Monday, 24 March 2014

Blog Tour: Enmity by E. J. Andrews - Guest Post: Character Profile


I'm happy to have E.J Andrews on the blog with a character profile of Hermia - one of the main POV's (the other being Nate) from her novel Enmity. 
If you would like a chance to win a copy, head over to Enmity's Goodreads page and enter (Aus and NZ residents only).  



 Character Profile- Hermia


Name: Hermia
Meaning of Name: The meaning of Hermia is ‘Messenger’
Reason for Name: Hermia’s mother named her so because she saw her own self in the character of Hermia from Shakespeare’s – A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Nickname: Mia (Hermia hates this nickname and gets agitated when others call her by that name. It was a pet name her uncle and grandparents were fond of calling her, whom she is now estranged from.)
Age: 16
Height: 157cm
Gender: Female
Hair: Brown/Dark Brown, Wavy Curls, Mid Back Length
Eye Colour: Hazel
Relationship Status: It’s complicated with Chase
Personality: Detached, cold, resentful
Strengths: Exceptional aim with her badass crossbow
Flaws: Highly emotional, doesn’t like to cooperate with others, headstrong
Ambitions: Stay alive and give everyone hell whilst she can
Biggest fear: Hermia isn’t afraid of much at all but she is terrified of losing herself. She never wants to be defined by someone else, like a guy or a relationship
Occupation: Formerly cleaner / make-up artist at Elaine’s Gentleman’s Club


About the Book


Title: Enmity
Author: E. J. Andrews
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Expected Publication Date: April 1st, 2014
Series: Enmity #1
Genre: Young Adult: Science Fiction, Dystopian 


Love vs Life.
Good vs Evil.
War vs Warfare.

Which would you choose?


After a solar flare wipes out most of the world’s inhabitants, it leaves behind nothing but a desolate earth and a desperate population. Existence is no longer a certainty. And with factions now fighting for the power to rule, people start to become reckless with their lives. The world has become a dangerous place.

Amongst the ensuing chaos, Nate and Hermia — two victims of the new world order — are taken against their will to The Compound. Joined by eight other teenagers all chosen for a specific reason, Nate and Hermia are forced to train as assassins to overthrow the current president and make way for a new leader of the free world. Here, they learn to plan, fight, and most importantly... to survive.

Except, despite the casual cruelty of their new existence, both Nate and Hermia — two very strong but very different people — begin to form fragile bonds within the group. But they soon realize their happiness is short lived...because their training is just the beginning.

A war awaits...regardless of how ready or willing they may be.




Purchase
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Author Bio
E.J. Andrews was raised in a small town on the west coast of New Zealand by a gold miner with a fascination for guns and a nurse with an obsession with dragons.

Growing up, E.J. constantly felt that she needed to write down the vivid thoughts going around her head, but it wasn’t until her aunt gave her John Marsden’s Tomorrow series to read that her writing bloomed and her interest in books became a full-blown fixation.

At the age of eighteen she decided to live with her sister in Brisbane, Australia, where she found a job working at a boat club on the beautiful Moreton Bay. In between split shifts and while others her age were out enjoying their adolescence, E.J. was writing well into the early hours, trying to get down those ever-present ideas of a not-so-bright future. 

E.J. now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her partner and their cat Senga.




Saturday, 8 March 2014

Stacking The Shelves #58


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Thanks to the host Tynga's Reviews.


For Review

Purchased


 Cress by Marissa Meyer




That's all for me, not that I needed any more books - I have a stack to read already! But who could resist - especially Cress, I've been waiting a year for that one. :) 
Happy Reading everyone!





Saturday, 22 February 2014

Stacking The Shelves #57


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Thanks to the host Tynga's Reviews.



For Review

Tease by Amanda Maciel

Heart Beat by Elizabeth Scott
Grim by 


A big Thank You to Hachette and Harlequin Teen!


Monday, 27 January 2014

Mini Review Monday #4 - The Tahereh Mafi and John Green edition


On this weeks edition of Mini Review Monday you'll find my brief thoughts on two very popular YA titles that I read recently - Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi and The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I'm only doing mini reviews for these two as they are so popular with many, many reviews available on Goodreads and Amazon that I feel it's a little pointless to provide a full detailed review of my thoughts as I'm sure everyone else has already read them. ;) If there is something you really want to know from me about these titles, feel free to leave a comment and I'll let you know the answer. :)




Title: Shatter Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Published: 2nd October 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Shatter Me, #1
Genre: Young Adult: Sci Fi, Dystopian

I heard nothing but amazing reviews for this book and series. It took me a while to get around to reading this, and I'm sorry to say, but for me, this didn't live up to the hype.


