Thursday, 29 November 2012

Kailin Gow Blog Tour: Promo Post

YA Contemporary Romance
Title: Loving Summer
Author: Kailin Gow
Date Published: 5/28/12

After not having seen childhood family friends, Rachel and her brothers Nathaniel and Drew in three years, sixteen year old Summer Jones, who has always spent her summers with the Donovans at her Aunt Sookie's Malibu beach house, discovers there is more to her long-time crush on one of the Donovan brothers this summer than meets the eye, especially when Astor Fairway, the handsome television star taking her aunt's acting coaching sessions, notices her.  This summer, the summer she is noticed, would be the summer no one could forget.

Kailin Gow

Author Bio
Kailin Gow has appeared on top national syndicated talk shows such as ABC Radio, Barbara Dooley show, Chat with Women on KKNW Seattle, Broadminded on Sirius Radio XM, and more as a leading authority on YA and women's issues including self-esteem, body image, dating and sexual relationships, abuse, and bullying. Kailin has been a published author for over 10 years with over 100 titles published under her name and under pen names.

She is the founder of the community social site, The Saving You Saving Me Project, which helps teens, young adults, and women deal with social issues like sexual abuse, self-esteem, body image, bullying, cutting, relationships, and more in a positive community environment. The Saving You Saving Me Project is an extention of her YA-mature fiction Saving You Saving Me.
Kailin Gow began writing books for tween girls to help them with self-confidence and self-esteem. Her book, Gifted Girls Activities Guide to 365 Days of the Week, became a reference book used in girls organizations across the U.S. As her tween fans grew to become teens and young adults, Kailin began writing engaging and entertaining young adult book series for them. The results are book series like the Frost Series, PULSE Series, Wicked Woods Series, Stoker Sisters, Phantom Diaries, The Fire Wars, FADE, DESIRE, and more.

All her books are inspired by personal experiences. Saving You Saving Me was inspired by her experience as a peer counselor for young women during college and from her psychology major college roommate's experience being in a relationship similar to the one portrayed by Sam and Collins in the book. Loving Summer was inspired by Kailin's experience growing up with a family consisting of a mother, two sons, and a daughter who went through a similar experience of tragedy in the book. Aunt Sookie is based on herself and some actor friends she knows. The Frost Series, Circus of Curiosities Series, and FADE Series came about through vivid dreams. Never Say Never was inspired by Kailin's experience as a radio host and working with and interviewing bands, as well as having college friends who were in bands. Kailin also played the drums and keyboard for a band she once started. A classically-trained musician, she was once led her school orchestra, playing first chair violin. Her experience in the music world and her love of Phantom of the Opera, inspired the Phantom Diaries. PULSE was inspired when Kailin was in the hospital suffering from heavy blood loss post surgery and needed several bags of blood to survive (like a vampire). Beautiful Beings was inspired by her college encounter with a young demon exorcist. A pastor once told her she had the gift of sight and that she was destined to become a prolific author, many times over.

She began taking her writing seriously when her daughter was diagnosed as being on the spectrum and her mother was fighting three types of cancer. Four years later, her daughter was no longer on the spectrum, and her mother became cancer free. Kailin believes in hope and miracles, after having been through several struggles and experiences herself. This is why she writes.
When not busy inhaling chocolate and drinking coffee by the gallon, Kailin makes time for writing fantasy books, blogging as an expert blogger for Fast Company, volunteering as an Emergency Responder and volunteering for battered women's shelters. For fun, she plays the electric violin, and puts together a music playlist for her radio and web shows.
Her Frost Series consisting of the Bitter Frost Series, The Wolf Fey Series, and the Fairy Rose Chronicles along with her other book series are being developed into worldwide MMORPG Games by SEE GLOBAL ENTERTAINMENT, which is the world's leading game developer known for developing the top blockbuster films into games.

Contact Links
To sign up for news on new releases, contests, events, and more, join
Twitter - @kailingow


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Personal Post #3

Okay, I'm typing this up on Thursday night. We've been running around packing, and we still have a lot to do. Its almost ten o clock. The moving people are coming in exactly nine hours. I've consumed almost a whole bar of chocolate so I'm wide awake :D 

While my dear mother and father were sorting out the garage, I was sitting on the couch reading a book, eating chocolate, watching TV and chatting to my friends on my phone. I didn't want to get involved in that garage as I could already hear my mother five minutes into the whole packing thing calling my poor father a hoarder. He has got too many stuff though...

