Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor
Release Date: Already out! Buy a copy.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Add it: Goodreads
Errand requiring immediate attention. Come.

The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things.

When Brimstone called, she always came.

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.
Blue-haired seventeen year old, Karou, draws the most imaginative and otherworldly things when she's not sketching life models. But what her friends don't know is the magnificent creatures in her drawings are as real as the earth and sky. They're chimaera and the only family she's ever known. Between her ordinary life amongst humans, Karou visits people all over the world to collect teeth for the chimaera who raised her, Brimstone. Paris, Madrid, Egypt - she exits one door and finds herself across an entire continent. Karou has no idea why he needs the teeth (not for lack of asking), nor do his clients. They give him teeth of all origins in exchange for wishes. Karou's whole life feels like a mystery - she burns with questions and a need to know what it is she feels missing inside her. But then a young seraphim, enemy of the chimaera, sets his burning eyes on Karou and so the mystery deepens, love awakens and we're taken on a magical journey both dangerous and beautiful, that may fuel an ancient war or be the beacon of hope it so desperately needs.

I adored the characters. Karou is a fantastic protagonist who captivated me throughout the entire novel. She's intelligent and witty and totally badass, yet she's not without her flaws and vulnerabilities. I love Zuzana! Please can she be my best friend? She had me laughing out loud so many times. And the exchange between her, Karou and Akiva in the teahouse was perfect. Brimstone was another fascinating character, he doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve, but you can see he deeply cares for Karou. And Akiva, oh Akiva. There is such depth and pain and beauty swirling behind those fiery eyes. He really broke my heart in certain scenes, they bled with raw intensity. I felt it. And it was painful.

The world building was absolutely incredible. Laini has clearly gone to great depths in crafting the lore and history. I was blown away by the sheer detail and the way those details came together to create something so utterly unique and imaginative. She brilliantly captured the timeless magic of Prague. I'm desperate to visit someday now! Her writing is nothing short of extraordinary, you want to savour every moment of it, but can't read fast enough. I had my suspicions about Karou as clues came to light. I was right in what I guessed, but I could never have imagined the magnitude of that secret. I only latched on to the sliver of the truth it held and when all was unveiled... wow.

This is quite possibly one of the best romances I've ever read. Akiva says in the book: Love is an element and I couldn't agree more. Laini has taken love to a whole new level and it's going to be hard not to compare every other romance I read to this. She made me feel every emotion that leaped off the page -  the fluttering, the ache, the pounding of their hearts. I became so deeply rooted in their story, in their world, in their beautiful tragedy. Hello. Hellohellohello. The most romantic word ever breathed between lovers. At the end of chapter 55, I closed the book, hugged it close to my chest and let loose a deep, ridiculously happy sigh.

I finished this book drunk on the power of Laini Taylor's words. She took me to an entirely new dimension where other novels can only dream of sneaking glimpse of. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is an experience, not a story. There are books that tell a nice, fictitious tale and then there are those that drag every shred of your being into their pages and force an intimacy upon you. Every word of this book will knot itself around your emotions.  It's life and death, magic and war, happiness and tragedy, and love - lovelovelove in all it's splendor and need and hope and pain.

This is by far one of my favourite reads of 2011. Heck, one of my favourite reads of all time. Laini Taylor, you are a god. I love you, I envy you, I demand you lock yourself away in a luxurious dungeon and spend every hour of your day writing, writing, writing so I can lose myself in a hundred more of your novels.

5/5 Golden Apples!!
Who am I kidding? This book deserves a freaking orchard of Golden Apples!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #29

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: Christoph Marzi
Release Date: February 2nd 2012
Publisher: Orchard Books
Add it: Goodreads
The night that Heaven lost her heart was cold and moonless. But the blade that sliced it out was warm with her dark blood...

David Pettyfer is taking a shortcut over the dark rooftops of London's brooding houses, when he literally stumbles across Heaven: a strange, beautiful, distraught girl who says that bad men have stolen her heart. Yet she's still alive...

And so begins David and Heaven's wild, exciting and mysterious adventure - to find Heaven's heart, and to discover the incredible truth about her origins.

Part thriller, part love story and part fairy tale, this brilliantly original novel from a bestselling German author will take your breath away...

Author: Sam Hawksmoor
Release Date: March 1st 2012
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Add it: Goodreads
34 kids missing. Vanished without a trace.

Believing she is possessed, Genie Magee's mother has imprisoned her all summer encouraged by the sinister Reverend Schneider. Beautiful Rian, love of her life, sets her free, and their escape washes them up at Marshall's remote farmhouse downriver. But why are there newspaper clippings of the missing kids pinned to Marshall's bathroom wall? And should they believe his stories about the experiments at the Fortress, an underground research station nearby?

Genie meets Denis. Missing two years now, but hasn't grown an inch. Rian is haunted by Renée, who insists she's not actually dead. Soon they discover the terrible truth about Reverend Schneider and worse, Genie is next ... and Rian can't do a thing to prevent it.

The Repossession is just the beginning.

Heaven: Wow, this sounds incredibly... intriguing, different, fascinating! How does she survive if her heart has been stolen? Who are these bad men? What exactly is this girl and her origins? I cannot wait for this! Love the thriller/love story/fairy tale combination.

