Thursday 31 May 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

  Title: The Immortal Rules
  Author: Julie Kagawa
  Publisher: Harlequin UK
  Publication Date: April 24th 2012
  Source: NetGalley
  My rating: 4 stars
  Reviewed by: Jasprit


“Immortality is a lonely road”

I’ve been in a bit of vampire funk lately, I haven’t really been enjoying my paranormal reads as much as I used to, with my last vampire read being a book in the Sookie Stackhouse series which has been going, abysmally downhill as of late. You can imagine I went into the Immortal Rules with a bit of trepidation. But I need not have worried because I soon realised that it was a refreshing change, to my usual reads.

Allie is brought up in a world where everyone is aware of vampires. The vampires have control over everything, if they’re not around then they have their pets deal with the problems. In a vampire controlled society; there are two options; you’re either a registered or an unregistered. Being a registered, the vampires know about you and you have to donate your blood, in return for this you will get food privileges. Being an unregistered you’re typically under the radar, vampires don’t have the knowledge of who you are, where you live and you don’t have to donate blood, but you don’t get any food. You’re basically left to scavenge around for any scraps you can find without getting caught. If caught you then face the consequences of being hanged. Allie has to deal with the relentless life of being an unregistered. Hiding away and risking her life day in day out to find what she can. However everything changes one unfortunate night, she’s located a basement with a vast amount of food which can feed her group for a long time. As a group they decide to venture out and try and bring it back. But they’re attacked by rabids on the way back, her friends are gone and Allie’s left to her death. But then a vampire appears giving her a choice; choose immortality and become a vampire; something she’s hated with a passion or choose to die. Allie feels the life hasn’t gone out of her yet, she’s still got so much to live for, so she chooses to become a vampire.

The world that Kagawa created was immense; I’ve read vampire books before, but with this one it was different, it was better. There was always the fear of the unknown; not knowing when a rabid or a vampire could be around the corner and constantly risking your life to survive any way you can.

I loved Allie’s relationship with her sire Kanin, the banter between them and his exasperated looks. However I felt that her time with Kanin was quickly cut short. I would have loved to have gotten to know Kanin’s character more. For the time he was around he was illusive and secretive, I felt that we only scratched the surface with his character. I’m hoping that we’ll have the chance to delve deeper with his character in the rest of the series.

It was also a refreshing change to actually read a book from vampire’s perspective or a human turned vampire. I felt that all I’ve read in the past is the human falling in love with the vampire and the vampire not being able to be with them. But this was different; it was good getting into Allie’s head, getting an understanding of just how hard it was to control her hunger. We were given a great insight into this when she decided to tag along with a group of humans under the pretence that she was a human herself. There was some seriously heart pounding moments which I thoroughly enjoyed and it was exhilarating watching Allie hiding her vampire side from the humans, her super strength and speed, not being able to go out in daylight and not being able to eat. Just as Allie started to form a close bond with several people, so did I. I didn’t want her to be separated from them, even though I knew it was impossible for her to remain with them forever.

It was heart wrenching at times watching Allie battle her internal struggles; she didn’t want to be a monster, she didn’t want to feed off people, but without feeding there was no way she could survive.

The Immortal Rules was a book which brings traditional vampires back with a bang, it was full with tantalising tense moments, unexpected surprises, it’s fast paced, action packed and just leaves you wanting more. I’m extremely looking forward to getting stuck into the rest of the series.

A big thank you to Harlequin UK for the opportunity to read this book.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Review: Arise by Tara Hudson

Arise (Hereafter #2)

  Title: Arise (Hereafter #2)
  Author: Tara Hudson
  Publisher: Harper Collins
  Publication Date: June 5th 2012
  Source: Edelweiss
  My rating: 4 stars

  Reviewed by: Rachel



Arise is the follow-up novel to Hereafter. Joshua and Amelia's story captured my heart in the first novel and this story was no exception. I was sucked right back in with Joshua's first wolfish grin!  

