Friday, 27 February 2015

Review: Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words
Publication Date: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Point
Hollywood history, mystery, murder, mayhem, and delicious romance collide in this unputdownable thriller from master storyteller Katie Alender.

Willa is freaking out. It seems like she's seeing things. Like a dead body in her swimming pool. Frantic messages on her walls. A reflection that is not her own. It's almost as if someone -- or something -- is trying to send her a message.

Meanwhile, a killer is stalking Los Angeles -- a killer who reenacts famous movie murder scenes. Could Willa's strange visions have to do with these unsolved murders? Or is she going crazy? And who can she confide in? There's Marnie, her new friend who may not be totally trustworthy. And there's Reed, who's ridiculously handsome and seems to get Willa. There's also Wyatt, who's super smart but unhealthily obsessed with the Hollywood Killer.

All Willa knows is, she has to confront the possible-ghost in her house, or she just might lose her mind . . . or her life.

Acclaimed author Katie Alender puts an unforgettable twist on this spine-chilling tale of murder, mystery, mayhem -- and the movies.

This is my second Katie Alender book, I read Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer  and while I did enjoy it, I had my issues with it, especially with a certain spineless main character. Famous Last Words, however, was so freaking close to being the absolute perfect read for me. It had everything I wanted in one package. Hollywood, pop culture, a serial killer, murders, a ghost haunting, a character going slightly Ghost Whisperer on us, chilling horror scenes and pathological people. That's a lot to ask for, and you get it.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Review: Even in Paradise

Even in Paradise 
Publication Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins

~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden... until now

I wasn't expecting Even in Paradise to be one of those books. You know, the ones that creep in by charming you, lulling you into a fun sense of security and happy and then laughs in your face for falling for it. I also wasn't expecting it to be what it was, this is a story that's already happened. The beginning, a message from after, reminiscing before the Beginning. The Middle. The End. And now. Ones like these you're either going to love or hate, I guess you've got to get the writing style to enjoy it, but it was done beautifully and had a melancholy feel to it- in a good way. It fitted it entirely, because even though you know on some level how it's going to end, it still draws you in and pulls you along to see how we get there.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#83)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

 Expected publication: May 5th 2015 by HarperTeen

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

 I will read anything by Kasie West. A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

What're you waiting on? :)

Monday, 23 February 2015

Review: No Parking at the End Times

No Parking at the End Times
Publication Date: February 24th 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

Abigail’s parents have made mistake after mistake, and now they've lost everything. She’s left to decide: Does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.

Abigail doesn't know how her dad found Brother John. Maybe it was the billboards. Or the radio. What she does know is that he never should have made that first donation. Or the next, or the next. Her parents shouldn't have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there with Brother John for the "end of the world." Because of course the end didn't come. And now they're living in their van. And Aaron’s disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right. But maybe it’s too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss’s thoughtful, literary debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.

I give No Parking at the End Times props for being different. Different it definitely was. I don't read that many religious centred books, I usually stay far away from ones I know are going to be so, but every now and then they sneak up on me. What drew me to this one though is the cult-like fashion it was handled. The religious aspect wasn't bible-bashing, but in a way a little bible-bashing but not overbearing, and it's delves into faith verses religion. Can you have faith without having religion? When you think about it, faith and religion go together, but faith does exist out of religion. You don't have to have a religion to believe in God, to believe and have faith in something unknown. Whether that's God, life, the future, it's still faith.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Review: A Wicked Thing

A Wicked Thing
Publication Date: February 24th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

A Wicked Thing is a perfectly okay book. The characters are okay. The writing is okay. The whole feel of a fairytale is good. But for me, that's all it was. Not great. Not bad. But good. Good. That's where the problem lies. There were a lot of doors that were open during the story that were never really closed, and if it would've taken one of those open doors and ran with it, I think it would've made it a lot stronger than it was, because I felt like it didn't go anywhere as such. Stuck in the palace. The Queen spewing some commands and lies at her. Aurora complaining and bitching in her head but nodding and acting like the doll they tell her to be. Sneaking out at night. Next day. Stuck in the palace. The Queen spewing some commands and lies at her. Aurora complaining and bitching in her head but nodding and acting like the doll they tell her to be. Sneaking out at night. How entertaining.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Review: Mr. Kiss and Tell (Rejoice, Logan!)

Mr. Kiss and Tell 
Authors:  and 
Publication Date: January 20th 2015
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

In the second book in the New York Times bestselling mystery series, Veronica Mars is back with a case that will expose the hidden workings of one of Neptune’s most murderous locations.

