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Rare diseases, first love and a cute guy next door...what could go wrong, right?

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

 

Everything, Everything

 

Publication date: September 1st 2015

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 320

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Received in exchange for review. This has not influenced the content of my review.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

This innovative, heartfelt debut novel tells the story of a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she’s ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

 

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

 

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review:

 

Rare diseases, first love and a cute guy next door...what could go wrong, right?

 

Well naïve little reader, a lot. And unfortunately in my opinion, that didn't just apply to the storyline but the actual book as well.

 

The good and bad per point I want to talk about seems to evenly have their ups and downs. For example, the idea of having such a rare disease of being allergic to everything was really cool. In fact, I'd say it was the guiding reason as to why I was so immensely so excited about reading this book.

 

But at the same time, I actually blame that for why the story was so slow. The author didn't really have all that much to work with. The story kind of dragged on a big because nothing really happened. I mean - the girl was stuck inside the same building all day and night. In that sense I don't really blame the author at all.

 

I thought it was a good way to deal with the messages that the book was trying to get across. And they were excellent messages for sure. Just again, I think they could have been handled better.

 

Why? Exhibit A: The plot twist. Really? That was predictable. Although the way that the main character got to this point was questionable at best. A lot of the decisions made seemed kind of selfish and naïve. Yet, she had reason to be so.

 

The other thing was that I was unsure as to how it was actually possible for a particular event to unfold. Maybe things are totally different in Australia but I find it difficult to believe that it was possible

 

All in all, I really liked this book. I did have my issues with it but I am super excited to read more by this author.

 

3.5/5 comets

Looks like the start of an apocalypse! Nearly there. 

Add Everything, Everything to Goodreads

 

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Goodreads author bio:

 

Nicola YoonNicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.

Cute and fun

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

 

Kissing in America

 

Publication date:  May 26th 2015

Publisher: Harper

Number of pages: 400

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Received in exchange for review. This has not influenced my review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

“Wise, inspiring, and ultimately uplifting—not to be missed.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A hilarious, thought-provoking, wrenching, and joyful quest.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Authentic and complex…This is a smart teen's novel."—Booklist, starred review

 

Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb’s Kissing in America is “a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls,” raves internationally bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love).

 

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

 

In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review:

 

Cute and fun, Kissing in America makes for a great in-between kind of read. For when you need to break from the hardcore stuff.

 

I say this because while it was good, it wasn't great. One of those reads for me. The good and the bad seemed to balance themselves out for me. For example, I really enjoyed the beginning but I wasn't impressed by the end.

 

I actually became interested in this book first when I read a sample as part of the Buzz Books 2015 sample collection. I absolutely loved the sample and therefore the beginning. In fact the excerpts from the romance novels the main character read really amused me. Particularly the use of "man-dew". Just wow.

 

Speaking of the romance novels bit, I found them to be a win-lose kind of deal. I loved reading about a character who loved those cheap, trashy books I see going ridiculously cheap in bins in department store. I thought it was cute and quirky. And I kind of relate to her in some ways, although I tend to stray from those particular types of books. But I didn't like their influence on the story. I felt like they almost kind of made her stupid.

 

I know that's a harsh thing to say. But the way she obsessed over a boy which to be honest she didn't even know that well, from what I read in the book anyway. And it's pretty sad that she went to such extremes to follow a crush to another city. Borderline concerning. The way she treated her best friend in that sense was pretty average.

 

The book was a pretty quick read for me. Particularly the first half. The second half wasn't as good. Most of the second half was travelling actually, and that really slowed it down too much.

 

I don't feel like there's much more to say. I would recommend this book, even if it doesn't sound like it. Maybe borrow rather than buy is what I'm saying.

 

3/5 comets

The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before...

 

Add Kissing in America to Goodreads

 

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Goodreads author bio:

 

Margo RabbShort bio: I love books, chocolate, cats (especially of the Edward Gorey variety), old movies, and more chocolate.

 

Long bio: I'm the author of the novels Kissing in America and Cures for Heartbreak, and I've written essays, articles, book reviews, and short stories for The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, Slate, The Rumpus, Zoetrope: All-Story, Seventeen, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, and One Story, and elsewhere. I grew up in Queens, NY, and recently moved from Austin, TX to Philadelphia, PA. I write about grief a lot (my mom died when I was in my teens and my dad died when I was in my twenties). Here's a link to an essay I wrote recently, about the death of my cat and the death of my mom (it was published, coincidentally, on the 24th anniversary of my mom's death):

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/...

 

Thank you for taking a look at the stuff I've written--sending you some virtual chocolate as you read! :)

 

website: www.margorabb.com

Twitter: @margorabb

 

No one told me I had a doppleganger.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

 

Fangirl

Publication date: September 10th 2013

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Number of pages: 445

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Won from Nara @ Looking for the Panacea. Nara, you're still my favourite person on the planet. However, in no way did this influence my review.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

 

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

 

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

 

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

 

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

 

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

 

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

 

For Cath, the question is:

 

Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

 

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

 

"Touching and utterly real." —  Publisher's Weekly

 

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Review:

 

No one told me a bunny rabbit and a kitten had a love child and that love child wrote a book.

 

WHY NOT!?

 

This book was just SO cute. And SO good.

 

Fangirl is the story of Cath and what she has to go through when she has to uproot her life and move to college. Cath and her twin sister Wren used to be super-close and they always had eachother to fangirl with. But that was before college. Now Wren is trying to mature a little (what a weirdo) and pull away from Cath and her old life a little.

 

Bascially Cath is my alter-ego. Seriously. We both are extremely (EXTREMELY) shy people. I was reading this book and was basically like 'Oh. So this is what would happen if I lived in America and therefore went to college' the whole time I was reading it.

 

I love how Rainbow Rowell always knows just how to tackle an issue. It's actually pretty amazing. She can take something cool and make it ten times cooler. And a YA book about fanfiction is pretty cool. While I don't read fanfiction myself, it was amazing to actually learn more about it and I actually kinda understand it more now. I never realised what a big thing it was, which sounds kinda terrible. But you can tell that Rainbow Rowell has seriously done her research.

