Monday, 30 July 2012

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Title: Beastly  

Author: Alex Flinn

Series: Standalone

Genre: Paranormal Romance teen/ YA

Length: 336 pages

Publisher: Harperteen

Date of Publication: 6th of October 2009





Product Description

I am a beast.
A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
You think I'm talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It's no deformity, no disease. And I'll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.
Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I'll tell you. I'll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I'll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

Review

There is no use in denying that Alex Flinn, true to her fairytale love, has once again turned a classic tale into a modern magical story.

Personally I have a weakness and profound love for the classics so when I came across Beastly I really couldn't resist the modernisation of The Beauty and the Beast story.

As I read Beastly I couldn't help but compare it to the disney classic that so many of us know, and in doing so I came to realise and appreciate a fair few new aspects.
The disney version was designed for children. A tale to inspire the learning of the lesson that a book cannot be judged by it's cover and that love is neither materialistic or superficial, but in fact runs deep. All this and more can be picked up from the cartoon Belle and the Beast in about 90minutes.

Alex Flinn set up this fairytale in a modern setting giving all the lessons a new meaning and context. Being able to relate this story to our present reality was ever so simple and yet so crucial. Having learnt and understood the morals disney had imparted, I had never actually stopped and thought that these could be directly linked and applied to my very own present and non-magical life.

Alex Flinn's Beastly spoke of change, forgiveness, acceptance and of not only couple love but also family love and knowing thyself. 

It was also quite nice to catch a glimpse of the future of a modern day beast and belle, of that happily ever after that every fairy tale tells us about without actually ever showing it to us. Sometimes it feels so fictional!

By the end of Beastly I came to really realise and appreciate that perhaps the true magical miracle was not the physical change Kyle underwent; but the one on the inside, that no eye could detect and yet all would feel.

Alex Flinn once again spun a lovely new twist on a tale as old as time. I look forward to more of her work and re-tellings of ancient classics in modern times.

If you liked this and enjoyed Alex Flinn's style then I would suggested trying A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn. If you want to stick to fairy tales style but not necessarily ones you know or are perhaps just seeking more sweet magic and adventure give Ella Enchanted by Gail C. Levine and The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth F. Long. If on the other hand you're willing to try a magical story based upon mythological tales then I would recommend immersing yourself in The Goddess Chronicles by Aimee Carter.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the Limits

Author: Katie McGarry

Series: standalone

Genre: contemporary romance teen/YA

Length: 416 pages

Publisher: Mira Ink

Date of Publication: 31st of July 2012 (kindle) 3rd of August 2012 (paperback)



Product Description

They say be a good girl, get good grades, be popular. They know nothing about me. I can’t remember the night that changed my life. The night I went from popular to loner freak. And my family are determined to keep it that way. They said therapy was supposed to help. They didn’t expect Noah. Noah is the dangerous boy my parents warned me about. But the only one who’ll listen. The only one who’ll help me find the truth. I know every kiss, every promise, every touch is forbidden. But what if finding your destiny means breaking all the rules? A brave and powerful novel about loss, change and growing up, but most of all love.

Review

This book had tempted me ever since I read the synopsis but I was still on the fence as to whether to read it or not. I got the final shove when a very good friend and book blogger Read and Repeat told me how amazing it was. With everyone raving about it and all these positively glowing reviews I had high expectations. Katie McGarry dashed them all away and left me in complete awe. Pushing the Limits was nothing like I expected, but so much more that I'm at somewhat at a loss for words.

Everything about this book had me gripped from the first few pages and I am not ashamed to admit that I devoured it in less than 24hours.

Pushing the Limits spoke of a romance that was beyond realistic, reflecting a far too truthful and harsh reality that at times some of us choose to ignore.

Watching both characters fight and live with the unfortunate hand they've been dealt tugged at my heartstrings, and had me incessantly turning the digital pages of my kindle regardless of time. Their quest and desperate need, almost like an addiction, for normality, happiness, family and love, was moving and tearjerking.

