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Things I Covet

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heeeart1 Double happiness necklace: I was reading Just One Day and Just One Year by Gayle Forman, and the double happiness story and symbol comes up, I love the idea behind it and think this necklace from Etsy is really cute.

heeeart2Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: I’ve seen Beauty Queens around for a while and I haven’t read any books by Libba Bray, so this is something I’d love to read!

heeeart3The Head and the Heart–Let’s Be Still: I now have a Spotify account and I’m loving it. I found the track 10,000 Weight in Gold by The Head and the Heart and it’s been my jam for the past week or so.

heeeart4Asos Headband: I love wearing hats but knitted headbands aren’t something I’ve tried, I found this on Asos and really liked it.

heeeart5Barry M in Ice Cream Pink: I can’t paint my nails often because of school, but this colour from Barry M is pretty.

heeeart6Topshop cutout boots: I adore the cutout boots trend and recently asked for a pair for my birthday!

heeeart7Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson: After I heard Tiger lily was based on Peter Pan, I’ve wanted to read it! Peter Pan was one of my favourite stories as a child and I want to see how this version pans out.

heeeart8Topshop Badger socks: Who wouldn’t want badger socks?

These are the things I’ve seen this week and thought were cute. What books/beauty/clothes/music have you been lusting after this week?

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Waiting on Wednesday

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Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spines, and it’s when you showcase the not yet released titles you can’t wait for!

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Isla and the Happily Ever After looks so awesome! I loved Anna and the French Kiss and am going to buy Lola and the Boy Next Door soon. We didn’t get to see much of Josh in Anna, but he seems like the shy, drawer type, which I think I’ll love!

What are you guys eagerly anticipating?

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Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie PerkinsAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Published by Usborne on December 2nd 2010
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 372
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
five-stars
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Anna and the French Kiss is such a fluffy, warm book that cuddles you when you read it. It’s about an American girl who gets sent to a boarding school in Paris for her last year of school. The boarding school is for Americans, and I loved the Paris aspect of the book. They say Paris is the city of romance, and that added to the magic of the book.

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Anna was such a joy to read. Her voice was hilarious, witty and something I entirely identified with. I just wanted to reach into the book and be her best friend. I read the first page, laughed and knew, just knew  this was going to be a 5 star read. Anna never annoyed me throughout the whole book–which is quite a feat! Her passion for films is like my passion for books, and she has a dream of becoming a film critic and writes on her blog. I could really identify with it, the way she would escape off to different cinema’s in Paris and watch old films. She jumps out of her comfort zone and into an entirely different country with, actually, not much complaining. Which is good, because no one wants to read about a big whiner. She embraces Paris a little later in the book and starts to learn French and grow up a little.

St Clair is so awesome and dreamy, he was the perfect mix of humour and sweet personality. He was also frustrating though! I wanted to hit him on the head sometimes because he didn’t know what he wanted! I loved the way they interacted and how genuine St Clair was…I just…dreamy sigh. Together, St Clair and Anna become close friends and explore Paris together, while the tension crackles between them. They didn’t just explore the usual tourist-y places, but also their secret places that made this book different.

Anna and the French Kiss is hilarious, gut-wrenching and amazing. It’s one of the most perfect YA Romances I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to read the next instalment of Lola and the Boy Next Door.

five-stars

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Review: The Isobel Journal by Isobel Harrop

Review: The Isobel Journal by Isobel HarropThe Isobel Journal by Isobel Harrop
Published by Hot Key Books on November 7th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Source: Given From Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
THE ISOBEL JOURNAL is no ordinary snapshot of a contemporary teenage life. A charming and vivid narrative scrapbook of the eighteen-year-old author's sketches, mini-graphic novels, photographs and captions, it captures her wit, her observations and her creative talent as she takes us through the three central themes in her life: 'Love', 'Friends, Art and Otters' and 'Me'.

*This book was given to me for review purposes by Hot Key Books, this does not affect my review in any way*

The Isobel Journal is a book filled with drawings, captions and photographs by Isobel Harrop, to illustrate her life. I’d never read this kind of journal-style book before, and wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s a style of book that I loved and will search for more of in the future. I was reading it when I was in exam mocks period, and it thoroughly cheered me up and made me forget all the stresses I had going on! There is something about this book that is so endearing and I’ve re-read it many times since my first read. Harrop’s voice is one that any teenager can relate to and enjoy. It’s the kind of book where you can sit down, get comfy, and drink a cup of tea whilst looking at the pretty pictures and funny writing.

The pictures are in the style of a scarp-book drawn by Isobel Harrop with observations about daily life and random comments. I found it so interesting to read about another teenager in this kind of format. It was quirky, refreshing and such fun to read through!

I really loved stepping outside my usual fiction reads and sitting down with this one!

Rating: 4 Stars!

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abc challenge

The 2014 ABC Challenge

abc challengeMy awesome book blogger friend Kayla from The Bookish Owl and I, come together to bring you: The 2014 ABC Challenge!

The concept is rather simple; you read the entire alphabet of books beginning with A, B, C and so on. For example, for A you could read Anna and the French Kiss and for B you could read Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. You don’t need to read the alphabet in order, so long as you read a book for every letter. As you get to the lesser used letters such as: X, Y, Z, you can read any book if the authors name contains that letter. For example, for the letter X, you could read The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

When reading something beginning with “The”, it does not count for the letter T. Instead, if you’re reading The House of Hades by Rick Riordon, it will count for the letter H. However, if you happen to know a book beginning with X, Y, Z anyway (Zombies vs. Unicorns) we encourage you to read that instead!

I have confirmed that there WILL be a prize for the first person to complete the alphabet!

Kayla and I are so excited to be bringing this to you. If you want to join, click HERE to sign up, and you can also join the Goodreads group made specifically for this challenge! There we will be discussions on the books we are reading and you can take part in the general bookish fun! Sign-up up closes on February 10th–after that you can still sign up, but you cannot join the Goodreads group or win the prize.  It officially starts on the 10th, so don’t go adding your books to the lists until that date.

After finishing the book, we would appreciate you talking about the book in a couple of sentences, whether you liked it or disliked it etc. This makes the discussions more fun! You can also do buddy reads, track which letters you’ve completed and shamelessly promote your blog/vlog!

You can sign up HERE

You can join the Goodreads group HERE (make sure you’ve signed up first!)

You can read Kayla’a post and awesome vlog HERE

If you have any more questions, comment below or tweet me via @hardcoreheroine and Kayla @levenin. We hope to see you doing the ABC Book Challenge!

Keeping-Her

Review: Keeping Her by Cora Carmack (Losing it #1.5)

Review: Keeping Her by Cora Carmack (Losing it #1.5)Keeping Her by Cora Carmack
Series: Losing it #1.5
Published by Ebury Press on August 13th 2013
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 176
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
four-stars
Garrick Taylor and Bliss Edwards managed to find their happily-ever-after despite a rather . . . ahem . . . complicated start. By comparison, meeting the parents should be an absolute breeze, right?

But from the moment the pair lands in London, new snags just keep cropping up: a disapproving mother-in-law-to-be, more than one (mostly) minor mishap, and the realization that perhaps they aren't quite as ready for their future as they thought.

