Saturday 28 February 2015

New Covers #1


Hi all, so if you're a regular follower of our blog, you'll probably know that Rachel and I have an obsession with book covers, they tend to be our biggest downfall when it comes to book buying, I've often gone into a store and left with three books based on their cover alone. We already do a monthly feature of Cover fever, where we compare different editions of books. Today's feature will share new cover reveals and updated editions of covers. I know there are probably so many cover reveals that take place each week, but we've just decided to share a few of the books we're most excited about. 

So many pretty covers right? I know for sure that I can't wait for P.S I Still Love You and End of Days. Which covers are your favorites? And which are you most excited about?

Thursday 26 February 2015

Cover Fever #15: Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Hi all, this month's cover that Rachel and I have chosen is one for a book that I totally fell in love with (I finished it last month and it's still constantly on my brain), it's Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, honestly if you haven't read this book yet, what are you waiting for, this book is one of those books that will probably break your heart several times, but trust me it will be worth it. So without further ado here are four versions of Me Before You. 

U.S COVER                                       U.K COVER

GERMAN COVER                          CZECH COVER 

I think the the US cover looks a little too peppy and happy for the subject matter of this book, and I don't really care for the color combination or the font of the Czech cover. The German cover is better but still not my favorite. I like the UK cover best of all four. The lettering seems a little melancholy and I think that fits in with the story better and the color combinations work.  I can't say I'm in love with any of the covers, though.

Rachel's Verdict:
The UK version is the best, IMO, of all four, but only marginally so.

I don't think that the U.S cover does this story the justice it deserves, it just comes across as a bit plain and simple to me, which is a real shame. I do like the prettiness of the U.K edition, I like the soft, subtle colours that they've gone for and the picture they've used does give the impression of hope, which conveys a lot what this book really is about. The German cover is pretty too, but the poppy like flowers remind me of a war novel. And finally the Czech cover, once again it is a pretty cover, but maybe not one that I would choose to have on my shelves. 

Jasprit's Final Verdict:
The three Euopean covers are quite similar, but I think the U.K cover has to be my favourite this time around.

Which books would you like to have on your shelves?

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Review: Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken

Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2) by Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: October 15th 2013
My rating: 5 stars 

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster. When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her. As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

The kiss was over before it ever really started. A bruising, single touch filled with enough urgency, enough frustration and wanting to send my blood rushing. I was still trying to catch my breath when he pulled back, his hands on my face, his lips close enough to mine for me to feel him pant too.
Then he was stepping back, away, letting distance flood in between us again. His voice was low, rough, "Give 'em hell, darlin'."

Never Fade brought out all my reading habits that I hadn’t done in ages; staying up reading late even though I knew I had to get up extra early the next day, not being able to read on my current page properly, I always find myself skimming slightly ahead and just so that I could ease some of the tension away and of course being the most unsocial person ever in the days it took me to read this book. Never Fade was constantly on my mind, you know when you’re younger and you’re promised a treat if you get all your chores done, I was like that, eager to get everything done, so that it would be nothing else but me and my beautiful book.

The Darkest Minds was a book which broke my heart, I read it so many months ago, but I still remember the achy beautiful passages that I had to push myself through. This time in Never Fade it’s the same but so much worse, with the way things ended in The Darkest Minds, I was eager for the things to get back on track, the way they used to be. But once again Bracken through up unexpected road blocks after road block that had me gasping in rage. I knew things could be bad, but some people in Never Fade were just the worst! In particular those characters who wouldn’t back down and would just pop up when you least expected them (highlight to view spoiler) I’m talking about you Clancy and Rob. Things could really be violent and gruesome at times that I’m glad that Ruby had learnt to become a stronger person, some would say she wasn’t in the best place, but as you begin to progress through the book, you become to realise that all the horrible training she went through at the League actually helped her deal with deadly situations that she found herself in.

