Friday, 31 August 2012

Book Review: Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Mira Ink (3 Aug 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 184845077X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848450776
They say be a good girl, get good grades, be popular.They know nothing about me. I can't remember the night that changed my life. The night I went from popular to loner freak. And my family are determined to keep it that way. They said therapy was supposed to help. They didn't expect Noah. Noah is the dangerous boy my parents warned me about. But the only one who'll listen. The only one who'll help me find the truth. I know every kiss, every promise, every touch is forbidden. But what if finding your destiny means breaking all the rules? A brave and powerful novel about loss, change and growing up, but most of all love

Once upon a time, Echo had it all. Perfect grades, best friends with the popular girls, and had the best looking boyfriend. But almost all of that is taken from her overnight. Echo becomes the freak, the girl who eats in the library because people stare in the cafeteria, the girl who must cover up her arms so know one sees the scars.

Forced into therapy, her new councillor tries to help Echo regain her memory of the night she got her scars. Everyone says it was her mother, but Echo can’t be sure. Her life becomes one big battle to please her father, to be the perfect daughter he once had. But only when she meets Noah, the loner who smokes a lot of pot, does she realise what she missing. Together they both work through their issues and help each other out the other side.

Despite his uncaring and lazy attitude, Noah is fighting a battle of his own. After the fire that killed his parents, Noah and his brothers were placed into foster care. All the wants now is to get out of school and win custody of his brothers so they can be a family again.

Noah and Echo were both damaged in their own way. When they stumble into each others lives, neither quite knows what to make of the other…or whether they can trust them.

Pushing the Limits is edgy and dark with a heart-pounding romance at its core. It was refreshing to read a YA novel with a bit of back bone, and very motivated characters. I was on the edge of my seat with this one, torn between a desperate need to know how it finishes, and wanting it to last forever.

Definitely not one to be missed.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Book Review: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers (11 Sep 2012)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0385741049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385741040
  • The quaint little beach town of Winston, California, may be full of wholesome townsfolk, picturesque beaches, and laid back charm, but Clare Knight is about to uncover something underneath its thriving demeanor. Someone is hiding something, and it's as gruesome as the townsfolk, and their stately homes, are stunning. Amanda Stavros, fellow classmate and resident of Winston, is gone and there's no sign of her ever coming back. Everyone says she was taken and murdered, but where's the evidence? Why isn't there a single ounce of proof? And why is everyone okay with this, except for Clare? 

    Luckily—or as it's been turning out, unluckily—Clare possesses a gift, an ability to see visions from the clothes she works with. And since her clothes come solely from the townsfolk, Clare has become privy to some startling and disturbing memories of these townspeople. Will she uncover who killed Amanda Stavros? Or is she just moving herself up in line to be the next victim of Winston?

Clare has a talent. Where most people see a scrap of ruined fabric, Clare sees potential. She has a keen eye for fashion, able to take something old and discarded and turn it into something new and fresh. Not only does she make kick-ass clothes, but she also has a connection with any that she touches.

Clare gets visions when she touches the clothes people wear. She can see what they did when they wore it, especially if they were doing something they weren’t supposed to. As if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Clare has the added trouble of trying to fit in. Clare and her mother have returned to their old town of Winston just as the town is gearing up for their summer celebrations. But just when she thought all she had to worry about was figuring out the gorgeous Jack, Clare finds herself in the middle of a disturbing mystery that only she can get to the bottom of.

Hanging by a Thread is a welcome addition to the YA/paranormal genre. The paranormal element of the story was mild in comparison to other books, but it made the story as a whole more believable.

I struggled to connect with Clare as the protagonist of the story. While it had good plot developments and interesting twists and turns, Clare didn’t really bring a lot to the table for me. It felt more like she was a narrator, simply telling us the story rather than actually being a part of it.

This was a nice easy read but one I wouldn’t rush out to recommend to all my friends.  


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Book Review: Stuck With You by Trish Jensen

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 560 KB
  • Print Length: 216 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611940869
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (3 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006TI7RYY
Two feuding divorce lawyers. One infectious "love bug" virus. The symptoms are hard to resist . . .

Paige Hart is blessed and cursed with a large, loving and...
colorful Southern family. As the only lawyer in the clan, she can't say no when her cousin needs her help in a messy, no-holds-barred divorce. Tax attorney Paige squares off with Ross "the Snake" Bennett - one of the slickest divorce lawyers in the county. The case is going as well as an acrimonious, zinger-filled, wrangle of epic proportions can go until exposure to an infectious bug with an unusual side effect lands both lawyers in quarantine together.

\ I went into Stuck With You thinking I knew exactly what I was going to get. These days its very hard to bring something new to the table of books, but Trish Jensen has done just that. Stuck With You was as refreshing as a swim in the lake during summer and as original as a new language.
Stuck With You is the definition of short but sweet. It is a book that you breeze through. It is effortless and ensures it will be a ‘one sitting’ kind of book. 
Paige and Ross pure and simply enchanted me. I adored every second of this book. It is without a doubt a must read for any fan of the genre, or for those looking for a bit of romance for their soul. 