We pick up with Joshua and Amelia a few months after their showdown with the evil ghost Eli. With that dilemma out of the way, Amelia and Joshua just have each other to focus on with no worries, right? Wrong. With this huge problem out of the way, (or so we hope) the underlying issues of their problematic relationship come to the fore. How can such a relationship survive when Amelia will always be a ghost and Joshua will graduate high-school, go to college and eventually want to start a family? Joshua has a positive outlook, but Amelia is not buying it. She starts to think that taking herself out of his life, even though it would be heart-breaking, is the best thing for him. Also, more problems are becoming apparent with Amelia now experiencing frightening nightmares and uncontrollable materializations. Every time their kissing starts becoming more intense and less chaste, Amelia is swept away and materializes somewhere else. The nightmares are becoming more frequent and feel incredibly real to Amelia, she doesn't know what to make of them or if they have a deeper meaning to her "life." All these issues are put on the back burner when the Mayhews' take a family trip to visit their grandmother Ruth in New Orleans for Christmas. This will be a big Mayhew family gathering with a large group of Seers staying.  Any ghost would be nervous, as Seers have the ability to exorcise ghosts and send them away from the living world forever. We get to meet some new additional characters that add interest to this evolving story. I personally loved Gabrielle. Not saying anything more about her!

This story felt like an unfolding mystery and I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure things out. Some of the revelations were a little predictable but others took me by surprise.  The pace of the story never felt slow to me. Another positive was Ms. Hudson's vivid scene descriptions. From the French Quarter in New Orleans to the ominous netherworld, they were just enough to make you feel like you were there without bogging the story down and slowing the plot. After reading this I felt a serious need for beignets, they sound delicious!

Even though I'm always a little apprehensive about a ghost-human romance, I thoroughly enjoyed this story!  I was swooning over Joshua's midnight-blue eyes and boyish grin. As if that wasn't enough, Joshua has a heart of gold. He's so protective of Amelia and is always trying to make her feel welcome and part of the living as best he can. He really wants things to work out. There may have been a heart-pumping, knee-melting kissing scene or two but I'm not telling. I loved little fearless and caring Amelia, too. She's willing to brave a broken heart and loneliness to protect Joshua and his family, and so Joshua can go on and lead a normal life. Because of this, Amelia holds Joshua at arm's length for a good part of the story, keeping things from him, which was a bit frustrating for me.

I thought this was a wonderful second book in the Hereafter series. In my opinion, it didn't suffer from the dreaded "second-book syndrome" in which there is no real progression in the story, only filler. I felt there were several discoveries and plot movement. I like where things are headed. Another plus, even though things are not fully resolved, there's NO horrible cliffhanger. There is one change that I'm not happy about at all; hopefully something can be done about it. As a side note, don't you just love this cover? I do and it fits perfectly in with the story. No case of "cover fraud" here. 

Thank you to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for allowing me to read this story.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Pretty Amy Blog Tour and Guest Post

Today I have the lucky opportunity of having the lovely Lisa Burstein on The Readers Den as part of the Pretty Amy blog tour. For today's guest post Lisa will be sharing with us some of her inspirations behind her debut novel Pretty Amy.

I was always a girl who loved words. When I was in high school I wrote in a diary and spewed out terrible poetry. Very melodramatic stuff that rhymed. Mostly because I had all these feelings of inadequacy and defectiveness inside me that I didn't know how else to get out. So I wrote poems with titles like Pain and my parents read them and asked me if I was okay. And, I always said yes, because how could I explain?

How could I tell them that their little girl who used to love reading and horseback riding was finding it hard to find things she loved anymore? How could I tell them that being thrust into the world of high school had turned me into a shy, scared, loser? I couldn't.

But that girl who loved words and knew she had things to say about the world, her world, even though she was afraid no one was listening, is the one who was inside me when I was writing PRETTY AMY.

High school was not easy for me. When I was a freshman there were a lot of days I came home crying. Not because I was bullied, but because I was ignored. Made to feel like it didn't matter if I existed or not. That is its own kind of mental bullying. When you keep being ignored, it starts to turn you into someone who just feels need all the time. Who just feels lost all the time. You just want validation that you are normal. It's a scary place to be.

Because of that, you try so desperately to be friends with someone, anyone. You feel yourself just wanting a friend to pick you. To say, yes, I like you, let’s sit together at lunch, like a puppy looking through glass just wanting to be taken home and hugged.

