Monday, 20 October 2014

[GIVEAWAY] Win a SIGNED copy of ROOMS by Lauren Oliver


ROOMS by Lauren Oliver came out in September and is Lauren's first attempt at Adult Fiction! I reviewed the book here, and really enjoyed it! All about ghost, family drama and lots of intrigue!

Blow you can enter to win a SIGNED copy of ROOMS from Lauren Oliver herself! Unfortunately it is US Only, so sorry internationals and Canadians!

Good Luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Friday, 17 October 2014

[eARC Review] Stray by Elissa Sussman


Title: Stray
Author: Elissa Sussman
Series: Four Sisters #1
Genre: YA Fantasy Fairy Tale Retelling
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads








“I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.”

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

STRAY is the first in a collection of intertwined stories, all set in a world where magic is a curse that only women bear and society is dictated by a strict doctrine called The Path.



I am a sucker for retellings and this one drew me in from how different it sounded from the ones i had read before. This is not about a certain fairy tale character, but of the fairy godmothers and how they are born to be. I loved this aspect of the story because it is something we don't normally think about. We think about the princesses, the princes and the villains but we don't thunk if those who take care of these characters. This made me like this book even before I opened the first page.

I will admit that I had a hard time connecting to the characters in the book. I felt a bit of distance between them, and I really do not know why. I think they seemed young to me, younger than i thought. I did not feel as invested in the story as I wanted. I wanted to be immerse in the culture of this story and the world that the author created, but sadly something was holding me back. I felt myself skimming passages in order to get to more interesting parts. I felt that the plot lagged in places and therefore I was bored at times when reading. I thought there was not enough character interactions for me and that is usually the best part of a book for me, and how I get to know certain characters. I just felt like there was not enough of that.

There was a small mystery element in this story and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. I felt like if it was a more prominent aspect pf the overall plot I would have enjoyed the book a lot more, but we never really got to invest in the mystery as much as I would have liked. And since this is the first book in a new series, I was not captured enough to really want o keep reading. I am interested in where this series goes, and I might pick up the second book but for me this book lacked many aspects that a good series needs, and I was a bit disappointed in it.
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Thursday, 16 October 2014

[eARC Review] Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch



Title: Snow like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads







Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.



I love fantasy novels, and i love when they surprise me. And Snow Like Ashes surprised e in a way that I did not expect. I loved the world that Sarah created, it as so different from any other one I have read in a long time. I loved that the realms were created based on season and months of the years. It made me smile every time someone said Januarri. I loved it! The magical element of this book was by far my favorite part. I am a sucker for everything magic and so I gravitated towards this book right away because of that. But what I found so surprising was how connected I became to the characters. Well really the main character Meira. I fell for her right away. I loved how spunky she was and how Independent she was from the society that told her how to behave. Reading a female character that it strong and independent is one thing, but reading one that follows that lead throughout the ENTIRE book is very rare. Meira is a great heroine for young girls reading YA today. She went against society even when it seemed like there was no hope for the future she wanted for herself.

I loved the way the story unfolded for us readers. There were so many different areas that the characters needed to explore in order to get the answers they needed. I really enjoyed all the characters in this book, they all had a purpose to the story and they all played their part and I loved that. I will say that I was not a fan of the love triangle that surfaced for a bit in the book because I didn't think it added anything to the story. Yes it created tension, and I love tension in any form, but for me I just didn't think it added anything of substance to the book and I would have liked the story without it. I will also admit that at certain times I felt the pacing to be a bit slow. There were a lot of descriptions and i felt myself wanting more character interactions.

