Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris


Title: Unravelling
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Series: Unraveling #1
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Published: May 1st 2012
Source: Publisher for review

Leaving the beach, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit head on by a pickup truck. And killed. Then Ben Michaels, resident stoner, is leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, she knows Ben somehow brought her back to life… Meanwhile, Janelle’s father, a special agent for the FBI, starts working on a case that seems strangely connected to Ben. Digging in his files, Janelle finds a mysterious device – one that seems to be counting down to something that will happen in 23 days and 10 hours time. That something? It might just be the end of the world. And if Janelle wants to stop it, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets – and keep from falling in love with him in the process…

It doesn't happen very often but occasionally, a book will fall slightly short because of the insane hype surrounding it. I began Unravelling, expecting the best book on the planet and was sadly disappointed as a result. While it didn't ignite burning flames in my heart or get me building a shrine for it, Unravelling was undeniably an enjoyable sci-fi read that was entertaining from beginning to end. The characters are loveable and Norris does a wonderful job at slowly unfolding the plot, leaving us in suspense in the meantime.

Janelle Tenner is a summer lifeguard who's dating one of the most popular guys in school. Although gorgeous, she finds Nick annoying when he's surrounded by his jock friends and yearns for something more, a genuine love and closeness. I don't think she anticipated that it would come in the form of Ben Michaels, an untouchable "stoner" at school who she wakes up to after she's hit by a truck. Her life flashes before her eyes in her "final moments", but she eventually realises that they're someone else's memories, someone who's watched and loved her for a very long time. It becomes quickly obvious to us that Ben's feelings are deeper than he lets on - that aloof attitude doesn't fool us! - and I loved watching their relationship develop. It's sort of insta-love at first but eventually achieves that depth and authenticity. Like many couples, they're faced with issues of trust and are covered by a cloud of secrets. Ben's extremely sweet but he isn't one of my favourite love interests just yet...

I won't go into the details of the plot because it's constantly changing and full of twists, but Janelle is brought back to life after the crash and determined to find out how Ben did it. He's obviously reluctant to divulge his secrets and during her investigating, Janelle is thrown into the driver's seat of a race against time that could bring about the end of the world. A mysterious box with a countdown and an unknown result..? Well, like the mysterious dead bodies that are appearing left, right and centre aren't scary enough! I wasn't on the edge of my seat with the countdown, like I was in Everneath, but Unravelling is very engaging and will leave you wanting to know what happens next.

Janelle finds herself somewhat alone in this book. Almost every character can't be trusted. Not Ben, his best mates, her friends, her father, his friends, the FBI…NO ONE. We change our minds about their intentions and true loyalties every few minutes and it's very satisfying when we reach the final page. Finally, we're in the know and have most things sussed out! Of course, there are still questions left to explore but our minds are safe for now...

Overall, Unravelling is an impressive book that will be loved by many. My high expectations were my downfall but otherwise, this is a unique action-romance that definitely passes as a strong sci-fi. I'm not a huge fan of the genre but YA books are beginning to convince me otherwise this year! While otherworldly, there are multiple aspects of realism in Janelle's teen life that readers can easily relate to and the book really does have a great range of intensity and emotions. I can't wait to read the sequel!


I know, I'm the odd one out who didn't give it 8 out of 5 stars. I blame the magnificent reviews I read before this LOL.

Find Elizabeth on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her blog.
Buy Unravelling from Amazon, The Book Depository, Borders and Barnes & Noble.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: Partials by Dan Wells


Title: Partials
Author: Dan Wells
Series: Partials #1
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
Published: May 16th 2012
Source: Publisher for review

The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out. Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what’s left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she’s not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them—connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.

Where do I even begin? Partials ruffled my feathers so much, I'm surprised I have any left. I can't even pinpoint what exactly made this book brilliant, but I do know that it kept me up until 4am since I couldn't bear to put it down. Kira Walker is a 16 year old intern in the maternity ward, who has yet to see a newborn live for longer than a few days. No one has for years. When her friend becomes pregnant, thanks to the Hope Act which makes it mandatory to conceive when you're 18, Kira makes it her mission to find an impossible cure for RM. How will she succeed when so many experts have tried and failed?

Partials is an exciting and action-packed sci-fi read that I fell in love with immediately. Some may say it's slow to start, due to the detailed explanations, but I loved the world development. 11 years after the Break, it's 2076 and there are only 40 000 humans left. A violent rebel group has been born in response to the barbaric Hope Act and the citizens live in fear of a partial attack. Partials were engineered years ago to fight the humans' war, stronger and smarter than any man, before they turned against their creators and almost wiped out the entire world. Add in the RM virus and its mysterious link to the partials and we have one hell of a story. Wells doesn't shy away from the scientific aspect of sci-fi and I can honestly say that this is one of the most exciting books I've ever read, with its plentiful and heart-racing twists!

Unlike so many young adult books, Partials does not focus on the romance, nor does it try to create one in an obvious manner. Subtlety is key! In the beginning, Kira is already in an established relationship with Marcus Valencio and I enjoyed exploring their bond on multiple levels. I felt like I understood the two well as a couple, even in the short time that they were actually together. I loved Kira as a character! Just as a heroine should be, she's intelligent, brave, loyal and, dare I say, a little stubborn? I think many people will be impressed by the way she handles everything that's thrown at her in this book. Sure, she may sometimes rush into situations but you've got to admire her serious brains.

I'm going to be brief here because I don't want to spoil a single thing, but Kira takes it upon herself to kidnap a partial to study. They're terrifying creatures, as we know next to nothing about them, and I'm guessing I wasn't the only one who stopped breathing whenever Kira had to get close! The highlight of this book is definitely the partials themselves. They harbour many secrets and Kira's interaction with the one she catches is priceless. Don't even get me started on the crazy conspiracy theories that were flying around my head while reading! The partials constantly threw my feelings of disbelief, sympathy and excitement around in a tumble dryer, but there was always a stream of "OMG" looping through my mind.