 

The only other book by Raibow Rowell other than Fangirl that I've read is Eleanor and Park, and already I can see a common theme between the two that I am a fan of: the way that the author handles the tough stuff. She really does do a phenomenal job. Not only are her books realistic in the way they are written, but also in the way that her characters act and deal with tough times.

 

I'd love to say that I'm freaking out over the release of the Simon Snow fanfiction book thing that the author is releasing later on this year, but I can't really say that I'm bothered. While the fanfiction in the book was ok, it seemed a little like the same thing every time it came up. Baz and Simon fighting everytime and then a lovey dovey moment. Meh. Unless it was the actual author of actual Simon Snow books (her name might of been Gemma T. Leslie or something? I probably got that wrong), then it was just boring but at least it wasn't always the same. However, that being said, I actually preferred Cath's fanfiction over the actual stuff.

 

I actually have so many book boyfriends it's ridiculous but I have another now. Levi. Oh my goodness. WOW. He is actually like my dream guy (well, if I was being super picky he'd have dark hair...but...that's weird). He was cute and funny and smart and perfect and amazing. And I ran out of adjectives. But really, believe me, he's great. Better than great, actually.

 

If you still haven't read Fangirl, then what are you doing. And I actually shouldn't be one to judge since it took me so long to read it myself but build a bridge. Sorry, that was rude. I'm getting passionate. Shoot me. But please don't.

 

4/5 comets

Meteor shower. A great show.

 

Add Fangirl to Goodreads

 

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Goodreads author bio:

 

Rainbow RowellRainbow Rowell writes books. Sometimes she writes about adults (ATTACHMENTS and LANDLINE). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (ELEANOR & PARK and FANGIRL). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they're screwing up. And people who fall in love.

 

When she's not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don't really matter in the big scheme of things.

 

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

 

More at rainbowrowell.com.

 

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Twisted my heart to epic proportions.

A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

 

A Small Madness

Publication date: January 28th 2015

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Number of pages: 240

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction

Source: Received in exchange for review (thank you so much Allen & Unwin!!). This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

Rose didn't tell anyone about it. She wondered if it showed. She looked at herself in the mirror and turned this way and then that way. She stood as close to the mirror as she could, leaning over the bathroom basin, looking into her own eyes until they disappeared behind the fog of her breath. Looking for something. Some evidence that she was different now. Something had shifted inside her, a gear being ratcheted over a clunky cog, gaining torque, starting her up. But it didn't show. How could all of these feelings not show? She was a woman now but it didn't show and she couldn't tell anyone.

 

A devastating, compelling novel that will get everyone talking, from the author of Creepy and Maud.

 

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Review:

 

My head hurts so badly right now. It's expected since it was ONLY TWISTED TO EPIC PROPORTIONS.

 

There just aren't words for what this book made me go through. Thank goodness for that, actually.

 

A Small Madness tells the story of a girl named Rose. I will warn you, that if you are really uncomfortable with the topic of teen pregnancy or particularly, sex, in books then I'm telling you now that you will not be comfortable with this book. This is a raw, gritty portrayal of teen pregnancy and the author doesn't gloss over anything. But that's one of the reasons why this book really touched me.

 

We see how the way that the main character, Rose, is forced to deal with her pregnancy and how it transforms her. The things she does. I can't even. It's so heartbreaking and really does bring up themes that really aren't dealt with enough in YA.

 

There are many reasons which drew me to this book. The initial being the both the topic and the writing style. I've never read anything before on teen pregnancy and I was pretty curious. Also, from the synopsis I could tell I would like the writing style (I love books written with that kind of detached but yet very intimate and descriptive style). I also love reading books by Aussie authors and the cover is stunning. And totally suits the tone and mood of the book. And this is weird, but it actually feels really nice.

 

So when I completely (unexpectedly) got this in the mail for review I completely freaked. And I may have ditched the book I was reading in favour of A Small Madness. I know. Terrible. I had just really, really looking forward to reading this ever since I first heard about this, ok? So I sat down and read, starting it late on a school night (with not much time left after homework before I actually had to go to bed) and finishing it within half an hour the next morning. I was just so, so into the story and needed to know what was going to happen.

 

I also read with my mouth gaping open for a short while. True story.

 

I just had this feeling of complete and total dread as to what was going to happen (which was thanks to the author's brilliant writing) and knew that I wasn't going to be completely with it until I knew what was going to happen to the characters.

 

Although I was not a fan of the ending. It was a little too open for my liking. I just think that while open endings can work, in realistic fiction it is particularly important to wrap-up the story and preferably provide closure.

 

If all Dianne Touchell's books are like this, then I really need to look into reading them.

 

4/5 comets

Meteor shower. A great show.

 

Add A Small Madness to Goodreads

 

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Goodreads author bio:

 

Dianne TouchellDianne Touchell is a middle child who feared Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy — and any other stranger who threatened to break into the house at night.

 

She has worked, amongst other things, as a nightclub singer, a fish and chip shop counter girl (not with Pauline Hanson) and a bookseller. Dianne would rather talk to her dog than answer the phone.

 

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Actually pretty good.

The 'Naturals by Aaron Patterson, Melody Carlson, Robin Parrish and K. C. Neal

 

Publication date: October 14th 2012

Publisher: StoneHouse Ink

Number of pages:49

Series: Season one of the 'Naturals

Genre: YA Paranormal

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

***This book is a Serial. Serials are stories published in episodes, with future episodes released every three weeks. This book contains four episodes out of an estimated twenty total episodes.***

 

The 'Naturals Season One: "Awakening"

 

A small town full of secrets. A coming darkness. Teenagers with supernatural abilities. Think you know the story?

 

Think again.

 

As Summer ends, the students at Silverwood High are getting ready to go back to school and resume their normal, everyday lives. Too bad "normal" is no longer an option.

