The Last Post of 2012! :O

Sunday, 30 December 2012
Hey everyone! Just a little quickie to tell you all that I hope you have an amazing New Year - the next day or two I'll probably be too swamped to post so thought I should post this now! 2012 has been a great year for this blog and I hope it continues on into 2013 - a big shout out to all you readers, followers and publishing companies who have graciously given me books to review! I love you all and can't thank you enough! xD

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: I know, I know, I'm terrible! I only managed to complete three out of the five days for Top Ten week *hides face shamefully* '_'

PPS: Having some technical difficulties with this blog at the moment - for one, it's not letting me change/customize the layout and it's driving me nuts! Hopefully it'll be all fixed soon but at least you know what's to blame if my layout suddenly looks funny! :P

Top Ten Week, Day 4: Best Book Boyfriends

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Top Ten of 2012 is a feature hosted by Two Chicks on BooksFiktshun, A Life Bound by Books, Confessions of a Bookaholic and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads. I know, I know, I skipped a day! I just didn't have any time to post yesterday so there was no top ten list unfortunetly! :( Anyway, on to today's top ten - best book boyfriends of 2012! :)
Zach from Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls #5) by Ally Carter!
Ben from Slated (Slated #1) by Terri Terry!
Liam from The Forsaken (The Forsaken #1) by Lisa M. Stasse!
Zeke from The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa!
Julian from Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver! 
Tamani from Destined (Wings #4) by Aprilynne Pike!
Four from Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth!
Xander from Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie!
Elder from A Million Suns (Across The Universe #2) by Beth Revis!
Perry from Under The Never Sky (Under The Never Sky #1) by Veronica Rossi!
Roar, another character out of this book, is another very honourable mention! :P
 So, yup, all of those swoony characters up there each have a special place in my heart! ;)
Who are your 2012 book boyfriends?
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo
PS: Thought I'd just do a little shout out to thank both my new and old followers - you make blogging all that more special! ^.^

Merry Christmas! PLUS Top Ten Week, Day 2: Best Covers of 2012!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Top Ten of 2012 is a feature hosted by Two Chicks on BooksFiktshun, A Life Bound by Books, Confessions of a Bookaholic and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

For day two of the Top 10 week the topic is The Best Book Covers of 2012. Since there are just SO many, I've decided to only use the covers of books I've read (which I think the hosts are hoping we do anyway). :) My choices for today are:

I just adore this dress! Ohmygosh, it's so beautiful! I also love the colours and the way reflections are used in the background! :)

Again, another beautiful dress with a gorgeous red colour! I also like the symbolism used on it - you sort-of have to have read the book to fully understand it. ;)
I absolutely adore the background on this one. The moon and the ocean are gorgeous and it easily catches the eye! :D
All the different edition covers for this book are all beautiful but the one I've used up there is the edition I own. The colours are really subtle and complement each other which I like! ^.^
I know some people aren't actually fond of this cover but I really quite like it. You can tell the mood of the novel by the colours and texture and I really like the way her eyes stand out and contrast. >.<
Probably not the best cover out of the trilogy but still effective in its simplicity. Again, there is symbolism used (the red colour for the red pill... if you've read the book you'll get what I mean)! :]
Absolutely love this cover! The font and colours of the title are pwetty and the colour of the grass sets everything off perfectly! ^.^
Another lovely cover! Love the city backdrop with the almost magical feel to it and the way the girl's hair graduates into something else! (:
Loving the peacock feathers on this one! Peacock feathers are just beautiful! Plus the gorgeous pink-tinted petals and perfectly formatted title? Love! :]
 I actually prefer the purple edition to the one above but this one is my edition and still pretty nice! I admire the way the model's hair has morphed into crows at the back and the bold yellow backdrop! :D

Other honourable mentions are What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang (UK edition) and The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke!
What are your favourite 2012 covers? :)
 Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Merry Christmas, bookworms! I hope you got everything you wished for (I got some amazing looking books that've been on my wishlist forever - I'll be having a special Christmas Edition Showcase Sunday!) and you have a great time with family and friends!

Top Ten Week, Day 1: Best Books Read in 2012!

Monday, 24 December 2012
Sorry to bring you another list today but I was literally just browsing through a few blogs when I came across this feature that's being hosted by A Life Bound by Books, Confessions of a Bookaholic, Fiktshun, Two Chicks on Books and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads and it caught my eye. Basically it's where each day (over the last five days of December) a new Top Ten topic will be put up on the hosting blogs and participants can then post up their ten choices on their own blogs.

The topic for today is... Best Books Read in 2012! :) My choices are (in no particular order);

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Slated by Teri Terry
A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Entangled by Cat Clarke
Milledgeville Misfit by T.L. Gray
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Some other honourable mentions are Pegasus and the Flame by Kate O'Hearn, The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. :)

Since I'm in a rush I don't really have any time to put on Goodreads links but I do recommend all of these wholeheartedly as they are all FANTASTIC! I might be able to edit this post later and put on the links... we'll see. :)

What are your favourite books that you've read in 2012? (:

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: The second row of book covers is unintentionally smaller than the first row - thought I'd let you know incase you were thinking that it meant the top five must be better or something, haha. :3

My Top 5 Most Awaited Books for January 2013! :)

Today I thought I'd do something a little different (to take a little break from the reviews I've been trying to catch up on) to get us all excited for next year - I'm going to list my top five most awaited releases for January 2013. I did think of doing my top five for the whole year but, well, that would be way too tricky! :3 Anyway, following are the books I am most looking forward to reading once they come out next month (leading up from the one I'm least excited about to the one I'm most excited about)! :)  I know I've probably forgotten some other books that I'm also really excited for but... oh, well!

Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton
Release Date: January 22nd 2013
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read following synopsis if you are planning on reading book one in this series!
Nikki Beckett could only watch as her boyfriend, Jack, sacrificed himself to save her, taking her place in the Tunnels of the Everneath for eternity — a debt that should’ve been hers. She’s living a borrowed life, and she doesn’t know what to do with the guilt. And every night Jack appears in her dreams, lost and confused and wasting away.

