Monday, 31 March 2014

March 2014: Lots of Distractions

March was a really good month on the book front. I had two books from favourite authors to read – Veronica Rossi and Karina Halle, – and I discovered two new authors – Kelly Creagh and Cynthia Hand – that could potentially make it onto that list at some stage. My biggest problem this month was actually finding enough time to read everything! I think everyone knows The Hunger Games: Catching Fire came out on DVD. I bought it and I watched it about a billion times – bye-bye free time! Yes, it’s just that awesome.

Choosing a book of the month for March was quite tricky. I narrowed it down to Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi, and Nevermore by Kelly Creagh. I absolutely loved Into the Still Blue, but I had to choose Nevermore as my book of the month for March.

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

March Book of the Month: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh.

Wow, Nevermore completely took me by surprise! I have only just finished it, and I haven’t got a review written up yet. Hopefully I’ll have it completed started and posted by the weekend. My biggest problem will be trying to express how much I loved it. And how much I love Varen! I mean, a review with only the words “I loved this book, you should read it!” isn’t exactly the most helpful, and that’s pretty much all I’ve got to say about it! (But, yes, I loved it. And yes, you should read it!)

The other books I read this month are:

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi – 5 Stars

Rock Hard by Olivia Cunning – 2 Stars

Frigid by J. Lynn – 2 Stars

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand – 4 Stars

Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle – 4 Stars

Evernight by Claudia Gray – 3 Stars

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh – 5++ Stars.

(I did read a couple of Kindle freebies, but I didn’t enjoy them, so I’m omitting them from the list.)

Rock Hard and Frigid are my two big disappointments this month. I loved Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning, the first book in the Sinners on Tour Series (even though I highly suspect it’s Avenged Sevenfold Fan-Fic … lots of similarities, just saying!) Rock Hard is Sed’s book, and the characters just didn’t work for me. I missed Brian and Myrna! I’ll continue with the series at some stage in the future, but my expectations will be a lot more realistic from now on.

Frigid is written by one of my favourite authors, Jennifer L. Armentrout, but writing under her J. Lynn pen-name. I think it’s just a matter of personal preference, and I’ve had better luck with her Young Adult series, rather than her New Adult.

I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Monique from Mo_Books, and I want to thank her again! I’m flattered to even be considered for any recognition! I also started taking part in some meme’s this month. My TBR list has expanded yet again with all the awesome books I discovered hopping around the Waiting on Wednesday posts each week! My personal favourites are Top Ten Tuesdays. I love getting to know the people behind the blogs, and seeing what books they’ve chosen for their lists.

I’m already looking forward to my April reading schedule. Haha, who am I kidding, I’m not that organised to have a schedule for anything! I’m hoping to start The Maze Runner by James Dashner tonight. After seeing the trailer for the movie, I can’t wait to read it. For the most part – unless I get distracted, which happens a lot – my April books will be some of those I included in my Stacking the Shelves post a few weeks ago. If I can squeeze a couple of kindle books in as well I will, but we shall see!

I hope you have an amazing April and thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my blog!

Review: Evernight by Claudia Gray

Evernight by Claudia Gray book cover

Title: Evernight
Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Evernight, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 3 / 5

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Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

-- As seen on Goodreads

*This review contains both unintentional and intentional spoilers after the bold text two paragraphs in. Best to avoid reading further if you haven’t read the book yet and don’t want the story spoiled.*

My Thoughts

Everything about Evernight is just ok or good. The characters are ok. The writing is good. The plot is ok, but nothing terribly unique. It’s a thoroughly middle of the road book: not great, but certainly not a bad either. Basically… I have no clue how to accurately rate it!

Let me start with the positive: overall, I liked the book. I’m surprised that I do considering the issues I have with it. There is an addictive quality to the story, and it kept me hooked. And now, for the not so good: it is your stock boarding school story, with all the dramas associated, but with added vampires for a little bite. *cough*

(And here begins the spoilerish part – you have been warned!)

I’m all for plot twists, but I hate being lied to. My problem here: the first 130 pages felt like a lie. When a story is written in the first person, I expect a personal connection with the character. On the other hand, if it is written in the third person, I expect more impersonal objectivity with more convincing and vivid plot twists. Evernight is written in the first person, so in this instance, I am expecting to see through Bianca’s eyes – her thoughts, feelings, sights, sounds and all the rest – and have the same knowledge that she has. Connecting the dots is not hard to do, but I felt the first 130 or so pages were insulting. Chapter eight becomes nothing more than an info dump on the vampire backstory that we should have had from the beginning. This forced me to discredit Bianca’s character as an unreliable narrator – I couldn’t trust the story she was telling.

