Wednesday 28 March 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Ten by Gretchen McNeil. Here's the synopsis:

And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off the from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?"

So, first things first. Awesome cover, right? And does this read like a movie or what?! It may not be an original plot but I'm still excited to read it and find out who the killer is and why. I'm really hoping that Gretchen will shock the hell out of me and surprise me at every twist and turn. No pressure there, Gretchen!

Ten is published on 18th September, 2012 and if you're in the US, you can win an ARC on Goodreads now. Gretchen does not have a UK publisher as of yet but I'm thinking this may need to change ;)

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Adaptation by Malinda Lo. Here's the synopsis:

Reese and David don't remember what happened to them after a bird flew into their headlights on the Extraterrestrial Highway--not the resulting car accident and certainly not a bit of the 21 days of care at the military hospital in Nevada. It's a good thing, the doctors and colonels tell them, that they crashed on a military base, but they won't tell Reese and David what the extent of their injuries were, or how they were healed. They do tell them they're not going home, though, until they sign a confidentiality agreement.

When they get home, Reese can't help but find everything a little weird. Worldwide bird strikes resulting in plane crashes have grounded air travel, David won't talk to her, and she could swear she's seen her military doctors around the neighborhood. It's only when she meets Amber Grey that things in her life begin to really fall apart, and the mysteries of the bird strikes, the military, and her own treatment come together. Reese realizes that she must find out what they did to her in that hospital, but her search for the truth threatens to expose a vast global conspiracy that the government has worked for decades to keep secret.

What if we aren't alone in the universe? What if the alien is inside us?"

I can't tell you how much the synopsis really floats my boat - a conspiracy and alien involvement? YES! It reads like a movie and I can't wait to see it play out when I read the book!
Adaptation is published on 18th September, 2012 with no news yet of a UK release.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

The One that I Want Review

Want to read my review of The One that I Want by Jennifer Echols? Just click here. Hope you enjoy :)

Monday 19 March 2012

Fever Review

“Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.”

After the huge success of Wither, Fever has to be one of the most anticipated sequels of this year. I really didn’t know where Lauren was going to take us in this book and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. Of course, Fever picks up immediately where Wither left off with Rhine and Gabriel escaping the mansion AKA the house of horrors with the creepy basement and horrific experiments. They continue on their mission to find Rhine’s twin brother Rowan whilst at the same time finding out that being free isn’t as easy as they thought it would be. Along the way, they meet “ze crazy madame” who has to be one of the best characters in this book. I adored the false vibrancy of the carnival setting with its dark and seedy undertones but just as you settle into the story, the setting changes again and again and again as Rhine and Gabriel travel further along their journey.

One of the things I like about sequels is that we get to see character development and Fever is of no exception but I’m deliberately holding out on you here as by expanding on this, I would be giving too much away. What I will say though is that one of the most confusing things for me about Fever is the relationship between Rhine and Gabriel. Yes, they’ve escaped together and I know that they care about each other but sometimes I can’t work out whether there is any romance/love there? Do they even know themselves how they feel about each other? Also, I couldn’t work out why Rhine continues to wear her wedding ring throughout the entire book even though it must have been a slap in the face for Gabriel every time he saw it? This is a past she is running away from, remember. I’m sure this intentional and it is a case of them trying to figure out their feelings, I just hope that we find some resolve in the third and final book. So far, this series has had me questioning whether it is better to be imprisoned in comfortable surroundings and treated like a queen or suffer in poverty with your freedom in hand. I’m not sure if I could answer that question right now to be honest.

I can’t tell you how much I adore Lauren’s writing style that is lyrically beautiful at times but never fails to hold my attention. Fever was a very worthy sequel and with that ending? Dear God, we’re going to need the next book STAT.

Fever was published on 16th February, 2012 in the UK and 21st February, 2012 in the US. To find out more about Lauren Destefano and her books, please click here.

Saturday 17 March 2012

You know you're a book blogger when...

Getting new book shelves is the best. Present. Ever.

Re arranging your book shelves is an epic event

You lose your job and all you can think about is “how am I going to buy more books?”

You have a gazillion books in your TBR pile....but you still need to buy more

A new movie comes out and you say “it’s based on a bestselling book and it’s awesome!