Sometimes things change, tipping your very pleasantly boring and  banal lifestyle upside-down. And when it does all you can think about, all you care about and all you possibly want is it back to that plain rhythm you never appreciated. The moment it's gone, is the moment you realise its value: priceless.
Sometimes though you can't go back. But what do they say? When one door closes and another opens.
Echo and Noah don't realise that the dramatic changes to their life might just lead to something better than normal, but change must be accepted as it is, for what it is: the key.

Their tumultuous story, narrated from both points of view, was beyond refreshing. As the characters finally confronted the reality they had been living in denial and matured, so did I.

Pushing the Limits made me re-evaluate what is considered normal.  Normality and limits are forever changing and being pushed back and/or forward, all we need to is look back at history to see that. Katie McGarry reminded me that normality is all about points of view and opinions and whose you consider. It can be underrated or overrated depending on which angle you look at it from. Either way I came to appreciate that who are we to define normal and categorise individuals outside or inside of it? And by extension happiness, acceptance and love?
The norm is a question of perspective and the Katie McGarry gave me just that, a perspective on a beautiful heart wrenching story.

Every page of Echo and Noah's story was bitter sweet torture. Every chapter held a new emotional, physical and psychological obstacle for these characters to overcome. Every sentence wrenched at me to continue. Pushing the Limits told of one of the most beautiful contemporary romances I've read this year.

Pushing the Limits was a beacon of hope and reminder that anyone and everyone is in search of happiness and love, and that everyone is capable of finding, grasping it and never letting it go.

Katie McGarry has produced what is without a doubt a strong and amazing debut novel and I will be anxiously awaiting more of her work!

A big thank you to Mira Ink and netgalleys for providing me with a digital copy of this gripping book to review.

If you liked this recommending another book is not easy as Pushing the Limits was rather unique in its contemporary romance genre. Despite not tackling the same issues I would suggest taking a look at Katie Klein's Cross My Heart. If you're looking for another contemporary romance that's realistic but is more romantic and perhaps more "normal" then turn the pages of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection (Book 1)

Genre: dystopian romance teen/YA

Length: 272 pages

Publisher: Haper Collins

Date of Publication: 7th of June 2012





Product Description

Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…
It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s love.
Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.
Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret – one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.

Review

What first caught my attention with this book was its cover. Beautiful and yet appearing somewhat dangerous I was snagged, and when I then read the synopsis I just had to know what happened to America Singer in The Selection.


Set in a dystopian future after a 4th world war, The Selection setting vaguely reminded me of The Hunger Games.


Marrying for love was a problem that our ancestors had, as to do so outside of your rank was social suicide. It would appear that Keira Cass decided to take a trip down memory lane and that history should thus repeat itself. In the realm of Illea the population is divided into castes that dictate your life, job and love. But is that a life? Is that a future? America Singer has other plans and isn't named after her strong and proud ancestor's country for nothing.


Right from the beginning it was obvious there was going to be a love triangle, with one love being far more possible and likely than the other. Keira Cass however was determined to turn the tables on the characters and me. As the story unfurled the most likely of the two loves became near unfathomable whilst the impossible became almost a certainty!


Gaining the perspective and point of view of prince Maxon was very insightful, and one of the aspects I most enjoyed. As far back as I can remember I'd always thought that the prince had the easy option of having to merely sift amongst all the lovely women begging for his attention. I mean how hard could it be to pick a girl out of 35 gorgeous candidates?! This was before Keira Cass reminded me that Maxon isn't just a guy, he is a prince and has duties to his country and people aside from his own heart. It suddenly dawned on me that not only was he slowly taking over ruling the country, making laws etc but he would have to choose someone able to do the same at his side. Love could not be the sole factor in the equation. And to top it all off poor Maxon would have to date, stumble, think and select a girl under the careful scrutiny of his parents (king and queen), advisors and most importantly: his people. Talk about pressure! All of a sudden being one of the selected sounded like a walk in the park compared to his predicament!


