Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight a book you're giddy with excitement to read so other people can be giddy with excitement too :)

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Release Date: September 12 2011
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Add it: Goodreads

Willa is lucky: She has a loving blended family that gets along. Not all families are so fortunate. But when a bloody crime takes place hundreds of miles away, it has an explosive effect on Willa’s peaceful life. The estranged father she hardly remembers has murdered his new wife and children, and is headed east toward Willa and her mother.

Under police protection, Willa discovers that her mother has harbored secrets that are threatening to boil over. Has everything Willa believed about herself been a lie? As Willa sets out to untangle the mysteries of her past, she keeps her own secret—one that has the potential to tear her family apart.

Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Release Date: June 1st 2011
Publisher: David C. Cook
Add it: Goodreads
Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”              

Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead. But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

Blood Wounds: I loved Susan's other YA novel - Life as We Knew It (although I still need to read the following two books in the series), so as soon as I saw her name attached to this, I knew I had to read it. Plus it sounds really good - a grisly, suspenseful novel that doesn't seem to have a trace of paranormal. Nice change of pace!

Cascade: If you saw my review for the first book in the River of Time series, Waterfall, then you know I absolutely loved it. So naturally I'm salivating for book two! I'm so excited to see what will happen next for the time-travelling Betarrini sisters!

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Giveaway: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

I know, two giveaways in two days, I'm spoiling you aren't you? But I wanted to post this soon because my review went up last week and while the awesomeness of this book is still fresh in your mind, I want to give you the chance to win it. And spread the word so other people want to read it!


As many of you know, you can't buy this book in the US. Or anywhere outside of Australia or New Zealand unless you try some of our online stores. You can, however, order a copy on Amazon Kindle.

But if you'd like the chance to win, thanks to the awesome folks at Random House Australia, I have one copy to giveaway, no matter where you live! Simply fill out the form:

Open internationally
Ends April 12th
No requirements, but you can gain some extra entries by following this blog or spreading the word about this giveaway

Good luck!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Falling Under

Author: Gwen Hayes
Release Date: Today in Australia!
Publisher: Penguin 

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

Theia Alderson has lived a very sheltered life under the watchful eye of her overprotective father. His stifling rules have suffocated the life out of her. But the moment she see's a burning man fall from the sky, Theia's world is uprooted. She first meets the enigmatic Haden Black in her dreams where she's pulled into an eerie, fascinating realm. And then he suddenly appears in her waking life as the new student at school. She finds herself drawn to him. He's a mystery you want to unravel, the more hints he gives, the futher under his spell you fall.

Haden Black. He is a wonderful combination of seductively dangerous and charmingly sweet. He's yin and yang, black and white, light and dark - the good and the bad all rolled into one gorgeous sculptured body. He struggles to fight his dark side, if he fully gives into it then Theia's very soul is at great risk. But like a moth to a flame, she can't help but be entranced by him. And neither can the reader. He appeals to your dark, sexy fantasies but at the same time, he hits the sweet, charming, vulnerable inner core of your heart. I think Gwen Hayes wrote him brilliantly. I love this delicious mix of his human and supernatural side. I won't give away what exactly Haden is, because that's the fun part. Figuring him out. Just how dangerous is he?

Both Haden and Theia changed as a result of their growing bond. She began to break free of the cage she's been stuck in. Rather than blindly obeying every ridiculous rule set forth by her father, she begins to show a little rebelliousness which actually helped a few family truths come to light. Haden got in touch with his humanity. He's such a tragically lonely character, all his life he has been surrounded by those who are so different to him, who could never fully understand the conflict of having these two warring parts of himself.  So for him to finally be amongst those who understand his humanity,  it's good for him, despite having potentially dangerous consequences.

The secondary characters were all standouts. Theia's best friends, Donny and Ame contributed to many laughs and were interesting, rounded characters. Gabe, one of the 'sneetches' aka popular guys, was such a  nice, genuine guy.  As much as I wanted to shake some sense into Donny at times, I loved the push and pull between her and Gabe. They crackle with sexual tension but she's such a stubborn smartass. I love her. Amelia has her eyes set on the rather boring, clueless Mike who likes eating. Yes, that's probably the most interesting thing about him LOL. Everyone else can see that except for Ame. But she's been hopelessly crushing on this boy for years. I can't wait to see a tentative relationship explored between her and the cross-dressing psychic, Varnie in the sequel. Such a cool bunch of characters!

And of course, also worthy of note is the main villain in this story. Mara is deliciously evil. I do not like the woman. I wouldn't want to be in the same continent as her let alone an empty room or my dreams. But I appreciate the brilliant evilness she brings forth. You know, those characters you love to hate? Such a lovely, wicked thing she is.

The atmosphere of the Under was wonderfully creepy and fascinating. Gwen's writing is truly a work of art. Falling Under is  a dark, enthralling paranormal romance that lures you right into it's darkest shadows and refuses to relinquish it's grasp. It wants you to struggle your way back into the light. It wants you to succumb to it's darkness. And oh does Haden make you want to toe the line between light and dark. The ending was brilliant. As the story moves along, you're not entirely sure what to expect. Gwen throws in twists and shocks and has the reader wrapped around her finger until she decides to finish telling her story. And now I really need book two!

Rating: 5/5

Giveaway Time!

Thanks to the amazing gods at Penguin Australia, I have ONE copy of Falling Under to giveaway!

This is open internationally. 
Giveaway closes April 11th 2011.
No requirements except filling out this form.
If you follow this blog or advertise anywhere, you can score extra entries.


Comments are VERY appreciated (I love them!) but please make sure you fill out the form if you want to be entered.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

This Week's Gossip #5

Love at first sight...
I soooo can't wait to get my hands on Dearly, Departed! I first heard about it from Badass Bookie's Debutante Event where Lia spoke about the characters. I was hooked! Then I read the prologue and.. man, is it October yet?! Look at the GORGEOUS cover! First one is the US and second one I found on Amazon UK so I presume it's the UK version.


I'm not sure this is a new cover reveal, but it's so preeeeettty!

