Friday, August 30, 2013

The Thing About Wolves by Leigh Evans

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Tor

Pages: 352pgs

The Story

Being put in charge of a werewolf pack might be someone’s dream, but it’s Hedi’s nightmare. Hints that it’s not working out include the Creemore wolves wanting her blood. And the Council of Weres wanting her dead . . .

Then all Hedi's wishes are granted. Robson Trowbridge, pack leader, returns – and her love isn't alone. He's found her missing twin brother, Lexi, among the fae. With this double helping of wonderful, things should’ve been all sunshine and flowers, but the fae lands have changed both men. Hedi’s brother is dying of an addiction, and her relationship with Robson may not survive the forces pushing them apart. To combat the darkness ahead, Hedi must face her dangerous were/fae heritage – and accept the consequences.

The Review

A big thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of this book!

This book was one very unusual read for me. Yup, indeed it was. So when I was given this book by the publisher to review, I was a bit hesitant in reading it because I instantly saw the word 'werewolves' written on the front cover and while I do like to read pretty much anything and not judge simply by a book's genre, but with werewolves I'm quite tired of them. But in any case and like with any other book in the genre, I always like to give the author the benefit of the doubt and hope the book can change my mind somehow. And, in a certain sense, it did because it blended werewolves and fairies together, and it did entertain me a little even though it was not a favourite read of mine.

So when it comes to THE THING ABOUT WOLVES, while the book itself remains only to be just an okay read for me, but the main reason why I'm not giving a lot of stars for my rating of the book is because I'm a bit confused by the story and that's because after reading a certain amount of the book I only just realized that it was actually a sequel to a series, which peeves me off for obvious reasons because I don't usually read sequels without having read the first book (obviously!). Still, I went ahead and read more of this book and amazingly enough I finished it. Sure for the most part, I may have very little idea of what happened in the book, but I got the main gist of it and it was still just an okay read for me. For sure, this book may not be right for my own personal book taste or rather doesn't really encourage me to read the first book either, but it was still an okay read and I didn't mind it.

Overall, THE THING ABOUT WOLVES definitely sets itself apart from other typical werewolf stories that I have come across in the past and if you like that idea then I would highly recommend this book to you and its series.

The Rating
2/5 stars

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Of Triton by Anna Banks

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 256pgs

The Story

In this sequel to OF POSEIDON, Emma has just learned that her mother is a long-lost Poseidon princess, and now struggles with an identity crisis: As a Half-Breed, she’s a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. Syrena law states that all Half- Breeds should be put to death.

As if that’s not bad enough, her mother’s reappearance among the Syrena turns the two kingdoms—Poseidon and Triton—against one another. Which leaves Emma with a decision to make: Should she comply with Galen’s request to keep herself safe and just hope for the best? Or should she risk it all and reveal herself—and her Gift—to save a people she’s never known?

The Review

Last year I quite loved Anna Banks debut, Of Poseidon, whereas others may not have loved it all that much. But I guess the main reason why I liked this series more than others was because it was a quick read and for the most part it was a read with so much going on and it also had an interesting storyline mythology-wise and again in this sequel the author has made me enjoy that particular mythology side of things, even though it was not particularly my favourite installment thus far.

OF TRITON is a very intense book. Really it's very intense and I loved that part because it made it such an enjoyable read for me. However, while the romance between Gale and Emma was disappointing for the most part (a total bummer because I love those two characters so much from the first book in the series) and was not further explored - nor developed - as much I would've liked it to be, but what I appreciated this time round in this particular sequel was finally getting to know more about the supporting characters in the book and learning about what lies beneath the sea waters of the Syrena realm - which is just as interesting as I first believed it to be. It was just awesome that part! I love those sea realms!

But in saying that, I was slightly disappointed in the sequel. Not because it wasn't interesting enough or not dark enough  - which this book already is - but my disappointment is because there wasn't so much happening, you know? Nothing that seemed to drive this book into epicness. But considering there is another book coming out next year to complete this YA trilogy, perhaps this third and final book will make up for what I'm currently feeling right now because let's just say the ending to this book . . . there is just so much more the author could have explored so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that something else mind-blowing is coming my way soon since I still love this series and its characters as well.

Overall, OF TRITON is a pretty average read but I enjoyed it nonetheless. With some pretty intense moments, action-packed adventures under the sea and with some really interesting twists along the way, I think anyone whom had enjoyed or loved the first book of this series will definitely come to love this sequel as well!

