Monday, December 31, 2012

Talking New Adult and "Her Heart's Secret Wish" with Juliana Haygert

In November, I was bitten by the New Adult bug. I love Young Adult, I really do, but being 30-something, it's not a genre i want to read ALL the time. New Adult isn't aimed at my age group either, but just like i often find myself relating to and loving YA characters and story lines, I found myself REALLY loving the NA genre. I love that it is easy and quick to read just like (most) YA's. But I was immediately drawn to the older characters and more adult situations.

I started searching out some New Adult authors, researching their novels and sent emails to a few, offering to review their novels, and asking if they'd like to help promote the New Adult Genre on my blog. Juliana Haygert, author of a New Adult, contemporary romance novelette called "Her Heart's Secret Wish' was one of those authors who took me up on my offer. Juliana is also a contributor to a great NA blog called NA Alley, and she's here on the blog today, chatting all things New Adult!

Please, introduce us to yourself and your novelette: Hi! I'm Juliana, a Brazilian writer living in Connecticut. I'm older than I look, and I feel much younger than the age on my DL. My novelette, Her Heart's Secret Wish, is about a girl player and a nerd guy set on a college campus during Christmas. It's short, fun, sweet and very romantic. (If you missed it yesterday, you can check out my review of Her Heart's Secret Wish HERE - definitely recommend it to all contemporary romance fans!)

What made you decide to write a new adult novelette? Writing NA wasn't a conscious decision. When I was younger, I wrote about me and my friends in school, because I was in school, I think. Later, when I was in college, I wrote about characters in college. And even after I was out of college, that stayed with me. I wanted to tell stories of people in college. I had no idea that it would be hard to sell NA, that people frowned upon it. I didn't even know this term, new adult. I found out about the term and all that came with it after I decided to take this writing thing more seriously, and was already well into my third manuscript. I thought about giving up and turning to YA or adult many, many times. But each time I tried, my writing seemed forced and I lost interest in whatever I was forcing myself to do. So I stuck with NA, fully knowing this would be a hard road to ride on, because that's what I love and want to write about ;)

Do you also write YA, or adult fiction? How does writing an NA differ? No, I don't. I've thought about it, but never gave in. My love is NA. The situation and the reaction to that situation are different in NA. When you're 19-25, you're considered adult, but you haven't found yourself yet. You're in college or working, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of your life. Doing laundry, paying rent, and other bills are becoming a serious concern in your life. The boys are becoming men.

I really like what NYT bestselling author Cora Carmack wrote about NA on her blog:
"Whether you’re at college or moving out on your own or working your first full time job—your life seems to change radically overnight. And yet for most people in that age group (18-25ish), you’re still not completely on your own. Your parents are still a large part of your life. You’re not a child anymore, but you’re also not quite an adult. You may call yourself an adult (as will others), but deep down inside you are petrified because you don’t feel like one. [...] Young Adult books are about surviving adolescence and coming of age. New Adult is about how to live your life after that. New Adult is the “I’m officially an adult, now what?” phase. 
Just like growing up, that life stage is different for everyone, but I do think there are some things that are constant."
I think she hit the spot right here.

How did the NA Alley blog come to exist and how did you become involved? I met Victoria and Jaycee some time ago and knew they wrote NA like me. One day I got an email from them asking if I wanted to join them and come up with a blog dedicated to NA. I swear, I was thinking about emailing them and asking them the same thing! That was around Feb-March 2012. In May 2012, we launched NA Alley.

What books would you recommend for readers that are new the the NA genre? We have a good rec list on NA Alley , but I suggest Easy by Tammara Webber, My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron, Slammed by Colleen Hoover and Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park.

Thanks so much Juliana!

Check out Juliana's Website ~ Say Hi to her on Twitter ~ Add Her Heart's Secret Wish on Goodreads ~
Purchase Her Heart's Secret Wish at Amazon

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Her Heart's Secret Wish by Juliana Haygert

Her Heart's Secret WishHer Heart's Secret Wish by Juliana Haygert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
With a renowned reputation as a player, she had everything figured out... Twenty-year-old college student, Natasha is the life of every party and the reason behind many celebrations. The easiest girl on campus has all guys at her feet and more than a few in her bed. …until he came into the game… Having entered the academic world by chance, Professor Jason Stone is surprised to find one of his young students a huge temptation. The infamous Natasha has caught his attention. But is there more to her than meets the eye? …and changed the rules. As their unexpected friendship grows, so does their attraction to each other. When Jason’s Christmas plans are canceled and he ends up at the same party as Natasha, sparks flare, destroying the safe zone around them. Will they figure out how to break through their self-imposed barriers to be together, or lose one another forever? **New Adult contemporary romance novelette**

My Thoughts: 
Her Heart's Secret Wish is a super short, quick, romantic read, perfect for the holidays!

