Saturday, April 30, 2011

Divergent ARC Giveaway Winner!

Considering this is my second giveaway, I'm still pretty stoked that people entered! Anyway, a big thank to all those aussies who had entered the giveaway because ALL OF YOU GUYS gave some brilliant answers to my Which fraction would you choose and why? question. If I had magic powers, I would wish to give each and every one of you a copy of Divergent, because it's an amazing dystopian book. As for those who haven't read it, be sure to check it out next month! And as for my international folks, sorry about making it for AUSSIES ONLY, but I wanted the book be shipped to the winner as quickly as possible and I thought it would be fair since some aussies wouldn't have a copy as of yet and since the likes of America get so many goodies! hehe.

But one lucky aussie has scored themselves an ARC copy of DIVERGENT! Since all of you guys gave some pretty awesome answers and while I found it hard to choose the winner, I let to decide for me (it only seems fair). So, the winner is . . .

*drum roll please*

Rachel S

Congrats to the winner! I've sent you a quick email, so just reply back within 24 hours with your address details and I'll send the book to you ASAP! Once again, thank you to everyone who entered!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cover Reveals & In The Mail


Now I'm a HUGE Rachel Vincent fan and I adore her books whether they're young adult or adult . . . either way she writes everything GOOD! For her Soul Screamers young adult series, I just LOVE these books and each one she brings out . . . well let's just say they keep getting better and better! And did I mention how beautiful her covers ARE?! I mean, seriously? I haven't seen any other book cover with so much colour!

So this green cover is for Vincent's fifth installment of the Soul Screamers series, IF I DIE, which is coming out in September 2011! It's a book I'm really looking forward to! Anyway, don't you think the green is gorgeous?! I don't know about you but does the girl cover model look a hell of a lot like Miley Cyrus in the distance? As for the Nash cover model - assuming that's Nash - he's pretty hot and I wonder if it's the same model they used for Vincent's previous novel, My Soul To Steal? Nonetheless, I'm very happy how this cover turned out since I love the colour green!

Moving on, let me introduce TWISTED's cover!

Now, I came across this cover on goodreads so I'm not sure if it's the final version but I still really love it's purple-cloud-thunder blending! While I DO love the covermodels featured here - more so the girl because the guy has a weird resemblance to Jim Sturgess - but I prefer Gena Showalter's other covers with just the guy on the front! Still . . . it's very pretty!

Moving onto what I'm going to read and review next . . .

First up in the mail - thanks to the lovely Book Depo - is Rachel Hawkins's DEMONGLASS, the sequel to one of my favourite books Hex Hall! I've been dying to get my hands on this book and since the library was taking too long to order it I'd eventually bought in hardcover at Book Depo! Now . . . it's in my hands and I'm definitely going to start reading it tonight! Looking forward to see what will happen with Archer! Cause he's one of those characters that might be trouble and hot, but 'us' readers don't care!

And . . . FINALLY I received DEFIANCE by Lili St. Crow! In Australia the paperback version was released a little early compared to its USA scheduled release date and I was a little jealous when I saw it in the store and couldn't buy it because I already ordered it from Book Depo! But eh . . . I got it anyway but my only disappointment was that this installment of the Strange Angels series is by far the smallest book I've seen! At least the book I received is smaller! *sigh* But who cares! I love this series which follows closely behind my favourite of all-time Vampire Academy and what can I say . . . I'm a HUGE fan of every book Lilith Saintcrow (Lili St. Crow) has ever written! So, after I read DEMONGLASS I'll definitely be reading this one next!
So, what do you think of the latest cover reveals? Are they better than the other covers in the series? Or, have they disappointed you? And . . . down in the comment box, tell me what you're currently reading lately!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Deathly Hallows - Part 2 Trailer!!!!

Can you say . . .

While I wasn't too impressed by the Deathly Hallows Part 1 film, I think everything in Part 2 will blow me away! I wished July would hurry up already cause this is one film NO ONE wants to miss! The ending of Harry Potter is like the ending of my childhood!

So, bloggers . . . readers . . . Harry Potter fangals or fanboys . . . what do you think of the latest trailer of Part 2? Do you secretly scream on the inside? Fear not, I'm with you on that one!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Exile by Rebecca Lim

Release Day: 9th June, 2011

Publisher: Harpercollins

Pages: 292pgs

The Story

Mercy's search continues . . .

Mercy is an angel with a shattered memory, exiled from heaven for a crime she can't remember committing.

So when she she 'wakes' inside the body and life of eighteen-year-old Lela Neill, Mercy has only limited recall of her past life. Her strongest memories are of Ryan, the mortal boy who'd began to fall for her - and she for him.

Mercy soon discovers that circumstances have forced Lela into waitressing at Green Lantern, a busy city cafe frequented by suits, cab drivers, strippers, backpackers and the homeless, while caring for her terminally ill mother.