I Will update you tomorrow with more news :D 
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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #12

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

This week I am showcasing: Pivot Point by Kasie West
Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.
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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

My Reading Plan #7

I was qutie impressed with myself last week, as I managed to read three books. Unfortunately, none of them were incredibly outstanding. I read Loving Summer by Kailin Gow (Didn't like it and its going to be a ranting review), Dreamland by Sarah Dessen (Couldn't stand the main character) and The Invention of Hugo Cabret (That was a pretty good book! But not a favourite). So there will be two very ranty reviews on the blog soon :D

Week #6 - 26/11/2012
1. The Mount Rushmore Face that Couldn't See
The Mount Rushmore Face That Couldn't See

2. The Hocus Pocus Hotel - Michael Dahl
Hocus Pocus Hotel
Ever since it was built by the great magician Abracadabra, the hotel Tyler Yu lives in has had its share of mysterious events. Ghosts wandering the halls, a magician who vanishes into thin air – Ty can’t figure these things out on his own. But Charlie Hitchcock, with his photographic memory, might just be the partner the school bully needs. Together, they’ll solve magical mysteries beyond your wildest imagination.

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Sunday, 25 November 2012

Stacking the Shelves #26 - The Book-Buying Spree edition

I went on a BOOK-BUYING SPREE! Books are really expensive where I live, but they had this book sale and I got some pretty good books for a great price!

For review:
1. Persephone - Kaitlin Bevis
There are worse things than death, worse people too
The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.
2. The Psychology of Twilight
The Psychology of Twilight
You’ve read the books. You’ve seen the films. Now get inside the heads of your favorite Twilight characters (just like Edward can!) in The Psychology of Twilight.
Explore the minds and motives of Bella, Edward, Jacob, and more with a deeper look at the series that’s captured the hearts—and psyches—of millions. Find out:
� How Edward and Jacob match up in an evolutionary psychology smackdown for Bella’s—and our—affection� Whether Bella’s motorcycle-riding and cliff diving in New Moon are suicidal—or her salvation� Why vampires and werewolves aren’t so different after all (at least psychologically)� The emotional appeal of love stories like Bella and Edward’s� Why being a part of Twilight fandom is good for your psychological health
Snuggle up on the closest chaise, and get ready to revisit the Twilight Saga—with some professional help.
3. Angelfire - Courtney Moulton
Angelfire (Angelfire, #1)First there are nightmares.Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her.
Then come the memories.When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie's power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie's memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream.
Now she must hunt.Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.
4. Sweet Venom - Tera Lynn Childs
Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls #1)Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.
Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.
Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.
These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.
5. My Name is Rose - Sally Grindley
My Name Is RoseGrace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.
Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.
Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.
These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.
6. Fairest - Gail Carson Levine
Fairest (Enchanted, #3)In the kingdom of Ayortha, who is the fairest of them all? Certainly not Aza. She is thoroughly convinced that she is ugly. What she may lack in looks, though, she makes up for with a kind heart, and with something no one else has-a magical voice. Her vocal talents captivate all who hear them, and in Ontio Castle they attract the attention of a handsome prince - and a dangerous new queen. In this masterful novel filled with humour, adventure, romance, and song, Newbery Honor author Gail Carson Levine invites you to join Aza as she discovers how exquisite she truly is.
7. The Time-Traveling Fashionista On Board the Titanic
The Time-Traveling Fashionista On Board the TitanicWhat if a beautiful vintage dress could take you back in time?
Louise Lambert has always dreamed of movie starlets and exquisite gowns and longs for the day when she can fill the closet of her normal suburban home with stylish treasures. But when she receives a mysterious invitation to a vintage fashion sale in the mail, her once painfully average life is magically transformed into a time-travel adventure. 
Suddenly onboard a luxurious cruise ship a hundred years ago, Louise relishes the glamorous life of this opulent era and slips into a life of secrets, drama, and decadence. . . .
Dreamy and imaginative, The Time-Traveling Fashionista features thirty full-color fashion illustrations to show gorgeous dresses and styles throughout history.

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Friday, 23 November 2012

Review - Sweethearts - Sarah Zarr

SweetheartsTitle: Sweethearts
Author: Sara Zarr
Genre: Young Adult
Publication: February 1 2008
Pages: 217, Hardback
Source: Library book
As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also one another's only friend. So when Cameron disappears without warning, Jennifer thinks she's lost the only person who will ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she's popular, happy, and dating, everything "Jennifer" couldn't be---but she still can't shake the memory of her long-lost friend. 
When Cameron suddenly reappears, they are both confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken.
From the National Book Award nominated author of Story of a Girl, Sweethearts is a story about the power of memory, the bond of friendship, and the quiet resilience of our childhood hearts.
When I saw Sweethearts at the library, I knew it was a book I simply needed to read. The cover is gorgeous and sweet, the blurb intriguing. I thought it might be a fluffy contemporary, with the same monotonous storyline and shallow characters that more often than not plagues the Young Adult Contemporary genre. Thankfully, I was proven wrong, Sweethearts was a beautiful story with depth to it that is not often found in a contemporary romance. Sweethearts contained a sweetness to it that was similar to the taste of melted chocolate oozing over my tongue. Sweethearts is one of my favourite books this year, it has everything I could ever need in a YA contemporary. And I, Kyra, am about to tell you why.