Thursday 15 March 2012

Embrace Review

Embrace by debut novelist Jessica Shirvington is getting a lot of buzz right now in America and so imagine my surprise when I found out that it had already been published in the UK last year. How did I miss this? Honestly, I think it has a lot to do with the cover. I know that we shouldn’t just a book by its cover but the cover is the first thing that attracts you to wanting to know more about the book, just like you have to be attracted to a person to want to know more about them. The UK cover is dark and not eye catching in the slightest. I actually think it blends in too well with all the other dark romance books on the shelves. Now compare that to the vibrant, violet beauty that is the US cover and to be honest, there’s no competition. I’ve ordered the US version based on that alone as I loved the book. Here’s the synopsis:

“It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…”

It’s no secret that I’m a bit of an angel girl and as such, I do like reading YA fiction about angels. I will admit to becoming a bit fatigued with the subject though especially as there has been an influx of angel books in recent times. So, what makes this book different? It’s darker, grittier, sexier and just VERY, VERY GOOD!

The main protagonist is Violet Eden and she’s just a normal girl trying to get over something awful that happened to her. I very much like her mantra (don’t run and don’t quit) and am thinking of adopting this for myself or at the very least, it’s begging to go on a t-shirt. Violet is a 3 dimensional character with personality and integrity. Ever since she was attacked, she has been learning to defend herself through kick boxing, I mean this is not some chick that is going to lie down and let life walk all over her and that makes me want to high five the crap out of her. She’s been working out with a guy called Lincoln and they’re pretty much best friends now only Violet has been in love with him for some time and he’s still playing the friend card. Funnily enough, Lincoln is a guy who I felt sorry for throughout the entire book. He is bound by his fate, dutiful to the core (apart from that one SENSATIONALLY HOT kiss) and he always seems to be the one coming off worst. I know he lied to Violet about who he is and who she is even and I don’t condone it but she needs to look a little deeper into WHY he withheld the truth from her and then learn the art of forgiveness.

Just when Violet couldn’t be any more vulnerable, here comes Phoenix. As you might know, I am an absolute sucker for the bad boy trying to be good. In fact, I didn’t really see Phoenix as the bad boy in the end. He can’t help who he is and where he comes from. He never lied about who he was although really, I guess he kind of did if you think that withholding something is the same as lying. There are definitely shades of grey when it comes to Phoenix.

I have to say though that the romance was one of my favourite things about the book. On one hand it was heartfelt and on the other it was hot and steamy as hell. I guess it is a bit of a love triangle but I was rooting for Lincoln the whole time! Having said all that, another thing I liked about the book was that it’s not just about the romance, there is actually a decent plot. There’s obviously more to come and I can’t wait to read the sequel later on in the year. I’m actually quite jealous of the Australians as the sequel entitled Entice is already in print over there.

I know what you’re thinking – you probably think *groan* another angel story and *groan* another love triangle but please, please give this a go as you won’t be disappointed. This is a seductive story that’s action packed and full of tension featuring a kick ass heroine who is more real than a lot of other book characters out there. Embrace is an excellent start to a brand new series that I will definitely be following.

Embrace was published in October 2010 in Australia, 6th October, 2011 in the UK and 6th March, 2012 in the US. To find out more about Jessica Shirvington and her books, please click here to visit her website and here to visit the series website. Jessica is also active on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Beta by Rachel Cohn. Here's the synopsis:

"In a world constructed to absolute perfection, imperfection is difficult to understand—and impossible to hide.

Elysia is a clone, created in a laboratory, born as a sixteen year old girl, an empty vessel with no life experience to draw from. She is a Beta, an experimental model of teenaged clone. She was replicated from another teenage girl, who had to die in order for Elysia to be created.

Elysia's purpose is to serve the inhabitants of Demesne, an island paradise for the wealthiest people on earth. Everything about Demesne is bioengineered for perfection. Even the air there induces a strange, euphoric high that only the island's workers—soulless clones like Elysia—are immune to.

At first, Elysia's new life on this island paradise is idyllic and pampered. But she soon sees that Demesne's human residents, the most privileged people in the world who should want for nothing, yearn. And, she comes to realize that beneath its flawless exterior, there is an undercurrent of discontent amongst Demesne's worker clones. She knows she is soulless and cannot feel and should not care—so why are overpowering sensations clouding Elysia's mind?