Just as Mercy is adjusting to Lela's life, her beloved Luc, reappears in her dreams, and she begins to glimpse her true nature and true feelings for Ryan. What she does not know is that her attempts to contact Ryan may have explosive consequences for everyone around her.

Meanwhile, 'the Eight' - the angelic beings responsible for her banishment - remain determined to keep Mercy and Luc apart, forever . . .

The Review

What can I say about Rebecca Lim's EXILE, the sequel to Mercy? She has done it again! I think what I love most about Lim's YA angel series is that 1) she's an Australian author and 2) the storyline itself is so intriguing and bloody HELL interesting, reminding me a lot of Stephenie Meyer's The Host! In the previous installment of the Mercy series, we were introduced to Mercy - a girl who has no memory of why she's forced to return repeatedly to Earth to inhabit a human females' body for a certain period of time. The thing is, Mercy has no idea how long she will be "borrowing" these human bodies and let's just say it's all really complicated . . . in a good way of course. Nonetheless, Mercy is always dreaming of Luc, her beloved and now, she cannot help but think of the mortal, Ryan, the boy she met in the last book Mercy.

In this new installment EXILE, this time Mercy "wakes" up inside the body of eighteen-year-old Lela Neill who spends her days working at a local cafe - serving the likes of suits, cabbies and strippers - and with her also caring for her ill mother. At the beginning, I couldn't help comparing Lela to Mercy's last inhabitant . . . Carmen. To be honest, I'm not sure who I liked better, but you can easily tell that Lela's lifestyle is much more depressing and quite sad, considering she's so very young and still has to act as the parent where her ill mother is concerned. I guess you could say Lela's life is running higher on an emotional level than Carmen's life ever was, still . . . both girls are very different.

As in the previous book, Mercy's dreams revolve around the mysterious Luc, with he himself as an angel who has searched for Mercy for a very long time but 'the Eight' wants to keep them apart. This time round I found Luc to be pretty straight forward, in terms of him helping Mercy to recover some lost memories as well as giving her some simple directions. While I don't necessarily trust him, but in the next few books it'll be interesting what will unfold between him and Mercy.

Now, moving on, EXILE has more to do with Mercy's forgotten past and I loved the fact there was more history involved . . . can't wait to read more despite it's frustrating ending!!! I mean, why must these novels end on such a cliffhanger - well not a MAJOR cliffhanger - the ones that leave you wanting more! Anyhow, it was good to see Ryan - the second love interest if that's what you would call him - whom we met in Mercy and it was a pity that him and Mercy never got to interact as much as I wanted them too. But the nonetheless, I'm sure we will be seeing him in the future installments . . . I get the feeling he's apart of something BIG when it comes to Mercy and her past.

Overall, if you haven't read Mercy yet please do! While the angel and demon worlds are rocking the YA book world - some great and others not entirely - but Rebecca Lim's world is twisted in a very interesting way and even in EXILE, it proves that she knows what she's doing!

The Rating

4 / 5 stars

Monday, April 25, 2011

Forgotten ARC Giveaway Winner!

Considering this was my first EVER giveaway, I just want to say a BIG thank you to everyone who had entered my FORGOTTEN giveaway and a big thank you to the awesome Jennifer at Hardie Grant Australia for giving me an extra ARC copy of this amazing debut novel!

To my surprise, I had a very good number of international and Australian followers - both old and new - putting their names down to win! So, thank you very much you guys! Also, I had to mention that only a few days ago, I'd actually reached 100 blog followers! Yay!

Anyway, let's get down to business! Using, the winner of this very precious ARC of Cat Patrick's FORGOTTEN book is . . .

*drum roll please*


WOOHOO!!!! Congrats to the winner! I've sent you an email, so please respond with your mailing address and I'll ship this lovely little baby to you ASAP! Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

As for those who didn't win, not to worry, in the future I should be holding more contests! For those aussies reading this post, come and enter my DIVERGENT book giveaway (AUS only - sorry international folks!!!) which ends April 30th. Also, be sure to check out FORGOTTEN when it hit shelves June 2011!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Release Day: 12th October, 2010

Publisher: Little Brown/Razorbill

Pages: 503pgs

The Story

Ethan used to think of Gatlin, the small southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that has been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of undeground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

The Review

Shamefully I had this book on the shelf for quite some time since the release of BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS but I never had the chance to read it. You know, since I have and own soooooo many books nowadays. But thankfully, I had some time to settle down and read it. In the first book of the Caster Chronicles series, Beautiful Creatures, I remember how much I loved it and it had become one of my favourite paranormal books in the young adult book department! However, in this sequel, I was very disappointed . . . not in the writing but more so in the way the events unfolded. There were some moments that definitely surprised me, but there were others that left me going, "Oh, come on!"

BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS was quite hard to get into and the only time I felt myself engaged with the book was after the half of the book was read . . . that's when the real action happens. Without spoiling the events in this sequel, I'll just give you a run down what I loved and hated about the book. Okay, what I loved? I loved Ethan's character and in this book he only proved himself to be a real worthy main character, and I love him for it! He remains strong throughout all the Hell-ish things that are thrown at him and he always impresses me in the way he handles things. As for Lena . . . well, I'll get to her later. But when it comes to Liv, a new character introduced to the book series, I just loved her to death! She's funny, a little quirky, and VERY smart! To be honest, I wanted her and Ethan to get together but since that seem beyond impossible . . . that's a reason why I didn't like the book so much. But Ridley earns herself some points! She maybe dark on the inside and a little annoying, but she definitely knows how to make you laugh! Same goes with Link!

Moving on, let's talk about what I didn't like about BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS. First off, LENA! Now in the first book, I loved Lena's character and I could relate to her . . . but in this sequel I lost track of what I loved about her from the beginning because not only does she annoy me, but she depresses me. She has her reasons, of course. Still . . . I was tired of hearing her complain about her choice in turning Dark or Light, and most importantly . . . I hated the way she treated her suppose "boyfriend", pushing Ethan away to "protect him". But if this was "true love" as they say it to be, then I don't believe in it. Another thing I didn't like was John Breed (cause I expected a total badass and got nothing great) and I hated the way things turned out at the ending pages . . . *sighs* MAJOR LET DOWN! I wished I could go into further details about the book but since that would spoil it for those who haven't had a chance to pick this big baby up . . . I won't say another word!

Overall, BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS was still a very entertaining book though I have to warn you: stuff doesn't really happen until you pass the middle half of the book. Despite my dislikes of events here and there, there is certainly a lot of twists and little surprises along the way, some that really surprised me and others that just make me shake my head and sigh. So, if you've read Beautiful Creatures, expect this book to have a very different vibe . . . it's a bit darker and a bit crazier!

The Rating

3 1/2 / 5 stars

Friday, April 22, 2011

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View.

This week's question: What's on your current playlist?

My answer: Well, since I'm an aspiring author . . . before I actually WRITE a book or plot out the storyline and write up character profiles (yes, I really do this), I always create character playlists and the main novel playlists, even a playlist just with instrumental music to get the feel of my own fictional world that I'm about to write about. For this post, I'll give you a couple of songs that I'm using for my current WIP STEAMPUNK/FANTASY young adult trilogy!

So, followers and other blog readers, what is on your playlist at the moment?

Have an awesome weekend you guys!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Release Day: 15th February, 2011

Publishers: Harper Collins

Pages: 368pgs

The Story

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered - and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

The Review

I loved The Body Finder but now since reading the sequel, I'm totally smitten with Violet and her loveable, adorable and totally guy-love-interest-worthy, Jay! A lot of the time, the first book in a series is awesome - you know, when you're left wanting more - and then once you dive into the sequel . . . you usually don't get your money's worth . . . but I absolutely LOVED this book! From it's high-tension, from its sweet-and-sometimes-frustrating-but-still-kind-of-great-swoony-lovey-dovey romance and of course . . . you also get an awesome mystery all blended in together!

In DESIRES OF THE DEAD, you finally get to see a more serious side to Violet and Jay's relationship. In the first book, The Body Finder, it focused more on the long-time friendship between these two main characters and how their romantic relationship came about, however in this sequel, you get to see them away from the "best friend" light. To prove a point but without giving away spoilers, I will say that there's a scene in the book that was sooooo sweet (if you guys have read this, then you know what I mean by this SCENE) and I loved the way the author dealt with their relationship this time round. I guess you could say that the development of their characters was built more on attraction and any girl will fall for this! Trust me! Meanwhile, readers will get to explore how Violet is coming into her own - what with her "gift" of hearing echoes of the dead - and how she struggles in using this power.

But what I love most about this book is how Kimberly Derting develops her mysteries and how well she writes. Like my favourite Nancy Drew novels, this author knows how to make you KEEP GOING in reading and you don't want to stop until you have reached the very end! At times, the book was quite predictable in terms of who's the KILLER and how things may wrap up in the last pages (since I'm such a Nancy Drew super-freak sleuth) , but nonetheless, while the case is closed . . . there are still many questions that need to be answered. If you haven't devoured this series yet, please do because DESIRES OF THE DEAD was a great addition to the YA series and I'm looking forward to the third installment of The Body Finder series!

The Rating

5/5 stars

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Win an ARC copy of DIVERGENT!

Okay, with the release day so close and for my faithful fellow blogger readers -both old and the new - in celebration of this debut novel, I have ONE ARC copy of Divergent to giveaway! This is an amazing book and I know a lot of people are excited to read this debut novel by Veronica Roth! Mainly because of the hot Four love interest . . . but nonetheless it's a great novel! You can check out my book review here if you're curious!

Unfortunately . . . this giveaway is for Australians ONLY!

To win, all you have to do is just put your name down at the bottom of this post and your email address so I have a way to contact you, and also answer the following question . . .

