Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Another week, another month

Yep. That's right. Today is the last day of February. Although I've gotten some stuff done, this month wasn't as productive as January.

Oh well.

I did get the second edit of A PATCH OF DARKNESS done, and emailed back to my editor last Friday. So I got to enjoy the weekend. It was also great to have hubby home on Monday, though it was sad to see him go back to work yesterday.  :(

Oh, and speaking of APoD... it's now listed on Goodreads. Cool, huh? I love that cover a little more every time I look at it. lol. It's just so Sierra!

This week is already half done, so I'm not going to throw myself into anything too involved. What I'd really like to do is get started on the interviews and guest blog posts I need to write about Sierra and the gang. I think that would be fun, and at the same time it'll help clear some of the stuff from my to-do list.

Not much going on right now. Well, okay, I did get a bit of good news last week that I can't share yet... :D

Well, have a great day!

ADVENT by James Treadwell


Magic is returning - and the world will be utterly changed.

For centuries it has been locked away.
Lost beneath the sea.
Warded from earth, air, water, fire, spirits, thought and sight. But now magic is rising to the world once more.

And a boy called Gavin, who thinks only that he is a city kid with parents who hate him, and knows only that he sees things no one else will believe, is boarding a train, alone, to Cornwall.

When he arrives, there is no one there to meet him.


When I found out about this book, I was instantly intrigued. A teenage boy and lost magic, sounds awesome right? Actually, I couldn't wait to get stuck into it...

Gavin is fifteen, and he isn't exaclty your average teenager. He sees things other people don't, and his parents don't understand him. Actually, they don't seem to want him around them. So when he gets on a train and heads to Cornwall to stay with his aunt, he's actually happy to get away from them.

However, when he gets to his destination his aunt isn't there to meet him. She's not even at her house. Soon, Gavin realises that something strange is going on. And a girl called Marina, only gets him deeper into the mystery of magic.

Advent seemed like an intriguing young adult fantasy with a nice mix of mythology, but it didn't work for me. It started out well enough, but I quickly lost interest. I read the first 50 pages or so pretty quickly, but after that I couldn't read anymore than a few pages at a time before skimming ahead, and then losing interest in it completely. I'm not quite sure why, but I just couldn't connect with the characters, the story, or even the world.

Unfortunately, it wasn't for me. I really wanted to like this book, but it didn't work for me. :(        

Advent, February 2012, ISBN 9781444728477, H&S Fiction

Monday, 27 February 2012

GRAVEMINDER by Melissa Marr

Her debut leap into adult fiction lands her in the small community of Claysville, a town where the dead walk free unless their graves are not properly tended. Into this eerie maelstrom, Rebekkah Barrow descends as she returns to a place that she once believed she knew.


I really enjoyed this book! I liked how it started with the mystery of what happened to Maylene, then introduced Rebekkah and Byron... before I got thrown into the weird and bizarre world of Claysville and the land of the dead. I also loved the concept of the Undertaker and the Graveminder. Not to mention the strange Mr. D and the Hungry Dead.

This is also a very well written book. Yeah, I really enjoyed it! :)        
     

Friday, 24 February 2012

Hello, remember me?

LOL.

I can't believe I've been MIA all week. But I had no choice, I've been super busy working on the second edit for A PATCH OF DARKNESS.

I'm having a great time with it. And although I did reach the end this morning, I still have a few things to do before I can email it back to my editor. Firstly, I'll go through all the changes and comments I've made, then I'll address a few notes I jotted down while I was editing.

It's very exciting! I can't wait to have this done and sent back, because it means that Sierra's first book is one step closer to publication. :)

Awesome!