I think this has become obvious, but I disliked Bianca. She is incredibly self-centred. A little bit is normal in a novel, but my lord everything was constantly about her! Granted she appears like a normal teenager, and her dialogue is believable, but I just found her to be annoying in general. Lucas was an ok character, but he could have done with a bit more development. He’s likeable enough, but there wasn’t anything to make him stand out.

And yet another point that didn’t sit well with me: The insta love between Bianca and Lucas. I could understand the connection between them if they got all “obsessed” after Bianca bit him. We could blame it on the blood, and it could be used as an excuse if we wanted to take the glare away. As it stands, it’s suspect. Considering it was from first sight and Bianca is completely consumed by Lucas right from the beginning, I can’t justify it as anything other than more annoying insta-love in YA.

The secondary characters are treated very inconsistently, and some are developed better than others. Take Raquel as an example. I felt her character was quite meaningless. She was there to provide the female friend role and nothing more. Her presence felt like a cardboard cut-out with a “Raquel” name-tag on it. I didn’t see her as real.

Usually if I find something that bothers me more than once and it keeps happening, it sort of snowballs and I end up hating whatever it is in question. But with Evernight, despite my grievances, I was hooked on something and I kept reading and wanting to find out what happened. I have no idea why, but I liked it! It gripped my attention, and I wanted to keep reading, and this is the hallmark of a book I really like. But I have issues with it that should have detracted, but they didn’t stop me from enjoying the story... Argh! I’m so confused.

I definitely liked it a lot more that I was expecting considering the issues I have. The authors writing style is engaging and addictive and she can certainly tell a good story. It is not a bad book, and I’m not sure how to really sum it up. I think the best advice I can give is to try it for yourself, and come back and tell me how nit-picky I can be!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Liebster Award 2014

Hi everyone! I’m going to post something a little different. I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Monique over at Mo_Books recently, and I’m so amazed that I was even considered! Thank you so much Monique.

The Rules:

~ Make Sure you thank and link back the person who nominated you.

~ List 11 Facts about yourself.

~ Answer the 11 questions put forward by whoever nominated you.

~ Ask 11 new questions to 9 bloggers. They must have less than 200 followers on Bloglovin' (or their preferred method). You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.

~ Go to their blog and inform them that they have been nominated!

Here we go!

11 Facts About Me

1. My favourite colours are purple and blue.

2. I love the winter, but hate the summer.

3. I love football (or soccer) and Chelsea Football Club. If a Chelsea match is shown on TV, chances are I’m watching and more than likely screaming at the screen.

4. I hate pop music – sorry, can’t stand it. Hurts my ears...

5. I am not a morning person. 9am is the middle of the night as far as I’m concerned.

6. I require two cups of coffee every morning to function. If I don’t get my caffeine fix… run!

7. I am extremely shy. In groups I’m usually the quiet one in the corner, barely speaking a word --

8. Until you get to know me. Then I’m extremely outgoing, especially when I’m in small groups of people I know really well.

9. I have a two year old Siberian Husky. She loves to interrupt me reading (or when I’m doing anything at all for that matter), and insists I play with her instead. I love her to bits.

10. I’m claustrophobic, and hate the thoughts of getting trapped anywhere. I think this is a Sagittarian thing…

11. I have been told I’m level-headed. Not sure I agree with that, but hey, it seems like a compliment… so I’ll go with it!


1. What are you currently reading?

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh. Already I can tell it’s going to be a new favourite, I love it.

2. What is your favourite book(s) of all time?

Pride and Prejudice; Angelfall; The Hunger Games.

3. How did you come up with your blogs name?

I was playing around with a few names and I had random bookish words typed out on a document. I was listening to Journey Through Pressure by Katatonia, and unconsciously I started subbing words… and things just sort of clicked.

4. Who are your top 3 book boyfriends?

This is incredibly hard! If I have to choose, it would be:

Dex Foray – Experiment in Terror
Daemon Black – Lux
Lucas Maxfield – Easy

5. Do you have a favourite book quote?

Oh, I have so many, but I'll limit it to three:

“You love me. Real or not real?"
I tell him, "Real.”

(I won’t say who the characters are, spoilers and all…) -- Mockingjay -- Susan Collins.

This one is kind of morbid, but when it’s read in the context of the book it’s beautiful:

“Do you think because you can’t see my scars that they don’t exist?... Most People have their pain deep inside them, in places no one ever goes. Not until it’s too late.”