 

When these teens get their very first tastes of what destiny has in store, will they embrace that destiny... or flee from it? Will they be selfless... or ruthless? Will they master their abilities... or will their abilities master them?

 

This is their awakening, the first step of an epic journey. But it's only the beginning of something bigger than they could ever imagine.

 

Four teenagers. One town.

 

Four authors. One story.

 

The sleepy little town of Silverwood is about to wake up.

 

* * * IN THESE EPISODES...

 

AVERY: Episode 1: Soulful, artistic Avery is intrigued when Silverwood High's strapping, athletic newcomer takes an interest in her. So why is she convinced that there's more going on with this guy than a simple crush? by Melody Carlson

 

MARSHALL: Episode 2: Brilliant but nerdy Marshall is used to being the odd man out, the last one picked, and the bully's favorite target. But his luck may be changing when he discovers that he can do something that should be completely impossible. by Robin Parrish

HAILEY: Episode 3: Soccer prodigy Hailey wants desperately to hide every aspect of her home life -- and the anger and regrets that fill her heart. But she's about to discover that concealing her feelings isn't a possibility anymore. by K.C. Neal

 

ISRAEL: Episode 4: Homeschooler Israel is part of a dysfunctional family. They look normal on the outside, but it's a carefully constructed lie that's leaving plenty of scars. It doesn't help that he's having disturbing dreams and experiencing bizarre sensations. by Aaron Patterson

 

 

 

 

 

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Review:

 

This was actually pretty good. Forget being a book series, this NEEDS to be a web series. That would be the most epic thing ever. Someone please tell me it's been made into a web series.

 

I was so surprised at how much I liked this book. I liked all four episodes and was actually disappointed each time that they ended.

 

I guess it's no impressive feat to say I read it all in one night. Less than an hour actually. But that might be something to do with the fact that it's only 49 pages. But it saved me from a reading slump. You know when you can just feel them coming on?

 

I would totally read the other episodes as well. I really need to investigate about getting hold of them.

 

I'm afraid this is a tiny review. I haven't really got much to say or to write about, apart from the fact that if you get the chance to read this, then by all means do.

 

Although I can't decide whether I liked episode 3 or 4 best (Hailey or Israel).

 

4/5 comets

Meteor shower. A great show. 

 

Add The 'Naturals to Goodreads  

 

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Clever, dazzling and intricately woven

The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Publication date: March 12th 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ)

Number of pages: 368

Series: The Winner's Trilogy (2#)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

Lady Kestrel's engagement to Valoria's crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust ...

 

While Arin fights to keep his country's freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

 

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner'strilogy.

 

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Review:

 

There may be spoilers for the previous book...

 

Clever, dazzling and intricately woven, Marie Rutkoski stuns again with The Winner's Crime. Now, Kestrel has to tread more carefully than ever.

 

The first and foremost thing I love about these books is Kestrel. She's witty, brave and generally quite awesome. I love the way that she doesn't have to be a supreme physical fighter to kick butt, but rather she wields her skill with strategising and her intelligence. It's pretty great that she can still be such a strong heroine while not being a Katniss (The Hunger Games) or Tris (Divergent) in the way that there is less emphasis on physical fighting. Not that emphasis on physical fighting is a bad thing, I'm just saying that I like that it's something a little different for me.

 

I'm guessing that if you read the above paragraph you won't be very surprised that I preferred the parts of the text that were centered around Kestel (or Kestrel and Arin) rather than just Arin. Even in the last book I wasn't a major supporter of Team Arin. He just falls kind of flat for me and I don't a) find him particularly interesting, or b) like him that much. I find that he can be a little bit too moody and he just doesn't really jump out at me.

 

I love the game that the characters are playing. The book so wonderfully shows the consequences of the actions of the characters and it's all so carefully and cleverly plotted. It's just so unpredictable that you really don't know what move the characters are going to play next and what's going to happen. And yet I feel like I know the characters so well.

 

...And I'm about to contradict myself. I did see the ending coming. But I didn't mind so much because I was unsure and it did still hit pretty hard. One scene in particular towards the end between Kestrel and another character was really painful.

 

But enough about the sad scenes - because PUPPY! If there is a cute puppy in any book then I can just about promise you that I will love the book. Dogs are the best thing ever (sorry cat lovers) and they are the most cutest, loyalist creatures. AND PUPPIES ARE ADORABLE.

 

These books have made me really interested in playing the game Kestrel plays in the book: Bite & Sting. It sounds so cool and I'd love to know what it's based off. So if you know...please do share.

 

I did feel very sorry for Verex though. To be honest I wouldn't even have minded if Kestrel's love switched to Verex rather than Arin. And I could not stand Jess in this book. I don't really sympathise with her whatsoever.

 

All in all, I thought that this was a stunning sequel that actually surpassed The Winner's Curse in my opinion. If you loved the first book, you will love this one.

 

4.5/5 comets KABOOM!

That only leaves one continent (one little flaw). 

 

Add The Winner's Crime to Goodreads

 

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Goodreads author bio:

Marie RutkoskiMarie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society and the children's fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. Her next project is a YA trilogy that begins with The Winner's Curse, which is scheduled to be published in March 2014.

Marie grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She holds a BA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from Harvard University. Marie is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children's literature and fiction writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

 

http://us.macmillan.com/author/marier...  

Heartbeat will tear your heart, make it ache and make it break.

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

 

Heartbeat

Publication date: March 1st 2014 (first published January 1st 2009)

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Number of pages: 223

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary/Realistic Fiction

Source: Purchased. This is my honest opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

Does life go on when your heart is broken?

 

Since her mother's sudden death, Emma has existed in a fog of grief, unable to let go, unable to move forward—because her mother is, in a way, still there. She's being kept alive on machines for the sake of the baby growing inside her.