Desperate for answers, Nikki turns to Cole, the immortal bad boy who wants to make her his queen — and the one person least likely to help. But his heart has been touched by everything about Nikki, and he agrees to assist her in the only way he can: by taking her to the Everneath himself.

Nikki and Cole descend into the Everneath, only to discover that their journey will be more difficult than they’d anticipated — and more deadly. But Nikki vows to stop at nothing to save Jack — even if it means making an incredible sacrifice of her own.

MY THOUGHTS: I'm looking forward to this one because I read and thoroughly enjoyed its prequel, Everneath. It was really unusual and the ending was heartbreaking so I just need to know what happens next! I much prefer Jack over Cole though so this will be interesting... ;)
Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles #1) by Lenore Applehans
Release Date: January 15th 2013
Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow drones, Felicia passes the endless hours reliving memories of her time on Earth and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and Neil, the boy she loved.

Then a girl in a neighbouring chamber is found dead, and nobody but Felicia recalls that she existed in the first place. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, Felicia learns the truth: If she joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angel guardians of Level 2, she can be with Neil again.

Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself at the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.
MY THOUGHTS: I'm super excited for this one as I haven't really heard much about the author and the book just sounds so unique compared to everything out there! Oooh, and is that synopsis hinting at a love triangle?! :D
Through The Ever Night (Under The Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi
Release Date: January 8th 2013
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read following synopsis if you are planning on reading book one in this series!
It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder,
Can their love survive through the ever night?

MY THOUGHTS: I read Under The Never Sky a while ago now but all I remember is loving it! Not only was it dystopian (woop, woop!) but it was super unique and nothing like anything else I'd ever read before! I also absolutely adored the romance between Aria and Perry so can't wait to meet them again - along with all the other characters! x)
Splintered by A.G. Howard
Release Date: January 1st 2013
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
MY THOUGHTS: Eeeek, this sounds amazing! I'm absolutely in love with the concept of this book and certainly hope that it will not disappoint! I love that it's taken a twist on the normal fairy tale and that there is a love triangle in it! YAY! xD
Shades of Earth (Across The Universe #3) by Beth Revis
Release Date: January 15th 2013
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read following synopsis if you are planning on reading previous books in series!

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has travelled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.
MY THOUGHTS: Ohmysweetgoodness! I am SO, SO, SO, SO excited for this book! This series has been AMAZING and if you haven't read it yet then shame on you *inserts mean facial expression here*! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED A Million Suns (book #2) and that ending has had me tearing my hair out for months and months and months because I knew how long I had to wait until the final book *sniffles now that she realises this will mean the series will be over soon*! Now here it is! AHHHHH, I can't wait to read it! It better be super AMAZING - luckily, I have faith in the author! However, this cover? I don't like it one bit. 

What January 2013 releases are you eagerly anticipating? :)
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Book Review: Code

Saturday, 22 December 2012
Author: Kathy Reichs, Brendan Reichs
Edition: Young Arrow Hardback (Early Copy)
Released: 3rd January 2013
Series: Virals #3
Pages: 408 approx.

**Synopsis contains a minor spoiler in first paragraph about previous two books and review contains one slight spoiler about the series that will need to be highlighted to read.**

Life appears peaceful on Loggerhead Island. Rescued from financial disaster, the research institute is flourishing once more. But the tranquillity is quickly shattered when Tory Brennan and her technophile gang discover a mysterious box buried in the ground.

A seemingly innocent treasure hunt soon turns into a nightmarish game of puzzles, as it becomes clear that one false move will lead to terrible, explosive consequences.

The clock is counting down rapidly. Can Tory and the Virals crack the code in time to save their city - and their own lives?


When I first received this book through the post, I literally squealed with excitement and started dancing around my room. I'd loved the previous two books in the series - Virals and Seizure - and couldn't wait to start reading the latest instalment. And, though it was still a really great read, unfortunately, it just wasn't as good as the other two. I found a couple of faults. :(

I think I'll start off with the negative first. Now, when I first started reading this series, I was thirteen - a couple months away from my fourteenth birthday - so I was round about the same age as the main character, Tory (who was fourteen). I'm fifteen now and what I'm finding a little strange is the fact that the authors haven't really developed (or aged) the characters since the first book. Now, I know that this won't be counted as a fault to other readers, but, personally, I enjoy it a lot more when characters develop and you start seeing significant changes. But this just isn't happening for the Virals gang - they're basically the exact same as they were in the first book.

Due to this, the one aspect in the book that I'd been hoping would progress and develop (the romance between two certain characters) just isn't happening! It's actually started to feel like it's being avoided. There's been many subtle and not-so-subtle hints throughout all three books connecting the two together but I'm still waiting for the authors to take action and, because of this, I'm starting to get tired of waiting. :(  **SPOILER (highlight to read): Those of you that have highlighted this probably know that I'm talking about BEN and Tory, right? Well, are any of you getting as frustrated as me?! I mean, it's been long enough already! However, I must say that this book probably does contain the most romance... especially nearing the end. But it isn't satisfying me enough!.

Anyway. That being said, I still did thoroughly enjoy this book. Yet again, I loved the banter and witty comments between all four Virals and the type of friendship they had was sweet and enjoyable to read about. Tory still narrates very much like how a teenager speaks and her thoughts are rather relatable because of this. There are also a few chapters in third person thrown in to add effect and more development of the story from different angles and characters. I also found that, like in Seizure, I would love to have the gang as friends of my own! Their sarcasm reminds me very much of myself. ;) I don't even have a favourite as all the characters are very likeable and admirable in different ways.