I didn't expect so much to happen in such a short read, Or to be able to really like the characters in such a short space of time. But i did :) I liked Jason from the get go, and although Natasha could be a bit of a bitch at times, she quickly grew on me too. And she had her reasons for being the way she was. I loved that it was the girl being a 'player' and the so called 'bad' one. Was a nice change from all the bad boys! Jason was such a sweetheart! The chemistry between the two was hot, but theres nothing overly graphic about it, and would be suitable for older teens/adults.

The story jumps right in without much preamble and it moves quickly. I loved the ending, and finding out the reason for Natasha's sleeping around. It really explained her behaviour.

The only problem i had with the novelette, was that the writing occasionally felt awkward. All sentences technically made sense, but a few, towards the beginning especially,either didn't really flow very well, or some words were what i'd class as an odd choice. But it was only a minor distraction, and by halfway through, i was more involved in the story and it stopped bothering me.

Overall, i really enjoyed it! Actual rating =3.75 stars. I'd definitely recommend this if you're a contemporary romance fan!

I received this novelette for free from the author in exchange for review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.

Be sure to check back before the new year for a mini interview with Juliana about all things New Adult!

Get Her Heart's Secret Wish at Amazon ~ Add Her Heart's Secret Wish on Goodreads
Say Hi to Juliana on Twitter ~ Check out her website

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1)The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
There was something wicked about Beau that drew me to him. What was wrong with me? Why did I want to sin so badly Ashton is getting tired of being good, of impressing her parents and playing ideal girlfriend to Sawyer Vincent. Sawyer is perfect, a regular Prince Charming, but when he leaves town for the summer, it’s his cousin Beau who catches Ashton’s eye. Beau is the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, and even though he’s dangerous, Ashton is drawn to him. Beau loves his cousin like a brother, so the last thing he wants to do is make a move on Sawyer’s girl. Ashton is off-limits, absolutely. That’s why he does his best to keep his distance, even though he’s been in love with her forever. When Ashton wants to rekindle their childhood friendship in Sawyer’s absence, Beau knows he should say no. Ashton and Beau don’t want to hurt Sawyer. But the more they try to stay away from each other, the more intense their urges become. It’s getting way too hard to resist...

My Thoughts:
Gotta say, the first 20% of this book felt really rushed and was seriously cringe worthy in parts.

We're introduced to the 3 main characters, Ashton, Beau and Sawyer very briefly before Ashton and Beau are heating up the pages with their forbidden sexual attraction. I felt like I should have felt sorry for her poor boyfriend Sawyer, but i didn't because his name is barely mentioned before Ash and Beau are getting it on. It was hard to believe that this affair was so forbidden because we don't even see Sawyer and Ash as a couple.

And as for the cringe worthy - some of the conversations that take place between Beau and Ash were just so corny i wanted to smack myself in the head with my kindle.

BUT, After i managed to look past the lack of story line set up, i started really enjoying it. The dialogue became much more realistic. The relationship between Beau and Ash is hot. Beau himself has joined the ranks of my literary boyfriends. And the story line ended up being really good! I loved the way the author dealt with the return of the boyfriend and i ended up really feeling for all three of them and wanting the best possible outcome for them all. This could have easily been one of those typical, YA love triangle stories, but Ash knows who she wants the whole time, its just her working out if she has the courage to go after it.

I think this is supposed to be YA (well at least the characters are 17 and in high school so i'm assuming...)but there's really too much sexual content and language for it to be appropriate for that genre. If i had a 13 year old i wouldn't want her reading it, but older teens would probably be fine. Probably fits better into New Adult.

This was a really quick, enjoyable, no thought required read. If you like a good, hot but not graphic, not exactly YA appropriate romance this is one you should pick up. I went and bought the sequel as soon as I'd finished :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

JLA is having a Giveaway! (Hey that rhymes!)

So who already preordered their copy of Opal???? *raises hand and shouts me! me! me!*

But I'll still be entering the big giveaway that JLA is hosting here on her blog!  I definitely want a copy of that sucker ASAP! Go check it out if you havent already!!

And for the love of all things holy, if you havent already checked out the Lux series, what are you doing???!! Go get a copy of it right now. Or if you arent already convinced by my constant ramblings about it, you can read my review of Obsidian, the first book in the series here

 Obsidian                                                                 Onyx                                                       Opal 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout - Trailer Reveal

Opal (The third book in the Lux Series)
Available in both print and digital version on December 18, 2012
Barnes and Noble

Official Opal Book Trailer

Check out Jennifer L Armentrout on the following sites: 

My thoughts: I dunno about this trailer you guys. Im not feeling it at all. What about you? Makes no difference to me tho, I'll still be picking up Opal the minute its released on December 18th!!!!! Cannot wait for that sucker, Im seriously counting down the days! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn

Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers, #1)Tempting the Best Man by J. Lynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Madison Daniels has worshipped her brother's best friend since they were kids. Everyone thinks she and Chase Gamble would make the perfect couple, but there are two major flaws in their logic. 1) Chase has sworn off relationships of any kind, and 2) after blurring the line between friends and lovers for one night four years ago, they can't stop bickering. Forced together for her brother's wedding getaway, Chase and Madison decide to call a truce for the happy couple. Except all bets are off when they're forced to shack up in a tacky 70’s honeymoon suite and survive a multitude of "accidents" as the family tries to prove their "spark" can be used than for more than fighting. That is, if they don't strangle each other first…

My Thoughts: 
It has been months since I've read an adult series, and after reading and loving Jennifer L Armentrout's (J Lynn) YA Lux series, i really wanted to try her adult stuff.

And i was not at all disappointed.

The Gamble Brothers series follows three brothers, Chase, Chad and Chandler Gamble. Courtesy of their crappy upbringing, they are all a little emotionally scarred when it comes to women. Tempting the Best Man, is youngest brother Chase's story.

Maddie Daniels has pretty much grown up with Chase, but for a long time has felt more than sisterly towards him. But after being rejected by him once, Maddie has spent years trying to avoid him. Paired up as bridesmaid and best man at her brothers wedding, held on a week long trip to a romantic winery, Maddie is mortified to have to spend so much time in close contact with Chase. It's not long before the pair's true feelings start to surface, but with plenty of obstacles, misunderstandings and swoon worthy moments along the way!

I knew JLA could write some heat, but this was beyond expectations!Smexy, Smexy, Smexy! Never corny, or cringeworthy. Just great chemistry between the two main characters, Maddison and Chase. Maddie is a great mix of fiesty and sweet. Chase is funny and smokin hot, and the way he cares for Maddie is endearing. They quickly became one of my favourite couples!

The story is just fun and fluffy. Nothing that makes you think too hard. I was sucked in from the very first page, which Im sure is due to the way JLA writes, because im always sucked in from page 1 in her books. My only complaint is that this book was just not long enough! Only 170-something pages i believe! I read it in a few hours as i just could not put it down.

Definitely one to read if you're a romance fan, as long as you dont mind some pretty full on sex scenes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marquel By Emily Skinner

MarquelMarquel by Emily Skinner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Marquel is a retro early 90's novel that travels from Florida to the glitz of Hollywood and back again. A high-velocity story of glamour and celebrity in the tradition of Jackie Collins and Harold Robbins.

My Thoughts: 
Where to start! Its going to be so hard to review this book without giving away spoilers!

Marquel is Hollywood superstar. But she is fragile and damaged from events in her past that she cannot remember. Mark Collins is a tabloid reporter, looking for his big break, and determined to get it. He knows Marquel is hiding a story that could make his career and nothing is going to stop him from uncovering it and making it public. As Marquel begins to spiral even further into herself, her agent Ken fears he will loose his biggest star and sends her to a therapist. There Marquel begins to find happiness in the arms of her doctor. But the secrets Marquel has been keeping, even from herself are so shocking that her whole way of life, and the lives of those around her is about to change dramatically.

Marquel had me hooked from the very first page. Its been many years since ive read a book in this style (think Jackie Collins), and I had forgotten how much i enjoy them. The story changes perspective from character to character every few pages, which I loved, because it meant the story never felt slow. It was a little confusing early on, as there really is quite a large cast of characters to keep track of, but once you know who's who, it isn't a problem. My only real complaint with the book lies in this area. There are so many characters introduced early on that i didn't really feel were necessary. They might have been mentioned once or twice later on in the book, but overall, they didn't add anything to the story, and i think to save confusion, they probably could have been left out completely.

The main story of course, is the mystery surrounding Marquel's past. It had me guessing the whole time. I changed my mind multiple times, trying to figure out what had happened to her, and when i did finally find out i was stunned. I truly hadn't seen that coming! It was so cleverly done!And that ending! I really had no idea what to feel! I was both happy and sad and then happy again.

Overall, i really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Emily's work. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys a fast moving story, or who enjoys the hollywood romance/mystery genres.

Thankyou to Emily for providing me a copy of this book to review. This in no way affects my opinion of the book.

Find Marquel  Here on Amazon ~ Here on The Book Depository ~ Here on Goodreads
Find Emily Skinner Here on Twitter ~ Here on her Blog

And if you missed it earlier, be sure to check out this post that features the book trailer. Its seriously a mini movie!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison can Read and Parajunkee 

Q: Do you mind books with similar ideas to other books? Similar concepts, backgrounds, retellings or pulled-to-publish fanfic?

