dylan choose the side of light.

Until reaching Inbetween, Kara has always been Dylan’s sidekick, going along with whatever she says and doing her best to keep Dylan from killing herself with too many drugs. In Inbetween, Kara begins to realize she is more than a sidekick, that she’s always been the one looking out for Dylan. As new friends show her respect for being a Guardian, she begins to take on more of a leader role, becoming stronger in who she is and what she wants.

Morning Rising is available for only .99 cents on both the Nook and Kindle now! You can read the first two chapters on my website:

Thank you for posting, Samantha!

Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Thursday, 14 July 2011
Roran was left with next to nothing when his cousin, Eragon suddenly fled Carvahall. Now, the enemy has come looking for him, the enemy Eragon had flown off to pursue. With no other choice but to flee, Roran goes off to search for safety and help.
Meanwhile, Eragon has travelled to Ellesmera with Saphira for his training as a Rider, but danger is steadily catching up...

Edition: Corgi 2011
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Action
Pages: 668
Recommended Age: 13+
Source: RHCB
Rating: 2/5

I really wanted to enjoy this book, but I have to be honest, it wasn't as good as the first one. It got to confusing and after a while, I started to get a little tired of it.
The start did seem promising as it went straight into the action but afterward I was just to confused that I didn't settle into the novel as I would have liked. Overall you do sort of get the main points and all but it's the little things in books that you want to know. The language is really descriptive but I just wasn't advanced enough to understand some of it.
Judging my review so far, you're probably thinking she never enjoyed this novel at all but at some parts, I did. For example, there is a BIG twist near the end which you can't helped but be amazed by. I also enjoyed finding out more about the characters and reading about Roran.
My favourite characters pretty much remained the same (Arya and Saphira), but this time another character was introduced that I found in my favour. I don't want to say anything though because it would be a MAJOR spoiler.
Arya, the elf that Eragon seems to be falling for, has now accompanied Saphira, Orik and Eragon back to her city, Ellesmera (oh yeah, and there's another twist somewhere in there too...) and you get to see her personality blossom.
I give this book the rating of 2/5 because I feel it wasn't absolutely terrible, but OK. I would have liked to have given this a higher mark but at the end of the day, in my opinion, this book just wasn't what I had hoped.

Rachel xx :)

PS: If you ever read any book I review and want to state your view on the "twists" of the story but don't want to ruin the book for others that might be interested by posting in the comments, feel free to email me at booktasticreviews(at)gmail(dot)com :)

Guest Post by Book Blogger Zoe

Tuesday, 12 July 2011
There are many different genres and for me, the perfect book has a splash of everything! In this post I will talk to you about my favourites in each genre.
Genres are important in books because not each one suits everyone. If every book in the world consisted of fantasy it might get slightly boring after a while. If a certain book contains all different ranges, then it will probably be more interesting. However, this isn't always the case. I also enjoy books with one specific genre running all the way through. Below are a few genres and my favourite books in them:

Action: When I Was Joe by Keren David
Humour: Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
Fantasy: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Romance: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Adventure: Harry Potter series
Chick Lit: Swapped By A Kiss by Luisa Plaja
Mystery: Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie
Historical: Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
Non-Fiction: Anne Frank's Diary

I recommend you read all of these, or just read the ones suited to your interests. Finally, I would like to say thank you to Rachel for having me today for the guest post. I love her blog, and I think everyone should read it! Booktastic Reviews is one of my favourite blogs, and always will be.

Thanks Zoe. You're too sweet! I have read Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, The Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling, Swapped by a Kiss by Luisa Plaja and Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian and I recommend all of them too! If you would like to visit Zoe's amazing blog, click HERE.

In My Mailbox #1

Sunday, 10 July 2011
IMM is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. It is where book lovers can share what books they received throughout the week. This week I got some amazing books! Yay! :D

Ebooks Gifted by Author to Review...
Reckless Magic by Rachel Higginson - Can't wait to read!
Defiance by G.C Naffin - This looks fab! I LOVE this cover!

Printed Copies For Review Gifted by RHCB...
Eragon by Christopher Paolini (review here)
Eldest by Christopher Paolini
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

I hope my first IMM post was OK. What did you all get in your mailboxes?

