Friday, 28 June 2013

Belle's Book Club: Virals...

Hey everyone

Next up in my Belle's Book Club: Summer 2013 series I'm sharing - Virals by Kathy Reichs


Synopsis (via Goodreads

Tory Brennan, niece of acclaimed forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (of the Bones novels and hit TV show), is the leader of a ragtag band of teenage "sci-philes" who live on a secluded island off the coast of South Carolina. When the group rescues a dog caged for medical testing on a nearby island, they are exposed to an experimental strain of canine parvovirus that changes their lives forever.

As the friends discover their heightened senses and animal-quick reflexes, they must combine their scientific curiosity with their newfound physical gifts to solve a cold-case murder that has suddenly become very hot if they can stay alive long enough to catch the killer's scent.

Fortunately, they are now more than friends they're a pack. They areVirals.

My Thoughts

Now, I'm going to be honest and admit that I wasn't too excited about this book, seeing as it's about wolves - again. But anyway, I thought I would give it a go - mainly because of the parvovirus element - I'm a medical scientist so I was obviously a bit excited about that mention!

Anyway, it took me a little bit to get into this book but the action that built up towards the end had me hooked - I ended up racing through the two thirds of the book!

I thought the ending of this book was genius! I absolute did not expect the character twist at the end - I was literally gripped - it was crazy engaging!

I'm a big fan of crime/thriller/murder/mystery books and YA fiction so this book ended up being right up my alley - being a combination of both! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

I loved how all of the different members of The Virals brought their own strengths to the group - they reminded me a little of The Famous Five (ohmylord I adored and was obsessed with those books as a child - faves!) - plus I enjoyed how although Tory was the main voice - I didn't feel like she overpowered the story too much - I felt like they all had an equal part to play.

I found Kareston such an interesting character - how his character changed through the book (for the better!) wasn't as unbelievable as I thought it may be - if I was in his shoes I'm sure I would have done the same!

Additionally I love the fact that this series is set in Charleston (!!) - I (as I'm sure readers of my blog have guessed by now) am obsessed with the southern states of the US and Charleston is definitely on my 'must visit' list!

I really enjoyed how this was YA fiction but wasn't the typical romance-y one - it was action and murder and mystery - I loved it.

Another little detail in this book that I really enjoyed was Cooper - well mostly the fact that he really reminded me of Princess! He sounds adorable!

I'm actually already reading the second book in this series and am so excited to find that it's a pretty long series - at least 5 are planned apparently so I'm looking forward to reading more!

I'm also rather ashamed to admit that I've never read any of Reichs adult series which sounds like something I'd really enjoy so I'm definitely going to look into reading some of that in the near future! Plus, apparently the show Bones (which I haven't seen any of) is based on her adult series of books so I think I've just stumbled across a new TV show to start enjoying too! Double win!!

Would you read this book? 

aHm xoxo

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

MWIP: 26/52...

Hey everyone

Apparently I was feeling quite snap happy this week! So here's what I go up to - I...

...made mexican food for Ma & I on Saturday - love Mexican food! I have an obsession with guacamole at the moment #yum

...enjoyed the tiniest cornetto ever - plus it wasn't ice-cream, it was just chocolate - my mind was blown.

...decided that Ma had been spending waay too much time on tumbler judging by the fact she bought some lights for her room! a tad over-excited when my MK watch finally arrived - I love it! I'm so glad I finally got round to purchasing it - I've wanted one for a good year or so now!

...may have made a sneaky purchase to cheer myself up after a day of self doubt on placement

...had a very sleepy Princess

...added to my tumbler collection - this has a curly straw - how could I resist?!

...found out there were new Barry M gellys out - I had to, I just had to. 
Isn't that cobalt absolute perfection?!

...made a trip to Starbs for my usual 

...had dins at the bf's house :)
side note: I felt very grown up when we picked up a side salad to go with our meal :P

...finally watched Pitch Perfect (with the bf) - to be honest I don't think it's 'the funniest film of the year' - I mean we laughed at little bits but we weren't in creases all the way through :S Maybe it's that age old difference between British and American sense of humour?

...had to beg Pickle to give me back my pass for work :P

...gave up trying to find a bottle with my name on so just settled for being my own friend :P

...had a late lunch at Starbs when I had a half day on Friday - yay! excited when I saw the new instagram video feature (I didn't really get on with vine that well!) and snapped (shot??) this one of Prin straight away!

What did you get up to this week?

P.S. feel free to link up with your MWIP - I'd love to see them!

aHm xoxo

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Oh, Kiel James Patrick...