 The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades...

Level Two by Lenore Appalhans - In Level Two, the liminal place between our world (Level One) and heaven, Felicia spends her days reliving her memories from the security of her pod—until she gets broken out by Julian, a boy she met on Earth. 

Fever by Dee Shulman - The story is based around a love affair between a young gladiator from AD 152 and a teenage girl from 2012, who are brought together by a virus that enables them to time travel.  

The Killables by Gemma Malley - The first novel in the series, The Killables, is set in the year 2065, and follows Evie and Raffy who work for the government in a society where evil no longer exists. After a war on terror that almost destroyed the world, The City has been established; citizens may only enter after having the “evil” part of their brain removed. 

Masked by Aimée Carter - set in a future America in which a 16-year-old orphan is surgically changed to replace the Prime Minister’s dead niece, and must deal with the dead girl’s secret life, her fiancé, a growing rebellion and a kidnapped heir, along with the knowledge that the Prime Minister will kill to preserve his own secrets.

Aren't you all just drooling in a huge puddle of lust over the future of YA? It just gets better and better!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Author Interview with Marianne de Pierres

I'm very excited to welcome Marianne de Pierres to you all! She's the author of the amazing new YA novel, Burn Bright. You can read my review HERE. I should have asked these questions after I read the book, because it's so full of awesomeness and I would have thought of better things to ask, but there's always book two!

You're a highly successful Australian author with quite a number of adult titles to your name. Burn Bright is your first YA novel - was the transition from adult to teen easy?
I’ve been writing the book over a period of years so it feels like the I’ve been writing for teens for a long time. It wasn’t really a transition but a gentle learning curve.

The world of Ixion sounds incredible - where did that spark of inspiration for the story originate?
I’d been doing a bit of research on nocturnal animal and their habitats and I had a hankering to indulge my inner Goth. Bats and deserted churches and caves all combined to make this eccentric, scary place called Ixion. Then I had to think about who might go there. The story evolved after that.

From the reviews I've read so far, there appear to be a number of moral issues presented. What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
Foremost, I want my reader to be transported to another place. I want Ixion to be as real as possible to them. After that, it’s really down to the individual how they interact with the text. I’m not moralizing, I’m just throwing up possibilities and situations. My job is to inspire and entertain, not give life lessons. That’s something people learn by themselves.

Burn Bright has one of the most gorgeous covers I've seen among YA books - what was your reaction when you first saw it?
OMG! I fell instantly in love with it. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to connect my work with Jaroslaw Kubicki’s amazing art. It’s a privilege really. It’s so perfect for the book, as is the song that Yunyu wrote for it.

Do you have any fun behind-the-scenes facts to share? (scenes that didn't make the cut, inspirations for particular scenes, funny stories about something that happened while writing, etc)
I did cut one scene, but it was one of the more intense, darker scenes. I felt I had gone too far with it, so it will always stay in my scrap file. Nothing particularly funny happened during the writing of Burn Bright – I don’t think it’s that kind of book. But some very awesome things happened because of the book; including getting to work with musician, Yunyu, who wrote the song to accompany it, and the artist, Catherine Geaney, who created the single cover (Angel Arias) and some of the extras on the website.

In a our own real-life dystopian future where books are banned *horror*, which three books would you risk your freedom to save?
Charlotte’s Web, The Oxford Dictionary, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

Are you currently working on anything (adult or young adult) that you can share with us?
I’m a writer who tends to keep a lot going on at once. I also write crime novels about a psychic investigator called Tara Sharp and I have two of those novels upcoming ( . Then I have the third book in the Night Creatures to write (it’s called Blaze Dark at the moment but that might change). When those three books are written I’m going to start work on another YA series called Emo Trader. It’s a very cool idea about literally trading emotions that I can’t wait to get to.

Thank you so much for sharing your time with us today, Marianne! 
A pleasure talking to you, Brodie!
How awesome does Emo Trader sound? Seriously, that book NEEDS to be published! *wants*

I know a lot of international readers have been asking where they can buy a copy of this. As far as I am aware, physical copies are only available in Australia and New Zealand at the moment. However do some Googling because I know some Aussie online bookshops ship internationally. If you have a Kindle, Amazon have the e-version for sale: 

If you want to see Burn Bright released in your country, spread the word! Seriously, it is an amazing book!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: Burn Bright

Author: Marienne de Pierres
Release Date: March 1st 2011
Publisher: Random House Australia

Into a world of wild secrets and deadly pleasures comes a girl whose innocence may be her greatest strength.

Retra doesn't want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night. Retra is a Seal - sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn't crave parties and pleasure like all the others. But her brother left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him.

Braving the pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she's ever known, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me, whispers a voice in her head. Who are the Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion?

Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures - but its secrets are deadly.

Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark.

Twice a year the barge comes to Grave during the night to sneak unhappy young ones away to a world of uninhibited freedom, music and eternal pleasure - all day, every day. Where desires are acted upon without care and every person burns bright with life. Retra is not like the other young partiers taking the journey to Ixion - she doesn't want to be there, she only wants to find her brother Joel, who escaped the harsh and restricted community they live in. He's the only one she's ever been able to freely talk to and form a connection with. But in order to stay safe and not attract attention, she must try to fit in. Modesty is a sin. For a girl raised with her every move dictated by others and having to wear a veil to conceal herself, this is quite the culture shock.

It doesn't take long for Retra to make enemies and form tentative friendships and alliances. She soon learns the intricacies of Ixion and discovers that it's not all just partying and fun. Under the layers of lust and pleasure beats a darker, scarier tune, pulsing throughout every vein of Ixion. They're all warned in the beginning not to stray from the light paths, for lurking in the dark are creatures of the night. But what Retra discovers is that the dangers of this world not only lurk within the shadows, but are hidden in plain sight too. In the end, no one stays safe in Ixion.

These young souls came to Ixion with the sole purpose of freedom, to reign free and forever indulge their body and emotions. But at what price are they willing to pay for these years of ecstasy? What happens when the Ripers - Guardians of Ixion - decide you are too old to stay? What happens when you burn too bright?