No, i don't. Honestly, i think if i did mind, i probably wouldn't get much reading done, because practically every book has some sort of similarity to another book or series. A truly original idea seems quite impossible to me. Even unintentionally, i think all writers are influenced by other writers and other stories. 
I don't want an author to completely regurgitate another authors work though. A great book should take influence from many sources, not just retell whatever werewolf story happens to be the flavour of the month.
I dont have much experience with fanfic, but if all fanfic to published novel is like 50 shades..........then that should definitely never happen ;-)

What about you guys? Dont forget to comment and follow the blog! I'm doing giveaway once i hit 50 followers :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Eep! I am so excited to have Lauren Morrill, author of one of my new favourite contemporary YA books, "Meant to Be", answering a question here on the blog today! But first, here's what you need to know about the book and the author.

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

About the Author:

Lauren Elizabeth Morrill is many things, including, but not limited to, a writer, an educator, a badass roller derby skater, a former band nerd, an aggressive driver, and a die-hard Mac person. She also watches a lot of TV, eats a lot of junk food, and drinks a lot of Coke. It's a wonder her brain and teeth haven't rotted out of her head.

Her first novel, Meant to Be, sold in a two-book deal to Wendy Loggia at Delacorte for Paper Lantern Lit.

And now, here's a question for Lauren to answer:

In Meant To Be, Julia is obsessed with The Beatles (and who could blame her?) What’s your all-time favorite band?
"Here's an instance of life imitating art: The Beatles are my all-time favorite band as well! When I was in college, I took an entire course on them (Z401: Music of the Beatles, for anyone at Indiana University!). Most of the references in Meant to Be come from that class, and I even thanked Professor Gass in the acknowledgements to the book. Some of the references are really from my own life. I walked down the aisle to Here, There and Everywhere, which is Julia's parents' song."

And now, here's my thoughts on Meant to Be! Or you can watch my video review below if you prefer! Just be warned, its 9 minutes of me rambling on about MTB's awesomeness. There are some minor spoilers of the first few chapters to give you a more in depth idea of what the book is about, nothing major tho!

Check out Lauren Morrill on Twitter 

Meant to BeMeant to Be by Lauren Morrill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Actual rating= 4.5 stars.

Before i say anything else, how awesome is this cover! I love the colours so much, i would seriously print this and hang it on my wall. Gorgeous!

I'm not normally the biggest fan of YA contemporary novels. With the exception of Anna and the French Kiss. So imagine my surprise when about 3 pages into "Meant to Be", i already knew that this book was going to be awesome. I really don't think the synopsis does it justice. I don't think i could do a better job, so i wont try, but just know there is too much going on in this story for it to be wrapped up in a few paragraphs.

For me, its all about Lauren Morrill's writing. The way she writes reminds me A LOT of Stephanie Perkins, which in my opinion, is a huge compliment. The book is so well paced. Never a dull moment, but never feeling rushed, or like scenes were just thrown in with no contribution to the overall story lines. I found many parts laugh out loud funny, and was highly amused much of the rest of the time. But i also felt the character's pain and sadness when it was appropriate.

Speaking of the characters, Julia has the type of personality that would usually annoy me in a main character - clumsy (why are female YA protagonists ALWAYS klutzy?),a bit of a know it all, big on correcting other people over every little thing, just generally a bit annoying. But Lauren Morrill has given her enough personality and good qualities to reign it in tone down the irritating.

Jason is the class clown, jerky guy who calls Julia names and generally acts like a 5th grader. At first i thought i was going to really dislike him, but literally within the first chapter, he had me laughing and i couldn't help but like him, even tho he was being an ass. And gosh, does he ever grow on you throughout the book.

The main story line is of course the unlikely relationship that grows between book nerd Julia, and the boy she finds repulsive. But the romance is never cheezy or cringe worthy like i find in most contemporary novels. There were so many great scenes that contributed to the gradual build up of their relationship, that just made it so relatable and real. I actually felt like i was watching two real people interact with each other, just doing real stuff, that any american teenager would do on a whirlwind trip to London.

Woven throughout the main story line, are a bunch of subplots.Each of them as interesting as the main relationship story. I think this is why the book flows so well, without slow points. The reader gets a great tour of London, seeing the touristy things that Julia is interested in, and also going on some adventures courtesy of Jason's more wild side.

Overall, there is nothing groundbreaking about Meant to Be, but it doesn't matter. Its fun, and quirky and likable, with very little to complain about. I wish i could turn back time a few years and read it as a 17 year old, because although I really really enjoyed it as an adult, i think teenagers would relate to it even more. At least, i would have at that age.

If you're a fan of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, you're going to want to pick this one up. I certainly didn't want to put it down, and i will definitely be looking forward to reading more of Lauren Morrill's work.

***I received this book for free from the publishing company in exchange for review. This does not in any way affect my judgement of the book***

SO guys, I hope you've been convinced to go out and preorder Meant to Be. It's released November 13th. It is completely worth your time and $$$! Thankyou to Lauren for stopping by the blog today and to Paper Lantern Lit for asking me to be a part of this tour.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

It's follow Friday....on a saturday morning

Im a bit late this week! But since its still Friday in the states, i thought I'd play along anyway! Follow my book blog Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

This week's question:

Q: What is a deal breaker for you in a book? For example, do you abhor love triangles? Or can't deal with bad editing?