So, asides from that, I haven't really done much else. I've been reading this book, at a much slower pace than usual... But that's okay because edits are always a priority. Still, I'm really enjoying it. It's so interesting, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Well. That's it for today. Not very exciting, I know, but I wanted to post an update.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. Hubby has an RDO on Monday, so it's a three-day weekend for us. Yay! Looking forward to it. It's always great spending time with hubby, and it's also a great reward for the hard work I put into the edit this week. :D

Have a great day!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

ELEVENTH GRADE BURNS by Heather Brewer

The penultimate chapter in the thrilling vampire series!
Things have taken a darker turn for the half-human teenager with an appetite for blood. Joss, a vampire slayer and Vlad’s former friend, has moved back to Bathory. A mysterious and powerful new vampire, Dorian, appears with a shocking secret and an overwhelming desire to drink Vlad’s blood. And Vlad’s arch enemy, D’Ablo, has a sinister plan to eliminate Vlad once and for all. With death threatening from every angle, Vlad will have to use every ounce of his skill and training to survive, but nothing can prepare him for what awaits him in the end.

This is the fourth book in the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series.

Vlad is in year eleven and life isn't any easier. Actually, he's still suffering the heartbreak of having to break up with Meredith to keep her safe, and can't let go of the friendship he shared with the vampire slayer, Joss. And when Joss and his family comes to Bathory, it's clear that he's there to finish what he started--and failed--after staking Vlad.

At least his uncle is now living nearby, and his other vampire mentor is also going to stay in Bathory. Not to mention the new and very creepy Dorian, who is obsessed with tasting Vlad's blood. Or the annoying D'Ablo who is still determined to steal the Pravus power from Vlad. If only school was easier, but it's not. The pesky Eddie is still determined to reveal to the world that Vlad is a vampire, Meredith is seeing Joss, and Vlad is now using the nice girl Snow as his happy meal.

Looks like life is never going to get easier--or better--for Vlad. Not after the shocking last chapter. Wow!

I'm still really enjoying this series, though I have to admit that I started having some mixed feelings about Vlad's behaviour. Especially the way he treats poor Snow, and refises to let go of the idea of Meredith during most of this book. He's maturing into a vampire more than a human now, so it's interesting to see how his thoughts and actions are slowly changing. This series is very well written, that's for sure!

I have one more book to go, and I just can't imagine how Vlad's story is going to end... Can't wait to find out, though. :)


Friday, 17 February 2012

Friday, I'm kinda glad you're here...

My daughter made this drawing on her iPad. I think it's lovely. I also like how she included Loki. So cute!

So, how's your week going? Mine's okay. I've spent most of the week working on the rewrite that's been haunting me for weeks, lol. I'm pleased with the progress I've made. Finally. I've managed to add several new chapters, giving the story a much faster, more action-packed, and much-better beginning.

Now I'm going through the rest of it. Adding, layering, and deleting. Oh yeah, there's a lot of deleting. Which is actually a good thing. One of the characters needs some major work, and I think she's already coming alive a lot better than she had before.

:)

I'm going to do a bit of that today as well. But next Monday, I'll be getting stuck into the second edit of Sierra #1. I received it last night and want to spend next week with Sierra and the gang. Looking forward to it.

I got a real kick out of this yesterday. If you scroll down, you'll see that A PATCH OF DARKNESS is included in this lot of new covers. So exciting! I love reading the All Things Urban Fantasy blog, so it's so cool seeing my cover there. And included with so many other awesome authors! :D

Makes me smile.

And I definitely need something to smile about today, because after watching this pathetic and very crappy ad, and hearing about what these jerks are discussing, I'm plenty pissed off. I have only one thing to say: WTF?? Seriously. These assholes really believe that a bunch of males who have no idea or understanding about the female body, can make such an important decision? They're just hiding behind some religious excuse. Something some men like to do a lot. And let's not forget what this asshole said.

I hate discrimination of any kind, and of course being a woman I'm especially sensitive about female issues. I don't want my daughter growing up in a world where women's rights go backwards.

Man, I need to stop reading this stuff, or it's going to affect my mood all day!