The writing was addictive, like a chocolate cake oozing sticky goodness that even though you know you shouldn't, you can't help but have slice after slice after slice. I haven't actually read an unputdownable book since reading Divergent and Sweethearts was definitely, one hundred percent unputdownable. The chapters were short and sweet. Always hanging on a  cliffhanger that made me read the next chapter, no matter how many other things I needed to do, or how late it was. I had to read as much as I could until I felt satisfied, then I would skulk off to do what I needed to do, with only the thought of finishing Sweethearts on my mind. Sweethearts is the kind of book that will keep you reading till four in the morning. Sweethearts is a relatively short book with only 217 pages and I read more than half in about two or three hours and finished it off the second day. While I was reading it, all I could think was "I don't want this book to end, its so goooooooood!!!" and then I'd shake the book, giving it a crazed stare and begging it to go on forever. Yep. It didn't obey. -.-.

I loved some characters and hated others. 

Who I loved:
I LOVED Jennifer and Cameron, they were so relatable and strong. I could just imagine the turmoil Cameron had to face when he got home from school and how even when he had a bitter home life, he still was there for Jennifer and helped her through all the teasing and the taunting at school. When he came back to Jenna's life after eight years he was still the same sweet Cameron, and even though he had been gone, he was still there in a sense, still looking out for Jenna.

I liked Jennifer. When she was smaller, at school alone, with no friends and no one to talk to, it was heartbreaking. I could imagine the pain she felt when she came to home, with no mother to talk to as her mom would be rushing between her two jobs, trying to make a living. When the story jumps back into the past (its told in past and present, which I'm a huge fan of!) you see the friendship develop between Cameron and Jennifer, and its the sweetest most innocent friendship I've ever experienced reading about in a young adult novel.

I also loved Jennifer's mom and step-dad, Alan. Jennifer's mom worked hard as a young mother to try and support her family. When we jump to the present and you find out Jennifer's mom married Alan, I was super excited for them all! Jennifer now had a family to come home to, she lived in a lovely house, went to a really good school and now had a great life. Alan was a great step-father that loved Jenna and wanted the best for her.

Jennifer also had made some great friends at her new school and had a hot boyfriend. I actually didn't like any of Jenna's friends except Steph. Steph stuck by Jenna even after all the drama with Cameron and the only one who was there for her. Steph was a great friend, but I'd love to have got to know her more :)

Who I didn't love:
Well, the obvious, I hated Cameron's father. A pig of man. I can't believe he did that to Cameron. I'm not going to say anymore as you need to find out what he did. You'll. Be. Shocked.

I didn't like Jenna's other friends. Katy was annoying and didn't care for Jenna's feeling/emotions/interests at all. It was all about her trying to get Cameron to like her. Ethan, Jenna's boyfriend was whiny, jealous and clingy. He consistently called Jenna, wanting to know what she was doing and he was horrible to her on the night of the Halloween party. 


I enjoyed the plot, it kept me pleasantly surprised. I loved how the chapters rotated from the past and back to the present, you could really empathize with the character more so than before, now knowing what they had experienced and why past experiences shaped them into the people they are today. 

There wasn't really romance in this book, which was quite surprising. I was a little bit disappointed by the ending as I was expecting Cameron to stay on and be with Jenna, for them to be a couple that would stay together until they grew old, but unfortunately this didn't happen. I really hope that Sara Zarr writes a sequel to Sweethearts, as I will never tire of reading about Jennifer and Cameron, I am sure of it.

Sweethearts was a brilliant story that captures the meaning of true friendship as well as holding the picture of innocence of childhood love. A story that will tug at your heart strings, neglecting your chores to just read Sweethearts, falling into the magical world of Sara's writing. Sweethearts will teach you many lessons about the hardships in life, but at the same time showing you what can bring you through, while making you a better person for it. If you read Sweethearts you will not regret it, one of the best books I've read this year.

I give it: 5/5 CUPCAKES!