As it turns out, the only thing harder than finding love is keeping it.

I really loved Losing it and I adore Garrick and Bliss. Keeping Her was a really cute ending to their lovely story. Garrick takes Bliss to England (specifically London) to meet his parents. There isn’t much to say because it’s a small story, and I’ve already professed my love for this couple already. I read it straight after Losing it because I wanted to continue this sweet love story.

I really loved the way Carmack handled the relationship between Bliss and Garrick’s mother. It started off as fairly cliche and uninteresting. However, as the story went on, things became different and therefore more intriguing. I enjoyed seeing Garrick and Bliss’s relationship being tested as well, because it’s always fun to see what happens after the HEA and how they act when things get tough.

We get to meet some of Garrick’s London school friends who I found really funny and brought some humour to the short story. Also, once again it’s in dual POV, therefore we get to know what’s going on in Garrick’s head! It’s fun to be inside Garrick’s head, but I connect with Bliss’s character so much. Her embarrassing moments and neuroticism are so realistic and it makes me adore her character.

Overall, it was a really sweet story and something I greatly enjoyed. If you haven’t read Losing it, I urge you to discover the amazingness of Bliss and especially Garrick. Then follow it up with Keeping Her! These books have really made me more confident in reading New Adult novels, because I’d never read them before. So read them if you’re thinking of trying out this genre!

Rating: 4 Stars

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Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Review: Where She Went by Gayle FormanWhere She Went by Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #2
Published by Definitions, Random House on April 5th 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 208
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
five-stars
It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life.

And three years he's spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance at first love?

Where She Went is a powerful Contemporary Romance, and it worked so well because it’s the sequel to If I Stay. In If I Stay, Mia’s entire family are killed in a car crash and she is left in a coma. Mia has an out-of-body experience where she sees everything happening in the hospital around her. This is where I grew to adore Mia and her family, and her relationship with Adam. Therefore, it was a complete and utter devastating surprise when I saw in the blurb of the sequel, that the couple had broken up.

Where She Went wouldn’t have been so compelling if I hadn’t known these characters before and deeply cared about them from the beginning. Except, this book explores a fresh concept. Instead of seeing the world and events through Mia’s eyes, the entire book was in Adam’s perspective, not something I was gung-ho about until I read it, and realised how funny and realistic Adam’s character really is.

Like every other person reading the book, I was rooting for the two to patch up their troubles and get on with life. However, matters were not as simple as that. After the accident, Mia of course has been emotionally scarred, and Adam had some input into that. Forman slowly reveals what happened between the two after the accident and how they both (but especially Mia) held a turmoil of emotion surrounding the accident against each other. Pent-up feelings like resentment, blame, fear–all the nitty-gritty stuff–and let me tell you, Forman was not afraid with a little build-up and then confrontation–something that I loved.

I always loved Adam, and even though he’s more troubled and lonely in this book, I felt closer to him. I related to him, and his character was so complex as Forman peeled back the layers one by one. Mia is more distant, but she expresses her emotions and her fury at Adam, and the accident. Even though I wasn’t inside her head, I didn’t need to be.

If I Stay could have been left a stand-alone and I’m sure people choose not to read the sequel. In fact, I walked around for a couple of days before realising there even was a sequel, just assuming Mia and Adam were living happily-ever-after. However, I’m incredibly glad Forman decided to write a follow-up, because it gave the characters more authenticity and rawness that I have honestly never read before. I clearly need to read more of this type of book because I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I urge you to go away and read If I Stay and then embark on Where She Went. It’s perfect for Contemporary Romance lovers who don’t mind getting into gritty and realistic (but incredibly loveable) characters and emotional scenes.

5 Stars–I loved it because it’s incredibly character based and even though the plot was interesting, I was compelled by the depth of characters.

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favebooksof2013

Favourite Books of 2013

I actually have a ton of 2013 reads on my TBR at the moment, so I’m interested to see if any of those reads could join this list. This is my 2013 list of the best books released in 2013. As you will see, a lot of these are Dystopia and Paranormal, because those are my favourite (sub)genres. However, if you want to see a list with a bit more Contemporary, check out my Favourite Backlist Books of 2013 post that I’m publishing next week and there will be quite a few there.

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Honourable mention: Geek Girl by Holly Smale, The Elite by Kiera Cass, The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead, Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins.

 What are your faves of 2013?

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2014 Blogging Goals

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That’s not to say I’ll review every book I read, because there’s still a lot of reviews I need to post from 2013. That’s roughly 8/9 reviews a month! This may mean lots more posts in my less busy months and when it gets to exam season, things will calm down a bit.  I’m pretty sure I’ve read 100 books this year, but I haven’t recorded all of them, sadly. Hopefully I will this year!

 

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I do last minute posts way too often. Sometimes it’s really hard to find the time and be motivated. Sometimes I’d love to write out a post but have to do revision and it gets very annoying. I’m hoping to be more organised and not have those panicky moments when I haven’t written a post out. I also want to spend more time learning to format posts (because I just can’t) to make my posts layouts looks more aesthetically pleasing and pretty.

 

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Sometimes I’m scouring for forever trying to find a book that I’ll love and can request from a UK publisher. I really don’t want to request a book I’m not entirely sure I’ll like. At the same time, I’ll find a book that would be perfect to request but can’t find who the UK publisher is! I make it more complicated than it is. Also, I’ve never been to a book launch party or publishing event and it’s something I would love to do.

 

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It’s kind of embarrassing when you say you’re a book blogger and someone asks ‘what would you recommend?’ I freeze, because the only genre I know extensively is Young Adult. I call myself a major book lover, yet I only really know a couple of genres. I need to read more classics and widen the range of books I love, instead of reading them because I feel obligated to.

 

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I love talking to other bloggers, but sometimes feel a bit out of the group. There are a lot of bloggy groups and I’m not really involved with any. This year I’m going to try and connect with others on Twitter and so on. I read a lot of posts by bloggers, but don’t always comment and that’s kind of bad. I love it when people share their opinions of books with me and comment, so I’m going to make more of an effort for other people too.

 

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I love blogging and sometimes that’s hard to remember. Life sprouts it’s ugly head and then motivation goes out the window. I need to remind myself sometimes that I adore blogging and speaking to people about what I’m so incredibly passionate about. That may mean taking a breather sometimes, but I’m okay with that as long as I always come back and enjoy myself. I have enough horrible and boring things in my life without blogging turning into a chore.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my blogging resolutions. There are a lot, but I’m going to try and keep a list in my room and remind myself of them and how to accomplish them. It’s all very well saying that I want to do these things, but I also need to figure out how I’m going to accomplish them! What are your blogging goals in 2014?

I wish everyone a brilliant 2014, with happiness, health and laughter.

 

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Review: Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux #4)

Review: Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux #4)Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #4
Published by Entangled Teen on August 27th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 374
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
four-half-stars
Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

Well, well, well, this series has certainly picked up the pace. As much as I love the Lux series, I always treat it as a bit of a fun and flirty read with some hot aliens. Even after numerous cliff-hangers, where I’m desperate to read the next book, I still felt this way. I could see the cliff-hanger in Opal coming a mile away and while I was impressed, I wasn’t at all surprised. However Origin felt like a completely different book to me, whereas the other books I’ve not written a review for because I feel they merge together slightly.

