Sunday 30 September 2012

Showcase Sunday #11

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.

Take Me There by Carolee Dean
Falling to Ash by Karen Mahoney
Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Thank you to Bloomsbury Teens on Facebook and Random House UK.

I’ve had some great luck recently winning some awesome books. I was lucky enough to win an Arc of Send Me a Sign which had been on my wish list for some time. It’s another cancer book; which I’m sure will suit my reading mood perfectly (I’ve found myself drawn to emotionally gritting reads that tend to take your heart out and stomp all over it lately). Also it’s been blurbed by Courtney Summers! So I just knew I had to pick this up asap.

Gone Girl has been receiving so many praising reviews over the last few months on Goodreads and over the blogosphere, that I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. Again I've heard it's a super tense read, I have my fingers crossed that I end up enjoying it too! 

The Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman have been given a brand new look; I think they look amazing (you can check out all the brand new covers here). I’m always last to jump up on a bandwagon; (Noughts and Crosses was first published in 2001) so I thought it was high time that I jumped aboard.


Protecting Truth by Michelle Warren
Swell by Julie Rieman Duck

Thank you to Michelle Warren and Candace's Book Blog

These covers are so pretty, that I could probably sit and stare at them all day; I’ve also heard several promising things already about these books that I can’t wait to dive in! Also doesn’t the guy on the cover of Swell remind you a little of Jake Gyllenhaal? *sigh*

Let’s check out the awesome books Rachel received;

I didn’t get very many this week, but that’s a good thing because I’m really trying to catch up. Here’s what I did get:

For Review

Three River Ranch by Roxanne Snopek
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Thank you to Harlequin UK Ltd, Entangled and Netgalley. 


Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs.

David Levithan is beyond hilarious and Rachel Cohn is very interesting and intelligent, so I’m excited to read their collaboration. Three River Ranch sounds just like my kind of sweet romance to take me away from it all. Sweet Venom was a freebie I heard about from a Goodreads friend and she said it was well worth the read. We shall see. 

What goodies did you get in your showcase? Leave us a link and we'll stop by and check it out.

Saturday 29 September 2012

Vanilla Queens Dream Reads #2 Losing Lila

Hello readers! Jasprit and I are back with our take on a book we both loved.  Back in January, Jasprit, Sam from Realm of Fiction, and I did a read-along for Hunting Lila and instantly fell in love with Lila and Alex (yes, drooling was involved!).  I knew I would have to read the sequel, so I was beyond thrilled when my lovely co-blogger, Jasprit, sent it to me as a gift!  Needless to say we both read and loved this story, so we thought we'd do another Vanilla Queens Dream Reads joint post, and give you our thoughts:

Here's a little about the book: 

Losing Lila (Lila, #2)

Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, which is somehow tracking their every move. While Alex is determined to keep Lila safe and her ability secret at any cost, Lila's only thought is of finding a way back to California so she can rescue her brother and mother from the military base where they're being held. Struggling to control both her growing power and her deepening feelings for Alex, Lila decides the time has finally come to stop running and start fighting. Together with Alex, Demos, and the others she's come to think of as family, Lila plans not only to save her brother and mum, but also to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for. But the plan requires Lila to return to California alone, and to make friends with the enemy - and in doing so, she risks losing everything: Alex, her family… even her life.

Favorite character and why: 
Jasprit: There is such a fantastic bunch of characters in this book that I think I would have a hard time narrowing it down to one! Most of the characters all had an impact on me in one way, take Suki, which ever situation she found herself in, however dire, she would always bring a smile to your face. Then there’s Demos, he’s meant to come across as this scary guy who can force you to do things, but under all this bravado, he is a real sweety, who at times I just wanted to give a big hug. Lila; so determined and stubborn, you wanted to shake her for making people constantly worry about her, but she was one heck of a tough main character. And lastly but not least Alex *sigh* he has easily become one of my favourite literary crushes, he’s just the perfect package; over protective, caring, tender and totally swoon worthy. Thinking about him makes me warm and tingly all over.

Rachel: Lila is my favorite, I think because I felt closest to her, as the story is told in her POV.  She made such strides in character in this story.  She was so determined to rescue her family and bring down the bad guys, with little concern for her own safety. 