The Rating
3/5 stars

Monday, August 26, 2013

Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Pages: 384pgs

The Story

With the Brotherhood persecuting witches like never before, a divided Sisterhood desperately needs Cate to come into her Prophesied powers. And after Cate's friend Sachi is arrested for using magic, a war-thirsty Sister offers to help her find answers—if Cate is willing to endanger everyone she loves.

Cate doesn't want to be a weapon, and she doesn't want to involve her friends and Finn in the Sisterhood's schemes. But when Maura and Tess join the Sisterhood, Maura makes it clear that she'll do whatever it takes to lead the witches to victory. Even if it means sacrifices. Even if it means overthrowing Cate. Even if it means all-out war.

The Review

After reading Born Wicked, the first book in The Cahill Witch Chronicles series, I was already anxiously waiting around for the next sequel to arrive and that's mostly because of the hurtful (and emotional) cliffhanger at the very end of the first book. God, that one had really killed me but now the wait is finally over and I couldn't wait to pick up the next sequel.

STAR CURSED, I found, was a much more sinister book and a total game changer for our main leading herione, Cate, in more ways than one I might add. With a dark oppressive world, prophecies and betrayal slipping through the cracks at the most unexpected times, I definitely enjoyed this book in those certain aspects and also because, like the main character, I had no idea who to trust all around me so it definitely offered something much more darker than the first book which I always love since darkness brings out so much more in a single book. But in terms of being captivated and being in awe with the storyline and what occurred throughout, unlike the first book which I was so totally hooked with, this time round I just didn't feel as connected to the storyline nor with its characters apart from Cate, but then again it was still a very entertaining book, a great sequel and just on a whole awesome.

As for the characters, I have really missed them and I'm glad to meet up with them again. Cate, in particular, was one of my favourite characters coming from this book series (obviously because she is our main girl) and after the events of Born Wicked I had really felt for her (so badly too) and the sacrifices she was willing to make up until this point - one that includes giving up on her love, Finn, in order to protect herself and most importantly her sisters from future harm. This attribute I guess, her strength and her courage, is one of the main reasons why I love and adore Cate so, so much as a character and she has yet again proven herself in this sequel as well. She is just always trying to protect her sisters and anyone else that is innocent, even when some may not appreciate it at times. I mean, seriously? What's not to love? Cate is amazeballs.

Then, we also have another favourite character of mine Finn, Cate's main love interest. Oh my goodness I have truly missed Finn out of everyone else and even though he is not as much featured in this next sequel, but when he does eventually appear on the page, it's almost like sunshine hovering above me. Haha. No really, I totally love this guy especially when he's out investigating with Cate. Those two . . . I just melt whenever they are together. But then that killer cliffhanger comes along and ruins everything I hold dear to my heart . . . gah . . . just you wait until you read this book folks . . . it's going to make you scream at the final page and perhaps throw things around the place. I knew it was coming my way (I just knew it!) but I didn't realize just how cruel the author really is to make that certain thing happen. *sad face*

Overall, STAR CURSED is a great continuation of the series and while it may not have been my favourite of the series thus far, but that ending the author delivered now has me gearing up even more for the third and final book coming out next year. God that ending!!! I still cannot believe it!!!

The Rating
4/5 stars

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Candlewick

Pages: 320pgs

The Story

The first time his father disappeared, Tucker Feye had just turned thirteen. The Reverend Feye simply climbed on the roof to fix a shingle, let out a scream, and vanished — only to walk up the driveway an hour later, looking older and worn, with a strange girl named Lahlia in tow. In the months that followed, Tucker watched his father grow distant and his once loving mother slide into madness. But then both of his parents disappear. Now in the care of his wild Uncle Kosh, Tucker begins to suspect that the disks of shimmering air he keeps seeing — one right on top of the roof — hold the answer to restoring his family. And when he dares to step into one, he’s launched on a time-twisting journey — from a small Midwestern town to a futuristic hospital run by digitally augmented healers, from the death of an ancient prophet to a forest at the end of time. Inevitably, Tucker’s actions alter the past and future, changing his world forever.

The Review

To put it simply, I found this book, THE OBSIDIAN BLADE, was a tad bit . . . overwhelming. Well, for the most part at least. Whether that's a good thing or not, I just don't know what to think really after (barely) finishing this book. From the beginning of the book, while I will admit that I certainly went into this particular title with very high expectations considering a lot of people had quite enjoyed it in the past and the story did sound quite fascinating to me as well, but all I can say is that it's really different to what I'm used to reading from a sci-fi-like genre and I definitely give the author credit for that because it was really, really different. And pretty odd too.