The Repossession: Oooh creepy! Where do the kids disappear to? Does the sinister Reverend have anything to do with it? Or Marshall? What exactly is the 'repossession'? So many questions that I'm excited to find the answers to!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mammon Blog Tour: Why are Russian men so hot?

Mammon author, J.B Thomas, is back again today for a very sexy post. Don't deny it, you find Russian men ridiculously sexy, I know you do. And J.B is here to decode this attraction and explain WHY (she's rather skilled in this area, given that the love interest in Mammon, Ivan, is Russian). Of course, we need some visual models. So I asked J.B for some Russian hotties and she suggested Liam McIntyre (he once played a role as a Russian gangster) and Chris Hemsworth (who you all probably know played Thor).  Now I present to you, the hottness of Russia:

To many Westerners, there’s a mystique to Russia, and Russians in general. We all know that the women are beautiful, but what about the men?

To me, there’s a sexy combination of factors that make Russian men – or at least the ideal of the Russian man – irresistible.

That accent.

Oh, sure – it’s easy to be intrigued by voices from Eastern Europe in general, but the Russians nail it. Just imagine his warm lips touching your ear, whispering words of love to you in Russian…oh, but I’m getting carried away again!

They have a great intellectual history and love of arguing over politics and philosophy. They are proud of their history, their authors and social activists.

Weren’t expecting that one, were you? Or perhaps you were! The Russians have a tradition of being great thinkers and talkers. Okay, sometimes it’s lubricated by a good helping of vodka, but still…

They are well known for wrestling and other ‘manly’ sports. They are often tall, and well built. They are old-fashioned, protective and chivalrous when it comes to their women. (Yes, I realize I’ve listed more than one point here. It’s hard not to gush.)

Their special-forces (Spetsnaz) guys are the toughest soldiers on earth…or so they say. Who am I to disagree?

Are you seeing a pattern here? Oh yes – the hot Muscovite, Ivan!

Thank you so much for stopping by today, JB, and sharing the secret to this age old attraction we hold! No, I'm not imagining Liam McIntyre whispering Russian sweet-nothings in my ear. Pleeeeease. As if! *fans self*

Add Mammon to Goodreads
Like the Fanpage on Facebook
Visit J.B's blog

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mammon Blog Tour: Interview with J.B Thomas

I'm excited to welcome J.B Thomas, debut author of the deliciously demonic, Mammon, to the blog today! Did I mention she's Australian? Or more formally, a member of AAAAAAAAA (Australian Authors Are Amazingly Adroit. And Also Aesthetically Appealing). A lot of Aussie YA authors are finding themselves VIP members lately.

She's here today to answer a few questions and then tomorrow she'll be stopping by again to tell us all why Russian men are so sexy (given than love interest, Ivan, is one of them!). Enjoy!

Many of us are battling Twitter addictions, so can you sell us Mammon in 140 characters?
Exciting, new, original, action-packed, great romance. Unique concepts. Brilliant bad guys; valiant good guys. Enthralling page-turner with a new twist on demons.

Would you rather be a Ferryman, like Joe or a telepath, like Grace?
I would rather be a Ferryman. Telepathy is okay but I don’t really want to get inside people’s heads. It’s hard enough being in mine. To be able to travel between dimensions would be interesting, and to know that I could use the rift to get rid of demons would be empowering.

How did you react when you were told you were going to be published?
I was ecstatic! I didn’t crack the champagne until the day that Mammon was released, however. I was saving a nice bottle of Moet. I look at copies of the book now and still feel the same sense of awe. To see my book on the shelf at Dymocks or a major department store is very gratifying.

If you could spend the day with any character from Mammon, who would it be?
Ivan. He’d be fun to hang with and if we came across any bad guys, he’d sort them out. He’d also teach me how to say funny things in Russian, and possibly how to insult people who deserved it.

Do you have any behind-the-scenes stories to share? (Like random things that inspired certain scenes, things that didn't make the final cut, etc. Anything that happened while writing).
Well, some of the cut material may well find its way into another book. So, mum’s the word there! However…I can say that a general source of inspiration has been my own fist-banging anger after seeing yet another human flee (in a most futile, always-tripping-over manner) from one monster or another. In horror films, I mean. I knew that I wanted to write a team of hard-core fighters who would never be taken like that. I can’t stand to see people being victims when they can turn around and fight. (Of course, in real life it’s totally different. If you’re in danger, RUN!)

Demons have overtaken the planet. What three books do you take with you in your demon-proof bunker?
Any book with Bear Grylls strapped to it. That takes care of the survival aspect.

A ‘how to’ book of some kind, so I can learn how to do all those basic things that are taken for granted in the western world (with a shotgun strapped to it for those pesky demons that can’t be gotten rid of).

A book of fables or fairy tales, so I could teach the children about good and bad without them having to go outside and see it first hand.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us today, JB! I had a lot of fun reading your answers :)

Add Mammon to Goodreads
Like the Fanpage on Facebook
Visit J.B's blog

Don't forget to tune back in tomorrow. And also check out the previous stops on the tour:
Tales of the Inner Book Fanatic
Book Probe Reviews
The Rest Is Still Unwritten
Shiirley's Bookshelf

Saturday, September 24, 2011

In My Mailbox #17

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by the wonderful The Story Siren where we get to drool with one another over the awesome books that came in the post this week.

Blood Rights is all on it's lonesome because it came after I took the original photo. It was actually a really pleasant surprise! I had no idea Australia was even publishing the book here, but I've been really intrigued by it and can't wait to read it!