You walk through the halls at school and try to find anyone willing to give you a chance, but chances are hard to come by in high school. That was all I wanted back then, someone to give me a chance. And, in PRETTY AMY it's all that Amy wants.

It was a book I knew I had to write, certainly for all the girls out there who feel and felt like me, but also for myself. I knew I had to make those years of hopelessness and emptiness into something. I knew I had to take all those feelings and put them somewhere and I guess I was lucky enough to be able to put them in a novel.

The thing is I know there are so many girls like Amy, so many girls who just want someone, anyone to listen to them. Who try so hard to make sense of their lives that it hurts.

I know what it is like to be this kind of girl and I also know that all you want is a place to spill all your feelings like a bucket full of dirty mop water, which is why I created The Pretty Amy Project. I am asking teens and adults who used to be teens to Read PRETTY AMY and tell their story.

As Amy says:
"I’d wanted the words to be perfect. It seemed like they should be profound or something for as long as everyone had been waiting to hear them, but all I could say was yes. I guess sometimes saying what you mean is enough."

I know there are a lot of Amy's out there. I was an Amy and I had no one who really understood. I understand. I want to listen. I want other people to listen. I am asking readers to tell us how you've felt like Amy. How you got over it. How you are getting over it. How you are embracing it. Tell us anything you've been too afraid to tell before.

I know sometimes that just saying and reading the scary and hard things can make you feel better. I know that because that's what finally did it for me.

Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your inspirations with us Lisa! There are still a few more tour stops left in this blog tour, you can check the rest out here. And also read what I thought about Pretty Amy in my review here.

Monday 28 May 2012

Review: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers, #1)

  Title: Dark Kiss
  Author: Michelle Rowen
  Publisher: Harlequin Teen
  Publication Date: May 29th 2012
  Source: NetGalley
  My rating: 3 stars
  Reviewed by: Rachel

Dark Kiss is one of the latest in the string of angel books we see hitting the YA category. While I was hoping for a little more, this was a quick, easy and fairly enjoyable story to read. 

As the story opens up we are introduced to Sam and her best friend Carly as they are going to the town's popular teenage club. Right away Sam's long-time crush, Stephen, singles Sam out and kisses her. This kiss is different than any she's experienced, drastically changing her and opening up a new world and new powers. This change comes with a huge drawback, a hunger that can't be satisfied with food. Soon she learns that she is part of a bigger world, one of angels, demons and others and now she's on their radar. She finds out there are angels and demons working together to stem the tide of "grays," growing in number fast. Grays pose a threat to humans because they can suck the souls out of them. Bishop is an angel in charge of this mission but ever since he's been back on earth he has had trouble finding and gathering his team and focusing at all. His mental status is hovering around crazy. Sam, seeing Bishop and mistaking him for a homeless, vulnerable teen in need of help, stops to assist him and touches him, clearing his mental fog. Not only is she able to do that, but she is also able to see where the other team members are and leads Bishop to them. No one knows why she's able to do this but she has just become an unwelcome member to this team. Most of the members are not too pleased.   

I enjoyed the author's original take on the whole angel and demon lore and her vivid descriptions and imagery made the scenes come alive. Unfortunately, for me the story felt a little lacking in depth. Bishop was a main character yet I didn't feel we got much on his back story to help us understand his motivations. I admired Sam's loyalty to her best friend and her desire to help ones in need however, her actions and reasoning had me shaking my head in disbelief. Her naïve trusting of other characters, even with little information or answers, made want to pull my hair. Her ping-pong feelings towards Bishop were also an irritation for me. The romance felt a bit forced and while it wasn't technically an insta-love, it certainly had some of the identifying marks of one. 

This story took a positive turn for me though, in the last twenty-five percent. Sam seemed to smarten up and finally got her feelings sorted out and the story pace picked up considerably. Another plus for me was the fact that this didn't leave off on a cliffhanger. The story wraps up nicely while leaving you wanting more. I will be picking up the sequel to find out what happens next. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for allowing me to read this story.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Showcase Sunday #3

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. The aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.

As I missed out on a Showcase Sunday last week, this post covers all the books I received over the last two weeks. 