While some of the characters were interesting in their own right, but I think what let this book down majorly was, one, having a slow pace which doesn't help most of the time, and two, having very little answers to some pretty big questions that was going through my mind at the time of reading this book. So when a book is slow and becomes confusing to me because I have no idea what's going on when really I should have some clue as to what is going on . . . that - to me at least - is a book's major downfall and unfortunately ends up ruining my enjoyment of the rest of the story. So sadly this book is bumped down from a two star to a one star as sad as it is.

Overall, THE OBSIDIAN BLADE is more for a braver reader who is looking for something odd and interesting. Now I won't go and say it was a terrible book since it does have its cool moments at times, but in the end it just wasn't an enjoyable read for me and I was pretty disappointed.

The Rating
1/5 stars

Friday, August 23, 2013

Frigid by J. Lynn

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Spencer Hill

Pages: 240pgs

The Story

For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love. 

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have. 

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

The Review

I really liked this book. But then again, this fact doesn't come as a total shock for me really because much like with any other of J. Lynn's previous work or as she is sometimes known as, Jennifer L. Armentrout, a young adult author, this particular author really knows how to really hit the mark properly with her readers and she does that by writing emotionally deep characters, sexy romances, page-turning twists and not to mention she writes great plot lines as well that will make any type of girl swoon by the end of the book. She is really that good at writing that stuff my friends and again she has hit that mark once more for me.

In my opinion, FRIGID may not have been my favourite of all favourites coming from J. Lynn, young adult or not, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it as did many other readers from what reviews I have seen and read lately. Whether it was because the story was about best friends turning into something more (my favourite!) or it was because the story was much more dangerous than I had first imagined (which is always a plus in my books) or it was because of the sexy moments occurring between the two main characters, I still do not know why but it was just so good, but in the end of it all, I think you can thank the characters for all of that enjoyment that I had received because they were the shining stars in this one.

Sydney, for one, was a great main character and I could definitely identify with her on several levels, especially with her confidence because like her I had found it very hard to come out of my shell (and I still do). But as Sydney slowly develops into this very strong and very determined young woman, in the end you do really become proud of her, even when she did make some pretty silly decisions now and again in the book. Especially with her relationships. This includes Kyler, Sydney's best friend and the one person she has always loved however she has never been seen in that light by her BFF.

Now personally for me, I struggled quite a lot to come around to liking Kyler (even though I did eventually begin to like and understand him more towards the end of the book) and that's because I'm not particularly a fan of man-whores, which he is described often by others as, and the reason why I hate those kind of guys is because those ones rarely - if not at all - change their ways with sleeping around and not holding any form of 'attachments' with whatever relationship they are currently in. I'm just not a fan of those 'guys' at all. They're not the sort of people to get romantically involve with. But in Sydney's case it's a totally different situation (because she and Kyler are best friends) and somehow the two of them definitely had this strange kind of chemistry about them and I think readers will certainly love those two being together, but whether or not you find their sudden romance believable or not, I guess it's really up to you with that one. As for me though, while I do get their relationship from the get-go and love them as characters as well, but in real life circumstances I just didn't believe Kyler would ever stick to just that one girl, you know? Even Sydney. I feel bad for saying that (really I do!) but readers cannot deny that he was a jerk for the majority of this book and yet he is a great best friend. Haha. Go figure!

Overall, FRIGID was a great story and is one that will definitely - and eventually - grow on you as time passes, even when a character or two can get you so frustrated at times. But with plenty of sexy times for its readers and funny one-liners, I think this book will have you swooning all the way through, whether you like or love to hate Kyler along the way.

The Rating
4/5 stars

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Atria

Pages: 336pgs

The Story

In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

The Review

A big thanks to the publisher on netGalley for accepting my request in reading this book early!

If you were blown away (majorly) like I was with Colleen Hoover's Hopeless and had pretty much adored Sky and Holder's romance in that particular book, then you'll definitely going to love this one without a doubt.

In LOSING HOPE, while the events of the story are exactly the same as Hopeless, however this time round the story is told through the perspective of Holder's character, which I'm sure will please many of Hoover's readers because honestly . . . we all love Holder. So while the story is basically the same as Hopeless's story, but we also get to see and learn plenty of other new things as well, especially about Holder as a person and what happened in the events before Hopeless's story had begun.

So on a whole, while I still preferred the first book to this one (mostly because Holder wasn't as hot as I thought he was or maybe it was his voice that was the problem here . . . I still don't know) but what I liked about this book apart from having Holder's perspective and everything else, was that we gain a much better and deeper insight and understanding with how Holder dealt with his current situation of his sister dying and not to mention with his and Sky's dark, messy and very complicated pasts. For those who have read the first book, Hopeless, you will know what I mean with that particular comment right there.