The Neptune Grand has always been the seaside town’s ritziest hotel, despite the shady dealings and high-profile scandals that seem to follow its elite guests. When a woman claims that she was brutally assaulted in one of its rooms and left for dead by a staff member, the owners know that they have a potential powder keg on their hands. They turn to Veronica to disprove—or prove—the woman's story.

The case is a complicated mix of hard facts, mysterious occurrences, and uncooperative witnesses. The hotel refuses to turn over its reservation list and the victim won’t divulge who she was meeting that night. Add in the facts that the attack happened months ago, the victim’s memory is fuzzy, and there are holes in the hotel’s surveillance system, and Veronica has a convoluted mess on her hands. As she works to fill in the missing pieces, it becomes clear that someone is lying—but who? And why?

I loved The Thousand Dollar Tan Line, I'd put off from reading it for a while since I didn't think it could hold up to the show-or even the movie-and while it doesn't replace either, it was a good fix to be with the characters again, the snark and wit and the sleuth ways. But, it wasn't perfect. What was missing in The Thousand Dollar Tan Line was present in Mr. Kiss and Tell, and by "what was missing" I mean who. And by whom, I mean Logan. Logan, Logan, Logan. Also, Weevil has more of a role this time around too, since the beginning is all about his trial from the aftermath of what happened in the movie.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#82)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

 Expected publication: September 10th 2015 by Bloomsbury UK

Sarah J. Maas's New York Times bestselling Throne of Glass series reaches new heights in this sweeping fourth volume.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she's at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen's triumphant return.

Celaena’s epic journey has captured the hearts and imaginations of millions across the globe. This fourth volume will hold readers rapt as Celaena’s story builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world

Monday, 16 February 2015

Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line
Author:  and 
Publication Date: June 30th 2014         
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

From Rob Thomas, the creator of groundbreaking television series and movie Veronica Mars, comes the first book in a thrilling new mystery series.

Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She's traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.
Now it's spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is not a simple missing person's case. The house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica's past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined

Veronicas Mars was one of the best shows on TV when I was in high school, and as we all know where the best shows go: TV Gold Heaven.  And then there was the movie. Finally. And we got everything we didn't get in the non-ending of season three. And now we have book versions! Book. Versions. Okay, I was a little apprehensive because Veronicas one of those characters you either get...or don't. And would that still show? Her voice still sound like her voice? It's all how it translates on the page, despite Rob Thomas. I don't know what I was worried about really.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Review: Soulprint

Publication Date: February 12th 2015                    
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens 
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~ 

A new literary, sci-fi thriller from acclaimed author Megan Miranda.

With the science of soul-fingerprinting a reality, Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned for the crimes her past-self committed. In an attempt to clear her name, Alina unintentionally trades one prison for another when she escapes, aided by a group of teens whose intentions and motivations are a mystery to her. As she gets to know one of the boys, sparks fly, and Alina believes she may finally be able to trust someone. But when she uncovers clues left behind from her past life that only she can decipher, secrets begin to unravel. Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat the past.

This compelling story will leave readers wondering if this fictional world could become a reality

Oh Soulprint, you are my kind of weird.  It delves into one of my favourite debates. No, not reincarnation, or a type of reincarnation, even though that is a similar factor in Soulprint, but the subject of criminal DNA and the whole are criminal's born vs are criminals made? I could read so many of them and not get bored, it's what I loved abut Uninvited and it's what I loved about Soulprint., and as with both, they go to the extreme. They're quite similar in a way, in the way of the reaction and effects it has on the way people perceive it. But, they are different, considering Uninvited is to do with a Criminal Gene, and Soul Print is to do with past criminals souls being reborn. There's a database proves the distinction between past life crimes linking to a present life crimes, a likely hood that that soul will possibly do that crime again as someone else. So does that automatically make that person a criminal, though they haven't done anything yet? Or does the fact they know they have a soul of a past criminal that makes them think, well, might as well. There's a test, tapping into your spinal fluid that can prove who's soul is in you., and you're judged before you even do anything, it's like a ticking time bomb. Alina has the soul of one half of the notorious criminal duo of June Calahan and Liam White.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Review: Unspeakable

Publication Date: February 5th 2015        
Publisher: Atom
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

Megan doesn't speak. She hasn't spoken in months.

Pushing away the people she cares about is just a small price to pay. Because there are things locked inside Megan's head - things that are screaming to be heard - that she cannot, must not, let out.

Then Jasmine starts at school: bubbly, beautiful, talkative Jasmine. And for reasons Megan can't quite understand, life starts to look a bit brighter.

Megan would love to speak again, and it seems like Jasmine might be the answer. But if she finds her voice, will she lose everything else?