There are a lot of things I don't like in books, such as love triangles and insta love. But neither of those things are deal breakers for me. Bad editing is definitely one though! I'm happy to read self published books if I think it sounds interesting, but if i'm confronted with typo after typo I'm not going to continue with it, no matter how fantastic the story might be. 
Writing style can be a deal breaker for me also. Writing that is overly wordy, overly descriptive and therefore SLOW will loose my interest within a few chapters. I don't need you to go on for a paragraph about all the different ways a black stone gleamed in the light. I don't need a page about the way the rain fell and how it was a metaphor for this that and the other. Truly, just tell me what it looked like in a sentence or two and move on to the action. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Trailer- Marquel by Emily W Skinner

The author of Marquel, Emily Skinner, recently contacted me and asked if I'd like to review her debut novel. It sounded awesome so i took her up on the offer. Just check out the trailer, its amazing! And just an FYI, that's her daughter starring, and her other daughter directed the clip. Talented family huh?!

I just started reading it last night and cant wait to read more.

Synopsis from Amazon:
Marquel is an actress who rises to prime-time soap stardom only to suffer a mental breakdown.Zach Manning, her therapist, compromises his professional ethics by falling in love with his beautiful new patient.Mark Collins, a tabloid journalist, tries to reveal Marquel's shocking past before she can recall it -- making it a race against time to see who gets there first.Marquel is a retro 1990's novel that travels from Florida to Hollywood and back again.

Check it out here on Amazon or here on the Book Depository. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #2

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read

Q: When you step out of your USUAL genre what do you like to read? Best books in that genre?

I don't really have a usual genre. I suppose more often than not I read paranormal romance, but that is very closely followed by fantasy, sci fi and dystopian. When i need a break from the make believe though, i do tend to pick up a contemporary. Something light and fluffy to cleanse the pallette! My favourite of this year is Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, VERY closely followed by a book I just read last week, called Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill. It comes out in November and i think it will be hugely poplular. Well worth a read if you like contemporary YA.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Book Haul #3

Here's what i purchased/received for review in September (and the first week of October)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Everneath (Everneath, #1)Everneath by Brodi Ashton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath. Now she's returned--to her old life, her family, her boyfriend--before she's banished back to the underworld . . . this time forever. She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. Nikki longs to spend these precious months forgetting the Everneath and trying to reconnect with her boyfriend, Jack, the person most devastated by her disappearance--and the one person she loves more than anything. But there's just one problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath in the first place, has followed Nikki home. Cole wants to take over the throne in the underworld and is convinced Nikki is the key to making it happen. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back, this time as his queen. As Nikki's time on the Surface draws to a close and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she is forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's queen.

My Review: 

The short version: This one just wasn't one for me.

The story line sum up: Every 100 years, the Everliving must take a human forfeit to the Everneath, in order to feed on their souls and remain immortal. Nikki Beckett has spent the last 100 years in the Everneath. She should have died there, but after the feed, she remains young and beautiful. Cole, the Everliving that took her to the Everneath wants to make a run for the throne, and wants Nikki as his queen. But Nikki has ties to the surface, in the form of a boy named Jack, whose face kept her going through the dark days in the Everneath. She chooses to return to the surface, knowing her time there is limited, and that the darkness known as "the tunnels" will come for her. Nikki has only 6 months to decide if she will go with Cole and become royalty of the Everneath, or find a way to stay on the surface with her true love.

The bad: Everneath just felt all over the place, which was mostly because of the way it was written. Each chapter jumps back and forth from the time before Nikki went to the Everneath, to the current time, where Nikki is spending her 6 months on the surface. I really didnt enjoy this at all. At the beginning it felt like i was reading a sequel and that i hadnt read the first book. I felt like there was this whole story that i needed to know about, in order to understand completely what was going on. As the story progressed, things did start to make more sense as gaps were filled in. But i just found the whole thing frustrating, and annoying.

Nikki is a complete and utter downer throughout the whole book. Which i guess is understandable, considering what she'd been through, but geese. She just depressed me. And now i just feel Blah.

The story felt slow. The most exciting part of the book happens in the last 20 pages, and even that is pretty anti climatic. Its pretty much a whole lot of nothing up until then. Not really a romance. Not really a mystery. Not really anything.

Bits and pieces seemed to get thrown in here and there, stuff that seemed like an after thought. Or i guess stuff that wasn't really explained well enough for me to understand why the characters were even bothering? I don't want to be too specific and spoil anything for anyone that plans on reading this though, so that's all I'll say about that.

