Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Waiting On Wednesday #44 - Secret by Brigid Kemmerer



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.



I adore this series so it's no surprise that this weeks WoW is:





Expected Publication: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Kensington Teen




Nowhere is safe. Not even home…


Nick Merrick is stretched to the breaking point.



Keep his grades sky-high or he’ll never escape his hometown.
Keep his brother’s business going or the Merricks will be out on the street.
Keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his own twin—-or he’ll lose his family.



Keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who’s supposed to be his “girlfriend’s” partner.



Of course there’s also the homicidal freak Quinn has taken to hanging around, and the Elemental Guide counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers.



There’s a storm coming. From all sides. And then some.



Nick Merrick, can you keep it together?




What's your Waiting on Wednesday pick this week?


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books



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



Today's topic is - Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books



I've picked ten endings that I love, for various reasons - heartbreaking, positive, or lovely, for my top ten. I don't want to spoil any stories, so I'm only providing the covers. 





So that's my Top Ten post for today. Leave a link in the comments and I'll be sure to stop by your list! =)



















Saturday, 27 July 2013

Stacking The Shelves #51


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.

Purchased
This is my bargain book haul! I got onto an Australian bookseller  Booktopia, and went through their bargains. While I had to pay $6.50 for postage, I still got 11 books (a couple for my son that aren't here) for $30 odd so even with postage it was cheap. 


Glass Houses by Rachel Caine ($6.25)
A Desirable Residence by Sophie Kinsella (as Madeleine Wickham) ($5.90)
The Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor ($5.50)
Graveminder by Melissa Marr ($3.50)
Fateful by Claudia Gray ($1.95)


The Nameless Day by Sara Douglass
Darkwitch Rising by Sara Douglass
The Hunting by Sam Hawksmoor

Would you believe these 3 only cost $1 each. How awesome is that!

For Review


Banish by Nicola Marsh

Thank you Harlequinn Teen Australia!


So that's it for me (and my ever growing list of books to read). I have officially run out of shelving space. I really need to go buy different shelves so I can organise them better, and hopefully gain more room (I have more books on their way, but shhhh we'll talk about them next week lol). 
Leave me a link so I can check out what you got this week, and happy reading!!




Friday, 26 July 2013

Cover Reveal: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

I am seriously excited to share with you all the cover for Secret, book #4 in the Elementals series. If you haven't checked out this series yet, I highly recommend that you do, and you can find all my reviews for the series thus far in my archive.
I am also loving this cover!
Now, without further ado:





Secret by Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Kensington Books 
Release Date: January 28, 2014
ISBN: 0758294379
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal



Summary:
           
Nowhere is safe. Not even home…

Nick Merrick is stretched to the breaking point.

Keep his grades sky-high or he’ll never escape his hometown.

Keep his brother’s business going or the Merricks will be out on the street.

Keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his own twin—or he’ll lose his family.

Keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who’s supposed to be his “girlfriend’s” partner.

Of course there’s also the homicidal freak Quinn has taken to hanging around, and the Elemental Guide counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. There’s a storm coming. From all sides. And then some.

Nick Merrick, can you keep it together?


Buy Links

Check out the series

Click picture to go to Goodreads



 Author Bio

Brigid Kemmerer is the author of The Elemental Series, about a family of four brothers who control the elements, and their battle with those who want them dead. Storm, Spark, and Spirit are available now wherever books are sold. To read the novella introducing Nick’s story, be sure to check out Breathless (http://www.brigidkemmerer.com/books/elemental-novellas/breathless/)
 available as an e-book only from major e-book retailers. You can learn more about Brigid and the Elemental boys at www.brigidkemmerer.com.








Blog Tour: Review: Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor, withExcerpt and Giveaway







Expected Publication: July 30th 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin


Blurb:
In this breathtaking debut that reads like Gossip Girl crossed with Twin Peaks, a Queen Bee at a blue-blooded New England prep school stumbles into a murder mystery.

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne could care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school. 

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.

Review
Prep School Confidential was a big surprise package for me. I wasn't expecting such a deep and twisted mystery, nor was I expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. 

I liked Anne, thought sometimes she seemed a touch too full of herself in the I'm-just-too-smart kind of way but it wasn't enough to put me off. Also her persistence to solve who killed Isabella had me wrapped up in the story so very little bothered me. 

All the characters felt so different from each other, and I didn't know who to suspect or point the finger at. There are a fair few characters in this story, but I didn't find it hard to keep track of as they all had some part in the story and mystery and their voices were different enough to remember them. 