Overall, LOSING HOPE is yet again another great book coming from Colleen Hoover and she really cannot do any wrong with any of her books since I've loved every single one of them so far. So if you loved Hopeless then you're going to love this book just as much, especially if you're a major fan of Holder's character even if he's not entirely perfect in this book.

The Rating
4/5 stars

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 312pgs

The Story

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

The Review

After having previously enjoyed Kasie West's debut novel, Pivot Point, I knew without a doubt I would also enjoy her new contemporary read (or any other read of hers for that matter) because I absolutely love her writing so, so much and with any story it seems - even with only two books of hers out at the moment - she can relate to any reader her book comes across and for the most part I did actually end up enjoying this book as well. Sure, it didn't beat my other loves in YA contemporary on an epic level, but it was still a very cute read indeed.

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US is a great small read and holds your interest straightaway no matter what kind of contemporary read you're currently into. Think a bit of Sarah Dessen meets Stephanie Perkins. So whether you find the events of the story and how they all play out believable or not (trust me some are more believable than others), but I still thought this book had something really special about it and I can see why so many readers liked it as well. Again, it was not my favourite read ever nor did the ending go down well for me, but I enjoyed it regardless of how things ended (yeah the ending was a too quick fix for everything but yay for me trying to keep my cool on haha).

Caymen, our main character, is one girl that may have had her ups and downs with me, but on a whole I liked her personality, especially with her dry sense of humor that I found quite endearing because like her I have a bit of dry sense of humor myself or at least I like to think so. So for sure, Caymen isn't the perfect girl by far and she knows it as well, but what I appreciated about her character and in this storyline was her fondness and her love for her mother, and how she is always supporting her mother or doing the little things to make her mother not work hard as much, even when her mother should be the one supporting her most of all. Still, I like seeing that mother-daughter relationship presented in this book.

Now in terms of the romance that develops between Caymen and her Prince of Hotels dude (yes that's my nickname for him) Xander, I didn't mind their quick romance that whirlwinds on us all so much because I like to think I'm a little bit of a romantic at heart, especially when it comes to my books, but unfortunately I just didn't feel the strong and sizzling chemistry going on between them both as much as I would have liked to. I get they have the hots for each other and all that, and I can see why Prince of Hotels would be appealing to most young girls because they are good-looking dudes and not to mention rich, but I don't know . . . I just didn't feel it with him and the main character. But then again, it probably has more to do with Xander than anything else because needless to say I wasn't a huge fan of his but hey, you can't like them all. Or rather you can't like a guy who is kind of like the other rich guy from the film Pretty In Pink, which is unfair for him really because rich dudes rarely win me over and that goes for Pretty in Pink as well, but . . . I still found Xander to be an okay guy. Most of the time at least.

Overall, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US may have been a shorter read than I was expecting, but on a whole it had something very appealing about it and anyone who likes a cute little romance will definitely hold a special place for this book in their hearts.

The Rating
3/5 stars

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Pages: 368pgs

The Story

Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn't. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds. 

It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work...until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn't want?

The Review

A big thanks to the publisher on netGalley for accepting my request in reading this book early!

Tamara Ireland Stone's debut book, Time Between Us, was most definitely a fun and a very light romantic read and I quite enjoyed it - including the whole time travelling elements, despite a couple of little flaws here and there. So when it comes to the next sequel which is now told in Bennett's perspective surprisingly (a great change mind you because I love getting into someone else's head and especially in a guy's head), I thought it was yet again a nice little continuation of the storyline and I think many girl readers whom had loved the first book will most definitely be pleased with this book as well.

However, as much as I liked reading this sequel and finding out what happens next to some of our favourite characters, but like what happened in the first book for me, with TIME AFTER TIME I just couldn't connect to the characters as strongly as I would've liked to. Now while I get the whole romance thing and why our two main characters, Anna and Bennett, would want to stay and find a way to be with each other even though they are from two entirely different times, but when you start reading about their current problems of time travelling and all of that related drama, it just becomes so much clearer to me that it's near to impossible that they can stay together without affecting their own present time and other what-not, you know? Of course I would like to see these two crazy kids be together, but I just don't see the point of it really because there is always a consequence at one point or another with time travelling, so that element certainly affected my opinion of this book. But no matter what happens, I still thought the book was a nice little read and I know many fangals of Bennett's character will most definitely enjoy reading his perspective this time round because it does change things majorly for the reader, especially when you see everything from Bennett's own perspective.