For review:

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry
Crazy by Amy Reed
Never Enough by Denise Jaden

Thank you to Netgalley, Harlequin and Simon and Schuster Galley Grab. 

These books hadn’t even caught my radar until the last week, but they have been receiving some great reviews that I get wait to get stuck in especially with Crazy.  


Slide By Jill Hathaway
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

I decided to treat myself this week and went on a bit of an Amazon splurge. Slide and Struck I’d wanted to read for some time now and with interesting premises and an eye catching cover (Struck) I decided to go for it. Anna and The French Kiss was one of my all-time favourite contemporary YA novels last year, it’s one of those books that I get all giddy over with whenever I spot it on my bookshelf. I’d wanted to buy Lola and the Boy Next Door as soon as it was released but decided to put it off. I’m hoping that it will be just as good as Anna!


Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris
Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess
How it Ends by Laura Wiess
When it Happens by Susane Colasanti

The Sookie Stackhouse series has really lost the action and charm that once drew me to the series in the first place I was tempted to drop the series after book 11, but decided to give it one last chance. Things aren’t looking too great so far as reviews have been disappointing, but who knows may be I may end up enjoying it? Laura Wiess has been an author whose books I’d wanted to read for ages! So I was pretty stoked to discover that my library stocked her books. I was only meant to leave with How it Ends, but then I saw Such a Pretty Girl; it sounds a lot different to my usual reads, it has a much darker feel to it, but I was just drawn to the cover and knew I had to read this too.  I finished Colasanti’s Keep Holding On the other day and absolutely loved it, I actually sobbed my way through most of the second half, but promised myself that I would make a start on her other books as soon as I could. I’m hoping When it Happens will be a lighter read and that I won’t be left with big puffy eyes the next morning.

Swapped/ Freebie:

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Clarity by Kim Harrington
Loving Emily by Anne Pfeffer

Bumped and Clarity were books which I had on my wish list for a while, so I’m grateful to Kay and Nina at U.K swap shop for trading with me! 


Wander Dust by Michelle Warren

Wander Dust was another book which I’d heard awesome things about, so thank you to Mel at Mel’s Book blog for the giveaway. 

So another great two weeks of books for me, what goodies did you get this week?

Friday 25 May 2012

Review: Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

  Title: Pretty Amy
  Author: Lisa Burstein
  Publisher: Entangled Publishing
  Publication Date: May 8th 2012
  My rating: 3 stars
  Reviewed by: Jasprit

“It’s easy to believe
that someday I will feel just like A.J unlocked from his cage.
That the bars I’ve put around me will fall away.
That I will feel like that little girl again,
finally and beautifully free”

When I first saw the cover to Pretty Amy I thought it would be a light fluffy easy going read, but once I picked up I realised it went much deeper than I originally thought. Amy has been looking forward to her prom for a while now, on the night she gets dropped off to her friend Lila’s house she’s jangling with nerves. It could be her biggest night of her life, an unforgettable night. And yes it does become that but for all the wrong reasons. Amy, Lila and Cassie don’t end up going to prom but caught with pot in their possession by the police, they’re taken to the station, where they’re eventually allowed to go home further pending their trial. Dealing with disappointed parents doesn’t compare to the rest of the stuff they have to deal with. They’re suspended from school, so will miss the final week, banned from their own graduation and the icing on the cake? Amy’s mum states that she will have to pay for her lawyer out of her own money, so she has to get a job! How could what was meant to be the night of her life? Quickly spiral out of control? But Amy is given a sort of reprieve, her lawyer Dick could probably prevent her from going to jail but she has to dob her only friends in instead.