Which fraction would you choose and why?

Are you Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Erudite (the intelligent), Amity (the peaceful), or Candor (the honest)?

To give you an idea on how to answer this question, I'll post my opinion on what fraction I would choose:

While the five fractions seem appealing - because each and every human possesses these different qualities - but I would have to choose the Dauntless. To be brave it requires the most heart; you can be brave to be wrong, brave when you're scared, brave when you're trying, and you can even be brave when you're simply being honest. It takes a lot of self-sacrifice and knowledge altogether, and while the Dauntless fraction can be pretty extreme in their tactics . . . but what's wrong in facing your fears? Eventually, you'll have to face everything that brings you down in order to become a stronger and a more independent person.

You get the idea . . . ?

Be sure to follow my blog and I'll follow back (for those who have blogger), be sure to check out Divergent's facebook page here and you can also check out the fraction quiz here too!

This giveaway ends April 30th, 2011!

Friday, April 15, 2011

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Release Day: 5th April, 2011

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Pages: 424pgs

The Story

City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone's killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leavings tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary's plan to lead a normal life as she can - training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. But as Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them - consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.

Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon - the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side - can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher then ever in City of Fallen Angels.

The Review

Far out, I honestly don't know what to say about this book! From Cassandra Clare's previous Mortal Instruments installments, her writing lured me into this amazing world of hers and from her world building to her very addictive characters that we all love - the good and the bad - I love everything she has too offer to us readers. While I still remain true and loyal TMI fan, and while I was very excited to hear she'll be writing another three books to the Mortal Instruments series . . . I however, found myself a little disappointed with this fourth book.

CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS was utterly darker - which I loved since I'm weird like that - but what I loved the most was that we got to see more of Simon! Hooray! I mean, let's face it: he's my favourite boy character, well, apart from the utterly hilarious Magnus and Alec. Apart from that, I found the characters have changed in this book - more so, Jace, and because of this brooding-complicated-stubborn-a-little-bit-typical-and-boring-old Jace, there is a reason why I'm a Simon fangirl! He has life in him and he's the DEAD one! At the end of City of Glass, I wanted the Jace and Clary relationship to go much deeper (it has at times), but instead, it turned around into something that made your head spin around and around until you wanted to sink down and die. I know I'm a bit dramatic there . . . but DAMN IT! If you think CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS is going to give you happy, romantic scenes . . . think again!

I admit, there were major letdowns in this book - 1) Jace is still wanting Clary but is holding back and I guess for a good-but-stupid reason, 2) because I expected major action but I got predictable action that I could see a mile away (for those who've read it, you know what I'm talking about), 3) there were hot makeout scenes that I found pointless, and 4) Well, I haven't got anymore reasons but I think Jace should just DIE and I know that's mean . . . but really? I love him to bits, don't get me wrong, but he's worse than Edward. Even though it seems Simon loves another (I won't say whom exactly), but I still think him and Clary should've got back together . . . they mesh well together. Jace is just . . . well, an eye-roll boring. If I hear him mutter something that resembles, "I love you but I don't deserve you cause I'm Mr. boy-who-was-brought-up-by-an-evil-mastermind" I will scream!

Okay, despite my blabbing, let's talk about what I did love! SIMON! KYLE! MAGNUS! ALEC! CLOCKWORK ANGEL references! As I mentioned above, I love Simon to bits and for those who were all Jace fans . . . I can definitely tell you that you'll love Simon more than him! We get to see his vampire transition in the installment and I was thankful for seeing into his life, rather than focusing on the whole Jace-Clary scenario. TEAM SIMON for life, I say! His character has developed a lot more and we really DO get to see what a loyal friend he IS! As for Kyle, I already knew who he was when I first met him! I won't say anything more about Kyle, for those who haven't read the book, but I loved him to bits too! Despite his dark past (you guys will know about this once you read it) he is truly a super-dooper nice character!

Now, onto my favourite couple of TMI series . . . Magnus and Alec! Words can't describe how much I love these guys! I was a tad bit disappointed that they didn't get much of a role in CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS but their little fights over Magnus being immortal and how Alec is just a 'toy' to him . . . it was just do adorable! I think the reason why I gave this book four stars is because of them, because despite the dark cloud that lies on top of the other characters, these two characters came through with a bucket of sunshine! They lightened the mood! Lastly, I was so excited when I read some CLOCKWORK ANGEL mentionings . . . ones that referred to Will and then . . . there's was that cameo appearance from the CA vampire, Camille. That was pretty cool.

Needless to say, even if I found CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS too predictable, I did enjoy reading the book and its twists-and-turns along the way! It was a hard one to put down and it was a great addition to the Mortal Instruments series, though I hope the next installment has more surprises for me, which I know will happen considering the cliffhanger than made you wanna hit someone! Well, not literally of course! That would be rude and stupid. Anyway, CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS is definitely a book you should pick up, but be warned: there's no sparkles and rainbows waiting for you there!