Truthfully before I began reading this book I was expecting a slightly vicious version of cinderella with a fight for the crown, status and love. But in actual fact the closest it got to this was a rather unorthodox version of it.
The Selection was a wonderful dystopian romance that had me thinking I had it all figured out and has had me guessing ever since I presumed any such knowledge. In most teen/YA books containing a love triangle there is usually one of the two relationships that is the strongest, and the one that will eventually win. No such luck this time. Keira Cass didn't give me even the slightest clue as to who America Singer's true prince charming is and the most torturingly beautiful part to this was that, I don't even have a favourite! I myself am not sure who I wish her to end up with, which for me is a delicious first that only adds to the suspense and desire for more!


The Selection was beautifully written with a steady pace that was neither fast nor slow, but just right so that something was either happening or I was getting time to reflect upon recent events whilst America herself delt with her internal dilemmas.


Spinning a new twist Hunger Game like twist on a tale as old as time, The Selection was a lovely read that tugged me from page to page so that I could not put it down! Opening new ideas, perspectives and outcomes I am completely baffled and dumbfounded as to what will follow. Usually, as an avid reader, I have some inclination as to which direction a book will take. This time, however, Keira Cass has done an amazing job of covering her plans leaving me agape and anxiously waiting for more.

A Big thanks to netgalleys and Harper collins for providing me with a digital copy of this book to review.

Friday, 20 July 2012

A New Dawn by Ann H. Barlow

Author: Ann H. Barlow

Title: A New Dawn

Series: The Guardian Chronicles (Book 1)

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy/Fiction Mystery Adult

Length: 335 pages

Publisher: Nightjar Publishing

Date of Publication: 1st of June 2012





Product Description

Sahara Driver is about to discover just why terrible things continue to happen to her.
After walking away from an abusive relationship Sahara seemed to have turned a corner, but there are unexplained events that the young artist cannot ignore.
When she reaches out her hand and objects seem to come to her at will Sahara tries to fob it off as her vivid imagination. After all how can an ordinary young girl suddenly possess supernatural powers?
When she hears a voice in her head, Sahara puts it down to a few too many glasses of wine.
It’s not until an evil face in the form of a dark cloud appears in her kitchen she acknowledges there is something extremely sinister going on.
Now she must face the monster that is pursuing her and her only ally is the voice in her head she can no longer ignore. Sahara must prepare to free her benefactor Romero – A Guardian who has been sent to earth to protect mankind from the fallen Guardian Barak, who is set to destroy civilisation and plunge mankind back into the darkness of the 12th Century.
With danger lurking in every shadow, Sahara must develop her newly found powers and carry out her charge, or the world that we know will be lost.

Review

With an interesting and rickety start, Ann H. Barlow moved from one character to another's point of view at a rather rapid pace, something that initially disorientated me. However once I became more familiar with the characters, I quickly overcame my confusion.


Having read the synopsis, A New Dawn was not what I had expected. I had imagined to encounter a paranormal romance directed at a teen/ YA audience. In actual fact A New Dawn covered very important topics more pertinent to an older YA and adult public. Touching on issues of loneliness, denial and abuse I was surprised; but liked how it brought me somewhat back to our current reality whilst maintaing an otherworldly edge to the story.


A New Dawn gave me a glimpse of what Ann H. Barlow felt our world would be like if evil successfully abducted good and locked it in a cocoon. A New Dawn had an almost dystopian feel to it at times, as our literature alter ego world slowly began to unravel itself as the balance tipped in favour of the enemy. This kept me going to see just how much chaos would be wreaked and at what cost would good have to bide its time, waiting for the opportune moment to strike back.


Ann H. Barlow has a very narrative style of writing, conveying her story through narration and telling, as opposed to via her characters. Having been recently reading several books where dialog dominates the storyline, I initially struggled a little but soon became used to it.
I enjoyed how Ann H. Barlow narrated from the point of view of several characters on either side of good and evil.


