Wednesday 30 March 2016

HELL OF A RIDE is now available!

The first ELSEWHERE book is here!

Lavie & Saul's road trip story is now in the wild... 

It only takes one spark to start a bushfire…and no one sparks like a demon. 

 Elsewhere, Book 1 

 Lavie Grye has everyone fooled into believing she’s over the untimely death of her aunt. Truth is, she’s stuck in struggle town, dealing with bottled up grief by kicking some demonic butt. But when a hot, tempting demon named Saul comes knocking for help, she can’t turn him down. 

There’s a high-ranking demonic duke loose on the eastern side of Australia, literally scorching his sigil into the land. Unless he’s stopped, he’ll destroy the world’s intricate network of ley lines. 

 Lavie and Saul head out on a road trip to the next city Saul thinks the three-headed demon and his crazy conjurer partner will be targeting: Melbourne. Along the way, Lavie discovers the danger burns a path all the way back to a well-hidden family secret. And, with Saul’s help, begins to learn how to be comfortable in her own skin. 

 That is, if they can defeat the threat, ensure no more safe havens are destroyed—and manage to evade the killing shadows of Saul’s past. 

 Warning: This book features a feisty demon hunter and a demonically sexy prince, embarking on one hell of a road trip. Buckle your seatbelt—jumping the fire line can get dicey.

Also available in print:

Tuesday 29 March 2016


To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My daughter borrowed this book from the library last week. Since she liked it and I'd heard some good things about it, I decided to read it too.

Lara Jean is the middle child. She has two sisters, one older and one younger. Her older sister Margot is going to study overseas, so she's got some big shoes to fill. Her younger sister Kitty is a total smartass. Their mother passed away when they were quite young, so the Song girls know how to take care of themselves.

What Lara Jean doesn't do well is make friends, or know how to deal with boys. That's why she writes love letters to the five boys she's loved. It's her way of closing that chapter and moving on. She keeps them hidden inside a hatbox her mother gave her, and no one knows about them.

Well, until the day they all get sent out and suddenly her life is turned upside down...

I won't say anything else about the plot because finding out how it unfolds was truly a wonderful reading experience. I loved how unpredictable and totally captivating this book turned out to be.

Lara Jean is charming and innocent. She's even silly sometimes, and totally neurotic. I loved how she was clueless about boys and gets into some situations that made me LOL. But most of all, I enjoyed her voice. It felt like a genuine teenage narrator telling this cute and sweet story.

Loved this book! Can't wait to find out what other trouble Lara Jean gets herself into next.

Friday 25 March 2016

THINGS I CAN'T FORGET by Miranda Kenneally

Things I Can't Forget

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's no secret that I love this series, and because I've been reading them out of order and already met Matt & Kate, I was really looking forward to reading about when they got together.

Kate is a churchy, good girl who is so religious she's super annoying about her beliefs. She constantly judges everyone around her and pretty much condemns everything they say and do. However, when her friend gets into some serious boy trouble and Kate helps her 'commit sin', she can't get over what she did. She judges her friend, stays away from her, and constantly feels sorry for herself because she was dragged into the situation.

(I won't reveal what it was because, spoilers.)

During the summer, Kate signs up to be a counselor at Cumberland Creek camp to try and put the bad memories behind her. And right away, her judgemental ways rear their ugly head. But then she meets Matt. A gorgeous boy from her past. One she really likes and slowly starts to fall for. He makes her feel things she's never felt before, and soon, she starts to realise that temptation might not be as bad as she thought. Though it sure is confusing...

I have to admit that out of all the books in this series, this one had the only main character I just could not relate to. It wasn't her goody-two shoes ways, it was how her belief system turned her into a judgemental monster who later becomes a total hypocrite and doesn't know how to deal with it. But she wasn't that bad throughout the whole book, just when she got on her churchy pedestal. That's when she really bugged me.

My favourite thing about Kate--and why I ultimately did enjoy her story--was that she spoke her mind. So often teenage characters bottle things up or don't say what they mean, but she did. She was always honest, and I really liked that about her. I was also glad to see her tolerance and understanding evolve in the end, but didn't like some of the things she did to get there.

It was also nice to catch up with Parker & Will, plus Jordan & Sam. And I really liked Matt. He made the book! I liked him as a character and also because, in so many ways, he helped Kate find some real balance.

This was another interesting book in the Hundred Oaks series.

Sunday 13 March 2016

STEALING PARKER by Miranda Kenneally

Stealing Parker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the fourth Hundred Oaks book I've read, and I enjoyed it as much as the other three.

Parker's family has recently suffered some shame. Her mother left the family for a woman. Her brother has stopped caring about anything. Her father is in denial. And Parker gave up softball because of the constant bullying by her former best friend. She also became the valedictorian and knows what college she's going to.

