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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Stacking the Shelves (42)


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 Hachette Australia, Macmillan Australia and Penguin Teen Australia  for sending me these review copies!

Thanks Hachette Australia
Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard
AHHHHH *epic flails* you guys should KNOW how much I've been craving to read this book!! I've offered limbs, and then when I found out Hachette (Orion) was the Aussie publisher I practically offered to sell my soul for a copy, and LOOK! IT WORKED! So, let me just say that I had to put aside my old currently reading to read this, and I read it in two days (would have been one if I didn't have to go to bed for work the next day), and it is MARVELOUS! Beyond all my expectations! I'm not sure if it's just me either, because people who don't really like it seem to have compared this to other series which I haven't read. Maybe that could be why I didn't have any issues?

Thanks PanMacmillan Australia
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
Apparently this is some Youtube thriller or something like that. I was surprised when this came in the mail, but I'm still going to give it a shot and see how it goes. Oh, and I saw the cover and it looks pretty cool :D 

Thanks Penguin Teen Australia
Unwanted by Amanda Holohan
I'm really excited for this book, I love all things dystopian and can't wait to see exactly what makes this world (and book) tick. Oh, and I might be mildly obsessed with this cover..... *strokes*

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Blog Tour: The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant by Joanna Wiebe

The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant (The V Trilogy #2)
Behind 336 Pages
Released: 20 January 2015
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: BenBella Books
Buy Me: Amazon  |  Angus & Robertson  |  Booktopia  |  Bookworld  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:
Life and death, light and dark, spirit and flesh-on Wormwood Island, the lines are always blurred. For Anne Merchant, who has been thrust back into this eerily secretive world, crossing the line seems inevitable, inescapable, destined.

Now, as Ben finds himself battling for the Big V and Teddy reveals the celestial plan in which Anne is entwined, Anne must choose: embrace her darkly powerful connection to a woman known as Lilith and, in doing so, save the boy she loves...or follow a safer path that is sure to lead to Ben's destruction at the hands of dark leaders. Hoping the ends will justify the means, Anne starts down the slippery slope into the underworld, intent on exploring the dark to find the light. But as the lure of Lilith proves powerfully strong, will Anne save others-only to lose herself?


The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant (The V Trilogy #1)
Behind 272 Pages
Released: 14 January 2014
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: BenBella Books
Buy Me: Amazon  |  Angus & Robertson  |  Booktopia  |  Bookworld  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:
After her mother’s death, 16-year-old art prodigy Anne Merchant moves from sunny California to the cold woodlands of Wormwood Island, Maine for what is supposed to be a fresh start. She is the newest student of Cania Christy, an elite boarding school that is as filled with secrets as it is with the world’s most privileged—and competitive—teens.

From the first day of school, Anne finds herself thrust into the Big V competition, an intense race to the top of the class. With enviable talents, she quickly becomes the enemy of every junior seeking the Big V—especially Harper, the presumed frontrunner.

Like every student, she is assigned a guardian, and a unique mission. Anne’s assignment is to “look deeper.” Anne is determined to succeed, and won’t let anything —not even her distractingly beautiful neighbor Ben—get in the way. But the deeper she looks the more questions arise, and the more she is forced to reexamine all of her assumptions—about the school, her classmates and even herself.


As layers of secrecy deepen, Anne leans on the friendship of Molly, a lifelong islander, and Pilot, the only junior not competing for the Big V, to make sense of this cloak-and-dagger world. But when people start disappearing, Anne uncovers a stunning truth that she must face head on—before she and everyone she loves is destroyed by it.



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By day, Joanna is a copywriter and the co-founder of CopyHackers.com and Page99Test.com, a critique site for published and unpublished writers. As an undergraduate student, Joanna won several academic awards for excellence in creative writing: Canada's James Patrick Folinsbee Prize, which she won twice, as well as the Godfrey Prize.

After graduating, she lived for a year on the remote northern island of Hokkaido, Japan, which is the inspiration for the verdant Wormwood Island of the V Trilogy. She holds a BA in Honors English and an MA in Communications from the University of Alberta and lives with her partner Lance in Victoria, British Columbia.