Overall I really enjoyed Snow Like Ashes. It was a fantasy worthy of the name and I loved all the characters that we met and will meet over the course of this series. I loved the way this book ended, it was not a cliffhanger, but we were not given all of the answers. We were left wanting more but also satisfied with what we had just read. The perfect ending to the first book of a new fantasy series.
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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

[ARC Review] The Perfectionsists by Sara Shepard



Title: The Perfectionists
Author: Sara Shepard
Series: The Perfectionists #1
Genre: YA Contemporary, Mystery
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads







In Beacon Heights, Washington, five girls—Ava, Caitlin, Mackenzie, Julie, and Parker—know that you don’t have to be good to be perfect. At first the girls think they have nothing in common, until they realize that they all hate Nolan Hotchkiss, who’s done terrible things to each of them. They come up with the perfect way to kill him—a hypothetical murder, of course. It’s just a joke...until Nolan turns up dead, in exactly the way they planned. Only, they didn’t do it. And unless they find the real killer, their perfect lives will come crashing down around them.

From Sara Shepard, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, comes another story of dark secrets, shocking twists, and what happens when five beautiful girls will do anything to hide the ugly truth.



I love Sara Shepard. I have for a very long time. I have read some of her Pretty Little Liars series, and her adult books, so when I saw that she was coming out with a new YA mystery series I knew i had to give it a try, and although it was not my favorite of her books so far, I am glad i read it.

Overall I felt like the story dragged in many places. I found myself wondering when the action was going to start, and i also found myself skimming to parts that seemed more interesting to me. I will also admit that this story should not be read when you just finished Get Even by Gretchen McNeil because they are VERY similar. I think that was also part of the problem for me, I felt like i had read this story before, and in a way I had. And therefore it was repetitive and overdone for me.

The mystery element of this book was great. I really loved the murder and how it was being told through all the different characters. Obliviously I liked some characters more than others, that is a given when there are more than a few narrators. And seeing the same story through so many different lenses was great for the actual mystery itself, because as a reader, I had no idea who to trust and who to believe in terms of the truth. I did think that some of the situations that the girls got into were a little too perfect for the story, if you know what I mean. Being in the right place at the right time to find the perfect evidence was kind of unrealistic, especially for a group of high school-ers. But overall the mystery element was the part of the book that kept me reading until the end.

Now the end. This was the part that will always get me because there was little to no closure for this mystery, and knowing the author, the killer might not be revealed for another 7-8 books,and i honestly do not know if I can wait that long. But overall this book was a fast read with a great mystery, but ultimately fell flat with its characters and pacing.  If you love Sara's writing then this book is definitional the book for you, just beware that you will probably have to wait a long time for any kind of answers or closure.
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

[Blog Tour] Review: Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot





Title: Even in Paradise
Author: Chelsey Philpot
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC received from publisher for Blog Tour in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

If you would like a signed copy you can find them here.





When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.



I want to start off by saying that this book will not be for everyone. This is the kind of book that people will either love or hate, and I think it has everything to do with the attitude you have going in. For me me when I saw that it was described at the Great Gatsby meets Looking for Alaska I knew what kind of book this would be. it would not be your typical contemporary YA novel, and i was right.

What i think I liked the most about this book was the obsession. Not just between characters but between Charlotte, our main character and The Buchanans' home, Arcadia. There was this film over this house, like it was paradise without any proof. Charlotte loved this house for the sole reason that she felt wanted there. But the most disturbing of the obsessions was the fact that the Buchanan's had a unrealistic obsession with Charlotte beings Julia's friend. It was like they needed Charlotte more than Julia herself did. I found the whole idea of obsession in this book quite fascinating. It was probably my favorite part, especially when everything started to unravel, as it always does. The characters started to show their true colors and honestly it felt so real at that point. Even thought these characters were written on a kind of pedestal, when it started to crumble we saw who they really were and that they were just like everyone else.

I did have some issues overall with the book, I wasn't a fan of the love story. I thought that it was a little too much for the story. And honestly at times i felt like there was a love triangle, since Charlotte and Julia had such a strong connection throughout the book. Usually I love a good love story, and at times i really liked it in this book, but overall i just thought it was filler and a way to get Julia to disconnect from Charlotte. It seemed like more of a plot devise than a way to effectively keep the story going. 