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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Personal post #2

So this week has been awfully busy. My gran's visiting for a week to help us pack, and all my precious books are going to storage soon! As my mom's friend with her five kids is moving into the house we're living in at the moment and we are moving into its studio/granny flat thing while we build. And the place is small. *wails* I'm only allowed to keep my physical review copies out and a couple of others. I'm going to really miss seeing them displayed in my room 

My dear mother is also kindly advising (forcing) me to give away the books I have read. She says I'm hoarding, I say I'm a bookaholic, I have a never-ending TBR pile, and I like to keep some of the books that I have read. She still thinks I'm hoarding. >.<

My blog might be going a bit slower the next few months, as I'll be doing harder schooling, it'll be summer and I'll be on the beach frequently, swimming and trying to spot sharks. AND I'll be playing with my friends, and my best friend is coming for a few days which I am MEGA excited about! XD

I will (of course) be on Twitter 24/7 if you want to chat to me, and I will be posting reviews twice a week as well as a couple of memes, and I'll (from now on) try and do a personal post every Friday if there is any news!

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all my American readers, hope you had a great day! 

Have a lovely weekend! :D xxx
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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

My Reading Plan #6

Yes my dear followers, I am aiming for four books...I'll probably only manage three, but we can only hope :p

Week #6 - 19/11/2012
1. Dreamland - Sarah Dessen
Wake up, Caitlin
Ever since she started going out with Rogerson Biscoe, Caitlin seems to have fallen into a semiconscious dreamland where nothing is quite real. Rogerson is different from anyone Caitlin has ever known. He's magnetic. He's compelling. He's dangerous. Being with him makes Caitlin forget about everything else--her missing sister, her withdrawn mother, her lackluster life. But what happens when being with Rogerson becomes a larger problem than being without him?
2. What Happened to Goodbye - Sarah Dessen
What Happened To Goodbye
Another town. Another school. Another Mclean. Ever since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her father have been fleeing their unhappy past. And Mclean's become a pro at reinventing herself with each move. But in Lakeview, Mclean finds herself putting down roots and making friends—in part, thanks to Dave, the most real person Mclean's ever met. Dave just may be falling in love with her, but can he see the person she really is? Does Mclean herself know?
3. The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick 
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
ORPHAN, CLOCK KEEPER, AND THIEF, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.
4. Loving Summer - Kailin Gow
Loving Summer (Loving Summer, #1)
Summer has always looked forward to spending her summers at her Aunt's beach house with the Donovans. To her, summers at Aunt Sookie's beach house was magical, especially getting to spend time with the Donovans - her best friend Rachel and Rachel's brothers Nathaniel, and Drew. Here at Aunt Sookie's beach house, they can be anyone and anything they dreamed. For Summer, she had always wished to become as pretty as Rachel and for her brothers to think of her as more than Rachel's friend. For Nat and Drew, summers at Aunt Sookie's beach house meant fun and escape, a place where they go to with their mom and sister for the summer, away from city life. They never thought this summer would be different. They never thought things would change as much as they did...and it all began with them falling for and loving Summer.
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Monday, 19 November 2012

Book Blitz: Breathe by Suzanne Cox

Breathe (Atlantis, #1)Breathe (Atlantis #1)
by Suzanne Cox
Published: October 22nd 2012 by Suzanne Cox Books
17 year old science prodigy, Laney Brookes, is looking for two things: a cure for the flu virus that’s ravaging the world and the truth about what happened to her father. Using clues from her father’s secret journals, she and her two friends Kate and Carter follow what she thinks is the path to the answers.
It’s a path that lands them in the lost world of Atlantis, a world struggling to survive. Laney finds more than just answers in Atlantis. She finds love. To get her friends and herself home, Laney will have to travel into enemy territory, led by Andrew a young Atlantean determined to return his people to power. In the process she’ll even unravel the mystery of her missing father. But first, she’ll have to figure out who the real enemy is. 

Goodreads link:

Author Bio:
I remember writing my first stories when I was about nine or ten years old. I've been writing ever since. In 2002 I decided to seriously try and get some of my work published. On February 14th of 2005 I sold my first book, A Different Kind of Man, to Harlequin Superromance. While trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, besides a writer, I went to college (alot) and worked a variety of jobs. I have a bachelor of arts in English with a minor in secondary education, a bachelor of science in nursing, a master of science in career and technical education with an emphasis in adult education and most recently, a master of science in nursing as a family nurse practitioner. I was also a National Board Certified Teacher in career and technical education. Along the way I've worked as a high school English teacher and an elementary teacher. I've worked as a registered nurse on a cardiac unit, brain injury rehab unit, and several different medical-surgical units. I've also done stints as a home health nurse and a commnunity health educator at a hospital, and many years as an allied health instructor at a high school career and technology center. Presently, I'm working full time as a family nurse practitioner at an inpatient psychiatric facility.
If I'm not writing I like to spend time reading. My husband and I share our home with our four legged children. Our boy and girl in puppy dog clothes, Toby and Sassy, who masquerade as Miniature Pinschers. We are also owned by three cats Chase, Jackson, and Spots.  We are all terrorized by Gray Kitty, a stray who decided to stay and take over.