The Industry doesn't come out until April 2012, I was sent the manuscript but will be reading this soon so I can send back my thoughts. How awesome does the synopsis sound?!

Starting Daughter of Smoke and Bone now - have heard AMAZING things about this book!! Grabbed Possess and Chain Reaction from the library, really hope I can squeeze these in soon, both sound fantastic and of course, I need my final fix of Fuentes brothers ;)

What's in your mailbox this week?

You Give = We Give Progress Update

You can find full details what You Give = We Give is about, how we're using your donations and the amazing prizes you can win over HERE.

Books received this week for the Kmart Tree:
Huge thanks to both Simon & Schuster Australia and the insanely awesome Erin from Tales of the Inner Book Fanatic for donating these books! Some great titles here! I have some books that I'm either doubled up on or just never going to get around reading, so I'll be sorting those out soon and probably place them in the next donation update.

We've had some amazingly generous donations already from publishers, authors and fellow readers. You guys rock! It's been fantastic to see people get behind the cause and share their own passion for reading with others who mightn't be able to afford a book for pleasure. Giving to others, especially the gift of books, puts you on a great high. Plus, it's totally legally. And healthy.

We hope over the next few months leading up to Christmas, we'll receive many more books to put under the Kmart tree and make lots of children happy this year! Check out the books that Jess and Rachel received for their trees in the links below.

Links to each of our blogs:
Jess @ She Known As Jess BlogSpot
Brodie @ Eleusinian Mysteries
Rachel @ The Rest Is Still Unwritten

Thank you Note:
A HUGE thank you to every single author, publisher, blogger and reader who donated novels toward either the Christmas tree or our prize packs. You guys are amazing and we cannot thank you enough for your generosity and kindness!

Would you like to make someone’s life a little brighter this Christmas? Then be sure to check out our event You Give = We Give, for not only the chance to give but also the chance to WIN amazing Prize Packs yourself! 

Donating Options:

You Give = We Give will run from September 10th until December 15. During the event you can either:

- Donate through PayPal (Big or small, every dollar counts!). We all have a donate button on our blogs.

- Buy a book from an online bookstore and have it sent to us. Book Depository / Amazon / Any other online store

- Personally send us any extra books you have laying around

If sending a novel through an online store or personally; email us for an address to send them too.

YouGive_WeGive (AT) hotmail (DOT) com

Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date: January 5th 2012. Preorder a copy!
Publisher: Headline AU / Poppy US
Add it: Goodreads
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18B. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
Hadley Sullivan is four minutes late for the flight that will take her to England to see her father get remarried. She doesn't want to go, she's never even met the woman he's about to marry and the thought of spending the next few hours at 40,000 feet above ground, with no escape, isn't exactly comforting to a girl who's claustrophobic. But those 4 minutes - a mere 240 seconds - completely change the next 24 hours for Hadley and quite possibly, the rest of her life.

Hadly is carrying a lot of hurt and anger towards her father and Charlotte, his new wife-to-be. She resents how he just walked straight out of her life - not just to another house or state, but an entirely separate continent. He has a whole other life that she doesn't feel part of. She's carried that pain around ever since and it's had a damaging effect on their once close relationship. She felt like such a genuinely real protagonist, her emotions and thoughts were so understandable and I think so many will be able to relate to and take an instant liking to her.

I'd like to formally welcome Oliver to my Top Ten List of Swoony Fictional Boyfriends. He is so insanely CHARMING. Oh heavens, is it the British accent? Hmm, no. (Although imagining it sure adds to his wow-factor). It's his funny, infectious, brilliantly vibrant personality. Every time he's on the page, my face cracked from over-working my mouth into a constant smile. He's this sweet, charismatic ball of energy that all the girls will fall head over heels for and all the boys will secretly want a bromance with.

I lived for the scenes between Hadley and Oliver. Their interactions sent a shot of Happy through every vein in my body, sending my heart into a dizzying fit of flutters. Their conversations were so funny, witty, random and inspiring. So many times I found myself rereading a line or paragraph shared between these two, because it was just so darn brilliant. Their chemistry sent little sparks shooting off every page. I still have the scorch marks on my fingers as proof, because I would not, could not, put this book down. I was an addict desperate for one more page, one more word, one more look, one more kiss.

This book really makes you ponder the difference between coincidence and fate. Hadley's story would have turned out so differently had she caught her flight on time. If those random and seemingly insignificant events leading up to her missed flight hadn't happened. Had she not done this or said that... she wouldn't have caught the later flight. She wouldn't have met the boy with donut crumbs on his shirt. He wouldn't have switched seats on the plane so they were sitting beside one another. And she wouldn't have fallen for his absolutely delightful self and carried those precious hours they spent together throughout the rest of her day. And if she hadn't, she'd be leaving England a much less happy person. I don't believe in coincidence, I think everything happens for a reason and this book is a perfect depiction of the domino effect one small change can have and how it could alter your entire life.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight will make even the most cynical person open their mind to consider the possibilities of fate and love at first sight. It is a beautiful story of love and family, fate and coincidence, how one missed flight, one small blip in your day could affect everything you do from that point forward. It's so genuine and gorgeously crafted. I could not wipe the smile off my face for hours after I finished reading. Fans of Stephanie Perkins will inhale this book five times over.