The plot line for this book was actually pretty creepy and sinister and I was quite jumpy whilst reading it! It didn't help that I was reading it at two in the morning either! I also didn't expect the culprit behind this mystery so the thrill and the need to know who it was kept me from putting it down. However, there is one twist at the end that I didn't think completely necessary - it just didn't make that much sense. Though you won't know which one I'm talking about until you read the book! :P

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. Though I found the development of some aspects lacking and one of the twists nearing the end a little pointless and resulting in way more negative feelings, the characters and their relationships along with the constant mystery of who was behind it all, kept me hooked. This book also leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions and a cliffhanger that will have you eagerly - and grudgingly - waiting for book number four. I mean, I have to wait for forever for the next book now! :(  I would still recommend you read this book if you have loved this series but, if you're like me, you might be a tad disappointed it wasn't quite as amazing as you'd hoped.

A big thank you to Random House for sending me out an early copy of this for review!
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Sorry this review was rather long, rant-like and confusing! :3

Book Review: Reached

Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Author: Ally Condie
Edition: Razorbill, Penguin Paperback
Released: 30th November 2012
Series: Matched Trilogy #3
Pages: 512 approx.

**Synopsis contains spoilers for the previous two books but review is spoiler free.**

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.


Well, well, well. That’s it. That’s the trilogy all over. And even though, in all honesty, I haven’t been the biggest fan of these books, it still saddens me to think there will be no more tales following the lives of Cassia, Ky and Xander. Surprisingly, I think I will miss them. :(

With the previous two books, most of my problems lay with the pacing. I always found the novels too slow most of the time - my attention always started to wander as some parts just dragged on and on... But I stuck by this book more than I did the others. I just so badly wanted to see how everything turned out so much so that I refused to let myself put the book down.

Unlike Matched or Crossed, I found this book pretty emotional. It was mostly toward the end, however, so I suppose that's quite normal with any last book in a series. It did surprise me just how emotional I found it though! I was near tearing up! :3

Unlike the previous two books, in Reached there are chapters in Xander's point of view - as well as Ky and Cassia, of course. And I have finally come to the conclusion that he is my favourite character out of the whole series. I don't know why exactly - it's more complicated than you would think... I liked him in the first book. Ky in the second. And now I'm back to him again. So, yeah, I suppose you could say I'm Team Xander! ;) I just loved his personality! Above all, he always stuck by Cassia. He was caring, trust worthy, generous and an overall nice person and I can’t believe it’s taken me the whole series just to see how amazing he truly is! He’s developed as the trilogy has progressed and it’s been an honour to have witnessed it. Cassia’s development too. She’s went from a do-as-you’re-told Society girl to a fighting, confident, rebellious girl. She really has come a long way and I know I’ll miss Xander and her - followed closely by Bram and Eli – the most. However. And this is where I’ll probably be upsetting some of you (and I apologize in advance)! ... *smiles sheepishly* I didn’t really like Ky in this book. Once I’d figured I preferred Xander to Ky, I must have just thought: Oh, well if I prefer Xander, then I must not like Ky! Which I know is unfair... but that’s usually what ends up happening with me if there’s even the slightest of a love triangle involved. :3

Yet again, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about Condie’s writing style. On one hand I admire it as it is rather poetic and beautiful in a way, but on the other hand, I find that (for me) it could drag on sometimes or get a little confusing. But I know some people out there would just adore this writing style – I’m quite sure of it. ;)

Anyway. Overall, I found this series good. Not great, or amazing, but still likeable all the same. The characters did affect me enough that I do feel quite sad that their story is over and, on some level, I must have found this series worth noting since I have read all the books. I know that there will be loads of people out there that would love it (and for those of you out there that like the sound of it, I do say give it a go!), but for me, it didn’t quite stand out enough that it made it into my favourites!

A big thank you to Penguin for sending me out this book to review!
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo
PS: As this book was given to me so as I could post a review up on Spinebreakers (Penguin's website), I also wrote some creative content to go with it! It's a poem I wrote based on the first book when Cassia started to fall in love. It's not too long so I'd love it if you could check it out and maybe leave a little comment? Just click HERE to read it! :D

I'M BACK! {Plus; My Review Haul For December}

Monday, 17 December 2012
Yay, yay, YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! My prelims are finished!
... Some went well, some went terribly (ahem, maths and admin, ahem) but I am SO, SO, SO happy they're over! :) Comeeeeee on, Christmas! xD But of course I'm not just going to have a post stating my return, I've got a book haul for you all! Basically, the following books have all been given to me for review and I am hoping to read and review all of them over the Christmas holidays! I do have some more on the way too - I thought that since it was Christmas and that I'd have sat my Prelims by then, I deserved to indulge myself in review books... so that's what I did! ;)

Silent Saturday by Helen Grant (Proof/ARC) - I hadn't really heard of this book before I received it from Random House but, after reading the synopsis, it sounded so good I was surprised that I hadn't come across it on any other blogs. I think it's a murder mystery thriller - so I'm really excited to get on to it! :D

Reached (Matched #3) by Ally Condie - I'm currently reading this one but not really that into it yet. The previous two books in this series - Matched and Crossed - weren't really that great so I'm hoping that this one finishes off the series with a bang! I actually got this book from Penguin to review on their website, Spinebreakers but I'll most likely post it up here too! :)

How to Fall by Jane Casey (Proof/ARC) - This is another review book from Random House that came around the same time as Silent Saturday did. Again, I hadn't really heard much of this author but this book sounds fantastic (another thriller!) so I'm super excited for it!

Code (Virals #3) by Kathy (and Brendan) Reichs (Early Copy) - Eeeeek! I have absolutely LOVED this series so far and can not thank Random House enough for giving me an early copy! I can not wait to get on to this - it'll probably be one of the first I'll review!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - This is another book I've received for review for Penguin's Spinebreakers and to tell you the truth, it's never really appealed to me. But I'm willing to give it a go and see how I feel about it - I have heard good things about it after all! :)

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna (Early Copy) - Another huge, huge, HUGE thank you to Random House for this book too! It's been on my wishlist for a while and I can not wait to start reading it because it sounds AMAZING - so unusual! :D

So that's all so far. I'll make sure to include the other review books I receive in my usual hauls every Sunday. So, yep. Bye, bye for now!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Not Long Now!