 

Estranged from her stepfather and letting go of things that no longer seem important—grades, crushes, college plans—Emma has only her best friend to remind her to breathe. Until she meets a boy with a bad reputation who sparks something in her—Caleb Harrison, whose anger and loss might just match Emma's own. Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death—and maybe, for love?

 

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Review:

 

Let's be honest here: we're all good people. I actually had no expectations when I went into this book. No good ones, no bad ones. Pretty cray.

 

When ever I say "cray", I  always want to say "fish". Ya know, as in "crayfish".

 

I'm sorry.

 

But really, I was actually mucking around when I started reading this. I was in a total not-reading mode. I had read a 49 page book that night purely because it was a 49 page book and I felt guilty for not having read in a while. Then I picked up Heartbeat, just randomly. But that's when I knew...

 

That we were going to be married.

 

Well, no. But I knew that I'd finally found a book I could stick through reading.

 

The things dealt with in this novel were just chronic. Everything the main character and her stepdad went through was just so, so painful. It really makes you question yourself and your ethics. What's right and what's wrong.

 

I have to say that my favourite character was easily Dan. Emma's stepdad. I sympathised with him so much and he almost tore me to shreds. You could tell how much pain he was in, from his wife, from his stepdaughter and from his unborn son. And every time Emma said something awful to him, I could practically feel his pain.

 

I wanted to scream at Emma a lot of the time. Her character was so frustrating. She hurt everyone around her because she was hurting. She was really quite self-centred to tell the truth, and I felt awful for Olivia (doesn't she have a wonderful name?!) when every thing that Emma said was about how badly she was dealing with her grief. Please, don't call me insensitive, but I don't like the way she dealt with her grief. And it was totally wrong of her to blame Dan.

 

But again, I think that's part of the whole theme.

 

I thought that the pacing and length of the story were pretty much dead-on. Perfect length. Really. In that time Caleb and Emma's relationship had enough time to bloom from zero to head-over-heels on the love scale. I loved their relationship, just a little FYI there. And I loved her relationship with Olivia too (and not just because of her gorgeous name). The pacing was great because it kept the story moving and interesting, which I find can be a little iffy in contemporaries. And I need to read more of her books.

 

Heartbeat will tear your heart, make it ache and make it break. Go on, let it.

 

4/5 comets

Meteor shower. A great show.

 

Add Heartbeat to Goodreads

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

Elizabeth ScottHey there, I'm Elizabeth. I write young adult novels. I live just outside Washington DC with my husband and dog, and am unable to pass a bookstore without stopping and going inside.

 

All right, and I can't leave without buying at least one book.

 

Usually two. (Or more!)

 

My website and blog are at elizabethwrites.com, and I'm also on twitter, tumblr, and facebook

 

 

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If you like genuine historical fiction served with pirates and adventure, then I really don't know why you haven't read this yet.

Quintspinner by Dianne Greenlay

 

Quintspinner (Quintspinner series)

 

Publication date: December 28th 2011

Publisher: Self-published

Number of pages: 379

Series: Quintspinner (1#)

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

A secret and unauthorized trip through the chaos of a 1717 London marketplace takes a bizarre twist for 16 year old Tess. Unexpectedly witnessing the murder of a renowned Seer, Tess becomes the keeper of the old woman's legendary spinner ring and its supposed power of prophecy.

 

Returning home, Tess bears the brunt of her father's rage when he is informed of her disobedient excursion. An ensuing altercation with her father leads Tess to the discovery of a family secret that stuns her. Even so, she never imagines that she will soon find herself forcibly betrothed to the murderer and trapped on a ship bound for the pirate-infested waters of the West Indies.

 

With increasing dread, she realizes a growing attraction that she has for a handsome sailor puts both their lives at risk. Moreover, she quickly discovers that her ruthless fiance covets her only for her ring and its power, and will stop at nothing to obtain it for himself.

 

The stakes for survival become unbearably high when she is thrust into the hands of a marauding band of pirates, and she must make an agonizing and life-threatening choice for herself.

 

A tale of pirates and treasure, love and betrayal, all bound together by a dash of ancient magic, Quintspinner has been described by readers as "a wonderfully entertaining, fast and furious ride; Lord of the Rings meets Pirates of the Caribbean".

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review:

 

It completely, utterly and totally baffles me as to why I am the first one to leave a review for this book on Goodreads. How can such a good book have no reviews on a website where practically every book has a review?

 

So this was one epic historical fiction. There were pirates in this book. In fact, the book I'm writing at the moment has pirates in it. And I know, not even from just writing my own pirate book, that Dianne Greenlay must have put a LOT of effort into research. Seriously, that is so apparent. Her settings and descriptions of the ship and everything was just so detailed and unrealistic, something I've found is an easy thing to lack in historical fiction books.

 

Perhaps my favourite thing about this book, however, was the authenticity. Dianne Greenlay was not ashamed of showing what the times were really like. From anything from the thoughts of men to racism. It was a very honest read and I really thank her for that. I don't think teenagers need to be shielded as much as we are from a lot of things (which probably sounds biased, coming from a teen herself).

 

I loved the way that the story was such that it could go in any direction at any time. And it totally did.

 

I really adored Tess. She was smart and brave. What more could you want? And I loved how the text wasn't centred entirely on her relationship with William.

 

My only little nitpick is that perhaps the book was a little boring in the beginning. But then I got into it major time about half way through and I became a reading force to be reckoned with.

 

And I think that maybe the slang/accents were a little bit too heavy.

 

While I really, really enjoyed this book, I don't think that I will be reading a sequel. I am not really interested where the story left off or with the ring side of the story.

 

If you like genuine historical fiction served with pirates and adventure, then I really don't know why you haven't read this yet.

 

4/5 comets

Meteor shower. A great show.

 

Add Quintspinner to Goodreads  

 

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All the Bright Places

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

 

All the Bright Places 

Publication date: January 6th 2015

Publisher: Knopf

Number of pages: 400

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Contemporary

Source: Purchased. This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis: 

 

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

 

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.

 

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.

