Friday, 26 February 2016

BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE by Miranda Kenneally


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Catching Jordan and Jesse's Girl, so I reserved this book at my local library. And enjoyed it just as much!

After Annie's boyfriend Kyle dies, she decides to start running so she can take part in a marathon in his honour. So she signs up for proper training. It's the best way to keep busy. By having a plan she doesn't have to think too much about the guilt eating her up.

But after meeting her trainer's brother, he confuses her. Jeremiah is a good looking guy and he's really nice. He makes her laugh. He makes her happy. Yet as much as she likes him, she's just not ready to get involved with anyone. Plus her life is changing fast. She's finishing high school, leaving home, starting college and making friends. So as hard as it is, Annie and Jeremiah decide to stay friends. Keeping him at a distance is safe, but for how long?

This story was as awesome as the other books in this series. Annie's story was heart-breaking. I felt so bad for her as she tries to drown out all the guilt and confusion that losing her boyfriend left behind. And Jeremiah was a great character too. As dangerous as he seemed, he was perfect for Annie.

Also, reading this series out of order isn't an issue for me. Can't wait to read more... :)

Friday, 19 February 2016

DANGEROUS GAMES by Teri Terry


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My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay. I read MIND GAMES last year and absolutely loved it. So when I found out about this novella I bought it for my Kindle.

Liberty is Luna's teenage daughter. She's a lot like her mother was at her age, and is always looking for a way out. Out of the real world, away from reality... the only place she feels at ease is in the void. She seems more silver than anything else. And there's a reason for that.

You know, I'm conflicted about this story. It's well written--Teri Terry books always are--and the concept is intriguing. But, I also feel like it cancels out more of the first book than provide explanations. Also, I didn't warm to Liberty. Not like I did for Luna during her book. So the intended emotional impact didn't hit me.

I didn't love this. IMO, it's not essential reading. It was just okay for me.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

WHEN WE COLLIDED by Emery Lord

When We Collided
Seventeen year old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he's not. Now Jonah must numbly take care of his family as they reel from their tragedy. Cue next change: Vivi Alexander, new girl in town.
  
Vivi is in love with life. A gorgeous and unfiltered hurricane of thoughts and feelings. She seems like she's from another planet as she transforms Jonah's family and changes his life. But there are always consequences when worlds collide … 

 A fierce and beautiful love story with a difference, When We Collided will thrill fans of All the Bright Places and I'll Give You the Sun. 


I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book from Bloomsbury Australia--thank you SO much--and as soon as I read the blurb, I couldn't wait to get stuck into it.

Vivi Alexander is spending the summer at Verona Cove with her mother. She instantly falls in love with the place and the people who live there. She has a morning routine: walks to the diner, has a random breakfast with the local policeman, goes for a walk, throws a pill into the ocean and heads into work.

The morning she meets Jonah and his little sister, Vivi is instantly smitten.

Jonah Daniels might be a teenager but he shares an adult's worth of responsibility with his two older siblings. Summer is going to be full of caring for the younger siblings, making sure his mother is taken care of and working at the restaurant. All of this while still grieving the loss of his father.

So when he meets Vivi, the whole family gets caught in the whirlwind that is this gorgeous, magical girl.

Vivi and Jonah instantly click. They're exactly what the other needs. But as time moves on, he slowly  starts to realise that Vivi's wild thirst for life also comes with a ticking time bomb...

OMG. This book is amazing! I was instantly hooked. I got swept up in Hurricane Vivi as fast and deeply as the Daniels Family. I was charmed by her lust for life and the colourful way in which she looked at the world. She saw beauty in everything, imagined so many future possibilities and had a true heart. Yet, in spite of all this, I knew it would all lead to trouble.

Jonah was a lovely and very sad character. He shoulders so much responsibility yet rarely complains. He's kind-hearted, sweet and loyal. He's also struggling with the grief of losing his father and the absence of his mother, and doesn't know how to make the pain stop. Vivi offers a new, vibrant perspective. He never forgets his family's loss, but the distraction is nice. Not to mention how adorable Naomi, Silas, Isaac, Bekah and Leah Daniels are.

When We Collided is a beautifully written, wonderful, unconventional love story between two teenagers dealing with separate, but just as heartbreaking, mental issues. It's a roller-coaster of emotions, and deals with mental illness in a very raw and honest way. This story takes the reader through all the highs and lows that can eventually lead to very dark places. And in the process, you fall in love with these lovely characters.