Sunday, 9 December 2012
Just a little post to tell you all I'll be back soon! Like, real soon! Next Tuesday to be exact! ;D

Can't wait until all these prelims are over... missing you all! :(
- Rachel xoxo

PS: Big shout-out to Zoe and Cliona as both their blogs have now turned two! Can't believe our blogs' birthdays are all really close and that I've known you both for two years now! Whattt?! :O

Book Review: Mystic City

Saturday, 17 November 2012
Author: Theo  Lawrence
Edition: Corgi Paperback
Released: October 9th 2012
Series: Mystic City #1
Pages: 397
Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

I actually got this book out for review over a month ago now (before it's release date, can you believe it?!) and since I've been wanting to write up at least one book review before I practically disappear from the blogosphere for a week or two due to a truck-load of studying, I felt it should most definietly be for this book. So, here we go. When I first came across Mystic City by Theo Lawrence, if I'm totally honest, it didn't really jump out at me. Sure, it appealed to me in some respects but it just didn't jump out at me like, for example, Divergent did. But I'm extremely happy I agreed to review this book as it turned out to be a pretty great read. :)

No need to bore you with the whole 'I Dystopian' speech again so I'll just get straight to it. One of the aspects I loved about this book was the fact that the author played the world building more toward the whole global warming situation. I've not read any other dystopian books that've done this so it was really interesting and straight away gave the book something unique and intriguing. Overall I was rather impressed with the futuristic city Lawrence created - yet again another haunting vision of the future! ;) - and can't wait to see what he comes up with in the next book! He also portrayed the main character, Aria through the use of first person which I was glad about. If I haven't already said before; I prefer first person to third in most cases. ;D

Speaking of Aria, she was a really likeable heroine who was strong, clever, brave and overall a nice character to lead the story. Straight away she enticed me into her story and bound me to it. Another character I loved was Hunter. He fascinated me right from the get go. Not only was he strong and valiant, he also has a really loveable and sweet side to him as well. He was sort-of hard not to get along with really. ;) However, whereas I got along with both Aria and Hunter, Aria's family and friends were a different matter. Bennie and Kiki - the friends - came across as really naive and stuck up which I didn't like one bit. And Aria's parents were just too infuriating. But I'm glad to say that Aria's character development throughout the story helped me over look that. :)

To conclude, Mystic City by Theo Lawrence is a great debut which he should be proud of as it certainly scored a well-deserved rating from me (and I'm sure many others)! It brought something fresh to the dystopian genre and a main character who's development just helped add that little bit more to the story. It also holds a few twists and turns which I admired - that kept getting better and better toward the end! - and a romance that, though a little soppy for my taste at times, was really sweet. I definietly recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopian with a side order of cute romance! ;D

A big thank you to Random House for sending me out a copy of this book to review!
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo
PS: See you in a couple of weeks! :)
PPS: Y'know, it would just be such a nice Christmas present if when I came back I had 400 followers... Just sayin'. ;) But seriously. If you do follow, thanks a billion! And if you have a blog, don't hesitate to put your url in a comment below so as I can hop through when I come back! (:

I have some free time... Book Haul? ;D

Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Hey guys!

Long time, no see! :( It's practically tearing me apart being away from the book blogosphere! I love blogging and hate when I have to take a break from it because of my school life! Urgghhhh.
Oh, well. No point on dwelling on that (or the dreaded exams). Less than three weeks to go now. Sidenote: I'm literally terrified so I would love it if you could give me some advice about how to get through it, whether it be about studying, managing time/emotions etc. Any and all help is greatly appreciated and, in return, you will receive a virtual hug and cupcake! ^.^
On a more cheerier note, guess who just turned 15 years old last Wednesday? Yup, you got it! Me! Yay, I can officially get into 15 rated movies without needing to make sure I have enough make up on to look old enough! :D
Anywho. On to za book haul! Since it's been a while, I thought I'd show you the books that have been steadily adding to my collection. Also, if I'm not able to post any of the reviews for these books until December/January time, I at least want to give each a shout out. Wanna see? ;)

*I've blurred out one of the books as I'm not sure I'm allowed to show it yet - it's not on Goodreads or even the author's website so just to be on the safe side, haha.
Noughts and Crosses & Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman
Vampire Diaries Volume One (The Awakening and The Struggle) by L.J. Smith
Silent Saturday (ARC) by Helen Grant
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
How to Fall (ARC) by Jane Casey
Mystic City by Theo Lawrence
Slated (e-copy) by Terri Terry
The Selection (e-copy) by Kiera Cass
If any have caught your interest then make sure to look them up on Goodreads - I've read most and the ratings for them can be found on my own Goodreads (just click on the button in the sidebar to go to mine).
Hopefully I'll be back sooner rather than later. But until then...
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo
PS: You should go enter THIS over at Spinebreakers. I already have! It's the NaNoWriMo thing they have where you continue on the story. You'll find mine near the bottom of the page I think... (:

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Booktastic Reviews!

Sunday, 14 October 2012
Ohmygosh, my blog is now two whole years old!

Life has just been so hectic these days that it made me forget all about posting on the special day! :( I'm super proud of this blog and it pains me to have to take a break from it! But I don't want to sound all doom and gloom - especially when I should be rambling on and on about this special blog of mine since it just reached the two years mark! ;)

This blog was created on October 13th 2010 so as I could have a place to talk about one of my favourite things; books! It's been a great achievement for me and I have so many people to thank for getting it this far! I never thought my blog would turn out to be as successful as it is! I've interviewed great authors, read and reviewed some amazing books from amazing publishers, made loads of book-loving friends... There's so much I've done, and it's all down to this blog! I'm just so super happy with it! ^.^

A huge shout out to my followers, those that comment and read my blog regularly, all the authors/publishers that have been generous enough to send me out their book to review - this blog wouldn't be where it's at without you!

I hope to see you all again soon - if my schoolwork allows me some free time anyway! ;(

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Author Interview with Beth Revis!