I didn't like the characters. Nikki was too depressed. Jack was boring. Cole was probably my favourite, but even he barely held my interest. I didn't buy the relationship between Jack and Nikki. I definitely didn't buy it enough to believe that Jack would ever do what he did in the end.

The good: Well, I finished it......???But it took me like 3 weeks and i contemplated putting it down multiple times. I do love the cover. Its probably my favourite of all the "girl in a pretty dress" covers.

Just so you know: I'm not sure that Everneath is a Persephone retelling exactly as I'm not overly familiar with that story. It is full of mythology though. I'm beginning to think that i don't really enjoy books based on mythology. Its been a really long time since i disliked a book enough to give it 2 stars, but the last one was also based on mythology.

Recommend it? Unlikely. Unless you were a massive mythology fan. Or if you don't mind a pretty slow read.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #1

Feature and Follow is  a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison can Read

Q: What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Is it to one day become an author yourself, just for fun, maybe get some online attention, or maybe something very different?

My entire reason for this blog is for fun. I love reading, I love talking about books, and i love making new friends who share that love! I've written various blogs over the years, mostly just personal, and one for my photography. I dont consider myself a writer by any means though. I enjoy writing reviews and i enjoy writing about the day to day things my kids do and say. But definitely no intentions of ever writing a book myself. 

I'd love it if you'd leave a comment and say hi! And follow me too if you'd like :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Double Trailer Reveal from Entangled Publishing!

You guys, I LOVE Entangled Publishing. Their books have starting clogging up my wishlist and I'm so keen to read more and more of their stuff.  Today they are releasing the trailers for two of their newest books-

Gravity by Melissa West

In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen (October 30, 2012)
ISBN: 1620610914


About Melissa:
Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L'Engle.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

GRAVITY is her first book.
Where you can find Melissa-


Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas 

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.
The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.
But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen (November 6, 2012)
ISBN: 1620611279

About Stephanie:
Stephanie Thomas has been writing ever since she could put letters together to form words. When she was a small child, she would present her mother and father with self-made newspapers filled up with make believe stories and pictures. Her love for writing followed her all throughout her schooling, where she entered and won writing contests of all sorts. Stephanie decided to become an English teacher and completed her B.A. at The Pennsylvania State University. While teaching, she later went on to get her Master’s in writing from The Johns Hopkins University. She completed her very first manuscript during her graduate studies, and by the end of the program, she had completed two more. Stephanie is quick to tell anyone that she’s a born and raised Philadelphian, and her heart will always belong there. She moved to Baltimore with her husband, and they’ve been living there for the last five years with their doggie, Sailor, and their rabbit, Buns (aka “T Sizzle).

Where you can find Stephanie-

I'm really excited to read these two books especially Gravity!

Entangled Publishing is also giving away 4 eARC's via a joint rafflecopter, that you can enter to win below! Please note, i have nothing to do with these giveaways, they are solely run by Entangled Publishing. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next DoorLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit—more sparkly, more fun, more wild—the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket—a gifted inventor—steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door

The short version: Argh! After reading Anna and the French Kiss and completely falling in love with it, I sooooooooooo wanted to love Lola and the Boy Next Door in the same, fangirl sort of way. But I didn't. It was enjoyable enough, but nothing exciting.

The story line sum up: Lola is a 17 year old student and budding costume designer. Max is her older, bad boy, rocker boyfriend that her two gay fathers do not approve of, but Lola doesnt care. Max is "the one". Lola's perfect relationship is thrown into a spin by the return of her old next door neighbours, twins, Calliope and Cricket Bell.

Lola and Cricket had been an almost item two years previously, but he'd left her with alot of questions and a broken heart. Now that he's back, he's making no secret of the fact he still wants her. But Lola has already met "the one", right?

The good bits: Stephanie Perkins writes amazing characters. Lola is quirky and fun. Cricket is sweet and the way he loves Lola is heartwarming. But its not just the lead characters. Lola's two gay dad's, her messed up birth mother, her wannabe detective best friend, the bitchy twin sister, the badboy rocker - They're all so unique and its so easy to get a sense of who they are. They felt like real people.It was the characters that kept me from giving up on this book halfway through.

The bad bits:I didn't really connect with the story line. It felt aimed at young YA, which is fine, but not my favourite cup of tea. I didn't find the story line interesting. It felt a bit cheesy and was very predictable. There wasn't any of the romantic suspense of Anna and the French Kiss.

Pet Peeves:
Sorry Stephanie Perkins, but what kind of a stupid name is Cricket?! Its not even a nickname! Stupid character names are high on my pet peeve list!

Overall: A sweet but predictable teen love story.

Recommend it?: If you're a huge Stephanie Perkins fan, or a big fan of younger YA contemporary, then go for it. If not........leave it be at Anna and the French Kiss.