Even in Paradise is a book that will divide the YA community, and I think that is the best compliment I can give it. It will inspire discussions and heated arguments over these character and their actions. I loved that this book was so polarizing in its audience, but also its characters. The characters in this book are some of the most complex and unforgettable I ave read in a long time. It is a must read for anyone who loves a good discussion afterward :)

About the Author


Chelsey Philpot grew up on a farm in New Hampshire and now works as an editor and journalist. She's written for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Slate, and numerous other publications. Like her main character, Charlotte, Chelsey attended boarding school in New England. You can visit her online at www.chelseyphilpot.com or on Twitter @ChelseyPhilpot.

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Monday, 13 October 2014

[ARC Review] Stitching Snow by R.C Lewis



Title: Stitching Snow
Author: R.C Lewis
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Retelling
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: ARC received by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads







Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back-but that's assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane's arrival was far from accidental, and she's pulled into the heart of a war she's risked everything to avoid.

In her enthralling debut, R.C. Lewis weaves the tale of a princess on the run from painful secrets . . . and a poisonous queen. With the galaxy's future-and her own-in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.



I could not help myself when I started to read this book to compare it to another space theme retelling of a fairy tale. I will say that yes, there are many similarities between Stitching Snow and the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Was I angry at this? of course not, authors are allowed to write fairy tale retellings in space, its not something that only Marissa is allowed to do. What were some of these similarities? Well there were many cyborgs in this book, also our main character Essie was in love with technology, which is very similar to each character in the Lunar Chronicles. But the one that was the most prominent was the fact that our main character was hiding from a king and queen that are feared in their rule. This was the one that might cause the most issues, but for me it was just something that added an extra bolt of mystery to the story. Comparisons aside, I really enjoyed this book, and since i have gone through all of the things that made it the same as another series, now it is time for me to say what made it different and why I liked the book so much.

I loved Essie's character. She was self sufficient and some one who didn't take any shit for anyone. She took care of herself and was kind of bad ass throughout the book. I loved that. I loved reading strong female characters, especially in YA, and this is one of my all time favs now. She was a fighter, literally, and she was extremely smart with technology and with common sense. She never relied on someone else to get her out of any situation, even though at times she DID need help. But what I think I liked the most about her was that she was never afraid to ask for help. Yes she was strong and fiercely independent but she was also only a teenager. When she needed help she was ask for, it that was humbling to read.

Dane, our mysterious bad boy/love interest was one of my favorite parts of this book. This is probably due to the fact that he was a mystery throughout the entire book. He was the one person who we really didn't know anything about and was full of surprised throughout the book. I loved that his relationship with Essie was very slow going and they really got to know each other first before they followed their feelings.

I will admit that in the beginning when Essie and Dane were on Thanda, a very cold planet, the story dragged for me. I felt like the story really go going once they left there and went on their adventure. It is not that I didn't like the story up until that point, but I thought that I really got into the story and the characters once they left that planet and traveled to others. The pacing itself throughout the book was pretty solid. I mean there were times where I thought the story dragged and there was too much description and not enough character interaction, but overall I thought this book was a great read, especially for those sci-fi lovers that also love a good retelling of a classic tale.
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Thursday, 9 October 2014

[ARC Review] Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick



Title: Black Ice
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary, Thriller
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads







Sometimes danger is hard to see... until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there... and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…



I have loved Becca Fitzpatrick since I read the Hush Hush series, and I have been waiting for her to write something new and when I heard that she ventured into the contemporary thriller genre i knew i had to read it, and i am so glad I did because it was a wild ride.

Black Ice follows Britt, a young girl who is dealing with a bad breakup, a best friend who in my opinion is not the best, and trying to escape a twosome of men keeping her prisoner in the woods. I loved the concept of the book, and I loved that the book got to the point very quickly. There was no lull in the beginning with too much information dropping, and we I loved that we got to know the characters as the story went on. I loved that mystery the most.

I will say that I was not a fan of Britt's best friend. I found her character to be a bit superfluous and unneeded. Although she was great for certain scenes in the book, she never really made a difference as to how the book turned out. I felt like her character didn't mean anything to the overall story and I wish she had either been used more, or cut completely. And plus she was extremely annoying and very bossy, things I am not fond of in secondary characters.

