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!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: 31/8/11

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine! Each week, bloggers spotlight what upcoming release they're eager for.

 After Obsession by Carrie Jones 
Released September 13th 2011
Summary from Goodreads:
Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can't stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They're wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it's neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It's Alan's cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.

Why I want to read this: 
Sounds suspicious! Who doesn't love a good romantic mystery? I wonder what these abilities are - seeing the dead, telekenesis, premonition? Oh, the possibilities! Can't wait to receive this in my mailbox :)

Thoughts? Is this book on your TBR or have you already read it? What did you think of Carrie's Need series? Leave me your links!

Review: Lament

Title: Lament
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Series: Books of Faerie #1
Publisher: Scholastic
Published: January 3rd 2011
Source: Scholastic Australia for review

Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan is a painfully shy but prodigiously gifted musician. She's about to find out she's also a cloverhand—one who can see faeries. Deirdre finds herself infatuated with a mysterious boy who enters her ordinary suburban life, seemingly out of thin air. Trouble is, the enigmatic and gorgeous Luke turns out to be a gallowglass—a soulless faerie assassin. An equally hunky—and equally dangerous—dark faerie soldier named Aodhan is also stalking Deirdre. Sworn enemies, Luke and Aodhan each have a deadly assignment from the Faerie Queen. Namely, kill Deirdre before her music captures the attention of the Fae and threatens the Queen's sovereignty. Caught in the crossfire with Deirdre is James, her wisecracking but loyal best friend. Deirdre had been wishing her life weren't so dull, but getting trapped in the middle of a centuries-old faerie war isn't exactly what she had in mind . . .

On the night of a music competition where she plans to play the harp, a mysterious boy worms his way into Deirdre Monaghan's life, pushing her to strive for excellence and to be all she can be. When they spontaneously duet together to play a beautiful and harmonious piece, Dee knows that he's different and not like any other boy she's ever known. People have always said that her music was perfect and that she was a very talented girl but now, Luke's seeing her for who she really is - not for her music, but for just being Dee.

Luke Dillon is the unfamiliar boy Dee's been seeing in her increasingly dark dreams. After witnessing his scarily realistic torture the night before, Dee is baffled when the handsome boy holds back her hair while she's vomiting, offering her words of comfort and encouragement for her performance ahead. Luke is forever secretive, but the two are drawn to each other and inevitably fall in love. Luke's protectiveness is endearing and the romance was written very well. If you've read Maggie's Wolves series, you'll be familiar with the sweet, yet dark, love her characters experience. I must say that I enjoyed this novel more than the Wolves series, as there was a lot more action and the romance wasn't as "perfect". Dee also has an amazing best friend, James, a cute bagpipe player who's there for her whenever she needs. Of course, he's in love with her but that doesn't turn him into a jealous ogre. BFFs forever!
Luke shook his head and blew an "A" before pulling the slide out a bit on his flute. "Nope. I love you more than he does."I sighed. I wanted to take this moment, wrap it in paper, and give it to myself as a gift every time I felt crummy.
I loved the storyline of Lament. Faeries (not tiny little things with wings) are drawn to Dee because of her special musical talent and she'll be killed if she isn't careful. The novel deals with Dee's growing powers, her run from ruthless enemies and quest for answers. There is never a dull moment and you'll be kept thoroughly entertained until the last page. The mysteries are endless!

Grab your iron, people. You'll need it to protect yourselves! Here on our hands is another great novel by Maggie Stiefvater. I absolutely cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us! If you like faeries, a good love story, some shady (as opposed to dark) adventure and scary antagonists, this is the book for you. There is suspense of epic proportions so clear out your schedule for a one-sitting read! Prepare for some shocking twists too.
Really great novel!  Originally published back in 2008. Maggie's done well with her books - I've yet to find one that I don't like! Cannot wait for The Scorpio Races. Who's read Lament or TSR? Thoughts? :)

Find Maggie on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 30/8/11

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

The rules are simple!
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!  

Ah, Remembrance. Really good book so far! Started it late last night and am hoping to finish it very soon. Probably not tonight since I've got an early start tomorrow! Some different non-two-sentence teasers this week.

“I miss hanging out just us,” he whispered, leaning forward so his breath was hot in my ear. “How about we ditch the movie and stay in tonight?”
“I promised Chelsea we would go,” I insisted, the lack of electricity between us obvious compared to how I felt around Drew. “It won’t be that bad. We used to go on double dates with her all the time.”
“Fine,” he glowered, like a child whose mom told him he couldn’t have any dessert after dinner.
My hands flew away from each other and into the air, grasping for something solid to hold onto. The first thing my hand went for was Drew’s, which lay on top of the armrest like he barely registered the jump scene at all. I was about to pull my hand back towards me when he rotated his around mine, connecting our palms and tracing the side of my index finger with his thumb. His hand wrapped around mine so perfectly; it was like he’d held it many times before, triggering a familiarity I couldn’t place.