Juliette has a fatal touch which got her locked up for murder. The Reestablishment having originally locked her up, changes it mind. Now they think she may be useful. 

The storyline itself is interesting, however it only held my interest in waves. 
The writing was certainly different than anything I have read before, however after a while I found the crossed out sections annoying. I'd first read over them, then have to stop and go back to read them, turning the originally enjoyment of reading this book into a chore. I understand this was done for a purpose, but unfortunately it didn't really make me see Juliette sane or insane due to it. It just annoyed me. 
I didn't feel anything towards any of the characters. None, and that is really different for me. Normally I at least like someone. It didn't help that the romance felt forced and was a driving point for the plot.  

Due to the writing style, despite being unique, and the romance, there were multiple times where I was just bored. I even came to a point where I thought I might DNF it, but I preserved due to the reviews, however my opinion at the end of the book didn't change. 


Unfortunately with all the 5 star reviews I was expecting an amazing book, instead I'm left amazed that it received so many 5 star reviews.


I'm clearly in the minority, but for me, this wasn't as amazing as everyone hyped it up to be and I most likely won't continue with the rest of the series. 


★★
 It Was Ok









Title: The Fault In Our Stars

Author: John Green
Published: 10th January 2012
Publisher: Dutton Books/ Penguin 
Series: Nil
Genre: Young Adult: Contemporary


This was my first John Green novel. I thought this would be a difficult read for me, which is why it took so long for me to read it but it wasn't too bad. 


I loved the characters. Hazel has terminal cancer and attends a support group because her mum wants her to make friends, while Augustus is a cancer survivor after surgery and attends to support his friend Isaac, which is where they meet. Hazel Grace and Augustus were delightful characters that drew me into the story and their journey. I adored Augustus, and the witty conversations between him and Hazel made for a funny, light read considering the seriousness of the subject. There were times that they were more mature then you would expected from teenagers their age, but it wasn't over the top and considering what they have been forced to go through it fitted the characters well. 

I really liked John Greene's writing style and I will definitely be reading more books of his. 

I understand why so many people loved this book as I totally fell in love with it too. 



★★★★★
 It Was Amazing








Saturday, 25 January 2014

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab


Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Published: 22nd January 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult: Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Purchased 

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.






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Review

I absolutely loved the sneak peek (100 pages) I read late 2012. The book was unique, different and enjoyable. I couldn't wait to read the whole book. I pre-ordered this as I was so excited for it. 

This isn't a fast paced book. In fact I stalled a little in the middle and found myself not really in a hurry to pick it back up. Once I worked through it the second half was much better. 

This is a fascinating book. The world is intriguing, I mean - the dead are filed on shelves, like books! Come on! That's awesome!

I must say that the time of events moves around in this book a bit. You have frequent glimpses into the past with Da, Mac's Grandfather, and then back to the present time. It can throw you out of the story a little and may be off putting to some. The excerpt below is a "glimpse" of the past with Mac's Grandfather. 

My biggest problem was with Mac getting side tracked. At one point she had histories to return, but just didn't and in the beginning you learn you just can't do that. On top of that, there was no explanation of what happened to them. The longer they are out the harder they are to return. Histories are confused enough when they "wake" not knowing they are dead, and can then get violent when confronted to be returned. Why wait? There were even a few histories that were on her list and we never knew what happened to them because they weren't mentioned again, and Mac wasn't doing any returning. 

There are two romantic interests, but it's not a love triangle so don't let that put you off. It's not a driving force through the novel either. More subtle and a little cute. I liked Wes as a character and enjoyed their encounters.  

The twist was kind of predictable for me. I wasn't 100% sure, but I had enough distrust of the character to believe they were behind it. This made the last 25% a definite a page turner. 

While this held my attention in waves, it was still an enjoyable book. I think I would have preferred it to be a stand alone though so I'm not sure if I'm interested enough to pick up it's sequel, The Unbound, which is due for release on the 28th January. 



★★★★ 
Really Liked It



Excerpt



page 212






Friday, 17 January 2014

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher




Title: Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Published: 18 October 2007
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Purchased from Book Depository
Genre: Young Adult: Mental Health, Contemporary


Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.
On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.
Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.