Overall, TIME AFTER TIME is a very appropriate title and even though I may have liked the first book a bit more than this sequel, but again it was still a good book to read and to find out what happens to all of our favourite characters.

The Rating
2/5 stars

Monday, August 19, 2013

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens

Pages: 320pgs

The Story

Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn't happened yet. 

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture - being kept apart, overhearing each other's anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There's no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It's from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that's about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.

The Review

A big thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!

Cristin Terrill's debut novel, ALL OUR YESTERDAYS, is nothing if not a very ambitious read. And it's pretty ambitious indeed. With a ton of different elements blended all into the one book - elements including the likes of time manipulation, attempts of many assassinations and mere complications of everything lying in-between different timelines, it's definitely something that will get your mind both spinning and reeling. In fact, my head still hurts from thinking about it right now.

But with this particular book being very hard to describe, which you can only imagine already just by reading the blurb alone, I think it would be best to keep it as a mystery for the meantime, especially for those who have yet to read it, so I'll just quickly talk about what I did and didn't like in the book. On a whole, I thought the execution of the book was really well done and I certainly can see why many readers were so enthralled by the storyline alone because it was a very interesting one at that (not to mention complicated) and is unlike any other book I have read before, at least in terms of what the author accomplished into a single book with the many, many elements all rolled into one. It's definitely not something just any other average author can write about without dealing with a lot of flaws so I'll definitely give the author a lot of credit for that.

But did I really, really love the book like those other readers whom had highly praised and recommend it? Well, not particularly. At least not in a oh-my-god-epic kind of way. I mean, don't get me wrong here, I absolutely loved how detailed the book was and the genres inside of it because I'm a big fan of those sci-fi like elements, but I don't know . . . it's just the kind of read where you finish it, like half of it but you're still sitting on the fence over. So I did kind of like the book but for the majority of it I also didn't like it either.

So if I was being really honest here in the I-didn't-really-like-it sense or rather the average liking sense, I think this had a lot to do with the narratives presented in the book and the chapters that alternated between the main characters and their different timelines. I mean, because of that crucial narrative part - the part where you have to somehow connect with the characters or somehow care about them - in the end of it all, I just got really confused by the storyline and I don't like being confused in any sense, even a little. Still, while I don't mind the present characters talking in alternative chapters (just as long as I can keep track of what is actually going on) because you know . . . I love that sort of thing, but when chapters switch back to the present characters who have something to do with the future characters we read about or whatever, it's just not enjoyable for me and it's so bloody confusing if you can't tell already, so again in that sense it's the reason why I'm rating this book down more than I thought I would. Still, I'm going to read the sequel in hopes of less confusion and more story action and progression. So fingers crossed.

Overall, despite the slight room for improvement, ALL OUR YESTERDAYS was - as I said before - a very ambitious read and is a great thriller-romance book for any genre fan, especially if you're looking for a very detailed book with a great complexity about it. If you're into that sort of thing you'll definitely come to enjoy this book!

The Rating
3/5 stars

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Lick by Kylie Scott

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Momentum

Pages: 286pgs

The Story

Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this.

Evelyn Thomas’s plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure as hell never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

One thing is for certain, being married to rock and roll’s favourite son is sure to be a wild ride.

The Review

LICK (a title that made me giggle like a school girl when I first discovered it on goodreads hehe) was such a fantastic read and there's no doubt about it. Not only was the book sexy, smart, funny, and straight to the point which I always like, but it's also a really great story too and is told very well. I admit, I wasn't too sure about this title and because of its genre, but when you combine a great looking cover and a story revolving around (awesome) rockstars, I was already hooked and wanting to desperately read this book. And thankfully it was a success and boy did I love it!

While there are many crazy events happening throughout the book and some that are more believable than others, but what Kylie Scott did fantastically with was how she'd written all of her characters. Especially her main ones, Evelyn and David, whom I thought was just so . . . suited and perfect for one another. Evelyn and David are just so well-developed even for a much shorter book such as this one and I love how their 'love' for one another is thrown at them with one very impulsive act and you'll find out so much more about this later on in the book. But let's just say it was pretty awesome and wait until you read the book. It's got everything you could possibly want to entertain you and you'll be in laughing fits! That's for sure.

Overall, LICK is a must read for everyone and I'm really glad I went ahead and read it myself. With a very well-paced romance that doesn't necessarily go off to a good start and yet it sublime by the end of the book, all I can say is this title was so entertaining and I can't wait to read more from this author!

The Rating
4 1/2 / 5 stars

Friday, August 16, 2013

The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 544pgs

The Story

The haunting story of the mother of the Tudors, Elizabeth of York, wife to Henry VII.