I have to admit, I liked the arguments in Obsidian between Katy and Daemon, with the witty back and forth but the undeniable attraction. When Katy and Daemon finally got together as a couple, I was happy, but thought some of the romance felt a bit boring at times. I don’t know if it was the complete change of setting or something else, but the romance felt alive and the chemistry was there once again. The setting change was really interesting, because we’ve been in this small town for all three books now, and it felt really good to see what the actual alien world is like, and how our main protagonist would deal with this world. As soon as I was relaxing into the story, Armentrout brought something completely new to the table and captivated me further. This new plot twist is exciting and could literally go anywhere. It kept me on my toes and makes me so excited to see how this is going to end!

Despite the ending of Opal indicating otherwise, we see our most loved characters and their interactions. I was a little worried we wouldn’t see the usual gang that we’ve come to love, what with the new setting, however this was not the case. Armentrout carefully crafted new settings and new characters, but kept our old and most loved characters in for some familiarity.

Of course, there is a huge cliff-hanger, because Armentrout seems to love this plot device. Everything is going to plan and then shit stuff goes down. Seriously, it’s a pretty huge cliff-hanger and one I loved, because it was certainly not something I was expecting.

Rating 4.5 Stars–I really recommend this series as always, but especially this one. Armentrout has really surprised me in such an amazing way and I’m in love with this series more than ever. Once again, I was taken on a whirlwind of intrigue, humour and also morbid realisation about the aliens and the world Armentrout has created. I cannot wait for the next instalment where everyone will finally get some closure!

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LOSING-IT-COVER-WORK

Review: Losing it by Cora Carmack

Review: Losing it by Cora CarmackLosing it by Cora Carmack
Published by Ebury Press on 12th October 2012
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 204
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars
Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, Bliss Edwards decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible - a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.
Buy the Book from Amazon UK

Losing it was one of my first New Adult reads and it didn’t disappoint. Don’t let the weirdo cover put you off, because it’s a cute book. I was really in the mood for something light and fluffy, and this delivered. The premise was fun: Bliss Edwards is  virgin and sets out to lose her virginity in a one-night stand. That one night stand plan ends with a gorgeous naked man in Bliss’ bed, and her running out claiming she needs to pick up her cat from the vet. Then, the following Monday, she recognizes her new college professor is said gorgeous naked man.

I really enjoyed reading this. I was slightly wary about the premise of someone losing their virginity after reading Popping the Cherry by Aurelia Bowl. I felt the execution wasn’t very good in that one. However, Losing it was handled really tastefully and in a fun way. I read it just before my mocks as well, so it put me in a happy mood. It’s the kind of book that leaves you feeling satisfied and like you’ve eaten a really delicious, fulfilling meal!

I liked the setting in college. I’ve heard about New Adult bridging the gap between YA and Adult Romance, but it’s incredibly interesting to see how each genre is actually considerably different. Despite people claiming all three are the same thing, it’s not true. Bliss was a likeable, realistic adult who was a really funny character to follow. Garrick was awesome. Together they made a cute pair and I liked the way they interacted.

Cora Carmack is quite known for her success in indie publishing. Losing it was Carmack’s debut novel published in December 2012. She published it herself with no help in marketing and so on. However, she still managed to get #36 in Kindle Contemporary Romance and other notable successes. This is pretty amazing for someone simply publishing through Amazon with no paper copies or anything. Good for you Carmack! I’ve added Carmack to my metal list of authors to look out for, and will be exploring more New Adult–namely J Lynn aka Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Rating: 4 stars!

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Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, where you showcase an upcoming title that you can’t wait to read!

My Waiting on Wednesday pick is Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi. I loved Through the Ever Night and it’s a brilliant Sci-Fi Romance. If you haven’t read the Under the Never Sky series, I seriously suggest you do!

 

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The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi’s “masterpiece” Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Timesbestselling Through the Ever Night (Examiner.com).

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it’s time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won’t even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

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Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #2)

Review: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #2)Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass
Published by Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Children's on August 27th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 420
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
five-stars
After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

Usually, if I enjoy the first in a series, the second one can be all kinds of disappointment, but not Crown of Midnight. This book is filled with moments of gripping excitement, an intriguing plot and complex characters you want to be best friends with. Seriously, Dorian and I could talk about books all day long.

I started Crown of Midnight when I was in a reading slump. I got a third of the way through and I was not in the mood at all, so I stopped reading it. I didn’t want to trust my judgment quite yet, because I wasn’t at a reliable time to review it or even rate it. I’m so glad I didn’t continue reading it otherwise the experience would have been thoroughly ruined. As I picked it up for the second time, I was reminded how awesome this series is and thrown into a world of intrigue and so many different delicious plots.

I adore the complexity of the novel, it has so many aspects to it, and there are many things going on. Not only that, but the characters also have issues individually, and it is not a case of the entire world revolving around our main heroine. Although Celaena is pretty dang awesome. She is undoubtedly a Hardcore Heroine, fighting for her life, her beliefs and her friends. I am in Celaena’s corner, cheering her on!

I have to say though, she is the most peculiar blend of infuriating, amazing and strong heroine I have ever read. On one page I understand her completely, on another I don’t understand her at all. She’s freshly unpredictable and keeps me on my toes whilst reading; because when I read these, my eyes glued in captivation and braced for Maas to break my heart. Needless to say she does at the end. I was left staring at the page in awe and a slight feeling of betrayal. WHY? Why do this to me Maas? I thought we had a deal that you wouldn’t hurt me like this. I guess some authors like to cause their readers pain.

Celaena’s quite different in Crown of Midnight, because we see her darker side in a lot more depth. I was beginning to think that perhaps Celaena wasn’t believably as an assassin, because despite her badarse tendencies, she well, didn’t assassinate anyone. In fact, she downright refused! I’m not saying I want all my heroine’s to be killing everyone, but the entire series is set upon this fact. Anyway, it worked itself out quite well.

There’s also a bit of romance and I love romance, so I was a major fan of this development. Overall, Crown of Midnight is an amazing read and one of my favourites of this year. I truly loved it and I can’t wait until the next one releases!

Rating: 5 Stars!!

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Review: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky #2)

Review: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky #2)Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #2
Published by Atom on January 8th 2013
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 341
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
five-stars
It's been months since Aria learned of her mother's death. 

Months since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.

Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It's a moment they've been longing for with countless expectations. And it's a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at first.

Then it slips away. The Tides don't take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry's control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?

Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and sci-fi elements to create a captivating adventure-and a love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.(

I loved Through the Ever Night so much, I felt like everything was ratcheted up a notch and the stakes were higher. Even though I adored Under the Never Sky, it’s no secret that I found the beginning confusing, but enjoyed it when it picked up. However Through the Ever Night was a fantastic read all the way through, and one of my favourites of the year. I’m incredibly invested in the main characters, and there are some great minor characters. It annoys me when the world I’m reading revolves around the main characters, and the more minor characters aren’t explored. Through the Ever Night was not like that, a lot of the characters had many layers. Not only that but it has an extensive world, and a thrilling plot. It’s the kind of book that will lure you in and not allow you to process the outer world until you are finished.