If anyone discovers that Elysia isn't the unfeeling clone she must pretend to be, she will suffer a fate too terrible to imagine. When Elysia's one chance at happiness is ripped away from her with breathtaking cruelty, emotions she's always had but never understood are unleashed. As rage, terror, and desire threaten to overwhelm her, Elysia must find the will to survive.

OK, let's start with the cover - isn't it gorgeous? And in case you're wondering why the name Rachel Cohn sounds familiar, she co-wrote the gorgeous Dash and Lily's Book of Dares (which I loved) and Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist with David Levithan. I think Beta sounds a lot like a YA version of the movie "The Island" but regardless, I'm definitely interested to read it! I have no idea whether or not it will be published in the UK but it goes on sale in October, 2012.

Monday 12 March 2012

Cover Reveal - My Super Sweet 16th Century

Along with several other hundred bloggers, I am very pleased to reveal the cover for My Super Sweet 16th Century by Rachel Harris to you today. If you haven't heard of the book, here's the synopsis:

"On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?"

I think this book sounds really cute and I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Italy but never quite managed it. I love anything to do with time travel and this book reminds me a little of the movie Kate and Leopold only this time, it's the girl that's the fish out of water (so to speak). Piqued your interest? Here's a little excerpt from the book:

I hear their muffled whispers and understand every Italian word. Every witty comment made at my expense. It’s like my brain is automatically translating. I bunch the soft fabric of the dress in my hand and then reach up to feel the ribbon in my hair. I lightly skim my fingers over my chin and feel my lack of zit. I take in the costumes of the crowd, the stench of the animals, and the Italian I can now speak and understand. And suddenly it hits me. Reyna must have pulled some kind of gypsy mojo. Maybe this is one of those nifty “change your life” magic scenarios like in the movies. I mean, mostly I’m still expecting to blink and be right back in the midst of overpriced, gaudy tourism, but for now, the gypsy-time-warp explanation is infinitely better than thinking I’ve lost my mind. As I decide to go with that option, I feel my frantic tension melt away.

The growing crowd seems to notice my change in demeanor and begins shooting one another amused looks, but I don’t care anymore. A smile stretches across my face. Evidently, I was wrong earlier; Reyna is a psychic mind reader, because if this is her special brand of bibbity-bobbity-boo, then she made my exact daydream from earlier in the courtyard come to life.
The long red gown, the braided hair, the Italian merchant’s daughter, the time period. I am in Renaissance Florence. I stare dumbly at the ground, the words and reality sinking in. I’m in Renaissance Florence!

My Super Sweet 16th Century is published on 11th September, 2012 by Entangled Publishing and the pre-order links are up. To find out more, click here to visit Rachel's website. She is also active on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday 7 March 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine , that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on...hence the title. This week's pick is Reached by Ally Condie.

As of yet, no synopsis has been shared but I just couldn't wait to put this up as my WOW pick. I loved both Matched and Crossed
and I'm so looking forward to reading Reached! A word about the cover? GORGEOUS. Of course red is my favourite colour and I think this one is pretty special in terms of symbolism and gives us a pretty big hint about the book. Reached is published in November, 2012.

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Born Wicked Review

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood is not a book I had heard of until fairly recently when I saw all the buzz it created across the pond. It was getting rave reviews from fellow book bloggers and this together with the synopsis definitely piqued my interest and so I ordered the hardback. Born Wicked is a historical novel set in New England at the turn of the 20th century. It centres around the Cahill family - a father and his 3 daughters who were born witches at a time when witchcraft is strictly forbidden. I have to say that I don’t tend to read a lot of historical books and I have absolutely no idea why as I loved this book! The story was simple yet effective and the characters were believable, especially given the setting and time period. This book really took me by surprise. Here’s the synopsis:

“Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship--or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with six months to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate stars scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood -- not even from each other.”