Rachel xx :)

Review - Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Thursday, 7 July 2011
Abandoned by his mother as a baby and put into the care of his Uncle Garrow, Eragon is a simple farm boy, nothing more, nothing less. One day when out hunting for his family, Eragon comes across a large blue stone. Thinking that this stone could buy some meat for his family, Eragon takes it home. During one night the stone begins to crack and before he knows what is happening, Eragon is holding a baby dragon. Not long after the dragon appears strange things begin to happen to the village, leaving Eragon with a dangerous quest and great responsibility...

Edition: 2011 (New Covers), Corgi (RHCB)
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Pages: 497
Recommended Age: 13+
Source: RHCB
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Brimming with magic, adventure and action, I found Eragon a very enjoyable read. The thing that stunned me the most with this book was the fact that the author had written it when he was only 15 years old! The style of writing in this book you would expect from an extremely talented adult but to think that it was only a person slightly older than me is just amazing!
The characters in this book are very well described and each have their own part in adding to the book. The main character, Eragon, is brave, determined and very likeable. Apart from Eragon and Arya (an elf), my favourite character was the dragon, Saphira. Even though in this book the highest she ages is only a few months, she is very wise, fiery and determined. I love the fact that she sometimes has to keep Eragon behaving and how she protects him from danger.
As I said before, the writing style used in this book amazed me. Nevertheless, I did find myself not knowing what certain (and I'm probably going to sound very childish here) big words meant. I'm not sure if that was because they were made up or because I had just never heard of them. I also found myself rather confused with the names of places, but in my defense, a lot of places were mentioned. I just found it hard to remember which place had what and whether it was good or bad, etc.
I score this book 3/5 because the ideas in this novel are unique and overall I did enjoy reading it. This might look like a bad mark but I reassure you it isn't. I recommend this book to people that can stand a lengthy novel.
I would just like to extend my thanks to the person (you know who you are) who sent me this book and the two other sequels. I can not wait until I delve into the pages of the next in the Inheritance Cycle novels, Eldest.

Rachel xx :)

PS: Can you leave a comment. I have been feeling a little lonely on the comment side of things...

Nikolas and Co: A Creature Most Foul by Kevin McGill (Review of First 100 pages)

Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Nick wants one thing, only one thing, and that is to go home. He has had enough of living with drones and a mum and dad who aren't normal, he wants to go back to his home planet. So when his Grand turns up after a mysterious incident involving his parents and tells him everything about his real life, Nick suddenly finds himself with a destiny greater than he had ever imagined...

Genre: Fantasy
Recommended Age: 12+
Publishers/Source: Aero Studios
Release Date: 15 September 2011
Notes: First 130 pages (approx.) reviewed
Rating: 4/5

I liked it. Fantasy and adventure are my two favourite genres so when I figured that this novel had meshed the two of them together, well my opinion was set.
There are a lot of characters in this book and at the start of the book I was wondering if that would be a problem but after a while I began to remember who was who and what their personalities were like. All the characters have very different personalities which I found a good quality because you get to see how they handle certain situations. I haven't got a favourite character because I was reviewing only part of the book which didn't give me enough time to find one.
If I had to critisize this novel then I would say I was a little confused at a part near the beginning but overall I did enjoy this book and would happily read the next part. The book might be a little fast paced for some people but I actually liked the pace. It never spent three chapters to set the scene, it introduced you to the characters and then went straight into the adventure.

Rachel xx :)

PS: I have permission to email this PDF copy to anyone that would like it so please email me at booktasticreviews(at)gmail(dot)com and I will happily send it to you as an attachment via email. It is only the first 130 pages though, just the same as what I was given. Don't hesitate to email me if you would like to read this! :D


Sunday, 3 July 2011
Sorry I've been neglecting you all once again but I've been kind of busy enjoying the rare sunshine since it's the summer holidays and all...
Currently I am reading an ebook, and as some of you will probably know, ebooks take a little more time than printed books. I hope I can post a review up soon but unfortunetly I can't promise it.
In the meantime, why don't you go to my BRAND NEW daily blog HERE and browse through the posts. I hope you all follow and comment on it!

Thanks for being the best followers!
Rachel xx :)

PS: If you're reading this now and are not following, I strongly advise you to think about it... hehe! :D