Camden McQueen -- Sins & Needles -- Karina Halle.

And on a much lighter note, this:

“I never kid about my warrior demigod status."
"Oh. My. God." I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper. "You are nothing but a bird with an attitude. Okay, so you have a few muscles, I’ll grant you that. But you know, a bird is nothing but a barely evolved lizard. That’s what you are.”

Raffe and Penryn –- Angelfall –- Susan Ee

6. Do you have any of your own personal memes on your blog?

No, not really. I’m very new to blogging, and have yet to finish off all the basics (I really need to concentrate on that!)

7. If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be?

Humm, what about both in the past and present? If I could meet an author in the past it would be Jane Austen, in the present, it would be Karina Halle.

8. Have any bookish pet peeves?

I hate perfect characters. They are unrealistic and fake. Give me a tortured soul any day!

9. What are your favourite genres?

I love anything with a paranormal twist. YA, dystopian, sci-fi and fantasy are probably my favourites at the minute.

10. What do you like doing in your spare time?

Apart from reading and writing? My dog (she demands my time, whether I choose to give it or not!) football, gaming, cooking, music, photography…

11. If you could be a character from any book, go to any world, who would you be? Where would you go? And (again from any book) who would you bring with you?

If I could be any character, I’d be a combination of Katniss Everdeen and Penryn form Angelfall. Where would I go… humm… I’d actually be mad enough to want to visit the world in Under the Never Sky, provided I ran into Perry and/or Roar pretty quickly. And I could leave whenever I wanted! Who would I bring with me… haha! I’d love to see what Dex Foray would do in that situation. That would be hilarious!

My 11 Questions for you:

1. Who are your favourite authors?
2. If you could choose to meet one character from a book in real life, who would you pick and why?
3. What book(s) made you cry?
4. What was the last book you read that you didn’t expect to like, but ended up loving?
5. What book(s) do you feel are overrated?
6. Who is your most embarrassing celebrity crush?
7. You just won an all-expenses paid trip to anywhere on the planet. Where would you go and why?
8. Do you have any pets?
9. What music do you listen to, and who are your favourite musicians/bands?
10. What is your guilty pleasure? (Not necessarily book/blogging related)
11. (Just for fun) Do you think you would (or could!) survive a zombie apocalypse?

My Nominees:

Nadia @ Nadia Reads
Samantha @ Ellipsis Comma Dash
Patty @ Patty's Book Corner
Celine and Elyssa @ Two Ends of a Bookshelf
Hagar @ The Serial Book Lover
Keeley @ Lost in the Pages of a Book
Itara @ My Midnight fantasies
Brittany @ Please feed the Bookworm

Friday, 28 March 2014

Feature and Follow Friday, #2

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host has their own Feature Blog and this week it's NjKinny's World of Books and Mo Books.

The goal is to increase blog followers and to make new friends. If you want to take part, answer the question posted and add your post to the linky, follow the hosts and the featured blogs, and hop from blog to blog leaving a comment to say hello, and follow as many or as few blogs as you like.

This weeks Question:

Snap it Time! A picture is worth a thousand words. Anything and anything. Just give us a pic.

This picture is not the best, it's taken through glass, but it's one of my most recent. This is my not so little baby girl, Jade. She is a Siberian Husky and just over two years old, and I love her to bits.

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Expected publication: April 8th 2014

A compelling debut novel asks what happens when children develop inexplicable abilities—and the government sees them as a threat.

They’re known as Firestarters. Boomers. Skychangers. The government calls them Illegals — children with inexplicable abilities — and detains them in menacing facilities so that society is kept out of harm’s way. Ashala Wolf and her Tribe of fellow Illegals have taken refuge in the Firstwood, a forest eerily conscious of its inhabitants, where they do their best to survive and where they are free to practice their abilities.

But when Ashala is compelled to venture outside her territory, she is betrayed by a friend and captured by an enemy. Injured and vulnerable, with her own Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to a machine that will pull secrets from her mind. It’s only a matter of time before the machine ferrets out the location of the Tribe. Her betrayer, Justin Connor, is ever-present, saving her life when she wishes to die and watching her every move. Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?

-- Blurb as seen on Goodreads

This blurb sounds fantastic! It kind of reminds me of a mash-up of Divergent, The Hunger Games and Under the Never Sky... but different. I can't wait to find out if it's as good as it seems.

Any new releases you can't wait to read?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Top Ten Things on My Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish.This week’s topic is our top ten bookish related things we have on our bucket lists. It can be anything from blogging, to meeting authors or anything book related!

