Loving the Reviews STARTS TOMORROW

You write reviews so why not win something for it? SO, Are you signed up? It starts tomorrow!


More details about the event can be found here!

What you could win:

In addition 1 SUPER LUCKY US winner will get the 3 books below! Big thank you to Fiction State of Mind for this special prize ^.^

Guest Post: Lettie from Above Average Below Special

A big thank you to Lettie for writing up this guest post ^.^

Hi guys,
I’m Lettie from Above Average Below Special! A blog featuring books, beauty, baking and more!

Sniffly Kitty asked me to write about how I started reading and the truth is I don’t actually remember! I have always been the girl who reads. My mum started me off when I was 1 and I stormed my way through the reading stages to the point that I finished by the end of year 2 and had to go pick my books from the year 6 classroom! So I thought I would do a sort of through the years by author for you.

Primary School!

Reception- Year 2

Elmer and Six Dinner Sid
Favourite books of reception class by a long shot! I loved Sid and no matter how many times I read it or had it read to me I still laughed at his six dinners :P.

Enid Blyton
Hands down my favourite childhood author. She cultivated my love of reading. I was issued my own library card so I could borrow the secret seven and famous five books to my little heart’s content. My Uncle brought me the Magic Faraway Tree and the Naughtiest Girl Again and I think along with
the Wishing Chair I loved them the best!

Jacqueline Wilson
Close second to Enid Blyton is the amazing Jacqueline Wilson and her skill for writing about realistic but difficult childhood situations. Her books entertained me from 7 to at least 16 and even now, I reread them.

Year 3- Year 6

Dick King Smith
I loved his Sophie books so much I wanted to live on a farm too! I also loved Dodos are Forever and Tumbleweed. My library had a big selection of his books which I worked my way through!

Lucy Daniels
I loved the Animal Ark books with such passion I made them the cool thing to read of year 4/5 everyone brought me one for my Birthday! They kick started a very long love affair with animal books.

J K Rowling
I was relatively late at my school for reading Harry Potter but it was well worth the wait! I won’t go on about Harry Potter, I’m sure you’re fans too!

Diana Wynne Jones
What an absolute legendary author! My mum is responsible for this particular love affair as she picked up Charmed Life and Castle in the Sky. This was another trend starter for Year 6! I love her world building style and the absolutely brilliant characters she created. She has half a bookshelf devoted to her masterpieces and I still eagerly await her releases now!

Secondary School!

Year 7-9

Tamora Pierce
All I can say is thank you school library for accidentally introducing me to the greatness of Tamora Pierce! I picked up Wild Magic one day and was transported to the fascinating world of Tortall and I was hooked! I tracked down all 16 books (at the time) of hers through the school library, city libraries and this one dusty old bookshop within a month and haven’t looked back since! Read Sniffly Kitty’s review of Wild Magic here.

Louise Rennison
My best friend and I alternated buying these books after sneaking her sister’s Angus Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging. Georgia is such a realistic yet over the top character and for awhile they made us feel so grown up. We’d use the ‘lingo’ from the books and discuss them on the phone. I actually checked the back page of the last one when it came out to make sure she ended up with the right guy despite the fact I’d ‘grown out of them’.

L.J. Smith
My friend and I completely bonded over these in year 8. Before Twilight was cool and The Vampire Diaries was an amazing TV show we argued over who was hotter Stefan or Damon or Nick or Adam in the Secret Circle. We devoured the Night World Series and eagerly awaited Strange Fate which still isn’t out!

Year 10- 11

Shannon Hale and Gail Carson Levine
There’s something so Comforting and brilliant about a fairy tale retold! These two are masters at
making the stories their own yet keeping the integrity of the originals as well as creating their own stories in the style of fairy tales. Ella Enchanted stole my breath away with its cast of characters and change of scenery and the Bayern books by Hale are so cleverly intertwined yet individual stories.

Lian Hearn
Tales of the Otori is a brilliant series set in feudal Japan type world. I loved the journey of Takeo and Kaede both together and separately such strong lead characters. The books are a brilliant mix of betrayal, love, religion clashes, war and fantasy.

Graphic Novels
I had a brief affair with Japanese culture aided by a boy who loved Japanese culture as much as I loved him! I did really enjoy Princess Ai books though and I definitely don’t regret falling in live with Studio Gibhli films.

And I will leave you there! I hope you enjoyed travelling trough my reading history with me. It’s made me want to reread so many of those great books!

Thanks for reading!

