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Friday, 28 November 2014

Stacking the Shelves (35)


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
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Thank you Harlequin TEEN Australia for sending me these review copies!

Talon (Talon #1) by Julie Kagawa
Impulse (Submerged Sun #2) by Vanessa Garden
SQUEEEEE!! I'm so excited for these two! I've already devoured Impulse, and it was absolutely amazing, be on the look out for a review very very soon (plus, I'll be posting the Impulse bookmark then too) :) Can't wait to read Talon, even though it has a few mixed reviews. I'm looking forward to reading another Julie Kagawa book, because so far she hasn't done wrong!


Monday, 24 November 2014

Review & Giveaway: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

This Shattered World (The Starbound Trilogy #2)
Behind  400 Pages
Released: 1 December 2014
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Australia
Buy Me: Angus & Robertson  |  Booktopia  |  Bookworld  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:
Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.


Flynn is leading the rebellion against the powerful conglomerate that rules Avon. These corporations terraform uninhabitable planets across the universe and recruit colonists with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon.


Desperate for any advantage, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape together.




Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have travelled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of the Skylark trilogy, lives just outside Washington D.C. (though she considers herself an honorary Aussie), while Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips and second breakfasts.
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Beautiful, mesmerizing and jam packed with action. This Shattered World is just as brilliant as its predecessor. I can’t get enough of this series.



Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE this series? I was a little afraid before I started that it wouldn’t be as good as These Broken Stars, but I was wrong... it was just as good. I loved it from the very beginning to the very last word. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this book for me, so you’re just going to have to put up with my fangirling for this entire review :D Yeah... not sorry.

I absolutely loved Julibee and Flynn. Even though on the outside they looked like such easy characters, they had such depth to them that you don’t realize until you start getting into the book. They both don’t even know their true selves until they meet, which happens straight away (YAY!! *cheering*). I loved reading every single word in this book with these two main characters. They were so perfect for each other, that they couldn’t even see it themselves without trying to hide and push their feelings down the entire time. Not even wanting to acknowledge it until it was too late for either of them. 

OK, this is something to those of you who haven’t read this yet, but................ we get to see Lilac and Tarver again!! (even for a brief period of time). Even though I was very very excited to see these two again, I’m letting you all know so that you can now hurry along and read This Shattered World. Evil, I know, but it works!


I will admit, this book was a teensy bit predictable, but nothing that spoilt the book or what was going to happen for me. While I was left in tears (literally), while reading These Broken Stars, with this one, I wasn’t in tears, but I was carried through the book feeling like Lee. I was shocked at the things that happened and I went through it all strong faced and ready to face whatever came my way. Seriously, this just made me love them so much more than I already did. 

Even though Avon wasn’t the most gorgeous planet out there, the world building was phenomenal, and I could picture everything that was happening and what everything looked like. It made it so easy to picture, and it just made the entire book flow a lot more nicely, being able to picture it all without having to think much about it. Once it’s there, it stays there for the entire book. 


This series is a must read. Even though it doesn’t leave any cliffhangers, without another book there to read, it just feels like a cliffhanger in itself because you don’t want to leave this world. Even if you haven’t read science fiction before, this series is a perfect start, and is perfect for any kind of reader. 



These Broken Stars (The Starbound Trilogy #1)
Behind 374 Pages
Released: 1 December 2013
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Australia
Buy Me: Angus & Robertson  |  Audible  |  Booktopia  |  Bookworld  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets to the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.


Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other's arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder - would they be better off staying in this place forever?



Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won't be the same people who landed on it.


Thanks to Allen & Unwin for providing copies for the giveaway!

GIVEAWAY OPEN TO AUSTRALIAN RESIDENTS ONLY


a Rafflecopter giveaway

This novel was received for review via Allen & Unwin Australia. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Series Spotlight: Amber Alert by Sara Schoen

My name is Sara, I’m 19 years old, and I was born and raised in Alexandria Virginia. I have always been interested in writing, even started a book in elementary school, but it didn’t get very far. But it wasn’t until high school that my friend, and writing partner, more or less forced me to join an amateur writing site. After some convincing from her, I plucked up the courage and posted one of my stories. While it wasn’t popular at first, I was shocked and overwhelmed by the support of readers on Wattpad, and they gave me the support and confidence to get where I am today. I continued to write religiously for the next three years I was on the website, starting countless stories. I wasn’t worried that they weren’t popular because I had once heard that you shouldn’t be afraid to write crap, because it will make great fertilizer. I can’t wait to start sharing more works and Ideas with you guys!