So, which boy are we liking, hey? The boyfriend or best friend's boyfriend? ;) This one was released late last month so be sure to grab it when you can! Let me know what you think of this book and leave me your links so I can visit back!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: Bloodlines

Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #1 (Vampire Academy series spin-off)
Publisher: Penguin
Published: August 23rd 2011
Source: Penguin Australia for review

When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.

Ever since the release of Last Sacrifice, fans have been eagerly awaiting the spin-off to Richelle Mead's bestselling series, Vampire Academy. First of all, if you have not read the original series, I strongly recommend you do so now. I do not think you can fully appreciate Bloodlines without knowing the history of events, characters and Richelle's world first. You will have a big pile of confusion on your hands and a great book will be wasted! In the point of view of Sydney Sage, an alchemist who's had a significant impact on the outcome of previous events, we are transported to sunny California where we run into some of our favourite characters - Jill, Adrian, Eddie, Abe, Rose. If you've read Vampire Academy and enjoyed it, Bloodlines will not disappoint, and if you haven't…what are you still doing here?

I was never worried about the continuation of this series as I knew Richelle had a lot more story to tell, and Bloodlines begins to slowly answer all of those questions we were left with in Last Sacrifice. While this novel isn't heavily packed with action, it certainly does not lack the fine characterisation and mystery we're used to. In the previous books, Sydney is a character who's intelligent, hardworking and does everything by the book. She usually follows rules to a T and doesn't take risks, but her unexpected friendships with vampires lead to her so-called untrustworthiness and betrayal of her superiors. While still firmly believing that magic is wrong and unnatural, Sydney becomes a caring character who has a compassion for those, human and paranormal, around her. Gone is the heartless robot, and herein appears a human who may be normal after all. Readers are very sympathetic to Sydney, as all she gets in return for her help is sadness and anger. Why can't she do anything right?

When Sydney, Jill and Eddie begin their schooling with the humans, they discover the school has a fascination with Sydney's golden tattoo, something they think makes her super intelligent. Sydney eventually discovers the student's illegal activities, using alchemist-like tattoos on themselves for pleasure, speed, strength and skill. Are these tattoos simply using alchemist-like technology or is a traitor alchemist supplying humans with their chemical formulas? This storyline is the centre of Bloodlines, as well as Sydney's mission to keep the Princess safe. There is a lot of mystery which stems from this plot and while some outcomes were predictable, my enjoyment of this novel did not lessen in any way because of this.

While Sydney is the main character, a lot of the novel's focus is on Jill, the royal Moroi she has sworn to protect.  Jill's nice enough but I can't help but feel a little annoyed at her spotlight-stealing. Sydney spends a lot of time trying to please her, not upset her, entertain her, drive her around and tal-….you get the point. This wasn't a huge negative but I'm really hoping for Sydney to focus more on herself and her relationships in The Golden Lily. Speaking of relationships, we knew this was going to come - Adrian and Sydney. Can I say…amazing? Yes, the romance is minimal and only their friendship is solidified by the end of the book, but what a journey! Both characters change a lot with their interactions with each other and that is enough to please me. I see this friendship going places. Real sexy, sweet and romantic places. Give me more!

If you're looking for those shocking twists, god-awful suspenses, frustratingly awesome characters and multiple exciting story lines, Bloodlines is the book for you. It was a good start to what I think will be another amazing series by Richelle Mead and I am eagerly awaiting the release of the next book! I've always loved Adrian and this book only made me love him more. If you weren't a fan before…you'll definitely change your mind after this one. These characters have a load of potential and I'm very much looking forward to exploring them further!
So the trailer is kind of awesome... What did you think of Bloodlines? Did it live up to your expectations? How were the characters?

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

The Hunger Games Teaser Trailer

*hyperventilates* It's here. After two absolutely mean teasers of the teaser clip....we have it! Oh, Katniss running through the woods and almost getting crushed by burning trees. I loved this scene in the book and cannot wait to see this on the big screen! I used my expert sneaking skills to watch this mid-class and I may or may not have squealed out loud.

Shivers are running up my spine! How was that whistle at the end? *fangirl* I'm guessing Peeta was the voiceover...right?

What did you think? Was there anything missing from the teaser clip? Is this movie going to be as badass as we want it to be?  Will these lovely actors do it justice? I certainly hope so! My expectations for this film are higher, now that I've seen this clip!

If we were to get another teaser clip....which scene would you want?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox: 28/8/11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Let us know what books you've bought, borrowed or received for review!

Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
I loved this book. So so much. It's one of my favourites this year! Thank you to Penguin Australia for sending me a copy. Check out my review if you haven't already!

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
As soon as Last Sacrifice was released, I was begging for this book! I was so excited to continue the story in Richelle's world because so many ends were left untied. Plus, more Adrian - how can I not be excited? I loved this book and cannot wait to see more yummy goodness! Fantastic writing, as always, check back for my review on Monday! Thanks again to Penguin! I also received my own hardcover copy from The Book Depository. It arrived wet (thanks, Australia Post!) but the guys at TBD were happy to send a replacement copy, even though it wasn't their fault at all! <3 Will be giving away my paperback and am happy to swap the hardcover!