What I liked about this book;
Amy was such a strong character, with all the crap she had to put up with, the constant pressure from her parents, her lawyer and her therapist to dob her friends in she battled on against everyone’s better judgement. She displayed a stubbornness and stood her ground, despite them constantly pushing her buttons and even using shock tactics. At times I usually felt hugely sorry for Amy, despite all the bravado she was a lonely girl who had no one; she wasn’t allowed to contact Cassie or Lila, her old friend Joe didn’t want to know her anymore, she didn't feel comfortable opening up to her therapist and each time she talked to her mother they would get into a shouting match. Her only friend was her bird A.J. the only person that wouldn’t pass judgement on her. But then sometimes you wanted to clock Amy from her stubbornness. Yeah I understand that they were the only friends she had, but if her friends were put in the same situation would they do the same thing for her? But I definitely preferred Amy’s character to her mothers. Honestly I don’t really know what to make of her, I think she did care about Amy but she just had a funny way of showing it. She couldn’t understand Amy’s sarcastic temperament, she was at times way over the top; insisting to Amy’s principle that she had to attend Amy’s graduation even though Amy was not allowed to go? And slashing and burning her mattress because she thought it contained heroin? All Amy wanted was her mother to be there for her;

“her only job tonight was to tell me I was beautiful
that I was her beautiful baby girl all grown up, but she couldn’t even
do that”

I adored Amy’s dad, he was relatively calm and laid back but quite under the thumb of his wife. I also adored Joe, Amy’s former friend; it was heart breaking reading their scenes together because all he wanted was Amy how she was before, before she met Cassie and Lila, but had Amy changed so much and was it too late change back?

Despite the “dark cloud” hanging over Amy; the mistake that had been made and the choice that still had to be made, the story was laced with humour which certainly did lighten things up. I loved Amy’s snarky humour and her sarcastic comments, I looked forward to her meetings with her lawyer, therapist and when she went to work to see what she would come up with next.

Overall Pretty Amy is a bittersweet coming of age story which I surprisingly enjoyed. You’re probably wandering what does Amy finally do in the end? Does she make the right decision? My lips are sealed you’ll just have to find out for yourself.

A big thank you to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.

Be sure to pop by on Tuesday as Lisa Burstein author of Pretty Amy will be dropping by with a guest post.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

 Title: Slammed
 Author: Colleen Hoover
 Publisher: CreateSpace
 Publication Date: January 1st 2012
 My rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Rachel

This was such a moving story! I couldn't put this down once I started reading.

Eighteen year-old Layken, or Lake, has just moved to Michigan from Texas. Her father has just died six months earlier and her mother moves them there because she gets a good job offer and they can no longer afford their house. Immediately after pulling up with the moving van, Lake meets the neighbor across the street, Will, and his little brother Caulder. He's a few years older than Lake, and in her eyes, "hot." Caulder and Lake's younger brother, Kel are fast friends, playing the minute Kel jumps out of the moving van. Lake is happy that at least this move won't suck for her little brother. Although things start looking up for Lake when Will asks her out on a date.

Will is so different from most guys and so forward. It shocks Lake a little. Their first date is different and in my opinion, amazing! He takes her to a poetry slam which before reading this, I had no idea what it was. It's where people get up in front of an audience and perform a piece of poetry they've written. It's not typical poetry, more like a soul-bearing piece, written and then performed. She's is mesmerized by the first performance and then when Will gets up and performs his, she's a goner! She is taken by him and falls hard, and fast. And he's fallen hard for her, too. Here's a quote from that night that gives me shivers: "Patience." he whispers. You don't think that's much?  Wait until you read the scene! Lake discovers she has a lot in common with Will. Unfortunately straight after this date, they discover a block to their relationship and have to keep apart. Here's a heartbreaking quote for you:

"God Layken. How do you do it?" she says."How do I do what?" I sniff as I continue to wipe the tears from my eyes. "How do you not fall in love with him?"  The tears begin flowing just as quickly as they had ceased….."I don't not fall in love with him. I don't not fall in love with him a lot!"

Add to this, Lake's mom is all of a sudden leaving often for unexplained errands.  As suddenly as things seemed to be falling in place, everything has fallen apart.      

I can't tell you much I loved this story. I connected so deeply with Lake and Will. I adored the little brothers, Caulder and Kel, and Lake's mom too (even though I was a little angry with her for some things). My heart was pulled in lots of different directions. The reason Lake and Will must stay apart is not Will's fault, but you can't help but blame and get mad at him for his actions. Even when you know you shouldn't. Lake writes and recites a poem and you're right there cheering her on.  I know I'm being vague, but I seriously don't want to spoil this for any who haven't read it. This story pulls on all your heart strings! There's also a fair amount of humor in this story that lifts the mood in just the right places. 