1. Read 121 books in 2014.

I managed to read 120 in 2013, and I’m determined to beat that score, even if it’s just by one book! And, yes, this is my competitive streak coming out…

2. Finish off the basics and be happy with the design of my blog.

I really need to focus on this. I keep seeing little things to do that end up taking hours rather than minutes… and this means I have hardly any time to tackle the big things!

3. Own a complete hardback set of my favourite series, and each book signed by the author.

How amazing would that be! Maybe one day…

4. Somehow, someway finish the remaining four hundred pages of Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward.

It’s book #5 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and I’ve tried to read it twice, and I’ve quit… twice. Zsadist totally ruined this series for me, the rest are bland in comparison.

5. Write a book, and have the patience to finish it.

I don’t think I’d last beyond the first edit.

6. Ignore the reviews and read Allegiant by Veronica Roth.

I really liked Divergent, but Insurgent didn’t live up to my expectations. I don’t like leaving a trilogy I liked at one stage incomplete. I don’t know, and don't want to know how it ends… I’ve been staying miles away from spoilers!

7. Re-read some of my favourites, like Pride and Prejudice.

There are just so many good new books that I want to read, I haven’t had the chance to revisit some of my old favourites lately.

8. Read The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons.

That page count intimidates me so badly, but I need to just get out of my own head and read it!

9. Meet my favourite authors in person.

10. Have my own library, like Belle's from Beauty and the Beast

This is waaaay in the future. Or more realistically: never. But! If I ever win the Euromillions, and get the chance to build my own house, I would be mad enough to consider adding this to my grand plans:

A girl can dream, right?! Plus, I should have the spare cash to actually fill the shelves with books too…

What would make it onto your bookish bucket list?

Monday, 24 March 2014

Review: Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle

Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle book cover

Title: Donners of the Dead
Author: Karina Halle
Series: Standalone
Format: eBook, owned
My rating: 4 / 5

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***A Standalone Horror Romance***

A note about this book: Donners of the Dead is set in 1851 – couples were often thrust into marriage together with short courtships, racism was widespread and not overly frowned upon, and women had little to no rights. What wouldn't fly in today's day and age was unfortunately the norm back then - it is worth keeping that in mind when reading this book.

Jake McGraw was unlike anyone I’d ever known. He was brash, rude, unapologetic and arrogant; chauvinistic, close-minded, and terribly stubborn. He was built like a tree, tall with a hard chest and wide shoulders and hands that looked like they could wrestle a bear. He was a cigar-chomping, scruffy-faced, beast of a man. I was pretty sure I hated him. And I know he hated me. But among the flesh-eating monsters in these snow-capped mountains, he was the only thing keeping me alive

The year is 1851 and pioneers in search of California gold are still afraid to travel on the same route as the tragic Donner party did years before. When the last wagon train to go into the Sierra Nevada mountains fails to arrive at their destination, Eve Smith, an 18-year old half-native girl with immense tracking skills is brought along with the search party, headed by an enigmatic former Texas Ranger, Jake McGraw.

What they find deep in the dangerous snow-covered terrain is a terrifying consequence of cannibalism, giving new meaning to the term “monster.” While the search party is slowly picked off, one by one, Eve must learn to trust Jake, who harbors more than a few secrets of his own, in order to survive and prevent the monstrosities from reaching civilization.

***This is NOT New Adult***

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

"There are only monsters inside of angels and angels inside of monsters. Choose wisely.”

In each book Karina Halle writes, in particular her horror novels, there are usually a couple of scenes that are etched into your brain and will refuse to leave long after you finish the book, and Donners of the Dead is no exception. It takes her usual level of horror and adds zombies and stomach-churning cannibalism in all its gory glory.

This book chilled me to the bone, and I think it’s some of her most terrifying writing yet. I love when an author takes a topic and completely runs with it and doesn’t hold back on anything.

Eve Smith is our narrator for this terrifying read. She is a half-native American, half-white young woman of eighteen, who has been entrusted into the care of her Aunt and Uncle after the disappearance of her father, and the mental breakdown of her mother. In a time when women were barely tolerated, let alone a woman who is deemed a “half-breed”, she has to deal with the horrendous injustices of racism and sexism on a daily basis. This really stuck out in my mind: she isn’t allowed to attend school, and this hurts her deeply as her cousin, who has little interest in gaining knowledge, attends daily.

