Sunday, March 30, 2014

BOOKLIGHT #2 - THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME by Jennifer E. Smith


Today, its that time of the week, Booklight, spotlighting another anticipated release this year. My choice for today is Jennifer E Smith, The Geography of You and Me. I absolutely loved her contemporary, This is What Happy Looks Like last year and I'm super excited to read this book very soon. So the lovely Jennifer has given you and me an excerpt on what's to come...


The Geography of You and Me
by Jennifer E. Smith
Release Date - April 10th 2014
Publisher - Headline

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

Click on 'Read More' to read an excerpt of this brilliant novel. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

REVIEW - PANIC by Lauren Oliver

Panic
by Lauren Oliver
Publisher - HarperCollins
Release Date - March 4th 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository


Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
When you read this do you think this is a dystopian novel?! It reminds me of The Hunger Games... Well for me I was kind of put off by the nature that it could be one and that's why I haven't read it sooner. Like all Lauren Oliver books they have been some sort of dystopian and for me, I find that quite a challenging genre for me to contend with. I wasn't a fan of her Delirium series after such a disappointing sequel and finale. Like you all probably know I tend to stray away from hype and/or early reviews of the novel as it again tends to put me off. However I was determined to read this when I saw the word contemporary... yes it sure is, a CONTEMPORARY! From then on I couldn't resist not reading it!

A novel that encompasses fear, bravery, hate, and love in one shows an exceptional plot-line and this certainly does:

 "The Bravery was in moving forward, no matter what. Someday, she might be called on to jump again. And she would do it. She knew, now, that there was always light--beyond the dark, and the dear, out of the depths; there was sun to reach for, and air and space and freedom.

There was always a way up, and out, and no need to be afraid."

Lauren Oliver cleverly captures two sides of one test, one game. We start with Heather, an older sister with a drunken, stoned mother who raising her own sister because of her mothers choices. She has just graduated from high school, it was only a split decision to compete in Panic, not for herself but for the well-being and future of her sister. I really enjoyed seeing her perspective as if it was actually happening to you. She is so real and believable. Her friend Anne who she lived and worked for a while really inspired some confidence in her own life. 

In another perspective, we see Dodge a fearless competitor, nothing or no-one will stand in his way. Panic for him is revenge, he is avenging his sister, who suffered a major accident when it her turn competing in the game. Dodge didn't see love, friendship and trust to come into his game, the game didn't just test his motives but also his feelings. Dodge could be quite a frustrating character to contend with but I think he was one of th easiest to connect with that I've read in a while.

What captured my attention the most was Lauren's writing style, when we progress from Heather's POV to Dodge's, its seamless. There is no repetition of the plot-line between them. Lauren Oliver attacks the social issues of ones life against a stake of money on a game. It's a test on how each individual will go to have the life they each deserve. 

"The rules of Panic are simple. Anyone can enter. But only one person will win."

Rating - 4

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

BOOKLIGHT #1 - OUT OF CONTROL by Sarah Alderson


Today, I bring you a new feature to the blog, I've been asked by a couple of authors lately to promote their upcoming novels and I thought I would create Booklight, spotlighting new books with excerpts, interviews and character profiles. Today's pick is Out of Control by Sarah Alderson, author of The Sound and The Lila Collection

Out of Control
Out of Control 
by Sarah Alderson
Publisher - Simon & Schuster UK
Release Date - May 22nd 2014

When 17 year old Liva witnesses a brutal murder she’s taken into police custody for her own protection. But when the police station is attacked and bullets start flying it becomes clear that Liva is not just a witness, she’s a target.

Together with a car thief called Jay, Liva manages to escape the massacre but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.

When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.



Click on 'Read More' to read an excerpt of this brilliant novel.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

MINI REVIEWS - FRACTURE by Megan Miranda & THE KILLING WOODS by Lucy Christopher


Fracture (Fracture #1)
by Megan Miranda
Publisher - Bloomsbury
Release Date - 13th February 2014 (Re-Printed)
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
Fracture is a very different concept of YA that I haven't read before. I'm watch mysteries and thrillers, I enjoy my weekly fix of Revenge, Bones, NCIS, CSI, I know these are crime dramas but still you get the point. It's a book that you can't really put down if you want to read and experience the full effect of the novel. But in a real world I couldn't do that so I settled for two. This novel oddly reminded me of my review of Blink Once but from a very different perspective.

It begins with Delaney Maxwell, your average teenager who enjoys her life and the company of her best friend, Decker, who has likes her a lot more that 'just being friends'. But after a incident with her so called 'boyfriend', Carson, that pulled them apart. After Delaney suffered a horrible accident by falling in a iced lake, she hasn't been right since. She was in a coma for less than two weeks, who shouldn't have woken up at all, but she did and she's being pulled towards death ever since. Delaney was quite a handful, I think for me to really relate too, there was no connection after all she was a dead girl walking. But that doesn't necessarily stop me from enjoying the book. For me it was the premise and the characters place in the plot. There was so many twists and turns I didn't know what was going to happen and I think that's when I really started separate this genre of books to all the others that I have read recently. I had to use 'the little grey cells' *french accent* as it were.

What I enjoyed the most was the use of secondary characters, the likes of Decker and Troy. Two totally different personas, yet both have Delaney stuck in the middle. Out of the two I really wanted Troy to be the romantic interest, yet boy was I wrong. He's the twist to this whole story and I was deeply shocked, annoyed, frustrated, angry and anything negative against. I was totally enthralled by his character. Then the frustrating feeling then turned to Decker because of his issue with Carson and how he was a total idiot too confront her when she really needed him the most.