Friday, 5 October 2012
Hey all, today I've got an interview with the amazing author of the Across The Universe series, Beth Revis! Ahhh! How amazing, right?! She's one of my fav authors! If you haven't read this series yet, then you're missing out BIG time! :D
But I won't continue blabbing... Just check out her books on Goodreads and my reviews of both books can be found on the 'Previous Reviews' tab. :) Now on to the interview!

1) Did you always want to write a book set on a spaceship? How did this idea come to you?
No, I didn't! It was a total surprise to me--I always wrote fantasy before! But I had an idea that required cyrogenic sleeping, and that required a sci fi setting. Everything spun out from that idea.

2) If you were in Amy's situation, having known Earth and all that was in it, what do you think you would miss the most about it? And hate the most about the spaceship?
There's a scene in the second book where Amy thinks about how much she misses driving in cars with the windows down. It's weird, but I think I might miss that the most. There's so much possibility on Earth. You *can* just get in a car and go. You can disappear into the world, you can explore all over. But on the spaceship, you're trapped. Earth is almost limitless--it truly would take a lifetime to discover everything it has to offer, and there would still be more. But on the ship, you can see it all in a few months.

3) Do you have a favourite character? Any that have similar traits?
My fave is probably Harley. I really like the way he turned out, and there's a lot about his backstory that I love. I put a little of myself in both Amy and Elder. Amy's fear at being alone and without her parents mirrors myself when I went to college--I didn't have a car or money, and my parents lived 200 miles away. And Elder very much wants to be good enough, and worries that he isn't and that's similar to my own attitude about writing.

4) If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
Time travel! I need it just to read all the books in my TBR stack!

5) If you could time travel back to any era, would you? Or would you go into the future?
I would love to see Medieval Europe--but only to visit. I'm very attached to clean hygiene and women's rights, so I don't want to stay there at all. I'd also love to visit Heian Era Japan, but again, only to visit. I'd love to see what the court life was like, and see the beautiful kimonos in real life.

6) If you could live in any fictional world, who's would it be and where?
I'd move to Hogwarts...perhaps during the Marauders' era. I don't want to fight Voldemort, I just want a wand :)

7) And finally, do you have any current projects going on? Any you can tell us a little about?
I do! I'm working on a fantasy right now, that was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds.


Cats or dogs? Dogs
Pen or keyboard? Keyboard
Rain or Snow? Either
Contemporary or Dystopian? Dystopian
Print books or ebooks? Either

Thanks so much for letting me interview you!
Thank you!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: I'm super sorry but I don't have any more time to comment on all those fantastic blogs of yours! Ahhhh, I HATE studying so much! :(((

Review: On The Day I Died

Friday, 21 September 2012
Author: Candace Fleming
Edition: Corgi Books Paperback (early copy)
Release: 27 September 2012
Series: No, standalone
Pages: 191

You over there -
come a little closer.
Closer still; 

there's no need to be shy.

We have tales of terrors beyond your wildest nightmares; stories of monsters, madness, the dark and the dangerous. The dead have voices, and we need to be heard.

Settle down, sit tight.
We're going to be here all night.


Before I start my proper review, I need to point out a little something about this book. On The Day I Died is a collection of short stories within one story. Now, I know that barely makes any sense so I'll try to make what I'm saying a tad clearer. The book starts off with Mike, a teenage boy rushing home late one night as it's past his curfew. After a series of 'events' leads him to a graveyard, he meets a group of ghosts who, one at a time, go on to narrate the story (in first person) behind each of their deaths.

One thing I pride myself on is that, given the chance and if the book appeals to me, I will read a horror/paranormal/ghost book. I love scaring myself silly with horror movies so I suppose that's why I don't mind so much with those types of books. However, I will warn you in advance; do not read this book after your family has gone to bed! It's not terrifying as such - it is recommended for eleven year olds and up after all - but if you have an overactive imagination (like myself) then every creak upstairs turns into the boogeyman coming after you! ;3 

Each of the stories were unique and likeable, but if I were to pick a favourite, it would probably be either Gina's or Evelyn's. Admittedly, those aren't the creepiest stories (Johnnie's probably wins that round) but, for some reason, I really enjoyed them. The ending to Evelyn's story, although sad, was a little touching too. As was Lily's. But I'd be here all day if I were to go into detail about each one. Instead I'll just tell you that each narrator has an individual voice and an unusual story to tell. You'll want to read this book first-hand to know where I'm coming from though! ;) And just to intrigue you even more... I hope you get your happy ending, Lily!

Oh yes, another thing that might interest you. Each of these ghost stories contains a little truth. At the end - in 'A Note from the Author' - Fleming goes on to tell us facts about the parts of each story that were based on the truth. It's actually really interesting as where this book is set, Chicago, is where Fleming lives. For instance, White Cemetery (the graveyard this book's set in), is just outside of her city! But enough of my rambling.

So with Halloween just around the corner, On The Day I Died is the perfect read for after your trick-or-treating. ;) With unique, unusual stories and a bunch of individual, different voices, this book would be perfect if you're stuck in the house bored. Even though it's not made it into my favourites, it's still a likeable read. If this appeals to you, go for it - it'll only take a few hours out of your time anyway! :)

A big thank you to Random House for sending me out this book to review!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Let's Talk: Re-reading!

Saturday, 15 September 2012
Hey everyone! Before I start on my (very overdue) discussion post, I want you to read this. ―――――――――

Did you read it? Great, thank you. Now we can start! (:

~ ~ ~

If I'm honest, I don't re-read alot. It's not that I'm against re-reading or anything. I only ever go to re-read a book if (1) I suddenly have a need to read it, (2) I'm trying to avoid a reading slump or (3) I want a comfort read.

There are those who love re-reading, those, like me, who'll re-read on occasion and then they are those who just don't like re-reading at all. My mum, for instance. She's never re-read a book (if you exclude the books she had to study for school, of course). Even if she absolutely loved a book, she won't re-read it for the simple reason she wants to start a new book.

Though I can see where she's coming from, I don't mind re-reading at all. But I didn't just make up this post to talk about reading preferences, I set it up so I could share some past re-reading experiences with you.