I felt a sharp pang of envy in my chest, something I often felt when I thought about my cousin. It wasn’t that she was beautiful and polite, but that she was able to go to school every day and I never was.
All I’d ever wanted to do was learn, to fill my mind with knowledge and wisdom, while Rose seemed to abhor everything about learning, except when it came to the piano.

I think her struggles were portrayed really well, and nothing was sugar coated. I like that the romanticism and idealism that often hangs over historically set novels isn’t showing its ugly head. Life could suck back then, especially if you were a woman. A maybe-negative: The dialogue is a bit on the modern side. This could potentially irritate some, but it worked for me personally as I don’t enjoy Ye Olden Speech – unless it’s Pride and Prejudice, then I’m all mushy.

Jake McGraw's character starts off, in short, as an arrogant, chauvinistic asshole, yet with the way he is portrayed as the story progresses, you could see that there is a lot more to him that what firsts meets the eye. I liked the romantic element that was woven into the horror, but it never overshadowed the story, just enhanced it.

"We’re still human even in the face of beasts, even with our lives at risk. When you’re close to death, love is sometimes the only thing that makes sense in life.”

Karina is champion of balancing all the different elements and plotlines within her stories. Everything happens at the right moment, it flows naturally and nothing if forced upon us. The epilogue was written exactly how I prefer epilogues to be written. It wasn’t drawn out and didn’t introduce unnecessary twists, keeping in line with what was naturally progressing with the characters’ lives at the books end.

I gave this book a four star rating, even though I do think it could deserve a lot more. This is purely because Karina is competing with her other books in my mind. Did I think Jake and Eve’s story matched or exceeded Dex and Perry’s from the Experiment in Terror series, or Camden and Ellie’s story in the Artists Trilogy? To me, it didn’t. I gave both of these a five star rating, so I feel to keep my ratings a little bit consistent, a four star rating more accurately describes my overall feelings toward the characters, and therefore, the book.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand book cover

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: Unearthly, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 4 / 5

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In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees... Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

I think I started off on the wrong foot with this book. I seem to be on some sort of angelic binge the past year or so – I blame Angelfall. It’s because of that book I went into Unearthly with really low expectations. Every angel themed book I’ve read since Angelfall hasn’t delivered. It took a while, but Unearthly grew on me.

**Note: If you haven’t read either book, but think you will read both eventually, I suggest starting with Unearthly, and then tackle the awesomeness that is Angelfall, but that’s just my opinion :-) **

It’s a slow building story. In the first chapter we start out in California, building up to moving to Wyoming, and finding out about the angel-bloods. There is a lot of information packed into one chapter, but it’s presented in an accessible way. I really enjoyed Cynthia Hand’s writing. It’s very absorbing and addicting and she took a lot of care in describing things without bogging down the story unnecessarily. You were given just enough detail to have a clear picture of the environment, without hindering the flow of the story.

Clara is the main character, and the book is narrated in the first person from her perspective. The best way I can describe what she is dealing with is double puberty: the regular teenage kind and the angel-blood kind. It’s quite entertaining to read! I ended up really liking Clara. She grew a lot over the course of the book. At first, I saw her as quite vain and a bit of an airhead, but thankfully, my opinion changed. She’s ballsy and stands up for herself and her family, so I totally respect that.

It’s nice to see a parent figure cropping up with regularity in a YA book, even if she is a part-angel. Clara is sixteen/seventeen and her brother Jeffrey is fourteen, so having an adult figure in their home lives is, well, pretty normal! I feel this element is often neglected too much in YA, so it was good to see this actually addressed.

There is a love-triangle I guess, but I’m not sure that accurately describes the situation. I found it a bit more subtle than some I’ve come across before, and more realistic. I’m not going to give anything away, but I liked the way things grew naturally between the characters in question. It didn’t appear forced, or thrown into the storyline just to create drama.

I didn’t find any parts of the book boring, but my attention did wander a few times. The last third of the book really picks up a lot of pace, and that’s what tipped this book from good to really good. The ending does have loose ends as most series do, but no cliff-hanger. I really enjoyed it, and since I’ve been searching for another angel book to even come close to Angelfall, reading Unearthly was completely worth it and it certainly held its own.

On a side note: Charlaine Harris really should have taken advice on how to make line dancing extremely cute and appealing. Just saying…

Friday, 21 March 2014

Feature and Follow Friday, #1

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host has their own Feature Blog and this week it features Fantomless Reveries and My Midnight Fantasies.

This weeks question:

How have your reading habits changed in the past few years? Did you get interested in a new genre? Do you read more? Less? Why do you think your habits changed, if they did.