Aside from the negative feeling towards some of the characters, I was fully open to it and that's what made me enjoy it overall. Megan Miranda has begun this series with a exceptional debut novel and I'm equally looking forward to reading the sequel, Vengeance.

Rating - 3.5

The Killing Woods
by Lucy Christopher
Publisher - Chicken House Ltd
Release Date - October 3rd 2013
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository
The similarities between these novels is that they are YA Mystery/Thriller. Unlike Fracture, I was very much more hesitant to read this. It was recommended me to me several times and I read some highly appraised reviews. This one had hype written all over it. So I didn't read it straight away, I read it when I felt comfortable and wasn't forced too because of the hype and the release date. I knew what I was getting into and for me that lowers my overall rating of this book. 

When Emily Shepard's dad returns from Afghanistan he is subjected to reliving his memories, reliving his flashbacks. He had been classed unfit for duty, so when he returns one night with a body of a girl in his hands, they think he killed her, they think he's crazy. But Emily doesn't believe the word or rumours on the street, not will she succumb to them even if her mum has. She is determined to fight for her, even if it takes her a very dark and dangerous path. At first Emily was a different and challenging character to contend with. I found her quite a strong and profound character despite having her moments of weakness. 

However, alongside Emily's story was Damon Hilary's, Ashlee Parker's aka the victim's boyfriend. I admired Damon's side of the story, I saw a very distinct contrast between the main character's even though this tragic death brings all the more together. Damon is the key and that's why I enjoyed his side a lot more. His loss of memory on the night of Ashlee's death makes it that much more thrilling and intriguing. Although its 'the Game' presents an even more desirable nature to the mystery of The Killing Woods.

At first I found Lucy's writing quite daring and not all something I would find myself reading. But once the two perspectives begun to entwine together that was when I started to really started to feel part of the chase, the person between both stories try to figure them out. Although what was really inspiring was the ending, it was tied together in a neat little knot with know unanswered questions. Just knowing that everything will be ok...

Despite the hype, I thought that Lucy Christopher created a very moving, chilling atmospheric and adrenaline fueled psychological thriller.

Rating - 3.5/4

Friday, March 07, 2014

REVIEW - BE WITH ME by J. Lynn




Be With Me (Wait For You #2)
by J.Lynn
Publisher - HarperCollinsUK
Released - 27th February 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository


Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…

I have only been a recent fan of Jennifer L Armentrout aka J. Lynn and I can say I wish I started her novels sooner. She can literally write anything, from her paranormal Lux series to her Wait For You series and later this month I will be indulging myself in her Mystery novel, Don't Look Back. This lady can write anything.

Be With Me is my favourite of the series so far, her writing just gets better and better, its highly addictive. It was hard trying not to run upstairs at work, in the staff room to just finish this off, I don't think my boss would appreciate that, or maybe she would after all I work in a Library, its good motivation for others. Anyways back to the review...

We begin the novel with our protagonist Tess, who is irrevocably in love with her brother best friend since they kissed a year ago. Only now, when she has just started University, that is when they bump in to each other again. A lot has changed for Tess, her dream to become a dancer was postponed due to a injury in her leg, so her back up is becoming a teacher. Her past continuously haunts her and that's what brought her and Jase together in the first place... she will always blame herself for keeping quiet, for the letting the pain of her abuse be inflicted on her friends and family. Only she is not the only one with secrets, Jase isn't quite the person that he makes out to be. Trying hard to fight each other's feelings for one another and not letting there personal lives intervene is the battle that they are having to face.

Tess was a really interesting character, she differed from Jennifer's first book which I enjoyed and refreshing change rather than facing the same cliche of the main character. I should say that I have nothing against it, because I've read plenty in my day and it can become a bit of drag if you read them constantly, but I've learnt to stagger any sort of YA contemporary or NA novel. I like to mix it up a bit. But aside from that, Tess's character reminds me a layered cake with lots of flavours, (sorry for the poor analogy) there is nothing that won't surprise you about her character and I loved how it was revealed constantly throughout the novel. Like I said her narrative and Jennifer's writing is truly outstanding.

I was warned that Jase was going to be super hot from the beginning:

"And then Jase straigntened. Oh wow-wee...
...Jase was shirtless and his skin glistened with sweat... his muscles did fascinating things - rippling and tightening. His pecs were perfectly formed and his shoulders were broad..." 

*hyperventilates* I mean he is swoon-worthy material or what!? He didn't disappoint whatsoever. I think for me there were times I just wanted to strangle him and for him open his eyes and see the person in front of him isn't leaving. Although he was a very hot, sweet and cute romantic interest, he was at time a very conflicting and frustrating character. If Jennifer writes from influences and inspirations I think with many other fans, I would love to meet them. Wouldn't you think?

An epic novel of deeper thoughts and dark secrets from an international and truly inspiring author. There is nothing left to say but Read IT! I'm not leaving a single one of Jennifer's books to the last minute.

Rating - 5

Thursday, March 06, 2014

BRAND NEW DESIGN!!


Hi Everyone!

I was previously going to do a review today but I thought I share and show you my new design.

Your probably thinking why have I designed it again!? 

Well when it comes to creative design and art it has be dead right and as my blog is an important part of life I like to show that in my design. This wasn't a sudden decision but I have been teaching myself how to create graphic illustrations. So its me holding a book to my face. I thought that was quite apt for my blog and I can FINALLY say that I'm completely happy with my blog and it's design.

On another note, as you know I design graphics for blogs known as The Graphicness. Unfortunately at this time, I'm currently not taking any requests as I'm busy at work and with starting a new course as well. So it's busy, busy. I'm focusing more on Never Judge a Book by its Cover from now on.

Look out for my review of Be With Me by J. Lynn in the next couple of days.

Thank you for supporting my blog and I. I really and truly appreciate it.