 

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Review:

 

UM.

 

UMM.

 

UMMM.

 

UMMMM.

 

It's been days now and I still have no idea what to write. I'm sorry, ok?

 

But this is the point where I give you some sort of garble as to what I think I think of it. Reader beware. This is your one and only warning.

 

The truth is that I am disappointed in this book. I expected quite a bit more than what I got because THE HYPE. It's ridiculous. So I did something I never do and bought the book the day it was released. And read it not long after I got it.

 

However, unfortunately I had some problems with it.

 

Perhaps the biggest one was that I felt the pacing of the book was way, way too slow. I can't deal with slow pacing in books. I get disconnected and bored. As I did with All the Bright Places. I think a lot of stuff to do with the homework project Violet and Finch did maybe could have been cut.

 

The other thing was that while I loved Finch right away, I didn't really connect with Violet from the start. Although, as her relationship with Finch blossomed, I found myself becoming more accustomed to her. I liked the way she kind of grew as a person and the way this was done gradually. Which of course the slow pacing allowed to happen. Ok, so it's good for something.

 

While I wasn't as emotionally invested as others, as I was a little detached from the story, there were a couple of those moments where you can just feel your stomach drop. Out of your feet. While I didn't cry at all during the book I still had this very sick feeling that something was going to happen. Which I won't share of course.

 

All in all, I felt like the issues dealt with in the book were handled with expertise. The characters were so realistic and the author has done a fantastic job with her book.

 

I really would recommend this book. I think all teens should read it - while in countries like Australia the cheerleader/jock/band geek kind of stereotyping isn't as prevalent as it is in America, stereotyping still exists and really can wreck a person's life.

 

Even days and days later the story has stuck with me and I expect it to stick with me for a long time yet.

 

And of course I'm looking forward to the movie.

 

4/5 comets

Meteor shower. A great show.

 

Add All The Bright Places to Goodreads

 

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Goodreads author bio:

 

Jennifer NivenBy the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson ("If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win"), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder's sister entitled Blindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age.

 

In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven't stopped... I've written eight books (two of those are forthcoming), and when I'm not working on the ninth, I'm contributing to my web magazine, Germ (www.germmagazine.com), thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing.

 

SEE MORE REVIEWS AND THE ORIGINAL AT: https://bookcomet.wordpress.com/

Not for me.

Starlet's Web by Carla Hanna

 

Starlet's Web (The Starlet, #1)

Publication date: November 2nd 2012

Publisher: Createspace

Number of pages: 310

Series: The Starlet (1#)

Genre: YA/NA Contemporary

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis extract:

 

Love. Lies. Acting. A novel about celebrity influence & teens in Hollywood. What makes a star shine? Humility empowers the spirit. Sometimes.

 

Discover the Starlet Series for new adult & college readers and uncover the life of a talented actress caught in Hollywood's web of lies.

 

I'm actress Liana Marie Michael. I won an Oscar at 17 but whatever. Celebrity is what it is: marketing a product. I'm part of a tight-knit group. I keep to myself and don't complain about my life. I've been happy until lately.

 

Evan dumping me leveled me. Matthew shocked me. I knew he couldn't hurt me with my bodyguard so near, but his eyes...so I have trust issues. Dating super-hot Byron didn't help clear the confusion either. I'm torn between going to church on Sunday and making a living from pop culture.

 

But experience builds perspective. My days of shutting up needed to end. First, I told Manuel. Then I told my mom. It turned out awesome until I learned the truth.

 

Now I'm screwed. Totally. Let's face it: Hollywood's web entangles everyone.

 

 

 


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Review:

 

I really don't know what to say. I was really, really not impressed.

 

I get that this book was trying to capture the exploitation of celebrities and their struggles, but really I didn't like it.

 

Exhibit A: The main character. She was THE problem. And there were so many problems with her. I thought she was ungrateful and arrogant. She drove me up the wall. She really could not seem to be able to look after herself in the slightest. And she didn't exactly try and prevent half the awful situations she got herself into.

 

And quite frankly, I was disgusted with the romances. It felt like every page she was kissing a guy and whining about not feeling 'turned on'. Yes, you read that right. The only half decent romantic interest was broken up with on the first page.

 

Don't even get me started on Manuel. EURGH. Ick. He did not come off as a great book boyfriend. Not only was he possessive, but also very, very rude. He didn't even support Lia Marie when she needed it. Yeah, I get that it's nice and all that he liked the 'real her' without makeup on and things, but she's an actress. Sometimes she's going to wear makeup. He shouldn't tell her that he hates it. He should support her acting career and not act like a total brat.

 

In fact their whole relationship was terrible. They'd be fighting and then all of a sudden they'd decide that they are meant to be together. Then after two minutes of being together then Manuel would throw a hissy fit. That happened a lot and was very, very frustrating.

 

Back to Liana Marie. She spoke nothing really like a teenager. I would know. I am one. She spoke like she was reciting 'assertive' arguments that adults tell kids to say. Such as: "You're hurting my feelings, Manuel." She seemed to swap in between that and a slightly better persona.

 

However, I did like some things. I liked the way that this book delved into the world of business contracts and child working laws. I thought that was really interesting.

 

I started to enjoy the book a lot more when I got to the 50% mark. I was especially glued to the screen at around the 70% mark for reasons I shall not go into so I don't spoil it. But to be honest I wasn't really too keen on the twist anyway. It felt too...convenient? That's not really the right word but I can't think of any others right now.

 

I liked the angle that the author took. I think she chose well. And she was sure to include lots of diversity in terms of races, etc.

 

I know this review is pretty negative but just because it wasn't for me doesn't mean that you wouldn't love it. I absolutely hate writing one star reviews. Please don't forget that there are good points to this book as well.

 

1.5/5 comets 

Just missed Earth. Almost ok.

 

Add Starlet's Web to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goodreads author bio extract:

 

Carla J. Hanna is the author of award-winning young adult romance and coming of age fiction novels for readers who enjoyed Nicholas Sparks' A Walk to Remember, Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, Gayle Forman's If I Stay, or John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.

