Sunday, March 17, 2013

Time to Say Goodbye.... *sniffles*

So. This was a long time coming. You may have noticed my atrocious posting history over the past... many months. I used to aim for 2 reviews a week, now I'm lucky if I pump out 1 a month. It's not for lack of time, it's more a lack of passion and try as I might, I can't rekindle it. The work involved with maintaining a blog - writing reviews, organising interviews, scheduling, coming up with fresh ideas.... none of it excites me like it once did. If I continue trying to do it, it would feel like a chore. And to be honest, I miss just being a reader! Taking time to savour books slowly, re-reading favourites, not stressing that I'll have to write a review and especially, I miss using my library!

So this is an indefinite goodbye. I can't say I'll never return to blogging. At this point in time, I don't have plans to continue. I don't know if my feelings will change in 8 months or a year from now, when I'll come running back begging you all to forgive me for giving up on my baby. I won't be deleting the blog (there's way too many memories for that!), just don't expect any new posts.

I will, however, be guest posting over at A Glass of Wine for Kathy's brilliant Female Characters in Entertainment Week at the end of the month, if anyone is interested. Even if you don't care about my post, go follow her because it will be a FANTASTIC week celebrating our fave female characters!!

I'm still going to be very much apart of the book community - drooling over latest releases and hot new book deals, reading your beautifully written reviews to decide if a book is for me, or else squealing like a 2 year old when our favourite novels become movies. I'll still be active on Goodreads and of course, Twitter. So you're welcome to follow me on either of those if you'd like to continue stalking on a new platform.

Soooo... that's that! I am a little sad to say goodbye. These past 2 years have been an AMAZING adventure. I've met the most incredible readers, from my own backyard, to the world over. The friendships I've made with so many of you are ones I'll continue to treasure for years to come *HUGS YOU ALL TO DEATH* I've been amazed to have the opportunity to speak directly with some of my most favourite authors (WHO ARE ACTUAL HUMANS. WHO KNEW?!) and work with the most dedicated publicists in the biz. Without question, the book/blogger community is the best one I've ever been apart of.

Thank you all for reading and making this little blog flourish in the time it was alive. It was your comments and enthusiasm (which always left a smile on my face... or pee in my pants from giggling too much) that truly made it a special experience for me. THANK YOU FOR BEING THE BEST FOLLOWERS IN THE ENTIRE FREAKING WORLD AND I LOVE YOU ALL TO HELL AND BACK <333333

Really, there's only one thing left to say.
All was well.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead

Author: Richelle Mead
Release Date: In all good bookstores now!
Publisher: Penguin
Thanks to: Penguin Australia for the review copy!
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, the Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive—this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone’s out for blood

Sydney Sage, my how you've grown! Looking back at the strange, biased, yet slightly endearing Alchemist we first met in Blood Promise compared to her now, the difference is striking. She's tearing down the steel walls her Alchemist upbringing has built around her heart and mind. She's willingly participating in magic, she's thinking outside her once iron-clad beliefs and engaging in plots to defy, outwit and expose those she once followed. Let's not even get started on her colourful choice for a pet and that while she may tell Adrian 'it can't ever happen!', her actions tell an entirely different story. Girl has grown a pair of balls and she's fast learning how to use them.

Adrian. Is there anything more I can say about Adrian that hasn't already been screamed in varying notes of raging sexual desire from every female whose path he's crossed? I'm pretty sure you can even hear Dimitri growling his name affectionately in Russian every night. Sydney isn't the only one who's grown throughout the series. What I love more than ever is his persistence in this. It's becoming increasingly frequent that when things don't go his way, his immediate reaction is not to turn to the bottle or his smokes or some random woman all too eager to jump into bed with him (me! me! me!), but to persist with delightfully annoying momentum. Sydney may have rejected him at the end of The Golden Lily, but our favourite Moroi isn't stupid. He knew the kiss meant something, and so he's completely honest in declaring his intentions and feelings to Sydney. If she doesn't like it? Tough. He's not changing the way he feels and he'll wait for her as long as it takes. Of course, Adrian being Adrian, he's not going to wait idly by without pushing her buttons, which pave the way to hilarious banter, steamy interactions that no straight girl could resist, and helps to continue building upon the solid friendship that simmers beneath their crackling sexual chemistry.

Outside of the romance, Marcus Finch finally shows his face. While he doesn't live up to the huge expectations I had build given the hype prior to release, the first time he and Adrian meet? Epic. Witches and magic also play a heavier role as Sydney investigates some disturbingly fatal cases, and she could very well be the next victim. I will admit I haven't found the main mystery plots of each book in the Bloodlines series to be the strongest. The Indigo Spell's version of a witch's obsession with power and beauty is nothing new, however I did feel it maintained greater strength throughout the entire novel than the previous two. I can't deduct a stare or even half a star for this though, because what I love so much about the series is the characters and their tangled web of emotions. Richelle excels at character growth and building strong foundations for their relationships. Plus, I don't know if you heard, but there's this guy called ADRIAN. (I am maybe, slightly, a little bit, in love).