This was such a heartwarming story! I read the sequel straight after because I didn't want to let these character go! Don't let the fact that this is a self-published novel fool you.  This was a truly amazing debut for Colleen Hoover. I'll definitely be reading whatever she writes next. 

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Welcome my new guest reviewer...

Rachel and I have become great reading buddies since we met last year on Goodreads. We quickly discovered we both had a passion for our vanillas (especially our swoony males that just make us melt). Since then we have taken part in several read-alongs (even though there’s an 8 hour time difference) and my tbr pile has toppled dramatically out of control thanks to Rachel’s awesome recommendations.

I simply adore Rachel’s reviews, they’re refreshing, fun and just make you want to throw you’re reading schedule out of the window and pick up her recommended read straight away.

I quickly realised that I wanted everyone else to get to know Rachel and read her amazing reviews too! So without further ado I would like to welcome my new guest reviewer and fellow vanilla queen to the blog, the lovely Rachel! 

Jasprit is so sweet.  Thank you! 

When Jasprit and I found each other on Goodreads we became fast friends each contributing to one another's book addiction. Seriously, Jasprit is killing my bookshelf by constantly picking enticing reads!  I love Jasprit's enthusiastic and honest reviews, and we have so much in common in taste.  I know if she's loved something, I will too. So when she asked me if I'd like to contribute on her blog, I was beyond giddy with excitement because I think we're a perfect fit.  I think the great and lovely Maja was the first to call us the "Vanilla-Queens", and I'd have to say that's an apt description! We do love our vanillas.
I guess I should tell you a little about myself now. I'm a wife and mother of two children, I work full-time but my passion is reading! I've always loved reading from a very young age.  Both my father and mother were big readers so I never had a chance. Currently, I'm a big lover of contemporary romance, but that wasn't always the case. At first, I was hooked on mysteries (always with a little romance, mind you). Nancy Drew was my first love, and then I graduated to Agatha Christie.  My grandmother was a fan and had a huge collection so I was able to read to my heart's content. Many times I read into the wee hours because I just had to know who did it?!!  I still love mysteries, but now I'm usually reading YA paranormal or YA contemporary romance. Recently, thanks to my Goodreads friends, I've discovered my love of Australian authors. Mostly, Melina Marchetta, On the Jellicoe Road is in my top five all-time favorite books! I've tried a couple of others and love them as well! I also love kick-butt, strong heroines! I was a huge, obsessed fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and still mourn over the series' demise (I think I've watched every episode at least five times!). Even before that, I remember watching Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter and WISHING I could be her, and kick some bad guy ass!  So it would come as no surprise, one of my all-time favorite books series is the Vampire Academy with Rose the tough-chick fighter (that, and her sexy boyfriend Dimitri)! Now I'm loving the spinoff series, Bloodlines. I'm also a huge fan of The Morganville Vampire series, and The Mortal Instruments series. 
Well, that's just a little about me. I'm looking forward to fun and gossip on Jasprit's blog! Thanks again, my dear!!

Monday 21 May 2012

Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

  Title: Code Name Verity
  Author: Elizabeth Wein
  Publisher: Disney - Hyperion
  Publication Date: May 15th 2012
  Source: NetGalley
  My rating: 4 stars


Gosh I have no idea where to start this book; I’m not typically an historical fiction fan, and the only books I’ve read which are “war related” were the ones I was forced to read for my war module for my A2 English lit course and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak which had me endlessly sobbing. So I didn’t really know what to expect going into this book. 

Code Name Verity was really tough to get into, I would read a few pages, stop, read another few pages, get distracted by another book then try to get back into it. Some of the reasons I found it so tough was because I’ve just been devouring contemporary romances lately, so jumping straight into this which opened by focusing heavily on aircraft; the different types and the training required was hugely difficult. Also I was confused as soon as I started, as I had no idea who the narrator was, what was going on (the story would flit back and forth between time spans, what she did during the war effort and what was happening to her when she was captured). And we didn’t even know her name until much later on! 