Burn Bright is a dark, thrilling, fascinating ride that pulls you in along with Retra as she explores the hedonistic world of Ixion, which ultimately allows her to free that part of herself that was still shackled to the suffocating restraints of her old Seal life. Seal Retra was robbed all colour - she was black and white with a little grey struggling to break through. By the end of the novel, Naif (the name she adopted while in Ixion) is bursting with a dizzying array of colours all trying to gleam dominant. She has grown into her own - from a shy, naive girl to a brave young heroine who will risk her life to save those she cares about. Free of strict, over-bearing rules to obey and dictate, she's finally being able to breathe and begin to discover herself. I enjoyed watching her grow and I'm looking forward to seeing her continued journey of self discovery in the following books.

All the secondary characters are fantastic. I especially loved Rollo and Suki. But I have to say I am most fascinated by the leading Riper, Lenoir. He's an enthralling character, at first we're given small tastes of him and you're a little unsure, you don't really know what to expect. The more you see of him, the more you want to unravel the mystery of him. And when certain aspects come to light... well I can't say I was expecting it! He's fascinating and enticing, but when you really think about what you've learned of him, it's rather disturbing. I think Marianne has written him perfectly - given us a hint of his vulnerabilities, personality and introduced an entirely original and intriguing element. I'm quite interested to discover more about him and to see the bond between him and Naif developed more in the next book.

Marianne dives deep and explores the human desires and fears in a thoroughly captivating world that is equal parts seductive and disturbing. Dangers lurk within every shadow, voices whisper from the dark, mysteries are unravelled and new ones present themselves. Words leap off the pages, wrapping their black curls around you and lure you deeper into Ixion. I was sucked into this world, the atmosphere was brilliant and I did not want to leave. I can't wait to get my hands on book two - Angel Arias - the first chapter was included at the end of Burn Bright and it sounds just as incredible as the first book!

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight a book you're giddy with excitement to read so other people can be giddy with excitement too :)

Author: M.J Hearle 
Release Date: June 1st 2011
Publisher: Pac Macmillan Australia
Add it: Goodreads 

Blake Duchamp...

He's all that Winter Adams can think of. Ever since their fateful meeting at Pilgrim's Lament. Ever since he looked at her with those emerald eyes. Ever since he saved her life.

But Blake isn't all that he seems. There is a strangeness about him, something dark and otherworldly. Something dangerous. In his attic is a secret he would kill to defend, but Winter seems to have a special ability to make him forget his duty. And he is her only protection against the gathering darkness.

The only problem is, to protect Winter, Blake must risk exposing her to an even greater danger. Himself.

Author: Susan Goldsmith
Release Date: June 15th 2011
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Add it: Goodreads

What if you knew you were about to be torn from your body and replaced by an imposter in a seamless switch forever separating you and the one you love? Would you do whatever it took to stay? Even if YOU happened to be the imposter?

Abithica must borrow all that she is from others: names, lives, even bodies. When she switches into the troubled life of Sydney Turner, she breaks the rule that has sustained her, the one thing in her control—never get attached. Lane Riley has no idea he’s fallen for Abithica, wearing Sydney Turner’s body and that a future with her is impossible. Desperate to stay with him, Abithica uncovers the mystery of what she is, only to learn she’s a pawn in a battle over souls, and that she’s probably one of the “bad guys.” What will happen if she refuses to leave Sydney’s body?

Winter's Shadow: I had this planned for this weeks Wow before I picked up the mail today... and what was waiting for me? A copy of this! I'm very excited to read it, not only is the cover just gorgeous but the plot sounds intriguing too. Plus, Aussie author!

Abithica: What can I say about this one? Wow. The plot sounds incredible. I definitely haven't read anything like this before. I'm so intrigued to see how the author pulls it off and the fact that it already has the 'doomed love' vibe - my kinda book :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: 7 Souls

Author: Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando
Release Date: On shelves in the US / 28th March 2011 for Australia
Publisher: Penguin Australia (thanks for the review copy!)
Mary expected her seventeenth birthday to be a blowout to remember, courtesy of her best friends, fellow New York City prepsters Amy and Joon, and her doting boyfriend, Trick.
            Instead, the day starts badly and gets worse. After waking up in a mortifying place with a massive, unexplainable hangover, Mary soon discovers that nobody at school is even aware that it's her birthday. As evening approaches, paranoia sets in. Mary just can't shake the feeling that someone is out to get her—and, as it turns out, she's right. Before the night is over, she's been killed in cold blood.
            But murder is just the beginning of Mary's ordeal. Her soul gets trapped in a strange limbo, and she must relive the day of her death through the eyes of seven people—each of whom, she finds, had plenty of reasons to hate her. As Mary explores the mysteries of her world, discovering secrets that were hidden in plain sight while she was alive, she clings desperately to the hope that she can solve her own murder, change the past, and—just maybe—save her own life.
            With its blend of suspense, horror, fantasy, and realism, 7 Souls is an adrenaline rush of a thriller.


This review doesn't giveaway much in regards to specific plot details. Because trust me when I say, it's best to go into this book without any idea of... well, anything!

On the morning of her 17th birthday, Mary wakes to find herself stark naked on a display bed in a furniture store... with hundreds of faces peering in at her from the windows. Not a great way to start any day, least of all your birthday. She has no idea how she got there and no memory of the events from the previous night. And this is where the mystery begins - from the very first page we're thrust into this journey with as much information as Mary. Strange things are happening, friends are acting weird, Mary's experiencing random visions and everything, everything is beginning to spiral out of control.