Much Love

Guest Posting to Come

This is why I don't usually design my own buttons

As I mentioned before, I am in the midst of tests, which means I don't have as much time as usual to write up reviews and other pieces of nonsense to keep you guys entertained.

So, starting tomorrow I have the good fortune (and so do you) of having some lovely people who are going to be guest posting. Some are going to be authors who are taking part in the Loving the Reviews Challenge, which you should sign up for. Others, are fellow bloggers who are going to be posting a little about their nostalgia for reading.

I thank them all here for their generosity and for their posts ^.^

Sniffly Kitty

P.S. I may still sneak in a review here and there. Also, I will continue to do Teaser Tuesday and Third Sentence Thursday.

Review: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

What happens to those who are forgotten? What happens to things lost? In London, these things and people fall between the cracks to end up in London Below. Richard saves a girl from this otherworld and wakes up to find that everything about his life has changed. Now, he must survive this strange new world that lives in the shadows of his former one.

Gaiman writes many interesting worlds which are at once strange and familiar. The books that I have read of his always add a twist to the modern world. This one for instance, creates a world which exists only in the shadows of London. He takes familiar things from around London and adds a dimension of other to them which makes it easy to fall into this new world.

Neverwhere has a sort of Alice in Wonderland whimsy to it albeit with a slightly more sinister and adult edge. The way he inter-meshes the two worlds is nothing short of genius. I really enjoyed reading about the Floating Market where people from all over the underworld come to trade and conduct business in very interesting places.

Despite the novelty of his work though, I find myself not loving his books. I believe this is because I feel a sense of apathy toward his characters, at least for this book that was the case. They're interesting, and I liked reading about them. But, I'm not so lost in them that I get really nervous when they are in danger; I don't feel like I'm truly rooting for them. His work is still worth reading for its detailed and ingenious world-building.

Star Rating: 3.5/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

This is one of the books I've read and reviewed for the fantasy mini-challenge. Progress 13/13 books. I'm finished!

Check out prices for Neverwhere at Amazon

Living Social Deal WARNING

Most of you heard about and possibly bought the Living Social deal. It has come to light that some of the Credit Cards used for this deal seem to have fraudulent charges on them now. The percentage is pretty low so it might be a coincidence. Still, you should check your statements and check for such charges. If there is a discrepancy, file a complaint with your credit card company. I think it's better to be safe than sorry so you should check.

Please Read: This Slickdeals Post for more info

Note: I have not had any fraudulent charges show up.

Views on Sex and Books I Enjoy

This is not a discussion of what goes on in the bedroom (or wherever else you decide to do it), but the discussion of sex always raises warning flags so I'm foin to premise this by saying that there is nothing explicit in this post although younger ones(say 13 and under) should probably still steer clear.

I am pretty conservative when it comes to sex. I don't think one-night stands or sex on the first (or even 2-5) date is a good idea. I've thought about this lately, and I believe that my stance on these issues translates to what I enjoy reading.

What this means in terms of books is that I enjoy (by far) books where the main couple take awhile to get to know each other before ending up in bed together. There are of course some caveats to this which allows a pass for sex as a result of rape and/or prostitution.

Granted, having a more slow moving couple doesn't automatically mean I will like a book, but having casual sex seems to make a book an automatic dislike for me. What about you guys?

Review: Royal Assassin (Farseer #2) by Robin Hobb

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

*Note: This is the second book in the series and this review may contain some spoilers although really not that many. You should read my review of the first book Assassin's Apprentice*

The Raiders continue to raid the shores of the Six Duchies while Fitz recovers from being poisoned. Fitz also admits to falling in love with Molly who is now at Buckkeep as a servant. As the situation in the Six Duchies gets worse and worse. Fitz scrambles to keep his word to the King and to help keep Regal from destroying everything precious to him.

The biggest thing you will notice about this book is how incredibly long it is. I often felt like things were happening at a crawling pace. I believe this is deliberate since it mirrors Fitz's mounting frustration throughout the novel, but it made the book really hard to get through.

Despite the pacing, I did enjoy the story itself as it is unapologetic about reality's harshness for someone in Fitz's position as a bastard assassin, and the depth with which Hobb writes is very much appreciated. The choices characters have to make are all tough, which made for interesting situations.

While I want to know what happens to Fitz, I'm dreading the slow pace of events that has been prevalent through the first two books of this trilogy. Also, the tone of this series is very much bleak so that also contributed to the slow pace feeling.