Find Sara:
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Amber Alert (Amber Alert #1)
Released: 1 December 2014
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Pre-order: Limitless Publishing
At the Other End:
Anna is taken from her home to live out a sick game that a guy has been playing for the last ten years. With no certainty that anyone is looking for her, and seemingly hours away from home, she's forced to play house wife with a man that has had twelve other 'wives'. 

Each of them now dead. 

From breaking a rule, and making another as they escape. With 12 rules and the obvious exits blocked, from how the previous girls escaped. Is the only way out to play along and become a loving wife? 
Would anyone know what happened to her? 
Would she be labeled as a runaway? 
Where is she in the first place?
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Abducted (Amber Alert #2)
Released: 30 December 2014
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
At the Other End:

Audrey Thomas had been raised by overprotective parents and is sick of it. 

After the kidnapping and recovery of her mother, Anna Cowles, eighteen years ago, parents had a harsh awakening as they realized any child could be taken for any reason. New laws were made to protect children, but those same children ignored the rules and went out of their way to get into trouble. 

Audrey has always done what she wanted, no matter what the consequences are, but what happens when her choices lead her to being taken by the one man people feared everyday for the last eighteen years, right up to his execution. 

Will she make it out like her mother did or will she suffer the fate of the previous twelve girls?

Friday, 21 November 2014

Stacking the Shelves (34)


Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.
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The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #3) by Michelle Hodkin
Finally, I have the last book! I pre-ordered this with my birthday spending batch and I'm happy it's here so I can now try and start the series! 



Thank you soooo much, Katie McGarry for sending these!
I've been envious of all the people who get these, whenever I see Katie post up these to send out, it's always when I don't have access to my emails, or I tell myself I will just remember to email later.... Yep, never happens. But NOW!! LOOK!!! AHH they are so pretty :) (I'm pretty sure my mum was just as excited over these as I was, because she loves Katie's books too)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Blog Tour! The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete + Interview & Dream Cast

The Soul Thief (Angel of Death #1)
Behind 218 Pages
Released: 11 November 2014
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Booktrope
Buy Me: Amazon
At the Other End:
When sixteen-year-old Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death.

Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.

“Let’s vote,” the man who’d touched me proposed. “Who is in favor of executing the Halfling?”

That was the moment when it actually fully hit me. They might execute me. Kill me. My knees gave way and if Diane hadn’t grabbed my arm just then, I would’ve fallen. “Stand up straight,” she hissed at me. “You’re an Angel, not a coward.”

So I did, even though exhaustion swept over me as if I’d worked for seven days in a row without any sleep. Sweat dripped down my forehead and a fever wrapped itself around me.

A lot of Council members raised their hands at the giant’s question. I started hyperventilating. “That’s more than half.” I gripped Diane’s arm with all my strength. If I hurt her, she didn’t let it show. A light blush rose on her cheeks though and she bit her lip as if she felt guilty but wanted to act tough.
“It has been decided,” the leader-guy said. “She shall be executed.” Before I had time to faint, scream, or do something else dramatic, the silver-haired woman rose from her seat. Her hood slipped off,
and my breath got stuck in my throat.

She had the kind of face painters would dream to eternalize on canvas. From the color of her hair, I’d anticipated her being old, but she appeared in her twenties. Large, silver eyes stared at me. Her skin was the color of porcelain, without any blemish, as if she was made of wax. “I, Seraphyn,” she said, “call in my veto.”
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Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library.

She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her.

She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in.
Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Laws degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she’s not writing, reading or studying, she likes watching “The Vampire Diaries” and “Game of Thrones,” spending time with her friends, or playing “World of Warcraft.”
Find Majanka:
Website  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter

1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
I’ve written a children’s picture book series called “Valentina’s Spooky Adventures”, with three books in the series out now, and more hopefully in the future. I’ve also written a lower grade chapter book series called “Weirdville”, which has four books out now, and two more to come in December 2014. My debut young adult novel, a dark fantasy called “Fractured”, and the first book in the Mirrorland series, released last year. The sequel, “Reflected” will be released in summer 2015. “The Soul Thief” is the first book in my brand new YA paranormal series, the Angel of Death series.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
It’s scary. Whenever I notice a new review, my heart skips a beat, and I pray to God the review will be positive.

3. What inspired you to write this novel?
The novel is entirely inspired by the main character, Riley. She popped in my mind one day, and I liked her right away. She had spark and attitude, and she had so many stories to tell. So I wanted to craft a world around her, and the other characters appeared almost right away. It was also inspired by my desire to write something different. Usually, in YA, it’s all about the romance, and it takes up a large part of the book. One could even go as far as to say the hero/heroine is in part defined by the romance. I kept on looking for a book where the main character could stand on their own, without the romantic interest, and had trouble finding any, so I decided to write one. I hope I succeeded!