The mystery element was great, and I loved how there were layers to it that kept growing as the story went on. I will admit that i figured out the main mystery quite quickly, and yet it did not ruin the book for me, i still really loved reading Britt's story and how she coped with everything that was happening to her. I will say that in the beginning I was skeptical of the romance between Britt and a certain somebody, but it grew on me as the story went on. I thought their personalities complimented each other well, and it felt real. Especially the end. I felt like the way this book ended made sense, although I would have liked more closure between Brit and her best friend. That part was left too open for me and i wish I got to see what happened there after everything that happened.

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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Waiting on Wednesday [61]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, it highlights upcoming books that we cannot wait to read!


This week my pick is....

YES PLEASE BY AMY POEHLER


 
In Amy Poehler’s highly anticipated first book, Yes Please, she offers up a big juicy stew of personal stories, funny bits on sex and love and friendship and parenthood and real life advice (some useful, some not so much), like when to be funny and when to be serious. Powered by Amy’s charming and hilarious, biting yet wise voice, Yes Please is a book is full of words to live by.
 
Comes out October 28th!!!!
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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

[ARC Review] How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran



Title: How to Build a Girl
Author: Caitlin Moran
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary, Coming of Age
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Release Date: September 23rd 2014
Publisher: Harper
Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads







What do you do in your teenage years when you realise what your parents taught you wasn't enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes - and build yourself.

It's 1990. Johanna Morrigan, 14, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there's no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde - fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer! She will save her poverty stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer - like Jo in Little Women, or the Brontes - but without the dying young bit.

By 16, she's smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She's writing pornographic letters to rock-stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.

But what happens when Johanna realises she's built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters and a head full of paperbacks, enough to build a girl after all?

Imagine The Bell Jar written by Rizzo from Grease, with a soundtrack by My Bloody Valentine and Happy Mondays. As beautiful as it is funny, How To Build a Girl is a brilliant coming-of-age novel in DMs and ripped tights, that captures perfectly the terror and joy of trying to discover exactly who it is you are going to be.



I have wanted to read this book since I heard about it last years. I love Caitlin Moran, she is a great comedic writer and I lover her honestly on every subject she talks about. She when I saw that she was writing a book about growing up and becoming a woman I knew i needed to read it.

I loved Caitlin's way of writing the main characters voice, it was very stream of consciousness that made so much sense for a teenager, on many occasions I actually felt like I was inside her head and feeling the same things she was. I will be honest when I say that the writing style of VERY honest. Caitlin leaves nothing out and touches in many subjects including, masturbation, teen sex and dropping out of high school to pursue a career that many would think would lead nowhere. I loved this honestly and I felt very proud that she mentioned these kinds of things because I think in our society today girls are not looked at like that, and it was refreshing to see a character that was so real and forthcoming with these topics.

I had some issues with this book though, and one of them was the use of British slang. at time I had no idea what was happening because I honestly didn't get what the characters were saying. It made for a very hard read for me. I found myself taken out of the story on more than one occasion because I didn't get it. I didn't get what the characters were joking about and I didn't get what they were s concerned about because I wasn't in on the vocabulary they were using. Speaking of vocabulary, the characters in this book use the C word on so many occasions that it left me feeling very uncomfortable. I am very against that word and grew up hating it so seeing so many times, and being used so relaxing made me a bit weary of this book and its characters. 

Overall the story was great and very interesting, but there were times I was so removed from the story and its characters that it was hard for me to connect to what was going on and feel what the characters were feeling. I loved the authors ability to talk about such taboo subjects but ultimately this book felt a bit short for me.
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Monday, 6 October 2014

[eARC Review] Bleed Like Me by C. Desir



Title: Bleed Like Me
Author: C. Desir
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary, Issues
Format: Hardcover, 291 pages
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in  exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads







From the author of Fault Line comes an edgy and heartbreaking novel about two self-destructive teens in a Sid and Nancy-like romance full of passion, chaos, and dyed hair.

Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon (just "Gannon" to her friends) is invisible to almost everyone in her life. To her parents, to her teachers-even her best friend, who is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding. Some days the only way Gannon knows she is real is by carving bloody lines into the flesh of her stomach.

Then she meets Michael Brooks, and for the first time, she feels like she is being seen to the core of her being. Obnoxious, controlling, damaged, and addictive, he inserts himself into her life until all her scars are exposed. Each moment together is a passionate, painful relief.

But as the relationship deepens, Gannon starts to feel as if she's standing at the foot of a dam about to burst. She's given up everything and everyone in her life for him, but somehow nothing is enough for Brooks-until he poses the ultimate test.

Bleed Like Me is a piercing, intimate portrayal of the danger of a love so obsessive it becomes its own biggest threat.



I went into this book expecting something completely different. I really don't know what I was really expecting was not this. The one thing I like about books that deal with issues such as toxic relationships and self harm are the ways in which the characters deal with everything and learn from it. In Bleed Like Me I didn't get the satisfaction of seeing character growth by the end of the book, it felt like she just kept living even though everything she went through was horrible and clearly effected her in ways no one really knew.

Amelia Gannon is not a likable character in the least. While reading I wanted to like her and relate to her but she made it so freaking hard. She made horrible choices and saw nothing wrong with a clearly abusive boyfriend and made no change to her life. She hated her family, which honestly made sense to me because they were not that great to begin with, and really had no friends. We only really say Amelia through her boyfriend Micheal's eyes because he was the only one she really spent any time with. I hated their relationship right from the beginning. I could see that it was toxic and i hated that no one around did anything to really stop it from going further. Her family and so called best friend tried to warn her about him but they really didn't try hard enough in my opinion.

I really liked the beginning of the story because it was very raw and felt real to me, and the writing was bang on. It was on point with Amelia's feelings and her surroundings, and I really liked that reading experience. But for me there was not enough hope. I say this a lot with books that deal with tough subjects because I always say that yes, it makes sense for there not to be a happy ending, i get that, but there should be a semblance of hope for the characters. I don't want to end a book and s=feel like they are doomed to live a life that is so horrible that they will eventually give up. I need hope, and in this case there was none at the end, and that really tarnished my reading experience.

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Friday, 3 October 2014

[eARC Review] Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez



Title: Kiss Kill Vanish
Author: Jessica Martinez
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Contemporary Thriller
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads







Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.

She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.

She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.



I went into this book with no expectations. I just loved the cover more than I have loved any cover of a YA novel. Yes I judged the book by its cover but sometime it leads to great things. Kiss Kill Vanish is a great thriller, one that I have never read before in this genre. I have read many a YA book but I have not read one where a young girl is running away from her family because she witnessed a murder. That was new thing for me and i have to say it made for a fast paced novel.

Valentina was not my favorite character in this book, honestly she was very hard to like. But i think that was part of her appeal. She was quite winy in the beginning, especially when she met someone from her past that told her he would help her get away from her family for good. When he came along it was life everything she had learned on her own disappeared, she became this little helpless girl that kept waiting and waiting for someone to save her. And honestly it drove me nuts. I wanted her to be able to fight for herself and take her own life by the horns. And when that finally happened in the end I was so happy for her character. She stood up for herself and made a stand, something i honestly did not think would happen with her track record.

I also found Valentina's relationships to be a bit of a problem. I found them to e very unhealthy on every level and didn't understand why she gravitated towards the people that she did. She obviously knew better but chose to keep going in the direction she was going and ended up hurt and honestly in the end I did not see enough improvement for me to feel for her.

I loved the mob aspect of the story, it made for great mystery and i honestly had no idea what was going to happen chapter after chapters. The author was great at keeping us guessing. The writing was fast paced and allowed for me to want to keep reading after every chapter finished because I needed to know what was going to happen. There were many twist and turns, especially near the end that surprised me and I loved that. Ultimately I found the end to be a bit too perfect for my taste, especially after everything that happened, but I can be a sucker for a HEA :)
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Thursday, 2 October 2014

[eARC Review] The Good Sister by Jamie Kain



Title: The Good Sister
Author: Jamie Kain
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA contemporary
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: eARC received via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase
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The Kinsey sisters live in an unconventional world. Their parents are former flower-children who still don’t believe in rules. Their small, Northern California town is filled with free spirits and damaged souls seeking refuge from the real world. Without the anchor of authority, the three girls are adrift and have only each other to rely on.