I don’t want to say too much as it would probably give the whole plot away, but the gist of the story was that Verity was captured by the Gestapo, we don’t know how, we don’t really know where she is, or if anyone is on their way to rescue her, but the conditions are horrible. She’s given some paper and a pen to give every amount of detail as possible and if she doesn’t then there will be consequences.  Her friend Maddie who she was travelling with before she was captured has died; they’ve shown her the pictures so she doesn’t have much to live for but to tell the truth. Living with the guilt of Maddie's death and the torture she’s been put through, we are led through her memories leading up to her being captured, some are dire and heartfelt, but Verity brings so much more to the story. Despite the circumstances she finds herself in she is such a funny character some of her descriptions and writing had me laughing out loud, it definitely helped to lighten up the sombre consequences she found herself in.

It did take me until about 4o% that I properly understood what was going on and by that time I had formed such a close relationship with Verity; she’d been through so much but still put on a face of bravado and attempted to bat away her captors with her endless strength, intelligence and funny humour. I had thought that I knew how this story would turn out but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The unexpected twists and turns were like a punch to the gut and the events leading up to the climatic end I could never have been prepared for. I just wish things could have ended up differently.

The other characters; Maddie, Jamie, Rosalie and even Paul with his gropey hands brought so much to the story, that it was impossible not to fall so hard and fast for them.

I went into Code Name Verity with to be honest not much expectations, but Wein managed to deliver something which was achy, breathtaking and hauntingly bittersweet. I know it will remain a book which I won’t be able to forget.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Love in bloom Giveaway hop

Welcome to the Love in Bloom giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A WriterPortrait of a Book .

This is my first giveaway hop, so I'm quite excited to be taking part. I actually love contemporary YA romance novels so I think this is the perfect hop for me! 

So what can you win? One lucky follower can win one contemporary YA romance novel of their choice from the list below

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases were eagerly anticipating.

The book I'm most excited about this week is...

  Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

  Publication Date: November 13th 2012


Blurb from Goodreads
Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question. 

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

My thoughts
Aww this book sounds like such a cute book. As you probably already know there's nothing I love more than my contemporary romances and this sounds just like my sort of book. Potential romance with mysterious admirer? Check. Forced together with nemesis? (I adore love/hate relationships between two main characters) Check. And a wild goose chase around London? It cannot get any better than that! Also take a look at that cover, it's so pretty!

For all you readers from the U.S you can request a copy of this book from NetGalley or Edelweiss. For the rest of us, we will just have to wait until November *cries*

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my pick for the week and what you're waiting on.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Cover and Title Reveal: Book two in the Seraphina Parrish Trilogy

Today I am excited to reveal the cover and title to Michelle Warren's second book in the Seraphina Parrish Trilogy.

Ta Da! 

I really like it. It has the enchanting and mesmerising feel going on. It makes me think of fairy tales for some reason, may be because of the sparkly essence and vibe it's got going on which sort of follows off from the first book.

There's no summary or release date as of yet. But if you haven't read the first book in the series; Wander Dust yet, what are you waiting for? There's also an epic offer on at the minute.

Yes you've read it right, it's currently available for 99₵ from and Barnes and Noble. I just checked out and it's on there for 77p!

If this fantastic offer hasn't convinced you yet then check out these awesome reviews:

So what are your thoughts on the cover and title?

Monday 14 May 2012

Review: Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy

  Title: Being Friends with Boys
  Author: Terra Elan McVoy
  Publisher: Simon Pulse
  Publication date: May 1st 2012
  Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
  My rating: 3 stars

  “Don’t forget who your real friends are”

Charlotte has always hung out with the boys; she practically grew up with Oliver and when Trip moved to their new school, they’ve been inseparable since. Over the summer they grew even closer when they started messing around in Oliver’s basement, what started off as fun and a bunch of laughs soon developed in a four group band (with Abe) called Sad Jackal. You had Oliver singing and messing around on guitar, Trip being the heart and soul of the group, Abe on the drums and Charlotte bringing the lyrics. Everything seemed fine that is until Trip drops the bombshell that he’s left the group. Charlotte doesn’t understand it; they had the best group dynamics when they worked together, now that Trips left it would never be the same. They would probably have to recruit new members and there would always be that awkwardness around Trip. Charlotte and Trip were extremely close friends, closer than Oliver and Charlotte. Trip and Charlotte had a special bond which couldn’t be explained, they understood each other, were totally open with each other, (shared their feelings with one another in a notebook they passed to each other several times in the day). Charlotte didn’t want the band to come between their friendship, but she had a duty to the rest of the band members too.