The Rating

4/5 stars

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Release Day: 5th May, 2011

Publisher: Doubleday Childrens Books

Pages: 256pgs

The Story

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam get's stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

The Review

Undeniably this book has earned itself 5 shooting stars!

No kidding! Fans of If I Stay will fully appreciate this fine piece of artwork of its sequel, WHERE SHE WENT. Whether it's the love of music or the rekindled romance, you'll love everything that this book has to offer: through its raw and somewhat real emotions, through it's almost heart-breaking intensity, and of course . . . you will also love the freakin' fantastic and very satisfying conclusion to Adam and Mia's story. This blew me away and no wonder why Gayle Forman is considered to be one of my favourite YA authors!

In WHERE SHE WENT, we face the aftermath of the recovery process and start to wonder what actually happened to Adam's Mia. The story takes place three years later after the crash (one that claimed Mia's parents and little brother) and Mia's physical recovery. Now, Mia is the rising star of Juilliard and Adam is the 'everybody-would-die-to-be-for-one-day' rock star, with his band Shooting Star rocking the music charts of fame. But since the events of If I Stay - which I have to say was such a powerful book and an unforgettable one at that - Mia and Adam have broken up . . . only Adam is left wondering, 'Where She Went?' With his rock star status, he is still at a loss over why Mia left him and is now spiralling into a black hole of hatred, loss, and a sense of betrayal. But as fate comes along, he is reunited with Mia at one of her concerts and together, they begin to explore New York City, with them also digging into their pasts. All of it was amazing!

Unlike If I Stay, WHERE SHE WENT offered more than I bargained for! Literally. While this is in Adam's point-of-view and not in Mia's, Gayle Forman still wrote raw-to-the-core words and I felt like I was with Adam or rather I was him - from him being this 'used-to-be' sweet guy and all the way down to his 'black hole' of a celebrity life and I ate all the words up because it was truly brilliant! One of Forman's best works. Adam's character was just spot-on! But what I loved most about this book was the lyrics of Adam's songs, the ones that started most of the chapters and the way we experienced Adam's hate and love for Mia! You know . . . his confusion, his desperation, his longing to know why everything fell apart between them . . . it was so intense that I felt like crying over it like I had done in If I Stay! And let me tell you: NO BOOK has ever made me cry as much or has made me feel so heart torn like WHERE SHE WENT! Adam and Mia's characters have developed so much through this book and there are no words to justify how much this book meant to me!

I think one the lines that really struck me was this one: Then she lost the battle and started to cry. All my annoyance melted. "You dumb-ass," I crooned, kissing her on her forehead. "You don't share me. You own me." This line alone proved to us readers just how much Mia meant to Adam, and it makes you all giddy on the inside when you read the lines. It was just . . . so perfect.

Okay, enough with the gushing! WHERE SHE WENT will not disappoint the fans of If I Stay because this book has literally surpassed it! Hands down this is probably one of my favourite sequels of all time, not because it's beautifully-written but the fact that that damn Gayle Forman can always make me act like such a girl whenever I read this book!

The Rating

5/5 stars

You can also check out this video here where the author, Gayle Forman, takes you on a little tour of New York City . . . the spots that are featured in the book WHERE SHE WENT! Gotta love NYC!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to the awesome publisher HACHETTE AUSTRALIA for giving me a copy of this wonderful debut novel!

Release Day: 5th May, 2011

Publisher: ATOM

Pages: 320pgs

The Story

DIE FOR ME is the first of three books about Kate, a sixteen-year-old American who moves to Paris after the death of her parents. It introduces a new version of the undead with revenants, beings who are fated to sacrifice themselves over and over again to save others' lives. Kate finds herself falling for Vincent, who she discovers is not the typical French teenager he appears: he is something else entirely.

DIE FOR ME presents a new supernatural mythology presented in a city where dreams are sometimes the same as reality.

The Review

DIE FOR ME ended up surprising me! Some described it as being too much like the Twilight series and while I can see many similiarities within the book - in terms of a supernatural-like family and the sudden romance between the two main characters - but I have to say that DIE FOR ME was nearly impossible to put down! I felt like the author, Amy Plum, added her own charm to the story and I appreciated the effort she put into her revenant mythology . . . which was pretty cool in its own special way! She could've used any other 'monster' that we've seen plenty of times in young adult fiction (you know the ones), but instead she put her own spin on something a little different.

Okay, I'm going to be honest with you guys when it comes to this particular book! I'm a TOTAL sucker because DIE FOR ME is set in one of my favourite cities of all-time . . . PARIS! It's PARIS you guys!!!! PARIS!!!! It's one of the most romantic cities in the world, it's magicial (what with the city lights and the culture), and even in this book, you also have a delicious sense of danger amongst the Paris beauty! It was a real treat for me since we get beautiful descriptions and a little insight of the city. Like I said before, I was a real sucker for the setting!