Author Links:

Buy link:

US Only
  • (1) copy of Breathe & (1) Marked.
  • Sparkly nail polish that coordinates with the book cover.
  • A stoneware necklace with concentric circle design from Breathe by Kaatee art.
  • Metal bookmark
prize packjpg.jpg

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Saturday, 17 November 2012

Stacking the Shelves #25

I'm super excited to read these fabulous books! The authors are really nice, I'm sure their books will be just as lovely! 
For review:
1. Goddess Inheritance - Aimee Carter
The Goddess Inheritance (Goddess Test, #3)
Love or life.
Henry or their child.The end of her family or the end of the world.Kate must choose.
During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.
In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.
With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.
Even if it costs her eternity.
2. A Shimmer of Angels - Lisa M Basso
A Shimmer of Angels (Angel Sight, #1)
Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it’s more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can't admit to seeing?
3. First Frost - Liz DeJesus
First Frost
 Fairytales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.
For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”
Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.
She’s about to find out how wrong she is

4. Luminaire - Ciye Cho (EEP! Loved Florence, can't wait to read this!)
Luminaire (Florence Waverley, #2) Being the only human in a world of merfolk... isn't easy. Florence Waverley chose to stay in Niemela, but things have gone awry. Secrets have risen and the prince she cares about has pulled away. All the while, dark dreams warn her of a tragedy that only she can stop. But in order to save the merman she loves, Florence will have to enter the Life Path tournament: a brutal test of fear and madness.

The tournament is a rite of passage--a maze where young mermaids and mermen battle to find their purpose. It is also a place where Florence will face grave danger: mermaids with evil magic, tunnels filled with sea fire, and guardians who wish to use her as a pawn in their secret plans. But will Florence be strong enough to survive the tournament... or will she perish inside it?

Everything hangs in the balance: her life, her world, and her love.

5. Bright Star - Nickie Anderson
Bright Star
It's bad enough that Sadira Pascal's father doesn't make it home to celebrate her fifteenth birthday. He might be a busy hovership engineer pulling overtime on a new design, but he's always been home for the important things. It's worse when she discovers her father decided to ride on the maiden voyage of his newest ship, the CAS Bright Star, without even telling her. But things really fall apart during Sadira's field trip with her class to observe the hovership launch. Instead of a successful flight, she watches the Bright Star fall out of the sky. 
The Central government confirms her father's death, leaving Sadira to pick up the pieces of her former life. While she struggles with her loss, Private Baruj Haddad tries to convince her that her father and the rest of the Bright Star crew are still alive. At first, Sadira doesn't believe there's any hope. But then she stumbles across a message that makes her think maybe, just maybe, her father is still alive. As she digs deeper into the Bright Star's crash, Sadira uncovers secrets about her father's work, secrets that put her and everyone she loves in danger.
6. Grape Bubblegum - Beth Bowland
Grape Bubblegum
 When hair dye goes wrong, falsies escape during pep rallies, and friends turn to the dark side, Beatrice's 8th-grade year can only be saved by grape bubblegum kisses.
13-year-old Beatrice Peppercorn’s heart’s desires are to finish her final year in middle school, win the heart of her cutie pie crush and take home the trophy for the spelling competition. Simple, right? Not when Beatrice’s arch nemesis gets in her way and a new kid arrives—turning her world upside d
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Friday, 16 November 2012

Review - The Sky is Everywhere - Jandy Nelson

The Sky is EverywhereTitle: The Sky is Everywhere
Author: Jandy Nelson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication: March 1 2010, Walker Books
Pages: 320 pages, Paperback
Source: Library book, but The Sky is Everywhere is so beautiful, I'll probably purchase my own copy!
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.
I'll be honest, I don't know what to say. All the emotions I feel for this book can't be put down on paper, or in this case, typed onto Blogger. The Sky is Everywhere is such a poignant, stunning book that words have failed me to describe how in love I am with the characters, the plot, the meaning and Jandy Nelson's heavenly writing. I will try and write a gorgeous review for this novel made of awesome, but I won't be able to, no piece of writing could ever be as beautiful as what I have just read and experienced. But I will try.