I loved every single minute of this amazing book. And that final scene with the mural, OMG... it totally ruins the reader. *cries tears of sadness AND happiness*

Absolutely loved it!

Sonia, thank you so much for sending me such a beautiful book. :)


When We Collided, April 2016, 9781408870082, Bloomsbury Childrens

Friday, 12 February 2016

HORROR BLOCK


Well, the January HORROR BLOCK box arrived last week:

 

And this is what it looked like inside...


Here's everything all spread out and awesome!


OMG. This was one hell of a box! 

Seriously, check out all that insanely awesome stuff. 

That tee is AMAZING! It seriously is. It's all cool and super creepy. Especially this:


I know it's spooky, but I LOVE this doll head. Hubby called her Sinthia, which is perfect because her name is SIN for short.

Anyway, now that I've exposed you to all this HorrorCreep, I'm sure you're going to have nightmares tonight.

You're welcome! :P

Thursday, 11 February 2016

BOOK OF LIES by Teri Terry


Who lies? Who tells the truth? Death hangs on the answer... 

Don't miss this startling new book from Teri Terry, queen of the YA psychological thriller! 

They are trapped, frozen. Waiting. Straining against the wood that holds them. The unwary catch a glimpse now and then - feel their desperate hunger, see a glint of red eyes - and scurry out of the shadows of the wood, back to the light. 

She's coming; it will be soon. 
They will run free on the moors again. The Hunt will return.
And the ground will run with blood. 
Tell a lie and the darkness will find you. 

Quinn and Piper are twins, but they've never met. A tragic event brings them together, and draws them into a family curse that stretches across centuries. 

One twin can command the darkness; the other could hold the key to breaking the curse. But when lies become truth and truth looks like lies, who can you believe?


I received this book last week and got started on it pretty much right away. The concept intrigued me, and only a few chapters in I was already caught in its web of lies.

Piper and Quinn are twins, but they don't know each other. They were separated when they were babies and raised far away from each other. The two sisters don't meet until the day that Quinn finds out their mother was killed in a savage attack and decides to attend the funeral. Meeting Piper isn't what she expected. Although she claims not to have known about her existence, Piper seems keen to get to know her, and Quinn feels as if she might finally get away from the awful place she grew up in.

While Quinn stays in Winchester, Piper insists that she keep a low profile. The two don't go anywhere at the same time so everyone will think it's just Piper going about her business. It's only Zak who knows the truth because Quinn is staying with him.

It doesn't take Quinn long to realise that her sister was raised in privilege. She has a doting father, a huge house filled with possessions, a cute puppy, friends, and an adorable boyfriend who seems to do whatever she wants. She also appears to have some kind of power of persuasion over everyone. Whereas Quinn was raised in isolation by a cruel grandmother who taught her not to lie, and an estranged mother who would on occasion pay her a visit, but withheld love from her and looked upon Quinn as if she was a feral animal.

The longer Quinn spends in Winchester, the more she resents her life and wants to make a clean break. But she also can't deny all the quirks she notices about her sister. And before long, Piper, Zak and Quinn end up in Dartmoor, where the origins of their family lie and will threaten to tear them apart...

Wow. What a story! Told in the alternating POV of Quinn and Piper, the reader is thrown deep into each girl's life and slowly gets to know the inner thoughts and real intentions of each one. There are plenty of twists and turns, situations where I was pretty sure I knew where everything was going and then the story veered off in a different direction. But ultimately, I reached a place in the story where the truth--which is so easily concealed within the pages of this book--comes crashing down. 

Book of Lies is an excellent twisted thriller where things are not quite what they seem. There's plenty of manipulation and lies, plus a story that slowly unravels to reveal what's hidden deep within the very core of each character. And some of it is rotten indeed. Family secrets, sisterly love, truth, lies, good, evil, and an ancient curse all collide in this book... leading to a fiery end.

It's also a very pretty book with just enough supernatural elements to blend realism and the paranormal perfectly.

I really enjoyed this fascinating book!

Book of Lies,  March 2016, 9781408334287, Orchard Books

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Samhain Publishing is having a SALE!


Check it out:



From the 7th February - 15th February you can get 40% off all romance eBooks.

That of course includes both my SIERRA FOX series and my RECAST series.

Even HELL OF A RIDE is reduced right now!

So if you're looking for a bargain, go over to their website and check it out!


Friday, 5 February 2016

SAY WHAT YOU WILL by Cammie McGovern


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've had this book on my Paperwhite for a while, so I decided to read it next. And I'm glad I did because this turned out to be quite a gem.