Beautiful eldest daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville - the White Queen - the young princess Elizabeth faces a conflict of loyalties between the red rose and the white. Forced into marriage with Henry VII, she must reconcile her slowly growing love for him with her loyalty to the House of York, and choose between her mother's rebellion and her husband's tyranny. Then she has to meet the Pretender, whose claim denies the House of Tudor itself.

The Review

A big thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!

Philippa Gregory, who happens to be one of my favourite authors, is very well-known to readers for being the Queen of Historical Fiction and I think they are right on that fact, especially when it comes to the new and fifth addition to her Cousins War series.

In the next installment of the series, THE WHITE PRINCESS introduces readers to a story told through the eyes of Elizabeth Woodville, a long and forgotten (and probably disliked by most people) York Queen of England. The book quickly opens up with Elizabeth who has a chance meeting with a young King Edward of York, not too long after his defeat of Lancaster King Henry. Newly widowed and in love, Elizabeth and the young King soon enter a scandalizing and secret affair, which leads them to marrying (and for love of course) but without the permission of the court's advisers which, at the time, was not necessarily a good thing - if at all for royalty. But when Elizabeth is presented as the King's wife and the new Queen, this is when the great and devious plotting begins and where one woman's journey becomes a long and a very insightful one, especially for the author's readers, new and old.

Compared to the other predecessors of the series, this fifth installment was such a breath of fresh air and it was probably my favourite book coming from Gregory thus far. It was that good. I honestly have no idea how this author does it really, but I know she does it so well no matter what book I read of hers. While most of the author's books are only of fiction and are depicted by her own amounts of research, but what I always love about a Philippa Gregory book is how well she writes her characters and her histories of where her stories take place. Every single part of those two elements have such a standout-ish factor about them and it just gets me even more invested with the storyline, and leaves me going whoa. Gosh, I just love it so much and with this book . . . well . . . I'm definitely impressed. Especially with how the author developed the relationship between Elizabeth and the King. Elizabeth more so had left such a great impact on me and while - at times - the story can be woeful, but amidst all the sex and the violence, Elizabeth's character was a very empowering one and I loved reading about her journey. It was quite brilliant indeed.

Overall, THE WHITE PRINCESS is a must read for all historical fans and it was such a gripping read too, and right from the beginning. Loved it!

The Rating
5/5 stars

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Shadowhunter's Guide: City of Bones by Mimi O'Connor

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Pages: 128pgs

The Story

Don’t miss The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, soon to be a major motion picture in theaters August 2013.

Delve deep into the world of the Shadowhunters with this ultimate guide that’s based on The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie. This comprehensive book features full-color photographic portraits and profiles of the film characters, quotes from the script, detailed information on downworlders, Shadowhunters, the Clave, and more. Fans of the movie won’t want to miss this must-have guide to the realm of the blockbuster City of Bones movie!

The Review

A big thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for sending a review copy of this book!

For the upcoming film, City of Bones, I knew there was going to be a lot of merchandise out for the film and honestly I wasn't all too sure about this particular guide as some movie guides can be better than other ones or are simply not great reads at all. Pointless even. Thankfully though, I'm really glad I requested a copy of this very light book and like the movie companion that I previously read before this one, this particular guide is a really great read and quite insightful as well.

While for most hardcore fans of The Mortal Instruments series may not read anything particularly new from this new title, but for any Cassandra Clare fan like myself, I found this book guide will be such a great item for collectors and fans of the film, but it will also be a great read for new fans as well newly coming into this series (though I'm sure most of us have already read and loved this series). Now probably out of everything I read in this book, what I had came to really appreciate from this small guide and what I enjoyed the most was all of the images it contained and the little details here and there about the characters, the places, and the overall rundown of the book series, so again it's a great item to have if you're a fan of this series.

Overall, the SHADOWHUNTER'S GUIDE is a must read for any fan of The Mortal Instruments series and now I'm even more excited to see the film next week!

The Rating
5/5 stars

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Mira

Pages: 318pgs

The Story

For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss — and five-week fling — is way overdue with his marriage proposal. And way off track — because Mark has surprisingly announced his engagement to the company's new ‘Miss Perfect'. If that isn't bad enough, her mum decides to throw her a three-oh birthday bash in the family's funeral home.

Bad goes to worse when Callie stirs up a crazy relationship with the town's not-so-warm and fuzzy veterinarian, Ian McFarland. So Ian is more comfortable with animals — he's also formal, orderly and just a bit tense… The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it's time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But darn, if he doesn't shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for the town's unlikeliest eligible bachelor . . .