Hey everyone

I've been lusting after a Turks Head Knot bracelet for what feels like forever and {KJP} is the king of the knot bracelets.

After finally finding a {site} that ships to the UK (I can't be bothered waiting for shipping from the US - I'm not that patient!) that stocks KJP I feel that a purchase needs to be made :P

So far, these are my narrowed down options...

I love the Cape Knot Hitch (1) - it reminds me of a slightly classier infinity sign and that neutral colour would be great for wearing everyday - but then again you can't really go wrong with KJPs classic anchor bracelet - the neutral (3) is lovely but I'm definitely drawn to the pink and navy (so preppy!) Captain Jack one (4)!

But, it is the Turks Head Knot that I've been wanting forever so I think that will have to be my first purchase at least :P Again the neutral is great (5) but I am so drawn to the pink, navy and white one (2)! But, the only Turks Head on the UK site are the pink (6) and a wine colour and I had my heart set on the neutral one (5).

So, this is where I need your help - do I go for the lovely pink and navy anchor bracelet (4) or the pink Turks Head Knot (6) - despite the fact that I wouldn't be able to wear it everyday because of the colour - from the UK site because it will ship here faster or do I put my patient hat on and order the neutral Turks Head Knot one (5) that I've been wanting forever and will match with everything so I can wear it everyday from the US site?


Are you a {KJP} fan?

aHm xoxo

Monday, 24 June 2013

Belle's Book Club: Overbite

Hey everyone

Next up in my Belle's Book Club: Summer 2013 series I'm sharing - Overbite by Meg Cabot


Synopsis (via Goodreads

Meena Harper has a special gift, but it's only now that anyone's ever appreciated it. The Palatine Guard — a powerful secret demon-hunting unit of the Vatican — has hired her to work at their new branch in Lower Manhattan. With Meena's ability to predict how everyone she meets will die, the Palatine finally has a chance against the undead.

Sure, her ex-boyfriend was Lucien Antonescu, son of Dracula, the prince of darkness. But that was before he (and their relationship) went up in flames. Now Meena's sworn off vampires for good ... at least until she can prove her theory that just because they've lost their souls doesn't mean demons have lost the ability to love.

Meena knows convincing her co-workers — including her partner, ├╝ber-demon-hunter Alaric Wulf — that vampires can be redeemed won't be easy ... especially when a deadly new threat seems to be endangering not just lives of the Palatine, but Meena's friends and family as well.

But Meena isn't the Palatine's only hope. Father Henrique — aka Padre Caliente — New York City's youngest, most charming priest, has also been assigned to the case.

So why doesn't Meena — or Alaric — trust him?

As she begins unraveling the truth, Meena finds her loyalties tested, her true feelings laid bare ... and temptations she never even imagined existed, but finds impossible to resist.

This time, Meena may finally have bitten off more than she can chew.

My Thoughts

I read the first book in this series a couple of weeks back (read my review {here}) and I loved it so I was eager to get on and read this second book. Now, I'm sad to say this but I really didn't enjoy this one as much as the first. 

I just thought that the story was a little slow and full of insignificant details. I don't know what it was but I felt like it took a while to get going - I have to say that the last few chapters were pretty interesting but most of them were pretty blah. Sadly.

Maybe this was because Lucien/Alaric weren't in it as much - I feel like this whole story was just about Meena and to be honest I don't think she's interesting enough on here own to read a whole book about. 

I do think that Cabot was sort of airing on the side on unbelievability with this one - I mean, a stream making a vampire totally evil, a vampire being able to control the weather? It just didn't make much sense to me. Especially the ending plot twist - I was just really confused as to how this happened and how no-one noticed it before. It was just odd.

To be honest, when I'm writing this I'm struggling for things to say about this book because it just didn't really do much for me - nothing about it really has stuck in my mind like things in books usually do - which is so disappointing because I loved the last book so much!

Come to think of it, this may be because the ending wasn't the one I wanted - she didn't end up with the guy that I wanted her to and to be honest I don't know why she didn't! In my mind there was only one option as to who Meena could be with and she didn't - so that sucked.

I have to say (as if you hadn't gathered already) I wasn't very satisfied with this book and because of that I don't think that I will be rushing to read the next when it comes out - sadly, because I thought I'd stumbled across a really great new series!

Would you read this book?

aHm xoxo

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Belle's Book Club: Prized...