Throughout the twisting, turning of events of the book, Mary realises that so many of those she considered close to her are really harbouring an incredible grudge against her and the means in which they'll go to exact revenge are far behind the normal high school drama.  Sometimes hate is much closer than you think - bubbling away under a smile. This is told in such a unique and original way. I've never seen these ideas explored in another book before. And I'm not talking about the 'reliving the day of your death' element, there's much more to it than that

The authors, Barnabas and Jordan, excel at character development and really know how to mess with a readers perception. You want to hate certain people but once you're given an insight into what fuels their actions and the way they've been treated by others, it's a lot easier to understand where their feelings stem from, although you don't exactly condone what they've done. I'm not sure I've felt such annoyance, frustration, dislike and yet sympathy and understanding for the main character. What makes the characters shine is they're realistic. They're not painted in black and white but in so many shades of colour - the good and the bad and the in-between that define us as humans. 

The mystery itself was one crazy, mind-bending rollercoaster. Every single event, every word spoken, every minute detail in this book has a purpose. It may not seem like it at the time, certain scenes may seem small and insignificant, but by the end you realise everything is a clue. A small piece to a much larger puzzle. I guessed a few things but on the whole, this book had plenty of twists and turns and left me thoroughly confused and intrigued and eager to find out what the heck was going on, who the was responsible and how the everything was going to tie up together. Everything did come together, in the end. Although the very last part.... I understood it, but at the same time I'm a little confused. I won't say anything here because it's a major spoiler but - is the other one gone? Or are both of them still in there?

7 Souls is a fantastic young adult novel unlike any other I've read. It's the kind book that forces you to turn the pages faster and faster as more clues come to light and just when you think you've got a grasp on what's going on, you're thrown for a loop. The best way to go into this book is 100% unprepared. Try to avoid reading specific plot details if you can, it'll only make the journey that much more enjoyable.

Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Giveaway Winner: The Goddess Test!

To all you amazing people who entered, followed, linked and/or commented for a chance to win The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter - thank you!! You rock. Hard.  If I had the money to buy each of you a copy, I'd totally do it *please do not hold me to that if I suddenly become a millionaire, because I probably become one due to illegal activities* but unfortunately there can only be one winner. And that lucky person is.....

Yay!! Congrats Petit!! I've sent you an email, so please respond with your mailing details and I'll get that ordered for you.

For everyone else, make sure you check out THE GODDESS TEST when it releases next month!!

Friday, March 18, 2011


OH.MY.DUMBLEDORE!! ABC Family in the US are running a weekend long marathon for the Harry Potter movies and airing Deathly Hallows footage throughout the four days. Today they aired this!

WARNING: Contains spoilers, so watch at your own risk!

Who else is SO FREAKING EXCITED!? Fred! :( Gringotts! Dragon! Ginny screaming at the end... presumably after what happens to Harry. OMG. Can July come any sooner?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review: Waterfall

Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Release Date: Already on shelves
Publisher: David C. Cook

Lisa Tawn Bergren's new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn't have to fear a vampire's bite but must still fight for her life.

In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in sixteenth-century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the sixteenth-century—and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.

You know those books that make you lose all sense of reality and you literally fall into the pages? And you feel such a huge disappointment when the story comes to an end because you don't want to resurface? Waterfall is exactly that. It is such a thoroughly engaging read! I loved everything about it - the 14th century setting, the characters, the plot, even the language. I caught myself slipping their dialect into my own thoughts so many times.

Sisters, Gabriella and Lia Betarrini find themselves being transported through time after finding handprints that match their exact own in an ancient tomb. But when Gabi jerks her hand away, Lia is nowhere to be find and Gabriella finds herself in the middle of a deadly battle between knights. Dressed in skinny jeans and tank top emerging from a tomb directly into a bloody warfare between opposing sides - not exactly ideal. Thanks to her archaeological parents, Gabriella is well versed in the Italian language, fencing and has some knowledge on their history. Which are all incredibly vital to her from the moment she is found. Thankfully it's the good guys who offer her shelter and safety, but Gabi's journey is only just beginning.

Desperate and determined to find her sister, Gabriella has to try fit into the Forelli's way of life. And pretend she's been living that way for the past 17 years rather than in a world of internet, hair conditioner and girls showing skin. While she does manage quite an admirable attempt at fitting in, it doesn't take long for her to become quite an oddity among the others. A girl who likes to wear down her hair, hates riding side-saddle, can wield a sword and isn't afraid to scale down a brick wall in order to escape into the night and find her sister. Not exactly your standard fare for 14th century prim and proper ladies. So it's not surprising that the men have taken an interest in her. Particularly Marcello Forelli - m'lord, what wonderful men we have in this era! Yes, I say men. These knights are FAR from boys.

The romance that develops between Marcello and Gabriella is fantastic and very believable. He is betrothed to another woman and the marriage will form a vital alliance. It may prove dangerous if something comes between their union.... say a time-travelling girl who just happens to be taken by the hottie just as much as he is her. Despite the consequences a relationship between them would cause, you're totally cheering them on to come together!

I also need to mention Luca, Marcello's cousin and most trusted - he is such a charmer! He's flirtatious, friendly, badass with a sword (and might I add, his fists) and such a genuine kind of guy. They all were - they're men who burst into battle with the intention of defeating the opposing side no matter what it takes, because really, it's either fight or die. But on the flip side of their manly badassness, they're such genuine, honest, loyal, sweet gentleman. A girl can't help but grow smitten with these men. Marcello, Luca and Fortino are more than welcome to develop their own love square with me in the centre. Everything about them and the book makes you want to do some time-travelling of your own.

Throughout the book you're swept away in the politics, the mystery, the romance and the complicated drama's and dangerous everyday living. Knights brandishing swords, arrows, daggers and axes - not something you want to get mixed up in! But oh, does Gabriella get mixed up in it. She is such an awesome heroine.That girl knows how to kick some serious butt, but at the same time she is just as vulnerable as she is headstrong. She's so easy to relate to - determined, stubborn, not to mention insanely worried about her sister,  but just like everyone, the girl makes mistakes and stupid decisions in the heat of the moment. Which result in her ending up in some sticky situations.

Waterfall offers so much - such a rich, fascinating landscape with characters who breath life from the very pages. Lisa balances the historical and modern vibe perfectly - the whole world around Gabriella is hundreds of years in the past, yet she adds her own modern touch. This book did not fill my appetite. Instead, it made me hungrier and left my imagination gnawing for more the minute I turned the last page! I cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel and dive head-first back into this world, I'm so intrigued to see what happens next for these characters!