Star Rating: 3.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

This is one of the books I've read and reviewed for the fantasy mini-challenge. Progress 12/13 books.

Check out prices for Royal Assassin at Amazon

Book Blog Hop and Follow Friday (Jan 28)

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome from Book Blog Hop hosted by Crazy for Books and Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee!

To come~~

Brandi from Blkosiner's Book Blog and I have announced the Loving the Reviews Challenge (event extravaganza)! There are going to be a ton of authors giving away stuff and all you have to do is what you all normally do - review books! Check out the details. We just added Outside In to our prize pool ^.^

I posted a review of Illegal, the debut novel of Bettina Restrepo this week! Sometime in March (I know a really long time away!) I'm going to be taking part in her blog tour ^.^

Also, I'm giving away my ARC copy of The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown!

Reviews you may have missed
The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay
Ringworld by Larry Niven

What is/was your favorite subject in school?

Erm, I enjoyed certain classes rather than whole subjects.. like Chemistry, Business Law, European History, Buddhist Psychology, Social Psychology~~ Whether I liked a class really depended on whether I liked the teacher so I ended up with an eclectic mix of classes which I enjoyed.

Third Sentence Thursday (#9)

Third Sentence Thursday
Grab the Code

Third Sentence Thursday is a weekly meme

This week's theme is review the sentence from your current read.

1) Take the book you are reading now and post the third sentence
2) Review this sentence anyway you want (funny and silly reviews encouraged)
3) Post a link to your sentence here or if you don't have a blog, just post it in the comments!
4) Prepare for next week's theme: Third Sentence Review (nothing special folks sorry, busy with tests still next week)

"Inside the pub, Richard's friends continued his forthcoming departure with an enthusiasm that, to Richard was beginning to border on the sinister" -Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Ah, poor Richard, he is the star, and noone even notices that he is missing. Heavy foreshadowing? YOu may have to read it ^.^

Have you signed up for the Loving the Reviews Challenge (and massive giveaway?).

Review: Ringworld (Ringworld #1) by Larry Niven

Ringworld by Larry Niven

Louis Wu is very old, and he gets sick of humanity pretty often. So when he receives an offer to go off exploring a new planet called the Ringworld, he signs up along with a Kzin named Speaker-to-Animals, a young girl he falls in love with named Teela Brown, and a member of a long thought lost race called Nessus. They journey to the Ringworld, which is a very interesting place and perhaps a haven from the impending destruction of the Earth.

Niven is very good at the science of science fiction. Truly, his books are very well researched and thought out on that front although some people may find his explanations of the science-y bits to be a bit tedious.

While this is a hard sci-fi book, there are lots of bits of humor scattered throughout the novel which lightens things up considerably. I really liked the three main characters Louis, Speaker-to-Animals, and Nessus. They feel very realistic, and I wish I could talk to them in real life.

This is a great standalone sci-fi novel. It combines great worldbuilding, real science, and some quirky yet real characters. Granted, this is one of those sci-fi books that almost everyone who reads sci-fi has read so it shouldn't come as a surprise that it's good heh~~ I don't suggest reading the sequels though since they pale in comparison.

Star Rating: 4.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Ringworld at Amazon

Teaser Tuesday (Jan 25)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"In my cultivated opinion, I'd suggest Judaism. But that's because I prefer the path of yeast resistance." -Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson

I really couldn't resist putting this terrible terrible pun down.

Feel free to leave a comment with a link to your own teaser post or just the teaser if you don't have a blog.

Review: The Summer Tree (The Fionavar Tapestry #1)

The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay

*Note: I couldn't finish this book, but I did read the first 160 pages (out of 400) so I feel I gave it a good try*

Five people are transported to another world called Fionavar where some things have gone terribly wrong. They find themselves entangled in the webs of a political power struggle in a kingdom where the king is old and beginning to lose his mind.

I really liked Tigana, which is why I was pretty excited to pick this book up. Unfortunately right from the start, I couldn't really get into the story because characters just kept piling in without much background to separate the megaton of names being thrown around.

The premise for the story is pretty weak. The characters get an offer to go off to a mystical new land, which seems kinda cool, but noone really spends that much time questioning this new land and what dangers there might be. Once they get there, a whole bunch more names of places, people, and gods are thrown around.

Basically, every time I thought I had a handle on the current set of characters, a whole new set of myths with names and almost completely without context were thrown around so I've given up. This might have been interesting, and there were moments were beautiful writing reminiscent of Tigana arose. Sadly, though there just weren't enough of those moments.