Being Friends with Boys started off great, it was fun; seeing Charlotte’s interactions with boys, how they treated her like she was one of them, heartfelt; the messages and notes she shared with Trip. But then things started getting complicated; with two new band members being recruited; Eli and Fabian. Charlotte had less time she could spend with Trip, with the school dance just around the corner the band had to practice more often especially so that they could click together as a group. Charlotte could sense it was a strain on her relationship with Trip, but there’s nothing she could do about it.

Things however started to getting a little too complicated and farfetched for my liking; Charlotte was in a flutter over who she wanted to be with, who wanted to be with her and who she rumoured to be with!!! Her life kind of turned into a wrecking ball with other groups wanting her to join their groups, and ex-best friends wanting to know her all of a sudden.

However the thing that surprised me about this book was that characters I had originally liked, kind of showed their true colours and left me disappointed in the end and characters I’d completely overlooked and had thought little of had the backbone to stick with Charlotte through the tough times. I guess you could say the opening line of my review is true; your true friends will always be around you no matter what.

However I did have a few minor irks with this book; Charlotte especially for the second half of the book made me want to pull my hair out, she kept on trying different things even though knowing it would be the wrong thing to do. And lately I’ve realised I don’t have the patience with characters who keep faffing around, it was clearly obvious who she was meant to be with, but it took her until 2/3 of the book to realise it. Also I love my music themed books; and this book did bring it to the forefront; getting the right song, jamming out together, but all the lyrics Charlotte was writing I would have loved to have seen them, we were told the titles of the songs, what influenced her in writing them but we never really got the chance to hear or read them.

Despite these irritations I did relatively enjoy this book; it was cute, funny, a decent music themed book and full of charming characters.  

Sunday 13 May 2012

Showcase Sunday #2

Showcase Sunday is a new weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. The aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week.

For review:

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein
What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor
Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Thank you to Entangled Publishing, NetGalley and Harlequin UK.

I actually have a huge smile plastered on my face this week thanks to the amazing review copies I got this week. I started Pretty Amy the other day and have been thoroughly enjoying it and don’t let the pretty cover fool you, it’s quite a funny book, but also goes a lot deeper than that. Lisa Burstein will be stopping by on May 29th to discuss her debut novel so make sure you drop by.

Saving June has been on my wish list forever. I first heard about it when it hit the shelves in Australia and have been dying to get my hands on a copy and so I can’t wait to start it. On a side note what is going on with this cover? I much prefer the U.S or Australian covers.


In Honor by Jessi Kirby

Contemporary? Check. Road trip? Check. Swoon worthy male with a potential romance? Check.  This book has had me giddy with excitement ever since I first heard about it. Also the reviews so far have been quite positive. However this book will have to wait until I get through my galleys, but just knowing it’s there sitting on my kindle waiting for me leaves me with warm fuzzies.


The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
Magic Bites by ILona Andrews

I went to the library this week with the purpose that I would try and make a start on some of the books and series that have been recommended to me on multiple occasions and also to finish off the Iron Fey series. I’m hoping that the fact that these books are now a constant reminder in my room of what I’m missing out on will give me the encouragement to pick them up as soon as possible.


Preloved by Shirley Marr

I’m a huge fan of Aussie Ya, the best books I’ve come to realised are always released in Australia; you have Melina Marchetta, Laura Buzo, Kirsty Eagar, Shirley Marr and so many others. It’s also a royal pain ordering these awesome books, Fishpond does free international shipping, but sometimes you have to wait a while for your books to arrive. So I was quite lucky to win a copy of Shirley Marr’s Preloved from the lovely Jo at Wear the Old Coat.

So another great week in books for me, what goodies did you get this week?

Also my 100 follower giveaway is still open, if you haven’t yet entered; you can win a book of your choice (up to £7) from The Book Depository. You can enter here.

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