Monday, 20 August 2012

Book Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 719 KB
  • Print Length: 314 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1468161660
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (10 Aug 2012)

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she's losing hope. 
Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.
Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

After the death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is shaken to the core. Her world is further rocked when her mother announces they are leaving Texas for Michigan. Layken can’t imagine anything worse than having to move part way through her senior year. But then she meets new neighbour, Will. Layken and Will have an instant connection that neither of the can, or want, to deny. For so long Layken’s life has been bleak and miserable with no sign of hope. But now she feels herself waking up, the light filtering back into her life. 

Layken has a nine year old brother who she seems to be taken more and more care of. Her mother works nights and even when she is home isn’t really there. Layken notices whispered phone calls and hidden letters. But all the while there is Will, whose kisses melt her heart.

Until a shocking revelation forces them apart. And leaves Layken feeling more alone than ever.

Slammed, hands down, is my favourite YA read so far this year. From the first page Will and Layken pulled me in and refused to let go. Their story was so much more than I thought it would be, so much more complex and emotional.

There are many, many layers to this book and it is quite simply amazing. I cried. I laughed. I swooned. And everything in between. But all the while I was rooting for them. For all of them, not just Will and Layken. I rooted for Julia and  Kel and Eddie. 

This book is very bittersweet and I challenge any reader not to be drawn in and ripped apart by this book. I cannot wait to read the sequel. 

Find this book on Amazon


Friday, 17 August 2012

Book Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

  • Paperback: 452 pages
  • Publisher: Mira Ink (1 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848451245
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848451247
One kiss can change everything . . .

Samantha's never been special. 

She's always the girl who blends into the background. 

Until a surprise kiss from unattainable crush Stephen.

Now suddenly every guy in school is clamouring for her number.

But Samantha s newfound popularity comes at a dangerously high price a desperate need to devour human souls.

Enter Bishop a street kid with secrets as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. He s immune to her mesmerising new power and her only hope of salvation. Together, giving into the darkness inside of them, is their strongest weapon to combat a terrifying demonic threat.

Once you ve embraced the dark, can you ever go back again?

Samantha thinks everything about her life is dull and predictable. But then one night at the club she and her best friend, Carly, love, Samantha’s crush finally notices her. And Samantha can’t resist when kisses her. But the kiss changed her far more than she could ever have guessed. Now she’s hungry all the time, and not just for food.
Bishop has a mission on Earth and if he fails, it could mean the end of everything. Two angels and two demons must together against a mutual enemy to keep the universe balanced. Neither side factored in Sam.
When Sam meets Bishop she thinks he is a street kid, and one who isn’t all there. But they discover her touch soothes him, helps organise his thoughts. And soon both crave the touch. But romance can’t be on the cards for them. Because Bishop is an angel, and Sam is one of the things he must stop to save the world. 
Dark Kiss was an interesting take on the recent surge of angel novels hitting the YA market again. It had original characters that were like nothing I had ever read before. Samantha struggles with who she is becoming and questions everything around her, not taking anyone’s word for it. She is fiercely loyal and protective and really, just wants to do the right thing.
Bishop isn’t like other angels in other novels. He is dark and brooding and committed to his mission and struggles with his mounting feelings for Sam. 
There are many loose ends left at the end of this book, leaving us questioning what will happen in the second installment, and ensuring that the wait will be agonising.
Perfect read for any YA, angel, romance etc fan. A welcome addition to the genre. 


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Book Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Mira Ink (1 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848450958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848450950
Your sister is dead. Nineteen songs can tell you why. Only one boy can help you understand.

Harper Scott s older sister, June, took her own life a week before high school graduation, leaving Harper devastated. So when her divorcing parents decide to split up June s ashes, Harper steals the urn and takes off cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going California.

Enter Jake Tolan, a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession...and an unknown connection to June. When he insists on joining them, Harper s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what Harper needs. Except...Jake s keeping a secret that has the power to turn her life upside down again.