Born Wicked is set in a community that is dominated by the Brotherhood, at a time when women were controlled, oppressed and expected to obey men. On top of that, God help you if you displayed any attributes of witchcraft. Anyone suspected of being a witch is sent to the asylum, carted off on a prison ship or sometimes they simply “disappear” altogether. To be honest though, I think sometimes witchcraft was used an excuse to get rid of a woman who had committed what was a sin in the brotherhood’s eyes or indeed done anything that they did not like or approve of. My goodness, how stifling and what a great reminder of how much freedom women have in today’s society for which I am truly thankful!

What’s interesting to me about the setting is that only female witches are mentioned and I am curious to know if there were any male witches around at that time. If the community only ever suspected women, what a fabulous way for men to practice the craft under the radar so to speak. I’d actually quite like a book like that *makes notes*.

The beginning of Born Wicked reminded me somewhat of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and I think this was solely based on the relationship between the three sisters which I found very believable. Cate, who is our main protagonist, is the oldest sister and as such, she is a girl full of responsibilities and duty especially since the passing of her mother. She is a very practical girl and likes to busy herself with gardening which is where she meets Finn, the young boy taken on as the family gardener and he shares the same sense of responsibility and duty to take care of his family. We need to throw the boy next door into the mix at this point – he has grown up with the sisters and it has always been expected that Cate would marry him. It is at this point that I immediately want to start singing “there may be trouble ahead”. What I really enjoyed about the boys in Born Wicked is that they are both nice guys, it’s just that only one of them was right for Cate and you’ll just have to read the book to find out which one that is ;)

There is one particular scene in the book that stands out for me and without telling you exactly what it is, I will tell you that it just might be included in the trailer below and could possibly include feathers (and no, this is not a replica of Edward and Bella’s honeymoon, heaven forbid!)

I really enjoyed Born Wicked which was beautifully written and I thought the dialogue was superb. I would argue that there is no cliffhanger as such, it’s just that things went down a little differently to what was expected and ultimately, this leaves a lot of questions unanswered, ready for a sequel to come along. I know for sure there will be another book and tentative dates for publication are February, 2013. Born Wicked reads like a modern day classic for me and one that is sure to be enjoyed for many years to come.

Born Wicked was published in the US on 7th February, 2012 and is due to be published in the UK in January, 2013. To find out more about Jessica and her book, please click here to visit her website where you can also read the first two chapters FOR FREE.

Monday 5 March 2012

Switched Review

Want to read my review of Switched by Amanda Hocking? Well, you can... here. Hope you like it :)

Sunday 4 March 2012

Brodi Ashton on the Blog

So, you all know how much I enjoyed Everneath by Brodi Ashton that I reviewed here right? Well, today I'm very pleased to welcome Brodi to the blog to talk about something that's very dear to my heart and that is the romance in Everneath. Take it away Brodi...

Hi everyone! I'm so happy that EVERNEATH is out in the U.K., and I'm even happier to be a part of the blog today, to talk about the romance in EVERNEATH, because hands down it's one of the most common themes in the questions I get from readers.

The Romance:

It shouldn't be a surprise that the romance is front and center in EVERNEATH, but there are a few elements I wanted to incorporate to make Nikki and Jack's romance unique.

1. They are both human.

A lot of times in Paranormal Romance, the romance part refers to a human who falls for a paranormal creature, and the conflict comes from the differences in their species. Vampire falls for a human, and ACK! He wants to drain her! She's growing old! He can't control his animal instincts! She seems very squishy, because she's human!

In EVERNEATH, it was important for me that the romance was between two humans, with no real special abilities. The attraction they feel toward each other is epically strong, and yet has nothing to do with any sort of superpower, or ancient curse, or fate. I love reading about these stories as much as the next person, but in Everneath I wanted the romance to be organic, and something that any one of us could've experienced in high school.

2. They didn't fall in love at first sight.

Even though Jack is pretty sure he fell for Nikki when he was twelve years old and she nearly beheaded him with a baseball, he didn't do anything about it for years. They were the best of friends first, and it was a long time before either of them could admit there were deeper feelings there.

3. Neither of them is perfect.

They both have flaws. Lots and lots of gorgeous human flaws!! The beauty in life comes in the shades of gray, I think. And Nikki and Jack both have shades of gray.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog!

Thank you for being here Brodi. Everneath is out now and it comes highly recommended!