The Indigo Spell does not follow the same third-book trend as Shadow Kiss, although I've no doubt Richelle will hit us with that kind of punch to the heart again soon. Instead, it is the most grin-inducing, flirty, romantic novel we've received from her yet. Think lacy dresses and bunny themed hotel suites, steamy spirit dreams and pie, painted shirts (SWOOOOOON) and the only college sorority you will ever want to join. It gave birth to the biggest smiles and most embarrassing giggles from this smitten little human. But really, it's worth reading just to see what Sydney names Adrian's Mustang. I'm not going to spoil it for those who haven't read, but let's just say I want to ride it so bad ;)

5/5 Golden Apples!

Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Bookworld | Fishpond | Booktopia | The Nile

**Please feel free to leave any links to your own recent posts in your comment so I can stop by. I am soooo behind, I always am!**

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dance of Shadows Blog Tour: Interview with Yelena Black

Thanks to the amazing Bloomsbury Australia, I'm delighted to welcome Yelena Black, debut author of the upcoming DANCE OF SHADOWS to answer some questions today! Romance, mystery and a little devilish charm, Dance of Shadows is sure to pirouette off the shelf and into your hands the moment you glimpse its gorgeous cover!

Be sure to check out the Dance of Shadows Facebook page for the next stops on the tour, and also to keep updated on the thrills and dangers of this hot new release!

"Dancing with someone is an act of trust. Elegant and intimate; you're close enough to kiss, close enough to feel your partner's heartbeat. But for Vanessa, dance is deadly – and she must be very careful who she trusts . . ."

Can you sell us Dance of Shadows twitter-style, in 140 characters or less?
An edge-of-your seat romantic thrill ride about a girl in an elite ballet academy, searching for her missing older sister—and what she uncovers in the process.

Ballet plays a huge role in the book - do you have any experience with dancing? If not, did you do any research to help zone in when writing the dance scenes?
I trained as a ballet dancer when I was younger, so the world is familiar to me. I was never as talented as any of my characters, though, and I never attended a professional school like they do, so I did do some research about those elements—what kinds of classes they would take, what would be expected of them—but I also just created a lot myself. I spent a fair amount of time in Lincoln Center walking around, feeling the surroundings, and imagining my characters there.

In addition to ballet, mystery is also a vital player in Dance of Shadows. Is it difficult to try to consciously maintain the suspense or does it just flow naturally from you?
I grew up reading mysteries, and so I think suspense and plot twists are sort of in my blood! As a reader, I love being kept on the edge of my seat … and I definitely wanted Dance of Shadows to be that sort of book as well. Some of the suspense was inherently there in the first draft, but this is also something I worked on diligently during revisions.

The cover art is stunning! What were your initial thoughts when you first saw it? Was it anything like you were expecting?
Thank you! I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was completely blown away when I saw the cover. I feel so lucky, and it’s such a beautiful piece of artwork.

Has writing been a long-life dream for you or one that developed during your adult years?
When I was younger I wanted to be a dancer, but ever since college I wanted to be a writer. I finished my M.F.A. in fiction and began writing for teenagers—and I’ve never looked back!

What's on your iPod right now?
Dashboard Confessionals “Alter the Ending.”

The next movie you're dying to see is... ?
I haven’t seen Lincoln yet, and I’m very interested in seeing that. Also, if there is ever a sequel to Pitch Perfect, I will be standing in line bright and early!

And the last book you read was.... ?
Kathryn Littlewood’s Bliss. A delightful and funny book for middle grade readers about a family with a magical bakery.

Add Dance of Shadows to Goodreads
Buy it at: Fishpond | Booktopia | The Nile | Bookworld
Find Yelena Black on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Through The Ever Night (Under The Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi

Author: Veronica Rossi
Release Date: In stores now!
Publisher: Atom (AUS/UK) | HarperCollins (US)
Sequel to: Under The Never Sky
Thanks to Hachette Australia for the review copy!
Aria has struggled to build a life for herself outside Reverie. It hasn't be easy adjusting to life in the wilderness but that struggle has been worth it with Perry by her side.

But Perry has other challenges. His people are looking to him for answers. Answers about what happened to his nephew and what's happening to their world. And they don't trust the priviledged Aria, one of the enemy, in their midst.

Soon he'll be forced to chose between the tribe that looks to him for leadership and the girl that looks to him for love.