Now, let's talk about Kate and Vincent. I mean, GOD what a lovely couple they were! Not to mention soooooo incredibly sweet! Readers may think of Kate as the new version of Bella Swan from Twilight, but I find her less whiny and more focused on the mission . . . even a little stronger than our 'poor-me' Bella. At first, she was broken over the loss of her parents, but in the end she came out to be a stronger and a more independent young woman, which readers will love her for! As for the handsome Vincent himself, even though he's a dead boy . . . but WHO CARES?! He's a great character - maybe a little obsessed perhaps - but I loved him as a character and wouldn't love him any other way!

Now, as for the romantic side of the book, I loved the way Plum wrote their relationship because 1) they didn't seem to rush into things and 2) even though Kate and Vincent had experienced their own tragedies in the past . . . but both of the characters didn't dwell too much on their sadness, which made their relationship a little more sweeter! Personally, I felt Kate and Vincent were the perfect balance for one another and it was quite genuine between them . . . especially when they were in each other's company! I guess you could say that they were the perfect team! The same goes for Vincent's little entourage: Jules, Ambrose, Charlotte, Charles, Jean-Baptiste, and Gaspard. Although each character is different and a little flawed, but they all offered something onto the table!

When it comes down to it, DIE FOR ME is another great debut novel and finally an author offers something new to the YA table! Forget vampires and the whole werewolf-whatknot . . . Revenants are the new thing! I fell in love with the characters, the setting, and the whole undead mythology that Amy Plum weaved through the book . . . and I'm sure a lot of readers will fall for it too! While the ending didn't exactly end of a cliffhanger as I expected it to, but DIE FOR ME had a little bit of everything I love - if you haven't noticed already - and you can definitely expect a great romance in this one!

The Rating

4/5 stars

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Release Day: 2nd December, 2010

Publisher: David Fickling Books

Pages: 411pgs

The Story

If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's been accused of a terrible crime and you're the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn't that what families do? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with a crime, but says he didn't do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in with a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and conflicting, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love - from one's family and for another.

The Review

I had very high expectations before I started this book. I've heard the many praises about it and although I haven't read Jenny Downham's previous novel, Before I Die, the storyline seemed very promising and indeed I was right. It's quite unusual for me to love a book like this since I don't usually read contemporary-like books. To be honest, YOU AGAINST ME didn't exactly BLOW my mind, but with all the intense emotions running throughout the book . . . it was certainly a very well thought out book and beautifully-written, leaving you with a very calm feeling by the time you reach the last page of the book. And I liked that feeling.

The main thing I loved about YOU AGAINST ME was the switching of points of view between the two main characters, Ellie and Mikey. Both of them are going through a very difficult time and it was great to see what's going through their minds, comparing their sides of the story and the two worlds they live in. As for the romantic relationship itself, the way it builds between these two characters . . . finally for ONCE it felt realistic and believable and it kind of reminded me of a Romeo & Juliet style of a relationship, but with a more modern day feel to it. Sometimes the characters were selfish and stupid, but as the pages kept on flipping and you suddenly become addicted to the storyline, you can then completely understand why they did what they did and I'm glad the way things turned out.

Now as for the general topic of the book - that being rape - that again, like the relationship itself, seemed very real to me too. Rape is a very sensitive issue that we talk about and explore in today's society and sometimes when it's portrayed in young adult books, it can also become quite a frightening and uncomfortable discussion. Especially nowadays. But not for me, not when it comes down to this particular book. I think the author, Jenny Downham, wrote the issue of rape with complete seriousness and most importantly she wrote it in a way that sympathizes with all of the characters involved. For that being the families that have to suffer along with the victims, and for that I was grateful with how well written that was!

While the ending didn't exactly resolve everything, but it leaves the reader to question things on their own terms and decide for themselves what would've happened if all the questions were answered. I like those guessing endings if they're done well and it definitely was. Nonetheless, YOU AGAINST ME is a fast-paced and a beautiful love story in its own way! With the likes of love, loyalty, and courage being displayed throughout the book . . . it only goes to show that you would do anything for family and protect those you love the most! It was bloody brilliant!

The Rating

5/5 stars

WIN an ARC of Cat Patrick's FORGOTTEN!

Add this to your Goodreads to-read pile!!!!!

Each night when 16-year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

So, have you been craving an ARC copy of this wonderful book? Well, the lovely Jennifer Kean from Hardie Grant Australia is offering a special reader a chance to receive an exclusive copy of Cat Patrick's debut novel, Forgotten, before its release date in June. Which means . . . you may have a chance to see how truly awesome and breathtaking this fantastic book IS and have the opportunity to see how swoon-worthy this Luke character is - the love interest of this story!

Here's what you need to do . . . make a comment below!

Of course, there's extra entries!

[Tell me in your comments including links and your email address!]


+2 if you like the new AUS Forgotten facebook page

+2 for tweeting, facebooking, blogging - or, whatever site you can think of - about this giveaway

+2 if you're an old follower of my blog

+1 if you're a new follower of my blog

Giveaway ends April 24th 2011! Good luck!