The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant is her first novel and the first installment in the V Trilogy.

Find Joanna:
Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook



Warning. May contain spoilers from book 1, The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant.
As Anne Merchant found out when she first arrived at Cania Christy in The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant, you’re often safer when you’re in the dark. But just as Anne isn’t one to shy away from the danger that comes with knowing what’s really going on in a strange new world, you’re not about to shy away, either. 

So here are 5 things you don’t know about The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant. Enlighten yourself if you dare. 

1. The devilishly good-looking new headmaster is, of course, a devil.
Welcome Dia Voletto as the new headmaster of Cania Christy Preparatory Academy! He’s sinfully alluring – and any wonder why? He’s a high-ranking underworld leader who’s obsessed with beauty. (Far better than ex-headmaster Villicus, a high-ranking underworld leader who stunk of smoke.)

2. The new English Lit teacher isn’t your typical teacher. 
The faculty and staff of Cania Christy are anything but traditional teachers, and Superbia, Anne’s new English teacher, is no exception. She’s in fact the personification of pride, and she’s joined Cania Christy along with her six dazzling sisters. Together, they are the seven deadly sins brought to life – and they’ve got their sights set on Anne. 

3. If you want to win, give in to sin
Midway through the school year is the event called The Scrutiny. In it, students are put through a series of challenges. The winners will receive the one thing everyone at Cania wants most: life off the island. But to win, you’ve gotta play by the rules of the underworld. 

4. Anne’s not who she thinks she is. 
Anne’s always believed she’s an artsy geek, “death chick,” the daughter of a lowly mortician and his troubled wife. But when she discovers the truth about her history – and the real reason she’s on Wormwood Island – will she accept her dark past, will she cling to the life she thought she was creating, or will she forge a new future that has nothing to do with whom she’s “supposed” to be?

5. Take a look. It’s in a book. 
In The Unseemly Education of Anne Merchant, Anne’s knowledge of ‘The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus’ helped her escape Wormwood Island. This time around, her reading of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray could save her life – but it might just end the life of the boy her heart desires.
~ Joanna
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Follow this link to check out the rest of the tour!
Monday, January 12th - Reading YA Rocks - Guest Post
Tuesday, January 13th - Literary Meanderings - Interview
Wednesday, January 14th - Such a Novel Idea - Interview
Thursday, January 15th - Of Spectacles and Books - Guest Post
Friday, January 16th - Bewitched Bookworms - Guest Post


Monday, January 19th - To Each Their Own Reviews - Guest Post
Tuesday, January 20th - Bumbles and Fairy-Tales - Author Interview
Wedneday, January 21st - Aphonic Book Reviews - Guest Post
Thursday, January 22nd - Her Book Thoughts - Guest Post
Friday, January 23rd - Book Lovers Life - Guest Post


Monday, January 26th - Jump Into Books - Interview
Tuesday, January 27h - Bad Bird Reads - Guest Post
Wedneday, January 28th - Addicted Readers - Interview
Thursday, January 29th - Behind the Pages - Guest Post

Friday, January 30th - Curling Up With A Good Book - Interview

Open to US Residents only

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Series Spotlight: My So-Called Afterlife by Jamie Ayres

Jamie Ayres writes young adult love stories by night and teaches young adults as a middle school teacher by day. She lives in southwest Florida with her husband and two daughters. Her books include 18 Things, 18 Truths, and 18 Thoughts.

Find Jamie:
Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads
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18 Things (My So-Called Afterlife #1)
Behind 260 Pages
Released: 24 January 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
FREE on Amazon
At the Other End:
Olga Gay Worontzoff thinks her biggest problems are an awful name and not attending prom with Conner, her best friend and secret crush since kindergarten.

Then, Conner is killed in a freak boating accident and Olga feels responsible for his death.

When she downs an entire bottle of pills to deal with the emotional pain, her parents force her into counseling. There, her therapist writes a prescription in the form of a life list titled “18 Things”: eighteen quests to complete the year of her eighteenth birthday.

But there’s more to Olga’s quests than meets the eye and when her therapist reveals a terrifying secret, her world is shaken.