I used to read all the time as a kid, but when I got to secondary school, I moved away from reading into writing. I was never really any good at it, but I loved creating things and putting my thoughts down on paper. When I got into my early twenties, I drifted away from both. I read out of habit, not love. Until a little book called Twilight came along. I was definitely bitten (sorry, I had to do that) with the reading bug again. I read the entire series in ten days. Ever since, I’ve had a huge weakness for anything paranormal, both YA and adult and will give any variations a shot.

The past six or so months, I noticed I have started to broaden my horizons, and I’m reading a lot more contemporary fiction. I use reading to escape completely, so it’s harder for me to find a contemporary book to really take my interest. I keep trying and it’s a good change of pace, helps keep things varied.

In 2012, I read about 50 books, I didn’t keep track. In 2013, I read 120. That’s a heck of an increase! It makes sense that the more you read, the quicker you will become, but I don’t expect another increase of 70 books each year! Reading quickly has never been a goal; I’m more interested in finding amazing books and enjoying the story as I read.

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


Salvage by Alexandra Duncan

Expected publication: April 1st 2014

Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death.

Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean, in this thrilling, surprising, and thought-provoking debut novel that will appeal to fans of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, and The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood.

-- Blurb as seen on Goodreads

I enjoy a good dystopia, and I really enjoyed Across the Universe, so I'm expecting good things from this book. Some of the ARC reviews have been hit or miss... so I'm hoping (fingers crossed) it turns into a new favourite when I get a chance to read it.

What upcoming releases do you recommend?

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. I'm going to do a slight spin on the topic this week, and I'm going to split the Top Ten into two lists of five. It will be: Five Books I Own that I Plan on Reading this Spring, and Top Five New Releases that Need to Hurry Up and Get Released Already Lists.

**Neither of these lists are in any particular order.**

Top Five Books I Own that I Plan on Reading this Spring

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I've heard lots of good things about this series, and I have high hopes for it. I should have read it eons ago, but better late than never, right!?

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

2. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

I've been looking forward to getting my hands on this book for what seems like forever, so now that I finally have a copy, I'll be starting it as soon as I finish the books I'm currently reading.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

3. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

This is more of a "have to" read rather than a desperately needing to read. I need it for a challenge I'm taking part in on Goodreads, so might as well get it completed soon. High fantasy isn't my usual choice, urban fantasy is more my thing, but hey, I'll be open minded.

Die for Me by Amy Plum

4. Die for Me by Amy Plum

This cover is so beautiful! I'm trying not to pre-judge it based on the this, but I'm really hoping the story matches up.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

5. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

With the amount of horror and ghost stories I'm reading lately, you'd think Halloween was around the corner, not the time of fluffy bunnies and chocolate eggs. But, this book should be terrifyingly awesome!

Top Five New Releases that Need to Hurry Up and Get Released Already

Love, In English by Karina Halle

1. Love, In English by Karina Halle
Expected Release: 22nd April 2014

Karina Halle is one of my favourite authors, and if she writes it, I'll happily read it.

Free to Fall, by Lauren Miller

2. Free to Fall, by Lauren Miller
Expected Release: 13th May 2014

The concept behind this book sounds amazing and terrifying all at once. An app that helps you make the correct choices all the time to ensure your constant happiness? Sounds like it could be a really good dystopia. *fingers crossed*

The Road by Jay McLean

3. The Road by Jay McLean
Expected Release: 8th April 2014

The New Adult genre can be a mine-field to read through in order to find a really good book. I have high hopes for this one, the blurb sounds really interesting.

The Forgotten Girl by Jessica Sorensen

4. The Forgotten Girl by Jessica Sorensen
Expected Release: 27th March 2014

I chose this book for my Waiting on Wednesday post last week, and the more I see of it the more I can't wait to read it.

Red at Night by Katie McGarry

5. Red at Night by Katie McGarry
Expected Release: 1st April 2014

I have a slight pet peeve: If a model is on the cover of a book, their hair/eye colour better match the descriptions in the book. It's safe to assume the female MC's hair will be purple as it's mentioned in the blurb, so, the male MC's hair better be blond... But other that that, this books sounds really good.

What books are at the top of your Spring TBR?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Stacking the Shelves #1

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Don’t you just love when a box full of books arrives at the door unexpectedly? Well, in my case the unexpected part wasn’t a box, but an envelope from Pan MacMillan with a copy of Thirteen by Tom Hoyle. I was all kinds of confused until I poked around Goodreads and found out I won a giveaway I entered. This will teach me to check my emails more often, even though I loved the surprise!