*taking a deep breath*

So, the weekend's just around the corner and I'm determined to enjoy it. Have you got any plans?

Have a great one!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

SWITCHED & THE VITTRA ATTACKS by Amanda Hocking

When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of.

Wow, what an excellent book! I was hooked from the very beginning and couldn't wait to see what happened to Wendy after she was swept away from her 'normal' life, and into one she never dreamed of. One full of secrets, danger, and a place where nothing is what it seems.

The worldbuilding is amazing in this book. I love the world of the Trylle and can't wait to find out more about the Vittra.

Loved it!

I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the next two books in this trilogy... :)


The Vittra Attacks - Short Story

This short story is at the end of this book, and gives us a glimpse into the dark and dangerous world of the Vittra. Enemies of the Trylle who are trying desperately to get their hands on Wendy. And this story covers their failed attempts.

I'm also intrigued by the character Loki, and can't wait to see how he fits into all of this. As well as the ruthless King Oren and his wife Queen Sara.

This world is so dangerous. I feel sorry for Wendy. There's going to be a lot of hardship ahead for her...   

Monday, 13 February 2012

New Cover Alert!!

That's right! I have a brand new--and very gorgeous--cover to share:


Isn't it AWESOME? I absolutely love it! Sierra looks so cool on this cover.

Yeah, I'm very excited!! Thanks so much to Scott, for making it. :)

Well, what do you think?

Oh, and here's the blurb:

All it takes is one weak seam for everything to fall apart.

Sierra Fox, Book 1

In a perfect world, Sierra Fox would have stayed away from the Council she left years ago. But in this world—where spirits have the right to walk among the living—it’s her job to round up troublesome spooks and bring them before that very same Council.

Though her desk is piled high with open cases, she can’t resist an anonymous summons to a mysterious late-night meeting with a bunch of other hunters, each of whom seems to have a unique specialty. The news is dire: something is tearing at the fabric of the universe. If the hunters can’t find who or why in time, something’s going to give in a very messy way.

As current cases, family secrets, new clues and her tangled love life slowly wind themselves into an impossible knot, Sierra finds herself the target of a power-sucking duo intent on stealing her mojo. And realizing she holds the key to the last hope of sealing the widening rift.

Warning: Spook catching: may contain traces of ectoplasm and otherworldly nasties. Not recommended for those with allergies to ghosts, demons, and with boyfriends who think your power is theirs. While reading, avoid dark patches and stay to the light.

A PATCH OF DARKNESS will be available from Samhain Publishing on May 15.

THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith


Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Imagine if she hadn't forgotten the book. Or if there hadn't been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn't fumbled the coins for the toll. What if she'd run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on? Would it have been something else - the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?

Hadley isn't sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it's the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver...

Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

This is one of the longest and most intriguing titles I've heard in a while. But it makes perfect sense after finishing the book.

Hadley doesn't want to go to London, especially since it's to attend her father's wedding. He's marrying a British woman she hasn't met and doesn't want to know about. Still, she gets to the airport, has a fight with her mother, and then finds out she's four minutes late. Enough to miss the plane.

While waiting for the next one, she meets Oliver. A nice guy who is willing to help her out when no one else wants to get involved. He's nice looking, kind, and makes her laugh with his teasing chatter. And as it turns out--after another twist of fate--they end up sitting next to each other on the plane to London.

She finds it amazing how easily she can talk to him about the problems she's continually hounded by. Not just her phobias, but about her father too. She's deeply troubled and even feels betrayed by her father because he basically abandoned Hadley and her mother to go and live somewhere else, and be with someone else. Her relationship with him is pretty much broken, and she's deeply wounded by it. So much that she doesn't believe in marriage.

So when she finds herself in London, and desperately wanting to see Oliver again, does that mean she'll be able to work through all the emotional problems and baggage she's been carrying around?