Aria has developed so much, and she’s learnt a lot since the last book. She’s adapted to the world really well–she doesn’t whine, and she’s not annoying. She’s a fighter, and I love her for it. I think the dual POV between her and Perry is brilliant, because Peregrine’s POV is so interesting and I adore Aria and Perry’s Romance. Both of them have separate things to deal with, which keeps things fresh and interesting, and means we aren’t following the same boring problems.

As Peregrine introduces Aria to his tribe, his people are wary of a person from the Realms. Peregrine faces a lot of trouble because he’s young and inexperienced–soon the tribe are finding it hard to eat because of the Aether storms. In addition, Talon is still being kept by the Dweller’s and Perry is faced with the awful decision of choosing between the ones he loves and his entire tribe who are relying on him. Perry is so awesome. Together, him and Aria make such an amazing team, with inevitable bumps along the road in their relationship.

Roar is also present and I love him so much! Not only is he hilarious, but it’s great to see a male character who’s friends with the main heroine and isn’t pitifully in love with her. Roar has his own problems, and I wish Rossi would write an entire book about him and Liv. I know there’s a novella (and I can’t wait to read it) but an entire novel would be so much better! I just wish Rossi would gather all of the minor characters and write separate stories about them! When that happens, I know the book must be good.

Rossi has made me love Sci-Fi,  I love this world and I love the characters. Rossi has carried on this captivating world admirably, and I am clutching my keyboard counting down the days until the conclusion to this series releases. If you haven’t read this series, start at Under the Never Sky– the series is so gashdang awesome and a must-read.

Rating: 5 Stars

five-stars

Crown of Midnight

You Can’t Force the Love

When a new book comes out, for example Allegiant by Veronica Roth, people go crazy and everyone has read it in three days. As for myself, it’s sitting on my bookshelf and I haven’t picked it up yet. I’m excited that it’s released but I’m simply not in the mood to read it. I can’t enjoy a book if I feel obligated to read it, and it can ruin the experience for me.

For example, in September, I was going through a slight book slump and was reading Crown of Midnight at the time. I read about 200 pages until I realized I wasn’t getting immersed into the world. I genuinely thought that the second book in the series was not very good. I’m so glad I stopped reading it though, because I picked it up again and I’m loving it.

I have a fair few books that I’ve bought because I know I’ll want to read them–at some point. However right now, I know I won’t enjoy it if I force myself to read it. I need to be in the mood. That’s why I also have an issue with library books, because ideally, I could leave the book and wait until I wanted to read it, but you can’t do that with library books. Cue massive fines…ooops.

I have a lot of books I’ve been meaning to read by the end of the year and I will. I just can’t pick up any book and dive in.. We all have our moods, sometimes we need something fluffy, sometimes something hard-hitting. But when moods stop you from enjoying a particular book, they can become annoying.

Do you have this problem?

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Review: Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince #2)

Review: Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince #2)Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Prince #2
Published by Avon on 26th March 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 326
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Leila's psychic abilities have been failing her, and now she isn't sure what the future holds. If that weren't enough, her lover, Vlad, has been acting distant. Though Leila is a mere mortal, she's also a modern woman who refuses to accept the cold shoulder treatment forever–especially from the darkly handsome vampire who still won't admit that he loves her.

Like choosing between eternal love and a loveless eternity...

Soon circumstances send Leila back to the carnival circuit, where tragedy strikes. And when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who may be closer than she realizes, Leila must decide who to trust– the fiery vampire who arouses her passions like no other or the tortured knight who longs to be more than a friend? With danger stalking her every step of the way, all it takes is one wrong move to damn her for eternity.
Buy the Book from Amazon UKBuy the Book from Amazon USABuy the Book from The Book Depository

YAY! Love this series! I was a little apprehensive about reading a spin-off with Vlad, and although I really enjoyed Once Burned, Twice Tempted was that much more enjoyable for me.

I love character development and Frost writes it incredibly well. Both Leila and Vlad grew as a couple and did what they needed to make the relationship work. Like adults. Which is why I adore their relationship so much. Vlad isn’t used to having someone so close to him, and although he has had lovers, he’s not been in an equal partnership in a long time. Not just because Vlad is a commitment-phobe either. Rather, because the one woman he did love killed herself, because she was so afraid of him. You can see why Vlad is a little reluctant to fall in love after that, so he simply refuses. I love Vlad’s character so much more now, before he was mysterious (and he still is), but his character has been given much more depth and reason for his actions. I really fell in love with him in this one.

That’s not to say Vlad wasn’t infuriating at times, because he seriously is. However, it worked because Vlad never changed who he was completely. He’s still brutal Vlad, and although he bends much more than he has before, for Leila. He doesn’t change. I find in some relationships in these books, the ruthless Vampire falls in love with the woman and becomes a bit soppy. Which I find unrealistic, because it’s almost like their entire character changes.

Leila also has character development, and together, you have two evolving characters that don’t annoy you. Leila is hilarious at times, her sarcastic inner-commentary and witty remarks are exactly what I look for in a character. She’s someone people underestimate, with an awesome power of electricity and ability to read emotional imprints on people. Frost has given her truly compelling and intriguing powers. Leila is the kind of character you

I really adore this world, the characters and the world-building. There is a fair bit of romance, but it doesn’t dominate the book, and it was just the right amount for me. I’m very sad that there’s only going to be one more book, however, at least this series will end strongly and is unlikely to fizz out. Twice Tempted is not a book to miss, and is the kind of book where two hours will go by and the pages are flipping themselves, because you are so into the story and characters. Frost has done an excellent job with this world and I highly recommend it if you enjoy Paranormal Romance, because, trust me, it’s the good stuff.

four-half-stars

EMBARGO

ARC Review: Crash into You by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #3)

ARC Review: Crash into You by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #3)Crash into You by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #3
Published by Mira Ink on November 26th 2013
Genres: Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 474
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
five-stars
The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

I really liked Dare You To, but Katie McGarry was certainly pushing the limits of awesome with Crash into You…geddit? ;)

McGarry is fast becoming one of those authors where I count the days for their next book to come out. She mixes this perfect blend of internal conflict, external conflict and upping the stakes when you’re unprepared. It’s the kind of series I love so much I would go out and buy just to stroke the beautiful cover and look at it on my shelf. Correction: if it was the American cover–I don’t want to get into it, but to say the UK covers are a disappointment is a colossal understatement.

Crash into You is told in dual POV. It really added something to the story to understand how each of the characters were perceived through different eyes, and how that perception changed as they grew to know each other. Rachel was a character many people can relate to. Her family and her have a *lot* of issues, and I won’t delve into them, apart from to say it was written beautifully. Rachel is completely different from Beth in Dare You To, which just shows how McGarry can write different characters and isn’t churning out the same things. I related to Rachel, and though in the past shy characters like her have annoyed me, Rachel didn’t one bit. I really understood her, and her need to be herself–not what everyone else wanted her to be. Her family seriously angered me, though. I didn’t understand why they treated Rachel like a fragile ornament that wasn’t allowed to have any friends without someone getting suspicious. Rachel is a teenager, and frankly, if my teenage daughter didn’t have any friends at all, I’d be a little concerned. Rachel was suffocating under this constant need to make everyone happy, when it wasn’t her responsibility or problem. I felt so strongly about her situation, I wanted to jump into the book and shout at her family for being so unbelievably obtuse. Rachel is a character that I think is going to be more popular for readers, because more people can relate to her. Reading about sassy heroines is fun, but not necessarily realistic for us bookish types to relate to.