Hey everyone

Next up in my Belle's Book Club: Summer 2013 series I'm sharing - Prized by Caragh O'Brien


Synopsis (via Goodreads

Striking out into the wasteland with nothing but her baby sister, a handful of supplies, and a rumor to guide her, sixteen-year-old midwife Gaia Stone survives only to be captured by the people of Sylum, a dystopian society where women rule the men who drastically outnumber them, and a kiss is a crime. In order to see her sister again, Gaia must submit to their strict social code, but how can she deny her sense of justice, her curiosity, and everything in her heart that makes her whole?

My Thoughts

This is the second book in this series (read my review of the first book {here}) and I have to say that I enjoyed this one waayy more than the first!

I found this book so engaging right from the very beginning - I literally flew through this one!

First off I have to address the fact that I think I may quite possibly be in love with Leon - he's just beautiful and amazingly awesome and so darn cute!

Anyway, onto the actual plot - I really enjoyed the fact that this book addressed the community outside the Enclave and how other people have coped and dealt with the future differently to the Enclave (I had hoped O'Brien would do this!). I think it gave a lot more scope to the story and made it a bit more realistic seeing the same characters be somewhere else - I think another story about the Enclave would have been a tad repetitive.

I really enjoyed reading about the science-y bit in this book about genetic problems and gender imbalances - I thought that this was a really novel idea and was really intriguing to me. I thought that this was a really good bit of foreshadowing for the third book of how Sylum (the other community) can help the Enclave.

I also really like the idea of women running a community - with men being treated almost like inferiors - I thought that was interesting seeing as how in the past women were considered inferior citizens - it was clever and thought provoking to see the shoe on the other foot, as it were! I really enjoyed reading about Sylums different customs and learning how it was ran - I thought it was all really believable and just really interesting.

Now, as much as I am in love with Leon, I do have to admit that the brothers Peter and Will did steal my heart a teeny bit. Sorry Leon. They had me all confused as to who I wanted Gaia to end up with - which was really clever manipulation of the reader by the author because that was exactly how Gaia felt too - it really helped me to identify with her a lot more.

I have to say that I really hated the Maetrac (Sylums leader person - the equivalent of the Protectorat in the Enclave really) throughout the whole book but then right at the end I did feel a little sorry for her - which annoyed me but heyho. I just thought she was a really nasty piece of work and so defeatist and narrow minded but then she was so selfless that I have to give her her due and say that she did the right thing. Eventually.

I have to say that at some points in the book I got a little annoyed with Gaia (as the author intended) and her choices - I felt like she had changed completely from the strong independent character from the first book. But as with all good characters - they have experience trouble and fall before they can go back to the awesomeness that they were before (I'm think Katniss in Catching Fire - she got on my nerves a bit in that one!). I think it was great how O'Brien set Gaia up to lose herself and then have the reader absolutely begging her to re-find herself and rejoicing when she did! I love how refreshing it is to have a powerful female protagonist who isn't afraid to stand up for what she believes in.

I thought this book was a really good second novel - I find all to often that the second book in a trilogy is just a bit boring and a filler but this one had it's own plot going on that was independent of the first book but still managed to follow on and then set up for the third book.

Talking of the third book - I'm torn - I really really want to get on and read it because I am absolutely hooked with this series and I need to find out what happens to Sylum/the Enclave BUT I don't want this series to end. I'm took scared that something will happen that will mean that Gaia and Leon won't end up together and I'm just not emotionally ready for that right now!

Having said that I think there is a couple of books set in between the trilogy that are from Leon's point of view so I am super excited to read them! So I might get on and read those before I read the last book, haha!

I cannot gush any more about how seriously great this book was! The take home message from this review - just give a go, seriously - I'm hooked!

Would you read this book? 

aHm xoxo

Friday, 21 June 2013

Belle's Book Club: Slated

Hey everyone

Next up in my Belle's Book Club: Summer 2013 series I'm sharing - Slated by Teri Terry


Synopsis (via Goodreads

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

My Thoughts

The limited  explanation in the blurb of this book really intrigued me, so I just had to read it. 

I found this book totally gripping all of the way through. I think that the science-y bit about 'slating' people was really interesting to me because of my science background. I was a little bit worried that the slating method/reason wouldn't be explained very well so would compromise how believable the book would be but there was no need for me to be worried - the whole slating process and background to the dystopian society Terry created in the book was explained really well and was so easy to slip in to, believe and engage with fully. 

Kyla was an amazing protagonist - following along with her trying to establish who she is, who she was before and how come she is so different was really engaging. Her voice was clear and relate able all of the way through - very easy to identify with.

Ben's character was so adorable, the partnership between him and Kayla was predictable but how the ending factored in with Kayla's dream was really interesting yet utterly heartbreaking. Not a fan.