I'll start with the Harry Potter series. I've read each of those books over and over! Since I practically only used to read those books (no joke!), I suppose you could say I took comfort in them. I easily got lost in the world J.K. Rowling created and forgot about my own. I'd re-read those novels so much that (when I was younger) my friend and I would quiz each other on the books/movies determined to see which one of us knew more. Even though I'm an utter HP geek, I certainly had my work cut out for me. He knew quite a lot! Who was the overall HP champion you ask? Well he would say it was him, but I would say it was a draw. ;) I'm not sure how I'd feel about them if I started re-reading them now though. Whether I'd still love them, or get a bit bored as I'd already read them so many times.

Next there's Matched by Ally Condie. The first time I read that book, I only liked it. But the second time, I loved it! Wierd, right? Well to make it even wierd-er (totally a word!), the same thing happened with it's sequel, Crossed. Didn't like it first time (even had to put it down), liked it second time. Hopefully I won't have to give Reached (the final book) two shots, cross fingers I'll like it enough the first time. We'll see! :)

And finally there's the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVED that book (plus the rest of the trilogy) the first time. But when I started re-reading it last night because I suddenly had a need to (probably brought on by the DVD which I've been watching quite a bit this week...) I didn't enjoy it as much. Sad times. I did still finish it though since I read it for hours on end but... I just didn't love it as much. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't like I hated it the second time, I was just pretty distraught it didn't have the same affect on me as before. And get this, even Peeta didn't have the same affect on me. I even started wondering about Gale! Hmmm, strange.

Oh, and I don't want to forget Divergent by Veronica Roth. Loved first time, loved second time. That is certainly one amazing book! ;D

~ ~ ~

Now it's your turn! Anything else to add? Do you like re-reading? Only on occasion? Don't like it at all? Have you ever had the same experience I did with a book? Loved first time, not so much second time? Vice versa? Anyone and everyone welcome to comment and share their thoughts - what's a discussion post without discussion?! And don't worry; I LOVE long comments! ^.^

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Happy Belated Roald Dahl Day everyone! xD
PPS: Away to catch up on some comments/tweets etc!

EDIT: Anyone know how to reinstate a NavBar? Mine has gone completely! :(

Review: The Forsaken

Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Author: Lisa M. Stasse
Edition: Orchard Books Paperback
Released: August 2nd 2012
Series: The Forsaken #1
Pages: 426


Sixteen-year-old Alenna wakes up in the worst place on Earth: alone on an island infested with warring tribes of feral teenagers.

If she wants to escape, she must make the impossible choices. Join or battle the evil Monk? Fight or fall for Liam, the boy she's drawn to?

Abandoned. Exiled. Forsaken.
Alenna's fight for survival starts now.


Ever since the author of this book contacted me to spotlight her book trailer, I'd wanted this book. It looked A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Just from reading the blurb, don't you agree? I should think so! Well now that I've read it, I can tell you all just what I thought!

I'll start off by saying I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I mean, it was a dystopian! And I just LOVE the dystopian genre! This is probably one of those books that all Hunger Games fans would love - it's an adventurous, unique page-turner. I just adored the plot! Ahh, don't you just love fresh, unusual storylines for dystopian books? I certainly do!

The only slight, teeny-weeny, itty-bitty thing I would point out is that there is a bit of an insta-love. But I actually loved Liam - the love interest - so that didn't bother me all too much. He was just so swoon-worthy! And, of course, there's the heroine of the story, Alenna. She fit perfectly for the story and her narration kept me hooked. She was brave, strong and fit perfectly for the story. And also went through a great character development. Another character I enjoyed (and found quite comical at times) was Sinxen. But I'll leave it at that you can meet him for yourselves! ;)

Overall, The Forsaken was a great debut from talented author, Lisa M. Stasse. I am definitely excited to see where book two, The Uprising, will take us. Since it's coming out in 2013, however, I have a long wait. I'll miss Alenna and Liam for sure. :( So with some great characters and a fresh take on the dystopian genre, The Forsaken was a really enjoyable read which I can easily recommend! :)


Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: I actually prefer this cover over the other one now. Up close, it has an almost pastel/chalky quality. :)

Interview with Book Blogger, Ria (PLUS Update)!

Sunday, 9 September 2012
Hey everyone! Today I've got an interview with the one and only Ria from The Beaucoup Review! She is a lovely book bloggy friend of mine and her book blog is one of my favourites! You should definietly go check it out! :D

~ ~ ~

Hey, Ria *waves*! Welcome to Booktastic Reviews!
I'm so pleased to be here! Booktastic Reviews is one of my favourite blogs.<3

First off, can you give us a couple of fun facts about yourself and your blog?
Hmm, we're both Directioners?(; A fun fact... I'm a nerdfighter? John Green and his brother Hank introduced a new community, the Nerfighters. You guys should all sign up if you love John Green books, and even if you don't! They vlog to each other every day [other than weekends] about random stuff, which proves very entertaining. (:

What is your favourite thing and least favourite thing about book blogging?
My favourite thing is meeting all the lovely bloggers who run such amazing book blogs [such as you and Booktastic Reviews!]. And also the opportunity to discover hundreds of new books and authors, who I probably wouldn't have heard of if I wasn't involved in book blogging. My least favourite thing is having zero inspiration, and feeling your review or post isn't as good as it should be. ):

How would you describe your reviewing technique?
I wish I had a technique, but really I just type everything I felt whilst reading the book, and after, then hope that my thoughts have managed to come out structured! I also spell check before publishing, the amount of silly mistakes I make is unreal. -_- Sometimes I find that I've repeated myself, and sometimes I just droan on for too long-- in which case I read over what I've written and try to delete some bits.

If you could travel to any fictional world, where would it be and why?
Ohmygosh. Harry Potter. I'm not even a huge Potterhead, but who could say no to that?! To Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans and the Room of Requirement? I would also love to visit Panem and all the districts in The Hunger Games... Though that would prove very dangerous. It would be so amazing to be amongst people who are so different, though! Oh, and also the world Lauren Oliver built in Delirium. It would be so different fro everything I know!