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
Well, reviews are for readers. I would never comment on a negative review. If that’s the reviewer’s opinion, then that’s his/her opinion, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Of course I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt. It does. Writing is like taking a piece of your soul and putting it in a book. When someone doesn’t like your work and is negative about it, it hurts, but you have to remember that it’s not something personal, they’re not attacking you – they just didn’t like your book.

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
I started writing this book back in 2012. I finished the first draft in about a month (more than half of it in a few days, actually) but then I struggled with it for a while. I liked the plot and characters, but the writing needed work. After spending a few more years working on my craft, I turned to it again at the start of 2014. I rewrote it from start to finish, and then edited it during the summer holiday, and then submitted it to a publisher. So the planning took a lot of time, and I left several months in between in which I didn’t even think about the book, but the actual writing time was about three to four months.

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?
The cover artist and I worked on the cover together. I told her what I wanted on the cover, and she opened up photoshop and started working, sharing her screen with me so I could watch her work and give feedback. It was an amazing experience – my best to date – and the cover turned out exactly like I imagined. I already had a clear idea of what I wanted, and then the talented cover artist, Rachel Milzer, made it happen.

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
I have so many plans it’s scary! I’m working on my NaNoWriMo project at the moment, which is a new adult paranormal romance called “Ghostslayer”. I’ve just reached 30k words, and I estimate the final project will be 70-75k words. I’m also editing another YA paranormal book I wrote back in 2012 (it’s more of a rewrite at this point). Then I’m also waiting on edits for my two chapter books releasing in December, and for my other YA book, “Reflected” releasing next year. I should have edits for that soon too. Of course I’m also working on the sequel to “The Soul Thief”, which will be called “Demonic Pact”. I’m still outlining at the moment, but I hope to get started on that in December.

8. Top 5 books

  • In The Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  • Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
  • The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
  • Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?
The Harry Potter series, of course! And the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. Oh, and the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. Probably more, if I think about it longer. There are so many talented authors out there.

10. Why read your novel?

Because it’s different from what you’d expect in YA. Reading the synopsis, you might expect just another YA romance story, but it’s not like that at all. It features a strong heroine, a person who’d do anything for her friends, and a fun cast of secondary characters. 


Taylor Momsen as Riley 


Photo credit: Flickr 
Taylor Momsen would be great at playing Riley – I’m sure of that after seeing her performance on Gossip Girl. They have the same build and hair color, although Riley rarely uses make-up, and Taylor usually does. But that’s easily fixed. 


Toby Regbo as Leander

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
When I had to write down the character description for Leander, I actually looked up a picture of Toby Regbo and described him. So Leander’s looks are inspired by this actor! Then who better to play Leander than the actor who inspired his looks? 


Caitlin Stasey as Katie


Photo credit: Flickr 
Caitlin Stasey looks just like I imagined Katie to look, and she’s great at playing characters who have the same bubbly personality as Katie has. In the TV series “Reign”, she plays a young woman named Kenna, who’s flirty and outgoing, and she does a great job at it. Katie has the same personality traits, so I’m sure she’d be great at it. 


Claire Holt as Michelle

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Claire Holt looks just like Michelle, except her hair needs to be curly, but that’s easily fixed! This young actress did a great job in her role as a vampire in “The Vampires Diaries”, and I’m impressed with her talent, so I’d love it if she could play in the movie for The Angel of Death series. 




Zach Roerig as Craig

When I thought about who I wanted to play Craig, then I instantly thought about Matt from “The Vampire Diaries”, a character portrayed by Zach Roerig. I think this actor would do a great job playing Craig. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Review: Of Neptune by Anna Banks

Of Neptune (Syrena #3)
Released: 1 May 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: HardieGrant Egmont Australia
Buy Me: Angus & Robertson  |  Audible  |  Booktopia  |  Bookworld  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:
Emma and her gorgeous boyfriend Galen are desperate for some time alone, away from their underwater sea kingdoms of Poseidon and Triton. They visit the small town of Neptune - home to land-dwelling, fresh-water Syrena - but there's an undercurrent of tension between the Syrena of Neptune and those from the sea. 

Neptune holds another threat too: in particular, a charming Half-Breed named Reed, who can barely disguise his feelings for Emma. 




New York Times Bestselling author of The Syrena Legacy series. 

Grew up in a town called Niceville. No, seriously. I graduated from Niceville High School. So did J Lo's second husband. And the guy that plays Aqua Man on Smallville dated my best friend. 