Study series by Maria V. Snyder
Harlequin Australia had us Aussies holding giveaways last month for the launch of their Facebook page. Everyone gave away the Insider series but as I was giving away my own ARCs already, the lovely Gabby offered this series to myself and the winner! She's been busy touring with Maria down under but I think that's ended... Looking forward to reading this!

Blood Red Road by Moira Young
I was never "OMG excited" for this book when it first came out, but Scholastic Australia sent me a copy and who am I to ignore glowing reviews? There seems to be a "very strange but awesome" response to this book!

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I was browsing Goodreads one day and came across this little gem! Imagine my elation when I found it on Net Galley. Cannot wait to read this and Jenn's Raised by Wolves series!

What do you think of my haul? Which are you most excited for? Which have you already read? Very curious to see what I'm in for with the books I haven't read! Let me know and leave your links :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: The Power of Six

Title: The Power of Six
Author: Pittacus Lore
Series: Lorien Legacies #2
Publisher: Penguin (Harper Collins US)
Published: August 23rd 2011
Source: Penguin Australia for review

I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me . . . he's one of us. Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

Power of Six left me absolutely speechless. There were truly no dull moments and all 350 pages were a delight to read. The novel has two narrators, both of which are graced with exciting story lines and magnificent character development. After running from Paradise, John Smith races around America with Six and Sam in an attempt to learn about his past and his Legacies, to save the people on Earth and to prevent the total destruction of his home planet, Lorien. Meanwhile, Marina (Seven) lives in a Spanish orphanage with her Cepan, Adelina, trying desperately to escape from her prison and find the others like her.

So the powers of invisibility, telekinesis, pyrokenesis weren't cool enough for you? We're now discovering that some have the ability to see in the dark, breathe underwater, resist gravity and shapeshift! Every single word of this novel is to be devoured. Whether you're reading about the Lorien history, John's flashbacks and visions, action sequences, romantic moments, hilarious bantering or scary chases, Power of Six will enrapture you and demand to be read in one sitting. With the point of view changes, anticipation and mystery is built on a whole other level. Leaving one character's story on a cliffhanger, the chapter changes location and immerses us into the story of another. Cue cliffhanger. Rinse and repeat.

The relationships in this novel are very strong and, in my opinion, really carry the novel to its "brilliant" status. John continues to maintain his friendship with best friend, Sam, a human who's determined to aid the aliens in their war against the Mogadorians. While away from his girlfriend, Sarah, John has a wandering eye, becoming guiltily attracted to Sam's crush, Six. But there are no messy love triangles or jealous third wheels here, so fret no more. The dynamic personalities within this trio will surely entertain and evoke a fair share of laughs from you! In contrast, Marina has only one alliance in her orphanage - Ella, a seven year old who has just been brought in. Their friendship is sweet and heartwarming, a spark of happiness amidst the sadness of Adelina's betrayal and alliance with the Church.

The fight to stay alive and to kill the Mogadorians is the main plot of the novel. Pittacus Lore cleverly weaves it in between other elements so that we're given a rich, complete and exciting experience. I cannot stress it enough - go out and buy this book now! You will not regret it. I am bouncing in anticipation for the third book. If it's even half as good as this book, we're in for a real treat.
Are you excited yet? You must read this book (and the first) immediately!

Buy The Power of Six from Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Follow Friday & TGIF: 26/8/11

In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish would come out of the closet, for real?

Gosh, I'd love to say something amazing like werewolves or vampires…. "Hey, can I become one of you so that we can all have some awesome fun, dodging enemies and fretting over hot love triangles?" I think, though, that I'd want angels to make themselves known. If I knew that there was a higher power at work, with angels watching over us, maybe life would be a little cooler and "safer" ;) Problem? Call up your guardian angel! …who you'll fall in love and have a forbidden romance with... *hee*

Which genre, authors, or particular books do you think people associate with your reading style?

When people think Lisa, they think romance. Though I read all YA genres, ranging from contemporary to historical to paranormal to action, almost all have some sort of romance in them! Whether it's the main story line, the sub-plot, a small element of the novel…it's there. You can count on it! 

Leave me your thoughts and links!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: Beautiful Darkness

Title: Beautiful Darkness
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Sthol
Series: Caster Chronicles #2
Publisher: Penguin
Published: October 12th 2010

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen. Sometimes life-ending. Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

In the second book of the Caster Chronicles, Ethan Wate battles with himself and those around him after finding out that he's not as normal as he seemed. Whilst trying to discover his true identity, he must also fight to save his girlfriend, who is the brink of surrendering to the darkness, and keep her close after she becomes more and more distant. Beautiful Darkness is packed with punch, filled with more doing and less talking. New characters are introduced and together they embark on a dangerous journey through the Caster worlds, which are littered with dark creatures around every corner. Unlike Beautiful Creatures, this novel has an exciting plot which will sustain your interest very easily and until the end.