I must reiterate how addictive the mysteries are throughout this book. Just when we think we've got it figured out, Wells hits us with another bombshell. Other times, we have many bits of information but just can't figure out how they all piece together! What's the key to solving the RM puzzle? Who are the true villains - the partials, the Voice or the government? Who can Kira trust? Partials is a genuine edge-of-your-seat read. Killer partials sneak around with their scary masks and had me screaming "RUN AWAY!" more than once! Wells is a genius and I am so looking forward to reading the sequel after the serious game-changing ending. A truly addictive read, Partials is not one to be missed!


Was this book fantastic or what? Are you excited to read it? ;)

Find Dan Wells on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and his website.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa


Title: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #4
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Published: November 2011
Source: Publisher for review
To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought. Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive. With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side. To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale. And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

I've always loved reading books with male narrators. Men are fascinating creatures and it's a breath of fresh air to step away from the usual swooning female leads - not that Meghan ever swooned. With Kagawa's decision to allow us into Ash's mind, we're finally able to understand a whole lot more about his behaviour and his past. Maybe we can finally unravel the puzzle that is Prince Ash?

If it's even possible, I fell even more in love with Ash after reading The Iron Knight. He was never fully open with Meghan and always had some sort of secret locked away in his heart. It was magnificent to see, first hand, how he lives his life and what he goes through every day. He torments himself in his mind and has many vulnerabilities, unbeknownst to others. Despite how much he thinks otherwise, Ash has a beautiful soul, and he proves it during his dangerous journey to the ends of the earth. Meghan is now the Queen of the Iron Realm, a place Ash can't step foot into as a faery. His love for her is so strong that he's willing to give up his entire being. He's going to become a human. If you ever wondered about the extent of his feelings for Meghan, he'll leave nothing to question after this book!

The perfect Iron Fey book would have Ash, Puck and Grimalkin in the same scene. The Iron Knight is filled with these. Three vastly different personalities clash and the characters play off each other in such entertaining ways, whether it be humorous or dangerous. Ash has yet to follow through with his promise to kill Puck and he has plenty of opportunities throughout the book. I loved spending time with these characters for the very last time. Away from the petty quarrels in their Courts, they're bare to our scrutiny and faced with many situations of life and death. They discover what's important to them and what they're willing to sacrifice for friendship and love. My heart? Spasming.

At times, this book was slow, but only because a lot of the story was happening in Ash's mind. The action doesn't really begin until the gang reaches the mysterious Testing Grounds, a place no one's ever come back out of before, but it's all very worth it. The Iron Knight is truly an epic journey, fueled by Ash's strength, determination and loyalty to Meghan. To become human, he's tested in the most vicious ways - few of them physically - that we worry about whether his state of mind will ever recover. Will he be able to cope with being human? Will his love for Meghan withstand the test of time and torture? Is he strong enough to handle any obstacle that's thrown at him? Although cruel, Ash is forced to examine who he really is and everything just gets mindblowingly personal.

As always, there are twists and shocks that change what we've believed for so long. The majority of the book is heartbreaking and will make you feel the most anxious you've ever felt. You scream for the characters to just HOLD ON for a while because it will have to get better eventually. This series has taken me to hell and back, and my heart ached when I turned the final page. I experienced this series in one continuous week of reading and I don't know what I would've done, had I been forced to wait between books like most fans. The ending of The Iron Knight was one of the best moments of the series and, again, my heart ballooned. You know that sickly happy feeling you sometimes get? Oh dear. I need to sit down.


Guys...are we excited about The Lost Prince? I know I am!! I can't wait to see what Ethan's like, now that he's all gorgeous grown up. 

Find Julie on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy The Iron Knight from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa


Title: The Iron Queen
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #3
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Published: September 2011
Source: Publisher for review

My name is Meghan Chase. I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it. This time, there will be no turning back.

After being exiled from Nevernever for choosing to remain in their forbidden relationship, Ash and Meghan prepare to return to Meghan's home, with Ash prepared to change his life in whatever way to be with her. He'll go to school, move with her to a big city and even marry her… “You might have to teach me a little about the human world, but I’m willing to learn if it means being close to you.”  Melting yet? It's such a shame that these nice plans are foiled by the fey! What's the iron king up to now?

Once again, the characters are thrown into the deep end and left to flounder. They discover secrets about each other that will make or break their relationships and everyone seems to be in a mean and stubborn mood for a while. I mean, Puck isn't afraid to flaunt the fact that he's planted his lips on Ash's girl! *gasp* However, the most romantic moment in this entire series, and maybe EVEERRRR, occurs in The Iron Queen. I fainted. And squealed. Giggled for a little while before rereading and repeating the entire process all over again. If you weren't sold on Ash before (seriously?) you definitely will be now……

This series is built on an accumulation of dramatic events and puzzling mysteries. Everything comes to a climax when suddenly all of the pieces fall together and things happen at the right place and the right time. The Iron Queen has the most action out of the four books and I loved seeing the two Courts unite to defeat the common enemy, an iron villain who threatens to suffocate Nevernever with his greed. Meghan is forced to take the front seat in this monumental battle and from an invisible teen to a fierce leader, she really has come a long way.

I was kept guessing about something or rather until the last minute. Kagawa even begins to get riddly on us and I've now decided that countdowns of any sort are EVIL. The action and mystery of this book was addicting and intense, earning cries of victory from me when things worked in Meghan's favour. The ending of this book took me by surprise and sort of rammed into me like a mack truck. It's the epic finale - physically, emotionally and spiritually - you always imagine and I felt that it was so fitting for the series. Kagawa left me craving more and I was very excited about getting one more spin with these characters. What a cliffhanger!