There’s only one thing she knows for certain: her choices won’t just affect her future, but all eternity.
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18 Truths (My So-Called Afterlife #2)
Behind 278 Pages
Released: 28 January 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Buy Me: Amazon
At the Other End:
Lying is unbearable, betrayal is inevitable, and choosing which path to take is impossible.

Olga Gay Worontzoff ended her senior year as an eighteen-year-old girl totally in love with Nate, enjoying their new romance and about to attend the university of her dreams. Now she’s spending her summer in the weird subculture of the Underworld, with charmingly witty and powerful angels, and problematic demons, trying to rescue Connor, the best friend and secret crush she was unable to save during a freak accident.

But Nate has other things on his mind, mainly Grace. She’s their first assignment as joint spirit guides, and Olga’s feeling hurt and jealous. His mysterious behavior has Olga questioning everything she believed about him and now she must decide whether to stick to their plan, or follow her heart. Unfortunately, a series of mistakes threatens everyone around her and plants Olga in the center of cosmic events much larger than she ever imagined.

Only one thing is certain: the chilling truths uncovered during her journey will leave no one untouched.
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18 Thoughts (My So-Called Afterlife #3)
Behind 292 Pages
Released: 27 January 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Buy Me: Amazon
At the Other End:
Olga Gay Worontzoff left the Underworld for her final year of high school anxious for things to return to normal, but fate has other plans. 

Somehow, the new hottie at school reads her thoughts but nobody else’s. And her best friend wakes up from his coma acting like a completely different person. Caught in a world that’s a mix of familiar and supernatural, she must confront what she will—or won’t—do to bring him back and stare down her own perceived inadequacies to face a couple of tenacious demons, figurative and literal.

Everything she thought she knew about reality will change as she walks the line between past and present, fear and faith, love and loyalty. 


And by the end of a heartbreaking year, she might be forced to realize “normal” in the conventional sense of the word is the one thing she may never achieve.
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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Stacking the Shelves (41)


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 HarperCollins Australia and Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me these review copies!
Thanks HarperCollins Australia
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
The first time I heard about this book was at the BTCYA night, and it honestly looks amazing. I can't wait to read this one, and I've got a feeling that I'm going to cry.....


 Thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia
Dead of Winter (Arcana Chronicles #3) by Kresley Cole
I've been wanting to read this series for ages now! I've heard so many good things about it, so I jumped at the chance to read & review this one. Can't wait to see what all the hype is about.

Switched and Ascend (Trylle #1 & #3) by Amanda Hocking
So, as you might remember, the other week I got Torn (Trylle #2) and the first book in the new Trylle spin off series, Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles #1). Now I can finally get caught up in this series!! Wow, I feel so behind now with all the books I need to read.

Thanks to Eve Silver for the giveaway
Before you get ahead of yourselves, I only got the Crash bookmark, but I had the other two bookmarks in the series, so I had to take a photo of them all together lol. Thanks for the giveaway, Eve!


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Blog Tour: The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon | Excerpt, Aura Read, Bookmarks & Giveaway

Samantha Shannon was born and raised in West London. From 2010 to 2013 she studied English Language and Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford, where she specialised in Emily Dickinson and Principles of Film Criticism.

In 2012 she signed a book deal with Bloomsbury Publishing to publish the first three books in a seven-book series, beginning with The Bone Season. Film rights to the novel were optioned by Andy Serkis's London-based production company The Imaginarium Studios in 2012, and acquired by Twentieth Century Fox and Chernin Studios in October 2013. The Bone Season has been translated into twenty-nine languages. Its first sequel, The Mime Order, will hit shelves on 27 January 2015.

Find Samantha:

Website  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Facebook



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The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1)
Behind  480 Pages
Released: 20 August 2013
Genre: Paranormal, Dystopian, Romance
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Australia
Buy Me: Angus & Robertson  |  Audible  |  Booktopia  |  Bookworld  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:
The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.




A fascinating and intriguing story that weaves its way into your heart, mind and soul.