We are introduced to two new love interests who are both surprisingly entertaining and likeable. Liv, an assistant at the Gaitlan Library, knows more about the Caster world than she lets on. Her genuine kindness and simpleness intrigues Ethan, as the situation between him and Lena gets complicated. An old friend from the previous book returns, Lena's Dark cousin, Ridley, bringing with her a boy named John Breed. He and Lena spend a suspicious lot of time together before running away to find a place, a paradise, which may not even exist. Who is John and what's his agenda? Is he on the Good side? I felt that the character development improved immensely in Beautiful Darkness. Ethan grows as he explores his roots and destiny, plagued with dreams about a man he doesn't know. Lena becomes strong and determined, taking control of her life and no longer being a weak girl who cries about her doom. The issues between the lovers actually strengthened their relationship that much more and built a tension (of the good kind) that would not have been achieved otherwise.

The fight between Good and Evil is less emphasised in this book. While it is still the overall theme of the novel, the majority of Beautiful Darkness is focused on Ethan's mission to find and save Lena before it's too late. I enjoyed this increase in action, over mythology, as I felt the previous book was a little too overpowering in that aspect. There is a nice balance of romance with humour and action, so all of the bases are covered!

With unpredictable twists, mysteries and high levels of anticipation, Beautiful Darkness is a very enjoyable novel. If you didn't like the first, continuing on with the series is most definitely the right decision! I'm relieved to now be a fan of the series and am looking forward to Beautiful Chaos!

Find Kami on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her blog and website.
Find Margeret on Twitter, Goodreads and her blog.
Buy Beautiful Darkness from Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: 24/8/11

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine! Each week, bloggers spotlight what upcoming release they're eager for.

 Allegiance by Cayla Kluver - Released February 28th 2012

As soon as I finished Legacy, I was dying for more. When I thought we had to wait until the end of 2012 for book 2, I was devastated! Imagine my surprise when we finally got the cover and release date for Allegiance. The cover is amazing, even more so than Legacy's, and February will be here before we know it. A few days after my birthday.....great present, anyone? *waits for ARCs to be printed* Come on, Harlequin! No summary is available yet but..I'm sure we're in for a treat. I'll retreat back into my cave to flail and squee now. Thanks to Cindy from Once Upon A Time for letting me know about this new info! <3

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Review: Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles #1
Publisher: Penguin
Published: December 1st 2009

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

Beautiful Creatures is an authentic southern tale, complete with old curses, strong family values, warm home cooking and scary town committees made up of narrow-minded housewives. Gaitlin is a small town where everyone knows everything and there is nowhere to hide. When Lena Duchannes moves into the Ravenwood Manor with the town hermit, Macon Ravenwood, people talk. She goes against everything the town says is normal and is immediately outcast, but when popular basketball player, Ethan, recognises her as the girl in his dreams, he steps out of his safety net within society to be with her.

Lena is counting down the days until her 16th birthday, the day she must decide to go Light or Dark. The ideas behind this novel are fantastic and different, though not what I expected. There is a lot of mythology to understand, which is equally interesting and confusing. As the novel progresses, pieces of information are revealed and slowly fit together to form a complex story line. You'll never be sure of anything so prepare for your world to be turned upside down!

Beautiful Creatures is insanely long, much longer than it really needs to be, in my opinion. With a shorter length, this novel could have easily had the same amount of plot and character development. Things sometimes dragged on unnecessarily and became confusing as a consequence. Lena has the ability to read Ethan's mind and at times, things were a little too convenient, regarding when she could hear him and when she couldn't. 

The romance, I must say, is very enjoyable. I'm a sucker for star-crossed lovers! The relationship has a nice build up and their affection is adorable. Overcoming their differences, they support each other and a magical connection forms, predestined centuries ago by their ancestors when everything first began. Lena's a powerful being with the ability to affect the lives of many. Ethan's a mere mortal, utterly powerless to stop himself from falling in love. Somehow, they found each other.
Lena’s eyes lit up. I was right; she not only wanted to be asked, she wanted to go [to prom]. In that moment, I knew I didn’t care what was on her regular-high-school-girl to-do list. I was going to make sure she got to do everything on it.
The second half of Beautiful Creatures is considerably better than the first. While the ending is slightly confusing, things are cleared up at the beginning of the sequel, Beautiful Darkness. Push on, soldiers! It gets much better. I recommend you to give this novel a try because the series has the potential to be a real winner.
Find Kami on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her blog and website.
Find Margeret on Twitter, Goodreads and her blog.
Buy Beautiful Creatures from Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Musing Monday & Cover Crazy: 22/8/11

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted over at The Book Worms! The point of this meme is to admire the art and beauty of a book’s design. So get over there and share your loved covers!

This week my gorgeous cover is Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis (April 17th 2012)

How can you not love this cover? The model is undoubtedly gorgeous and her make up is dark (eyes), yet sweet (lips) at the same time. The title's bold and stands out against the ripply water/title reflection! Loving the colour gradient, overall colour scheme and "cool" mood of it all. The girl's sporting some nice windblown hair ;) Can't wait to put this on my bookshelf! From the cover, though, you wouldn't be able to guess what the book was about ;)

Summary from Goodreads:
When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other’s arms with zero memory of how they got there or who they are, it’s the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.
Terrified by their amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find the answers that could jog their missing memories. As they piece together clues, they discover they’re in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls, where everyone seems mysteriously happy, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town’s perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall’s mom, not the hidden shame in Elyse’s family, not even the day-to-day anguish of high school. Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marsh and Elyse fall into an intense relationship...but the secrets they uncover could be the death of this growing love—and the death of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading.
Do you prefer character-driven stories, or plot-driven stories?
At the end of the day, my ideal book will have well-developed characters AND a compelling plot! But if I really must decide, character-driven books are the way to go. If I absolutely love the characters, I could read a whole book about them driving around in circles. Or sleeping. Or eating cheese. If there's a good plot but crummy characters that I can't relate to...well, that's a little hard for me to stomach, except for a few rare cases.

What do you think? Do share your Monday memes! :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: Supernaturally

Title: Supernaturally
Author: Kiersten White
Series: Paranormalcy #2
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: July 26th 2011
Source: Harper Collins Australia for review

Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be . . . kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees. But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself. So much for normal.

When high school isn't filled with cat fights, secret romances and illegal dealings behind the gym, Evie finds herself bored with the utter normalcy of her life. She yearns for the feeling of importance she felt when working for the IPCA and soon begins going on missions again, behind the backs of those she cares about. Relationships and friendships are tested and Supernaturally is one suspenseful scene after another. But of course, this wouldn't be a book by Kiersten White without some serious moments of comic relief.
“I did not scream like a little girl.” Flashing his dimples, he took a huge lungful of air and burst into an earsplitting—and decidedly little girlish— scream. “Like that. Only with crazier eyes and more flailing.”
“Shut up.”
We are introduced to a new character named Jack, a boy who has grown up with the faeries and has the uncanny ability to create faerie doors. Jack might be my favourite character yet! His humour rivals that of Evie and I'm sure he'd give her a run for her money in a comedy-face-off. In Supernaturally, things are very different to how they were in the previous book. The budding romance between Evie and Lend is halted when Lend goes off to attend college, leaving Evie behind at high school.  Reth is a maybe-not-so-evil faerie, the evil killer from Paranormalcy might be not-so-evil and her parents are maybe not-so-non-existent. Crazy revelations about many are made and it was fantastic to see the way these grew and changed.

My favourite part of Supernaturally was the way everything unfolded and developed. We're never 100% sure of anything and are given a new mystery to ponder very often. Great pacing, as always, lends itself to a never-boring read. The plot increases in complexity, opening doors from the past and for the future, and grips us in its clutches. Your heart will be forever thudding, waiting to see if Lend and Evie's relationship will persevere. Will her secrets and the countless misunderstandings ruin everything? Will things eventually work out? Guess you'll have to see for yourself!
Ever since he found out a few months ago that I could eat spicy foods—ridiculously spicy foods—without batting an eye, he’d made it his personal mission to find something too hot for my tastes.
“Just because you’ve got a wimpy tongue doesn’t mean I do,” I said.
He smiled slyly at me. “Wimpy tongue, huh? I’ll have to show you what it can do later.”
If you enjoyed Paranormalcy, this book will not disappoint and will leave you dying for Endlessly. If you're new to this series, now is a great time to start! Thoroughly enjoyable and engaging, Supernaturally is another magnificent novel by Kiersten White.

What was wrong with these girls? A psychotic boy appears in the middle of the locker room and they’re ready to flirt? Hadn’t they watched any high school comedies? We should have been whipping him with wet towels at this point, ferocious in our fury to protect the sanctity of the girls’ locker room. Instead, they were concentrating on strategic posture shifts for maximum cleavagization. Honestly, he wasn’t that cute.
Find Kiersten on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and her blog.
Buy Supernaturally from Amazon, The Book Depository, Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

In My Mailbox: 20/8/11

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Let us know what books you've bought, borrowed or received for review!

Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep
I don't even know what to say. I have a feeling all that's going to come out of my mouth are incoherent mumbling and screams. I loved Touch of Frost to bits (REVIEW) and I'm about to pass out for having the sequel already. The first only came out three weeks ago! *dies* And here I thought I'd be waiting till the end of this year. <3 Thank you, Jenn! Keep your eyes open for an interview and guest blog later on down the track...

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting
Everyone's been waiting for this book for months! And now, thanks to Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab, we can take an early bite out of it. Another book with a plot that sounds fantastic. Booklover in me is having a seizure!

Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for sending this to me! It was a great book and you can check out my review HERE ;) 

Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
This book came with Fury. I saw my fellow Aussie bloggers receiving this last week and they all loved it. Before last week, I'd never heard of this but I'm very excited to read it now! Very mysterious summary...

Rippler by Cidney Swanson
Thanks so much to Cidney for sending this to me! Her publisher wouldn't send to Australia but she wanted to try sending it to me herself. It was her first time sending anything larger than a letter so bravo! ;) I was a post-office-virgin until this month too! Look forward to reading about this invisible girl... Dun dun dun.

Remembrance by Michelle Madow
You guys remember my Cover Crazy, right? The one with the gorgeous mask and girl? Well, Michelle obviously sent me an e-copy to review and I'm sure this reincarnation plot will be great!

Really excited about the books I received this week. What's in your mailbox?

850 Follower Giveaway Winners

Thank you guys so much! I went past the 1000 follower mark during this celebration and I've only you guys to thank <3 Even though the giveaway is over, I sincerely hope I'll see you all some time again in the future! Leave me love in the comments whenever you feel like, and know that I read every single one and do my best to respond ;) I appreciate every single one of you and will call you all back again when another milestone or anniversary is hit!

The randomly chosen winner of a May - July release book is....

With a great name like that you're sure to win ;) There are a few Lisa's who entered so...if that's your name, check your inbox and junk mail! If you've got an email from me then congratulations ;)

As you know, part two of my giveaway depended on your good answering skills. I asked, "If you could be a female book character, who would it be and why?" You guys were amazing and provided me with a good two to three hours of entertainment. The horrible fun part was choosing the winner for the next hour. After narrowing it down to twenty, I finally got it down to three, which was not easy! I asked for something that would make me laugh and smile, and those twenty certainly delivered. I put the three entries into and viola! We have a winner.

Honourable mentions go to: 
Debora Benaim
There were no wonderfully constructed paragraphs here. Just pure fangirling and friendly jealousy of great female characters ;)

Which means, the winner of an August - October release is...

Tell me this didn't make you laugh. I dare you.
I’m a perv. Jus’sayin’!
Okay so if I were FEMALE and I wanted to be a FEMALE character...I would be, oh! it’s so hard to choose. There are so many beauties out there.
Hold on! I have an answer.
Alright I will be CALLA! Just because I want to know what it feels like to be a slut (according to the Wolfsbane cover and the fact that she gets horny with both Ren and Shay multiple times throughout Nightshade).
So yes, I’ll be Calla. Why? I just gave you my reason and I hope that’s legitimate. Calla is also independent and she doesn’t let “her heart be dictated by her pride” LOL.
*applauds* Thank you for becoming a female for five minutes, Braiden. I'm sure Calla feels honoured! Being called a slut made her day.

Thank you and good day, everyone! :D I'll see you soon! Congratulations to the winners (and entrants!) for their hard work :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Review: Paranormalcy

Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Series: Paranormalcy #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: August 31st 2010

Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal. Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. So much for normal.

Where do I start? I've been missing out - missing out on the greatness that is called Paranormalcy. To anyone who has not yet read this, do so now. Don't put it off any longer! Kiersten White is absolutely amazing and you will not regret bumping this up your reading pile. Filled with hilarious lines and fun paranormal-tagging, this book will have you in stitches!

When Evelyn was eight years old, she wandered away from her carers and ended up in the hands of the International Paranormal Containment Agency. Using the gift that only she possesses, she tags and arrests paranormals, as she can look past their glamours to see their true forms. When a boy, who can turn invisible and shape-shift into anyone he wants, breaks into IPCA headquarters, Evie finds herself spellbound by his intelligence, charm and beautiful true form. Together, they test their limitations within IPCA, when Evie discovers that she may not be as free and "above the rest" as she had originally thought.
And you are?”“Lend.”
“Yes, as in, lend me your self.”
Paranormalcy is littered with a fantastic cast of characters - ones that will make you laugh, fume, love and hate. Reth is an attractive faerie who has an interesting past with Evie, one she is trying desperately to escape. Faeries are forced to obey named commands (which is why their true names are kept secret apart from a select few) so you'd think Evie could just order him away? Things aren't so easy when faeries find loopholes and twist commands around in their own cheeky way. We never really know where to stand with Reth and his ongoing attack so he's an interesting character throughout. Alisha is Evie's mermaid BFF and it was so sweet to see two such different beings get along so well. Raquel handles all debriefs in IPCA and is Evie's mother figure, strict but completely caring and protective. Then of course, Lend is the gorgeous shape-shifter. If you don't fall in love with his tongue-in-cheek humour immediately, there's something wrong with you.
Lish tried to swear—which is always funny, because the computer won’t translate it. It went some- thing like this: “Bleep stupid bleep bleep faeries and their bleep bleep bleep obsessions. He had bet- ter stop bleep bleep bleep the bleep bleep rules or I will bleep bleep bleep the little bleeeeeeeeeeep.” All in a completely robotic monotone. Awesome. Lish could really get going sometimes. I loved her for it; she was like the big sister I never had. The big sister who happened to be shiny green and covered in scales, with a long, finned tail and webbed hands. But she was beautiful in her way.
With a mysterious creature on the loose and killing paranormals, Evie is forced onto an exciting but dangerous mission to find the killer while keeping herself alive. Paranormalcy is a breath of fresh air and you'll quickly find yourself swept up into the whirlwind of winning characters. This book in three words: Original. Hilarious. Fun. That's all from me - I'll let you read this yourself!
Amazing book. Absolutely hilarious. Don't put this off any longer!