Oh, and she started kissing boys. A lot.

It's important to her that people don't think she'll turn out like her mother.

At least she's got her dependable best friend, Drew. And when he signs her up to be the manager of the boy's softball team, she meets the hot new coach. That's when her crush on the older man starts and spirals out of control before she realises what's happening. The only problem is that while Brian excites her, he doesn't really want anything serious with her. Not to mention that a friend and former academic rival, Corndog, suddenly makes her feel happy and safe. But when everything comes out in the open, will she lose it all?

I love how every story in this series fits in so well, but are all so different. There are a few familiar faces, but we're introduced to a new set of characters with serious problems of their own. There are also some very interesting twists and turns in Parker's pursuit to find happiness while she works out and chases what she really wants.

She fights so hard to convince others she's nothing like her mother, that she ends up letting everyone else's judgemental comments and attitudes affect her life. It also highlights how important perspective is, and just how awful people can be.

I really loved this story. It's another winner!

Wednesday 9 March 2016

SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo

The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

 Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom's magical elite - the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina's childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can't she ever quite forget him?

I've had my eye on Six of Crows for a while now, but when I found out it was set in the world of the Grisha trilogy--and Hachette Australia was nice enough to send me a copy of the first book--I knew I had to read this first. 

And I'm glad I've started at the beginning.

Alina and Mal are orphans who grew up together. They were always there for each other when no one else was. But now they're all grown up, and although they're both with the military, they each have their own positions and responsibilities. Alina is a junior cartographers' assistant and Mal is a tracker. They're still able to talk and keep an eye on each other. Well, Alina is mostly watching Mal getting to know other girls from afar. 

However, the day they're on a skiff making its way across the Shadow Fold and the awful monsters living inside this terrifying stretch of darkness almost kill Mal, Alina unleashes a power she didn't even know she had. Soon, the Darkling takes a special interest in her and starts claiming she's a Sun Summoner. He sweeps her away from the life that she knows and the boy that she loves, and takes her to the castle. Here she's to live a lavish life of comfort, dress in expensive clothes, train with other Grisha, and eventually become the Dakling's personal tool. 

For someone who has lived most of her life as an invisible girl, getting the special attention of the handsome and very seductive Darkling fills her with excitement. He's alluring and his power calls to her. She can't help but develop feelings for him, even if she never forgets about Mal. But it doesn't take long for Alina to realise that the Darkling's special interest in her is dangerous, and might not be exactly what she desired...

Wow. What an awesome book! This was one of those stories that slowly sets the pace, introduces the characters, the world, and what's at stake... without you noticing that you're totally hooked and must keep reading until the end. Yep. Wow.

The world of the Grisha is fascinating and dangerous. Everything appears beautiful and shiny on the outside, but hides a ruthless and very rotten core. It's where the mysterious and alluring Darkling holds the promise of releasing Ravka from the darkness that threatens to consume the land, or he could be chasing a different goal. Nothing is as it seems. 

Shadow and Bone is an intriguing and unique dark YA fantasy. This book throws the reader into a bedazzling world hiding so much that when the layers slowly start to peel off, you're totally taken by surprise. It's thrilling, exciting, dangerous, and filled with characters that keep you engrossed until the very last word. 

This book could have easily become just another generic fantasy because it contains some familiar tropes: young girl discovers a strong power, she's thrown into a new way of life, must train and even hints at a love triangle. But it's not. There are so many twists and turns, situations you just don't expect or see coming. And that's the awesome thing about this book. You think you know what you're getting into, but you really don't.

Loved it. Can't wait to read the next book.  

Shadow and Bone, October 2014, 9781780622262, Indigo

Tuesday 1 March 2016

THE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've wanted to read this book for a while, so when my local library finally got it (thanks to my daughter) I couldn't wait to read it.

During the month of October, Cara's family goes through what they call the accident season. For years the whole family has suffered through accidents, deaths and tragedy around this time of the year. And this year is no different.

Actually, the only difference now is that Cara has started asking questions about their misfortunes. After she notices that her old friend Elsie has disappeared but seems to show up in all of her photos, she can't help but wonder what happened to her. She used to see her at school all the time and all of a sudden no one even knows what grade Elsie is in.

So with the help of her older sister Alice, her ex-stepbrother Sam and her best friend Bea, they try to figure out where/who she is. But during the accident season, bruises and broken bones get in the way, and make everything harder.

Not to mention the secrets rising to the surface. Or the feelings Cara can no longer deny...

Wow. This book was awesome! I loved the creepy vibe and the secrets. Plus the concept was intriguing and hooked me instantly. There's also a magical, ghostly vibe to this story that's very well weaved in. Oh, and the four main characters were so nice, but messed up. I loved the closeness of the siblings and how they're all such close friends.

This is such a creepy, fantastical tale. I absolutely loved it!

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