 

Mrs. Hanna lived in Santa Monica, CA where her children played with the children of celebrities. She mingled with plenty of nannies and a few good celebrity moms. She received her Master’s in English/Communications from Colorado State University and lives near Denver, CO with her husband and two children.

 

 

See more of my reviews at https://bookcomet.wordpress.com/

Join a chase through infinite realms of infinite possibilities

Excuse me a moment:

 

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That. Cover.

 

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

 

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)

Publication date: November 4th 2014

Publisher: Harper Teen

Number of pages: 368

Series: Firebird (1#)

Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy

Source: Borrowed. This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

 

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

 

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

 

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

 

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Review:

 

I had absolutely no idea whatsoever that I would love this book.

 

Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that Claudia Gray has absolutely flawless writing that manages to sweep you into a tale that you hope will never let you go.

 

But who knows?

 

There a couple of reasons that I was attracted to this book: mainly because IS THAT RUSSIA ON THE COVER?!, wait the rest of the cover is gorgeous too and Claudia Gray. I am sorry if that is undecipherable to anyone else reading this. Let me explain: I will read any book that isn't set the United States, Australia or England. But put in front of me anything set in places from Scotland to France to Italy to Lithuania to Brazil to Kenya to China to Qatar and I will go crazy and try and pry it from your hands. Travelling is one of my favourite things in the entire world and I love reading books set in other countries. Anywhere. So when I saw Russian architecture on the cover I flipped out. Secondly, the rest of the cover is simply smashing. It's seriously beautiful. And last of all, Claudia Gray. I have read Evernight so many times and LOVED it. And I loved her book Fateful even more. I really liked (but admittedly that's all) her book, Spellcaster. So naturally I wanted to read this.

 

This book was set in the most amazing places: futuristic London, Russia and under the sea. Brilliant, I know. All amazing places.

 

And better yet was how her character changed each time. I practically even got my historical fiction fix when Marguerite was the Tsar's daughter. It was also pretty cool when she was a socialite and underwater.

 

Perhaps the coolest thing was the basic idea that every time a decision is made, a new dimension is created. That's pretty crazy. Imagine for example, a world where your mother turned down your dad's proposal (if they got married). Would you have been born?

 

Now imagine an interdimensional (I do not get to say that enough) chase through infinite realms of infinite possibilities.

 

I never wanted to leave that book. I loved it so much. I loved the characters. I never wanted it to end. I was geniunely disappointed to finish it. And then I saw the cover of the sequel, which has Paris on it coincidentally, and said "ok then" and put it down. Plus I really needed to know what was going to happen anyway.

 

I did initially have my apprehensions about beginning this book. And I think that mentality almost stopped me from getting into this book. I just have had some negative experiences with the writing of time-travel books. But once I got into it, I was INTO it.

 

I absolutely loved the characters. I loved Marguerite and her dad, Theo and Paul. Especially Paul. Marguerite was smart, artistic and was perfect for the book. And I had a major "feels" moment as well.

 

I am now so excited about reading the sequel. If you haven't read it yet, here you go. This is the final push you need. Read it now. Why are you still reading this review? Go go go go go.

 

5/5 comets

Bye, bye Earth! Out of this world.

 

Add A Thousand Pieces of You to Goodreads

 

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Goodreads author bio:

 

Claudia GrayClaudia Gray is not my real name. I didn't choose a pseudonym because my real name is unpleasant (it isn't), because I'd always dreamed of calling myself this (I haven't) or even because I'm hiding from the remnants of that international diamond-smuggling cartel I smashed in 2003 (Interpol has taken care of them). In short, I took a pseudonym for no real reason whatsoever. Sometimes this is actually the best reason to do things.

 

I live in New Orleans. So far, in life, I've been a disc jockey, a lawyer, a journalist and an extremely bad waitress, just to name a few. I especially like to spend time traveling, hiking, reading and listening to music. More than anything else, I enjoy writing.

My thoughts about Tangled Tides are, well, tangled.

Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper

 

Tangled Tides (The Sea Monster Memoirs, #1)

Publication date: October 14th 2013

Publisher: Starry Sky Publishing

Number of pages: 290

Series: The Sea Monster Memoirs (1#)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

Yara Jones doesn't believe in sea monsters--until she becomes one.

 

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

 

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people--until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process--or she might open the gateway to a love that's deeper than the oceans.

 

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Review:

 

My thoughts about Tangled Tides are, well, tangled. Excuse the pun.

 

But really, they are. This is my second book by Karen Amanda Hooper. I read and loved Grasping at Eternity some time last year and was really keen to read Tangled Tides. I mean, I've always had a thing about mermaid books and I had reasonably high expectations after the last book of the author's I read.

 

And it started off well. It dived (yep, another pun) straight into the plot. Nope, no hanging around there. If my memory serves me right, it starts off with Yara's transformation into a mermaid, and there's a hurricane. I thought that was unique.

 

Originally, I have to say that I was fully Team Rownan. That's right folks, there's some sort of love triangle. But it's not too bad, but that's coming from someone who doesn't really mind them. Back to the point, I really can't say I was a Treygan fan. I felt like he wasn't realistic enough and didn't really have enough...substance. So really I was a Team Rownan but Team Mermaid.

 

And that's another cool thing - the mermaid vs selkie business. I have never come across THAT before.

 

To be honest, towards the end of the book, I wasn't Team Rownan. But the twist is that I wasn't Team Treygan either. I was Team Whatever but I would suggest to Yara that she sticks with Treygan.

 

Speaking of twists, there were a few good ones in there.

 

The thing that I was probably the most annoyed by was the info dumps. But it would have been hard not to do a few info dumps. And the C-weed. Really?

 

Unfortunately, this was not the epic mermaid book I was looking for. I feel like a broken record reciting the same thing here but I am yet to fight an amazing mermaid book.