Find Kiersten on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and her blog.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


The missing son of a U.N. diplomat... the reemergence of a strange organization... a pair of society twins caught in the middle... this is just the beginning of "Go BZRK," a new transmedia experience from author Michael Grant.

If you're ready to take the plunge in an interactive story like you've never experienced before, visit and register with to take your first steps in a strange and compelling universe. Keep in mind that these sites are just the beginning… the intrigue unfolds from here. Filled with video, puzzles, community collaboration, and more, "Go BZRK" puts YOU the player right in the middle of the action as you join Nexus Humanus and unravel a mystery that may hold the key to the fate of all mankind.

This is all very exciting stuff and I look forward to getting into it! So sign up today and spread the word. I'm sure this will be tons of fun - the more people, the better! Let's solve this mystery, folks!
*scratches head* A little confused, still? Read this Q&A with Michael himself!

What is “Go BZRK”? Is this a book or some kind of interactive story?

Both. The book comes out this winter, but the interactive part starts now.  One leads up to the other, but they're part of a complete package.

Why “transmedia”?

There are different approaches to transmedia.  Most people take a single story and reproduce it on various platforms.  My philosophy has been to make each element - ARG, app, web, book - a thing unto itself, each revealing some aspect of the world of BZRK.  I've been fascinated with this is as a new way to tell stories.  The book remains central, but now I can reach beyond the book and create a much more complete world.  I can tell stories that enhance the book, and stories that parallel the book, and stories that are offshoots of backstory.  I guess the answer to "why" is "because it's fun."

Is this the future of publishing?

I began a few years ago reaching out to publishers and saying we collectively needed to understand that the old models were dead or dying.  I want publishing to survive, and of course I'd like my own career to thrive.  So Egmont Publishing and my partners and I certainly hope this is a part of the future of publishing. 

How long is this running? Is this part of a larger picture?

We'll be running this in several chunks between now and the book release this winter. Because these things have a hard start/stop point, August is a ramp-up phase. There'll be a lot of content coming out, but the experience really gets underway at the end of the month… just in time to distract the kids from their schoolwork.

What if someone wants to follow the story but doesn’t want to participate?

You don't have to do anything.  You can do one thing and not another.  But the deeper you plunge the wetter you get.  I think every part of this is fun, I think people will enjoy the ARG, the app, the site and the books. 

App? You've mentioned that a couple times now.

Just wait and see.

What can you tell us about the story? What is “BZRK”?

It's a battle for the soul and freedom of the human race carried out simultaneously in the world we know, and in a world that you're not going to expect. It's a world where if you make a false move, you're going to lose your mind.

Insanity… is this something you have a personal familiarity with?

The line between writer and crazy person is very thin.  Both go around holding long, involved conversations with people who aren't there.

What’s this other world thing all about?

Do you really want spoilers? I'll tell you this. We'll be going "down in the meat." It's going to be vast, bloody, and beautiful.

Wait… isn’t this supposed to be for kids?

Adults like to flatter themselves that kids won't get, won't understand, won't be able to handle, more intense, more complex stories. That's nonsense.  It's the adults who are easy to creep out or scare.  Say the word "biopsy" in a room full of adults. Or "audit."  See?  Easy to scare.  Kids are a tougher audience because kids think they're immortal.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: 17/8/11

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine! Each week, bloggers spotlight what upcoming release they're eager for.

Possess by Gretchen NcNeil
Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from. Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.
The summary sounds unique and interesting so I'm very curious to see how I like it! Has anyone read this already?

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning. Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.
Must I say it? This book is 100% amazing and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Hopefully this arrives in my mailbox quickly, seeing as The Book Depository is now processing my order :) Deathly jealous of you evil Americans who got this from BEA!
 The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me . . . he's one of us.
Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together? 
I quite enjoyed I Am Number Four so hopefully this sequel is just as good! At first I was very worried about the complete narrator change but from what I've heard, Seven's got a good story. Fingers crossed, eh?

Three great books, all released on August 23rd. My mailbox will have a blast! ;) What are you waiting on this week?