I don't make it a hidden fact that I don't like love triangles as a writing device. Prep School Confidential did have a love triangle, and surprisingly (compared to those I have read) it is done really nicely, to the point I didn't know who I liked more. 
Anthony, Isabella's twin brother grew on me pretty quickly, though I feel he is still a little mysterious. 
Brent, Annie classmate, I wasn't sure of at first. I grew to like him as the story progressed. 

I loved the school description. I could picture this old school and all it's "secrets" (no more details than that - no spoilers) with no problems. 

Prep School Confidential had me guessing and questioning all the characters and their roles - did they do it, were they really like that - right until the end. And even that was a bit of a shock. Just when you think you figured it out, BAM, nope you didn't. 


This is definitely worth checking out if you like mysteries and whodunits. A fun read with some very memorable quotes (My favourite is below).  



★★★★ 
Really Liked It


Buy Links




Excerpt


"Mr. Dowling." The officer stands up and extends a hand. "I'm Detective Holmes."
I can't help it - I giggle a little. I mean, really, a detective named Holmes? I wonder if Watson is nearby. 
Dad glares at me and accepts Holmes's handshake. "I'll be representing my daughter from this point. If you have no proof of her involvement with the fire, I'll be taking her home now."
I wince, but Detective Holmes looks confused. "With all due respect, Mr. Dowling, your daughter confessed to being on school grounds unattended after hours and gave us the name of the classmate who helped start the fire."
Dad looks at me as if I'm dumber than the bacteria on the bottom of his shoes. He's never, ever looked at me like that before. When the older cop shuffles back into the room, I'm thinking there's no way this could possibly get worse. (Loc 168 4%). 


One of my favourite quotes:



Author Bio

Kara has a BA in English/Secondary Education from Stony Brook University. She loves New Girl, sushi, and puppets that say rude things. It’s her dream to own a bakery someday. 
Kara was inspired to start writing in part by her grandmother giving her Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and in part by her father’s bizarre antics, such as blow-drying his car. Her father looked like Borat in the 80′s. 
Kara lives on Long Island with a Chihuahua named Izzy and a kitten named Felix. Her favorite authors are Gillian Flynn, Maureen Johnson, and Nelson Demille. She writes full-time, both on the PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL series and on an untitled television pilot for Warner Brothers Studios.

Author Links
twitter.com/@karataylor_




Giveaway







Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Waiting On Wednesday #43 - Frozen (Taken #2) by Erin Bowman



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.





Expected Publication: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen


The Heists were only the beginning.

Gray Weathersby escaped from the primitive town of Claysoot expecting to find answers, but what he discovered shook him to the core: A ruthless dictator with absolute power. An army of young soldiers blinded by lies. And a growing rebellion determined to fight back.

Now Gray has joined a team of rebels on a harsh, icy journey in search of allies who can help them set things right. But in a world built on lies, Gray must constantly question whether any ally—or enemy—is truly what they seem…


Ok, I'm cheating a little here because I haven't read Taken yet - though I do own it and since this isn't coming out until April 2014 I have some time to read it. 
I love the covers in this series though. =)


What's your Waiting on Wednesday pick this week?


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

eARC Review: Contaminated by Em Garner







Title: Contaminated
Author: Em Garner
Publication Date: July 23, 2013
Publisher: Egmont USA

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Zombies
Source: Publisher via Netgalley









Description

After the Contamination—an epidemic caused by the super-trendy diet drink ThinPro that turned ordinary citizens into violent, uncontrollable creatures—the government rounded up the "Connies" to protect the remaining population. Now, two years later, the rehabilitated are being allowed home, complete with shock collars that will either control, or kill, them.

Velvet Ellis has struggled to care for her ten-year-old sister since her parents were taken in the round up. When she finds her mother in one of the "Kennels," Velvet resolves to do whatever it takes to put her family back together. But the danger isn’t over. It’s beginning all over again…



Review

Warning: Slight spoilers - I apologise


Contaminated started off a little slow. We meet Velvet and Opal who are sisters. Velvet only does half a day at school, the other half she works so she can look after her sister. Velvet is also out looking for her mum. After Velvet finds their mum, who they try to integrate back into society. Though they aren't accepted, and are forced to move back to their home pre-contamination days. 
The story picks up pace after they find their mum. It's interesting, learning about the Connies and watching how their mum reacts. The latter half of the novel held my attention better.