I was especially interested about the cars aspect of Crash into You. Never have I read a novel about drag racing or a YA heroine who’s in love with cars. It was really adorable the way Isaiah and Rachel bonded over their love for cars. It was like they had their own special language that drew them closer, and a common passion about something.

I wasn’t sure about Isaiah before, but I really grew to love his character and empathize for the situation he is in. At the beginning of Crash into You, it feels like he doesn’t have a person he can properly talk to. Despite having a couple of reliable friends, he’s kind of lonely, and so is Rachel. More is revealed about Isaiah’s home life, and his desperate situation. Both characters were becoming more layered as the book went on.

I am now incredibly excited for the next installment in this series, where we have Rachel’s brother West as one of the main protagonists. I love it when the characters link together, and I feel like Katie McGarry can just keep on going with these books, as she has shown she knows how to keep them interesting and engaging.

If you haven’t picked up the Pushing the Limits series, and you enjoy YA Romance, why haven’t you? Although it’s nice to read from the beginning and understand references to previous books, Crash into You can be read as a standalone. You will be missing a couple of things that happened, but if you have a chance to read Crash into You. Do it. Do it now.

Rating: 5 Stars BABY!

five-stars

af

In Conversation with L.A. Weatherly (Author of the Angel series)

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GoodreadsAmazon UKAmazon US

On 31st of October, I had the privilege of meeting L.A. Weatherly, who was signing her books (notably her latest release of Angel Fever) at Waterstones. Angel Fever is the third and last installment in her Angel trilogy. I managed to get a quick interview as well, and I had a great time talking about desert island reads, and information about her upcoming series.

I had to write the answers to these questions in a notebook (lesson learned: I cannot write as fast as I want to) so I’m reluctant to quote the interview, and I’m para-phrasing, but these are her general answers.

I asked Weatherly who her inspiration was to write books and she replied that her parents were big readers, and she grew up in a supportive family. Everyone was really excited when she decided she wanted to be an author. One of her first memories is being aged 5-6 and trying to write a book. She also wrote as a teen, but got serious in her 20′s as an adult.

In the YA genre, it can depend on what sub-genre is currently getting a lot of attention to how well someone’s book is going to be received. The First book in the Angel trilogy–also called Angel–was released in 2010, when the release of the Twilight films triggered massive hype in the Paranormal YA sub-genre. Weatherly said she wasn’t aware of the hype at first and nearly abandoned the idea of Angel all together, but was glad she didn’t. She had the idea in her head for a long time, had even formed half of the story. Then saw a display of non-fiction books about angels and wondered, what if angels weren’t what we thought they were?

On the fun round, Weatherly revealed she prefers (dark) chocolate to cheese (I have to agree), and her favourite TV Show at the moment is Game of Thrones. The first episode drew her in, and she currently on series 2. I hope she enjoys it, I’ve only watched the first couple of episodes and need to catch up!

If L.A. Weatherly could only take four books on a desert island, she would take: Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkein, a really good anthology of poetry, and of course, the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

As I asked what mythical creature she’d like as a pet, I gave examples of  unicorn or perhaps an elf. Weatherly was quick to remind me that keeping an elf as a pet is cruel. Duh! It would be like Dobby all over again. Anyway, she would choose the tiny dragons from Game of Thrones. How cute!

I cheekily inquired if we could have any information on what she’s currently working on. Unfortunately, she can’t release much information at this time. However, it’s being published by Usborne, it’s going to be another epic series and will be released in 2015. This mystery series is not going to be Paranormal, but Weatherly assures us that readers of the Angel trilogy will still enjoy it.

I hope you enjoyed the interview, I had a lot of fun interviewing and writing it up. Thank you so much L.A. Weatherly for taking the time to be interviewed, and pausing at the right moments when I was scribbling down your answers!

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Review: Popping the Cherry by Aurelia B Rowl

Review: Popping the Cherry by Aurelia B RowlPopping the Cherry by Aurelia B Rowl
Published by Carina on September 19th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 250
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
two-half-stars
From driving tests to relationships, Valentina Bell thinks she’s a failure, with a big fat capital F. At this rate, she’s certain she’ll be a virgin for ever. So Lena’s friends plan Operation: Popping the Cherry to help her find the perfect man first time.

Yet somehow disastrous dates with bad-boy musicians and fabulous evenings with secretly in-the-closet guys aren’t quite working out how Lena planned.

Soon Lena’s avoiding Operation: Popping the Cherry to spend time with comforting, aloof Jake, her best friend’s older brother, who doesn’t make her feel self-conscious about still clinging to her V card. But could Jake show Lena that sometimes what you’re looking for most is right by your side?

A FOREVER for the twenty-first century
Buy the Book from Amazon UK

I enjoyed Popping the Cherry as a cute romance, but it frustrated me in so many ways. Our main character, Lena (or Tink, as the romantic interest calls her) is at school one day when her friends stage an Intervention to get her cherry popped. Or in other words, to lose her virginity. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with how this happened, as Lena then spent most of the novel on the quest to lose her virginity–or rather as I saw it–to fit in with her friends. Suddenly the premise didn’t look nearly as amusing, but kind of sad for Lena, who’s friends wrote a list titled Operation: Popping the Cherry.

Another thing that annoyed me was her best friend, Gemma. Said best friend does not approve of the actual person she is falling in love with, which is her older brother, Jake. She makes every snide comment and gives no support to Lena but instead pushes her toward disgusting guys who take advantage of her. Gemma came across as superficial and selfish, not once did she even have a reason for Lena and Jake not to be together, and was effectively stopping them both from being happy. The reason I feel so strongly over this is, because of Gemma (and admittedly other reasons), it takes them the entire novel to get together. Which unfortunately, is not my thing.  I like it when the characters realise they like each other and, you know, act like adults and just ask the other out. Then maybe have some complications in the relationship later. Sometimes it felt like they were in primary school playground, writing notes and thinking: does he like me? I won’t bother asking, I will sit on my hands and wait for something to happen for the ENTIRE novel.

Honestly, I have never known anyone so inept at reading signals. Sorry for that slight rant there, it was the main annoying aspect of the book, and otherwise it was an enjoyable romance. It wasn’t particularly complicated, but at times it was adorable, and I really liked the way Lena handled some of the situations maturely, unlike other books I’ve read with characters in the same situation. I love forbidden love, and that’s kind of what was in Popping the Cherry, except, I feel like I should’ve been given more reason as to why Jake and Lena couldn’t be together.

Also, there was a huge cliché with the main antagonist, Alice (or Malice, as Lena and her friends call her), was so predictable and boring. She was the Queen Bee that wasn’t satisfied until everyone is bowing before her. Yada-yada-yada. I just find this plot line to be so uninteresting and average. Rowl could have done so much better in that aspect.