Please write lots and lots of books, Jennifer. Whatever you bring out next, you're officially an instant-buy author.

5/5 Golden Apples!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #28

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: Aimee Agresti
Release Date: March 6th 2012
Publisher: Harcourt Children's
Add it: Goodreads
Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.

Author: Sue Lawson
Release Date: October 1st 2011
Publisher: Walker Books
Add it: Goodreads
When you’re fighting to forget, what would make you remember?

Pan Harris is is brash, loud and damaged. Ordered into foster care, Pan is full of anger at the mother who abandoned her, and the older sister who kept her from her father. Pan is certain that she knows the reality of her past – until she meets Hunter, the boy who understands her story better than anyone else, and who just may be the key to unlocking the truth of Pan’s memories. But are some memories best left forgotten? And is Hunter worth Pan breaking her most important rule – Never. Trust. Anyone.

Illuminate: How gorgeous are the covers to both of these books? So pretty! I love the shadow of a wing (?) behind the girl - which suggests perhaps there is something more supernatural to her? The whole beautiful, mysterious group of people in the business of buying souls sounds deliciously exciting! Very looking forward to this.

Pan's Whisper: Again with the cover lover. I love the colours on this! This is written by an Aussie author and lately I've been discovering that my lovely stretch of land is producing some amazing authors. So I can't wait to see what Sue Lawson has to offer. What disturbing secrets will Pan's memory reveal?

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Fateful

Author: Claudia Gray
Release Date: Already out, buy a copy!
Publisher: Harper Collins
Add it: Goodreads
The RMS Titanic might be the most luxurious ship in the world, but all passenger Tess Davies wants to do is escape her dreary existence as a maid.
Trapped in a web of painful memories and twisted family secrets, Tess vows to make a run for it as soon as the ship reaches New York. A new world awaits... and a new life!
Her single-minded obsession shatters when she meets Alec. Handsome and mysterious, he captivates her immediately - but Alec has secrets of his own. As she uncovers the darkness lurking beneath his sophisticated surface, Tess discovers a horrifying truth. Werewolves, once only the stuff of nightmares, are real - and they are stalking Alec. Tess's love for Alec puts her in mortal peril, but an even greater danger lies in front of her before their journey on the Titanic is over...

We meet young servant to the Lisle family, Tess Davies, the night before the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic, when a werewolf nearly attacks her and a young man saves her life. But is her saviour noble or perhaps more dangerous than the terrifying wolf? From that moment on, Tess is pulled into the dark and dangerous world of supernatural, all while dealing with her own trouble-filled life as she tends to the needs of the Lisle's. Tess' life as a servant and the clear divide between the rich and poor was written very realistically. Claudia obviously did her research. While Lady Regina and her son, Layton, are the perfect portrait of rich snobbery, it's the daughter, Irene, that is the most decent of the family. She's sweet and caring and I really enjoyed the endearing relationship between her and Tess.

I really admired Tess' character. Despite her position in society, she's confident, intelligent and headstrong. She's a brave young girl, willing to stand up for herself and fight for what she believes is right. She was so easy to grow attached to. I absolutely adored her romance with Alec. It's often hard to believably have two characters fall in love within a matter of days, but Claudia has written a romance so beautiful, so touching, laced with the right amount of danger and tragedy that you'll be desperately hoping for a happy ending. The chemistry between Tess and Alec was palpable, you see that love developing with every moment shared together, feel that connection grow deeper and deeper. These are the kind of love stories done right.

From Jack and Rose, to Alec and Tess, Titanic is a beautifully tragic setting for any romance. In large part thanks to the movie, I could easily visual the ship throughout the novel and it was sort of fascinating to imagine these werewolves crashing about in the below decks. What would the passengers think if they knew what lurked below? Adding a paranormal touch to one of the most historic events in history could have had disastrous consequences, but Claudia Gray pulled it off flawlessly. The mythology of the werewolves were interesting and the ominous werewolf pack known as the Brotherhood, added the real spark of danger. Particularly Mikhail, who has his filthy leering eyes set on Tess and adamant in forcing Alec into joining the Brotherhood, at any cost. At risk of anyone's life. He revels in that sheer savagery of being a wolf. He considers himself a god. The reader considers him a [word not appropriate for a PG blog].

We all know this ill-fated voyage ends at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean. Throughout the novel there's that eerie sense of foreboding as each day ticks by. When will the iceberg hit? Who will make it out alive? Claudia makes you feel for every character - whether that's love or hate - you become invested in each of their lives and can't help but question each fate. Yet at the same time, that knowledge of the impending disaster doesn't detract from the story, it only adds to it the incredible atmosphere.

Fateful is heartwarming and heartbreaking. Claudia Gray has delivered a breathtaking novel that will sweep you into the past, across the Atlantic and right into the heart of the ocean. It will plunge into the darkest waters, with just enough light peeking through to give you hope for these characters you have grown so fond of. Set sail upon a thrilling, tender and pulse-pounding voyage. Destination? A one-way ticket to your heart.

 5/5 Golden Apples!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Around The Blogosphere

Just some random things around the blogosphere!