Friday, September 21, 2012

OPAL by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Cover Release

I was lucky enough to be asked to do a cover reveal for probably my most anticipated book of the year! I am so in love with the Lux series! Cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of Opal, December cannot come soon enough!!! And look at that cover........ahhhhhhhhhhhhh........I love me some Katy and Daemon! You can read my review of the first novel, Obsidian here.........I'll have my review of the second book Onyx up very soon! Thankyou Entangled Publishing for asking me to be a part of Opal's cover reveal :)

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.
Follow this link to an ~~~ EPIC CONTEST ~~~ Announcement. You will want to bookmark this page!

 USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.
Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout

Obsidian (Lux, #1)Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads :
Starting over sucks. When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes.

Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth. Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all.

But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me. You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don't kill him first, that is

My Review:

Twilight with Aliens anyone?

I hope that doesnt turn anyone off reading Obsidian, because i seriously loved this book,but i couldnt help but compare this book to Twilight. New girl moves to a little town where she is immediately drawn to the local hotties. Hot boy tries to push her away. Girl finds out the hotties have a secret. Paranormal hijinks ensues. Girl runs off to save everyone, by sacrificing herself, and has to be rescued by hottie. Sound at all familiar??

BUT, there are sooooooo many reasons why this book is NOT like twilight.

1. The characters - Katy is strong, independent and doesnt take anyone's crap. She is completely likable. She doesn't whine through the whole book.She doesn't base her whole life around a boy who apparently hates her. As much as he dishes out, she gives it right back.

-Daemon is rude, arrogant and pretty much just a general douche bag. He is always quick with a smart ass comment. But even tho he's a jerk, he is so damn likable, and not just cos he's the stereotypical bad boy. Through all the crap he slings at Katy, you always know that he has his reasons for being that way, and that it comes from a good place.

2. THERE IS NO INSTALOVE! can i get a hallelujah? Katy recognises the difference between lust and attraction and actual love. Just part of the reason that makes her such a likable protagonist.

3. The sexual tension. Holy hotness Batman, Jennifer L Armentrout knows how to write some (mostly YA appropriate)heat.

4. The way Katy and Daemon's relationship progresses. Its a gradual process from page 1, right to the very end. It doesnt start with them hating each other, and then end with them in love by halfway. Their relationship progresses throughout the whole book as they get to know and trust each other, with plenty of setbacks along the way. It made it hard to put this book down. I just wanted to keep reading to see if they would ever be able to overcome everything and get together.

5. Aliens instead of Vampires/werewolves/fairies/angels. Maybe its just me, but I've never come across aliens in YA paranormal fiction. I'm sure there actually are plenty of other Aliens throughout recent YA fiction, but it doesn't seem to be like the complete over saturation of the other paranormal creatures mentioned above. Learning about the Lux's capabilities and talents was different and interesting for me.

6. Humour! This book had me laughing out loud at points and highly amused the rest of the time.

So yes, the plotline was a little predictable for me. But i didnt care.All the things i liked about the book overshadowed this. I loved every minute of this book, and the minute i finished i picked up the sequel Onyx. Highly recommend to anyone that enjoys YA, especially if you're a twilight fan.

Friday, September 14, 2012

#Friday Reads 1

#FridayReads is a #tag over on twitter, where each Friday, people post what they're reading for the weekend. Its recently made its way over to youtube and here is my video for this week. 
Im reading Enclave by Ann Aguirre.

What are you reading this weekend?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

So, i thought I'd do something new this week and play along with the "Waiting on Wednesday" meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine. Waiting on Wednesday is where you showcase an upcoming release that you're excited to read.

My pick for this week is :

Cursed by Jennifer L Armentrout. Release date: September 18th.

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Dying sucks-- and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out.

However, she's willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't? But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not have been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

Im currently obsessed with the Lux series by this author. I finished Obsidian (book 1) on September 1st, and went straight to Amazon to buy the sequel, Onyx. I'm about 90% done with Onyx and have loved it just as much as Obsidian. I'll be doing a joint review on books one and two sometime in the next week, so be sure to come back for that, but these books are awesome YA reads. I'll be giving them both 5 stars. They aren't literary masterpieces, but i don't care. They are just fun, easy reads, with extremely likable characters. I'm so keen to read more from Jennifer L Armentrout, so will definitely be picking up Cursed soon.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Booktube Story

A few months ago, through my online buddy, book blogger extraordinaire, Bunny Cates, I found a little thing called "Book Tube"- Book related channels on Youtube. 

A whole new way of book blogging was revealed to me, and i spent hours everyday, for a good few months watching videos. I quickly came to the realisation that the book tube community are amazing. Video after video of book talk, book recommendations, book reviews and so much more. But the thing that makes this community extra special is the people.  How friendly everyone is, and how welcoming they are to new people. 