Despite being initially thrown by the storyline that was not what I expected, A New Dawn has a plot that has potential. A slow but steady build up and leaving all the action until right at the end, A New Dawn leaves the door wide open for an interesting sequel; that sounds like it may outshine the debut novel of this trilogy!

A big thanks to Ann H. Barlow for providing me with a copy of her book to review.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Versatile Book Blogger Award



Oh My Gosh!! I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Angeline Youngen at Hidden Adventures of a Teenage Reader. A big thank you to you Angeline!!!

Here are the rules before accepting this award:
1. Let the nominees know about the nomination for this award.
2. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging
3. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
4. Thank the blogger who has nominated you.
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post.

7 Random Facts about me
ummmmm ok ..... ummmm well here goes
1) I detest spiders, I don't know what it is but I have always thought that having 8 legs was plain simple greedy and creepy
2) I absolutely and utterly cannot stand cheese. And the even weirder thing is that nobody in my family can! Maybe it's a genetic distaste for milk products....
3) I don't have normal hiccups. Yes believe it or not it is possible to have weird ones too. I have what has been dubbed as the random hiccup, ie I have one and that's it, end of, no more. Go figure!
4) I am an international disaster! I have parents from 2 different countries and was born and brought up in a country that is of neither!
5) I actually thought the british dish of "toad in the hole" involved the cooking of toads.... you can rest assured that it does not
6) I own a model of every gameboy nintendo ever made
7) 

The 15 nominees

Monday, 16 July 2012

One Month Blog Anniversary Giveaway Winner





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The winner of the second blog anniversary giveaway is  "J"
Congratulations!!!

Deciding the winner was not easy as there were a lot of cool and geeky entries, all worthy of this great prize. So I wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who entered and for all your support!!!


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Keep an eye out for more up coming blog giveaways!


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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Fateful series by Cheri Schmidt

Author: Cheri Schmidt

Title: Fateful, Fractured and Forever

Series: Fateful series

Genre: Paranormal Romance teen/YA



*** WARNING THIS POST MAY CONTAIN UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS AS IS REVIEW OF COMPLETE SERIES*






Product Descritption for

Fateful

A huge fan of Jane Austen, Danielle hopes to find her own Mr. Darcy when she leaves Colorado to attend art school in London. Of course she knows it's silly to wish for that, naive even. But she's met enough males who lacked respect for women, a growing trend it seemed. And at nineteen...well.... However, on only her second night there she gets lost and is threatened by a stalker who proves to be immune to her martial arts training. Before she is completely overpowered, she is then saved by Ethan Deveroux. 


While Danielle does find the romance she seeks in Ethan, he's no Mr. Darcy. Her hero is held by a spell which fractures their chance at a happy ending. During the day Ethan is closer to mortal than immortal and can date her like any other man. Yet, as the sun sets, the powerful magic of an ancient curse returns and the evil of that spell is revealed. When that magic begins, Danielle's fairytale romance ends because Ethan Deveroux is a vampire. 

Fractured

The Fateful Trilogy continues with Fractured. No, it’s not called Fractured because Ethan and Danielle break up...in case you were wondering.


They had thought they’d escaped most of the danger surrounding them, when in truth they’ve made it worse by unintentionally sparking a civil war amongst vampires. Many vampires want to protect them for discovering the cure to the curse binding their kind. However many more want to destroy them for that same discovery.Ethan’s and Danielle’s struggle for survival intensifies while they sink deeper into the midst of this danger. The romantic fairytale bliss they once had will soon fracture under the pressure of the curse....

Forever

Danielle and Ethan may have solved their problem with vampires, but other magical beings have taken interest in the ones who discovered the cure.