Jandy Nelson is an extraordinary writer. She makes you feel emotions that you wouldn't have thought possible while reading a book. She makes you feel anguish for the tragedy of what happened to Bailey and the broken people she left behind, this enormous calamity of what happened to this young girl, produced my heart to be wrenched out my body and torn into a million pieces, only later to be taped back up and placed back into my body, but  after finishing the novel, I feel a sense of love and wonder, but I know a piece of my heart will always be  missing, why?  Because the poignancy of The Sky is Everywhere will do that to you, that's why. 

Her writing is like taking a breath of fresh air and a taste of freedom after being cooped up inside for the whole of winter. Her awe-inspiring sentences are like the smell of Gram's love-inducing roses. She describes the knife-stabbing pain of loss with such gentle clarity. She describes the giddiness, the beauty and the unexpectedness of first love. Her writing will make your throat constrict with the melancholy of her sister's loss, her writing will make you a sob a river, similar to the one Bailey and Lennie use to swim in, her writing will have you doubled up in laughter, her writing will make you feel.

The characters are quirky, cute and real. They each have their own problems, that I could relate with. Jandy Nelson gets right into the characters' heads, so that we can understand them. After reading this novel, I want to meet Lennie, gram, Big, Toby, Joe and Sarah, in real life. 

I want to be Lennie's best friend, obsess over books with her, do a musical duet, write poems and eat lunch in trees with her and help her out of her personal hellish pit of despair. I want to see Gram's Half Mom painting, even more so I want paint next to her, mixing the different shades of green and swishing the paint brush across the canvas. I want to drink tea with her and comfort her in her grief. I want to hear Big's strong, loud voice, and I want to find dead bugs with him to resurrect. I want to meet Joe and Toby. Listen to Joe's inspirational music playing, I want to lose myself in his gorgeous green eyes and the bat, bat, bat of his spider- leg long eyelashes. I want to console Toby and let him tell me about his grief and about his future he had planned with Bailey. These characters are so third-dimensional, so real. I feel like I know each of their hopes, dreams and fears. I feel like we're best friends. I know that we're best friends.

I love Lennie, I would love to be her younger sister. She's this quiet, shy, quirky sort of girl, that has now been shoved into the limelight because her sparkly, bubbly older sister has passed away from a fatal arrhythmia. Even though half of the book was Lennie sobbing and trying to comfort herself in her cacoon of grief...the other half was her discovering herself, falling in love and being downright funny! Honestly, I don't think a character's made me laugh as much as Lennie, even though she's going through this, she doesn't intentionally make everyone's else's life a misery because of what she's going through and she's not a drama queen that makes sure everyone must know what she's feeling. Once she meets Joe, she lets herself be a bit happier and I want to thank him for making her feel happy again.

The romance in this novel was interesting, mysterious and sweet. There was a love triangle in this book, and I hate love triangles, but if all books had a love triangle written like Jandy wrote hers, I would be their number one fan. I didn't now who Lennie would end up with, it kept me guessing till it was revealed. I loved both the boys as well, they had their different problems an different personalities. There are two boys Lennie finds herself caught between: Toby and Joe. 

Toby was Bailey's boyfriend before she died (And later we find out, there was more to their relationship then meets the eye), a cowboy-skater, with gleaming blonde hair and freckles scattered across his golden skin. I liked Toby, I felt for him, as he'd lost the  girl he was head-over-heels in love with, at just nineteen. I could see why him and Lennie wanted to be with each other, they felt Bailey's presence around them when they were together. They were both comforting each other in their hellish pit of despair. I hated what happened during the middle of the novel, when she kissed him, ruining almost everything. But lucky things got straightened out. I did find the relationship between Lennie and Toby a bit odd, but I could understand that they were disillusioned with grief and they felt like they could bring Bailey back by being together.

Joe, an American-born Parisian guitarist. I LOVE HIM. He is so sweet, cute and goofy. When Lennie did that to him I was so FURIOUS at her for doing. He's my new fictional boy crush, with curly brown hair that flops over his emerald green eyes, and black eyelashes that girls would be envious of. And he loves music. Seriously, you can't get better than that! He was also the opposite of Toby, he was a boy with a mega-watt smile who brightened Lennie, Big and Gram's whole world up. I love reading the parts where he comes in the mornings, settles down, makes him a cup of mud-thick coffee, sits at the kitchen table and quietly strums the guitar. He filled the house with such happiness when he did that and I loved him for it.

While reading The Sky is Everywhere, my heart was torn into pieces, scattered around town like Lennie's poems to her spunky, but now tragically deceased sister, Bailey. As I continued reading it was stitched back, but a part will always be missing, because like I said, the poignancy of this novel will wrench your heart out, tear it up and put it back, mostly mended, but with  little piece missing. But you know what? I don't mind, because that little piece of my heart that's missing, proves that I've just read the world's most stunning book.