Books I Bought

A rule I highly recommend living by: You can never have too many books, even when you have over thirty paperbacks decorating your shelves just waiting to be read… (I just can’t help buying good second hand books; I think it’s becoming a serious addiction!) I have been known to get quite pissed when the spines have been badly damaged or some pages have dog-ears or highlights without it being disclosed if I’m ordering online. Grrrr!! This batch looks fantastic though (phew!)

- The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
- Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
- Matched by Ally Condie
- Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
- Evernight by Claudia Gray
- Die for Me by Amy Plum
- Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
- Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

And onto a completely random topic:

I took the plunge and started blogging at the end of January this year, but due to illness I didn’t really focus on it until the last week or so of February. I hadn’t a clue about coding, graphics or anything blog related. I can only imagine the horror written on my face the first time I saw the CSS/html split editing screen! I can be a bit of a control freak, so I like finding out what makes things happen. It’s taking a while, but I’m learning as I go, and I love it. The only down side: it has eating into my reading time, but once I get things kind of how I like them, I’ll have loads more time back on my hands to read – and maybe tackle that TBR shelf that’s overflowing with paperbacks...

I really want to say a HUGE Thank You to Ashley over at Nose Graze. Her blogging and coding tutorials are so easy to follow and they explain things clearly to a completely clueless beginner and aspiring blogger like me. She totally deserves a medal!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Review: Frigid by J. Lynn

Frigid by J. Lynn book cover

Title: Frigid
Author: J. Lynn
Series: Frigid, #1
Format: eBook, owned
My rating: 2 / 5

Add to Goodreads

For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

Everything started out good. It was light, entertaining and funny, until it just wasn’t. The more I got to know the characters, the more irritated I became. I’m really tired of the supermodel good looking guy that sleeps with anything available, and the picture-perfect almost-pure-as-snow girl characters. It came across as over the top and boring. I feel like I’ve read a version of this story too many times and I’m over it.


I was in love with my best friend. And it could be worse, I guessed. I could have been in love with a male stripper or a drug addict. Kyler Quinn was neither of those things. Although he could easily be passed off as a male stripper with those jaw-dropping good looks and messy brown hair, and he was as addictive as any drug out there.

I think I would have like to read about Sydney falling in love with a stripper and/or drug addict. I mean, there are so many ways you could run with that storyline!


Sydney was perfect— the actual embodiment of the perfect woman. She was practically pristine and fresh. She was untouchable. She was everything to me.

Sometimes, I seriously wonder if my priorities are correct. Putting myself in Sydney’s shoes: if I knew there was a “snow storm of the century” coming, the first think I would be thinking about are things like… food. And water. Also firewood (if you had a fireplace) candles, matches, blankets, torches and spare batteries in case the electricity goes, stuff like that. Once that was taken care of, THEN I might start noticing said “best-friend Kyler” who I’m trapped with and crushing on. Granted, yes, they had all of these things, but the way it was portrayed took from the significance of the situation. I don’t want to be told every few pages about the storm: I want to see the characters actually preparing to keep themselves alive, you know, show a little responsibility and build up an atmosphere that isn’t exclusively lust. Everything needs balance, including relationships portrayed in books!

I want to feel the connection between characters, not be told about a connection, whether it is friendship, love, trust, hate, it doesn’t matter. If I’m not convinced of it, it just doesn’t work and I can’t connect with or believe what happens.

The amount of miscommunications going on is just mind-boggling. A regular person talking to their best friend would hold up their hand and say “Wow, hold on a minute, you’ve got that wrong” and then put them right on the issue. It’s just too much and overly dramatic. One or two instances within a book could be believable. But constantly? No, I don’t buy it. They don’t come across as friends who are secretly in love with each other: they seem completely obtuse and lack real trust in each other.

When Sydney’s best girlfriend tells her “Okay. Stop the bullshit.” I actually nodded and said, yep, I’ve been trying to tell you that from the beginning… That’s not the reaction I want to have in any book I read. I really like Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux series, and I don’t want to write a less that glowing review for any of her books. But, I have to be honest, and from my perspective this is her weakest work I’ve read: so disappointing.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Forgotten Girl by Jessica Sorensen

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I love a good series. It allows you to see the same characters grow over the course of several books. But sometimes all you really need is a standalone; something that's wrapped up and completed in one sitting. Let's face it, nobody really likes those dreaded cliff-hanger endings, and with a standalone, its guaranteed to be cliff-hanger free!