Kayla's Mum was a very interesting character - I really wasn't a fan of her at first but she definitely grew on me - just as she did for Kayla so the way that Terry made me feel like her protagonist was feeling was very clever.

I found Kayla's Dad's character just really odd. I definitely think that there is something fishy going on there with him. I'm looking forward to hopefully learning more about his character in the next book - I definitely feel like he needs to be explained a whole lot more.

I enjoyed the exploration of who gets slated and why - and how there was something being hidden by the government that Kayla was trying to find out - very engaging, it made me wonder what was being covered up and why. Although this wasn't explored in this book, I feel like it was introduced and set up well for the sequel.

The ending and the realisation for both Kayla and me as a reader was super amazing - the cumulative effect of all the events previous was a real revelation - it was a really good technique employed by the author to pull everything together to make sense for the reader at the same time that Kayla began to figure everything out - very clever how everything fell in to place and how her sporadic dream sequences all came together and made sense - finally!

I cannot wait to read the sequel! I want to know what will happen to Kayla now!

Would you read this book? 

aHm xoxo

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Liebster Award #4...

Hey everyone

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Natalia & Clara from {Between Friends Fashion} so thank you!

Here are my 11 facts...
  • I'm on a quest to watch all of the classic Disney movies that I didn't watch as a child before I'm 21
  • I'm a Starbucks Mocha Cookie Crumble Frap addict. I have a serious problem.
  • I've had my ebook reader for about 5 years now, it's the Sony one that came out before the Kindle - it's old school and I loves it!
  • I'm dying to do a road trip around the Southern States of America
  • When I finish my degree I will officially be a scientist - that just makes me feel so brainy :P
  • I love reading murder mystery/crime novels
  • My guilty pleasure is country music - I just can't get enough. 
  • I have an obsession with collecting tumblers - I just can't seem to stop myself!
  • I hate taking pain killers and like to think that I have quite a high pain threshold
  • My bedroom walls are white - I just love how much of a clean and fresh backdrop it gives
  • I'm have a tumbler collection #sorryimnotsorry
Now onto some questiones...

1. What is one beauty item that you adore, but no one else talks about?

Lush Helping Hands Hand Cream - oh my life, this stuff sorts my dry hands right out. At placement (in a hospital lab) I'm washing my hands all the time so they get super dry really quickly.

2. What is your favorite book?

This is such an unfair question! I have waaay too many fave books! My favourite book that I've read recently is The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen - such an amazing author!

3. What is your Dream job?

To be a Biomedical Scientist working in the Pathology Lab.

4. What is your favorite store? Where do you shop the most?

I've become a big ASOS fan as of late - there's always something in my cart that I want to buy!

5. What is your favorite song/band? 

My ultimate fave band is {Mcfly}, but on a smaller scale I love {The Vamps}, and on an even smaller (more local) scale {My Dinosaur Life}

6. What is your signature scent?

Benefit's 'Ring My Bella' - it has my name in it, plus it smells really lovely :P

7. What is one of your embarrassing moments?

I've been trying to think of an answer to this for a couple of days but nothing is leaping out to me as being 'embarassing' - plenty of cringey things but nothing embarrassing as such - so sorrys!

8. Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I was just starting my first year of uni to study a science degree but I really didn't want my writing to fall to the wayside (trying to decide between whether to study english or science was such a struggle!) so I figured that starting a journal-esque blog would be a great way to keep writing in my life! I'm so glad I did!

9. What is one thing you'd really like to do this summer?

Because I'm back on placement for most of the summer I just want to spend my month off (roll on August!) just relaxing, chilling and having me time *cough {summer reading list/Belle's Book Club} cough*! Though, I do want to go to Hickory's for my birthday! 

10. What is your favorite app? (Not including social media ones ;)

This is tough! I'm a big fan of Squaready - my pet hate before I discovered this app was when instagram would crop my picture weirdly! Also, I'm in a sort of love hate relationship with CocoPPa - I love the idea of changing all of my icons to Lilly Prints but it's just such a faff to use I haven't gotten around to it yet!

11. When you think of a perfect day what does it look like (I'm not talking about weather ;))? 

I love this question!
Waking up late, having chocolate chip pancakes in bed snuggling with the bf, spending the day reading, going for a mocha cookie crumble in the afternoon, reading even more, having a sneaky take away in the evening, going for a drive in the evening, stumbling in to bed in the early hours of the morning

Thank you again {BFF} for tagging me! 
Seriously, go check their blog out - it's one of my faves!

I tag....

aHm xoxo
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