In Darkest Minds I loved travelling with Ruby, Liam, Chubs and Zu, they were characters which left huge impressions on me, so I was sort of wary when I was introduced to new characters in Jude and Vida, could Ruby really trust these kids? Especially Vida? By the end of the book, my feelings about these two changed so much, I found myself being all protective around them. I don’t want to say too much, but definitely keep your heart open when it comes to these two characters. Bracken excelled when it came to changing my feelings about a lot of characters, someone I despised in The Darkest Minds because I didn’t really understand their true agenda, but they ended up surprising me in this latest instalment, I was still constantly wary about them, but was grateful that they had stuck around. I also enjoyed the introduction of another new character, although he wasn’t as around as much, I adored their sense of humour and how they were in the right place during one particular tense situation. I’m hoping to get to know this character a whole lot more in the final book in the series. There were many fantastic characters in this story, whereas Liam and Ruby had been my favourite in The Darkest Minds, there were so many here that found a special way to my heart.

Never Fade was one of the best middle book series that I have read in a long time, for me it was actually a story I ended up loving the most. I loved the unpredictable scenes that Bracken was able to weave in to this story, how despite so much chaos being thrown against our characters, I still carried a little bit of hope that things would be okay. Never Fade is littered with fast paced breath taking scenes, but also many heart breaking ones. I was completely destroyed in places, so shall pre-warn you to keep your tissues at the ready. Never Fade was my first read of 2015 and it ended up being a five star read for me, I’m kind of having mixed feelings over picking up In the Afterlight, I want to know how things will end, but at the same time, I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters just yet.

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: October 21st 2014
My rating:  5 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

There is danger in dreaming. But there is even more danger in waking up.

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.

My Thoughts:
Spoilers ahead if you haven't read the rest of the series.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue was my favorite installment to date of the Raven Cycle series. I think it’s because I’ve settled in with these characters, got to know them, and speak their language now.  I love the relationships and interactions even more than any plot progression.  Clever humor, and quirky, flawed characters, make the dialogue hilarious, riveting, and meaningful.

The search is on for Maura who apparently went searching for Butternut, aka Blue’s father, although, I’m not sure why. Blue is both scared and ticked at her mother for disappearing.  Blue, Calla, Persephone and Mr. Gray are not sure if Maura meant to be gone as long as she has or if Maura’s in trouble. The appearance of a dangerous enemy of Mr. Gray, someone willing to hurt anyone he cares for, paints a target on everyone.

The search is still on for Glendower. Professor Malory, Gansey’s old friend from England, has joined them in their search.

The romance, forbidden for a few reasons, is progressing whether Blue or Gansey try and resist it or not. I pick apart any scene where they’re together and revel in any shared moment, glance, and touch. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that somehow things can work out! Please don’t kill him off, Maggie!  There’s another possible romance, maybe? Did I imagine it or was there something between highlight for spoiler: Ronan and Adam? I think there was definitely something there on Ronan’s side but I’m not sure what Adam’s feelings are.  I don’t think he even knows.

The humor was sharp, clever, and silly in parts; I was laughing all the way through! 

~The “Murder Squash song”!!:

Adam hadn’t even realized the ancient tape deck worked, but after a hissing few seconds, a tape inside jangled a tune. Noah began to sing along at once.
“Squash one, squash two—“
Adam pawed for the radio at the same time as Blue. The tape ejected with enough force that Noah stretched a hand to catch it. “That song. What are you doing with that in your player?” demanded Blue. “Do you listen to that recreationally? How did that song escape from the Internet?”

For some reason Noah and Ronan were obsessed with this horrible, repetitive song and tried to sneak it in whenever they could.  Its appearance always made me laugh!

Other points of humor I loved:

~Multiple use rooms:
The Kitchen/Bathroom/Laundry room in Monmouth
“Blue was disturbed by the number of chip bags that were reachable from the toilet.”

The Phone/Sewing/Cat Room at Fox Way
This is where Blue made her late night calls to a certain someone.

~Calla’s irritability and ability to learn deadly fighting skills all the while sipping a Manhattan.

~The teas/beverages of Fox Way. Fruity or footy tea, anyone?

~Orla’s definition of someone asking Blue out:

“Charity told me that T.J. asked you out today and you just stared at him.”—
“At lunch, T.J. came over to my table and drew a penis on the unicorn on my binder. Is that the incident you’re referring to?”
“Don’t Richard Gansey the Third at me,” Orla replied.
“Because if that’s what she meant, then yes, I just stared at him. I didn’t realize it was a conversation because penis.”