Favourite of the series or no? ;)

Find Julie on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy The Iron Queen from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa


Title: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #2
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Published: September 2011
Source: Publisher for review

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

I was very eager to return to this series, excited at the prospect of spending more time in Nevernever after The Iron King's eventful ending. The Iron Daughter is very much about exploring the threats of the iron fey and the growing divide between the faerie Courts, as well as Meghan's personal identity. She's always thought of herself as a human but things have obviously changed and she's beginning to make the transition! The Iron Daughter will please fans who are looking forward to further developing the issues present in the first.

After we fell in love with Ash and Meghan as a potential couple in The Iron King, Puck declares himself a serious contender for his best friend's heart. While I absolutely adore him as a character and would take him as a BFF any day, there's no way he can beat Ash in the smoking hot and emotionally intense department. With Puck, Meghan would have a carefree and fun relationship without having to jump through any hoops or hurdles, whereas being with Ash is like going against the whole world. Somehow, it's all worth it.

We're introduced to many new characters and learn more about those we've heard of before. Ash's brothers are cunningly cruel and Meghan has to firm up her protective shell in order to survive in the cutthroat society of the Unseelie Court. I loved the growth of her character throughout the book. While it isn't as drastic as the changes that come later, she definitely matures. With the Scepter of the Seasons stolen by a secret party, the Courts are at war and Meghan's right in the middle of it. She's able to make level-headed and smart decisions, prepared to do things others aren't willing to. Furthermore, it becomes increasingly obvious that she's now linked to the iron world…

The Iron Daughter is full of angst. Ash is still torn up about Ariella so there's a constant pink elephant into the room. Meghan's walking around on eggshells but pushing Ash for more at the same time, and the misunderstandings between them will have you ripping out your hair! Oh, and let's not forget Puck's little corner of this love triangle. Don't you just wish you could tell characters what to do sometimes? Things would be so much easier! The book is filled with betrayals from both sides and the twists are just as shocking. I felt that the pacing of the book was quite slow, but the action scenes we did get were engaging and thrilling. You never know who's going to win, lose and…die?

As always, Kagawa shocks us with her cliffhanger and makes me thank the heavens that I had the next book on hand. There was so much anticipation, adrenaline and plain shock in the final few chapters. How will the story continue now? What's going to happen next?! Even though The Iron Daughter wasn't a favourite of mine, I still felt compelled to continue and see how the story would end!


Thoughts? Which was your favourite Iron Fey book?

Find Julie on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy The Iron Daughter from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

All Hail The Mail! (6)


All Hail The Mail will be posted weekly to showcase the books I've received for review!

Sorry for the empty blog this past week! Perth was having horrible stormy weather so the internet was very moody and refused to cooperate with me. Do check out my author interview and review of The Glimpse from yesterday, though! Here's my haul this week :)


The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
I'm in love with this book. It's ten times better than Bloodlines! And just when I thought Adrian couldn't be any more swoon-worthy... Oh my goodness. *faints* SYDNEY! JUMP THAT BOY!

Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Not quite sure about the Aussie name and cover change but I can't wait to read this. I've read magnificent reviews for this book so I'm looking forward to meeting these wolves! <3

Unrest by Michelle Harrison
The storyline sounds creepy... Shadowy figures and out of body experiences? What?! *hides* So Elliot suffers from sleep paralysis. It's happened to me before and it's terrifying. Oh dear =S Can't wait to see what happens with Elliot and Ophelia and his missing body!

Fall From Grace by Charles Benoit
I've been curious about this for so long now! Sawyer's got plans and Grace is a wild risktaker... I love me some art theft so let's get into it ;) Reviews are quite mixed so fingers crossed!

Team Human by Sarah Rees Brennan & Justine Larbalestier
So this is a load of human vs. vampires and friends beating away romantic interests…. Should be interesting LOL. I'm not sure whether this book will be more of a comedy or drama but I'm hoping for the latter.

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer
This sounds so cute! Romance with a fictional Prince who isn't really that fictional? <3 I haven't read anything by Jodi before so this will be a fun experience for me. I'm expecting a light read!

The Keepers by Lian Tanner
Second book of a series I've never heard of before….. *puts in "never reading" pile*

Thanks to Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins, Allen & Unwin for the review copies!

Thoughts? :) What did you get this week? Share your links!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Glimpse Blog Tour: Review & Author Interview


Title: The Glimpse
Author: Claire Merle
Series: The Glimpse #1
Publisher: Faber & Faber | Allen & Unwin
Published: June 7th 2012
Source: Publisher for review

In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell. Jasper is from a rich and influential family and despite Ana’s condition, wants to be with her. The authorities grant Ana a tentative reprieve. If she is joined to Jasper before her 18th birthday, she may stay in the Community until her illness manifests. But if Jasper changes his mind, she will be cast out among the Crazies. As Ana’s joining ceremony and her birthday loom closer, she dares to hope she will be saved from the horror of the City and live a ‘normal’ life. But then Jasper disappears. Led to believe Jasper has been taken by a strange sect the authorities will not interfere with, Ana sneaks out of her well-guarded Community to find him herself. Her search takes her through the underbelly of society and into the pits of the human soul. And as she delves deeper into the mystery of Jasper's abduction she uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she has grown up to believe, but she also learns to love as she has never loved before.

With such a beautiful cover, I expected the story to have the same impact on me and it most definitely did. The Glimpse speaks of a world that marginalises and alienates those who are "ill", determined by a DNA test created by Ariana Barber's father. When discovered that her Pure status is an error, she's given one month to marry Jasper Taurell, otherwise she'll be thrown out with the Crazies and separated from the only life she's ever known. Then Jasper tells her he has a big secret, one big enough to kill and die for, and soon mysteriously disappears. She's forced to find him before her one month is up and discovers dark and magnificent things about her world in the process...