The Review

Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for contemporary adult fiction and sometimes I don't like reading mass-market romances at all because they are just too cliche or simply not interesting. But when a story is absolutely hilarious, has you in laughing stitches and offers a great range of things on a very comedic and romantic scale, that's when it hooks me straightaway and that's exactly what I got from this book. It was totally a real hoot for me!

First of all, I really loved the main character, Callie Grey, in this book. Whether there are moments were she is a bit dense with certain things (especially in the romance department) or is just saying something completely awkward but hilarous in her own head, I still managed to love her either way because she was a warm sort of character and hilarious in everything she does, say or do, so pretty much anyone with a great and awkward sense of humor gets total big points from me. And clearly Callie got many from me. While some of the other supporting characters were just okay for me - including that awful Mark who Callie loved, but everything was worth reading when you met and crossed paths with Ian McFarland, the new veterinarian in town and who Callie is particularly interested in all of a sudden. Oh Ian was what made this book so perfect, real and honest. Think another Mr. Darcy ladies but a veterinarian one instead of another rich dude! Trust me, Ian maybe a very shy guy and may have no clue what to do, at least as far as relationships go, but I fell for him hard. We just need more guys like Ian in our books . . . he was just an honest guy and I loved that about him even when he's moody from time to time. I just loved him to bits. Hehe.

Overall, ALL I EVER WANTED is such an awesome read and I've never read something so bloody hilarious before, especially in an adult novel, so in that aspect I totally fell for it and for Kristan Higgins's great humor dialogue. So if you want a good old laugh and some pretty awkward situations, this book would be absolutely perfect for you!

The Rating
4 1/2 / 5 stars

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TMI: City of Bones: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Mimi O'Connor

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Pages: 128pgs

The Story

Don’t miss The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, soon to be a major motion picture in theaters August 2013.

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie with this official companion book. This fan favorite features full-color photos from the set, designers’ sketches, interviews with the cast and crew, and more! From the screenwriting process to the casting decisions to the director’s vision, this definitive book is a must-have for fans of the blockbuster film!

The Review

A big thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!

Honestly what can I say? If you're a big fan of Cassandra Clare's work like I am and in particular of The Mortal Instruments series, then you're going to love this behind-the-scenes look at the motion picture of the City of Bones film which is - exciting as it already is - coming out next week at the cinema and I'm really, really  looking forward to watching it now, especially after reading this book.

While I don't normally collect nor read movie companions such as this book, but considering I love this book series the movie is based on and since I can't wait for the film itself, I just couldn't pass this book up without reading it. Not only do be get a lot of insight into the actual film and the filming process itself, but we also get to see so much more including descriptions, interviews, high resolution pictures and getting to know just how much work there is behind an epic film which makes me appreciate the film even more now. It's just awesome needless to say.

Overall, the CITY OF BONES: THE OFFICIAL ILLUSTRATED MOVIE COMPANION will definitely be a great collector items for all fans of the series and it's definitely a great read for all, especially to those who are just as excited as I am for the upcoming film this month!

The Rating
4 1/2 / 5 stars

Monday, August 12, 2013

Entwined with You by Sylvia Day

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Penguin UK

Pages: 360pgs

The Story

The worldwide phenomenon continues as Eva and Gideon face the demons of their pasts, and accept the consequences of their obsessive desires . . .

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognized something in him that I needed. Something I couldn’t resist. I saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside–so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat.

No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I’d been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become.

Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession . . .

The Review

I have loved Sylvia Day's Crossfire series from the get-go and quite honestly it's one of my favourite and not to mention guilty secret pleasures in life because it's just so good! So after reading the first two books in the series and just finding out that the series is no longer going to be a trilogy but rather it's going to have two more books after this third one right here, I have to say I was pretty damn excited about it, especially when it comes to reading this book and knowing the series is not quite over yet. Yup, it's pretty damn exciting indeed.

For the third installment, ENTWINED WITH YOU, while we get plenty of emotional, intense and some very hot moments going on between two of our favourite characters, Eva and Gideon, unfortunately I was really disappointed in this third book. I know! How could I be disappointed by this sexy read? Me of all people? But it happens I guess. So while we do get to know 'a little' bit more about our two leading characters, but for me personally that's how far it went for me and if I was being really honest here with you all, I felt as if the story was just same old same old, you know? No further progression. No new storyline. Instead we have more sex scenes and less of a continuation of a story, which is boring for me. So whether it was because we still have two more books to go with this series and because of that we have just a thin middle book right here . . . I guess we'll just have to wait and see and hope for more progression in the future books, which my guess would be correct considering how this book ended. Even on much smaller note.