Most hated character and why:
Jasprit: Rachel’s dad; every time he made an appearance I just wanted to punch him one, anything to take the smug smile off his face. Rachel would be a close second.

Rachel: Rachel, Richard Stirling’s (the owner of Stirling Enterprises) daughter and all around evil you-know-what (rhymes with witch!).  She has full knowledge of what’s being done to the “psygens” and has no remorse whatsoever.  Plus, she tried to make moves on Alex in Losing Lila! No one gets between Lila and Alex! There’s another character I hated at the end, but I can’t say who, as it would spoil things. 

Scene that made us the angriest:
Jasprit: Rachel’s dads thinking just because he’s the top guy everything he says goes. How he assumed because he had Lila’s back up against the wall, she would automatically do all he says.
Rachel: The scene where Lila meets Richard for the first time, I don’t know how Lila kept control.

Favorite or most swoony/steamy scene:
Jasprit: Now I definitely can’t narrow this one down, so I’m just going to say everything with Alex ;)

Rachel: I’ll let the quote speak for itself. *sigh*: Alex sat up too and took my hands in his. “Lila, I promise you I’ll never leave you again, ever.  I promise you that I’ll keep you safe and that we’ll find Jack and your mum, and I promise that even if Jack does kick my ass, which one day I hope he will, I will still never leave you.”

Scene that made us saddest:
Jasprit: Two in particular; Alex and Lila; knowing she’d messed up, I honestly I thought it was the end for them. I remember reading this scene with a huge lump in my throat. Secondly Demos, I had so wanted him to get his happy ending, he’d completely changed my initial assumptions that I’d had of him and he’d done everything he possibly could.

Rachel: The scene where Lila misread something with Alex, all I have to say is, thank goodness for Suki and her mind reading skills! I also just felt generally bad for Amber, and when Jack put the blanket around her shoulders while he was comforting her, my heart was touched. 
Scene that made us most happy:
Jasprit: Gang going into kick butt, I had a serious adrenaline rush, it was so much fun being back together with the gang again; watching them hatch a plan, the banter between them and then constantly winding each other up. Oh how I wish I was part of Demos’ group too! 

Rachel: It’s so hard to pick, because there were so many!  I don’t want to spoil things either, so that makes it hard to share.  I was happy when Lila reached down inside and realized she wasn’t afraid anymore, and she knew she could kick the Unit’s ass.  Yes, let’s hear it for an empowered female!

Most liked secondary character:
Jasprit:  Suki; this girl would brighten up a room and everyone’s mood as soon as she enters, she’s always so lively and bubbly and of course I’d love to have as a best friend, I could get her to read everyone’s minds all the time!

Rachel: Probably Suki because she’s just so sassy, and how can you not love a girl that could give Imelda Marcos competition in shoe collection?!

General Thoughts and Final Rating:
Jasprit: 4 Stars. I absolutely adore Sarah Alderson’s writing, I have read every single book and they never fail to disappoint. Losing Lila was the perfect sequel to Hunting Lila, with its fast pace, jaw dropping scenes, heart wrenching moments, and a fantastic set of characters which will keep you thoroughly entertained. Sarah please don’t end this awesome series here *sobs*

Rachel: My rating: a solid 4 stars.  Losing Lila was a perfect follow-up to Hunting Lila. It was action packed fun from the first pages, we got to see a matured Lila using her awesome powers, so cool, by the way.  And if that wasn’t enough, I was swooning over hot guys, Alex and Jack!  Sarah Alderson really likes to write scenes with shirtless HOT men, count me in!  Added bonus: not an angsty teen in sight, just pure adrenaline-boosting fun!  I really hope we get to see another story, maybe centering on Jack next?

Would you recommend this book?:
Jasprit: I think this has been an amazing series so far, I recommend everyone should pick it up. It provides so much that I think it has a little bit of something for everyone. However just a fair warning, I’ve already called dibs on Alex. So you’re free to pick any other character ;)

Rachel: Absolutely!  A must read for Lila fans or anyone looking for pure unadulterated fun. Nice try, Jasprit, with the Alex dibs!  I thought we talked about shared custody?!
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