The romance in The Glimpse sold it for me. You'll find out who he is when you read the book, but Cole made me swoon like no other. He and Ana don't exactly meet on friendly terms and there's a constant shroud of mystery surrounding him, but he's a mature MAN who will make your heart flutter with his charm and strength. Cole's intelligent, artistic and all kinds of caring too! You'll find that there are multiple groups of people within this society and their motivations and end goals are a complete secret. We don't know where Cole exactly stands so there's always a bit of apprehension when it comes to giving our complete hearts to him. Nevertheless, he's an amazing love interest that will make the sequel very exciting. The book ends on quite the cliffhanger, so I can't wait to see how the story ends!

For a dystopian book, it has a perfect amount of suspense and action. From Jasper's secret missions to Cole's involvement with the Enlightenment Project, you'll be left confused and dying to uncover the truths that are being concealed from all directions. The government is obviously corrupt and we see the stages of this unfold before our eyes with even more shocking betrayals being added to the mix as well. Ana's father is a puzzle and we can't crack him even when the book ends. Throughout The Glimpse, it's very unclear whether he's on Ana's side or not, and whether he's guilty of...many bad things. There's also a story behind Ana's mother's death and… Guh. Merle misleads us and takes us through so many twists, you'll feel like you're walking a tightrope! I was tense and suspicious throughout, a true testament to Merle's great storytelling and building of suspense.

As much as Merle develops her characters, her world is paid equal attention to. It's 2041 and there are 304 catalogued mental illnesses. I really enjoyed exploring the two split societies, a perfect and Pure gated community and an unpredictable "outside world". Jasper's secret is related to a big conspiracy theory and it eventually becomes a fast-paced pursuit for the truth. We question, not only the reliability of the government but also, Jasper's mission. Could it all be a wild goose chase? Oh how Merle keeps us on our toes! I loved the pacing and development of the story, and had only issues in the middle section where it slowed down a little and was difficult to read (emotionally tough!). Apart from that, a brilliant story.

I'm telling you, there are useful clues and red herrings all over this book. You most likely won't be able to tell them apart so Merle will pick at your brain to her heart's content and leave you gasping by the end of it! I'm desperate to know how the characters will go on after the big final scene, and see how the consequences of Jasper's secret affects the society. It was almost twist after twist and entire situations would change with every revelation. Nothing in this book is clear cut black or white so the characters really struggle to decide which side they're playing for. Ana and Cole are fantastic leading characters with sizzling chemistry that will make The Glimpse even more entertaining and engaging than it already is! I have very high hopes for book 2 and I'm keen to finally get all of the answers. At the end of the day, The Glimpse had me feeling confused, angry and fuzzy in cyclic phases and I just adore the mystery of this book.


Find Claire on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy The Glimpse from Amazon and The Book Depository.



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I'm very lucky to be a part of Claire Merle's blog tour and I'm very excited to present this interview to you all! I loved her answers. What do you think? ;)

1. In 50 words or less, why should people read The Glimpse?

The Glimpse is a thrilling ride set in a near future where nothing is what it seems. It’ll suck you up, throw you around and spit you out. It’ll challenge you to think about current problems in our society. And then there’s Cole – totally crush worthy! 

2. How did the idea of this world come to you?

The original idea came to me around ten years ago after I went to a talk on mental health and ADHD. I was alarmed to learn about the rapidly increasing number of children being prescribed medication such as Ritalin for behavioural problems.

Over the years I found myself returning again and again to read up on mental health issues, particularly in regards to young people. I started asking myself, ‘what will happen if the number of people suffering mental health problems just continues to go up and up?’ ‘How will we cope?’ ‘Why are more young people suffering than ever before?’

3. Is there anything in particular about this book that you are very proud of?

I think if the book gets people talking about mental health issues and our increasing dependence as a society on medication to address young people’s problems, as well as taking the reader on a gripping ride, I’ll have done what I hoped to do.

4. Cole and Ariana are the main characters. What are their most defining traits and why will readers love them?

Ana is determined and intelligent. Readers will love her because she’s kick-ass, though not in a sword-wielding, kung-fu kind of way, (which I love too!). Ana can think her way out of any situation she comes up against, and her decisions are brave. She doesn’t take the easy way out. She’s on a personal quest for truth.

Cole is a robust survivor. He’s had a terrible childhood and could easily have been swept under by all the awful things that have happened to him. But he’s got this innate self-confidence and drive that instead leaves him fighting to take care of his family. I think that’s an amazing quality to find in a person.

5. Do you have any specific image of what they look like?

In my mind, Cole resembled Micahel Trucco, and Ana was a little like a Mena Suvari but with grey eyes.
                  

6. The story certainly isn't a walk in the park... How did you handle putting your characters through such emotional turmoil?!

Growing up, I was known in my family as the ‘dramatic’ one. Things just impinged on me hard and left me swirling around in my emotions. I was also crazy about acting. I think those two elements come out in my writing. Now that I’m ‘grown up’ (ha!) I no longer rage and cry, or feel like I’m falling into black holes, but I’m not afraid to follow my characters into those places. I kind of put myself in their skin and feel what they’re feeling. At the start of the story, Ana’s been told that there’s something wrong with her. She’s been taught to fear herself. This is something I could relate to from my own intense experiences as a teenager, and I used those feelings to anchor myself to Ana and what she goes through.

7. Did you begin writing this book knowing exactly how it would fold out, or did the story veer in unexpected directions as you wrote?

I did a fair bit of planning and even wrote a 50 page scene outline/rough first draft. But when I came to actually writing my characters in those scenes with dialogue etc, they always ended up doing things I didn’t expect, and taking the story off in other directions. Often when I start to write with a plan, there are a few big things that I know will happen, but all the rest – how I’ll get to those bits, or what the outcome of those events will be – changes as I go along.