Star Rating: 0.5/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

This is one of the books I've read and reviewed for the fantasy mini-challenge. Progress 11/13 books.

Review: Illegal by Bettina Restrepo

Illegal by Bettina Restrepo

Copy courtesy of Bettina Restrepo
Release Date: Mar 1, 2011

Nora's father left his family in Mexico and goes to the US in order to better provide for the family. Years later, he still has not returned, and he has stopped contacting them. Nora, her mother, and her grandmother are left in dire straits because they do not have enough money so Nora makes a desperate decision to also go to the US with her mother to try to find her father.

I didn't read any synopses of this story before I started so I didn't have a good idea what was going to happen although I did have some hints from the title. Nevertheless, it was not quite what I expected it to be; it was better.

The story is gritty in its depiction of a desperate situation but never in a hyper-realistic or overdramatic sort of way. The events are depicted in a way that moves the reader and tugs at your heartstrings even as you are anxious for Nora, her mother, her father, and her grandmother's well being. Granted, there are some moments where Nora's character comes off as selfish and naive and some of the scenes in Texas feel stilted, but these are minor detractors to the overall power of the story.

This is plain good storytelling which documents a journey from the deep reasons it starts to its fitting conclusion at journey's end. You should not go into reading this expecting a light read as it gives a very human face to a deeply divisive political issue (in the US at least). I applaud Bettina Restrepo's debut offering; it's something you should read.

Star Rating: 4.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Illegal at Amazon

Edit: This is now a Book Review Party Post


The Weird Sisters ARC Giveaway!

So I have a copy of the The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown which I reviewed previously. Now, you can win it!

It is gently used, I read the book once.

How to enter

You must be a GFC Follower AND fill out the form below (by Feb 11th because that's when the giveaway ends)

Bonus Stuff (because they're bonus!)

+2 for commenting on The Weird Sisters review

+1 comment on any other review post

+1 Tweet (1/day up to 5 times) it using: The Weird Sisters ARC #Giveaway at Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books http://bit.ly/gyA7i4

+3 Blog Post

- If you fill out the form and then do stuff later, just leave a comment
- Contest ends Feb 11th
- You must be older than 13 (seriously)
- Open to US ONLY~~

Review: Wild Magic (Immortals #1)

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce has been one of my favorite authors for many many years. Sadly, a lot of the new YA lovers have not met her yet. Her books are about strong women, which many of you profess to loving, so I feel it is my duty to introduce y'all to her. I'm starting with a book that isn't really the beginning, but it's where I started reading Tammy's work.

Daine has presented herself to Onua, the royal horse mistress, because she is in search of a job working with animals. To Onua, Daine's 'knack' with handling animals seems downright magical. As Daine journeys with Onua through Tortall, magical beasts from myths of old begin to appear, and Daine's abilities may be needed more than ever.

This is one of my favorite books of all time in case you couldn't tell by the introduction I gave it. If you're expecting to read this for the romance though, don't because it's not a romance. This book is about empowerment. It's a journey from fearing to believing.

I love worldbuilding, and I believe it is the foundation of any speculative novel. Tammy's worldbuilding is wonderful. The novel starts out small with just the immediate surroundings of Daine, but then it builds and builds. You learn about the world as Daine goes from little back country village to the big Palace and its huge city. I love this kind of slow building that sneaks in details all over the place.

Guys and gals (probably more gals than guys but hey boys can enjoy this book too) I urge you to read this book because it is the wonderful start of a lovely series. Of course, you can also start with Alanna: The First Adventure because that is the beginning of all the Tortall books (there are quite a few now).

Star Rating: 5.0/5.0

For an explanation of the Star Rating go here.

Check out prices for Wild Magic at Amazon

Looking for a Couple Guest Posts

I've got tests coming up so will definitely be less able to keep up with the posting rate I've been going at so I'm looking for a couple nice bloggers to guest post. If you're interest, send me an email at snifflykitty@gmail.com or leave a comment with your email so I can get in contact with you!

Thanks guys ^.^

Edit: I could use more than a couple haha, I just picked an arbitrary describer ^.^

Please Don't Twist My Arm

I'm sure someone has asked you before, what is your favorite book. Maybe you can answer this definitively or well maybe you're like me and can't really. I like to say that Kushiel's Dart is my favorite book when asked this question because it's just easier to have an answer but the truth is, I have many favorite books so please don't make me choose.
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