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is an amazing, engrossing book. The story sucked me in right away, and I enjoyed putting the pieces of Hadley's life back together again. She's such an emotionally-scarred teenager, and I couldn't wait to see her story end in a positive place. In the end, I absolutely loved the journey. As well as what she discovers along the way about herself, Oliver, her parents, and life in general.

Great book!        


The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, January 2012, ISBN 9780755384020, Headline Fiction

Sunday, 12 February 2012

TENTH GRADE BLEEDS by Heather Brewer

It's another sucky year at Bathory High for Vladimir Tod. The evil vampire D'Ablo is hunting for the ritual that could steal Vlad's powers. His best friend Henry doesn't want to be his drudge anymore. And as if all that weren't enough, it's getting harder for Vlad to resist feeding on the people around him. When months go by with no word from Uncle Otis and D'Ablo shows up demanding Vlad's father's journal, Vlad realizes that having a normal high school year is the least of his concerns. Vlad needs to act fast, and even his status as the Pravus won't save him this time...

This is the third book in the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series.

Vlad is now in the tenth grade, and it looks like things are finally starting to go his way. The bullies seem to be staying away, his dream girl is now his girlfriend, and his uncle has stayed all summer.

However, all good things come to an end. After his uncle leaves, Vlad can't get in touch with him when he needs him the most. He finds out most kids still think he's a loser--even though he's with Meredith. Eddie Poe keeps following him around with a camera, obsessed with revealing his secret to the world. And someone else is stalking him--again. He's also having a hard time controlling his bloodthirst. Oh, and then there's the fact his best friend no longer wants to be his drudge...

Yeah, things aren't going too well. And they get worse, before they get any better!

I really like this series! I always have such an awesome time reading these books. Though I have to admit that although there's still plenty of fun, the older Vlad gets, the darker he seems to become in his thoughts and actions. He's also maturing a lot, and making some sacrifices along the way. As well as keeping some very dark secrets.

I can't wait to follow him into the end of his story. I have two more books to go. Thanks to the local library, they're waiting on my TBR pile!        

Saturday, 11 February 2012

A weird week is now over...

It seems like this year's still feeling a little wonky. At least, it is for me.

I just can't seem to get my writing groove going the way I want it to. It's never happened to me before, not like this. It almost feels like my muse has taken an extended leave and is now only coming back on a part-time basis. Seriously, I keep getting short spurts of creativity, followed by nothing. Weird.

At least I've managed to figure some things out about the R&R story I need to get through before tackling anything else. I managed to get a bunch of notes written, pretty much detailing the whole first chapter, and even wrote a whole conversation. I'm happy with how it's coming along--finally--and even got writing this morning. I've now managed the first 2k, which might not sound like much but after the amount of struggling I've been going through, it's great.

I'm also hoping that this kickstarts my muse, creativity, motivation and puts me on the right track to finally run with it. I know that as soon as I get past the first two chapters, I'll be able to move a lot faster. I'm just so determined to get everything right. Though it's no longer the driving force behind this story. Now, I'm actually looking forward to getting it done. So, yeah, a change in attitude certainly helps. :)

We'll see what happens next week, huh? lol.

Asides from the above, I've been bitching about the shitty, rainy weather that's pretty much ruined this whole summer in Sydney, and I've also been reading some more.

Actually, I read two really awesome holiday short stories last night. They're both by James R. Tuck, and feature his character Deacon Chalk. One is called SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP, and the other one is TWAS THE FRIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. They were both really cool, fun tales. So after reading the prequel novella and these, I can't wait to get started on BLOOD AND BULLETS. Which I already have on my TBR pile. :)

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

NIGHT SCHOOL by C.J. Daugherty

When everyone is lying, who can you trust? Allie Sheridan's world is falling apart. She hates her school. Her brother has run away from home. And she's just been arrested. Again.

This time her parents have finally had enough. They cut her off from her friends and send her away to a boarding school for problem teenagers. But Cimmeria Academy is no ordinary school. It allows no computers or phones. Its students are an odd mixture of the gifted, the tough and the privileged. And then there's the secretive Night School, whose activities other students are forbidden even to watch.

When Allie is attacked one night the school begins to seem like a very dangerous place, Allie must learn who she can trust. And what's really going on at Cimmeria Academy.


I have to admit that I didn't know what to expect when I first started reading this book. I knew it was about a troubled girl. I also knew her parents had enough and sent her off to a boarding school. But I didn't know it would hook me in right from the start...

Allie Sheridan is a tomboy, and keeps getting into trouble. Actually, she's been arrested several times already and her parents just don't know what to do with her. So, when they send her off to a boarding school, she doesn't know what to expect. And she pretty much hates her parents for shipping her off, away from her friends.

However, as soon as Allie settles into Cimmeria Academy, she realises things are very different in this school. The building is historic but spooky, technology is not allowed, most of the other students seem to attend because someone in their family did before them, and then there's the elusive Night School. None of this makes any sense to Allie, but she does her best to fit in and soon has a group of friends. As well as a boy after her, and another who seems to hate her.

The night of the Summer Ball, everything changes. There's a fire, a murder, and the lingering secrets she suspected slowly start to rise to the surface. Soon, she doesn't know who she can trust. The people she thought were her friends turn on her. The guy she thought liked her turns out to be a jerk. And the one she was positive hated her might be the only person she can trust to help her sort through everything.

Night School is an atmospheric thriller that grips you instantly and doesn't let you go until the end. I really enjoyed seeing Allie for what she really is--a troubled girl, not a troublemaker. She evolves a lot in this book, letting the reader right into her deepest secrets and fears about the mysterious loss of her brother, until you can't wait for her to find out the truth about everything. And wow, there are some shocking truths.

Oh, and I also loved the ongoing tension. Besides, I'm a sucker for stories with looming secrets! And this one is filled with them.

I can't wait to find out more about Allie's family and Cimmeria.  


Night School , February 2012, ISBN 9781907411212, Atom

Sometimes, things don't go according to plan...

No, they don't.

This week I was determined to get stuck into the (extensive) rewrite of a novella that needs my immediate attention. I brainstormed a bunch of stuff for it last week, I took heaps of notes, I've been visualising the scenes I'm going to add. But when I sat down to actually write it, I managed only three pages.

Three pages that I keep reading over and over again, only to change them. Then, change them again.

It's very frustrating for someone like me. I'm the kind of writer who likes to get totally lost in writing a story and don't look back. Not until it's time for the revision process. But because this happens to be an important R&R, I keep putting a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to deliver a perfect draft. Right away. Which is the problem.

I need to take a deep breath and tackle this rewrite a little differently. It's not until I spoke about all of this with my husband last night that he helped me realise something... this story needs a lot more structure before any writing actually happens. In other words, this pantser might actually need to plot every chapter before writing it. Gasp. ;)

It's what I need to do. 

The worst thing is that I can actually see the chapters play out inside my head perfectly. But when it comes to actually writing--what I know needs to be offloaded from my head and onto the screen--I just freeze. It's so bizarre. And hasn't happened to me before.

Still, I'm a determined person. This isn't going to defeat me. It might be upsetting me a little and setting my plans back, but it won't defeat me. I am determined to tell this story the way it deserves to be told, and it will happen...

In the meantime, I'll be scrawling exactly what needs to be written on paper, and reading plenty of books on the side, to keep the creative juices flowing. Oh, and I will not allow this cloud of pressure to burden me anymore.

Ah, it feels so good to get that out. I feel like all the negative feelings and thoughts are dissolving already. :)

Wish me luck!

Monday, 6 February 2012

THAT THING AT THE ZOO by James R. Tuck

Shredding monsters is his stock and trade. He sniffs them out, tracks them down, and corners them. End of story. But when the tables are turned, expect the unexpected.

Knowing his enemy is a rule Deacon Chalk swears by. But he's never seen anything like whatever is leaving the Atlanta Zoo's most dangerous predators bloodless, skinned, and hanging high in the treetops. And he's only got until sunrise to keep it from turning the entire city into a slaughterhouse.

Now Deacon is in zoo lockdown with a handful of staffers to save. His zookeeper backup has more guts than monster-hunting experience. And the only chance Deacon has to run this thing to holy ground is to unleash his darkest, most uncontrollable instincts...

I was looking forward to getting stuck into the first book in the Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty-Hunter series, when I found out there was a novella prequel. So, I got myself a copy for my Kindle and got stuck into it this morning.

Deacon has been called into the Atlanta Zoo after three animals are found dead, skinned and bloodless. With just a few of the zoo staff left behind, the zoo is on lockdown. But Deacon's not alone, he's got a few people able to help him narrow down what he could be dealing with. But even when he works it out, he still didn't expect how everything turns out.

This novella was great! Deacon's so kick-ass, but still has certain vulnerabilities. I loved the horror, action, mystery... and I'm also intrigued by his past. Can't wait to find out more about what happened to his family.

Yeah, this is going to be another awesome urban fantasy series! :)        

Saturday, 4 February 2012

LENOBIA'S VOW by P.C. and Kristin Cast

The all-new House of Night Novellas will delve into the backgrounds of some of the Tulsa House of Night's most important - and mysterious - professors.

In a small southern town at the turn of the century, young Lenobia is developing into a beautiful young woman with ideas of her own. But when she is Marked as a fledgling vampyre, her world turns upside down, and she is drawn to the musical streets of New Orleans. There, she learns of the city’s dark underbelly, ruled by powerful black magic. As Lenobia experiences her first love – and loss – and discovers a passion for horses to sustain her, she must come face-to-face with Darkness itself. And she may not escape without scars.

I started reading this novella this afternoon, and as soon as I started, I was hooked. Actually, I was so caught up in Lenobia's story that I read it in a handful of hours.

It's 1788 and Lenobia is the bastard daughter of a baron--as people like to remind her. When an odd opportunity arises, her mother ships her off to New Orleans, by pretending she's someone else. Lenobia doesn't want to leave her mother behind, but when she reaches the ship that will take her to the New World, she starts to feel hopeful. Until she spots an evil bishop who's had his eye on her for several years.

She manages to avoid him for weeks, by pretending she's feeling too seasick to leave her shared quarters, while the nun the group of girls are travelling with takes care of her. One morning, unable to stand being cooped up so much, she decides to walk through the ship while everyone's still asleep and ends up in the cargo hold, where there are two beautiful horses. This is also where she meets the alluring Martin, and their interactions develop into something forbidden. Especially since the bishop is determined to get his hands on her, and refuses to give up the notion of making Lenobia his...

Lenobia's Vow is a lovely and very emotional story of love and hope. It's a coming of age story about a girl who wants to become a strong woman in a time where the odds are stacked against her. It's also a tragic love story. First, the sacrifice of her mother encouraging her to leave, and then with what she shares with Martin. It's also a terrifying tale of an evil bishop's manipulation, violence, and dark magic to get what he wants.

I absolutely adored this novella. It's beautifully tragic, and a wonderful addition to the House of Night series.      

Lenobia's Vow: House of Night Novellas #2 , February 2012, ISBN 9781907411199, Atom

Hello, it's the weekend!

So what am I doing blogging? I don't usually blog on the weekend, right?

Well, I'm shaking things up a bit this week. lol.

I hope you've all had a great week. Here in Sydney, the weather's been playing up again. We had a nice and super hot summer day on Monday, and then the rain settled in for the rest of it. Not. Impressed. At. All. This is turning out to be the worst non-summer ever.

Anyway, my daughter went back to school this week. She's now in her last year of primary school and seems to be happy with the class she's been put in. Although she was a bit hesitant about going back. Yeah, six weeks of holidays can do that to ya, I suppose.

Me? It's taking me a while to get into the swing of things too, so I took it easy this week. After a January that was filled with edits, promo, school holidays, and stuff, I was glad to settle down and relax for a bit. I pretty much spent most if it reading these:


They were an awesome selection of YA books, and I enjoyed all of them!

I also spent some time brainstorming the rewrite I'll be working on next week. I had a bunch of notes I had to take, things that kept whirling around inside my head and I didn't want to forget. I've also managed to figure out what I think was missing from the story. I think. No, I'm pretty sure I have. ;)

Well, that's about it. Oh, no, hold on... there is one other thing. I've seen the cover draft for the first Sierra Fox book, and I have to say: Wow! I can't wait to get the final so I can share it. I keep checking my Inbox a thousand times a day... Soon, I hope.

Okay. Have an excellent weekend! I'm looking forward to hubby coming back from work. Yeah, I know. It sucks that he's working on a Saturday, but he should be back after midday. So that's not so bad.

See ya!

Friday, 3 February 2012

XVI by Julia Karr

Every girl gets one.
An XVI tattoo on the wrist--sixteen.


Some girls can't wait to be sixteen, to be legal. Nina is not one of them. Even though she has no choice in the matter, she knows that so long as her life continues as normal, everything will be okay.

Then, with one brutal strike, Nina's normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believed about her life is true. But there's one boy who can help--and he just may hold the key to her past.

But with the line between attraction and danger as thin as a whisper, one thing is for sure...

For Nina, turning sixteen promises to be anything but sweet.


***If you haven't read this book, it might be a good idea not to read this review. There are some spoilers***


After reading the blurb for this book, I was intrigued. The concept is bizarre and is bound to make any woman feel uncomfortable. But with the way the world is today--with the media going crazy over the dumbest things, and the need for some to belittle and control females--it doesn't sound as far-fetched.

Nina lives in a world where as soon as a girl turns 16, she gets a tattoo on her wrist to let the whole world know she's 'legal'. Yeah, legal to have sex. Beforehand, the Media has been prepping them how to become irresistible to the opposite sex, paving the way for perverted predators to take advantage of them. I know, it's really quite sick, right?

The concept of this book might be scary, but the story's fantastic.

Nina's a very strong character with real morals, heart, and determination. Her mother has done everything she can to make sure Nina doesn't become just another statistic. Even after her mother is killed, Nina is determined to carry out her last wishes... which involve tracking down the father she's always believed to be dead.

After moving into the city with her grandparents, she also becomes deeply involved with a boy called Sal. Someone who challenges her decision to not become a sex-teen. She just doesn't believe there's any in-between and assumes all guys are after the same thing. But Sal's different, and also has a connection to the new things she's discovering exist beneath all of the adverts and government control.

There's a lot of stuff going on in this story, like her mother's boyfriend stalking her to fulfill his own ambition, the protective role she takes with her little sister, her best friend's obsession with turning 16 and how it will change her life, her need to find her 'dead' father, seeing the world in a new light, discovering not all 16 girls are the same... Yeah, there's a lot, but it's all awesome! And everything gets resolved, one way or another.

The tension--especially towards the end of the book--is amazing. There's some sadness, and even some hope. The worlduilding is also very detailed.

Yeah, this book turned out to be so much more than I had expected! And I just found out there's a sequel. Can't wait to read it!         

Thursday, 2 February 2012

ENTANGLED by Cat Clarke

The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?
AM I GOING TO DIE?


17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with a table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing.

Grace must face the most important question of all.
Why is she here?


I pretty much read this in one day, because as soon as I got started I wanted to see how Grace's life would unravel.

Grace is seventeen, and deeply troubled. The day she wakes up inside a white room with only a bed, desk, paper, pens, and an attached bathroom, she's convinced she's been kidnapped by a guy called Ethan. After all, he keeps popping in with meals three times a day and a bunch of cryptic comments.

To try and work through everything that led her here, Grace starts to write the story of her life. Which turns out to be a painful, dark, and emotional task. One that gets her one step closer to the truth with every new word she writes. Until one day, everything comes together and she starts to understand what's really going on.

This book was amazing. And totally addictive! I got so stuck into her story that I could hardly put the book down. This is a story of friendship, love, and secrets.

I personally, really, enjoy stories like these. Where the character's so lost and obviously broken that she has no idea what's really going on. And Grace is exactly like that. I had a feeling she was a little unreliable at the beginning, but it wasn't intentional. And I enjoyed how everything is revealed at the end.

I loved this book!   

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

TANTALIZE: Kieren's Story by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Illustrated by hot new talent Ming Doyle, Cynthia Leitich Smith’s TANTALIZE is reimagined as a graphic novel— seen through Kieren’s werewolf eyes.

As a hybrid werewolf, Kieren is destined to join an urban Wolf pack and learn to master his shift. Soon, he’ll leave everything behind: home, school, his family, and Quincie, his human best friend . . . who’s beginning to be a whole lot more than a friend. For years, Kieren has managed to keep his desires— and his wolf— at bay. But when the chef at Quincie’ s family restaurant is brutally murdered, Kieren resolves to be there for her, even if it means being framed. Even if it means watching Quincie’s beloved restaurant morph into a vampire lair. But when the new chef begins wooing her, how long can Kieren control his claws? How long can he protect Quincie— and himself?

In an elegant graphic edition featuring cinematic sequential art by debut artist Ming Doyle and lush, romantic cover art by Sam Weber , bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith re-envisions her delicious dark fantasy through wolfish eyes.

I really enjoyed Tantalize, so when I found out there was a graphic novel of the story through the eyes of Kieren, I borrowed it from the library.

Kieren is a young werewolf who will soon have to go and become a part of a pack. But he's in love with his best friend Quincie. When she starts acting strange and dead bodies start popping up all over the place, Kieren's determined to figure it all out. He's also determined to save Quincie, no matter what.

It was nice reading his side of the story and I really enjoyed how it all came together at the end. The story was great, but the art was good. I kinda wished that the whole book looked just as lovely as the cover, but it didn't. Still, the story and art complemented each other.

NINTH GRADE SLAYS by Heather Brewer

High school totally bites when you’re half human, half vampire.

Freshman year sucks for Vlad Tod. Bullies still harass him. The photographer from the school newspaper is tailing him. And failing his studies could be deadly. A trip to Siberia gives “study abroad” a whole new meaning as Vlad connects with other vampires and advances his mind-control abilities, but will he return home with the skills to recognize a vampire slayer when he sees one? In this thrilling sequel to Eighth Grade Bites, Vlad must confront the secrets of the past and battle forces that once again threaten his life.


This is the second book in the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series. And it was a lot of fun!

Vlad is now in the ninth grade, which means he's attending Bathory High School. However, some things don't change. He's still getting bullied, continues to be tongue-tied around the girl he likes, one of his classmates suspects he's some sort of monster, and he's become the target of a slayer. He's also developed a good friendship with his best friend's cousin, who's come to stay for a while.

At least he's now got a vampire uncle willing to teach him the ways of the vampire. Which includes taking him to Siberia so he can meet a very old vamp and start his training on how to read and control minds. Only, danger is always a lot closer than he expects...

Just like the first installment, I had an awesome time reading this book. It was a lot of fun, and introduced some seriously dangerous consequences for Vlad. I still reckon he's a sweet, nice boy. No matter what any prophecy states. ;)

Oh, and one seriously awesome vampire reference was the place where Joss is from, Santa Carla. I loved it! Very cool.

Here's a quote from one of my favourite movies, The Lost Boys: "One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach...all the damn vampires". ;)        

 
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