I really liked Jake and Lena, it’s a shame everyone around them was so annoying. They should’ve just ignored everyone from the start and done what they wanted. Together, they had a really sweet romance–that may have dragged on slightly–but was adorable all the same.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

two-half-stars

18065780

This Weeks Bought Books

This week I bought quite a few books, and I can’t wait to read them!

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Never underestimate the power of a woman on a double espresso with a mocha latte chaser high.
- T-shirt

Charley Davidson isn’t your everyday, run-of-the-mill grim reaper. She’s more of a paranormal private eye/grim reaper extraordinaire. However, she gets sidetracked when the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, moves in next door. To further complicate matters, Reyes is her main suspect in an arson case. Charley has vowed to stay away from him until she can find out the truth…but then dead women start appearing in her apartment, one after another, each lost, confused, and terrified beyond reason. When it becomes apparent that her own sister, Gemma is the serial killer’s next target, Charley has no choice but to ask for Reyes’s help. Arsonist or not, he’s the one man alive who could protect Gemma no matter who or what came at her. But he wants something in return. Charley. All of her, body and soul. And to keep her sister safe, it is a price she is willing to pay.

Charley Davidson is at it again in the sexy, suspenseful, and laugh-out-loud funny fifth installment of the New York Times best selling series.

 

18065780“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.”

Harriet knows that modelling won’t transform you. She knows that being as uniquely odd as a polar bear isn’t necessarily a bad thing (even in a rainforest). And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.

What Harriet doesn’t know is where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives.

With summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get as far away from home as possible. But nothing can prepare Harriet for the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes.

Because, this time, Harriet knows what a broken heart feels like.

Can geek girl find her place on the other side of the world or is Harriet lost for good?

 

AdorkableWelcome to the dorkside. It’s going to be a bumpy ride…

Jeane Smith’s a blogger, a dreamer, a dare-to-dreamer, a jumble sale queen, CEO of her own lifestyle brand and has half a million followers on twitter.

Michael Lee’s a star of school, stage and playing field. A golden boy in a Jack Wills hoodie.

They have nothing in common but a pair of cheating exes. So why can’t they stop snogging?

 
 

Julie_kagawa-theironkingMeghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan’s life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she’s known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth – that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she’ll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil, no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

 

Offical-Allegiant-CoverOne choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

 

What did you buy this week? What are you excited to read?

if-i-stay

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Review: If I Stay by Gayle FormanIf I Stay by Gayle Forman
Published by Black Swan on Arpil 2nd 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 201
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought, Library
Goodreads
five-stars
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
Buy the Book from Amazon UKBuy the Book from Amazon USA

If I Stay is one emotional book. Anyone who’s had experience with grief can relate to the premise (which is pretty much EVERYONE). Forman explores the boundaries between life and death, and the idea of having the choice whether to live or die. Mia is in a car accident with her parents and younger brother, and when her family are killed, Mia stays in a coma. We’re shown Mia’s perspective outside of her comatose body, as she watches events unfold around her and flashbacks are blended seamlessly to show her former life. She has a captivating dilemma of whether it’s worth living. Her family is dead, and she would spend the rest of her life grieving and living without her family. But of course she has hundreds of life prospects to look forward to, as she’s only 17.

From page one, Mia was a character I understood and liked. Maybe it’s because of her sarcastic and dark humor, or the way her character was presented, but she seemed like someone I could be best friends with. Forman has a way of pulling at the heart-strings in a particular way, I never sobbed my heart out, but her writing made me grieve for my own losses and I  teared up a few times. Her family situation was adorable; she had a boyfriend, a best friend, and an amazing talent at cello. There was no huge drama-llama, everything was so incredibly normal. This made the situation easy to relate to and powerful, because it reminds one that life is short and unpredictable.

I love romance in books, and it did play a part in If I Stay. Adam is probably one of the most realistic book boyfriends, and I love him for it. He’s the lead singer and guitarist in a rock band, but it wasn’t as cliche as it sounds. Forman didn’t make him a rock star to make us love him (okay maybe a little bit), but it was also really integral to the story. Music played an important role in the storyline, as it’s how Adam and Mia meet. It was something they were so passionate about and it  worked really well.

I’m not wasn’t a huge fan of contemporary, and honestly the genre has annoyed me at times. However, If I Stay has opened my eyes to the genre and made me see it in a completely different light. I loved the characters in this book, I loved the story line and the events. I’m so glad I picked it up, and will not sigh heavily when thinking about reading a Contemporary. Because if I read another Contemporary that I loved as much as this, I shall be very happpy.

five-stars

After-Eden-Helen-Douglas

Review: After Eden by Helen Douglas (After Eden #1)

Review: After Eden by Helen Douglas (After Eden #1)Aften Eden by Helen Douglas
Series: After Eden #1
Published by Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Children's on November 7th 2013
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Pages: 228
Format: ARC
Source: Given From Publisher
three-stars
Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she's hooked. On the face of it, he's a typical American teenager. So why doesn't he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn't heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he's taking in her.

As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan's bedroom - a biography of her best friend - written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose ... and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.

*A review copy was very kindly provided by Bloomsbury Children’s , but this in no way affected the review*

After Eden is written in the perspective of a 16-year-old girl called Eden who starts becoming friends with the new guy in school–deliciously attractive Ryan. Sometimes I found Eden to be a tad one-dimentional. Sure, I related to her in quite a few ways, but she wasn’t the kind of character I admire for her complexity. However, I did like her and thought she was really funny at times.

I don’t want to give out to many spoilers, but Eden starts discovering things about Ryan that don’t add up–he’s never had pizza, and he doesn’t know who Hitler or Ghandi are. Soon she discovers Ryan’s from 100 years into the future and traveled back in time on a mission to save the world.

After Eden was a really intriguing read because I adored the time-travelling aspect of the story. I found it so interesting and I hope Douglas explores this area more in the next installment.  I wasn’t sure I bought that Ryan didn’t know what pizza was or who Hitler or Ghandi were. I understood there was likely to be a colossal culture shock, but they are key people in History and world renown. Surely, there must be some kind of education that informs us who Hitler was 100 years into the future? Of course, we can’t know what happens 100 years from now and I liked the way Douglas kept a mystery about the future and what it held. Eden couldn’t be told about anything because it could change the future and it went against certain laws. This just made me desperate to know more, and I really hope that at some point in this series we will see what becomes of Earth in the future, or be given more information.

I really liked that the romance was not massively insta-love, I had a feeling it was going to be, but thankfully I was proved wrong. I thought Ryan and Eden together were so funny together, but I didn’t feel like their romance had a spark. It was all very cute at times, and Ryan was romantic, but it wasn’t a love I was desperate to see survive. However, I love the trope of forbidden love, and I was interested to see how Eden and Ryan were going to overcome the 100 years that force them apart.

Some things were admittedly quite cliché and predictable. There was a girl antagonist that went to Eden’s school trying to steal the guy. This cheesy plot line usually annoys me a lot, but she played a small role and it didn’t bother me. In fact, it made for entertainment.

It pleased me that the setting was Cornwall! It’s such a lovely place, and it was awesome to read about a UK setting, and people in the same school year as me! There were really nice scenes at the beach and gazing at the stars, and I found the scenes about astronomy especially interesting.