Now I indulge my tendency to lie by writing the lies down and selling them to publishers. Well actually my agent sells it, so she's an accomplice to lies. One of my lies is called OF POSEIDON. The sequel is called OF TRITON. The last and final installment is OF NEPTUNE, and it released May 13, 2014. Be on the lookout for JOYRIDE, my YA Contemporary out June 2, 2015--Bonnie & Clyde meets Latina Pretty in Pink!

Find Anna:
Website  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Facebook
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A brilliant conclusion to the Syrena trilogy, capturing us until the very end.


 
Wow, didn’t this book take a random turn! I loved this book, don’t take me wrong, but I’m trying to come up with reasons as to why this third book exists. I get that it’s great for Emma to have found people like her, and be welcomed with open arms with all three species, Syrena, Half Breed and Human in the one swoop. But then, there is the relevance of it? The relevance of a whole heap of things in this book that were practically pointless to add. By this, I mean one person. REED. I hate this guy so much it’s unbelievable. There is no point to his character except just piss me off!! And boyyyyy, did he piss me off. He is two of the things that I hate most, it was insta-love for him and his feelings towards Emma, AND, it was a love triangle. Emma, are you fucking kidding me? I just….. I can’t. I KNEW it would happen, and it did, and I hate it. HATE. IT. Did you get that? I HATE IT. I absolutely love Galen & Emma’s ship, why did that have to be ruined for? Sure, she still picked Galen, but she LET Reed kiss her, he even asked if he could and she nodded!! Like WTFFFFFFFFFF.

While Galen is too busy getting tortured, beaten, starved and dehydrated, she is off gallivanting with Reed, and can’t seem to put together that if he hasn’t called her, and no one has seen him, not even his brother who he was going to see, then he is OBVOIOUSLY IN TROUBLE. Derrrrrrr I just wanted to slap her. Maybe I’m feeling all this hate for her now because of the whole love triangle bullshit. Especially, because she kept telling herself in her head that she loves Galen, yet she kept on hanging out with Reed, and holding his hand and blushing and leading him on!!! Not that he needed leading on, he was already in fucking love with her!
Sorry, I’m going to try and stop my ranting and get on to the rest of it.

Despite all that, I did love this book. Like the previous two in the series, I finished it in a day, it was addictive. I don’t know how or why, but I can’t help but love this book, but I did, and the ending was bittersweet and everything I hoped for. 

Still as predictable as ever, but surprisingly not as much as the other two, I guess because I was hooked a bit more than the others, I finished this one in less time than the other two and it was a lot longer. But, I was really surprised at how much action is going on in this book at the end, I could not stop reading even after trying, and failing, to force myself to stop. I was on the edge of my seat (aka. My bed) throughout those final chapters towards the end, and I couldn’t stop for the life of me. I loved it. 

However, this isn’t a downside or anything, but I think that this book and Of Triton should have been combined together and remove some of the middle bits and not drag it on as much. It would have been a perfect duology that was, especially the epilogue.

Of Poseidon (Syrena #1)
Released: 1 June 2012
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: HardieGrant Egmont Australia
Buy Me: Angus & Robertson  |  Booktopia  |  Bookworld  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:
Galen is strong, protective and gorgeous, with striking violet eyes and a body to make you shiver - and that's just when he's in human form. 

He's from the House of Triton, god of the sea, and he's searching for a girl with the gift of Poseidon to save his brother from marrying a fraud. Emma is a human. Or so she thinks. 

When Emma meets Galen on the beach, they both sense a sizzling chemistry. But can Galen convince her that she holds the key to his kingdom - without letting on that he's falling for her?
Read my review of Of Poseidon here.

Of Triton (Of Poseidon #2)
Released: 1 July 2013
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: HardieGrant Egmont Australia
Buy Me: Angus & Robertson  |  Booktopia  |  Bookworld  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:
Emma is half-mermaid: a freak in the human world and an abomination in the Syrena realm below. But she's in love with Galen - a gorgeous Syrena from the House of Triton, god of the sea. If Emma's secret is discovered by the Syrena, she risks being put to death as a half-breed. 

Emma's mother has spent years in hiding. Once a princess in the House of Poseidon, she escaped the sea to live as a human. Aware of the danger her daughter faces, she is determined to keep Emma away from the Syrena. But her reappearance after so many years turns the two underwater kingdoms - Poseidon and Triton - against one another. 


How can Emma and Galen stay together when their two rival kingdoms - and two different worlds - just want to tear them apart?





This novel was received for review via Hardie Grant Egmont Australia. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel.