Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Waiting on Wednesdays #1: The Orphan Queen

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

Title: The Orphan Queen
Author: Jodi Meadows
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015

"Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world."

Why I want this? It's quite simple, really. I read the first part on Edelweiss, and fell head over heels in love with the characters, the world and - of course - Black Knife.
Ever since then, waiting until March has become an exercise in patience. So I'm here to share some of my suffering with you guys. Because sharing is caring, after all.
Here's the deal: Wil is the rightful Queen of her land. Then this evil King invaded, and she became a rebel, stealing to survive. She and her friends have a little band of thieves, kind of like a Robin Hood sort of get-up. The thing is, the entire kingdom is threatened by the Wraith, which is said to originate from people using magic.
So Wil and Melanie infiltrate the castle to try to figure out what they can do to get their land back, but Melanie is acting weird, and now the Black Knife, the crazy vigilante that abducts anyone using magic, has noticed Wil, so she has to be extra careful if she wants to survive to reclaim her kingdom.
I have a very strong hunch about who the Black Knife is (the excerpt didn't actually reveal his identity), and it makes me so excited about the potential directions it could lead to.

Have you preordered it yet? ;)

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bad Romeo

Title: Bad Romeo (The Starcrossed Series #1)
Author: Leisa Rayven
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 10/10
Release Date: December 23rd

I was given an ARC of this novel by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

"When Cassie Taylor met Ethan Holt at acting school, sparks flew. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy about campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing, Cassie and Ethan's romance seemed destined. Until he broke her heart and betrayed her trust. Now the A-list heartthrob is back in her life and turning her world around. One touch at a time. 

Cast as romantic leads once again, they're forced to confront raw memories of the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their secret college affair. But they'll also discover that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks."

What is it about incredibly hot assholes that makes me love them? I like to think that it's because under their stupid exterior, inside they're really just a pile of mushy feelings and it's cute.

Either way, Ethan Holt has it all. But, weirdly, while he certainly plucked at my heartstrings, he didn't make them sing. Maybe it's because I was always wary, knowing that it would all go to shit eventually. Despite that, young Ethan and Cassie were too cute for words.
I would have loved to see more of both of them in the present; we spent so much time with them in the past, I wanted to know what play he went to do in Europe, and more about why he left. I have no doubt that we'll find out in #2 though, so I'm not too mad.

All in all, Bad Romeo has everything a good romance novel needs: a cheekily hot guy, a feisty girl, sparks that are unwanted but stubborn to leave and a great plot. Rayven keeps us interested throughout the entire novel by subtly hinting that something big is going to happen, and giving us glimpses at what it might be. I was so curious, this book was through in one sitting. My kindle told me it'd take me 6 hours to read it; I'm pretty sure it was actually closer to 4, because I just could not put it down.

For any of you who noticed the similarities between Bad Romeo and Famous in Love (the covers kind of are similar, and the premise does bring Famous in Love to mind), worry not. This is a very much adult novel to the strictly YA of Serle's novel. Also, while Famous in Love is about a love triangle, Bad Romeo is really just about Cassie and Ethan trying to sort out their crap and find out if love is enough. That said, if you liked Serle's novel, definitely give Bad Romeo a try!
Definitely recommended. Christmas, especially with family, can be a stressful time and this is an excellent book to have lying about for when you need to step away from the stress and lose yourself in fiction.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Trouble with Flirting

Title: The Trouble With Flirting
Author: Rachel Morgan
Genre: YA contemporary
Rating: 4/5
Cover: 2/10

"Labelled a nerd for most of high school, Livi sees her first year of university as a chance to redefine herself. She can finally enter the popular crowd and maybe even land herself a super hot boyfriend. But Livi’s about to discover that the price of popularity may be more than she’s willing to pay, and that what—and who—she wants most has always been right in front of her."

Very cute, very sweet, if a little predictable.

Livi was a fun character, and, although her desperation to be popular kind of annoyed me - why, people, why?? - it was also kind of nice to see her come to her senses. In her defence, though, Jackson had seemed like a pretty okay guy to start with, so...
The big surprise came towards the end of the book, but I liked how Morgan had Livi deal with it - level-headed and mature. Very nice. I know the next book is about Andi, and I'm glad because I really want to know more about her, and the premise sounds interesting.

I loved the character developments in Allegra, but I wish we'd gotten to see more of her 'true self' during this book; there's potential there for a very interesting story. The one thing that was sorely missing was Sarah. Livi's emails to her didn't really cut it; I wanted Sarah's answers, rather than have to keep guessing, and it annoyed me that we only saw her side of the conversation when it was the end and she was giving Livi advice about the guy. That could have been fleshed out so much more and it made me sad that it wasn't.

But otherwise, a great novel with quirky characters and a swoon-worthy love interest.

PS: I've just realised why it took me so long to actually understand that this took place in South Africa: that cover made it seem like blooming California!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mirror X Blog Tour

Mirror X by Karri Thompson
BLOG TOUR November 17 – 21, 2014

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Mirror X! Here's an excerpt of the novel to get your interested, and all you need to know about the book and where to buy it!

        "After Ella left, I was a naked, semi-invalid with Standup, a giant Gumby, on my back. I drew my arm across my breasts and rounded my shoulders as the shower’s lights, set on “tranquility mode,” exploded and sparkled against the glass walls like the inside of a geode. A melody echoed from the floor like a distant tribal song, its vibrations invigorating the soles of my feet.
As the blood-warm water pulsed down my back, all I could think about was Michael. There was just something especially alluring about a guy who had the power to wake up a girl from the dead. Did he lie to me? Yes. Did he keep me from the truth? Yes. But I couldn’t hold it against him. He had to. It was his job. And due to his job, we couldn’t be together.
When I left the shower, the mirror above the bathroom sink bore the refection of a girl. The image grimaced at the hollows under its eyes and the paleness of its cheeks, but then it smiled, pleased its lips were still plump and red, and that its irises glistened like sapphires. Its brows were thin and perfectly arched and its eye lashes long and full despite a one thousand year sleep of death. It was hard to believe that reflection was me."

Cassie Dannacher wakes up in a hospital over 1,000 years into the future after her space capsule is retrieved from space. She soon learns that 600 years prior to her arrival, the earth was struck by a plague, killing over half of the world’s population. Naïve and desperate, Cassie, who longs for home and is having trouble adjusting to the new, dictatorial 31st century government, is comforted by Michael Bennett, the 20-year old lead geneticist at the hospital where she was revived.

But why is Cassie in genetics’ hospital in the first place, and why do several of the people around her seem so familiar, including Travel Carson, the hot and edgy boy she is fated to meet? Soon she discovers there is a sinister answer to all of her questions – and that they want something from Cassie that only she can give.

Barnes & Noble:

Growing up in San Diego, California, Karri Thompson spent much of her years at the beach, reading novels, tanning, and listening to music. At SDSU, she earned a BA in English, MA in education, and her teaching credential. As a wife, mother, and high-school English teacher, she began writing novels, giving all of the compelling plots and unique characters in her head a home. Victorian literature rocks her socks, and when she’s not writing, jogging, going to concerts, or watching her son play football, she’s reading Dickens.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

National UK Blog Awards!

Hello my lovelies!

If I could have a moment of your attention, I wanted to let you guys all know about something really exciting that's going on right now - the National UK Blog Awards.

BookWorm is nominated in two categories, Young Person Recognition and Arts & Culture.

If you like BookWorm and everything I offer on here, it would be grand if you could take a few minutes out of your day to drop a vote for the blog in the links above.

And if the blog wins in any category, I'll organise a giveaway with a whole bunch of book goodies as a thank you!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Shipping Saturdays #7: Igniting the Love

The winner of last week's Shipping Saturdays was: Will Herondale!

Welcome to Shipping Saturdays! Basically, I talk about my favourite ship in a book/series, and then you guys get to vote on which favourite pairing of that book/series you prefer. If there are any couples you'd like me to talk about, let me know in the comments (along with what book they're from, in case I haven't read it yet!) and I'll add them to the list.

Hello there beautiful bookworms! Today I'm talking about a ship that is very close to my heart for various reasons (not least because I love the guy to absolute bits).
It's time to talk the Shatter Me books.

In many ways, I think Aaron Warner is very similar to Damon, whom I talked about here, in that both of them are "the bad brother" (though with Warner we only find out about the brother thing on much later on) in the triangle, but ultimately they really just have massively soft hearts that have been hurt one too many times.
No, of course that doesn't excuse murder. If it did, every killer only had to plead guilty and tell the jury a sob story and they'd go off free. But I digress. Warner's tragic daddy issues don't excuse his less than stellar actions before he met Juliette, but that doesn't change the fact that he's perfect for her. In a world where it's kill or be killed for her, he brings out the strong, the confident, the side of her that can accept who and what she is, accept it fully and use it to make the world a better place; Adam accepted her and loved her as she was (which is more than can be said for Stefan), but he was also terrified of Juliette, and therefore she was terrified of herself.
It was only Warner's unwavering belief and encouragement for her to embrace her powers as part of who she was that Juliette was able to overcome her fear and control her powers, to use them for good. So no, while Warner's actions can't be excused, you'll have to present me with a very solid case to convince me that Warnette isn't one the most beautiful ships out there.

Aaron or Adam?
Kenji! (?)
Poll Maker

Friday, November 14, 2014

Stone Cold Touch

Title: Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Paranormal YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 5/10

"Every touch has its price

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden. Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…"

Let me tell you what nearly happened because of this book: I nearly missed going to my uni's Hogwarts society (and not going to that is tantamount to standing the other one up with us haha). I sat down for dinner with it, and just kept reading. My friend had to text me to ask where the hell I was for me to surface. She gave me the stink-eye. I shrugged "the book has a tortured, heartbroken asshole". She sighed "fine. God knows we can't resist those".
Nope. No, we most definitely can't.
And Roth is Prince of them. Almost quite literally. He is a Prince. Just not of hot assholes ;)
There isn't much that I can say about this book without spoiling it, so I'll stick to what I can. Layla's flip-flopping between guys really got to me. It was okay in White Hot Kiss because it was mostly one guy, with the other as the brooding, unattainable guy. But taken away the unattainable from the equation, and boom: annoying indecision. Though to be fair to her, though she was sort of stringing them along two, so were they with her.
Zayne... he really disappointed me. I did not see the little bomb Roth dropped at the end coming, and it really ended ay affection I might have felt for Stony.
I will say, though: I totally called the cliffhanger!
Not that it made living with it any easier, mind...

White Hot Kiss

Title: White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Paranormal YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 6/10

"One kiss could be the last. 

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses. 

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever. 

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul. 

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world."

My friend had told me I'd like this, so when the moment presented itself, I decided to give it a go.
Two days later, with no reading for university done at all, I finished White Hot Kiss.
I slept, woke up and started on #2, but that's a story for another review ;)

I loved the world Armentrout has created here. I mean, I know in a way that it's all been seen before, but I like the fact that she doesn't stop with demons and what are, in essence, nephilim. She delves into a myriad of different kinds of demons, and doesn't flinch at making them weirder and weirder as they come along; it's great, and made for very entertaining reading!
Layla was, for the most part, a good narrator. Her character development is something to behold, and oooh, but that girl won the lottery when Roth fell into her lap!
There is a love triangle in this book (though, honestly, that's debatable - I have no doubts in my mind about who she'll end up with, so...), so do take that into consideration, if you're sick and tired of those!
Roth... Roth, Roth, Roth. More on him in my Stone Cold Touch review, but for now, let the record show that characters like Roth are what make books so awesome. Truly. He's hot, he's funny (though I think someone needs to warn Hagrid -- he's got competition for bizarre names for terrifying creatures. I mean, she - and her name - eventually grew on me, but Bambi? Really?) and he's a loveable asshole. My kinda guy ;)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Spotlight Wednesdays: 1-800-Where-R-You

Series title: 1-800-Where-R-You
Title of First Book: When Lightning Strikes
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: YA
Rating: 4/5

Why you should read it
For those of you who didn't know this, if my childhood from age 6 up was all about Harry Potter, my preteens were filled of Meg Cabot. I basically read every book she ever wrote - and that's a heck of a lot of books, by the way (my Mum was ready to write a letter to her and beg her to stop writing, I bought so may books of hers haha) - between the ages of 12-15. And one of my all-time favourites will always be her least-known YA series: 1-800-Where-R-You. I'm not sure why it never caught like The Princess Diaries and The Mediator; maybe it was just the slightly long name of the series, who knows.

I honestly blame Rob Wilkins for my obsession with bad boys with dark hair and blue eyes. He started all this trouble, and now look where it's landed me. Plus, there's something just so sexy about how he only ever calls her by her surname... *dreamy sigh*
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Basically, though, when you read it, do it in order, instead of the weird mix I ended up reading. Having grown up in Brazil, books in English were hard to come across, so I just had to make do with what I had. Which basically meant I started with #1, When Lightning Strikes (at least I started at the beginning!), then bought the fourth, Sanctuary, bought the second one, Codename Cassandra, on my kindle, found the fifth, Missing You, in the bookshop, and then finally read the third one, Safe House. And despite that massive mess of sequence, I enjoyed every single second spent with the characters, which I think speaks for itself really.
Most importantly, though, looking back on the series years after finishing it, is how inclusive Cabot was with it. She's never been one to shy from controversial topics, with Lilly Moscowitz heading that particular chart. The 1-800 books have their own amazing characters, though, because Jess Mastriani (the main character) has an older brother who's schizophrenic, and Cabot's portrayal of Douglas was so important for me, growing up, to understand that a condition like that doesn't make a person less capable or less intelligent.
Basically, though, amazing characters, swoon-worthy guy, and awesome plot lines filled with mysteries, action and danger. What's not to love?

Covers for the first and last book respectively.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Title: Snapped (The Snapped Series #1)
Author: Ketley Allison
Genre: not sure, but I'll go with YA? NA to be safe.
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

HOLY CANNOLI. Can one say cliffhanger?
I have taken a new, sudden and very strong disliking to stories told in parts.
As if Nicole Williams didn't torture me enough with Great Exploitations, now there's this! *gestures wildly*

Snapped starts out with a bang, and I have to say that, so far, I know absolutely nothing! I do know one person (well, two, with Charlie) who aren't dead, but really not much more than that.
I don't want to think she killed... well, anyone, because Allison presented her as quite level-headed, average girl; she could be any one of us (except for the obscenely hot boyfriend - don't I wish!).
But, I just don't know.
Unless... ah, hell.
Basically, go read it so I can have someone to play Sherlock with over this.
I don't trust the sister, is all I'm saying.

Under my Skin

Title: Under my Skin (The Immortality Strain #1)
Author: Shawntelle Madison
Genre: YA dystopia
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 10/10
Publication Date: December 9th

I was given an ARC of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was one of those 'oh my god I love that cover... and oh yay the blurb looks amazing' kind of situation. And let me tell you, I just love it when the first impressions turn out to be right.

Tate was a very engaging character - and even if she wasn't, the nemesis would make sure that we'd all be rooting for her. Her independence and self-reliance aren't seen enough in YA protagonists, and it made her so much more special. Her love for her family was really touching - and I really liked how Madison kept reminding us of them. Tate didn't forget about her family even in the face of her own astronomical problems.
Zoe was a delight to read about. I know she's about the same age as Tate, but her excitement over all the luxury was very childlike and endearing, even though we just know everything's going to go to hell soon.
The whole idea of the Guild was very original, I thought. The two-minds-one-body thing did, at times, remind me of The Host, but obviously the similarities pretty much start and end there, since the person who's taken over Tate's body isn't a friendly alien, but a ruthless general.
And of course this review wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention Quinn. His character intrigued me from the start. It was obvious that he'd be love interest, so of course I payed special attention to him. I liked his backstory, but quite honestly, I'd like to maybe hear more about him in the next book. Surely he'd be pretty pissed off that she had told the General everything he needed to know to mess up his life?
Anyway, so if it's so awesome, why 4.5/5? While the characters were fabulous and the plot was brilliant, there were moments, particularly towards the end of the novel, where the descriptions grew weirdly vague. It wasn't at a point where description was particularly needed, but it felt almost like a too-casual treatment of what was happening.
Definitely read this one! I'd say this is a weird mix between The Host and The Selection, with an awesome main character who just won't take no for an answer.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Shipping Saturdays #6: The Infernal Love Triangle

The winner of last week's Shipping Saturdays was: Damon Salvatore!

Welcome to Shipping Saturdays! Basically, I talk about my favourite ship in a book/series, and then you guys get to vote on which favourite pairing of that book/series you prefer. If there are any couples you'd like me to talk about, let me know in the comments (along with what book they're from, in case I haven't read it yet!) and I'll add them to the list.

These three gave everyone a hell of a lot of heartache, and are, quite possibly, the only true, actual love triangle I've ever come across, because all three entities loved each other. Cassie Clare wins the cake for painful books with the heartbreaking story of Will, Tessa and Jem.

I think, though, that we can all agree that in the end, everyone had their chance at happiness, right?

With that in mind, I'm going to be very selfish and say that I am so, so happy she married Will. She's Tessa Herondale (see how that name suits her?!) now, and Jace will always have a living relative (ha!). She lived a lifetime with my baby William, and he died happy in the knowledge that he was loved by the woman he loved more than anything. It's been a year now, and they still give me a barrage of feels, just thinking about them. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled she gets to tease Jem about his backward ways as he accustoms himself to the XXI century, but I really hope she doesn't marry him. In part because it's not a necessity anymore like it was in the Victorian times, but also largely because then I can happily sleep, knowing she was Will's wife and only his. It gives me the warm and fuzzies.

But mostly I'm just glad Will got everything he deserved, because if that boy had suffered one more tiny bit, I'd very likely lose my shit. My favourite pass time is imagining his reaction if he were to find out his great-great grandson is parabatai with a Lightworm. It provides hours of entertainment. It also probably does me no favours that I've recently moved to Wales, and every time I come across the Welsh flag, I dissolve into hysterical giggles. I'm getting better with exposure, though!

Now, we're voting this week for who we prefer Tessa with, because honestly let's face, she got the cake and ate it too. So really just pick your favourite guy, even if you exclude Tessa from the equation; even if you shipped Will and Jem (I am so, so sorry if you did. Truly. Because ouch), just pick the guy you like the most ;)

Will or Jem?
Other (do tell!)
Poll Maker

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Retribution of Mara Dyer

Title: The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #3)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Genre: YA Paranormal
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 10/10

For any of you unfortunate enough to follow me on twitter, you saw my progress through this book last night; it was riddled with expletives and lots of shouty capital letters. So I thought I'd give myself some to calm down (and sleep) before writing the review so it would be slightly more understandable than randomly interjected f-bombs everywhere.

Part of me didn't want to even start Retribution, because it's Mara's last book, and - insane and whacky as she is - I've come to be very emotionally attached to her. A much bigger part of me was so desperate to know that Noah was, in fact, still alive, that I couldn't wait the extra two days for it to be out in the UK, and bought it off US Amazon; it was my self-given present for finishing a piece of coursework.
Very much in the style of the previous books, Mara is awesomely creepy. I'm not sure what it says about me that I wasn't scandalised at most of the things she did, but I've accepted the slightly scary side of me a long time ago, and it was wonderful to see Mara learn to do the same. I wanted to cheer when she says she doesn't want to be cured; she does need to learn impulse control so she doesn't go around killing people for cutting in front of her in traffic, but her power is sort of awesome in a way that we truly appreciate in this book. There's this very specific scene I have in mind when I say this, but I don't want to spoil anything - I think it's pretty self-evident when you read the book, though, so you'll know what I mean.
I absolutely loved Jamie. He's the best friend to Mara, because he doesn't care; and because, deep down, a part of him kind of envies her ability, I think. Really deep down, so it doesn't affect his love for her, but does let him see past her ability to who she is - an assassin kitten, to quote the man himself.
There's a point, toward the end of the book, where the POV changes, and I shit you not, I was on the verge of tears. Much as I respect and admire Roth for the ending of Allegiant, it doesn't mean I wasn't instantly on the alert with that stuff. Which is stupid, because we all know Mara survives (I'm not counting this as a spoiler; we've all read the first book, we all know how it starts... It's just common sense) since she's telling the story in past tense. Still. Those were a tense couple of chapters, not gonna lie.
I also want to put it on the record that chapter 73 is forever my favourite of its' kind in YA literature, trumping even Jeri Smith-Ready's that she got a bag of cookies for two years ago. It was beautifully written, and I applaud Hodkin for it. Truly, truly, well done.

Some of you may be madly skimming this review for news of Noah. I'm not squeaking. I'm aware of the damage done on twitter, spoiler-wise, but I won't say anything here. Just go read it and find out for yourselves! ;)

All in all, I loved how the ending came full circle, ending with the beginning. It was neat and well orchestrated. Definitely worth the extra money paid in the pounds-to-dollars conversion!

Finished the book? Want some more Mara? You can find a link to the GIF Review of the book here!

Sunday, November 02, 2014


Title: Roulette
Author: Megan Mulry
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 4.5/5
Cover: 10/10

I was given an ARC of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oh, oh, my excitement over Miki's character knows absolutely no bounds. She is exactly what we need more of in terms of heroines - she's strong, independent and self-assured. She knows she's got it good, and that she doesn't need any guy to make her life complete. The fact that she desperately wants Rome does nothing to take away from her stunning independence. I honestly wanted to stand up and clap when she tells Landon to go take a hike over his "full package" comment. For the first time since Hunger Games and Harry Potter, the girl stole the scene entirely from the love interest/guy, and it was glorious.

I also loved how she just sort of went around making friends with everyone, even - and maybe especially so - if they initially seemed quite scary; even Pavel.
As for Rome, I don't know. I mean, he was dreamy all right, and damn him and his smooth, sexy French accent to hell. But the way he reacted to some things I think maybe deserved an explanation. Which is really why it's a 4.5/5: I felt some point could have been explored in a little more detail; and, even though the ending was slightly predictable, it worked - it really, really worked.
Definitely give this a read, if you're sick and tired of all the Christmas-themed books!
Roulette is out December 2nd.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Part-Time Princess

Title: Part-Time Princess (Ladies in Waiting #1)
Author: Pamela DuMond
Genre: contemporary YA
Rating: 5/5
Cover: 9/10

I received an egalley of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

One too-hot Prince. One almost-killer. One sassy American girl. One Lady with a secret. A couple of very cool Ladies-in-Waiting. One very cute lab puppy.
What's not to love?
Yeah, that's right, absolutely nothing.

Lucy's voice was like a breath of fresh air. Her problems at the beginning of the novel are real and very relatable, so it's hilarious to see her go from worrying about paying to mortgage to worrying about what to do when the Grandmother Queen rolls over her foot with her walker. I loved the fact that all of the Ladies stuck by her.
I don't want to give too much away, but she definitely needed it! Her blunders through royal life were hilarious to read about, and a much-needed lighthearted fun.

But rewinding a little, perhaps my favourite part of the entire book was her flight from Chicago to London. Hot guys with blue eyes and black hair are a very soft spot for me, so is it any wonder I fell head over heels for Nick?

The one thing I will say, though, was that the ending felt almost rushed. It would have been nice to see them go back, settle in; find out what was going on with the rest of the family, and then actually get married for real this time. I'm hoping book 2 will explore some of those aspects, as well as David's reaction.

Shipping Saturdays #5: The One that Introduced me to Ships

The winner of last week's Shipping Saturdays was: Dimitri Belikov

Welcome to Shipping Saturdays! Basically, I talk about my favourite ship in a book/series, and then you guys get to vote on which favourite pairing of that book/series you prefer. If there are any couples you'd like me to talk about, let me know in the comments (along with what book they're from, in case I haven't read it yet!) and I'll add them to the list.

Like the title says, these three suckers (I mean that literally, but we'll get there in a minute) introduced me to the painful world of shipping, back in the day when I still wasn't quite sure what I was doing with books. Sure, I subconsciously shipped Harmony (all about that in the Shipping Saturdays #2 here) as a kid, but this trio was the first one that made me consciously stop and say 'she better end up with Damon, or so help me God'.