We don't really get to see a lot of Opal, but I liked what we did get to know about her, and with her being young you can understand her ability to except change the way she did. 
I wasn't sure about Velvet, until the school scene with the principal. Her little speech to him was awesome, and something I could totally see myself do if I were in her shoes. From that point on my opinion of her went up and I decided there and then that I liked her too.

Dillon is Jean's son, she runs the Conkennel for found Connies (Contaminated people). Dillon turns into the love interest. I really liked Dillon. I'm not sure why, he was just a nice character to read.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, the best part being the reactions and changes in Velvets mum. I'm interested to see on what is happening now though, as the book left on a slight cliffhanger - things are changing again, but now we don't know how. 


On a side note, I wish to whine about the cover and title change. Originally it was called Velvet and this was the cover:



I think that bright cover is awesome and eye catching, while the new cover seems mass market and common. Also since the Connie's aren't really zombies the current cover isn't suitable. 



★★★ 
Liked It



Monday, 22 July 2013

eARC Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry





Title: Dare You To
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing The Limits, #2
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Source: Publisher via Netgalley








Description


If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....


Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...




Review

It took me awhile to get into this book. I don't believe it was the book itself, I think it was just the formatting of the copy I had. The chapters weren't separated other than a few words in capitals and I found it extremely difficult to read as the jump between POV's wasn't clear. I was originally reading it on my mobile, but then I swapped to the kindle for a bigger screen, thinking that might help - and it did. Though I still didn't get the "I can't put this down" feeling I had with Pushing The Limits until I was about 30 - 40% into it. Then I fell in love with the story. 

I felt for Beth. I really liked her even though there were points where I thought "you stupid girl". I still liked her, and I could empathise with her, even in those moments, and understand why she did what she did. 
I wasn't instantly drawn to Ryan, but he grew on me as the story went on. I thought he was good for Beth which is where some of my frustration came from with her. haha.
I liked Isaiah in Pushing the Limits and I liked him even more in this. He is such a great character and I'm dying to read his story in Crash Into You, but I digress. 

Katie McGarry is amazing at writing characters with a troubled background. She makes the story emotional, believeable, and heartbreaking. You connect with the characters, feel for them, and want everything to be better for them. You want the story to have a positive ending, no necessarily a happy ending, just something positive to come out of it for the characters involved. I didn't think it was possible to write a better story then Pushing The Limits, but Dare You To is just was wonderful, if not a little better. 

Dare You To could be read as a stand alone. Pushing The Limits will give you a wider view into some of the characters as well as the connections, but it isn't totally necessary. 


★★★★★ 
It Was Amazing



Book Trailer






15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Day 15

This 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge is hosted by Good Books and Good Wine.

Well today is the last day of the challenge. I have certainly enjoyed participating, and thanks to April at Good Books and Good Wine for creating it.



Day 15: Who are your book blogging mentors?


I don't really have mentors, but there are some bloggers that I love the content of, and have done since I started. Namely:
(I realise they have more contributors now, but they were there first when I started.)

Oh I'm sure I could name more, but we'd be here forever. All these girls are fantastic, and if you haven't checked them out before, you should now. =)




Sunday, 21 July 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge | Day 14


Day 14: Tell us your deal breakers.


I'm not sure I'd classify them as deal breakers, as I'll usually will read past them anyway and just rate the book accordingly, but I'm not fond of:
  • Insta-love
  • Love triangles
  • Annoying characters
  • Boring/no plot
If I'm just not getting into the book after reading 100 odd pages that's a DNF for me. 


The number 1 thing that is a deal breaker where I won't even bother to pick the book up are authors having 'foot in mouth' syndrome. I have a fairly decent size list of books I just won't bother with because an author has said/made public one of the following:
  • Flaming reviewers for negative reviews
  • Attacking reviewers for negative reviews
  • Authors that go around belittling others (I won't name names, nor link to the thread, but they are out there). 
This is a brief sum up of some of the issues that came to light in 2012 and have continued this year as well. They stuck with me as it was right when I was just starting out on Goodreads and blogging. I'm not talking about authors that get upset at personal attacks to themselves (I can understand that, it's what I'm talking about for reviewers), I'm talking about authors that go out of their way to tweet, facebook, blog post, and/or comment on a negative, or not as highly rated as they'd had wanted, review of their book. 
This is controversial, and I know it, but I have sat back and never said a word about it. I have however always made note of who has had such a 'meltdown' and decided that I won't contribute to them having a further meltdown, I'll just stay far away... from their books. 
For me, it is the number 1 deal breaker - attacking a reviewer over their opinion of your book. 



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