 
Let me say, that I mentally prepared myself for this book. Everyone has said that this book is confusing, so I braced myself and prepared myself for all things confusing, and yet, I wasn’t that confused. Sure, I could see where it would have gotten confusing, but surprisingly enough, I took it all in! Let’s just say that the glossary at the back definitely came in handy at some points where I forgot some of the slang, but other than that, it’s not hard to pick up on what they are saying. Anyhow, I can’t believe how intricate and detailed this world is! It’s absolutely amazing, and you feel like you’re in the æther just reading this book, it was beautiful. 

I absolutely loved Paige. She was such a realistic character that I could easily connect with her from the very beginning. She’s a survivor and a fighter which make her all the more likeable and I found myself agreeing with everything that she said and what she wanted to do. She worked her way through every obstacle that came her way, and she became stronger than she ever had before. It was good to see her memories; it made me feel like I really knew her by knowing all her deep dark secrets. Plus, the way that the memories were brought out was amazing. There was a hidden meaning to them that made me think, “wow that was clever”, and in the end the story had more depth from it. 

Warden really grew on me. I could tell from the very beginning that he would play a major part in this book, and I even picked another thing about him as well, but in the end, I really did love him. He really intrigued me throughout the book, and I constantly was wondering about him throughout. 

You would think that looking at the size of this book, that there would be some fluff thrown in somewhere. Think again, this book has zero traces of fluff, I don’t even think “fluff” is in its vocabulary because of how spectacular the whole world is and the plot. With the plot, the memories, the training, the world building, and a smidgeon of romance, there isn’t much left to cram into this book! 

I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book (which is sitting next to me as I type... ohh, the excitement!). I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. It has just about everything to keep any reader happy. But, just a side note, be cautious with this book, be wary and read slowly and carefully so you don’t fall into a mindless pit of clairvoyant information that you can’t process (which could happen....)
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The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2)
Behind  528 Pages
Released: 1 February 2015
Genre: Paranormal, Dystopian, Romance
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Australia
Buy Me & Pre-Order: Angus & Robertson  |  Booktopia  |  Bookworld  |  Book Depository  |  Fishpond
At the Other End:

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London…

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.


A stunning sequel in a series that will never grow old. The story gets more intricate and more complex after each new page.



 
HOLY CRAP! This book! I can’t believe what happened! I mean, I kinda guessed that big thing at the very very end of the book, but it’s not like I actually meant it. Come on, how could I mean something and it’s the biggest shocker of all! Not to mention that cliffhanger that it left on because of it! GAHHHH. THIS. IS. TOO. MUCH.

I really loved this book, I can tell that this series is going to be brilliant with each new book, just looked at how good these two are. Despite their size, they pass by so quickly and you just wonder at where it all goes. The only small problem with this one was that it felt like it took a while to get into at times. Not that I was bored or anything, but it just felt a bit sluggish. Looking back at this book now, you don’t really realize just how much actually happens. It seems like it all happens at the end, which was really only the most shocking moments of the book.

Oh, how I love Paige and Warden! They were such amazing characters throughout both books and they continue to surprise me. I love them both and I can tell you now that I swooned in some places *sigh*. Paige is definitely one of my top favourite heroines. She is tough and just and will do anything to help others and fight for what is right and fair. She’s a tough chick in general and is pretty feisty with a tongue that she can’t even hold back. I wonder what would happen if we put Paige and Celaena Sardothien in a room together? Anyone else curious?

I honestly can’t believe how much more detailed this story can get. Once you think you’ve figured out the entire plot that this series revolves around, it just knocks you on your feet because you’ve seriously seen nothing yet. Every chapter seems to bring out something new to the story, and you would think that you would be confused at how much is actually going on, but I never got confused for one second. Maybe just be wary though about everything that is happening so you don’t get confused. I cannot wait to see the entire story unfold in however many books this series ends up going over, I’ve got a feeling that it’s not going to be cursed with long ass series ‘I’m over it, I want no more books to be added’ syndrome. 

If you haven’t read The Bone Season in a while, your best bet to fully immerse and enjoy reading The Mime Order is to read these refreshers. There isn’t much recap in about the first book, so it’s better to refresh yourself before you dive in. The fabulous author herself has a refresher course on her site that you can read, HERE.
If you haven’t started this series yet, you MUST READ IT!