The Vampire Diaries have started back again, so you know what that means, right? FRANKIE'S RECAPS OF AWESOME!! Seriously, I love this girl (she's a YA writer, she's funny AND she's vegan. I'm totally crushing). Her recaps are hilarious and she's now also doing them for The Secret Circle too. You guys have to read them:

J.B Thomas is currently holding an Aussie blog tour for her debut novel, Mammon. She'll be stopping by here soon, but in the meantime you can check out the first three stops of the tour:

Lisa from Read Me, Bookmark Me, Love Me is holding hosting a fun giveaway for her 6 month blogoversary. What better way to celebrate than pitting the hottest YA bachelors against one another?! Check out Round 1 HERE and Round 2 HERE. Two readers will win any book she's reviewed. One boy will be immortalised as our hero forever.

For all you Filipino bloggers out there, the wonderful Precious from Fragments of Life and Kai from Amaterasu Reads have launched Pinoy Blog Tours! If you're a Filipino blogger and would like the opportunity to take part in some fantastic blog tours, check out their site!

Throughout the month of September, Danya from A Tapestry of Words has been hosing Psychtember, which focuses on YA books dealing with mental health/psychological issues. She has people stopping by for guest posts, interviews and giveawways! Be sure to stop by!

Starting from September 26th - 30th, Kathy from A Glass of Wine will be hosting a Mara Dyer Week!  Author interview, discussion posts and giveaways. Make sure you check it out, because in case you hadn't noticed, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer sounds AWESOME!

Also, totally random, but I'm kind of in love with these guys at the moment. Discovered them last night and I just love the way they combine their instruments.. The drums in this... cannot get out of my head!

Know of any fun/interesting events around the blogosphere? Share a link in the comments!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Review: Crave

Author: Melissa Darnell
Release Date: October 16 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Add it: Goodreads
Savannah Colbert has been shunned all her life by the kids of the Clann. And when she undergoes some drastic changes after a strange illness, Savannah learns secrets about the group and about herself—dangerous secrets. For the Clann are powerful magic users, and Savannah herself is half Clann and half vampire—a forbidden, unheard of combination. Falling for Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman isn't just a bad idea—it could be deadly if anyone finds out. But her attraction to Tristan—and his to her—isn't something either of them can resist for long.

In the fourth grade, Savannah Colbert lost her three best friends, when they and every other descendant of The Clann were forbidden to ever associate with her again. Long forgotten are the days when they played pretend weddings, now they use any chance they can get to alienate her. Though perhaps worse of all isn't the taunting, but the fact that Tristan - the first boy she ever kissed, the first boy she ever loved - has hardly spoken a word to her since the day their relationship was severed. But unbeknown to her, Jacksonville High's most popular student has been as enamoured by the redhead for just as long as she has.

When Savannah suddenly becomes too ill to even leave her bed, she's forced with the realisation that she's changing. And not in the normal way teenage girls change.... she learns she's a Clann descendant on her mother's side - magic users. And passed on from dear old dad? Why, just a healthy dose of vampire. Savannah Colbert is half-vampire, half-witch and precisely the reason why the entire Clann have been forbidden to associate with her. But of course, the kids were never told the specific details as to why.  I really liked that her abilities didn't come instantaneously. Sure, her appearance noticeably changed, but she didn't become this all-powerful hybrid creature overnight. Her abilities took time to develop and control and added plenty of frustration and drama to her life.

Crave is told in dual narrative, which really helps the reader grow invested in both Savannah and Tristan's characters. The emotions raging within each, but unable to let go of. The pressures both face from their families and stifling rules from opposing supernatural forces. They're in every way normal teenagers dealing with the everyday issues of high school, just with the added bonus of oh, conjuring a fireball within the palm of his hand or her making the entire male student body her personal love slave just by making eye contact.

And aren't we all a sucker for a forbidden romance? The sneaking around and danger that lurks behind every kiss, every stolen look or brush of skin. Savannah and Tristan's love is not meant to be, is not allowed to be. The union of witches and vampires in such a way has long been forbidden, the potential consequences could pretty much result in an all-out war between species. It's not an instant-love, despite the deep, lingering feelings both teens have held for one another for years. Melissa took the time to gradually build up to that eventual romance, though the sexual tension is clear. You're waiting for these two to defy all rules and come together and when they do, you believe it, because Melissa's taken that time to show, rather than tell, the chemistry and connection these two share.

There were some parts that I felt dragged on a bit and I would have liked to feel a more heightened sense of danger with some kickbutt action at times, given that we have these uber cool magic and vampiric abilities, but I did enjoy the novel for the story it told. This is one romance that you can really SEE blossom before your eyes. And Melissa managed to effortlessly weave the supernatural world amongst the normality of Jacksonville. The combination of humans, vampires and witches never felt forced of unreal... but so easy to accept and believe within the story.

With an endearing cast of characters who take you on a addictive journey of magic, bloodlust and a love both dangerous and beautiful, Crave is a fantastic start to what will surely be an exciting and romantic new series! When true love is put to the test, can it prove to be just as powerful as the supernatural forces that forbid it?

3.5 Golden Apples!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday #27

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: Marlene Perez
Release Date: March 2012
Publisher: Graphia
Add it: Goodreads
Jessica Walsh is starting her freshman year at Nightshade High and trying to forget about the tragic events surrounding her brother’s graduation. She wants to have a normal high school experience. But that’s easier said than done in Nightshade. 

When a new boy shows up at school, the girls are infected with a case of seriously creepy crushes. But when their obsession turns to violence, Jessica and her friends start to wonder if there’s more going on than just a little friendly rivalry. Are the smitten girls turning into love zombies? 