I’ve had Blue Lily, Lily Blue for quite some time, but I’m glad I held off reading it because I don’t have to wait too long for the last book now.  I’m worried about several things, but all will be resolved in September.  Also, I switched back and forth from reading and listening to the audio version, and I can’t recommend the audio enough! Will Patton’s performance is superb and I really felt like each character was a separate, distinct person even though he performed all parts. His portrayal of Gwenllian made her sound nuttier that a fruitcake, which she totally is!

It’s impossible for me to express how much I adore the amazing writing in this series!  Maggie Stiefvater flexes her amazing writing prowess by making you feel and relate to each and every character! 

Monday 23 February 2015

Review: Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
Publisher: Michael Joseph (UK)
Publication Date: January 5th 2012
My rating: 5 stars 

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

I don’t know why I waited this long to pick up a book by Moyes, but after the night I had finishing this book I am literally kicking myself for not doing it sooner. Even today getting up and going to work when all I had was this book on my brain, it was full of heartbreak and hope and I just want to go back and get lost within the beautiful passages without having to read the last few pages.

Lou sort of fell into Will’s life when she was least expecting to, after losing her job that she’d had for the last few years, she ends up as a carer for Will whose a quadriplegic. Will’s been battling on for two years now, he’s had his up and down days and honestly I was expecting him to have given up completely. But underneath all the battle wounds was a witty, sarcastic handsome man that I grew to love. Yes he could have his snappish out bursts, with what Will’s going through you wouldn’t expect anything less, but Lou took his mood swings in her stride and actually ended up forming one of the best relationships I have ever experienced. I loved watching Will open up to Lou, before he wouldn’t acknowledge her some days, but I loved the banter that began to grow between them and how they could say stuff to each other without getting offended. Lou not coming from the greatest background was barely scraping by, so Will being Will encouraged Lou to go for those chances and to experience life. Being a successful busy man before his accident, Will went all out to experience everything he could. So watching him trying to push Lou forward and grab hold of everything she could broke my heart.

Will being the successful guy he once was, his stubbornness still came through and this is where Lou found her back against the wall, she had six months to change Will’s mind and I had everything crossed that she would finally be able to do it. You know when you have a feeling in your gut that things are going to go that way that you don’t want them to, that was me, I had that horrid sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, but which I tried to push back, put a smile on my face like Lou often did for Will and just try to enjoy the time we had left.

These six months for Will and Lou had many ups and downs, not only were they facing a really critical decision, but stuff around them also seemed to be coming around them; Will’s ex announcing her engagement, Lou’s dad losing her job and marathon man being a nuisance as usual! But I loved all the escapades Lou would come up with, all the planning she would go to, to get Will out of the house and to make the most of it. There were many bitter sweet moments, but moments which also made me have this big grin on my face. I liked how Lou would attempt to whittle away at Will’s stubbornness and get him to try new things. In these six months I think Will and Lou got to know each other more than they had with anyone else. I became to adore Will’s sweet gestures, his witty sense of humour and his continual nagging at Lou to experience Life, it was something that I really wanted Lou to do too, but with Will by her side.

Me Before You was one of the most beautifully written reads, I know that this will be a book that I will come back to time and time again just to experience Will and Lou’s incredible story. I normally gravitate to books which leave you emotionally overwhelmed and tend to stamp all over your heart. But Me Before You was just whole another step up from what I was expecting, I was a sobbing mess until I finally turned the last page. I don’t think my review could ever live up to what a wonderful book this was, Lou and Will be two characters that I won’t be forgetting for a long time to come.


Sunday 22 February 2015

Showcase Sunday #67

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.  

Hi all, I hope you've had a wonderful couple of weeks since our last post, I decided to reign it in with the review requests, especially as I'm trying to cut down my review pile, if you do want to buddy read an ARCs do let me know, my current ARC to read list can be found here. So here a the great books I received in the last few weeks. 

 (Click on titles for Goodreads link)


Thank you MIRA Ink UK and Delacorte

I've not read anything by Alsaid before, but I always love books that feature friendships between characters that evolve into a romance, and Never Always Sometimes sounds super cute! Morrill's The Trouble with Destiny isn't out until December this year, but I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy, the cover is pretty amazing, so I have my fingers crossed that I will enjoy the book just as much. And finally The Darkest Part of the Forest has been receiving some amazing reviews so far and although its not the sort of book I would normally read, I am very excited about finally giving it a go. 