The Sky is Everywhere has stunning, poetic writing. Writing that will make you feel every heart-wrenching, and heart-warming emotion under the sun. You will feel the turmoil, the anguish and the sorrow of losing the one you love. The one that makes your world feel safe, brighter and happier.  You'll feel the warm, cosy feeling of falling in love, like a blanket warming you on a dark winter's day. You'll feel the butterflies flitter in your stomach as you experience that first kiss with the boy you love. You'll travel along alongside Lennie on her journey through grief, love, loss and self-discovery. 

The Sky is Everywhere is Jandy Nelson's debut novel. I couldn't put this book down, I didn't want it to end, I want this story to go on forever and ever, like the endless sky above our heads. When I finished this book, I quietly closed it, and was quite evidently speechless from the spectacular novel I'd just read. And then afterwards, for the first time in my life, I flipped back to page one and started reading all over again. But I stopped myself and looked guiltily at my towering TBR pile. So on Saturday, I'm going to the book store and buying me my own copy of The Sky is Everywhere. Read this stunning, heart-wrenching book about the tragedy of first loss and the warmth and beauty of first love that can drag you out of despair. When you read this book, you'll be swept off your feet, and you'll start again from page one so that you can experience it all over again.

I give it: 5 CUPCAKES!

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Wednesday, 14 November 2012

From the Review Pile #14

From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or if you don't receive review books, any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity.

I know that a lot of you have a huge pile of books that you want to read/review, but it understandably takes a while to get around to reading them all - here you can give a book (or two!) some of the publicity that it deserves, even if you haven't read it yet!

52 Reasons to Hate my Father - Jessica Brody
52 Reasons to Hate My Father
Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. 
Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.
Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteen birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.
In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.
Oh my goodness, you know when you see a book and you're instantly like " I MUST HAVE" with this crazed look in your eyes? Yep, this book did that to me. I read the sypnosis and watched the trailer and I just knew I had to get me a copy. The hardback copy on the Book Depository was pretty expensive to me and I didn't want to wait till next year to get the paperback. Sooo...I checked my emails on the computer and I saw there was spam (which I usually just ignore) and then one of the spam messages wasn't so spammy because, I had WON A GIVEAWAY! I instantly knew which one to choose and so a few weeks later 52 REASONS O HATE MY FATHER arrived! I was so super happy and excited! So I will definitely be reading this VERY SOON! 
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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #11

Title: The Archived
Author: Victoria Schwab
Release Date: January 22 2013
The Archived (The Archived, #1)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.
In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

I am waiting on The Archived as it looks and sounds utterly amazing and I can't wait until the release date! And the cover? Totally gorgeous...<3
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Monday, 12 November 2012

Review - Maximum Ride - James Patterson

The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1)Title: The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride #1) 
Author: James Patterson 
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Middle-grade
Publication: April 11 2005, Headline
Pages: 480
Source: Library book
WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE: Do not put this book down. I'm dead serious - your life could depend on it. I'm risking everything by telling you - but you need to know.

STRAP YOURSELF IN: for the thrill ride you'll want to take again and again! From Death Valley, California, to the bowels of the New York City subway system, you're about to take off on a heart-stopping adventure that will blow you away...

YOUR FAITHFUL COMPANIONS: Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, the Gasman and Angel. Six kids who are pretty normal in most ways - except that they're 98% human, 2% bird. They grew up in a lab, living like rats in cages, but now they're free. Aside, of course, from the fact that they're prime prey for Erasers - wicked wolf-like creatures with a taste for flying humans.

THE MISSIONS: Rescue Angel from malicious mutants. Infiltrate a secret facility to track down the flock's missing parents. Scavenge for sustenance. Get revenge on an evil traitor. And save the world. If there's time.

It's got a pretty awesome sypnosis, right? It screams danger, mystery and adventure - and it was! I enjoyed Maximum Ride, not a favourite, but not a book I regret reading. It was an addictive read that I find I couldn't put down! 

Before I checked this book out of the library, I'd heard a lot about the series, but I'd never actually picked up one of the books to start reading. When I went to a huge library, one I don't normally go to and one that is about 25 minutes from where I stay, I saw all the Maximum Ride books sitting on a shelf. Now, here's a really weird fact about me, when I go to the library I have to take the maximum amount of books out, I don't know why, I'm just weird that way. But luckily the maximum (LOL! Just realised that's the character's first name! :p) amount allowed on one card is seven books, because if it was like, twenty, I'd have a problem. Anyway, I saw this sitting on the shelf, and then I guiltily remembered that one of my best friends, Georgia, had kept telling me to read the series because its awesome. So being  the good, bookish friend that I am. I took the book out, not really knowing what to expect and whether or not I'd enjoy it or not.  I'm glad I listened to her, though, because Max, Fang, Iggy, Nudge and Angel took me on an adventure I have never experienced before.