If you could meet any YA literacy couple, who would they be and why?
Ooooooooooooh... Peeta and Katniss from The Hunger Games, Alex and Lila from Hunting Lila, Alex and Lena from Delirium, Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars [best book ever].<3 Oh, and do John and Sherlock count?(;

If you were to go to Hogwarts, what classes do you think would be your favourites? Why?
I think I would love Transfiguration, but I'd be afraid of Professor McGonagall! I'd also really like to learn how to fly. And Defence Against the Dark Arts always sounds interesting. I would lov to go to Hogwarts, full stop!

Which superpower would you like to have? Why?
Invisibility. It would be so cool to walk around without people knowing you're there! It would make a lot of things MUCH easier. Harry's cloak would be handy.:P

Any tips you have for book bloggers?
Um, for new book bloggers? I guess to build up connections, as in Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. And always share the comment love, to let people know that the work they're putting in is being appreciated! I actually love reading other people's book blogs. [Some may call it stalking.] (:

Quick-Fire Questions:

Favourite colour? Red, purple, pink!
Favourite animal? Dog, penguin, hedgehog, elephant, monkeys [I actually love practically all animals. Other than the horrible ones. Like rats, aligators, crocidiles, sharks, etc.]
Favourite weather? You know when it's sunny, but with a nice breeze? Yeah. :D
Favourite school subject? English lit and Geography. French is fun, too.
Favourite author? ... I could give you a HUGE long list, but in short I would say John Green, Lauren Oliver and Cat Clarke.

Thanks so much for answering my questions! :D
Thanks so much for having me!

~ ~ ~

Isn't she just lovely?! Now all you have to do is skip on over to her amazing blog and follow! ^.^

Now for the update! And I bet you can guess what it's about. SCHOOL! Ughhh. Anyway. This school year holds the first ever exams for me! *starts crying* And because of this there has been a big increase on the amount of homework. So since I will be dedicating quite a lot of time to studying/homework, Booktastic Reviews will probably not be updated as much as usual. I'll try my hardest to post whenever I can but I don't know if I'll be able to post my usual every other day. But we'll see! This is just a little note to tell you if I appear to be unusually absent from commenting and blogging, I'll be doing school-work! :(

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Rise of The Infected: Author Guest Post & Giveaway!

Saturday, 8 September 2012
Today I've got the other half of author, Monique Morgan's cover reveal tour for Rise of The Infected! Following is a guest post by the lovely author and then a giveaway! Enjoy! :D

If you missed the first half of the tour stop (the cover reveal and excerpt), click HERE to see it! :)

~ ~ ~

Strong Female Characters

All of my books have one thing in common. They have a strong female lead character, who is extraordinary in some way. River Black, my newest femme fetal, is no different.

River has been raised in a futuristic time period, where each day is a survival. She breaks the norms of her society taking on a fighting role. She has one true love, and that is weapons. River has known how to shoot a weapon almost as soon as she could walk. Her small frame is agile and tough, and she has lived her whole life chasing through the forest and hunting prey.

All of this is the norm in a society where automatics are the norm, and human life a commodity, aprofitable one at that. River has been prepared for what will be coming, a world where the only thing that will keep her safe is her ability to put a bullet in the head of an infected, as well as her enemies.

River Black breaks convention in a strong male dominated society of survivors. She pushes against any hindrance to her quest, breaking through each barrier without a second glance, until eventually there are none.

River’s personality is a combination of many characters. Her name is a homage to River Tam from Serenity. In my mind, there has never been a more gracefully deadly female character. Her long swooping form is the epitome of extension, her kicks powerful and precise.

There is nothing like deadly potential matched with beauty.

~ ~ ~

What a great guest post, right?! I don't know about you but I LOVE strong, kick-ass heroines! I bet you River will be a great character! :)

Now on to the giveaway! Up for grabs is signed cover photos of Rise of The Infected and two of Morgan's other books, Pursuer and Dreamer, a signed Rise of The Infected bookmark and an e-copy of the book when it is released on October 31st 2012! Enter the rafflecopter giveaway below to be in with the chance of winning! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More about the book...

River Black lives in a world where only the strong survive. The earth has changed to a brutal climate and the survivors will do anything to live. The eastern continents unleash a biochemical weapon on their enemies, and directly onto River’s world. She will have to leave her quiet existence in the forest and venture to the slaver fortress and further beyond, into the deepest part of the surviving cities. If she doesn’t die first, or rise infected…

Find out more at! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Review: Pushing The Limits

Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Author: Katie McGarry
Edition: Mira Ink eBook
Released: August 3rd 2012
Series: No, standalone
Pages: 416 approx.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.


**WARNING: If you loved this book, you may feel like punching me after my review. All I ask is that you don't. Thank you. :)**

This is a rather hard review to write as I'm not completely sure what I feel toward this book. It's not that I hated it or anything, but I didn't love it either. I'm sitting somewhere awkwardly in-between. Oh well... maybe writing this review will help me figure it out.

I think I'll dive straight into the criticism first. When I was given this book I was both excited and a little hesitant. It didn't sound like my type of book, but at the same time, I didn't want to pass it up as so many people had been bragging about it! The one thing that made this book a bit of a let down (for me!) was that it didn't connect to me emotionally in the way I wanted. I was hoping for the same feelings I'd had with Entangled (by Cat Clarke) to be the same for this book. But, unfortunately, that just didn't happen. It's not that I think it wasn't touching or anything - it was! - it's just that I would have liked to have been more affected by it (if you get what I mean). However, there was one situation in particular that really connected to my emotional side. And that was how Noah was trying to get custody of his younger brothers. That was just so... touching! But, yeah. I suppose since it didn't have that overall extra quality I was looking for, I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have... Oh boy, I really don't think I'm explaining this very well! :3

However, you will be glad to know I did like the characters! Echo was strong, brave and admirable (very admirable)! While Noah was the stereo-typical bad boy with much more to him - who you can't help but love anyway. Both had such terrible past experiences that you couldn't help but empathise. And the relationship they built was really sweet. They definitely suited each other! Sidenote: Noah has some good chat-up lines! ;) Oh, yeah! And as already mentioned - I loved, loved, loved Noah's brothers, Jacob and Tyler! They were just brimming with adorableness! ;D

So I don't really have that much more to say, I suppose. Overall, I did enjoy it don't get me wrong (!), but I would like to have connected on a more emotional-level to it than I did. I still would recommend it (you'll probably love it more than me since I can get quite picky) but I really do want to get across that I did still quite like it!