On the run trying to escape a gaggle of evil pixies, a clan of creepy werewolves, a coven or two of wicked witches, and a school of lovely but malicious mermaids, they fight to have a normal life. But that isn't so easy when the only aid they have is from slightly dishonest fairies and flirtatious vampire bodyguards.This is Danielle and Ethan's happily forever after....




Review of the complete series

The Fateful series was what I can only describe as a beautifully sweet vampire tale narrated using the style of Jane Austen.

Set in the present day, Danielle isn't your usual main female character. She's not a tomboy trying to act tough, she's not an antisocial creature because she's peculiar in some unexpected way and she hasn't got a personality that sets her apart from the usual crowd. Danielle is a regular girly girl. She doesn't do blood, gore, violence, injuries or dead bodies (undead or otherwise). It almost felt like she had been literature-transplanted out of a Jane Auste novel and into modern day time with a couple of upgrades. With a penchant for wearing skirts and dresses, a fondness for pastel colours and a rather strong artistic streak for painting scenery; Danielle was a typical girl and not what most recent heroines are like. Her parents were so concerned with her fragility and female defenselessness that they insisted she have karate lessons, to the extent that when we meet her she is a lethal-when-necessary black belt. The good this will do her, in the paranormal world she is rudely awakened to, I'm not sure of.


The combination of strength and weakness in this character was complex and forever changing depending on the perceived angle, forcing me to stop and reflect several times. The fact that she was able to defend herself in our reality, but that when put into the context of a paranormal one she was weak and harmless made her all the more real to me.
Through all her trials, adventures, fortunes and misfortunes, unlike most characters who adapt quickly to the knew knowledge, Danielle remained faithful to her beliefs, ideals and female squirmishness.
From what would appear a very simple and easy to understand character, I would not have expected the depth and incredible number of facets that I found. Danielle's simplicity was endearing and eye opening, making me dwell and appreciate aspects of a paranormal romance and situations I had not previously considered.

Ofcourse this series would not be complete unless our Austen-like fan, found her corresponding Mr Darcy.


Ethan was a worthy Mr Darcy alter-ego for this paranormal romance. Forever a gentleman despite the course of centuries having passed him by, he held fast to his upbringing, ideals and traditions. The only modern thing about him were his clothes (which he had no choice in unless he wanted to arouse suspicion and generate medical mental health interest) and his love for his cars. I found his jealous and slightly possessive streak surprisingly sweet and funny, considering he had nothing to fear as Danielle had eyes for no other.
He was a Mr Darcy attempting to adapt to the current century whilst desperately trying to cling to his ways of life, and I loved every second I read of it. He was a night in regular clothing but who knew how to wield a sword, treat a girl like a lady and get any parents' blessing. What can I say, he was without a doubt too good to be true.
True to his century he was looking for someone special, a girl and not a tomboy; someone to whom he'd be willing to give the world and his life.


Unlike most romances, Ethan and Danielle didn't fight what they felt for each other. They knew it to be true and real, which is all that mattered to them. What they did have to fight was everyone else, to preserve what they had and their future.


Cheri Schmidt narrated their sweetly moving story, that revealed itself to be more than I expected. Confronting present day issues and morals, the more I read the more I enjoyed it.
I particularly appreciated Cheri Schmidt's ability to describe beautifully romantic scenes that made me feel at peace whilst sitting alongside the characters.

Everything about this series screamed Jane Austen, from the setting, the manner of speaking, down to the behavioural quirks. Being an admirer of Jane Austen's work, narrative style and storyline I very much enjoyed this series. Unlike most paranormal romances which are described as forever but feel more like an immediate lightning passion, The Fateful series spoke of a steady strong burn that would last forever where it counts the most: heart and mind.


The Fateful series was a sweet and tender paranormal romance that I would recommend to anyone in search for a tale of modern nights in shining armour with a hint of magic.