I did really enjoy After Eden, I liked the occasional humour, the setting and the entire idea of  time travelling. However, at times I felt the characters were not complex enough and the romance was lacking in a bit of spark.

Rating: 3 Stars

three-stars

November Releases: The Fiery Heart, Champion, After Eden and More!

 

 

 

I can’t believe it’s already November! I’m already seeing Christmas adverts and hearing about 2014 book releases. Without further ado, here are this months book releases. Click on the picture to be sent to the books Goodreads page. Enjoy, and happy reading!

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I’m most excited for Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout, The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead and Broken by CJ Lyons. What November releases are you most excited about?

crash into you

October Monthly Wrap-Up

I have had a really productive reading month, which is a major step-up from last month. The books I read consists of these:

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 Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Covenant #3)–Some characters unrealistically took a turn for the worst in this one. Romance development was good though.

The Selection by Kiera Cass (The Selection #1)–Quite a light Dystopia read, which was interesting to read, as most Dystopia’s are IN.YOUR.FACE.

18333827 if-i-stay

 Reviewed: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins–such a cute romance, I adored it.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman–Very emotional, in a good way! Also becoming a film, I rec it massively!

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Crash into You by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #3)–finally we get to see Isiah’s POV, and it was glorious! Review to come next month.

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Covenant #2)–I enjoyed this a ton more than the first one, it definitely went down an original route, unlike the previous book which was exactly like Vampire Academy.

TwiceTempted-mm-cover-for-blog1 Where-She-Wentsmaller

 Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince #2)–I wasn’t 100% sure about Vlad in Once Burned, but boy, am I sure about him now. Emotional walls are broken down, and I love him a lot more than I did before. He still frustrates me, but what can you expect from Vlad The Impaler?

Where She Went by Gayle Forman (the sequel to If I Stay)–Although not as hard-hitting as If I Stay, the emotional angst and complex characters were truly amazing.

Overall, October was a really good reading month for me, I’ve mostly scheduled these reviews for November…wait what? I’ve scheduled some posts? Now that’s just cray-cray, I deserve a round of applause.

But anyway, how was October for you? Did you read a lot of awesomesauce books? Hit me with your best recs!

almost demon

Interview: AJ Salem Discusses Her Upcoming Debut ‘Almost Demon’

I’m very excited to welcome AJ Salem, author of the upcoming title–Almost Demon. Releasing October 31st (how very appropriate), Almost Demon is a Paranormal Young Adult book following protagonist Gemma Pope.

 

almost demonHi AJ! So glad to have you on Hardcore Heroines! Tell us a little bit about your upcoming novel Almost Demon.
Almost Demon is the first novel in The Sigil Cycle series following Gemma Pope, a high school senior struggling to get her life back to normal after a horrible car accident stole the lives of her twin brother and best friends. Everyone blames her for the crash and to make matters worse she starts seeing dark shadows around town unsure whether they are real or an indication that she is slowly losing her mind. Gemma soon learns that there is more at play than her imagination and must find her inner strength to move past her mistakes and save everyone around her.

 

You told me that Almost Demon would appeal to fans of The Morganville Vampires and Vampire Academy. Did you pull inspiration from these books and various other Young Adult Paranormal books?
As a reader, I find that Rachel Caine and Richelle Mead are able to create complex heroines that have a host of problems both supernatural and personal but are able to overcome the obstacles thrown at them. I worked hard at creating a strong character in Gemma who, despite her faults, won’t give up when things get tough. I think that is an important message to get out in a YA novel.

 

I completely agree, strong characters are incredibly important. What was the hardest aspect of writing Almost Demon? (You know, the hair-pulling-I-don’t-want-to-carry-on-I-want-to-break-down-and-cry moment) Or did you not have one?
The hardest part for me is always the first three chapters. The whole set up for the plot starts there and until I get it perfect the ball won’t start rolling.

 

Why is this book different compared to all of the other Young Adult Paranormal books out there? What makes yours stand out?
I think my take on demons and angels is pretty unique. They don’t behave the way you think they would and the line between good and evil isn’t so clear-cut. Also, their world isn’t all fire and brimstone but the decisions made here, in this dimension, can very well lead to hell on Earth.

 

What one song do you think perfectly incorporates the storyline/characters?
Hearing Damage by Thom Yorke

 

What one character of your book would you bring to life if you could?
Gemma, so that I can give her a hug and tell her everything will work out. Maybe not the way she thinks it should but she’ll find what she’s looking for.

 

Aww, that’s really sweet. Sometimes I want to give characters hugs and tell them it’ll work out.
Fun Round:
Cheese or chocolate?
Cheese! The smellier the better.

 

Interesting, I’m a chocolate person myself ;)
Favourite hunk from the Young Adult genre?
Dmitri. *Sigh*

 

Why, yes *fans oneself*
Last book you bought?
The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas and Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

 

Current favourite TV show?
Being Human. Also, I’m terrified of zombies but I torture myself with The Walking Dead because the character development is so good. And I am patiently awaiting more Sherlock and Dr. Who.
I LOVE The Walking Dead! I’m behind because I’m watching it with my brother but I agree that the character development is awesome. Being Human is something my friends rage at me to watch, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. They adore Aidan Turner!

 

 Synopsis of Almost Demon:

The last thing Gemma Pope expects to study in the after-school book club is demon etiquette but that is exactly what she has to do to succeed as a summoner and save her hometown.

Since taking the blame for the car accident that claimed the lives of her twin brother and two of her best friends, she s been seeing things. Dark shadows, opaque, menacing, multiplying.

The clock starts ticking when the local mild-mannered librarian suffers a psychotic break and pulls a gun on her reading circle. People are dying in disasters and wars all over the world. Gemma s dad is getting weird, her classmates are becoming violent, and the darkness surrounding Harrisport is getting thicker.

ajsalemDoes she trust hot English Lit teacher Mr. Flynn or Ian, the mysterious new kid in town, who has knowledge beyond his years and 

access to other dimensions?

It is only when the gates to hell are opened, that Gemma learns who her real friends are.Discover what lies just beyond the veil of humanity in the sleepy town of Harrisport.

 

About AJ Salem
AJ Salem grew up in New York City with her nose in a book. She graduated the Fashion Institute of Technology with a B.F.A. in Illustration. When she is not writing, she can be found juggling four small children, crocheting, and watching too much British television. Almost Demon is her first novel.

 

Thank you AJ for being on the blog today, and guys, be sure to add Almost Demon to your TBR this Autumn!
Stir-Me-Up-by-Sabrina-Elkins

ARC Review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

ARC Review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina ElkinsStir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins
Published by Harlequin Teen on December 1st 2013
Genres: Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
five-stars
Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….

This was such a *sigh* worthy romance. I read it in two sittings and I loved it. Julian, has been given an honourable discharge from the Marines when he was wounded in an IED explosion. He was trying to pull three other people to safety when there was a second explosion, and he was the only one who survived. One of his legs has to amputated, and he sustained many other injuries and obvious emotional scarring. He’s not in a good place and when our main heroine Cami meets him for the first time in his hospital bed, he angrily shouts at her to leave the room. Except, Julian is Cami’s stepmother’s nephew and soon Julian moves out of hospital and into Cami’s room, and consequently, they are forced to see each other every day.