I've no doubt this is going to become one of my favourite series! Bring on Cascade :D

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Any YA bloggers interested in a Harry Potter celebration in July?

So I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan and considering we're in the months leading up to the final film EVER, I wanted to do a big celebration to send off this amazing series. I know it's probably a bit early to be planning/asking, but I want to see if anyone is interested in participating.

Are there any YA bloggers interested in dedicating a HP themed week leading up to July 15th on their blogs? Obviously you need to be a fan of the series! I have some rough ideas in mind for a plot/theme based week, which may be incredibly corny or awesome if pulled off, but if anyone is interested in hearing what I have in mind, please email me! If you don't like it, I won't be offended if you decline :) And I'm all ears to hearing your own suggestions!

My email is:

With that being said - are there actually any readers interested in reading/interacting in a HP week? Hopefully along with giveaways and such, because that's always an added incentive ;)

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight a book you're giddy with excitement to read so other people can be giddy with excitement too :)

Author: Anya Parrish
Release Date: September 8 2011
Publisher: Flux
Add it: Goodreads
There was a time when I prayed for Rachel to be real. Until the night I learned she'd always planned to kill me.

When Dani was eight, she fell from a building. No one believed her claim that she was pushed by Rachel . . . her imaginary friend. It took years of therapy to convince Dani that Rachel wasn't real.

Now fifteen, Dani wants to make it as a dancer. But a deadly freak accident sends Dani a terrifying message: Rachel is back, she's real, and she'll stop at nothing to kill Dani.

Complicating matters is Jesse, the school bad boy who's being stalked by his own invisible childhood nemesis. Dani and Jesse join forces to learn why their astral tormenters are back. Their investigation leads to a horrifying discovery—and the terrible experiment that binds them to each other

Author: Lili Wilkinson
Release Date: May 2011
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Add it: Goodreads
Bee is in her element volunteering in the taxidermy department at the Museum-but her summer job turns out to be full of surprises including: A dead body in the Red Rotunda. A mysterious Museum benefactor. A large stuffed tiger in the catacombs. A handsome boy with a fascination for unusual animal mating habits. And a pocket full of glass eyes. Can Bee sift through the clues and discover if her colleague committed suicide or if there's a murderer in their midst?

Damage: First off, how cool are those claw marks across the cover? That's what first drew me into this book. Then I read the amazing synopsis and wow, I can't wait to get my hands on this. Imaginary friends gone rogue! Thankfully I never had any while growing up, I have no doubt after a few weeks stuck talking to only me they'd develop a murderous streak too.

A Pocketful of Eyes: Again, another cool cover. I haven't read any of Lili's previous books - although I do have a copy of Pink around here somewhere - but this one definitely sounds like something I'd be interested in. And I need me a good whodunnit, let's solve-the-mystery YA book!

What are you waiting on?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This Week's Gossip #4


All of these covers are insanely GORGEOUS! Seriously, it's like the eye-candy in the YA scene is just getting hotter and hotter. And Crossed?! I love the whole effect! The fact that each covers colour represents the tablets each citizen has and the whole shattering effect, Cassia beginning to break free.... oh can I have the book now already?!

In this companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think.

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous 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 move back into the house next door.
When the family returns and Cricket—a gifted inventor and engineer—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.
I loved, loved, loved, LOVED Anna and the French Kiss. Can you imagine how Stephanie will blow us away next? Will Cricket steal our hearts in the same way St. Clair did? SIGH.

Tell me more...

A cover and teaser was not enough. So thankfully Kimberly Derting revealed the full synopsis for her upcomong novel, The Pledge. And boy am I excited to get my hands on it!

Words are the most dangerous weapon of all.

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

Sneak Peek into the future
Altered by Jennifer Rush - "pitched as Dollhouse meets Prison Break for teens, in a three-book deal. In the novel, 17-year-old Anna finds herself on the run from her father’s enigmatic Agency, along with the four teen boys the Agency had been experimenting on, in a mystery of erased memories, secret identities, and genetic alteration."

 Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - "a crumbling dystopian world with a compelling heroine who has inexplicable powers"

Alive by Alex Morel - "is about a suicidal girl whose death plot goes awry when her plane crashes in the wilderness and she must fight for survival"

Dark Eyes by William Harlan Richter -  "a 16-year-old runaway embarks on a search for her biological mother, only to find herself embroiled in a deadly race against Russian gangsters, in a book pitched as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens."

Days Like This by Alison Stewart - "Futuristic Sydney has been devastated by global warming. Like all young people inside the city, 17 year-old-Lily has been confined to her home by The Committee and the danger comes from her parents! With her brother already missing, Lily must escape to survive." AUSTRALIAN DYSTOPIAN!! *in love*

Movie Adaptations

For us fans of The Hunger Games who are sweating out any possible news on casting for the movie, Variety has reported that Jennifer Lawrence may be offered the part as Katniss. All she needs to do is accept and we have our mockingjay!!

What do you think of Jennifer for Katniss? I don't mind her. I'd prefer if they dyed her hair dark rather than wear a wig, but considering the girl is an Oscar nominated actress and this was said about her audition “Jennifer really went for it and she blew them away”... I have high hopes that she can pull off the role! Now to find our Peeta!

Review: Prom and Prejudice

Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Release Date: Already on shelves
Publisher: Penguin Australia

After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be — especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.

Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?

Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season — prom or otherwise.

I'll start off by saying I haven't read any Jane Austen novels. I'd never read Pride and Prejudice nor had I watched the movie or mini-series. I know, I'm living in the Dark Ages! But I'm happy to announce that as soon as I finished reading Prom and Prejudice, I dashed to youtube, watched a trailer for the P&P movie, swooned, and hurried to find a copy of the movie the next day. Which I curled up and devoured.