When Harper’s older sister, June, kills herself, her whole world is flipped upside down. Struggling in what her life has now become, watching how much her mother is drinking and avoiding the over zealous preaching and disapproving looks from Aunt Helen, Harper, while insisting that she’s fine, tries to come to terms with the question on everyone’s lips – why
Plagued with guilt that she didn’t even know there was something wrong with June, Harper makes the brave decision to do the right thing by her sister while she still can. All her life June dreamed of getting out of their small town and going to college in California. Together with Harper’s best friend Laney, and music fanatic, Jake, who has some connection to June he refuses to reveal, Harper takes June’s urn to let her rest in the only place she wanted to be. 
They say it is not about the destination, but the journey. As the three drive across the country to get to California, Harper finds things about herself that she never even knew existed. All her life she was compared to June – the perfect one. The one with good grades and flawless looks. The one who was polite and considerate. The one who didn’t get it into trouble or smoked just because it would annoy someone else. 
Harper’s story was both heartbreaking and inspirational. Our strongest qualities come out in the moments that are sent to test us. Harper is going through the most trying test any of us can ever face. As a main character, I couldn’t have asked for more. Sassy and quick-witted and unafraid to speak her mind, Harper is definitely my kind of protagonist. She is fiercely loyal of those she cares about and quick to jump to their defence. (I dare anyone not to get that rush of female empowerment that page 222 brings. I actually whooped. Out loud.)
As I reader I felt privileged to go on that journey with Harper. I was drawn in so completely I smelled Jake’s cigarette smoke and the citrus of the clementine. I felt the sun on my face through the windscreen and the sweat of the mosh pit. And I cried. A lot. I dread to think what Harper would have called me, but I like to think that Laney would have sympathised. 
While Saving June broaches a very difficult subject, it did not lose its humour. The romance was not shadowed by the weight of grief and June herself was not a morbid, overbearing character. She was always in the periphery, always in the back of my mind, but never bringing down the mood. 
To say that Saving June is a contemporary YA novel, is like saying the Beatles are a band, or that Paris is a city. Because everyone knows that while the Beatles are band, to those that love them they are a band that changes your life. Paris can change the way you see your life and if you let it, Saving June will do the same. 
This is an author to watch out for, and a book to tell everyone to read.


Friday, 10 August 2012

Book Review: The Darkest Day by Britt Bury

ebook300 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Grand Central Publishing

Izel Campbell was raised to believe she is an immortal Fionn with the magical skills of persuasion. But when she travels to Scotland to visit her ancestral home, Izel discovers that she is actually the world's last living human. Forced to run for her life, Izel crosses paths with Kelvin Kerr, the Campbells' greatest foe-and the most magnificent warrior she has ever seen. 
A thousand-year-old battle chief of the Kerr clan, Kelvin lives only to avenge his father, who died at the hands of the bloody Campbells. Honor demands he kill the Campbell heir, but when he learns that the lovely Izel is both Campbell "and" human, Kelvin is torn between duty and desire . . . 
Word Count: 86,000. This is Book 1 in The Immortal Heat series.

The Darkest Day combined all my book loves - a Romeo & Juliet type romantic scenerio, gruff, brooding warriors, paranormal elements, and Scotland.
I adored Izel and Kelvin’s interactions, from their initial hatred to their burning desire. Watching Kelvin struggle with what he desperately wanted and what he thought was best made for every entertaining reading and endeared him to me as a character. Izel was my type of leading lady - feisty with a penchant for tall, dark and handsome. With Izel having more questions about her heritage and her destiny, she easily led the reader through the story and helped explain things to us without it being an information dump.
This book will please the paranormal and romantic fans, with something in the story for everyone. 


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Book Review: Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen (28 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373210485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210480
  • Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some CONFESSIONS to make... #1: I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?

    #2: I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who "might" be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.

    #3: High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry-get it?)

    Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

    (Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.) (Sorry. That was rude.)

Rose is angry about a lot of things. Her dad died. Her mom is pretty much non-existent. Her brother left. She has started high school. Her best friend has fallen in with a gang...of cheerleaders. And Jamie Forta kissed her, placing her on the hit list of head cheerleader. 
Confessions of an Angry Girl was a lot different from what I was expecting. For one, whilst Rose is a self-confessed angry girl, there was a lot of heart in this book. As is the case a lot, behind anger is heartache. After the loss of her father, Rose is struggling to come to terms with it. And just when she thinks she has found a true friend, a revelation makes her question everything. 
Rose’s voice was very real to me and while at times the book was quite slow, I did really enjoy it. And I will be reading the sequel. 


Friday, 3 August 2012

Book Review: Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Teen; Original edition (26 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037321054X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373210541

Your heart misleads you.  That's what my friends and family say.  But I love Noah. And he loves me.  We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms. It should be  ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won't be. Because he's Amish. And I'm not.

Rose and her family move to Meadowview after the death of Rose’s mother. Together with her two brothers and her father, she thinks there can be nothing worse than being stuck in the middle of nowhere. But when the family next door introduce themselves, Rose can’t help but be awestruck by Noah, and think maybe her moving there was fate after all.
But nothing can ever happen between Rose and Noah. Because he is Amish. And she is not. Everything about Rose is dangerous to Noah. She speaks her mind. She doesn’t look after the men in her life. She dresses how she likes. For Noah, she is free with her kisses. 
Noah is a puzzle to Rose. One moment he is a normal boy, riding his horse alongside hers, making her laugh, and stealing her heart a little more every time they are together. But the next moment he talks about babies and marriage and women minding their place and she knows they are a world apart. 
Temptation was a delicious novel about forbidden romance in a very fresh way. I knew little to nothing about Amish traditions before reading this book, and I am pleased to have learned something new. 
The story was pleasant enough, though at times it did feel repetitive. It was left with plenty of room for a sequel, and I am intrigued as to how it will pan out.

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