Amy has cerebral palsy, which means she needs a walker to get around, can't talk and can't even express herself with facial expressions. She communicates by typing into a voice box. She's also highly intelligent, but doesn't have any friends. So she convinces her mother to hire several teenage aides during her last year in high school. An idea that actually works and gets her closer to a boy she really likes.

Matthew has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. He's constantly making deals with his brain because if he doesn't count, tap or wash his hands a thousand times something bad will happen to someone. But meeting Amy makes his mind quieten down and rituals take a backseat. Actually, hanging around with her encourages him to get help and at least attempt to live a normal life.

They share a beautiful friendship that is ultimately destroyed by a string of misunderstandings, as well as all the things they don't say to each other.

This story is... wow! I was hooked in right away and before I realised it was almost halfway through. Both narrators have distinct, strong voices that made me smile, frown and want to shake them.

Amy is an amazing character. A teenager with disabilities that hinder her life but don't stop her from being the person she wants to be. She keeps secrets, is brutally honest and does what she wants. Something that gets her into a lot of trouble!

Matthew is just as amazing. And always seems so sad. He tries so hard to change, but his disorder always manages to take control. It's only Amy who manages to fill him with the need to do something--take care of her, attempt her tasks, be by her side when she needs him the most. And like Amy, this also works against him.

I loved how these two characters don't outwardly appear to be your average teens because of their disabilities/disorders, but are TOTALLY just like every other kid.

I loved this book! It's heartbreaking and beautiful. It's full of sadness and hope. It's about friendship and love. It's about honesty and lies. And it's very unpredictable. I didn't expect the majority of the events unfolding in this story.

Yep. I highly recommend this book!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

I have a new cover!


The other day I received the final cover for Elsewhere, Book 2 and it is AWESOME! 

 Take a look at this beauty:

 

Well, what do you think? It's cool, right? :)

Kanaxa has done it yet again! She made the Sierra Fox covers, and also the first cover for this series, so she always knows exactly what I'm looking for. Sometimes better than I do. LOL. She actually came up with the very cool concept of black and white kick-ass chick, and I think she's pulled it off again, perfectly!

I love how well she captured Willow's power with a bit of vibrant colour. Unlike Lavie and Sierra she doesn't really use weapons, and I love how this cover portrays that.

Check out how good the two books look together:

 

OMG. They're both awesome! 

 I haven't got the final blurb yet, but this just about sums it up: 

Five years after the events of A Stitch on Time, Willow is all grown up and living in Wollongong. She's now a parapsychologist, and because she's a necromancer she can't get away from the odd poltergeist sighting. She might be far from Sierra's influence, but trouble still has a knack of following her around. And when she crosses paths with an old crush, life gets a lot more complicated...

Just like Lavie's story, this is a stand alone but you'll recognise a bunch of characters... especially the love interest. ;) 

 If you're interested in meeting Lavie, Willow, and all the other characters in this world, you can read Sierra's 5-book adventure. But it's not essential. 


 THE SIERRA FOX SERIES:
https://www.samhainpublishing.com/books/series/338/sierra-fox

CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally


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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this entire book posted on Wattpad, and although I have to admit that it's not as comfy as reading on my Paperwhite, I didn't mind because this story totally hooked me in. And I'm not even an NFL fan! :)

Jordan is in her last year of high school. She also happens to be the star quarterback and captain of the school football team. She's an awesome player and every player in her team respects her. Not to mention that a bunch of them are her closest friends. She just can't relate to other girls because she seems to be into stuff that other girls aren't interested in--like pigging out. LOL.

She leads a very happy life, even if her father is a star NFL player who doesn't take her interest in the sport seriously. At least her mother cares and so does her brother, who is also in a good team in college. And she's got her best friend Henry. They've been friends forever, and he's always there for her. He makes her laugh, listens and is really supportive. She loves him like a brother, because she's never been keen on any guys. Except when a new guy starts at their school. A very hot guy who also happens to be a QB and is mutually interested in her. But it doesn't take long for Henry to start acting different, and when she finally finds out why everything changes.

Now that Jordan is finally opening up and letting herself enjoy more than just sport, will she lose her best friend and her opportunity to focus on her passion after high school?

OMG. This book is SO GOOD! I enjoyed it. A lot.

It was so much fun, but also dealt with a lot of real issues that girls face on a daily basis. Jordan might be the best player on the team and has the respect of her coach and teammates, but outside of her school it's harder to get noticed for her ability. Not just her looks. I also really liked how she also overcomes labelling people because of what they do, like or wear. She's always avoided cheerleaders because of a past incident and one particular bitchy girl, but soon discovers that they're not all the same.