If you liked this and would like to continue reading something sweet and paranormal then I suggest you take a look at The Goddess Chronicles series by Aimee Carter. If on the other hand you want more of something sweet but want to call it quits on the paranormal side of things then try To Catch A Pirate by Jade parker or Cross My Heart by Katie Klein.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Author: Wendy Higgins

Title: Sweet Evil

Series: The Sweet Trilogy

Genre: Paranormal Romance YA

Length: 464 pages

Publisher: Harper Teen

Date of Publication: 20th of May 2012




Product Description

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences? This is the fate of the sons and daughters of fallen angels. They are destined to promote deadly sins such as envy, greed, lust, and pride. Anna, a tenderhearted Southern girl, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel the emotions of others. She s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn t until she meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her willpower is put to the test. A cross-country trip forces Anna and Kai to face the reality that hope and love are not options for their kind. Faced with working for the demonic cause of her father, Anna must uncover her true calling and find the strength to overcome the dark urges within. 

Review

What first attracted me to this book was the cover. The contrast between the red and the black was quite striking and yet soft at the same time. When combined with a series of interesting reviews and recommendations to be read, I had no choice but to pick up a digital copy of my own.


Upon first encounter with Anna, I have to say that I wasn't her biggest fan. Meek, quiet and with an almost annoying urge to always do what's right and never lie, she was as close as it could get to being defined a saint. It was almost sickening and I could have sworn my ipad took on a saintly glow of its own for a while.
Combined with an initially slowed and calm pace I wasn't particularly gripped. But Anna's peculiar abilities had me wondering a few things and like most readers I wanted answers, so I ploughed on.


I was soon rewarded, as it was not very long at all when Sweet Evil took on an interesting turn, and I could no longer put it down without having thoughts about it at the back of my mind.


What would happen to our little miss goody-two-shoes if she met the right combination of attraction and evil?
Kaidan was dark, dangerous and oozed sin. Beautifully conflicted, he's her polar opposite. For the first time ever she wants something that goes against her very own do-gooder nature and has the strength to go after it.


Kai stirred her humanity and as she slowly learned more about her true nature she became more human.
Having Anna explore sin whilst Kai in return explored  innocence was, as the title suggests, sweetly evil and rather comical at times.
I found the irony of this fact, in a bitter sweet evil setting wonderfully appropriate and added depth to an already interesting read.


Whilst these two characters explored each other and their respective worlds, Wendy Higgins cleverly weaved into their story several themes. Greed, pride, lust and gluttony were shown under different lights, allowing me to see them from both angel and demonic points of view. I found that by doing so the author brought her wonderfully paranormal story back to our reality, relating it to what we know.


With an initial slow start and almost detached approach, Sweet Evil slowly built to a desperately beautiful passion.
Who would have thought that a sinful creature from hell would have been willing to sacrifice itself to save the innocence it so wanted to take, whilst virtue was all to eager to stumble and fall in the depths of sin.

Wendy Higgins's style was somewhat deceptive. Starting slow almost uninterested only to then build up to a twisting series of events and a grand temporary finale (there will be a sequel); made for a very good read. I will admit that I was cooing and blushing on few occasions. I quite liked how Wendy Higgins made Anna fantasise and become overly emotional one moment only to then end her gushy paragraph with a short sarcastic remark.
Anna was most certainly a character that grew on me as her story unfurled itself and now I desperately await the sequel so that I may worry, laugh and blush with her again.


I found this sentence at the beginning of one of the chapters and I thought it was absolute perfect representation of the tale to be told

"Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall"
by William Shakespeare


If you liked this I would recommend the Predestined series by Abbi Glines and Falling Under by Gwen Hayes. Another recommendation, where although there is no demonic factor, but remains a paranormal YA nevertheless, would be the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. If on the other hand you would like something on the more angelic side of things then I would suggest the Premonition series by Amy A. Bartol. I would also perhaps think about reading the Until I Die series by Amy Plum.

One Month Blog Anniversary Giveaway Winner





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My first one month anniversary is officially over and we have a winner!!!