If you don't win - but who knows maybe you will - then be sure to buy yourself a copy of this amazing debut novel in June this year! It will never be forgotten!


Monday, April 4, 2011

The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

This book was provided by Hardie Grant Egmont's Australian publicist, Jennifer Kean! So, I would like to say another big thank you to her for sending me a brand new finished copy of this very awesome sequel book!

Release Day: March 7th, 2011

Publisher: Egmont Books

Pages: 404pgs

The Story

A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns.

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what to do. She must become a Hound of Heaven.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot - a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her to be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel is put in danger - in more ways than one.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her - not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.

The Review

This was freaking awesome! I loved The Dark Divine when it first came out, but clearly Bree Despain's sequel, THE LOST SAINT, topped it over the first book in the series! Sometimes sequels lack the action-packed adventures that you'd experienced in the first book, and it happens quite a lot in the young adult book world. But no. THE LOST SAINT was even better than I originally anticipated - Despain took it to the extreme - and I'm lost for words here. It's even hard to write a brilliant book review that will do the book justice, one that it definitely deserves!

In THE LOST SAINT, Grace finds herself fighting the inner wolf growing inside of her. The last time we saw her in The Dark Divine, she sacrificed herself to cure Daniel from his werewolf curse and now . . . she has to suffer the consequences for her heroic actions. At the beginning of the novel, we find Grace and Daniel happily dating but Grace's family is slowly falling apart. Her father is away in search for his son. Her mother is lost in grief of her son's disappearance. And most importantly . . . Grace is missing her brother and wants him to return!

With her disappearing brother Jude out on the loose and with her fighting to stay in control of her inner wolf, Grace's relationship also starts to fall apart as soon as she meets the mysterious, almost charming newcomer boy named Talbot. I loved him instantly because you wanted to trust him - like he wanted Grace to trust him - until the ending unfolds (which I definitely saw coming), but nonetheless . . . he was a very intriguing character to be introduced to. Of course, when Talbot suddenly becomes interested in Grace alone and visa versa , the more Grace is drifting away from Daniel. Why exactly? Well, Daniel is keeping secrets of his own and she feels as if he doesn't trust her, let alone believe she's strong enough to handle her inner wolf, and just as the story develops turn-by-turn, Grace and Talbot - whom ends up telling her that he too is an Urbat like her - they soon train in secret, in hope to make Grace become the Hound of Heaven. Or . . . so it seems.

While readers may find themselves annoyed at the mistrust in Grace and Daniel's relationship, but they both had their own reasons and in the end - GOD what an ending it was to say the least - everything fell into place and I just loved every moment throughout the book. There are some awwwwww moments, there are some actions scenes that Grace herself actually kicked total butt in, and there are some scenes that make you laugh and cry . . . it was amazing! The whole world was opened of the Dark Divine series and it was so addictive with each page I turned! Demons . . . death . . . love . . . betrayal . . . let's put another WOW word into the mix shall we? WOW!

As for the ending, well you'll have to find out for yourself because it's one hell of a cliffhanger and I don't want to ruin it for you guys! It's fantastic and yet so cruel of Bree Despain too! Overall, if you loved The Dark Divine, definitely expect a whole bundle of surprises in THE LOST SAINT because it's one hell of an adventure and one that will take you to a whole new level of awesomeness! I can't wait to get my hands on the third installment of the series! If only it was NOW!

The Rating

5/5 stars

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Forgotten by Cat Patrick


I just want to say a big, BIG thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont's Australian publicist, Jennifer Kean for sending me an ARC copy of this amazing debut novel! I'm so very glad to have read this book earlier than its release date!

Release Day: June 6th, 2011

Publisher: Hardie Grant Australia/Egmont Books

Pages: 304pgs

The Story

Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

The Review

London Lane is your typical sixteen-year-old girl. Or . . . so it seems. You see, she has an unusual problem. Every night when she goes to sleep, at 4:33 a.m. to be exact, her memory is erased and resets itself. Every morning she has to start the day from scratch, aided by only the notes she leaves for herself from the day before and being forever reminded by her overprotective mother. And this system worked for her. Until now. Jamie, London's best friend, is slowly going off the rail, London's mother is keeping secrets and, to top it all off, London can't remember a boy she's in love with . . . and every time she sees him - after her mind resets every morning - it's like the first time she's met and fallen in love with him all over again. Imagine that!!! What is even more interesting is that London's memories are of the future and not of the past, events that haven't even happened as of yet!

Everything changes when London meets the new guy at school, Luke Henry. From their very first meeting, there is an instant attraction and it definitely helps that he's a gorgeous and a really sweet, generous guy! But even with that familiarity about him, London still doesn't see him in any future memories of hers. Just when London thinks nothing will ever happen between them, she then can't stop talking to him and soon enough, the attraction and the romance builds . . . making Luke become a bigger part of her future - an important one at that. But she still can't remember him . . . the notes are the only thing she can rely on and the only thing to keep her facade of 'remembering' him intact.