Poor Cami was put out by not having her own private space, but Julian desperately needs the care Cami’s stepmother, Estella, is willing to give. Cami is attending her last year of school and works at her French father’s restaurant–Etoile. She loves cooking mostly French food, and bakes some muffins for Julian in goodwill–he throws it at her head. Commence the angry insults that are thrown at each other. I enjoyed Cami’s love for cooking food, it added to the storyline, and gave her more depth. She was an enjoyable character to read about, because she was so relatable. She goes to school, she has a best friend, she studies, she flirts with a hot Marine…wait, what? Where’s my hot Marine? *Ahem*, anyway, she had a feistiness and friendliness that made me want to be there baking muffins and laughing with her.

Stir Me Up explores the after-math of war in individuals, and the effects of loss. Julian and Cami warm to each other in a slow-burning way, that is believable and sweet. This book is wholly satisfying for Romance-lovers, and prefect for those cold days to snuggle under the covers and get caught up in a highly amusing and adorable romance.

Julian is one sexy marine *swoon*, and Elkins made the connection between him and Cami feel tangible. Cami has no idea what she wants to do other than that she wants to be a chef, and Julian and her share that uncertainty towards their future. I had such a good time reading this, I urge you to read it.

Rating: 5 Stars

five-stars

proud_superman_dog_cosplay

Tag: 50 Random Facts About Me

Thanks so much @secretlyzuzana from It Was Lovely Reading You who tagged me!! I feel loved, but this tag is hard. 50 facts is a lot!

1. My room is covered in magazine papers and posters of all my favourite actors and places.

2. I only started reading at age 11.

3. And it was Twilight that got me into reading (don’t kill me, at least Twilight is useful for something, right?)

4. I skip 60 Minute Makeover to the end and the beginning.

5. I like the TV show Smash

6. Unicorns are cute, I wish I owned one. Then we could ride around while rainbows danced around us.

7. I love tea, it tastes so good (I’m English, what do you expect?).

8. I’m in my GCSE year at school and dying from exam revision. lokism

9. I love Christmas, is it too soon to start counting the days?

10. I really like fitness and sports.

11. Swimming is my favourite. CHLORINE IS NOT.

12. I feel kind of awkward writing so much about myself.

13. I have a chocolate Labradoodle called Coco.

14. I’ve had her since I was 7.

15. My bookshelf is currently overflowing and I need new shelves.

16. I like watching 90210, it’s my guilty pleasure.

17.  I love all my bloggy friends.

18. But I don’t get enough time to blog and talk to them :(

19. I am the worst at French and Maths, so so bad.

20. I’m going to San Diego Comic Con next year!!!

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Dogs can cosplay too

21. Any cosplay suggestions would be helpful :) but I don’t think I can beat the dog.

22. Allegiant is soon. FOURFOURFOURFOUR.

23. And I haven’t even read Insurgent!! AH

24. I’m now watching Strictly Come Dancing.

25. Dave the Hairy Biker is obviously going to win.

26. Butter and jam on bread is delicious.

27. I’ve recently discovered Gayle Forman’s books.

28. Now I plan to read everyone of them.

29. I love it when you discover a new author, then you get to read all of their books!

30. Brace Face Alert. For TWO years. *cries*

31. Soon to be Perfect Teeth Alert….hopefully soon.

32. Anything with chocolate in I will eat.

33. Coco is looking at me now with sad eyes.

34. ‘FEED ME’ they say.

35. Red is my favourite colour.

36. I don’t have a lucky number.

37. I take advice from Adrian Ivashkov and make my own luck.

38. I’m very into music.

39. I mainly sing but also play guitar.

40. I’m seeing Imagine Dragons live in November! MOSHPIT HERE I COME.

41. Who made this tag? 50 facts is a lot.

42. I like to sleep.

43. I wish I owned a sloth.

44. Except that would be animal cruelty.

45. Sometimes when I’m sad I google funny cat gifs.

46. Robert Sheehan is one of my favourite actors.

47. I don’t like Lemongrass.

48. Walking into door frames is a daily occurrence.

49. I’m blunt.

50. This took me way too long to write.

I did it!! 50 facts. This was a lot of fun :D

I tag Jack from The Book Stop, Stephanie from The Novlist and Georgia from Books and Writers JNR. I don’t think you guys have done it, and if you’ve already been tagged, then this is just more reason to do it! Also, anyone who hasn’t done it, go do it and send me the link!

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Review: Lash by L.G. Castillo

Review: Lash by L.G. CastilloLash by L.G. Castillo
Series: Broken Angel #1
on 1st May 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 286
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
three-stars
Decades after being banished from Heaven for saving a life he shouldn’t have, Lash is given a chance to redeem himself. His mission: protect Naomi Duran, a young woman who has lost her faith. The assignment proves to be anything but simple when his superiors, the Archangels, withhold key information about Naomi and refuse to restore Lash’s powers. When an unexpected source reveals centuries-old secrets, his trust is shaken to the core, and he begins to doubt those whom he had once considered to be his greatest allies.

Determined to avoid anything that would risk his chances of returning to Heaven, Lash struggles with the greatest obstacle of all—his growing feelings for Naomi. But when her life is threatened by an unknown source, Lash questions the wisdom of the Archangels and his ability to keep her safe. 

Soon, Lash will have to choose where to place his faith—in the home he has fought so hard to regain or in the forbidden love he can’t bear to lose.
Buy the Book from Amazon UKBuy the Book from Amazon USA

Lash has a feel of New Adult/ Paranormal and was such a lovely read. It had the premise of Guardian Angels, and forbidden love. Who doesn’t enjoy the trope of forbidden love?

I had not read any New Adult before this–but I kept telling myself to–but because I like Romance and Paranormal, this was really a fantastic combination. It didn’t take me very long to finish and was a light read–which considering that I’ve been in a reading funk for a couple of weeks now was a warm welcome.

Lash was a bit of fun, and humour is present throughout the novel, which blended into what was mostly a rather serious storyline. It’s always good when an author can add humour without completely altering the tone, because I don’t enjoy 100% serious books, I need humour!

The only thing that really let this novel down was that I never fell in love with the characters, and I don’t even know why. Well okay, I did fall for Lash a little bit–but who wouldn’t? There was great internal and external conflict, Castillo has clearly tried to give layers to the characters and Lash had an intriguing mystery past. But still, they weren’t the kind of characters that made you snort with laughter and want to eat ice cream with them in the wee hours of the morning.

Even though I didn’t fall in love with Naomi’s character, I still liked her. Anyone who has dealt with loss and grieving can relate to Naomi’s character. She lost her mother to cancer, then other events happen that add to the loss. I felt like some things were unexpected and unrealistic, though. I don’t want to give out spoilers, but she gets a little depressed at one point, and what happened next seemed like it was just written in to make the story more interesting/easier for the storyline. Not actually because it fit with Naomi’s character.

Either way, Lash was an enjoyable read, and although it wasn’t jaw-dropping or heart-stopping, Lash and Naomi were fun characters, and the Guardian Angels storyline was really intriguing. This novel was at times cheesy and I felt melodramatic, but still a great read.

Rating: 3 Stars

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