A big congratulations to Georgie R!!!


I will be posting you this fabulous prize!!!



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Keep an eye out for the sequel!!!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Vampires, Banshees and Angels





MiraInk have put together a set of paranormal romance teen/YA for you to taste. Each one holds a bitter sweet romantic story with it's own mysteriously magically impossible twist, making them addictive reads you will want to dive in to again and again.


Get this amazing free taster of paranormal romance here


There will be included a chapter from Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamer series My Soul to Take, from Julie Kagawa's Blood of Eden series The Immortal Rules, from Michelle Rowen's Nightwatcher series Dark Kiss and last but not least from Kady Cross's The Steampunk Chronicles series The Girl in the Steel Corset.

Enter a dark and thrilling world of dangerous magic and unforgettable romance. From an addictive vampire story set in a desolate future that will give Hunger Games fans their next pulse-racing adventure fix to a truly original historical tale with a unique fantasy twist, this collection from MIRA Ink is the perfect treat for paranormal lovers to sink their teeth into.

With four FREE chapters from New York Times Bestselling authors Rachel Vincent and Julie Kagawa and up and coming paranormal stars Michelle Rowen and Kady Cross, it’s the perfect taste of our favourite YA fiction.

This is what other authors have said:

‘Katniss Everdeen better watch out,’ –Huffington Post on The Immortal Rules 
‘Twilight fans will love it,’ –Kirkus reviews on My Soul to Take 
‘Gorgeous angels, suspense and romance,’ – Richelle Mead, author of Vampire Academy on Dark Kiss 
‘Kady Cross never disappoints,’ – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Engage yourself in a fantastical read with Vampires, Banshees and Angels


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Name of the Star

Author: Maureen Johnson

Series: Shades of London (Book 1)

Genre: Paranormal Thriller teen/YA

Length: 352 pages

Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books

Date of Publication: 29th of September 2011





Product Description

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

Review

I was given this book and subsequently urged to read it by Caz at Big Book Little Book
When I then started reading it I understood why she had so strongly recommended it to me.


I first started to read The Name of the Star expecting it to talk about and do what it said on the tin: the return of Jack the Ripper or a fan of his at least. And I wasn't wrong, but I wasn't right either.
Whilst I was under the impression that the series of Jack the Ripper murders were "the" story, Maureen Johnson opened my eyes to something more. These murders were just the basis of a bigger story, they were just the fundaments to a much bigger scene. And I was riveted!


The main character Rory was lovely and I loved her dry and sarcastic sense of humour. Having briefly met Maureen Johnson, it reminded me a lot of her. I particularly enjoyed how she wasn't one of these girls who thinks she can live off 2 leaves of salad and a carrot stick. No, Rory enjoys life, has a healthy appetite and is not afraid of tucking into deliciously greasy meals. I realise this may be a small detail, but characters are built on small facts such as this; and I liked her even more for it.


I found that Maureen Johnson's style of writing perfectly moulded itself for the story and task at hand. With a steady pace, factual, simple and yet efficient, sarcastic and with a no frills and peachiness policy it was perfect for narrating this story. She successfully creeped me out in several scenes and had my eyes bulging with almost every twist.
The amount of research, detail and knowledge of both London and the Ripper case was clear and it successfully drew me in.


The Name of the Star was a fantastic paranormal thriller that had my imagination walking in two Londons, the one of 1888 and the present time one. Jack the Ripper has never been so dangerous, fearsome and fascinating as in The Name of the Star. Although I was able to put this book down, I could not keep my mind from running through all the possibilities. It was a mystery with only one solution, except that that solution is impossible!! Or is it...


If you liked this book and would like to stick to a paranormal thriller style then I strongly recommend "The Ancient Curse" and "Pharaoh" by Valerio Massimo Manfredi. If on the other hand you'd like a contemporary mystery to solve with a hint of romance in it the I suggest perhaps taking a peek at "Cross my heart" by Katie Klein.