As for the characters themselves, I still very much love Eva (even though she did run a bit wild in this book) and Gideon as I always do, and that's because they have come so far in this storyline of theirs and even though this book does set them back from time-to-time (sometimes in an annoying and come on sort of way), but in the end of it all, they have come out strong so in that sense I still love and care about them very much. However in future books, I just hope they get a break from all of this chaos going on around them and from their past secrets because sometimes it becomes too ridiculous so again I hope they catch a break soon since they deserve something good to come out of all of this. But apart from them, some of the other characters did grind on my nerves - including Eva's silly mother, but at least we have Gideon to calm our minds down or rather take our minds off the really dramatic side of things.

Overall, ENTWINED WITH YOU was still a good book but it just wasn't necessarily my favourite installment coming from the Crossfire series.

The Rating
3/5 stars

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Pages: 384pgs

The Story

Neryn thought she had lost everything and could trust no one, not even her mysterious companion, Flint.

But when she finds refuge at the rebel base of Shadowfell and discovers her canny gift as a Caller, she feels the first stirrings of hope.

Now she faces a perilous journey with the rebel Tali and the Good Folk, who shadow her steps. She must find the three Guardians who can teach her how to use her unwieldy gift – one that it is rumoured could amass a powerful army.

Can Neryn master her magical power to save Alban from King Keldec's stranglehold?

Or will she be too late?

The Review

A big thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!

I will admit that I haven't read the first book of the series, Shadowfell, and to be honest with you I don't plan to anytime soon. I mean, perhaps later this year or the next year after I will get a chance to read it, but for now I just went ahead and read what I could with the sequel which I don't often do because I like knowing what's going on in a story. But in the long-run, I guess I read it anyway in respect for the publisher whom was kind enough to send me a surprise copy of the book and it actually looked pretty good too. But again, I just didn't have enough time to find a copy of the first book, so I just went with my instincts with this title and hoped I would like this sequel.

RAVEN FLIGHT was a great book. While it would've helped a lot to have read the first book (which is obvious to everyone since it might seem silly to read the sequel first haha) but I did eventually get the gist of what was going on in the storyline and who was who in the story as well. Again, I may have been confused at times but I did eventually get the main point of the story which is something I guess. Everything, on a whole at least, was very interesting and I quite enjoyed the characters too which was surprising as well, so I'm already intrigued by this series . . . so who knows I might pick up the first book sooner than I want to. Anyway, I enjoyed this book and that's awesome for me.

Overall, RAVEN FLIGHT does encourage me to pick up the first book of the series and I will get to it eventually, but for now this was a pleasant sequel and offers a nice little series and I'm sure will get interesting by the third book that is coming out soon.

The Rating
3/5 stars

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stung by Bethany Wiggins

Release Date: Out now!

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Pages: 294pgs

The Story

In a world in crisis, children are the future. Part of the cure. Not now. Children are deadly. Marked one to ten. Fiona is a TEN. She just doesn't know it yet . . . She doesn't know her true strength. 

Fiona doesn't remember going to sleep. But she has woken to find her entire world has changed - her house is abandoned and broken, and her neighbourhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right wrist that she doesn't remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. And she's right. When the honeybee population collapsed, a worldwide pandemic occurred and the government tried to bio-engineer a cure. But instead the vaccination turned people into ferocious, deadly beasts. They have been branded as a warning to unvaccinated survivors. Key people needed to rebuild society are protected inside a fortress-like wall. Fiona has awakened branded, alone and on the wrong side of the wall . . .

The Review

A big thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a review copy of this book!

One of the things I like most about the dytopian genre is the fact they can come in many forms and are presented in some really different ideas. STUNG is one of those very different ideas coming from Bethany Wiggins, and whether you like the dystopian genre or not, I think this particular book came with a storyline that is unlike any other I have read and I quite like that element to it.

STUNG, for the most part at least, may have been a pretty average read for me and was not particularly the best book I have ever read thus far, but the simplicity of it and what had occurred within the book is what had actually peaked my interest in the first place and what got me reading more and more of it til reading the end of it. Especially when it comes to the whole bee concept presented in the book and the very important role they play in the book not to mention how they could possibly cure diseases and possibly the whole entire world. That alone was just really fascinating to me and it was the best element out of everything I have read in the book, so I liked what the author did with that particular part.

Overall, STUNG was a pleasant book to read even though it was not a huge favourite of mine. Still, I would highly recommend the book if you're looking for a different type of a dystopian read or a book that is a quick read but contains a very interesting storyline.

The Rating
3/5 stars
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