After a few months of watching (ie-stalking) I decided i wanted IN. So i made a new channel, and started commenting on videos. I was pleasantly surprised when people commented back, and discussions began. After some persuasion from Bunny, I decided to have a go at making videos of my own. And in the last 6 or so weeks, have filmed 8 videos and gained almost 50 subscribers. I am loving it. Having people to chat books with at all hours of the day and night is amazing. Having people that value what i say, and take time out of their day to hear my book recommendations is mind blowing. 

If you haven't already, please check out my youtube channel (links are above), and if you're a book lover, think about joining yourself. You wont regret it. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Eden's Root by Rachel Fisher

Eden's Root (Eden's Root Trilogy, #1)Eden's Root by Rachel Fisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The year is 2033 and the world hovers on the edge of explosion as unexplained crop deaths lead to severe global food shortages. In the United States, the Sickness is taking lives slowly, creeping its way into every family. Fi Kelly has already faced the Sickness in her own family, toughening her beyond her years. But a shocking confession from her dying father will push her toughness to its absolute limits. Saddled with an impossible secret and the mission of saving her little sister, Fi sets out to transform herself into the warrior that she must become to survive the coming collapse. Along the way, she will discover that evil can be accidental and that love can be intentional.

~I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review~

Well, doesnt this book just really make you think about things a little differently!?

Eden's Root is a dystopian/sci-fi (though, in the authors words, not the robots and space sort of sci-fi. But science based fiction)set around 30 years in the future. It's based on the idea that our food has been genetically modified ALOT over the past century or two. Nothing is as it was back in the 1800's- food is all crossbred and pumped full of chemicals to make things bigger, better, taste different, grow faster. In Eden's Root, all this genetic modification has caught up with us, and things are starting to go pear shaped. Crops are beginning to die before they can be harvested and Cancer of all forms (or The Sickness, as it becomes known throughout the book) is killing people at a crippling rate and some believe it is caused by the food.

13 year old, Fi Kelly's father, is one of those believers. On his deathbed, he tells Fi that the world as she knows it is coming to an end.That soon, there will not be enough food to go around. The only glimmer of hope for Fi, is Eden. A colony sealed off from the rest of the world, that her scientist father helped to create. In Eden, they are growing heirloom crops, or 'True Food" as Fi comes to call it. These True foods come from unmodified seeds, from hundreds of years before. Fi and her family can be saved from the famines and the sickness that are sure to come, but first, they have to make it to Eden.

Fi spends the first few months after her fathers death, training to become a fighter. Learning to hunt and gather. Preparing herself for the trek to Eden and this new world. Armed with her fathers journals and his dying words, she makes her plans. And when the events her father foretold start to come true, and soldiers roll into town, locking up food stores and riots begin, Fi knows its time to leave. To find Eden.

Eden's root is told mostly from Fi's point of view, though we also have chapters from Sean (Fi's best friend and side kick), and Asher (who remains in the city, whilst everyone else is fleeing). From Fi and Sean's points of view, we follow them as they travel from their home in search of Eden. Picking up others along they way, whom they deem fit to join their family. Going on raids for suplies, hunting and gathering, trying to keep an ever growing amount of people alive while food is largely unavailable and everyone is out for themselves.

My thoughts: Firstly, this hits a bit too close to home for me. It is not really a stretch of the imagination, to think that this could actually happen. We really do mess with food ALOT, under the guise of making things better, but are we really? Im not a scientist, i dont know the answer to that, but this book certainly makes you think about it. Love it when a book actually makes you think.

Fi starts out in this book at 13 years old, and is 16 by the end of it, so the book spans quite a period of time. I found it hard to like Fi. She is an extremely determined, strong willed, gutsy leader and i found that hard to swallow, being she was a 13 year old girl. She leads a large group, which includes many adults, including her mother, and they all just follow her, pretty much without question. Yes, she trained to be a warrior for a few months, and yes, this new world would make a young girl grow up quickly, but i found her "voice" to be of someone alot older than 13. Like maybe someone of 40. If she'd started out at age 18 i think i would have had an easier time accepting her. It is explained many times, why she is the way she is (and there are ALOT of reasons in her past), I just found it a bit hard to buy. But this is really my only complaint in the whole book.

Its a very easy read, the book flows well, without many slow spots.There is the occasional typo, but it wasnt enough to be distracting. Theres plenty of action, and an a little bit of a romance (even an almost love triangle). All the supporting characters are likable, and i would have loved to have seen some more from Asher's point of view when he was still in the city. I think an ebook novella from his point of view would be amazing!(hint hint Rachel!)

Overall, an enjoyable read, and a really promising debut novel from Rachel Fisher. This probably wasnt quite a 4 star read for me, but it definitely deserves more than 3 stars. So i give it 3.75, because i like to be precise :) I'd recommend this to any dystopian YA fan. The sequel is already out, so im looking forward to reading that sometime soon. Thanks Rachel, for asking me to review your book :)

View all my reviews