Review

Do you know what I have noticed lately? Bullying is slowly coming into the limelight. Just the other day a friend shared a video on Facebook concerning "The Bullying Experiment, by Fouseytube" (You can find it on Youtube if you are such inclined). That was interesting purely for the fact that despite someone being bullied directly in front of some people - they chose to ignore it. They walked away. One person, after being asked "Can I speak to you for a minute?" Answered "No". Were they ashamed they walked away? Or did they really care that little? 
I remember an incident (and I'm giving away my age here) of a comment concerning the RSVP's to my high school reunion. The organisers were getting comments that people didn't want to socialise with the people that bullied them at school. I know this because the organiser posted it on the reunions facebook wall. I remember some of the people - not the bullies, or the bullied - make the comment "oh but we were just teenagers, get over it". Interesting that the ones making that comment were also the ones that turned a blind eye.

Bare with me, I did bring that up for a reason......

Bullying comes in all forms. You don't need to be constantly hit to say you were bullied. 
Anyone can be bullied, and it can occur anywhere - school, work, sports activities, and online. 
Bullying can be verbal, physical, social, psychological, or cyberbullying.  

I mention this because some people might not think, like my high school classmates, that what happened to Hannah was that bad, or was justifiable due to age. 
Short answer - no, it's not acceptable. Just because you didn't experience it doesn't mean that the other person wasn't bullied. Just because it does not cause the same feelings in you, doesn't mean it shouldn't for someone else. 

This brings me to this book. Some reviews I read said that what happened to her weren't that bad; didn't justify why Hannah killed herself; could have been worse; or the clincher - she should have helped herself, she should have sort help from someone.
Bullying isn't about YOU (the reader, in this case). Bullying is about the person being bullied and how it makes THEM feel. In Hannah's case all the little things built up and ruined her.
You don't have to agree with her reasons. You don't have to feel like they were worthy reasons for her to commit suicide. What you DO have to understand is that SHE felt this way, and SHE felt like she didn't have anything worth living for. SHE felt that she had no one to talk to - in fact she did seek someone to talk too and quite frankly the way they handled the situation was pathetic. 

This is something that every person needs to understand. This is something that every parent should teach their child. This is something that teachers should understand. Bullying is about how you are made to feel and your actions can affect everyone. Like a ripple effect. Everyone in Hannah's community was and will be affected by what happened to her.  
Bullying is a real problem in schools, because children at schools are not treating others with any respect or empathy or understanding. Teachers should be able to say the right things and assist in finding help for someone that feels this lost. 
Not everyone is strong enough to fight through it. Some give in. Some don't. Adults need to be able to see the signs and need to be open enough that the victim sees them as an ally, a friend, and most importantly someone that can help. 
Now just to be clear, we are not talking about a single incident. We are talking about constantly being intimidated; harassed; rumours being spread about you; being hit; teased; etc and it happening over and over again. 

When I finished this book, I posted the photo below (that I took) everywhere. Facebook, instagram, twitter, anywhere where people, young and old, kids and parents, could see it. This is the type of book that should be read in school. Studied at school. Explained at school. To get young people to understand that bullying is NOT ok. It is not ok to make someone feel so low that they want out of life. You don't know what is going on in someone's life away from where you know them. You could be compounding a problem that is already there, and if you're not, you could be starting a problem that might not stop. 

I can't say I enjoyed this book as that isn't an appropriate statement. How can you enjoy reading about someone, who is dead, and how they came to that death. 
I did find this well written. Very well written. I liked the delivery of the story. I liked how someone, who she thought was good, was the story we got to follow. I don't believe hearing it from one of the bullies sides would be appropriate nor show the story from her side as well.

Now the book isn't just about bullying, well it is, but it is also about the fact that Hannah was suffering from depression. No one seemed to pick up on her depressive state. All these things added up for Hannah and would have been overwhelming. 

I can't say this enough, this is a book that everybody should read - if for no other reason but to understand how bullying and depression can affect someone (again - NOT YOU). 


On an ending note- 
Let me put it this way:
If physical illness was treated like mental illness

Source







★★★★★ 
It Was Amazing




Excerpt

"I guess that's the point of it all. No one knows for certain how much impact they have on the lives of other people. Oftentimes, we have no clue. Yet we push it just the same." 



~

"But does that diminish any of your stories? Are your stories any less meaningful because I'm not telling you everything?
No.
Actually, it magnifies them. 
You don't know what went on in the rest of my life. At home. Even at school. You don't know what goes on in anyone's life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person's life, you're not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can't be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person's life, you're messing with their entire life."







Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Top Ten 2014 Debuts I'm Excited For



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.



Today's topic is - Top Ten 2014 Debuts I'm Excited For

In no particular order:


Tease by Amanda Maciel
Hungry by H.A. Swain
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Alienated by Melissa Landers
Half Bad by Sally Green
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
Pointe by Brandy Colbert

They are my picks for the year. What debuts are you excited for?



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