 

3/5 comets

The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before...

 

Add Tangled Tides to Goodreads

 

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Goodreads author bio:

Karen Amanda HooperAuthor of YA paranormal and fantasy.

 

~TANGLED TIDES & DANGEROUS DEPTHS

~THE KINDRILY series

~VIRTUAL ARCANA series.

 

I was born and bred in Baltimore, frolicked and froze in Colorado for a couple of years, and I'm currently sunning and splashing around Florida with my two spoiled rescue dogs. I'm addicted to coffee, chocolate and complicated happily-ever-afters.

 

If a book is on my Read list then I enjoyed it (3-5 stars). I only rate 5 star books (those I loved so much I will read again and/or because they are by authors I know personally and adore) because I usually don't do reviews and I'd feel bad giving an author 3 or 4 stars without explaining why.

 

Feel free to friend me. I love meeting other book lovers and I like seeing what people are reading!

 

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Cute

True by Erin McCarthy

 

True (True Believers, #1)

 

Publication date: May 7th 2013

Publisher: Penguin Group USA

Number of pages: 222

Series: True Believers (1#)

Genre: YA/NA Contemporary

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

 

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

 

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…

 

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Review:

 

Just a slight disclaimer for myself here - yeah I know I don't usually review NA books. I only really read YA. But I saw this on Netgalley, under the Teens & YA category (I don't look under NA). Yes, it was also listed under New Adult, but I figured it couldn't be too bad if it was listed under Teens & YA.

 

And no, it wasn't as bad as I've heard a few of them are. Sure, there were some moments, but it wasn't awful.

 

And even if it was, the story would have made up for it anyway. The characters were amazing. Rory was so great. She's totally me. Except I'm better at English than human biology. So just swap Rory and Tyler's best subjects and you have me.

 

Oh my goodness. Tyler was amazing. He was actually so sweet when you looked past his stereotype.

 

His brother's were fantastic! This book isn't just about a college romance. There are also some dark themes in here, like abuse and a drug-addicted parent. And also a rarer theme - like Tyler's brother who has Down Syndrome.

 

I didn't like it at one particular point near the end, but, thank goodness it changed. Seriously, it could have wrecked the story for me. The romance was amazing. I can't believe I've gone this long without talking about it properly! But yeah, it was so cute, and both characters involved were amazing. They were so devoted to each other and it was just. So. CUTE.

Anyway, if you want to try an NA book, then I think I've found you a starting point.

 

5/5 comets

Bye, bye Earth! Out of this world.

 

Add True to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

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Goodreads author bio:

 

Erin McCarthyToday and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written almost fifty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult, and adult romance. Erin has a special weakness for New Orleans, tattoos, high-heeled boots, beaches and martinis. She lives in Ohio with her family, two grumpy cats and a socially awkward dog.

 

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Hidden gem?

Thunderstone by Barbara Pietron

 

Thunderstone

Publication date: October 30th 2013

Publisher: Scribe Publishing

Number of pages: 262

Series: N/A

Genre: YA Mythology

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

Sneaking out at night, driving without a license, and falling for a guy weren’t things fifteen-year-old Jeni expected to do while visiting Lake Itasca, Minnesota with her family. The guy, Ice, turns out to be the local medicine man’s apprentice, and when he tells Jeni she’s connected to the spirit world, her first instinct is to run. But after Ice’s stories of a mythical underwater monster—that Jeni allegedly released—prove true, she realizes it’s up to her to contain the beast. Jeni must first convince herself that she’s able, and then save the locals, Ice, and ultimately herself.

 

“…well-written and entertaining…Jeni makes for a likeable protagonist that readers will identify with,” – Publishers Weekly

 

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Review:

 

This is one of those little hidden book gems (or should I say thunderstone – sorry, I had to) that you never would have given a second look should it have not been for some strange reason.

 

What initially attracted me to Thunderstone was the notion of reading about Native American gods. I had never read a book (or even heard of one) centred around Native American gods. Roman gods, yes, Greek gods, yes, Christian angels, yes, Egyptian gods, yes, but never Native American gods.

 

And with Native American gods, of course you are going to get Native American people. And here is why this is an extra good thing: there is a huge call out for diverse books at the moment. I don’t know of a single reader who isn’t getting into the We Need Diverse Books campaign and with no super prominent Native American YA books that I have heard of around, I think that this is major bonus points for Thunderstone.

 

But enough commending of the Native Americanness. I have to talk about other things of course.

 

I really took to the main character. She was smart, modest and very likeable. Although I can't say she really...stood out? I immediately liked her relationship with Ice. They were really cute.

 

But perhaps my favourite character was Tyler. I thought his character was funny and I loved his relationship with his cousin (the main character). Yet another thing that is fairly rare for me to find in YA books – blood cousin relationships. I think it’s more common to find characters who are treated like cousins but aren’t actually related in YA books.

 

The actual story was alright. It could have been better but it was interesting enough and made up for it in how the other elements of the story set it apart from others.

 

All in all, I will probably recommend this to anyone looking for a book like this. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected and hope to see more people reading it.

 

3/5 comets

The Earth shook. If they thought the Leaning Tower of Pisa was leaning before...

 

Add Thunderstone to Goodreads

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Goodreads author bio:

 

Barbara PietronA lifetime love of books and the written word convinced Barbara to choose writing as a second career. She began by writing non-fiction for magazines and achieved both regional and national publication. This success was all she needed to encourage her to complete a novel. Her first manuscript was a beneficial learning experience along with critiques, books, contests, and blogs. Barbara sees Thunderstone as only the beginning; she has two other novels in the works and has started a Thunderstone sequel. When not reading or writing, she likes to walk, garden, and sew. She works in a library and lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband, daughter, and their cat—who often acts like a dog. - See more at: http://scribe-publishing.com/barbara-... Follow Barbara on Facebook: www.facebook.com/barbara.pietron.19

 

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Totally enthralling

Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

Dead Beautiful (Dead Beautiful, #1)

 

Publication date: September 1st 2010

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Number of pages: 464

Series: Dead Beautiful (1#)

Genre: YA Paranormal

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

 

On the morning of her sixteenth birthday, Renée Winters was still an ordinary girl. She spent her summers at the beach, had the perfect best friend, and had just started dating the cutest guy at school. No one she'd ever known had died. But all that changes when she finds her parents dead in the Redwood Forest, in what appears to be a strange double murder.