Big thanks to Mira Ink and Netgalley for my eCopy!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Get Evan Burl and The Falling by Justin Blaney for Kindle/Kindle apps now! Just click HERE to get it for free! Be quick - it's only free for today! :D I've already downloaded it as it looks a-mazing!

PPS: Sorry for writing a review that sounded mostly negative! But do you know that way when you just don't know how to word your thoughts? This review is one of those times! :3

Rise of The Infected Cover Reveal and Excerpt!

Monday, 3 September 2012
Hey everyone! Today I'm taking part in author, Monique Morgan's cover reveal for her up-and-coming book, Rise of The Infected. I absolutely love the sound of this book, and if it's just as good as the excerpt... well it's going to be AMAZING!


Coming October 31st 2012
Author's Website

River Black lives in a world where only the strong survive. The earth has changed to a brutal climate and the survivors will do anything to live. The eastern continents unleash a biochemical weapon on their enemies, and directly onto River’s world. She will have to leave her quiet existence in the forest and venture to the slaver fortress and further beyond, into the deepest part of the surviving cities. If she doesn’t die first, or rise infected…


Aspen was the first to speak, all of us still slightly in shock at what we had just witnessed.

“We have to clear out the house. I don’t know if all of them left, or if some of them got in, but we have to know for sure,” he said, the urgency in his voice clear.

“I’ll take upstairs,” I responded immediately, wanting to get a familiar perch from above, and recalculate our current situation.

The fire still burned in the pit in the entryway, illuminating the three of us as I walked up the curved stairs. I quickly lost sight of them, the wall turning smoothly into a hall. The hallway was covered in shadows, the dying embers of fire pits casting light through the open doors of the rooms.

“Hello,” I called out weakly.

I didn’t like the idea of going blindly into each room, possibly ambushed at any moment. It would be better to draw them out into the hall, and cut them down as they ran towards me.

I waited, my body tense and fluid at the same time, ready to spring if needed. But nothing came. I spoke louder a second time, my ears straining as my voice traveled down the hall. Once again nothing came out of the rooms and I walked forward, entering each one and searching every corner, my rifle always ready.

A few were bedrooms, which I frowned upon. It was a bad omen to have bedrooms aboveground. It was obvious that the townspeople had become lazy. I entered one more room that was a study, a desk crammed into the corner, covered in books. Even in the most stressful situation, I found myself becoming excited at the plethora of reading material that was before me. It was rare to see one book, let alone dozens.

The last thing in the hallway was the stairs leading to the final floor. Once again I walked the smooth curve of the stairwell, the stone giving off a sense of protection, although it would do nothing to help me if I was attacked by the infected.

It was dark down the long hallway, only one room at the far end giving any light, the rest of the doors closed. Once again I called out and waited, keeping my eyes on the farthest room. I was greeted only by the sound of my own voice.

Taking a breath, I pushed open the closest door, holding my gun out in front of me. I knew the moment I stepped in the room that I was not alone, there was a presence in the room, a presence in turmoil. I could almost hear the chaotic thoughts, trapped and angry. I knew when I heard the low animalistic growl, that I had walked into the room of one of the infected.

My shoes slipped on the floor as I walked towards the sound, a trail of blood beneath me, as though someone had dragged themselves to the door and shut it. I walked around the bed towards the continued hissing, expecting the creature to come sprinting at me. But it remained in the corner. I walked closer, and finally saw white gleaming eyes as it stared at me, a hideous grin on its face.

It was a woman, or what was left of a woman.

These rooms were bare compared to the extravagant rooms below. I could only imagine the ones belowground. Logic would say that they belonged to servants, possibly even slaves. It was clear that even with the thick window covering the rooms would quickly get hot during the extreme heat. It would be torturous to be forced to live up here. On a beautiful day like this, they had all probably had their windows open, the first to succumb to the plague that had been dropped upon us.

I almost tripped over the two severed legs that were littered on the floor. It looked like someone had taken an axe to them, and the brutality of the scene shocked me. Instead of dying, the woman’s wounds had almost healed, the blood stopping its flow.

The growling increased as the woman dragged herself by her arms towards me. Her mouth had started the rabid chomping that seemed a telltale trait of the infected. Bloody fingers reached for me, just as I lifted the rifle once again and placed it to the woman’s temple, pulling the trigger with a quickly flick of my finger.

I took a closer look at the carnage around me, the bloody legs and the limp body of the infected woman. “Yup, looks like a Zombie to me.”

I wiped the blood from my boots in the hallway, leaving a creepy trail of red footprints. There was one more room before the open one at the end, and my hairs rose as I pushed open the next door. I was greeted by silence, the room empty. Even the shutters were closed, and from the dust on the furniture I could tell it had been some time since anyone had been here.

I moved back out into the hall and walked towards the last room, the light was not coming from a burning pit but from an open window, the sun shining into the room. My trigger finger tensed once again, concentrating on everything in front of me. The first thing I saw was the bed, covered in blood. Another servant was there, axe marks evident on her body.

But this one was clearly dead, its head lying a few feet from the body.

“I doubt you will be getting up,” I said, and that’s when I realized there was someone else in the room.

It was another woman, her hair dark and her clothes fine. She was not some servant, but a mistress of the house. She was young, not much older than I was, and she carried an axe that dripped blood onto the floor as she stared at me.

~ ~ ~

OHMYGOSH, how amazing does this book sound?! I'm away to add it to my wishlist right now! And don't think this is all I will be posting about this book! There will be a guest post by the lovely author and a giveaway up sometime later this week! ;)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo