Tuesday, 29 September 2015

MUD VEIN by Tarryn Fisher


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I grabbed a copy of this book for my Kindle as soon as I finished Marrow . And I'm glad I did.

Senna is an author who wakes up one morning to find herself trapped inside a house with another person. The house is surrounded by snow. It's also got power, food, and other supplies to last them a long time. The one thing they can't do is leave, because there's an electric fence around the property. Besides, they're in the middle of nowhere.

Alone and desperate to figure out who brought them here, and how they can escape, Senna is forced to remember bits and pieces of her life. Mainly the things that made her the sad individual she has become: a mother who abandoned her, a disconnected father, an attack and disease. Of course, hidden in all the sadness is her one true light. The only person who truly cared. Also the one she pushed away.

Yikes! This book is so emotionally heavy. It's a very interesting human study. It's a twisted drama wrapped up in a creepy thriller shell. It's also very depressing.

Senna is not a happy narrator.

She's... complicated. She's negative and hounded by misfortune. She's hard to love, but somehow makes others want to look out for her. Senna is antisocial, a recluse, and half the time doesn't know what she wants. She can be so frustrating! But her character development is interesting, kept me hooked to the page.

And the way this story ties into Marrow only raises more questions about both books. Which I think is both awesome and clever. How much of what Senna and Margo go through is real and how much is delusion? Great question!

Yep. I really enjoyed this and will certainly read more books by this talented author.

PS. I think it's very sneaky to give a bleak, sad character a name that means brightness. :)

Friday, 25 September 2015

SUNKISSED by Jenny McLachlan

Sunkissed
Kat can't believe her family are sending her to Sweden for the summer. But without her friends, or even a phone signal, can Kat make it on her own?
 
In a land of saunas, nudity and summer sun, Kat soon realises she has nowhere to hide. It's time to embrace who she really is, underneath what she's been thinking people want her to be. Especially if she's going to win the heart of mega fit Swede Leo! Can Kat find her inner strength and prove she's got what it takes?
 
Kat soon finds that when you're surrounded by phosphorescence and wonder it's easy to sparkle. Or maybe that's what happens when you fall in love… Or maybe you only shine when you're true to yourself.
 

I absolutely loved the first two books in the Ladybirds series, so I was really looking forward to reading Kat's story.
 
After getting caught hiding inside her wardrobe with her sister's ex-boyfriend, Kat's parents have had enough of her getting up to mischief. So instead of staying home for the summer with her older sister Britta, or going to the USA with her parents, she's shipped off to Sweden. Where she will stay with her Aunt Frida.
 
She hates the fact she'll be leaving her friends Bea, Betty and Pearl behind to stay on a boat, but at least she'll be in Stockholm. She can go shopping, enjoy the sun, and hang out with her aunt. However, the day she arrives, Aunt Frida tells her they're going to a small island. All of a sudden, the summer just got worse. They're staying in a cabin with no electricity, she can hardly wear the outfits she's taken with her, and she can't even call or text her friends because there's no mobile phone service.
 
Stråla doesn't start out being the ideal place for a summer holiday, but soon she meets the funny Nanna and her twin brother Sören. Not to mention the teenage boy everyone keeps talking about. Leo's supposed to be a fit, outdoorsy kind of guy, but when she meets him she's not all that impressed. Well, until she hangs out with him and starts to enjoy herself.

But when his Tuff Troll partner arrives on the island, Kat is disheartened and can't believe what a fool she's been. The only way to survive the rest of the summer is to show everyone what she's capable of, by actually taking part in the upcoming Tuff Troll. To do that she'll need a partner, so she sends an SOS to her friends. Hoping that at least one of them will be able to help her...

Kat's story turned out to be really interesting. It's about discovering yourself, and pushing out of your comfort zone until you realise you're a lot stronger, and more determined than you ever imagined. Kat's voice isn't fiery and funny like Bea's, or quirky and hilarious like Betty. She's a lot more serious and seems to find herself constantly (accidentally) falling into bizarre situations. She feels like an outcast in her own family, which has a huge effect on her behaviour.

I enjoyed the awesome cast of secondary characters in this story. Frida is a fun, free spirit with a kind heart. Nanna is a lovely, bubbly girl who turns out to be a great friend. Otto is a clever wise man, and pretty much the King of the Island and makes everyone's stay a lot more fun than expected. I also liked seeing a different side of the usually bitchy Pearl. The only character I didn't warm to was Leo. I didn't find him as fascinating as everyone else seemed to. But it made no difference, I still loved the story.

Sunkissed is another entertaining instalment in this super cute series about a group of teenage girls who were childhood friends, lost each other, and are now finding their way back. It's also a very different take on a summer romance. The boy takes the backseat and Kat finding herself--as well as enjoying the true meaning of friendship--takes the driver's seat. Oh, and Kat might not be as quirky as her friends, but she's certainly surrounded by several quirky characters in what turned out to be another fun book!

Can't wait for the next one.

Sunkissed, September 2015, ISBN 9781408856116, Bloomsbury Childrens

Thursday, 24 September 2015

NIGHT OWLS by Jenn Bennett


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just knew I would love this book! Why? Well, because the blurb sounded intriguing. And because I loved the Arcadia Bell series. :)

Jenn writes awesome books. Her heroines are smart and strong. Her heroes are totally swoon-worthy. And she knows how to weave a story, that's for sure.

Anyway. I wasn't feeling well yesterday and spent most of the day reading this cool book.

Beatrix--Bex--is an artist. Her fascination with anatomy means she loves to draw the inner-workings of the body. Her art is dark, and some might say gory. Jackson--Jack--is a street artist. His art is bold, gold words spray-painted all over San Francisco. Which some might call illegal.

When these two meet on the night bus, the mutual attraction is instant. But she has a feeling he's nothing but trouble. Problem is, he might be the kind of trouble she needs.

The more they get to know each other, the deeper their bond becomes. As their separate family troubles and secrets are slowly revealed, will their need to be together overcome the hardships?

OMG. This book was SO awesome. Just like I knew it would be! I loved Bex. She was a loner with so much depth. Jack is also a loner in his own way. Their art keeps them apart from others because both are so different. But it was so cool how they respect each other's art choices, and it kinda brings them together. They're an awesome couple, and their journey is interesting and heartfelt.

I absolutely adored this book!

Also, the cover is gorgeous. I've got the UK cover. The US cover--which has a different title--is also cool.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My daughter borrowed this book from the library after I pointed it out to her. She actually read it before me and really enjoyed it.

I started yesterday afternoon and finished this morning. I loved it! It's one of those books that suck you in, and before you realise it you're halfway through!

Maddy is allergic to everything. Her whole world is inside the house she shares with her mother. Even though she loves her mother--who's also her doctor--and they get along really well, Carla--her nurse--is Maddy's only friend.

When an intriguing cute guy with obvious family issues moves in next door and starts showing an interest in her, Maddy finds herself in the middle of an impossible friendship. One that leads to so much more.

Maddy and Olly find a lot more than they bargained for in each other. But how is a girl who can't step out into the world supposed to let herself fall in love?

OMG. This book was adorable. Such a bittersweet love story between two seemingly unlikely kids. There was also a twist, that although I saw coming while reading, hadn't expected before that.

There were a lot of awesome things about this book. It's full of hope and love. On the flipside it's also about fear and isolation.

Loved it!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

MARROW by Tarryn Fisher


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG. I just finished reading this amazing book and needed a moment to let it all sink in...

*sigh*

Okay. I'm ready to talk about this trippy book.

Firstly, I love this:

In the Bone there is a house.
In the house there is a girl.
In the girl there is a darkness.

And secondly, I LOVE the cover. It's what I like to call creepy pretty. And captures the feel of the book.

Margo lives in a crappy place everyone calls the Bone. She lives inside what she calls the eating house with her detached mother, who only orders her around but doesn't actually talk, listen or even looks at her.

In spite of her sad home life, Margo still manages to make it through school and get a job. She's also caring, and hates injustice against innocent people. Plus she has a great friend she loves spending time with. Judah is in a wheelchair, but he doesn't let that get in the way of living a full life.

The day a local girl she knows disappears, Judah and Margo decide to do whatever they can to help find her. What she discovers changes her forever, and turns her into a calculated vigilante...

Wow. This story is awesome! I loved Margo. She's such an awesome character with a huge character arc. I also loved Judah. I loved the way the story was written. Loved how the story unfolded. AND, I LOVED how everything gets turned upside down and inside out. Until I had to go back to a few places in the story to double check a few things.

Phew!

I absolutely love stories like these. I always enjoy books that make you doubt your perception. And BLOWS YOUR MIND!

Oh, and I found out that Mud Vein fits in with this book, so I just bought it. Can't wait to read it as well.

I seriously loved this book!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

BETWEEN by Jessica Warman

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was originally going to hide this review because of spoilers, but I decided not to because Liz's condition becomes apparent in Chapter One. So, there you go. ;)

This is a book that I've had on my Kindle for a while and have been itching to read. I also love that cover. It's creepy, mysterious, but pretty. So, I decided to check it out the other day and as soon as I read the first chapter, I was hooked.

Liz wakes up on her father's boat the morning after her 18th birthday party because she hears a noise outside. All of her friends are still sleeping, which isn't surprising. They all got drunk and high the night before. When she goes outside to investigate, she finds herself in the water. Drowned. Dead. And she can't understand what happened to her. Then a boy from her school who died a year ago appears beside her.

Alex is a nobody, and was killed during a hit-and-run when he was going home after work. They never found who was responsible, but his family hasn't given up hope. Now Liz is stuck with him. The grumpy kid who doesn't like or respect her. He doesn't like her friends, or the obnoxious way they tried to run the school. He hated them because they were mean. And he wasn't wrong.

As Liz starts remembering important memories that will eventually reveal what happened that fateful night, she slowly starts to realise that she was an awful person. A mean, self-centered brat who treated everyone like crap and thought very highly of herself. But all of that was a mask to hide the truth. Liz was haunted by the loss of her mother at a young age and the rumors that have circled her family for years. The only way she knew how to deal with it was by being awful, and by running. She loved to run. But when something she couldn't deal with happened, she ended up almost running herself to death.

And when she finds out exactly what happened to both Alex, and then a year later, to her... she won't believe it. Yet won't be able to deny it.

As I mentioned above, I LOVED the first chapter. But then when Liz meets Alex and we get to find out what she's like, I started to wonder if I wanted to continue. But I did, because I knew that this story contained a whole bunch of secrets that would be worth it, and two mysteries that I had to uncover. I did work out both of them before they were revealed, but it didn't take away from experiencing her story through her eyes.

Liz's transformation is amazing, and definitely worth reading every intriguing word of this book. This book explores a lot of very heavy stuff that will always remain relevant in life and storytelling. The depth of the narration and character is quite amazing.

In the end, I loved this totally messed-up family drama that explores just how far some people are willing to go to get what they want, and destroy what they covet.

Monday, 7 September 2015

DECEPTIONS by Kelley Armstrong

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TRUST NO ONE
Olivia Jones is desperate for the truth. The daughter of convicted serial killers, she has begun to suspect that her parents are innocent of their crimes. But who can she trust, in a world where betrayal and deception hide in every shadow?
RISK EVERYTHING
Liv does have one secret weapon: a mysterious sixth sense that helps her to anticipate danger. The trouble is, this rare power comes with its own risks. There are dark forces that want to exploit Liv's talents - and will stop at nothing to win her to their side.
FACE THE TRUTH
Now Liv must decide, before it's too late. Who does she love? Who is really on her side? And can she save herself without burning down everything that matters most?


I really enjoyed the first two books in the Cainsville series, so I was looking forward to finding out what was going to happen next.
 
Olivia Taylor-Jones has been through a lot of weird stuff since she found out she wasn't the biological daughter of the privileged Chicago family who raised her. Her parents are actually convicted serial killers, and are both in prison. But that's not all that's turned her life upside down. She can see omens, and has recently started to have visions which are taking a huge toll on her sanity and body. Yet, these are visions that she must allow to happen if she wants to find out the truth about Cainsville, her heritage, and if the Larsens really did commit the horrible crimes they were imprisoned for.
 
That's made harder by the fact that there are mysterious, dark forces at play. Creatures from the old world who are playing games and/or causing chaos in her life, and in the lives of the people she cares about. Not to mention that her ex-fiancé has become a seriously creepy stalker, and that her friendship with Gabriel seems to go through so many ups and downs she's not sure if they're okay half the time.
 