The romance was also very sweet. Complicated, but definitely sweet.

This is such a great story! I absolutely loved it.

I'm going to have to check out Miranda Kenneally's other books. :) 

Monday, 1 February 2016

ONLY EVER YOURS by Louise O'Neill


When women are created for the pleasure of men, beauty is the first duty of every girl. 

Freida and Isabel have been best friends their whole lives. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year at the School, they expect to be selected as companions - wives to wealthy and powerful men. 

 The alternative - life as a concubine - is too horrible to contemplate. 

But as the intensity of the final year takes hold, the pressure to be perfect mounts. Isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty - her only asset - in peril. 

And then into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. 

Freida must fight for her future - even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known...


The premise of this book is as eerily disturbing as the cover. And the reason why I'm tagging this book as horror. It might not fit into the horror genre, but the world, events, and conclusion are as terrifying as any knife-wielding maniac lurking in the shadows.

In a world where women are actually created (and not born) for only three reasons--to become companions, concubines or chastities--girls all live and attend schools where they are constantly reminded about how important their physical qualities are. Actually, not only are looks the only real value they have, but they are constantly rated against each other. And every single one of them knows that they have an expiration date.

Pathetic messages are taught in these schools. Things like 'Being pretty is all that matters', 'Personality does not matter', 'Good girls don't cry', 'I always do as I am told'... They also attend classes called Comparison Studies, Calorie Calculations, and the super creepy Organized Recreation Space. Truly awful things that are supposed to prepare them for the man-pleasing Zones they will enter after the Ceremony, where their only purpose will be to satisfy men either as wives or whores.

The competition between the girls is brutal, and of course creates a lot of bitchy friction. Behaviour that pits the girls against each other and creates a bully mentality where you either join them or become their target. freida and isabel have been best friends most of their lives, and isabel has been ranked #1 for a long time. That's given freida a few perks that the other girls haven't enjoyed. But now isabel is acting secretive and has started putting on weight, so when her ranking starts to slide and the other girls stop respecting her, freida is caught in the middle and must choose an ally.

Outwardly, freida is always willing to go with the crowd to feed the ego of her peers, but inwardly she sounds different. She doesn't agree with putting other girls down and certainly doesn't enjoy shunning others. Her mind is full of thoughts that set her apart from the other girls, but she knows that she can't express any of them. Otherwise, how will she ever become a companion? Especially now that the handsome son of a judge has taken a special interest in her...

Wow. This book is powerful. It's also infuriating. Terrifying. Bleak. Bitchy. Horrible. And amazing! It's hard to make one story so magnificent and horrid at the same time, but Louise O'Neill has definitely managed to do just that. This frightening little book reveals a morbid vision of the future, where women are nothing more than tools used to please men.

The most terrifying thing about this book might be the realisation that there are probably men in this world who would love to have a society like this one.

*shivers*
*gags*
*cringes*

Asides from the obvious theme of female control, there's also a very strong story about friendship.

freida and megan have been friends for a very long time but megan has been hiding a huge secret from her friend, one that freida mistakes for pushing her away. When in fact, it's the opposite. megan might be referred to as special by the chastities and the other girls, but she considers herself far from that. Her fate was sealed at creation and she loved her friend so much that she wanted to make sure she didn't get caught up in it. But in turn, she unknowingly pushes freida to become friends with a mean girl--megan--who ultimately manipulates freida into ruining every chance her real friend fought to get her.

The toxic environment in which these children are raised creates such a brutal arena breeding deception, betrayal, and self-acceptance seen through the eyes of false compliments. Until the narrator of this story only cares about being liked by others to the point of almost losing her mind. Not to mention what happens when a man--the only reason they were created in the first place--rejects her.

This is such a sad story. 

Only Ever Yours is a hellish one-way trip down the highway of misery. It's a screwed-up worst-case scenario of just how scary and disturbing the world can become when a woman's worth in society is purely judged on looks and her ability to please a man or give birth to one. There are a lot of powerful messages in this story about self-worth, beauty, expectations and failing to be yourself because you're encouraged not to be.

From the outside it seems as if freida ultimately betrays her best friend. But in the end, I believe she actually ends up betraying herself.

If you're looking for a HEA, don't look here. Either way, I really (really) enjoyed this book.


Only Ever Yours, August 2014, 9781848664159, Quercus

 
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