Without too many spoilers, let's talk about the characters! I loved, loved, LOVED London! For the problem she has to go through every, single day, she still maintains a normal life and she's incredibly strong throughout the book as she tries to make the most of her life, even when she's dealing with her condition. She's just so loveable! I could understand if she was a moody, sulky teenager with what she has to go through (she's entitled to be) . . . but instead, the author has provided us with a teenager that stays true to herself. And even Jamie, the best friend that is the total opposite to London, meshes well with her and creates a perfect balance between them.

Okay . . . so LUKE HENRY! The love interest. Oh. My. God. He's the sweetest fictional boy I've ever met and one of my favourites in YA books! From his weird, yet so very cute artwork obsession to his memorable chocolate brown Converse shoes, he is the ultimate sweetheart! He will make girls hearts swoon and most importantly, he'll make you smile and giggle all through the book! It's heartbreaking at times when London can't remember him, but thanks to her notes . . . she does.

Lastly, let's talk about my thoughts on the actual storyline! FORGOTTEN had that reminiscent of Drew Barrymore's film 50 First Dates (a film that I love very much) and if that film was written into a book . . . it would be this final product of perfection, only it's so much better! For once, this particular young adult book is original, had very likeable - no, loveable - characters, and it behaved in a realistic manner for teenage readers such as myself, making this even more interesting than I'd first thought it would be. Nonetheless, with twists and turns along the way . . . they were so cleverly done and I loved how the story turned out in the end! *can't stop gushing over this book*

Without a doubt FORGOTTEN is an amazing and a refreshing debut novel. It has a hint of mystery that will keep you guessing til the very last page, a hint of romance that will stay in your heart forever, and of course, there will many emotions you will go through and make you question your own past and future in your everyday lives. Despite its title, there is no way Cat Patrick's novel FORGOTTEN will be forgotten!

The Rating

5/5 stars

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

Release Day: February 22nd, 2011

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Pages: 432pgs

The Story

Eden didn't expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick-up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.


So long, happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone's game. Her heart is her own.

And that's only the beginning of the end.

The Review

When I first heard about Leah Clifford's debut novel, A TOUCH MORTAL, I instantly wanted to read it. The premise of the story seemed very interesting (who doesn't love another angel/demon story) and it also seemed a little different compared to a lot of supernatural young adult books that are out lately . . . but I was - unfortunately - disappointed. While the mythology was cleverly written and the author had a really great idea on her hands, but the story and its characters had their own share of problems.

The story starts off with the main heroine, Eden, who is on a beach and contemplating suicide. Then, she meets the mysterious, good-looking and charming Az and Gabriel. In between the second and third chapters, out-of-nowhere, Eden and Az are completely "in-love" and it all happened in a few weeks. Um, okay? What was even more surprising, there is a sudden friendship between Eden and Gabriel, and they've become BFFs . . . which seems kind of impossible. Anywho, the story lacked within the first chapters because 1) these relationships happened way too fast and 2) I would've liked another chapter or so, to explain how these "relationships" came about . . . because I didn't believe in them!

Without revealing too much of the plot, what disappointed me more was the swearing and the characters themselves! The book has thrown quite a lot of f-bombs around and I know teenagers swear a lot, but please . . . surely there are other ways to express yourself. As for the characters, I couldn't really care for them because I didn't know them well enough. I didn't see the chemistry between Eden and the half-Fallen Az. I didn't see the greatness in Eden and Gabriel's close friendship. All of this took place within 60 pages of the book that is well over 400 pages. The whole shenanigans was confusing. If there was better character and relationship development, I would've loved this book way more!

Take for example . . . Eden. When I first read about her she was pretty likeable and then she died like the angels had predicted, then she became a Sider, then she was killing people with the Touch to send them off to god knows where, then from that point on she became very unlikeable. I understand her predicament and what drove her to that dark, hollowed place of wanting to killing herself . . . but she frustrated me when she started to have some purpose. Stubborn. Whiny. And misguided. This is Eden. And it's a real shame. We don't know Eden as a character and I wished I knew more about her before she was swept up into the angel and demon world, so from then on I didn't really care about her as much as I should.

While I've seen great reviews for A TOUCH MORTAL on the likes of goodreads, I won't necessarily say it was a "bad" book, just that it's one that needs to be improved both in the terms of character development and writing. Perhaps, the sequel to A TOUCH MORTAL might prove me wrong. Despite a few flaws, I enjoyed the action-packed ending which made up a lot for the books disappointments. So, should you give it a go? Yes, definitely! Everyone has different tastes and the book itself is pretty impressive since it's written by a younger young author. Anyway, A TOUCH MORTAL is going to be blessed with 3 stars!

The Rating

3/5 stars
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