I make it no secret to anyone with ears and eyes and the capability to somehow interpret my often crazy and incoherent gushing that I am in love with Under the Never Sky. It was a book I long awaited, and one that shone brighter than I ever anticipated. And now I enter a new stage in my relationship with this series: the OMG THE SEQUEL DOESN'T SUCK  IT'S AMAZING BUT WHY ARE YOU BEING AN IDIOT PERRY NEVERMIND I STILL WANT TO RUB WINGS WITH YOU MY SEXY FALCON AND OH ROARIA THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL AND NOOOO! VERONICA! WHY DID YOU JUST STAB ME IN THE HEART I THINK I'M GOING TO DIE THIS IS SO GOOD. Suffice it to say, Through The Ever Night lived up to the extraordinary potential of Veronica Rossi, zapping me back into her dangerously beautiful world, playing puppeteer to my every emotion; suspense exerting it's full magnetic pull on my body as it inched my butt closer and closer to the edge of my seat so that I nearly toppled off as arrows flew and hearts broke and aether came screaming down with no hint of mercy.

Aria and Perry don't spend as much time together as they do apart, but this is far from being a flaw. Theirs is not an unhealthy, co-dependent relationship but two strong individuals sharing a deep love. A sinister edge of doubt does creep in during that absence, but overall their mess of feelings is still so potent, you don't need to be a Scire to scent it. Most all characters show notable growth, some subtle, others huge. Perry discovers exactly what it is to embody the role he's long sought after; it's one thing to take the title and chain of Blood Lord, but another to make it yours, skin and bone and mind and heart deep. He faces many complications, from the scarily unpredictable aether destroying his land, to an equally unpredictable tribe at times, but those stones beneath his feet are a necessity in his evolution. Even if there were a few moments of I WILL CLUB YOU OVER THE HEAD IF YOU DO THAT, PERRY. I still fiercely love him!

Much to my delight, Roar stamps his smooth, witty persona on more pages than in the previous book. Hilarious, teasing, yet sweet as ever, it makes it all the more unbearable to play onlooker when he endures pain. You just want to shred through the pages and hold him close and promise everything will be better tomorrow even though you know it won't. Most of his and Aria's time is spent together, searching for way to free Liv and Talon and find the Still Blue, and this is one of my favourite parts of the book. Rarely do we see such a beautiful relationship develop between a male and female that is purely platonic, without the guy being gay. I love Veronica for showing that a girl and a guy can love each other without knotting tongues and legs!

Rossi is inhumanely good at writing heartache... and action and romance and conflict and setting and danger and beauty and humour and let's be honest here, one day we're going to tell our grandkids that we were the first devout followers of the story goddess, Veronica Rossi, and they will look up at us with their eyes wide in awe because holy shit, Grandma, VERONICA ROSSI, asskicking queen of the bestseller lists who we pledge our souls to on bended knee every night?! (Through the Ever Night debuted on TWO bestseller lists. She's taking over the WORLD).

If have yet to discover why so many of us are ripping out our hearts and mailing them in sacrifice for the next book (hell, just the next chapter!), then please do yourself a favour and acquire Under the Never Sky immediately. You won't be disappointed, and awaiting you is a sequel exploding with passion; rising higher atop the solid foundation it's predecessor built, suffering none of that wretched middle-book syndrome; rather it's in shockingly brilliant health. A story that exhales life with every smile and stroke of skin, every painful revelation and fist swung, every love lost and found, and every boulder these characters must climb. It's because of this richness that you're left with no doubt in mind that come the next installment, you'll be left soaring even higher beneath a beautiful still blue sky.

5/5 Golden Apples!

Add it: Goodreads

Saturday, January 19, 2013

(Oh, hello again!) Owl Post #20

Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows me to excitedly share all the yummy books I get in the mail each week! Owl's are much faster and more reliable than sneaky postmen, and the common way for magical folk to send and receive letters and parcels.


Owl deliveries for the past two weeks:
I'm not going to go through these all individually this time, but suffice it to say I AM EXCITED TO READ THEM ALL. I have finished Through The Ever Night and *EXPLODES* <3333 Review is a'coming.

Swapped with the awesome Holly:

^ If any other Aussies  are interested in swapping books, be sure to check out the Aussie Swap group on Goodreads! My swap list can be found here.

Sooooooo, hello! IT'S SO VERY NICE TO SEE YOU ALL AGAIN! You might have noticed that I haven't really been active around here for a while. During that (no doubt devestating) absence, I went through a "do I keep blogging? Do I stop blogging?" tennis match in my head. I think the break was good for me and made me want to try to do things a little differently. Mainly to figure out a more effective reviewing/commenting system for myself. I have no idea what that is yet, but I'm working on it. So I should hopefully have some reviews soon and will swinging by your sexy blogs within the coming days to see what I've missed.

Anywhoooooo, I've missed you all! Read any amazing books lately? Have you read/loved any of those above? Want to share what your own owls have delivered this week? Let me know!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

RESULTS: The big winners of the 2012 Young Adult Awards!

You've voted, we've counted, and the results are in! Together with the delightfully loopy, but dedicated and creative mastermind behind this entire genius event, Sarah from saz101, I'm super excited to help announce the winners of the inaugural Young Adult Reader Choice Awards! A big thank you to everyone who took the time to vote and spread the word. Did your favorites win? Are you surprised by any of the results? Let us know in the comments!

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