Going into Unspeakable, since the cover is so vague, I was expecting the aftermath of a rape story, a trauma  or maybe something to do with OCD for the reason why Megan suddenly stopped speaking. Then we get to know a little why she stopped, the  vague details anyway,  but you know that's not the reason why. I was expecting something different.
I didn't get different.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#81)

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

Expected publication: 4th June 2015 (UK) by HarperCollins
 Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in this fantasy about a girl caught between two worlds…two races…and two destinies.

Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.

Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.

So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming. Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

Did you read Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars? Because Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars.

What're you waiting on?

Monday, 9 February 2015

Review: The Sin Eater's Daughter

The Sin Eater's Daughter
Publication Date: February 5th 2015
Publisher: Scholastic
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

The Sin Eater's Daughter, you were very good, very, very good. I did have a few minor issues that stopped it from being perfect for me, but nothing major that stopped me from loving it.

The Sin Eater's Daughter is very character driven, (thanks for helping me make up my mind Shannon), there's not a lot of plot going on, not to say that's a bad thing. I usually like a faster paced story, it always depends on the characters themselves whether I like a character driven story,  which is exactly why I loved The Sin Eater's Daughter, the characters are complex and we get to see them at every angle, inside and out. Twylla's a strong lead, from her position and the life she leads, she's not whiny, she's not a stand-offish character you'd expect, she takes what's thrown at her with composure and grace, (simultaneously with cursing thoughts in her head, which I like)  and while I did want her to stand up for herself, you can get where she's coming from. She's scared, not just because of one wrong foot and something could snap, but she's afraid herself just as much as others. The only problem I had with the characters was that I while I understood them, I couldn't connect with them, it didn't deter me from the story, like I said, just minor issues.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Review: All Fall Down

All Fall Down
Publication Date: February 5th 2015        
Publisher: Orchard Books
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

Grace can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay - in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved

Ally Carter's done it again. Seriously. Can she do no wrong? The answer to that, obviously, is no. She cannot do no wrong because she always seems to create a story and a set of characters that are hilarious and relatable yet serious and kind of untouchable. She creates characters that in any other, would make you hate the character, but you'll instantly love and suck you in, because they are fleshed out. They are each their own and balanced. All Fall Down are not short on those characters, though this is my little glitch and why it was almost perfect for me instead of perfect. Some of the secondary characters felt a little left out. I wanted to get to know them more than we did, and that is literally my only complaint. Which, when you think about it, is pretty good since this is book one, we'll have time to get into the secondary cast more. I loved Grace though, she made my very sarcastic heart very happy. She's a little, uhm, shall we say, unstable? Yup. She's a little unstable because of people constantly telling her she is unstable over how she saw her mother die. The 'official' story versus Grace's story, but since she was thirteen when it happened, the adults like to tell her she's crazy.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Review: The Fire Sermon

The Fire Sermon
Publication Date: February 23rd 2015             
Publisher: HarperVoyager   
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~ 

When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega.
They were born together and they will die together.
One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death.
The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts.
The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they're free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts.
Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose.
The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they're not careful both will die in the struggle for power.

I will not comment on the whole The Hunger Games meets ______(insert whatever other popular book series  that may or may not relate to this actual book, here).  I will not. You could say it has an essence of it, barely, but when you come down to it, no. You're not in districts, yes, you're separated in terms of 'class' which, is only two forms of it. Alpha or Omega. The Omega lands are not that bad either, not like District 12,  I finished reading Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta before starting this, and even that is more Hunger Games than this.  

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Giveaway: Win One of Three Ally Carter Prizes!

To celebrate Ally Carter's newest release, All Fall Down, Hachette Children's have teamed up with the brand Miss Sporty, and you can get a free mascara when you buy All Fall Down.


To also celebrate the gorgeous newly jacketed releases of the Gallagher Girls series, the lovely PR team at Hachette Children's are offering up to my UK followers, three sets of the following prize packs.

Three of you can win:

(1) Newly jacketed Gallagher Girls novel
(1) piece of Miss Sporty make-up
Disclaimer: (please bear in mind that the items you receive may different from the actual prize

Monday, 2 February 2015

Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest
Publication Date: February 5th 2015        
Publisher: Indigo
~A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

First things first The Darkest Part of the Forest is completely charming and holy crap, I ship this book. I don't know where it changed for me, from thinking a three to four, that's not a full blown five. It's my first Holly Black, so maybe it's the writing, the enchanting feel, the characters, the story itself, or the story within a story, or the magical way everything just is. I'll tell you one thing, I'm not a lover of Fae books, I've tried a few of them but they're not my thing as such. So it takes a lot, and I mean a lot for me to get into it, and I got sucked in, so you win, book. You win.