I have never read a book like The Angel Experiment before. It was extremely unique and I enjoyed every moment reading it. I never knew what was waiting for them around the corner, and this created a suspenseful atmosphere. These kids were genetically made in a lab (we find out the real truth that was secretively hidden from them, later on), ninety-eight percent human, two percent bird. Meaning they looked human aside from one small little thing...they have wings. Meaning they can fly. They are also clever, resourceful, tall and super strong. As we go on the journey with them we realise just how special they really are.

As soon as we start reading we are given a short introduction to each of the characters and then the action starts. I felt a bit rushed as the action started immediately and would've like it if I could first settle into the whole idea of the story and the surroundings and get to know the characters first.  I enjoyed reading all of the flock's adventures and the fighting scenes had me on the edge of my seat. The plot was interesting, I loved how the story involves us. The author writes as if Max is talking right to us, and I love that in a  book! It literally felt like I was with them every step of the way. 

The plot was good. It wasn't the best I've read, but it still took me on an adventure that I'll never forget! I love how some of the scenes are taken place in New York, as one of my biggest dreams is to go there one day. I found the events that happened did seem repeated a few times and this made the story seem monotonous. Also them continuously being on the run could make the reading quite tiresome at times. However, I found this book quite addictive, and even when I was at a part which I wasn't enjoying that much, I still found the writing addictive and my eyes were glued to the page. I also like how there was some startling information revealed to the characters that completely knocked what I thought I knew way off course. Just a hint...keep your eyes peeled for a traitor that betrayed the flock like you wouldn't believe.

I enjoyed reading about the characters a tremendously. They all had their unique personalities that shone through the pages. 

The main characters consist of: Maximum (Max), the leader of the group, who is fourteen. Fang, the mysterious, dark one who, like Max, is fourteen. Then there is Iggy, the gangly eleven year old who loves fire and explosives,  he is also permanently blind as an experiment on him in the lab went wrong. Then there is Nudge, the sweet and talkative eleven year old girl. Then eight year old The Gasman (Gazzy) who has an unfortunate digestive system, and who can mimic any voice or sound he hears, he is eight years old. Last but not least, is sweet little cork-top curled Angel, six years old and who can read and manipulate minds. 

They are all incredibly unique and I loved getting to know all of them. They showed lots of emotion and you can feel how awful they feel about being born this way. They love that they can fly, and how they're not like normal kids who have chores and have to go to school, but they all desperately long for parents, and a safe home to live in.

Max was an amazing heroine. She's a badbutt (not going to say the 'a' word hehe ;) ), she can kick some Eraser booty, she's determined, strong and independent. She never has to cling onto anybody to get her out of a situation and I admired her for that. I also felt really sorry for her, as her only parental figure she had for two years "died" when she was twelve. Then she had to take on the other five kids and look after them, that's a lot of responsibility for a fourteen year old. I can barely make a nice piece of toast, but Max is already at such a young age, keeping kids safe, feeding them and loving them like a mother. I really like Max and I can't wait to read more about her in the other books!

My other favourite character in the book is Fang. A dark, brooding and mysterious fourteen year old boy. I loved seeing some of his sensitive side come out in The Angel Experiment, especially when he was with Angel. On the exterior he appears cold and distant, but in the inside he's almost as soft as a marshmallow. Not that soft, but close. :p

The writing was good, I was perhaps expecting something a bit better, as Patterson's writing in this book almost seemed a bit middle-grade at times. Not all of the book though, he did use some lovely descriptions and he can certainly write intriguing action scenes! Also in the beginning of this novel I did find Max's sarcasm get a bit much and she sometimes spoke like the stereotyped classification of an American teenage girl. Her voice in the story did seem to grow maturer as I continued reading which I am glad about.

The one thing I do hope to find in the next few books is some romance. There was virtually no romance in The Angel Experiment, except for one fleeting moment but I do hope something will commence in the next book. Because, I did maybe see a little spark between Max and Fang.

Overall, Maximum Ride was a thrilling adventure that has me craving more. A unique idea unlike that I have seen in a YA book. With a plot that keeps you gripped, characters that are incredibly brilliant, yet have their own downfalls, a chilling secret, an evil traitor and unexpected discoveries, Maximum Ride and the flock will sweep you off your feet and have  you feeling like you're  flying next to them, skimming the candy floss clouds and escaping Erasers, while experiencing a story like no other...

I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!

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