"You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you" - Oh swoon! Seriously, why had I not watched it earlier? Thank you, Elizabeth Eulberg for sparking my interest :)

With that being said, regardless of your knowledge on all things Austen, this book can easily be read and enjoyed by everyone that loves a fun, light, entertaining read that will have you laughing, smiling and kept occupied for a few lazy hours on the weekend. Although I'm sure those who've read Pride and Prejudice will enjoy all the familiar names, faces and places that come to life in  this 21st Century retelling.

99.9% of every student enrolled at Longbourn Academy is thoroughly obsessed with Prom. Their version of prom is not the standard, run-of-the-mill high school experience. We're talking an annual event that graces the covers of magazines like Vogue. If you want to make into high society, you will sport the most expensive, the most lavish, the most amazing dress and hang on the arm of a handsome young man. Prom is life to these girls.

But not Izzie. Elizabeth Bennett has been an outcast at Longbourn the moment she set foot through it's gates as a scholarship student. Oh the scandal of not having money. So obviously she clicks with the only other scholarship student, Charlotte. But her best friend at school - Jane -  comes from money and lacks the prejudice and general uppity attitude of most other students. She's shy and modest and is a genuinely nice girl who doesn't like to say boo about another person. When Jane begins seeing the ever charming Charles Bingley, Izzie comes upon her first meeting of the standoffish, arrogant William Darcy and from there on in their push-and-pull relationship begins. Handsome he may be, but Izzie instantly takes a dislike toward his attitude.

Yes, probably pointless recounting the plot of this novel since most people have read the original. I can only compare this with the movie, but I loved Elizabeth's modern version of the classic. She takes this wonderful story and rewrites in a way that stays true to the themes, events and characters of it's origins yet gives them a fresh new makeover that's instantly relateable to all teens (and heck, all of us that read YA fiction, regardless of age!). The moral lessons of both 'pride' and 'prejudice' linger beneath this funny, sweet, lovely novel that is really a great read for all chick-lit fans. You will be laughing, shaking your head in despair or else cheering on characters as they mess up, make up and learn a lot about each other and life along the way.

I loved Elizabeth's debut novel,  The Lonely Hearts Club, and once again she has shown her talent at crafting an immensely entertaining novel with heart, humour and sweet romance. I look forward to whatever she has in store for readers next!

Rating: 4/5

Friday, March 11, 2011

Contest Craze Mini Challenge: Date with Dean Winchester

If you don't already know, Princess Bookie's annual Contest Craze is beginning once again over on her blog. If the thought of winning free books turns you on, I suggest you check back there often as the month progresses ;)

Anyway, she's hosting a mini-challenge where we post on our blogs a tv or movie character we'd want to date and just how this dream date would progress. So I give you....

Dean Winchester

So if you have any taste you'll have seen or at least heard of the show Supernatural. Two hot brothers hunting down the supernatural?

Dean Winchester is the whole package. He's got the sexy looks perfected, he's funny, sarcastic, confident, loyal to the point where he'll literally sell his soul to save the one's he loves, he can kick serious butt and he's a doting father. To his 1967 chevy impala, of course. You lay one hand on her shiny metal surface and you'll be wondering why your head is suddenly dismembered from your body.

In true Dean Winchester fasion, our date will take place in a  hotel room, with take-out food and pie for dessert. And when the food is gone and we decide to dive into our second 'dessert' - the kind that requires feeding the body in a non-edible manner- we'll suddenly hear a high-pitched, whining noise. Dean will jump off of me the bed to fend off the oncoming angels. But before he gets the chance, Castiel (good-guy-angel for all you non-fans) will swoop in, say one of his unintended-funny-lines and draw a symbol in blood on the wall to blast the other angels out of here. He then decides he wants to become more acquainted with the human mating rituals and I, with my sexy charms, convince a  thoroughly unimpressed Dean that the idea would be a good one. But before we can do more than ruffle Cas' wings, Sam Winchester busts down the door, raving like a lunatic and starts punching into Dean. 

Castiel and I watch in rapt attention as the two brothers beat on each other because like fans of the show, we are sadistically entertained watching the brothers turn on one another. 

But since this is all physical and no emotional angst, I step in between them - the brothers stop instantly as the light of my beauty overpowers them. I ask Sam what the hell is going on to which he responds, while giving Dean the stink eye, that he's suddenly in remorse over Dean killing his manipulative, coniving, we-all-want-her-gone, previous sex-buddy, Ruby - aka demon we hate -  after his bi-polar alter ego Jared Padalecki married the actress who plays her.

Dean starts scoffing down food in an attempt to calm himself and think the situation through. Because this date was only supposed to be with one character, Dean and I quickly regroup before Princess Bookie calls us out on our cheating. We decide we're going to Bobby's to continue our date in the Panic Room where we'll be free from any supernatural-invasion. I also subtly hint that while supernatural a-holes are not welcome, angels who wear trench-coats and brother's who once had an addiction to demon blood are more than welcome to stop by for the nights festivities. So really, the 'official' date is between myself and Dean, it's not our fault that nothing goes to plan in the world of Supernatural.

And if you've actually taken the time to read through my nonesense, I am impressed LOL. If you're not a fan of the show, none of the above probably makes much sense to you and if I have destroyed all your interest in watching the show - please remember I am a moron. Do not let my idiocy stop you from giving this awesome tv show the time it deserves!

And on that note.... I have to go prepare myself for my date.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight a book you're giddy with excitement to read so other people can be giddy with excitement too :)

Author: Jon Skovron
Release Date: August 2011
Publisher: Amulet Books
Add it: Goodreads

What if people told you your whole life that you were evil? How would you prove them wrong? Keep your head down, follow the rules, blend in? Jael Thompson would like to do that, but since her mother was a demon, that’s a little hard. Especially after her sixteenth birthday, when her father gives her a present that unlocks her powers and brings her face to face with her past and her parentage. Can she rise above her demonic nature and protect her loved ones from the forces of Hell? Or are some kids just born to cause trouble?

Author: Carrie Jones
Release Date: September 5 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Add it: Goodreads
Aimee and Alan have unusual pasts and secrets they prefer to keep hidden. Aimee's deceased mother struggled with mental illness and hallucinations, and Aimee thinks it could be hereditary. After all, she sees a shadowy river man where there isn't one. And then there was that time she and her best friend Courtney tried to conjure a spirit with a Ouija board ...Alan is Courtney's cousin. His family moved to Maine when Courtney's father went missing. It's not just Alan's dark good looks that make him attractive. He is also totally in touch with a kind of spiritual mysticism from his Native American heritage. And it's not long before Aimee has broken up with her boyfriend ...But it's not Aimee or Alan who is truly haunted - it's Courtney. In a desperate plea to find her father, Courtney invites a demonic presence into her life. Together, Aimee and Alan must exorcise the ghost, before it devours Courtney - and everything around her.

Okay, I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of Misfit. What can I say? I'm a sucker for the heaven vs. hell, good vs. evil. Demonic goodness :D

Following the demonic trend - After Obsession sounds equally fantastic! I haven't read the "Need" series by Carrie Jones yet, are they any good?

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review: Forgotten

Author: Cat Patrick
Release Date: June 6 2011
Publisher: Hardie Grant Australia / Egmont UK
Thanks to: The amazing Jennifer of Hardie Grant Australia for blessing me with a copy of this beautiful book!
Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

London Lane remembers her future the same way we remember our past. And while the average person doesn't 'remember' their future, London doesn't remember her past.  Her memories are of the  future, but the moment they become the past, they're forgotten. At precisely 4:33am every morning she forgets the day she's just lived and awakens with only what she sees of the future and her daily notes on what's happened in her life. She has to remind herself of the clothes she wore yesterday, the conversations she had, what she needs to do for school, why she's angry at certain people and to remind herself to stay angry at certain people.

She soon meets the new guy in school, Luke Henry. There's an instant attraction, he's gorgeous and seems like such a genuinely sweet boy. But although there is something vaguely familiar about him, she doesn't see him in any of her future memories. So as much as she'd love the idea of seeing and talking to him again, she doesn't torture herself by dwelling on what she knows will never come. Until it does. She talks to him again the next day. And the next. And the next. Luke Henry is very much a part of her future, he becomes an incredibly important part but she still can't remember him.  Which means every day she must read her notes growing notes on this wonderful boy and meet him all over again. All the while keeping up the facade that she 'does' remember him - since only two people in her life know of her condition.

Not long after Luke comes into her life, London begins seeing a new memory. A nightmarish memory that is not fully revealing itself to her, which makes it all the more terrifying. What begins to unravel is a mystery that will make you question the past, present and future. I was shocked when things were unravelled toward the end! 

To me, London's condition is heartbreaking. To have these 'future memories' of days, months, years to come and know they're only temporary in your mind - the moment you actually live in them, the dreaded 4:33am curse comes around and                       nothing. Just words; ink and paper reminders of what once was. I still can't shake that devastating idea from my head. I sat there thinking about all the moments from my own past, all those precious memories that would be nothing but a summary on a note. You only see your parents and friends and loved ones as their future selves - never remembering the dorky stages and the beautiful years of growth from childhood. Not only that, but Forgotten really works your mind over with the idea of knowing the future - how much do you reveal? Is it right to intervene when you know something bad is going to happen to a friend? Is the future really set in stone?

Two words I have been dying to exclaim in caps lock: LUKE HENRY!! Oh my gosh. That boy is officially in my top 5 list of favourite fictional males ever. Make that top 3. He is the sweetest thing ever! From his weird, yet adorable object of interest for his artwork to his all chocolate brown Converse All Stars . I kid you not, I hugged this book tight to my chest. I had a dorky grin on my face and I'm the kind of person who starts giggling to myself when something makes me insanely happy and giggle I did. Where can I buy me a Luke Henry?! He's funny, sweet, loyal, romantic, gorgeous, quirky and just so... so... I just love him.  And if I didn't also love and admire London so much, I would have stole every note of him she ever wrote and claiming him for myself, but the thought of erasing Luke Henry from anyone's mind is horrifying. Alright, I'll stop gushing now......... fine, I'm totally lying. Just let me have one more minute in heaven: LUKE! squeesighswoon <3

*spends the next 15 minutes composing myself*


Forgotten is an incredible debut novel. It's a romance that will set your heart aflutter, a mystery that will leave you clutching the pages for answers and a chain of events and emotions that will force you to question your own past and future. It will burrow it's way into your heart and leave you feeling such an emotional attachment to the amazing characters and uniquely sad, yet beautiful, thought-provoking storyline. I literally began rereading this just hours after I finished because I didn't want to leave the astonishing world born of this talented author's mind. Despite it's name, this is one novel that will not be soon forgotten.

Or I will come for every last one of you.... 
(for legal reasons, I'll claim that's not a threat. But it is. Trust me.)
Rating: 5/5

Monday, March 7, 2011

Author Interview with Ramona Wray

It is my honour to welcome the wonderfully talented and incredibly sweet Ramona Wray for a Q&A session with us all today!

You can read my review of her fantastic novel: Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale HERE!

What sparked the idea behind Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale?
I was watching that old TV series 'Bewitched' with Elizabeth Montgomery and laughing as usual at Darrin's cluelessness, and I sort of thought, you know, randomly, 'I should write a story about a witch.' But the actual idea for Hex came to me in the shower (I get my best ideas in the shower:) 

I applaud you on your incredible talent. You're Romanian and have a published book written in English, which is told in such a fun, addictive style. Did you ever accidentally slip up while writing and have a half-English, half-Romanian paragraph?
Thank you! But to answer your question, no, not really. To be able to write in a foreign language you have to make it your own, so to speak. You need to think, feel, and express yourself in that language as if it were your native tongue. And I guess, in my case, that became possible when I stopped speaking Romanian. (I mean, I still do, on the phone -from time to time- with my family.) But my husband is English, my son only speaks English, as do all my friends. And every language has its own pulse, its unique 'taste'. There's no way I could mix Romanian and English, they're just too different.