And Jessica has other worries—like her crush on Dominic Gray, the cute but moody new singer for Side Effects May Vary, and the mysterious tattoo that appeared on her arm one day and lets her know whenever there is trouble brewing. Jessica learns she's a Virago, a woman warrior chosen to fight evil whenever it threatens her hometown. But does a lowly freshman really have what it takes to keep Nightshade safe? 

 Author: Jus Accardo
Release Date: November 1st 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Add it: Goodreads
When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect
Dead Is a Battlefield: Love zombies? Mystery tattoos? Women warriors  who keep evil at bay? This sounds a really refreshing read! Something a little out of the ordinary to what we're used to and I'm totally intrigued by it

Touch: How awesome does this sound? I love those 'touch can kill' type of novels. Really, any kind of superpower and I'm hooked. I'm curious to learn what this big secret is they're all trying to protect. And of course, a rogue group of Sixes with a taste for vengeance? I smell some kickass scenes in the making.

What are you waiting on this fine Wednesday?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

OBSIDIAN Cover Reveal!

I'm THRILLED to be apart of Jennifer Armentrout's cover reveal for her upcoming new novel, OBSIDIAN. It sounds freaking AWESOME. Infuriating, arrogant, stab-worthy, hot alien? I am so there. And HAVE YOU SEEN THE COVER?! Hello, sexy.

Click the cover for a much bigger version! (You know you want to stare deep into those eerie green eyes...)

Release Date: 6th December 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Add it: Goodreads
Amazon Preorder: Coming soon

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, outhouses, 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 marked me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and the mark he left on me has me lit up like Las Vegas strip to the bad guys. 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.

And then things got really bad…

Here's the gorgeous countdown widget (how exactly do we make it speed up?):

What do you think of the cover and synopsis? Awesome, right? Obsidian is released one day after my birthday, perfect timing!

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Author: Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: September 19th (US), October 3rd (AU)
Publisher: Penguin
Add it: 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.
OH SWOON. That was me when I got this in the mail, me at the end of every page, every sentence, every word and that's still me now, contemplating whether blackmail or kidnapping is the best way to get my hands on a copy of Isla and the Happily Ever After.

I'm not the kind of girl who is even remotely interested in fashion, yet despite the fact that I really had no idea who some of Lola's inspirations were, I loved her outrageous styles and discovering what new costume she would greet the world with today. She loves to be different and experiment. She's not trying to set a trend, she's making statements. Who she is and what she believes in. Her personality and mood shine through what she wears. She's such an likable, eccentric, bold character and yet she's still susceptible to all that confusion and uncertainty and vulnerability that comes along with being a teenager and that's what helps makes her so, so endearing.

And then we have our swoony male lead. Holy Hell, Cricket Bell. He is so ADORABLE. He talks fast and stumbles over his words when he's nervous and he's tall and wears jeans too small and writes mystery words on his hand and oh my gosh, I love everything about that beautiful geeky boy! He's a genius inventor - put anything in front of him and he'll no doubt turn it into some hugely complicated contraption that performs a simple task. Every single thing about him is just so goddamn cute. He's very open about his feelings for Lola early on, but he doesn't push himself on her. He acknowledges the fact that she has a boyfriend (though certainly doesn't love the idea). He still wants to be apart of her life, but there is no denying every single moment they share together is intensified tenfold with that yearning for something more.

You can see how much care and thought that goes into making these personalities shine. They're quirky and funny and flawed, made all the more perfect because of their imperfections. Lola's two dads are possibly my favourite set of parents in YA. The love and support and affection is so clear and abundant, yet they still set fair rules and boundaries. It felt so realistic and really something we don't see an awful lot of in YA these days. Plus they're super funny and adorable. Adorable really is the best word to sum up so much of this novel.

Stephanie's novels are a whole new level of sexy. They aren't full of over-eager hands and tongues -  it's the fact that they're NOT, that turns readers a nasty shade of violet from holding their breath so long in anticipation. It's the sexual tension and build-up to that long-awaited kiss you know won't arrive until the very end, that has you burying your face in the book every five minutes to giggle happily, your cheeks cracking open from grinning too hard.

While I admit Anna and the French Kiss is still my favourite (Blame Paris. And that Thanksgiving scene), Lola delivers everything fans could wish for. You can't really compare them though, because they are both so AMAZING and different in such wonderful ways. Lola and the Boy Next Door is a beautiful novel that will set your heart aflutter even long after you finish reading. Stephanie proves that a little thing called love exists and it's right here, bundled up in 338 pages of sweet, smart, sexy and sensual. You'll laugh, you'll smile, you'll squee, you'll ache and you'll close this book feeling enlightened, inspired and so gleefully happy.

Also: Etienne St. Clair and Cricket Bell in the same book? Sharing the same scenes? Yes, heaven really does exist.

 5/5 Golden Apples!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

In My Mailbox #16

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature hosted by the wonderful The Story Siren where we get to drool with one another over the awesome books that came in the post this week.

Um, LOLA. SQUEEEEEE!!! I finished this on Friday and LOVE IT. I still have a case of the Happy Sighs. SUPER excited to start The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. While I do prefer the US cover, the UK/AU one is cute. All of the books this week are really high on my wishlist, so I'm bouncing with glee to get started on them all, though some I have to read before others. I grabbed Red Riding Hood from my library - I've heard a lot of mixed opinions about this movie, but hey, at least the guys on the cover look hot ;)

What's in your mailbox this week?