Rachel's Haul:
 (Click on title for Goodreads link)  Envy  Graffiti Moon  Breath of Scandal

I'm excited for the Sandra Brown additions! Her mysteries are well-plotted and her romances are very hot! I received Breath of Scandal for a tour and I'll be reviewing it on March 24th.  I've heard good things about Crushed so I gave in and requested it.  Graffiti Moon and Envy by Sandra Brown is a library audio book lend. I've read Graffiti Moon and loved it, such gorgeous writing so I couldn't pass up listening to it. The audio version was superb with Aussie three performers: one for Ed, Lucy and Poet.

 What books are you excited for this week?  Link us up and we'll come check them out!

Friday 20 February 2015

Review: No More Confessions (Confessions #3) by Louise Rozett

No More Confessions by Louise Rozett
Publisher: Stonesong
Publication Date: January 25th 2015
My rating: 4 stars  

For Rose Zarelli, freshman year was about controlling her rage. Sophomore year was about finding her voice. With all that behind her, junior year should be a breeze, right? Nope. When a horrific video surfaces, Rose needs the one person she wants to be done with, the person who has broken her heart twice—Jamie Forta. But as the intensity between them heats up, Rose realizes she isn’t the only one who needs help. The thing is, Jamie doesn’t see it that way—and that could cost them both everything.

No More Confessions was one of my highly anticipated reads; I loved the previous two books in the series that I couldn’t wait to get back to Rose’s story. Rose had come a really long way since we first met her in Confessions of an Angry Girl. She was a girl who was still getting to know her way in the world, but also a girl who showed tremendous growth. I loved how in comparison to other people, Rose came across as a really mature individual. Okay sometimes she was quite impulsive and her temper got the better of her, but that’s what makes Rose who she is. In this book however she showed more maturity than one character in particular, this character sort of made me mad at times. I wanted to shake them a couple of times, I think my feelings of annoyance out-weighed my feelings of adoration this time around. Although this character did have some super sweet moments which I loved, I just wanted the character back that I’d come to know and love. The worst thing was that I thought with certain help from people, this would help this character stay on track, but maybe a bit of separation is what is needed for everyone *cries*

No More Confessions was a different tone than the previous books, there were a lot of important decisions that Rose had to make right from the beginning, and I think the growth of her character really shone through during these moments. It was a lot for a 16 year old to deal with, but with the right amount of support from her family and friends I think Rose went on to make the right decisions when she needed to. It wasn’t however always a sombre tone through this book. I liked it in particular how some characters and their quirky personalities, could just lift your mood right up. We had Robert and his endearing attempts to get his ex-girlfriend back and Angelo and his “sweater” references brought back all the fond memories of why I fell in love with these characters and series in the first place.

I did think that No More Confessions would be the final book in the series, but with the way things have been left, there is so much potential for there to be another book in this fantastic series so far. Also there’s still a few things I still need answers to and I still want that one particular ending, I know my review has been pretty vague, but there’s so much brilliance that fans of this series need to experience for themselves! Fans won’t be disappointed, as this is one book that shouldn’t be missed out on.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Blog Tour: Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson

Hi everyone, today as part of the Conspiracy Girl blog tour I get to share a wonderful extract and giveaway with you, I am a huge fan of Sarah's work, so super excited to be part of this tour. Before this great extract here's a bit about Conspiracy Girl (and don't you think the cover is awesome?)

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 12th February 2015
Everybody knows about the Cooper Killings. There was only one survivor – fifteen year-old Nic Preston. Now eighteen, Nic is trying hard to rebuild her life. But then one night her high-security apartment is broken into. It seems the killers are back to finish the job. Finn Carter – hacker, rule breaker, player – is the last person Nic ever wants to see again. He’s the reason her mother’s murderers walked free. But as the people hunting her close in, Nic has to accept that her best chance of staying alive is by staying close to Finn. And the closer they get to the truth, and to each other, the greater the danger becomes.