8. Have you finished writing the sequel yet? Does it have a title?

The current title for the sequel (and final part in The Glimpse duet) is ‘The Fall.’ I’ve just handed in a draft to my editor and am waiting for the ‘editorial letter’.

9. What can we expect to see from you after that?

I’m working on a YA contemporary with a fantasy twist, and I have another YA fantasy/sci-fi mesh also on the burner. It’s very early days for both of those projects so I can’t really tell you more!

Thanks for joining me!

Thank you!

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I hope this interview's increased your interest in the book! I really did love it and hope you find it as addicting as I did ;) Be sure to check out the other stops on this tour!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

All Hail The Mail! (5)


All Hail The Mail will be posted weekly to showcase the books I've received for review! 

My mailbox was luckily empty last week but...well, they came this week, obviously. LOL


Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I almost fainted upon seeing this book in my hands. I've heard brilliant things and I have a feeling I will love this A LOT. Unfortunately, it's an August release so I won't be able to read it for another month or so! :( TONS of June books to get through first!

A Witch in Love by Ruth Warbuton
This series looks great! I still haven't started A Witch in Winter yet but I'm glad I have book 2 on hand so that I don't have to wait around for it!

Shadows by Paula Weston
Mystery, romance and action...my type of read! I see the typical "guy in dreams" storyline here but I hope that it will impress and surprise me anyway. Also hoping that the marketing for "fans of Richelle Mead and Stephenie Meyer" is inaccurate. I can only imagine...... Yes, I love RM but it looks like this book is geared towards the tween audience. Oh nooo..

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Got this a few weeks ago but I guess I have an extra copy! Looking forward to reading this. Just a few May books left to go!

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Okay, HC. I get the picture. This book is awesome, which is why I needed three copies LOL. I'll have to email them next week to see if this constant multiple copy thing is an error ;) But seriously, this book sounds 160% amazing, despite the so-so Aussie cover!

I love the Vampire Diaries show but I haven't read any of Smith's books! Never got around to watching The Secret Circle either... What do you guys think? How does it compare to TVD, show and book wise?

Destined by Aprilynne Pike
Yet another series I haven't read yet, but am planning to! My friend said that the ending was really satisfying, so I'm glad I won't be disappointed when I do finally pick up these books!

The Adjusters by Andrew Taylor
I haven't heard of this before! So there's a normal guy in this secretly screwed up town...hmmm. I know some of you Aussies received this too - thoughts?

Thanks to Bloomsbury, Hachette, Text and Harper Collins for the review copies!

Slow reading lately! I basically read nothing for almost two weeks (busy + lazy), but just finished Surrender and enjoyed it! I'll miss those characters <3 I started Partials last night and it's brilliant so far! I can't wait to finish it, hopefully tonight if I force myself to stay awake ;)

What did you get this week? Leave your links!
Thoughts on these books? Love? Hate? Can't wait to get?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa


Title: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: The Iron Fey #1
Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Published: September 2011
Source: Publisher for review

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined. Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home. When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

I'm so late to the Iron Fey party, I know, but I made up for it last month when I read the whole series and loved it! I wasn't sure what to expect but I had high expectations after shelving The Immortal Rules as a 2012 favourite. While I prefer Kagawa's latest book over this series, I still think it was very enjoyable, thanks to another mythical world and well-developed group of characters with great chemistry.

Meghan Chase will be turning sixteen in 24 hours and has plans to make Scott Waldron finally notice her. She's always been teased for her "poor clothes" and lack of friends besides Robbie Goodfell, her cheeky protector, and is practically ignored by everyone around her, even her family, like they've forgotten she exists. After her four year old brother, Ethan, is attacked by something in his closet, Meghan discovers that a changeling has taken his place and that she must enter Nevernever to rescue him. She can finally see through glamour and learns that her real father is the King of Seelie Court too. I truly loved exploring this world of Kagawa's, filled with creatures I've never heard of and exciting Court politics. It's Seelie versus Unseelie and, trust me, there's a lot of bad blood between them. Oh, fun! This world is so detailed and exciting, but also manages to leave room for expansion in future books!

Queen Mab of Unseelie Court has a son. Well, several actually, but we only care about one! He's the gorgeous and complicated Prince Ash who's heart is as cold as the land of ice he lives in. He's a character who you would normally dislike, but knowing that he becomes Meghan's love interest, you give him a chance and it's so worth it. Ash completely ensnared my heart and had me constantly swooning at his dark, handsome self. In direct contrast, Robbie (aka THE Puck from A Midsummer Night's Dream) is relaxed, easy-going and absolutely hilarious. I promise he'll make you laugh more than once with his well-timed jokes! Meghan has her hands full with both, as they try to defeat the darkness slowly taking over Nevernever, and it was a dream watching them interact. Meghan has almost opposite kinds of relationships with the boys, who also share a dark and hate-filled history together. Mysterious and suspenseful, much?

You know, I love a book that gives you a lot to talk about. Sure, reviewing's tough because there's so much to filter through, but it means the author's done an amazing job creating a world and story with so many layers and corners to explore. From the adorably mean Grimalkin (hello, kitty…) to badass fights with iron fey, The Iron King always entertains. The painful moments from the romance are just as mouth-watering as the intense highs, and just about every single character in this book, good or evil, is memorable. This is a fast-paced read you'll have no trouble getting addicted to!


Let me just say that it's very strange reviewing a series that almost everyone's read already LOL. Are you a fan? ;)

Find Julie on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy The Iron King from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cover Reveal: Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick



Nora is more certain than ever that she is in love with Patch. Fallen angel or no, he is the one for her. Her heritage and destiny may mean that they will always be enemies, but there is no turning her back on him. But now they face their biggest challenge. Can their love survive a seemingly insurmountable divide. And in the end, will there be enough trust left to rebuild what has been broken? The lines are drawn - but which sides are they on?