At least she's got Ricky. The biker and all-round nice guy who is fun, attentive and respectful. The one person who is not involved in all the craziness in her world and can make her forget about everything. Until she finds out that he's also involved in the sequence of events two different sides of the fae coin are trying to play out.
 
This book was just as good as the two before it. Not only does it delve even deeper in the fae side of things so that we start to understand exactly who Olivia is and why the fae want things to happen a certain way, but we also get to find out a lot of truths. Of course, there are a bunch of deceptions laid out along the way, and some even threaten to drive Olivia insane. But what I really liked was that her visions have led to a place of understanding, so she can finally realise how important both Gabriel and Ricky are to her.
 
Plus we finally get to find out the truth about her biological parents. Yikes! Didn't see that coming.
 
Deceptions is another intriguing instalment in this thrilling series. I love how easily Kelley Armstrong is able to hook me into her stories and keep me glued there until bits and pieces of the bigger picture are slowly revealed. She's also created a fascinating trio with a very interesting angle. And I particularly love how she mixed so much myth, folklore and preternatural elements into an excellent thriller.
 
The only thing I missed was Cainsville and its mysterious residents, which did make an appearance but were mostly in the background this time around.
 
Still, I'm definitely looking forward to finding out more.
 
 
Deceptions, August 2015, ISBN 9780751557602, Sphere

Friday, 4 September 2015

Queen of Shadows Contest Winners!


Queen of Shadows

Well, it's time to announce the TWO winners of the QUEEN OF SHADOWS contest. I picked the winners by using Random.org.

They are: 

 Hailey Wood 

and

Mehray


Congrats!

Send me an email to yolanda(at)yolandasfetsos(dot)com with your name and postal address. I will then pass the details onto Bloomsbury Australia so your copy can be sent out. Yay.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Have a great weekend. :)

Thursday, 3 September 2015

THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY by Stephanie Oakes


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My daughter borrowed this book from the library and read it very quickly. She also said it was great, so I decided to read it too.

Minnow has spent most of her young life in the wilderness, living away from society in the Kevinian cult. The Prophet tells them what to do, how to think, and manipulates everything by using the name of God. But Minnow has lots of questions, and the Prophet doesn't have answers.

Luckily, she finds other sorts of answers in the woods where she meets Jude. A boy her age living in his own version of the wilderness. Together they form a bond, a strong friendship that blossoms into more when they get older.

But the cult has other plans for her. Plans that include marriage and stealing something no one has a right to take--her hands. What follows is a nightmarish night that ends up with Minnow committing a horrible act of violence that sends her into juvenile detention.

She goes from one prison to another, but this new one might be just what she needs. With the help of a friend and a doctor who wants to help, she might end up discovering her own meanings about life and the world she lives in.

OMG. Wow.

This book is powerful. Seriously. It's so well written, and Minnow's tale is so captivating, that I was hooked from the very beginning. It was so sad to watch this poor girl relive the awful things she was forced to live with because of her parents' blind faith. And then have to suffer the consequences because the trauma pushes her over the edge. Still, her development is amazing. I loved how she goes from a scared, mixed up girl to someone who can face the past and accept the future. Even if it means giving up what she thought she wanted.

I really enjoyed this book. It was SO freaking good!

The only frustrating bits were the ones that dealt with the Prophet because this might be fiction, but assholes like that really exist in this world. It's awful how these cults preaching the word of God always have two things in common: oppressing women and using religion as an excuse to abuse young girls. It's despicable and makes me sick!

And that's another reason why this book is so amazing. It captured everything so vividly, and honestly. I also liked how the girls in juvie were portrayed.

Yep. Such a powerful story!

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

HORROR BLOCK


Check it out:

 

The August HORROR BLOCK box arrived yesterday afternoon!

This time I had NO idea what was going to be inside. So I couldn't wait to find out...

This is what it looked like when we first opened it:


Can you guess what caught my eye first? Yep. It was this guy:


You all know how much I love Jason Voorhees, and this plushie is adorable. Besides, without his machete he's also harmless. ;)

Anyway.

This is everything that was inside:


There were so many cool things this time.  And I shared them: daughter got the tee (I'm not a Beetlejuice fan) and hubby got the movie (he's a Danny Trejo fan).

Loved this box!

Horrorlujah.



 
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