 

After the funeral Renée’s wealthy grandfather sends her to Gottfried Academy, a remote and mysterious boarding school in Maine, where she finds herself studying subjects like Philosophy, Latin, and the “Crude Sciences.”

 

It’s there that she meets Dante Berlin, a handsome and elusive boy to whom she feels inexplicably drawn. As they grow closer, unexplainable things begin to happen, but Renée can’t stop herself from falling in love. It’s only when she discovers a dark tragedy in Gottfried’s past that she begins to wonder if the Academy is everything it seems.

 

Little does she know, Dante is the one hiding a dangerous secret, one that has him fearing for her life.

 

Dead Beautiful is both a compelling romance and thought-provoking read, bringing shocking new meaning to life, death, love, and the nature of the soul.

 

 

 

 

 

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Review:

 

“Just one kiss will take your breath away”

 

I am ridiculously thankful for finding this book. I actually learned a lot from it and really didn’t expect much. I basically read it in a day and was so into it the whole time.

 

I’m really into Latin and all that stuff, so I am incredibly jealous of the classes that the main character in this book gets to take. Seriously. This is her schedule:

“Elementary Latin I

Ancient Civilisations

Imaginary Arithmetic

Horticulture Philosophy

The Arts Crude Sciences”

 

Are you jealous? I was pretty jealous. I don’t really understand how arithmetic can be imaginary, but it sounds like an improvement. I would loooove to take Latin, Philosophy and Ancient Civilisations though.

 

I’d say the word ‘cool’ sums this book up pretty accurately. There was so much history, language and mythology woven through it that I thought my head may explode from how much awe was building up inside me. The author must have done so much research, or at least must have spent a lot of time devising a world as intricate as that one.

 

This isn’t going to be the best of reviews because I don’t remember a terribly great amount about it. I read it almost two months ago and have been sitting on this review ever since, struggling to convey my feelings appropriately so that I can do it justice. Now, here we are, months later and I’ve forgotten a lot. Brilliant.

 

Ah. One thing I do remember especially is that I found myself comparing Dead Beautiful to the Twilight saga a lot. If you read my Goodreads status updates I think you’ll find at least one where I mention a comparison. Especially a certain scene involving the science lab. That was almost just…uncanny.

 

I really liked the characters and considering that Dead Beautiful was one of the only two books I finished in November (and that says something, usually when I’m in a reading slump I don’t always finish what I start).

 

I would totally and wholeheartedly recommend this. If you love divine mystery and mythology, served with great characters and intrigue, then what are you waiting for?

 

5/5 comets

Bye, bye Earth! Out of this world!

 

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Goodreads author bio:

 

Yvonne WoonYvonne Woon grew up in Massachusetts. She holds a Masters of Fine Arts in fiction from Columbia University. She lives in Manhattan.

Just gave me the chills

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick Black Ice

Publication date: October 7th 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Number of pages: 400 Series:

N/A Genre: YA Thriller/Mystery 

Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

Danger is hard to resist in this sexy thriller from Becca Fitzpatrick, theNew York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga. Brit Pheiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants;but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage. Britt is forced to guide the men off the mountain, and knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there and in uncovering this, she may become the killer's next target. But nothing is as it seems, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally? Black Ice is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick's riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous.

 

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Review:

Black Ice just gave me the chills.

 

I haven't read many suspense/thriller books before. I just haven't really come across one or gone out of my way to read one. I know of quite a few YA suspense books but I just haven't really been motivated enough to pick one up.

 

Really though, I read this in less than a day. An afternoon even. I wasn't rushing through it or anything, it's just one of those books where you can sit yourself down and watch the story unfurl in front of your eyes.

 

I genuinely had no idea which of the three guys did it. I suspected each them at one point. Just when I was like 'Aha! I knew it was you!' one of the other two guys would do something suspicious or something guilty about their past would be revealed. Although, I did have more trust in Mason more than the other two.

 

The main thing that attracted me to Black Ice would have been the author. Unlike a few other book bloggers I know, I am a fan of Becca Fitzpatrick's 'Hush, Hush' series and I was pretty sure I would like this one. My expectations weren't huge, but they were at around a four star review. I think this is actually a little better than I expected, even if this is actually a four star review. So I'd say it surpassed my expectations.

 

I'm just going to say that I wasn't a huge fan of the relationship between the main character and any of the guys. Whether it was the one between her and her ex-boyfriend or the one between her and Mason. I just wasn't sold. 

 

Another problem I had was that I struggled with the idea that the main character and her best friend just went into a house with two strange older boys that hadn't (really) previously met. I mean, haven't you heard of 'stranger danger' and all that? I understand their options were limited, but not completely to the choice they made.

 

Another thing I did like, however it's a little strange, was the constant feeling that something was wrong. I thought it really built to the atmosphere of the book.

 

And that ending! Perfetto.

 

I would definitely recommend Black Ice to fans and non-fans of Hush, Hush. It's very different and in that sense incomparable. The story is good and wouldn't even make a bad read on Halloween.

 

4/5 comets

Meteor shower. A great show. 

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Goodreads author bio:

Becca FitzpatrickBecca Fitzpatrick grew up reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden with a flashlight under the covers. She graduated college with a degree in health, which she promptly abandoned for storytelling. When not writing, she's most likely prowling sale racks for reject shoes, running, or watching crime dramas on TV. She is the author of the bestselling HUSH, HUSH Saga. Her new book BLACK ICE arrives in bookstores everywhere October 7, 2014.