Rachel is wild. Asha is lost. Sarah, the good sister, is the glue that holds them together. But the forces of a mysterious fate have taken Sarah’s life in a sudden and puzzling accident, sending her already fractured family into a tailspin of grief and confusion. Asha has questions. Rachel has secrets. And Sarah, waking up in the afterlife, must piece together how she got there.



I love books that deal with family drama, and The Good Sister has soo much of that! When I opened this book I knew that there were going to be family secrets, betrayal and a lit of drama since the three narrator were three sisters that could not have been more different from each other. And that is what made this book so interesting to read.

Each sister had their own story to tell but when I read Sarah, the oldest sisters POV i knew she would be my favorite. Since she is the only one of them that is no longer on earth, she has a unique perspective on her life and how she could have changed it. But she also has a secret, one she would not tell herself. This secret was something that she needed her sisters to find out on their own and that was probably the guiding force in my ability to read this book so fast. I wanted to know what happened to Sarah and how it effected both of her sisters.

Her sisters, Rachel and Asha, lived on without her, but just barely. Reading their lives after Sarah's death was probably the hardest part because they made so many bad decisions that it made it quite frustrating for me as a reader. Rachel was the semi normal one who felt so much guilt for something she would never tell. I felt for her on so many levels because she was the last person to see her sister alive and therefore if her secret got out everything about their lives would be different. Then there was Asha who was a train wreck. She was never home, obsessed with pissing off her mother and trying to ignore the feelings she was having for her best friend.

I think my favorite characters in this book were their parents. They were hippies that eventually decided to acclimate to normal life and yet screwed up so badly that their kids were the only ones that felt the effects. The mother, oh man she was one horrible person, one that made me wish I could go into the book and shake her and tell her to pay attention because if she doesn't her girls are going to fall apart in front of her. Then there was their father, a character that is so small that he doesn't really mean anything to anyone until the very end of the book.

Overall this book was a great family saga that will leave you wishing you could call your famliy and thank them for being so normal. These characters are unforgettable and will stay with you long after the secrets are revealed and the last page is turned. A great contemporary book that will leave you wishing for more.
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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

[eARC Review] The Fall by Bethany Griffin



Title: The Fall
Author: Bethany Griffin
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA Horror, Retelling
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: eARC received from publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Purchase
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Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.



I really do not know how to review this book, because the more I say about it, the more I will ruined it for those that want to read it later. Well first off let me tell you that this book is capital C Creepy. While I was reading it I think I had a permanent weirded out look on my face that my husband questioned on an hourly basis. This creepy factor was the best part of the book because it kept you guessing from beginning to end. At time I had no idea what was going on and I felt like i was watching one of the horror movies I seriously hate because they scare the crap out of me!

My favorite part of the book were the characters. Of course we have our usually characters. the Family itself, but there was another character that I loved even more. The house. Throughout the book it became its own kind of character and I love that. It added another part of the mystery and it became something we dreaded as readers because every time the house was mad, something horrible would happen. This was the best part of the whole reading experience because this character was the most unpredictable of them all. We had no idea what was going to happen and it was that unknown that made this book as creepy as it was. The mystery element of the curse upon the Usher family and what that means for Madeline and her twin brother. This mystery curse kept me reading until the end because I wanted to why it effected every generation of Usher so strongly.

The writing style in this book was one of the things that took me out of the story on more than one occasion. I was not a fan of the flow of the book because I found it hard to follow at times. It was very disconnected and all over the place at tomes and n the end it left me feeling quote distracted. I usually love Bethany's writing but this time I was a bit disappointed. I wanted more from the story itself and in the end the writing style is the reason I gave the book threatening I did.
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