He’s been in the bathroom over two hours. I don’t even a Kardashian takes this long. I prise Goz’s head off my lap and walk over to the bathroom door. My hand is half raised, ready to knock, when I stop myself. What if he’s … I don’t know... doing something in there? I stand there frozen.
                But the fact is I’m freaking out here on my own, with the only thing to occupy my attention a grainy image of my bloodstreaked apartment, occasionally interrupted by the sight of a bored NYPD cop chomping his way through a box of Dunkin’ Donuts.
                Finally, I tap on the bathroom door lightly. There’s no answer. A spurt of adrenaline rushes through me as I entertain a rush of ideas involving Finn lying dead on the bathroom floor. I don’t know. Maybe I’m paranoid and deluded, but I think I have grounds for both.
                ‘Finn’? I say. I knock again and call his name louder, hearing the trace of irritation in my voice. I’m still angry at him. He called me a liar, saying my testimony was full of holes. I’ll give him full of holes.
                Even if what he and Maggie are saying about the FBI being involved is true, it doesn’t mean that Miles and McCrory aren’t involved as well. But what did Aiden hide in my apartment? And did he even hide anything? It’s just conjecture.
                I push my ear against the bathroom door but it’s hard to hear anything over the sound of the cube’s persistent humming. My hand slides to the door handle. Should I try it? Finally, I give into to my paranoia and twist the handle.
                Finn’s lying in the bath, his head tipped back against the edge and his eyes closed. One arm trails down the side, his fingers brushing the rug. For a heart-stopping moment I think he’s dead and then I realise he’s just asleep. Clouds of steam envelope him and his face is flushed from the heat.
                My heart rate amps up as my gaze dips, before I can stop it, to his shoulders and his chest and then… I turn in a fluster, almost tripping over Goz, who has also come into investigate. Goz struts right past me and pads over to the bath.
‘Goz!’ I hiss ‘Come back!’
                But Goz completely ignores me. He pauses by the bath and cocks his head to one side.
I tiptoe closer. ‘Goz!’ I whisper, grabbing him by the collar, ready to yank him out of there, but Goz won’t budge. He picks up a paw and in a moment of pure frozen horror I see exactly what he’s about to do. Before I know it I’m employing my Russian Olympic coach voice. ‘Goz!’ I shout as my dog’s paw touches the water prodding Finn in the stomach.
Finn shoots upright in the tub, jumping straight to his feet, water sloshing in waves over the sides of the bath. Goz barks loudly. Finn stand there, totally naked, slightly unsteady on his feet, his muscles locked as though he’s about to start a race and breathing hard enough that it looks like he just finished one. I think we just scared him half to death.
‘I was worried’ I say, trying not to stare anywhere but his face. I close my eyes and turn around. ‘Sorry’ I say. ‘He thought you were drowning’, I add, embarrassment feeling like hot coals bring strapped to my face.
‘Goz!’ I hiss furiously, snapping my fingers until I fell Goz rubbing against my legs. I haul him out of the bathroom and quickly, quietly close the door behind me.

What did you guys think? I think this is one of my favourite scenes from the book, Finn was certianly able to win me over very quickly!

If you're interested in reading Conspiracy Girl, Sarah is giving away signed copies of Conspiracy Girl, The Sound and Out of Control and you can even win at having a character named after you in one of Sarah's books. (I think Jasprit and Alex has a nice ring to it ;). Just enter by completing the rafflecopter form below, the giveaway is interantional! Also make sure you check out the rest of the Conspiracy Girl Blog Tour, there are many other hot extracts, reviews and interviews to look forward to!

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Spotlight: Clear by Jessica Park

I've loved Jessica Park's writing so I'm excited to Spotlight her newest novel: Clear: A Death Trippers Novel. Scroll down to find out a little more about this book:

Title: CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel
Age: NA
Genre: Parnormal Romance
Author: Jessica Park
Cover Designer: The Cover Lure
Release date: February 17, 2015
Purchase Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Stella Ford’s grasp on reality is already loose, and it’s about to come undone.

When the college junior flees Chicago and leaves her toxic family behind, she heads for coastal Maine to find the one person who brought her peace years ago: Sam Bishop. But the Sam she once knew now has painful secrets.  

Stella is determined to heal them both. Healing, however, is a challenge when the walls of her everyday existence collapse. And when Sam’s best friend is his worst enemy.

When the line between life and death blurs.

When an end is just a beginning.

When lust and rage rule.

Yet during extraordinary chaos, there can be extraordinary love, even if that love comes with a twist.

Welcome to death tripping.

A thriller, a paranormal, and a passionate romance, CLEAR crosses genres and breaks boundaries.

About the Author:

Jessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

 Connect with Jessica Park: | Facebook | Twitter
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