Are you anything like the main character, Lily?
Well, I'm not a witch (in spite of my husband's suspicions:). But do I turn to sarcasm to hide when I'm hurt? Sure, I believe a lot of people do it. I rely on my instinct a lot, too. And just like Lily, I'm a master at rationalizing everything - I twist and turn it around in my head until it makes sense (even if, very often, that 'sense' has nothing to do with reality).

Do you have any fun behind-the-scenes facts about Hex? (scenes that didn't make the cut, inspirations for particular scenes, funny stories about something that happened while writing, etc).
Oh, I'm constantly writing more than goes into the final draft! When I'm in the initial phase of a new project I scribble all these pieces of dialogue and anecdotes on post-its which I stick on furniture all around me - this is just to get to know my characters. So I did a lot of that with Hex, too. Also, I used to write after dinner (at the dinner table, while my son and husband were still eating) and more than once, when my husband addressed me, I would say, 'Look, Ryder, I'm in the middle of this...' My husband's name is Steven, fyi :)

Do you have any upcoming projects in the works you'd like to share?
Yeah, I'm in the post-it stage with a new story, which I'd very much like to set in Romania. I'm still getting acquainted with the characters but, you know, it's coming ... It will be an urban fantasy, and I aim to finish it in the summer.

If you can take any character from your book and spend the day with them, who would you choose and what would you get up?
Ooh, I don't know. I think J is an interesting character. I'd have a blast going shopping with her.

In a dystopian future where books are banned *horror* - which three novels would you risk your freedom to save?
'Sense and Sensibility', by Jane Austen.
'The Alchemist,' by Paulo Coelho.
'Before I die', by Jenny Downham.

Thank you so much for sharing your time and answers, Ramona! I urge all you wonderful readers to go out and buy her book today, you won't regret it ;)

You can purchase Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale from Amazon 

Follow Ramona:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Review: Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale

Author: Ramona Wray
Release Date: Already on shelves
Publisher: CreateSpace

Like most girls at Rosemound High School, seventeen-year-old Lily Crane is acutely aware of Ryder Kingscott. Hands down the cutest guy in school, Ryder is cool, mysterious, and utterly untouchable…especially for Lily. For when she touches someone, Lily instantly learns all about their lives. And while such a skill might seem nifty, in truth it is wrecking Lily’s life. So she is shocked when Ryder asks her out — and even more shocked to discover he has a rival. Lucian Bell is the gorgeous new kid who can’t take his eyes off of Lily. Being pursued by two hotties should make a girl happy, but Lily is skeptical. The boys act as if they’ve met before, hating each other with a passion that could only be rooted in a dark, dangerous past. A past full of terrible secrets. The kind of secrets that could get a girl killed.

I read the first chapter of Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale on Ramona's website (you can too HERE) and knew straight away I was going to love this book!

Lily is branded the freak girl in her town. People avoid her touch like the plague. Why? Because Lily is a witch. She won't make you sprout boils (although if you piss her off I'm sure she'll find a way!) or turn you into a toad with her touch, but she'll know every last one of your dirty little secrets. With the lightest of touches, Lily learns an entire persons life and sometimes can see part of their future. Right before she passes out. So she shies away from touching anyone (meaning no boyfriends) and it's not like many people want to get close enough to touch her anyway. Besides her best friend, J, the general school population don't have much to do with her.

Along comes Ryder. Sexy, mysterious, everyone-wants-to-take-that-hottie-for-a-RYDE (yes, I know I'm lame!). He's been lurking in the shadows for a year now, but suddenly he wants to know her. Wants to take her to Prom. And the weirdest (best) part for Lily? His touch has no effect on her. Well... not entirely true. Increases her pulse rate? Yes. Induces visions and knocks her out? Nope. She feels this strong attraction toward him and it doesn't take long before she's head over heels. But suddenly there's another mystery boy on the scene. Lucian Bell. Who J is totally crushing on but he's clearly not interested. He only has eyes for Lily.

You might be thinking - "Right. I've seen this love triangle a million times before". Oh really? WRONG. You have not seen this love triangle before. Because Ramona weaves a together a unique mythology with a cast of characters who share a deep connection and a terrible burden that has spanned the centuries. It soon becomes clear to Lily that both Ryder and Lucian are connected in some way, a potentially supernatural-way, and it involves her. I thought I had it all figured out where the plot was leading in the beginning, but boy was I wrong. Ramona throws in a twist halfway through and I'm like "What?!" Did not see that coming! And from there on in doubts begin to grow. Confusion. Lily's instincts are telling her one thing, but the cold-hard truth is screaming another. She doesn't know what to believe and her feelings may lead to her own death. I wasn't sure what to believe either and I had to use all my will not to quickly flip to the back of the book to peek at who the good guy was! (I've done that in plenty of books, bad me). I'm so glad I didn't spoil it though!

I loved Lily's voice. She's a great, snarky, funny character who isn't afraid to stand up for herself or demand for answers. You could probably flip to any page in the book and find a witty one-liner from this fiery redhead. All the characters were great. Ryder and Lucian, the two gorgeous boys. Despite what may or may not have happened in the past, I was still rooting for Ryder. He's so devoted and honest in his feelings for Lily and even though he physically cannot tell her everything she needs to know, he still tries. With his smexy looks coupled with his patience, protectiveness and general sweetness, you can see why I preferred him over Lucian. Ah, Lucian. I'm not quite sure how I felt about him! I think I like him, then I don't. Then I definitely don't and then holy crap, that can't be happening! I was so sad for him :(

The ending was bittersweet. I got a little emotional with how it all panned out, but having said that, I think it was a perfect ending. Besides, don't the best endings evoke the most emotion? I definitely recommend you give this a read. Not only is it a great book, but a self-published one! I strongly admire authors that can get out here and make their dream happen even without a big time publisher behind them. And I've already seen buzz spreading for Hex, A Witch and Angel Tale throughout book blogs. I wish Ramona all the success! :)

Rating: 4.5/5
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