So, this is the Australian cover of Finale, which will be released globally on October 23rd. Are we excited? Dreading it? *sighs* The last book of this series. Boy, I'm going to miss Nora and Patch a lot!

I think the cover looks very elegant and romantic, but it's almost as if I'm waiting for rain to pour or lightning to strike! The first three covers had more "action", but it's still great to see these models back for the very last time :)


What do you think of the Finale cover? How does it rate compared to the other three?
 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare


Pretty safe to say, don't read the synopsis or review if you haven't read the previous books. SPOILERS.


Title: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: May 8th 2012

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees. No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own? Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. [Read the rest on Goodreads]

For those who were disappointed by City of Fallen Angels, Cassandra Clare's latest instalment of the Mortal Instruments series is much more like the first three books we fell in love with, and was everything I hoped it to be and more. I can't express how overjoyed I am to fall in love with this series again. I was so afraid that my dear Jace had been lost forever!

After Jace and Sebastian disappear from the Institute rooftop, the Council try to locate the boys but fail, prompting Clary and her friends to take matters into their own hands. While the gang exhausts every possibility, Jace seeks Clary out himself, missing her and asking her to come back with him. To where, you ask? Another dimension, where he's currently living it up with Sebastian, Clary's evil half-brother. I know, I was confused and shocked as well. What's going on?! Turns out, the mysterious ritual Sebastian performed on Jace in the last book linked them together, spiritually and physically. Jace submits to Sebastian like they're BFFs and one also can't be harmed without hurting the other. Alarm bells, anyone? While Jace isn't completely himself (since when does he listen to other people?), I've missed seeing him and Clary together and this was like a perfect life in a world of Hell. Despite her mission to save Jace and how wrong it is to be with this fake version of him, Clary enjoys her effortless and fun days with him, torn between two lives almost. Would it really be so bad to just love this new Jace, since life is so safe and happy?

Up until now, Sebastian's been the evil villain, sneaky and constantly up to no good, but we surprisingly see him in a new light. He smiles, doesn't kill puppies for fun and acts like he cares about Clary? Mind. Blown. Throughout the book, we're never fully sure of his intentions but I loved peeling back the layers of his character and exploring his relationship with Clary. It's new and unlike anything we've seen in the series so far! Should she trust him because he's being kind or kill him since he's bound to show his evil side eventually? But how will she kill Sebastian without killing Jace? Oh the mystery ;)

One of the things I love about this series is how we're able to develop the other characters and their stories with changing perspectives. There are so many romances blossoming in New York, you'll feel loved up yet tense throughout! All of them are complicated in some way and I felt just as invested in their lives and problems as Clary's. Clare is a wonderful storyteller and, over the five books, has really made us care about every single character of hers. It's amazing. But lovers aside, they deal with personal issues that relate to their own sense of being, their friends and their family, on top of the colossal pile of issues they're already faced with. I can't spoil anything here but I really loved every single twist and new plot point that was thrown at us in this book!

I really have so much to say about City of Lost Souls but I think I have to stop before I give you a second by second recap. It's fast-paced and action-packed like we're used to and engaging from start to finish. I think Clare did a brilliant job delivering the story on all aspects, and I enjoyed the love, heartache, pain and victories immensely. What a brilliant fifth book. I could just cry thinking that the next one will be the last! I can't bear the thought of NO MORE JACE. *sobs* The ending of this book is all kinds of epic in true Cassandra Clare fashion, as all of the suspense builds up to one big moment. Let's just say that the game has changed completely once again and that City of Heavenly Fire will be a very very exciting read.


There are several references to The Infernal Devices in this book and I couldn't stop flailing. Gah, I love that series hard. Can't believe that it's only got one more book to go as well! :'( LUCKILY, there's a sequel series. I may die the day we have to part from Shadowhunters for good. Cassandra, please keep writing another 20 sequel/prequel/spin-off series... 

Find Cassandra on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy City of Lost Souls from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson


Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Published: June 1st 2012
Source: Publisher for review

Taylor’s family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then they get news that changes everything: Her father has pancreatic cancer, and it’s stage four – meaning that there is basically nothing to be done. Her parents decide that the family will spend his last months together at their old summerhouse in the Pocono Mountains. Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is suddenly around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve. As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they’ve ever been before. But all of them very aware that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love.

After falling in love with Amy and Roger's Epic Detour last year, I've been anxiously awaiting Second Chance Summer and am over the moon that it managed to exceed my expectations. I'm in awe at how connected I was to the characters and felt every single emotion they were feeling. I cried too many tears while reading this book, during moments that probably didn't even warrant them, and was blown away by the depth Matson created with her layered stories and complicated characters. This is one of my favourite books this year, so I sincerely hope you enjoy it just as much!

Taylor Edwards and her family decide to spend the summer at their lake house together for the very last time. Her father has terminal pancreatic cancer and is predicted to have only 3 more months left to live. The once healthy and fit owner of a law firm is now slowly deteriorating before their eyes, but refuses to let them see his weakness, even though it's a futile effort. Taylor and her father have a very close relationship, a bond that you know will tear your heart out once its gone. Her siblings both have their own stories to tell in Lake Phoenix, from making new friends to falling in love, and the connection Matson forms between us all is immensely strong. She gets us so involved with the story that its impossible not to crash when the storm hits and every single one of them is affected.

The second main storyline in Second Chance Summer is Taylor's damaged relationships with her first love, Henry Crosby, and old best friend, Lucy Marino. They happen to meet up again this summer but the two are hostile, hurt and unforgiving of something Taylor did five years ago. What could it be? This question plagues us for the majority of the novel, slowly answering itself through suspenseful flashbacks and snippets of conversations, during which Taylor makes the effort to mend things between them. I loved the many steps forward and backwards we took to get from Point A to B, seeing relationships slowly change and heal, despite the immense toll it put on my heart. This is an emotional book that really rises above others through its characters and story; the depth I was talking about before. I can't even put into words how breathtaking these relationships were!

My heart stills thuds madly as I think back to the hurt, love and frustration this book made me feel. Matson truly brings us to the highest of highs and lowest of lows, all in the span of this one book. We experience every romance, every heartbreak, every friendship and every betrayal. I keep saying it but these characters have so much depth, which adds to the story's power infinitely. We truly care about what happens to them and are basically living within their bodies, feeling everything they are. It's crazy. Matson, what are you doing to me?!

There are numerous story lines in this book that demand to be paid attention to but Matson manages to balance them all PERFECTLY. I smiled and cried a lot while reading this, so have some emergency supplies on hand. I will never forget the final few chapters of this book - heartbreakingly beautiful and, hands down, one of the best endings ever. If you don't shed some tears, I'm calling you heartless! Matson never fails to get our hearts jumping out of our chests with these realistic characters of hers. Second Chance Summer is pretty much flawless and one of the best contemporaries I've ever read, so please put it at the top of your TBR pile immediately!


So after checking out Morgan's FAQ section, apparently there's a glimpse or reference to Amy and Roger in this book! I obviously missed it while reading but hopefully you can pick up on it now that you're aware ;) Morgan's contemporaries are amazing. I need a new one now!!

Find Morgan on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy Second Chance Summer from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Review: When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle


Title: When You Were Mine
Author: Rebecca Serle
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Published: April 30th 2012
Source: Publisher for review

Rosaline has been best friends with Rob since they were little kids. Recently, something deeper and more electric has entered their friendship, and when Rob returns after the summer break and asks Rosaline on a sort-of date, it seems they are destined to become a couple, just as Rosaline always knew they would be. The next day at school, a mysterious, beautiful girl arrives: Rosaline's long-lost cousin, Juliet. And suddenly it looks as if Rosaline might be about to lose her best friend AND her new boyfriend…

"If you read closely, you’ll realize that there was someone before Juliet ever came into the picture. Someone who Romeo loved very much. Her name was Rosaline."

When You Were Mine sets the tone for the rest of the novel with its intriguing prologue, ripe with downcast foreshadowing. We go into this book knowing that Rosaline's going to be dumped by the love of her life, and spend the time afterwards dreading the inevitable breakup and whatever else may follow. This book tugged at my heartstrings and had me tearing up on many occasions. Serle does a fantastic job capturing that pure heartache and confusion that often surrounds breakups, so don't be surprised if you go into a slightly depressed state while reading! This is a very enjoyable read, despite the bashing it gives your emotions and state of mind.

I certainly didn't fall in love with the characters straight away. Rosaline Caplet is part of the beautiful, popular and privileged crowd and I wondered how I'd ever become invested in their lives, but soon enough, Rose's sweet romance with Rob Monteg begins and has everyone swooning every five seconds. The atmosphere is thick with her love for her best childhood friend, and every adorable scene between the two is bittersweet as Juliet's arrival looms very closely ahead. This was one of the first 'breakup' books I've read. Usually YA books are all about GETTING the boyfriend, not losing one to your cousin and getting your heart ripped out in the process! Juliet's gorgeous and manipulative (Satan reincarnated) but I really don't know who to blame for Rose's heartache. Juliet for stealing him away purposely or Rob for dropping Rose like a hot potato after seeing the perfect blonde? Ugh.

Amidst all of the sadness and anger are flashbacks that provide such gripping suspense. We learn that there's a feud between Rose and Juliet's parents that's lasted for years. Rose can still remember the day when Juliet's family became hostile very suddenly for no apparent reason. Through a series of well-placed flashbacks throughout the book, we slowly begin to unfold their backstory and I loved it! Juliet calls Rose's family "traitors" constantly and it's very satisfying when you finally discover what caused the rift. It's controversial and explains so much more about Juliet's behaviour, although I'm in no way, shape or form ready to forgive her! The ending of this book was very surprising. Out of all of the outcomes, I didn't expect that…but I probably should've. My brain and heart can't quite decide how I feel about it yet, but it's definitely one that'll keep you thinking! *rubs chest over heart*

But hey, it's not all doom and gloom. There's a boy named Len…and he's a bad boy prankster who has everyone convinced that he just doesn't care… Would you believe that he has a heart under there? One that's soft and fond of Rose? Oh my. He was, no doubt, the best character in When You Were Mine and you'll have no problem at all warming up to him! Especially when you discover that his feelings aren't exactly new… He tries his best to lighten the mood and constantly shows how kind he really is, despite how much he tries to hide it. Rob Schmob!! I do have to mention, though, that Rose has fantastic chemistry with both of her love interests. The romance certainly feels real so bravo to Serle!

I don't usually read books that I know are going to be sad, but I just couldn't resist seeing how this story would play out. Serle sticks needles into us and pulls out every emotion she can think of. She conjures up such deep sympathy, anguish and frustration that I felt like I was the one being dumped! I can't exactly describe this book but just in the way she writes and constructs the story, everything feels very genuine and heartfelt. The author set out to write something moving and she's definitely achieved that! This was a truly wonderful read about taking a chance and allowing yourself to fall in love again, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Even if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea, give it a go and maybe you'll be surprised!


What did you think of this book? Was Len a good love interest? Who was worse - Rob or Juliet? Eek.

Find Rebecca on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy When You Were Mine from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar Blog Tour: Teaser & Giveaways


Hello, again! Did you miss me? I just posted my review of this amazing book a few hours ago so be sure to check it out! I hope it, and all of the other reviews floating around the blogosphere, will convince you to read the series! These books are truly amazing and addictive <3

Today, thanks to the wonderful people over at Kismet Book Tours, I'll be revealing a gorgeous quote from the book.


SWOON! Back to what I said in my review, Finley and Griffin have the most beautiful and complicated not-relationship, although it really doesn't have to be complicated at all. I think they're just perfect for one another, despite their differences, and I can't wait to see them become a proper couple!

There are a few declarations of affection (..love?) in this book and every time, I was like this...


They're usually not forward with their feelings so during the rare times that they are? *FAINTS* MORE! MORE! MORE! The anticipation and build-up just makes it that much more special. I LOVE YOU, KADY! We need more characters like yours in YA! Honestly, if you haven't read this series yet, DO IT NOW. You won't regret it!


Steel Corset: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
Clockwork Collar: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
Kady Cross: Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook | Website.

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TOUR SCHEDULE & GIVEAWAYS
Monday, May 14th - The Story Siren
Wednesday, May 16th - Harlequin Paranormal Blog
Friday, May 18th - Letters Inside Out

Monday, May 21st - Hippies, Beauty and Books...Oh, My!
Wednesday, May 23rd - The Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia
Friday, May 25th - My Shelf Confessions

Monday, May 28th - A Book and a Latte
Tuesday, March 27th -Book Birthday! - Alice Marvels
Wednesday, May 30th - Seeing Night Book Reviews
Friday, June 1st - Read Me, Bookmark Me, Love Me

Be sure to check out all of the other great posts for special content! I'm the final stop for this tour, and you can enter two giveaways today! Both are open to US/Canada only (Read Rules Here).

The first giveaway is exclusive to my blog. Just fill in the Rafflecopter form (may not be visible on RSS readers) and enter to win a copy of The Girl in the Clockwork Collar! You know you want to.....

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


The second is quite droolworthy. See that pretty necklace on the cover? You can win it!!


This is the grand prize for the entire tour, so to enter, head over to the Harlequin Facebook fan page and put in your entries! Hurry because it's closing in about a day!

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So that's all from me today. I hope you enjoyed seeing the quote! What did you think? Are you Team Griffin or what? ;) Good luck with both giveaways! I expect to see all of you with a copy of this book some time in the near future. You can't miss it! <3

Thanks again to the lovely Kady Cross and Kismet team!

Review: The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross


Title: The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
Author: Kady Cross
Series: Steampunk Chronicles #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Published: May 22nd 2012
Source: Net Galley for review | Tour

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous. Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves. One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens.

This is one of my favourite series so I was absolutely ecstatic to get my hands on this book! If you fell in love with Finley and her special crew in Steel Corset, you'll love Clockwork Collar because things get even more action-packed and exciting. Does the synopsis not capture your attention immediately? Jasper's been taken by a dangerous gang leader, Reno Dalton, and must find all of the pieces of a secret device he scattered around New York last year after escaping. The clockwork collar around his past love's neck is quite literally one that will tighten and tighten. If anyone but Mei touches it, she'll die, simple as that. The stakes are high, yes? So strap yourselves in for another beautiful adventure with Kady Cross!

While I loved the London setting in the previous book, New York was so much grittier and had this indescribable atmosphere about it. As always, I felt right back in the 19th century and was thoroughly sucked into the world! Of course, I was slightly sad that Jack Dandy got left behind but the other characters were more than enough to keep me satisfied! What I love about this series is how Cross manages to incorporate every single character into the storyline and let them have their own personal journeys parallel to Finley's. YA books often focus 99% on the main female lead, but Cross switches narrators throughout the book and makes all of her characters stand out because they're REAL and have lives outside of their interactions with Finley. When I first saw the synopsis, I admit I was slightly worried that the book would be boring and all about Jasper and Mei, but I found that it wasn't the case at all. We spend a significant amount of time with Finley's gang (although the two worlds overlap a lot!) but with the story Cross has written, I really don't think you'll mind reading an entire Jasper book anyway! He's a very fascinating person...

What do I even say about Finley Jane? Her character becomes even stronger than before and it is always such a joy to experience new things with her. She and Griffin King, the gorgeous Duke of Greythorne, are still trying to resist each other for reasons completely unbeknownst to us! Boy likes girl and vice versa…What's the problem?! Oh Griffin's sense of morality. *shakes head* However, there are so many moments of absolute sweetness and adoration you just can't look past. It's completely obvious to us that Griffin's taken with Finley and we can see it in the way he behaves, the things he does for her and so much more! He's aware of Jack's interest in her too, which makes things even more exciting! Is he just going to stand by and watch his lady be charmed away or is he finally going to do something about it? ;) You will adore seeing him jealous. It's too cute.

It was surprisingly very enjoyable to watch the Dalton/Mei/Jasper storyline unfold. Like I said, the time we do spend away from Finley is amazing and just as exhilarating! You wouldn't believe the fun I had with the other narrators. I refuse to spoil anything so just know that it's filled with danger, excitement, love and fear, all rolled in a bowl full of deception! Cross stays true to the adventure we're used to seeing and it honestly made me feel like jumping into a boxing ring to let out some excess badass! Clockwork Collar is truly one that involves you in the story and engages you completely. You'll be out of your seat and cheering for the heroes soon enough! Although…Dalton really isn't hard to look at. Why are the evil ones always good looking? *coughs* We like a bit of evil...right?

Overall, Clockwork Collar is the kind of book that demands your attention. With its beautiful cast of characters who lead lives far more interesting than ours, there's no way it won't sweep you up off your feet! The romance and action had me fainting and squealing all over the place so watch out! Even though there are a few things that you know are going to happen, it doesn't make the ride any less enjoyable. Oh, the drama and mystery!  I'm desperate for the third book now. I need to know what happens next! This is an absolutely must-read book so don't even think about giving it a miss!


I'm participating in the blog tour for this book so be sure to come back later on today! *whispers* Giveaway! <3 You want to read this, don't you? ;) Who's read it already and adored it?

Find Kady on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
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