The Rogue Dial
For are we not vastly superior to them, we Unnaturals? For though we pick the Bones of Society, though we crawl in Gutters and beg for our Keep, we are living Conduits to the World Beyond. We are Proof of an auxiliary Existence. We are Catalysts of the ultimate Energy, the eternal Æther. We harness Death itself. We unhorse the Reaper. 
An Obscure Writer, On the Merits of Unnaturalness

1. Alight
It’s rare that a story begins at the beginning. In the grand scheme of things, I really turned up at the beginning of the end of this one. After all, the story of the Rephaim and Scion started almost two hundred years before I was born – and human lives, to Rephaim, are as fleeting as a single heartbeat. Some revolutions change the world in a day. Others take decades or centuries or more, and others still never come to fruition. Mine began with a moment and a choice. Mine began with the blooming of a flower in a secret city on the border between worlds. 

You’ll have to wait and see how it ends.

Welcome back to Scion. 

2 September, 2059
Each of the train’s ten carriages was upholstered in the style of a small parlour. Rich red carpets, polished rosewood tables, the anchor – Scion’s symbol – stitched in gold on every seat. Classical music drifted from a hidden speaker. 

At the end of our carriage, Jaxon Hall, mime-lord of I-4 and leader of my gang of London voyants, sat with his hands folded atop his cane, staring straight ahead without blinking. 
Across the aisle, my best friend Nick Nygård gripped a metal hoop that hung from the ceiling. After six months away from him, seeing his gentle face was like looking at a memory. His hand was strung with swollen veins, and his gaze was fastened to the nearest window, watching the safety lights that flashed past every now and then. Three other members of the gang were slumped across the seats: Danica sporting a head wound, Nadine with bloody hands and her brother, Zeke, grasping his injured shoulder. The last of us, Eliza, had stayed behind in London. 

I sat apart from them, watching the tunnel disappear behind us. There was a fresh scorch on my forearm where Danica had disabled the Scion microchip under my skin. 
I could still hear the last command Warden gave me: Run, little dreamer. 

Want more from The Mime Order before it comes out? Check out the next stop on the blog tour for the continuation of this excerpt.
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Now let's have some fun!!

How cool is this? I got my aura read by Bloomsbury's specialist aura reader and here are my results:

Summary of the Seven Orders of Clairvoyance
I. Soothsayers – Purple – Require ritual objects called numa to connect with the æther
II. Augurs – Blue – Use organic matter, or elements, to connect with the æther
III. Mediums – Green – Connect with the æther through spiritual possession
IV. Sensors – Yellow – Privy to the æther on a sensory and linguistic level
V.  Guardians – Orange – Have a higher degree of control over spirits
VI.  Furies – Orange-red – Subject to internal change when connecting with the aether
VII. Jumpers – Red – Able to affect the aether outside their own physical limits 

Hmmm, I'm don't really know what to think about this, but the more that I think about it, the more it makes sense. I'm a real earthy girl, apparently I have a pine cone scented candle that I smell like? Weird, but good because I love the smell. Sorry, that was random.....
Oh, and I will so NOT use innards and body parts etc. I am definitely not one of those.


So, what do you think you will be if you got your aura read?







For all my fellow Aussies, this one is for you!
To win this amazing prize, all you have to do is:
o   Join the Australian leg of The Mime Order blog tour and win the chance to have a one on one Skype interview with Samantha Shannon! 
o   Simply visit one or all of the participating blogs and tell us in 25 words or less ‘What do you most want to ask Samantha?’ (All participating blogs can be seen above)
o   A 15-20 minute skype interview to be recorded in the Bloomsbury Sydney office with the AU winner, with Samantha skyping from London or New York office (whichever best suits her schedule). The footage will then be edited into a punchy highlights reel and shared across Bloomsbury social media and hosted via the 5 Australian participating blogs later that month. Timing: interview to be conducted in mid-February (schedule dependent) with the highlights reel to go live and public end of February 2015.





These novels were received for review via Bloomsbury Australia. These reviews are entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway these reviews or change my personal opinion of the novels.