You Give = We Give. Donate and WIN!

You Give = We Give

Hosted by:
Jess from She Known As Jess BlogSpot
Brodie from Eleusinian Mysteries
Rachel from The Rest Is Still Unwritten

We know how great it is to receive books for Christmas, but even greater is the feeling you get when you give the gift of reading to another. In the lead up to Christmas, Jess from She Known As Jess, Rachel from The-Rest-Is-Still-Unwritten and Brodie from Eleusinian Mysteries are hosting You Give, We Give. What does that mean? It's simple. You donate books this Christmas to help those in need and in return, you'll be entered to win some seriously amazing prizes!

What is You Give, We Give?
We are calling for fellow readers to make a donation of either books or money to buy books. Donated books will placed under the Kmart Wishing Tree in December, which is an annual appeal held here in Australia and New Zealand to help families in need. People place gifts under the trees, which are located in every Kmart department store, and those gifts are then given to families struggling financially. Parents who may not be in a position to buy their children a gift for Christmas. We don't want any child to feel left out this year, so the genius behind this venture, Jess, came up with the idea to use our love of books to spread some joy to others.

You Give = We Give will run from September 10th until the middle of December. However, money donations through Paypal will end earlier (November 30th), due to the fact that it will take up to 10-15 days for any purchased novels to arrive from the Book Depository. Throughout the event you can either:

- Make a monetary donation which will be used to purchase books from The Book Depository. Big or small, every dollar counts!
- Buy a book yourself from an online bookstore and have it sent to us.
- Personally send us any extra books you have cluttering your bookshelf.

Are we updating our progress?
Each fortnight, all three of us will be posting an update on the books we receive to place under the tree. Our thoughts and picture evidence.

Which Kmart Trees?
Jess will be placing books under the Kmart tree in Tasmania, Rachel in NSW and Brodie in Victoria.


Wish to donate money for novels?
Please click the below button which will take you through to our PayPal donation page. Donations can be made via your PayPal account, credit card or debit card.

Wish to donate a novel from an online bookstore or an extra copy you have lying around?
Please email us at: and we will give you either Jess, Brodie or Rachel's address to send the book to. Books must be finished copies and not have any damage, for obvious reasons since these will be Christmas presents. We each live in Australia, so please take this into account if you wish to personally send us any book. If you want to purchase one instead, The Book Depository offers free worldwide shipping and they're cheap!

What books to donate?
We're aiming this at young children/teens. So anything from picture books to YA novels.

When you donate Books:
Please tell us what you plan to donate; the title, the number and how you are sending it.

When you donate through PayPal:
There will be a question in the Google form regarding this.

Now, we know that act of giving is an incredible feeling of its own. But we want to reward your generosity and what better way with... yes, you guessed it, more books! Please try not to drool over your computers when you see the prizes below – you’ll be tempted, we assure you. For every donation you make, you will gain entries toward winning some amazing prizes! And even better; even if you have already won a prize pack, you will still have the chance to win again. Every time you donate to this amazing cause, you will increase your chances to WIN.

Each book donated = 5 entries
Each dollar donated = 1 entry

For example, you donate 2 books? That's 10 entries! Donate $14? 14 entries!

Extra Entries:
Share? For every Tweet/Facebook Post – 2 Extra Entries.
Did you make a Post to share/Blog/etc? – 3 Extra Entries for every ost you make.
Did you add the You Give = We Give Button? – 3 Extra Entries.

What can you win?
Thanks to the incredible kindness of authors and publishers, we have been able to put together these fantastic prize packs for you to win. These are only the beginning of the prizes we have to offer. Over the next three months we will be adding more, which of course, will result in more chances for you to win! Yes; we do think your jaw just dropped, ours did.

Australia Prize Packs

Prize Pack 1:
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres (signed)
Angel Arias by Marianne de Pierres (signed)
Burn Bright bookmarks
2 x Burn Bright Stickers

Prize Pack 2:
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
Fated by Sarah Alderson (will be mailed early 2012)
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
Notes From The Yeenage Underground - Simmone Howell (signed)
1 x Burn Bright Bookmark
1 x Burn Bright Sticker

Prize Pack 3:
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
Fated by Sarah Alderson (will be mailed early 2012)
Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell (signed)
Winter's Shadow by M.J. Hearle
1 x Burn Bright Bookmark
1 x Burn Bright Sticker

Prize Pack 4:
Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart
Fated by Sarah Alderson (will be mailed early 2012)
Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
2 x Burn Bright Bookmarks
2 x Burn Bright Stickers

Prize Pack 5:
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart
 Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Emblaze by Jessica Shirvington
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts

Prize Pack 6:
Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart
Divergent by Verionca Roth.
Emblaze by Jessica Shirvington (signed)
Winter's Shadow by M.J. Hearle
By These Ten Bones by Clare Dunkle

Prize Pack 7:
Graffitti Moon by Cath Crowley
Chasing Charlie Duskin by Cath Crowley
The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain (Gracie Faltrain #1) by Cath Crowley
Gracie Faltrain Takes Control (Gracie Faltrain #2) by Cath Crowley
Gracie Faltrain Gets It Right (Finally) (Gracie Faltrain #3) by Cath Crowley