And I kind of let the cat out of the bag with that comment. Yeah, that's right. My first ever conscious ship was while reading The Vampire Diaries. I always feel dated when talking about these books, because these days people don't even know there are books, it's all about the TV show. But yes, I read the books first. In fact, I boycotted the TV show at first out of pure principle and in respect for all the changes they'd made. I then quit the books cold turkey when HarperTeen fired L. J. Smith (the author) and hired a ghost writer to write under Smith's name because they couldn't take the fact that she was going to make Delena endgame.

Publishing's twelve year-old tantrums aside, one thing that did not change from books to TV, was my love for Damon (helped along greatly on-screen by the delicious Ian Somerhalder of course). By book 3, when Elena turns into a vamp and is sired to Damon, I was cheering in my chair when she nearly kills Stefan because he hurt Damon. 

Those two are like two peas in a pod. And sure, Elena lacks Damon's penchant for cruelty (unless we're talking about Katherine. She so did not see Elena being a bitch coming), but she makes him want to be a better person, and he makes her live. With Stefan, she exists; with Damon, she lives. Plus, Stefan spent a whole season moping over the fact that she's a vampire and now he can't love her because ew she can be with me forever! Or whatever his excuse was, I don't even know. I don't think he does, either. Fact is, Damon's love for Elena is unconditional - as shown time and again when he tirelessly loves her through her various forms: human, vamp, ghost, angel-like thing and everything in between. In the books, if you're looking to read some awesome Delena goodness, dive into The Return: Midnight; it's guaranteed to leave any Delena fan in a puddle of fangirling goo on the floor. It's pure beauty.

But enough of me waffling on about how dreamy Damon is, even as he asks - nay, begs - her to be his Queen of Not-So-Dark Darkness *sigh*. You know what to do.

Stefan or Damon?
Nope, Elena should've gone for the kitsune! (replace here by Elijah is you've only seen the TV show)
free polls

Releases to look out for in November

November is a relatively calm month, publishing-wise, compared to the mad frenzy of September and October. Here are three books you don't want to miss out on this month!

Starting out the month with a bang, Mara Dyer is back, and she's out for blood.

"Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.

There is.
She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.
She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.
Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.
Retribution has arrived."
The Retribution of Mara Dyer is out November 4th.

On November 6th, get rid of your Halloween decorations, because Christmas has arrived!
"Running out on your wedding shouldn’t be this much fun!

A remote Scottish castle on a snowy Christmas Eve. A handsome husband-to-be. A dress to die for. It should have been the happiest day of Leah Harvey’s life – but the fairytale wedding turns sour when she finds her fiancé halfway up the bridesmaid’s skirt just hours before the ceremony!

Fleeing the scene in a blizzard, Leah ends up stranded at the nearest cottage, where she collapses into the arms of its inhabitant – a man so handsome she thinks she must have died and gone to heaven!

And when Rob Cavelli suddenly finds himself with an armful of soaking wet, freezing cold, and absolutely gorgeous bride on the run, he’s more than happy to welcome her into his snowbound cottage this Christmas…"
You can read my review of Cold Feet at Christmas here.

And on the 11th, Arcana brings some magic and hot guys.
"A romantic, suspenseful, genre-bending debut set in Edwardian London.

Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome—or dangerous. To help ease her entrance into society, Katherine’s family has elicited the assistance of the Earl of Thornewood, a friend and London’s most eligible bachelor, to be her constant companion at the endless fetes and balls. But upon her arrival in London, Katherine realizes there will be more to this season than just white gowns and husband hunting.

Through her late mother’s enchanted diary, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. Any misstep could mean ruin—and not just for her family name. The Order of the Eternal Sun is everywhere—hunting for those like her, able to feed on arcana with only a touch of the hand.

But society intrigue can be just as perilous as the Order. The machinations of the fashionable elite are a constant threat, and those who covet Katherine’s arcana, seeking the power of her birthright, could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor—even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood.

With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?"
You can read my review of Arcana here.