Review: Blood Song

Title: Blood Song
Author: Rhiannon Hart
Series: Llarmell #1
Publisher: Random House Australia
Published: September 1st 2011
Source: Random House Australia for review

When her sister becomes betrothed to a prince in a northern nation, Zeraphina’s only consolations are that her loyal animal companions are by her side – and that her burning hunger to travel north is finally being sated. Already her black hair and pale eyes mark her out as different, but now Zeraphina must be even more careful to keep her secret safe. Craving blood is not considered normal behaviour for anyone, let alone a princess. So when the king’s advisor, Rodden, seems to know more about her condition than she does, Zeraphina is determined to find out more. Zeraphina must be willing to sacrifice everything if she’s to uncover the truth – but what if the truth is beyond her worst nightmares?

A brilliant debut novel by Australian author, Rhiannon Hart. I was captivated by Blood Song immediately. Zeraphina craves blood like any human craves food and water. The pull to travel north is unexplainable and only her archery can occupy her mind otherwise. Her eagle, Griffin, and cat, Leap, are her companions, fiercely loyal and attentive to her moods. When her mother is desperate for wealth and her sister is slated to marry, who else can she turn to? When Lillith is set to marry Prince Lester from the north, the family travel there to plan their upcoming nuptials. What's this mysterious country called Llarmel? Why is everyone forbidden to speak about it?

The characters in Blood Song were fantastic. I connected with them really well and Zeraphina was a narrator who really appealed to my emotions. She was strong and very determined, while still having a young and naive quality to herself. I found her to be realistic and I enjoyed reading about her struggles with her bloodlust. Rodden Lothskorm, the King's right hand man, takes an interest in her and she soon finds herself falling for him, unable to resist the power he has over her. Rodden's a few years her senior and is a trained soldier, knowing exactly what is wrong with Zeraphina. Their relationship progresses at a perfect speed and has the right amount of funny, sexy and serious moments. Wonderful!

Blood Song as a whole has a good balance of background, romance and action. The final part of the novel deals with Zeraphina's issue and is filled with action! As always, I won't spoil the plot and will let you unravel this amazing storyline yourself! I loved this novel and absolutely cannot wait for the sequel. It's a short read and you'll fly through it in a matter of hours. I'm invested in these characters already and look forward to their future development!
I'm really hoping that you readers outside of Australia get the chance to read this! I'm pretty sure internationals can buy this book from Fishpond :) Fantastic book! Let me know if you're putting it on your TBR list or have already read it!

Find Rhiannon on Twitter, Goodreads and her blog.
Buy Blood Song on Fishpond and Angus & Robertson.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Musing Monday & Cover Crazy: 15/8/11

Cover Crazy is a weekly meme hosted over at The Book Worms! The point of this meme is to admire the art and beauty of a book’s design. So get over there and share your loved covers!

This week my gorgeous cover is Remembrance by Michelle Madow (July 27th 2011)
Oh how I love masquerades and their masks! This reminds me of some of the gorgeous ones I saw in Venice while I was on holiday... *whimsical sigh* I bet she's got a stunning gown to match! Adoring her silky blonde hair delicate features! :) I grabbed a review copy of this from Michelle and cannot wait to read it!

Summary from Goodreads:
New Hampshire high school junior Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet. Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she seem to get him out of her mind? Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, the pair of them soon find that fighting fate isn't going to be easy.
Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading. 

Do you like looking at other people’s bookshelves?

Absolutely! Not only do I get deathly jealous by their collection, it's a great way to know someone. Do they have the same taste? Are they willing to share? Do they read at all?? Gripping stuff ;) A bookshelf can be the start of a really great friendship... *waves at friends who don't read books* Booooo.
What are you Monday answers? Bookshelf stalker? Cover drooler? Leave me your thoughts and links!

Review: Fury

Title: Fury
Author: Elizabeth Miles
Series: Fury Trilogy #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: August 30th 2011
Source: Simon & Schuster Australia for review

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems.. Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend. On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed. In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay. Em and Chase have been chosen.

Fury surprised me. The plot is absolutely excellent and Elizabeth Miles has managed to create an eerie, yet realistic world where no bad deed goes unpunished… The two main characters, Emily and Chase, initially have separate stories, each facing their own dilemma against a trio of vengeful furies. Chapters are told in alternating points of view and constantly leave us wanting more. The novel evokes strong emotions - fear, excitement, lust, hope? - from readers and is sure to please.

The storylines of Fury are all very intertwined with another, whether you realise it or not. It's so intricate that I can't explain but trust me when I say it will drive you insane. Whether characters are doing frisky things with people who are off-limits, running for their lives or trying to keep a grasp on reality, you'll fly through this book until you reach the end. I enjoyed the conclusion as it is the beginning of a great sequel! Slightly cheeky, slightly dark, a sign of good things to come.

While these elements of the novel are very well done, I can't say that I particularly like any of the characters. Yes, I want them to survive, but would I be deeply upset if they didn't? Probably not... Some shocking things happen in this book (bravo to Miles) and your faithfulness to these characters will really be tested and put on the line! The only character that I truly liked was JD, Emily's nerdy and fashionable friend. He's amazing ;)

I recommend this book to everyone. The plot is very engaging and will have you begging for more. Bring on book two!
Find Elizabeth on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her blog.

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