Prize Pack 8:
Joann I. Martin Sowles Book Swag

Prize Pack 9:
Jill Hathaway Book Swag

Prize Pack 10:
- Coming Soon

US Prize Packs:

Prize Pack 1:
Zitface by Emily Howse
Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison
Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison
Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
Angela Morrison book swag

Prize Pack 2:
Zitface by Emily Howse
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber (signed copy)
Invisible Girl by Mary Hanlon Stone
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (ARC)
Angela Morrison Swag

Prize Pack 3:
Zitface by Emily Howse
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber (signed copy)
Invisible Girl by Mary Hanlon Stone
The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams  (ARC)
Tracy Deebs book Swag

Prize Pack 4:
The Pace by Shelena Shorts
The Broken Lake by Shelena Shorts
Ashfall by Mike Mullin (signed, inscribed to the winner)
Miss Match by Wendy Toliver
Brodi Ashton book Swag

Prize Pack 5:
The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren by Wendy Toliver
How to Take the Ex Out of Ex Boyfriend by Janette Rallison (signed)
A Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
Everneath by Brodi Ashton (mailed late January 2012)
Brodi Ashton book Swag

Prize Pack 6:
Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck (signed)
Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck (signed)
A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley
Everneath by Brodi Ashton (mailed late January 2012)
Brodi Ashton book Swag

Prize Pack 7:
Flecks of Gold by Alica Buck
Remembrance by Michelle Madow (signed)
You Are My Only by Beth Kephart (signed)
The Comeback Season by Jennifer Smith
Beth Kephart Book Swag

Prize Pack 8:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum (signed)
The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum (signed)
Delcroix Academy by Inara Scott
Trisha Wolfe Book Swag

Prize Pack 9:
 The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer Smith (mailed out January 2012)
The Vision by Jen Nadol (ARC)
Laney by Joann I. Martin Sowles (signed)
The Beautiful Between by Alyssa Sheinmel (signed)
Jen Nadol Book Swag

Prize Pack 10:
My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman
Destiny's Fire by Trisha Wolfe (mailed out January 2012)
The Lucky Kind by Alyssa Sheinmel (signed)
How To Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford (signed)
Lauren Bjorkman Book Swag (including spiral bound journal with a My Inveted Life cover)

Prize Pack 11:
The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle (signed)
Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalia Standiford (signed)
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting (signed)
Kimberly Derting Book Swag
Jennifer Castle Book Swag

International Prize Packs:

Prize Pack 1:
Misfit by Jon Skovron
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts (signed)
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
Swoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter

Prize Pack 2:
Jungle Crossing by Sydney Salter
So Shelly by Ty Roth (signed)
Struts & Frets by Jon Skovron
Warped by Maurissa Guibord (signed hardcover)
Ty Roth Swag

Prize Pack 3:
Change of Heart by Shari Maurer (signed hardcover)
Starcrossed  by Josephine Angelini
Emblaze by Jessica Shirvington (signed)
My Big Nose & Other Natural Disasters by Sydney Salter
Ty Roth book Swag

Prize Pack 4:
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts (signed)
Vicious Little Darlings by Katherine Easer
This Is Shyness by Leanne Hall

Prize Pack 5:
Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey (signed)
Die For Me by Amy Plum (signed and peronalised)
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton (signed)
Megan Miranda Book Swag

Prize Pack 6:
Bloodspell by Amalie Howard
Die For Me by Amy Plum (signed and personalised)
The Shattering by Karen Healey (signed)
Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton (signed) 
Amalie Howard signed Bloodspell bag

UK Prize Packs:

Prize Pack 1:
My Now or Never Diary by Liz Rettig (signed)
Elemental by Alexandra May

Prize Pack 2:
My Rocky Romance Diary by Liz Rettig (signed)
Elemental by Alexandra May

Prize Pack 3:
Jumping to Confusions by Liz Rettig (signed)
Elemental by Alexandra May

Prize Pack 4:
Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis (signed)
A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton (signed)
Still Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley (signed)

Prize Pack 5:
Laney by Joann I. Martin Sowles
Still Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley (signed)
Joann I. Martin Sowles Book Swag

A HUGE thank you to every single author and publisher who donated novels toward both our prize packs and the Christmas tree. You guys are amazing and we cannot thank you enough for your generousity!

How do you enter?
Simple; at the end of this post there will be a Google Form waiting. However, before entering you will have to complete the donation so that you can answer the questions accordingly. If you are donating through PayPal; all you have to do is complete the process and then enter the form below. If you're donating novels, you will have to wait until we've responded with one of our address, which shouldn’t take longer than three days at most. We're sorry for this inconvenience!

How can you help?
To help make this a success, we're hoping you guys might be able to help out with promoting this event. If you feel so inclined to make a blog post, add our button your sidebar, tweet, facebook or share a link to this post, we would appreciate it so much! You can also increase your chances by helping as they will score you extra entries.

When will the Prizes be Drawn?
We will begin choosing winners through Random Org throughout December 2011. Emails will be sent to those who win regarding these prizes when the time comes.

You Give = We Give Button?
Please copy the following html code if you wish to add our button to your site:

We have multiple to choose from, all made by the super talented Jess. You can use the one below or choose from a different design HERE

How to contact us?
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us at:

To all who choose to donate or help advertise this event - thank you!!

Giveaway Form:

Please be honest:

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