This week I've chosen an upcoming book by Jessica Sorensen: New Adult - Contemporary - Dark Thriller - the main character is a maybe murderer - It seems amazing!

The Forgotten Girl

The Forgotten Girl, by Jessica Sorensen

Expected Publication: March 27th 2014

Twenty-three year-old Maddie Asherford is haunted by a past she can’t remember. When she was fifteen years old, there was a tragic accident and she was left with amnesia.

In the aftermath, Maddie’s left struggling with who she is—the forgotten girl she was eight years ago or the Maddie she is now. Sometimes it even feels like she might be two different people completely—the good Maddie and the bad one.

Good Maddie goes to therapy, spends time with her family, and works on healing herself. Bad Maddie rebels and has dark thoughts of hurting people and sometimes even killing them.

Maddie manages to keep her twisted thoughts hidden for the most part. That is until she starts having blackouts. Each time she wakes up from one, she’s near a murder scene with no recollection of what happened the night before and this helpless feeling like she’s losing control of her life. Maddie doesn’t want to believe she’s a killer, but she begins to question who she really was in her past. If she was bad Maddie all along and that maybe she was a killer.

**Standalone. Dark Thriller**

-- Blurb as seen on Goodreads

What upcoming books are at the top of your to-be-read lists?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in Fantasy / Sci-Fi.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the topic is Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in "X" Genre, and we get to choose the genre.

I know Fantasy and Science Fiction and their respective sub-genres are very popular in their own right, but I’m terribly guilty of blurring them both together. Some of the books on this list do fall into one or other category better, but they still have elements from the opposite genre as well! So, to prevent me from spending days measuring up each book to see which suits it best, I’m going to list my Top Ten All Time Favourite Books in Fantasy/Sci-Fi.

*Note* The books are listed in order of my favourites today, but chances are I’ll have a different order tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that… you get the idea.

1. Angelfall by Susan Ee – I will confess, before I read this book I didn’t think angels were my thing. When I chose to read it I was incredibly sceptical, expecting to hate it. It turned out to be one of those occasions I should have believed the hype, because I was completed wrapped up by page nine! That paragraph at the end of the first chapter where Penryn watches the feather floating to the ground – *shudders*

2. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I have NEVER had an instant hate reaction toward a character before – until Daemon Black came along. I wanted to reach through the pages and punch him so bad! My opinions toward him have changed rather drastically since then. *Sigh* I love this series so much.

3. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi – This book took me by surprise as I was expecting the typical YA formula. Thank goodness I took a chance and read it. I loved every page in the series, and I'm going to miss it.

4. Lying Season, On Demon Wings and Into the Hollow by Karina Halle – I'm combining three books together, as they are all from the same series. It’s impossible for me to just choose one book from the Experiment in Terror series, and Lying Season, On Demon Wings and Into the Hollow (books #4, #5 and #6) are interlinked quite a bit that I have a hard time separating them. Plus, I read them back-to-back, so that didn’t help! I adore both Dex and Perry: neither is perfect, actually they are far from it, and this just makes them more likeable and real.

5. The Hunger Games by Susan Collins – It’s the Hunger Games. What more can you say! I do think this book should be higher up the list... *sigh* this is incredibly difficult to rank properly!

6. Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance – The Cassandra Palmer series was one my first ventures into a book having an Urban Fantasy vibe, and I’m keeping continuing on with it. One reason I included this book: You just gotta love that green-eyed mage.

7. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder – This is a really subtle book. It grows on you so quickly, and by a clear mile, it’s the best in the series.

8. Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward – Ah Zsadist. I fell for the hype surrounding him, so I made a promise to myself that I would read the first three books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I gave it a go, and he really is one amazing character! The series would be completely lost without Zsadist and Bella, and I do think things go downhill after Z’s book. (Yeah, I fell for a vampire named Zsadist… this is one of those moments where you know for sure you are a book nerd!)

9. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer– I can point my finger to this book and blame it for my reading tastes. I went through a really bad reading spell - I’m talking years, literally - where I was reading out of habit, rather than love. Then along came Twilight. If I was doing this list back then, this book would be a lot higher up. Plus, I feel I need to include it here, regardless of it being an awesome book or not: it got me back loving to read again, and that’s worth a lot.

10. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris – I’m not ashamed to admit that I added this book purely to include Eric Northman in the list… *shrugs*. And you know I'm going to choose the cover with Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd on it!

Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Also leave a link to your post, I’d love to see what made your Top Ten =)


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