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!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Summer of Supernatural - Harper Collins

What is The Summer of Supernatural, you ask? Well, it's this amazing thing Harper Collins is doing...perhaps similar to the Dark Days of Supernatural? ;)

It all begins November 1st! All day, exclusive content about the latest paranormal releases will be posted on the Summer of Supernatural Facebook page. So go ahead and give it a like! 

From what I hear, we'll have a constant stream of delicious goodies for a few months! Sneak peeks, trailers, cool countdown timers, competitions......they sound good, right?

On November 1st, all of the first titles to be included in this promotion will be revealed! We'll have access to trailers, special author videos, AN AUTHOR CHAT WITH CLAUDIA GRAY! Yes, you saw that correctly. The woman who wrote the amazing Fateful, which I loved! She also writes the Evernight series - something I've yet to read but...I've heard it has many fans... If you're interested, tune in at 1pm Australian EST to ask her all of your questions! 

Very soon, the information will begin pouring in. So again, like the Facebook page and get ready for an amazing summer! <3 You'll definitely want to be the first to see some of these extras ;) Be sure to spread the word too!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You

Title: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Gallagher Girls #1
Publisher: Hachette
Published: August 7th 2008
Source: Hachette Children's Australia for review

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women lives up to its name. Not only does this exclusive boarding school teach advanced language skills and correct deportment; its students also master the arts of tapping phones, hacking into computers, and spying in public places. At school, second-generation Gallagher Girl Cammie Morgan has impeccable credentials: She is fluent in 14 languages and able to kill an assailant in seven different ways. But recently life has dealt Cammie a card that she never anticipated: She has fallen in love with an ordinary boy who knows nothing about her exotic double life. A truly covert romance.

I deeply regret how long it took me to read this series. Absolutely fabulous is the only way I can describe these books and they honestly exceeded my expectations by a mile! I was under the impression that this novel would simply be about the fun adventures of a teenage spy without a whole lot of substance. Oh, how wrong I was! The characters were loveable and so well developed, the storyline forever exciting and the overall tone of the novel fun, touching and somewhat magical. Whether the characters are attending classes, sneaking out to spy, doing practical exams with amazing teachers or writing reports, I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You is an exhilarating read with no dull moment whatsoever.
I dug in the bottom of my bag and found a very questionable breath mint, and figured that if I was going to die of starvation, I should at least have minty- fresh breath for the benefit of whatever classmate or faculty member would be forced to give me CPR.
Cammie Morgan will be turning sixteen in a month and attends Gallagher Academy where her mother, a retired CIA operative, is the headmistress. She is roommates with her best friends, Elizabeth Sutton and Rebecca Baxter (otherwise known as Liz the Smarty and Bex the Badass), and together they take on everything the world throws at them. Their personalities compliment each other perfectly and it is easy to picture them doing the things they do. When the beautiful Macey McHenry, the daughter of a leading politician, joins their school, sparks fly. While initially seen as a spoilt brat, readers will come to love her when they discover her real personality, lineage and loyalty to her friends. Apart from Cammie herself, Macey is my favourite character. I loved watching her transformation and seeing her learn the ways of being a Gallagher girl.

This first novel is described as Cam's first Covert Operations Report to summarise the events of last semester and mainly focuses on Cam's rendezvous with Josh Abram, an everyday school boy. But you see, everyone is under the impression that the Gallagher Academy is for rich snobs who are too elite to socialise with others, and Cam can't blow her cover as a religious home-schooled girl to dissipate Josh's hatred of her and her friends. The two meet during one of Cam's missions (aka school assessments) and their whirlwind romance, plus a large barrel of lies, spirals from there. Being at a girl's school, Cam and her friends know nothing about boys, what they want and what they mean. Using their spy skills and technology, and with the help of Macey the Boy Speak Translator, they attempt to uncover Josh's feelings for Cam and whether he has ulterior motives. The romance is bittersweet…very bittersweet. While Josh makes Cam feel special and loved, we know that eventually the secrets will come pouring out and nothing can stop that train wreck.

I've always been a sucker for star-crossed lovers, spies and exciting adventures, so it was a no-brainer that I loved this book. A few tears may be shed at the end of this book, either because of the content or the finishing of a great read, and it will be all you can do to get your hands on the sequel.
A whopper name - seriously! Who's read this series? Great, isn't it! :) Absolutely addictive! I read all four books in a day....
Which cover is your favourite? I personally love the UK covers (far right), but the Australian books (middle) have gorgeous colourful spines!

Find Ally on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy ITYILYBTIHTKY from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Why Do I Fancy Books?

Well, how can you not fancy books?! I'm a YA reader, obviously, but so many sub-genres stem off from that. I'll read just about any YA book because they're all fantastic and can do what? *cups hand to ear* That's right! Transport us to another place with other people who are in the middle of some monumental events in their lives!

Sometimes you'll read something and it'll be just so-so. No big deal. But then you come across amazing books like Shatter Me or Forbidden and they'll blow your mind! They'll have you thinking about them for hours and hours (or….weeks, in my case) and will really stay with you forever.

Words are so powerful. Yes, they're just shapes and sounds, but they can affect us in significant ways and, on a larger scale, change the world and how we view things. Books are absolutely amazing and I don't know where I'd be without them!

Yes, I only became an "avid reader" this year but it's been a magical journey. It feels as if I only began my blog last week but time has seriously flown by, with tons of amazing releases I've had the privilege of reading. YA is at it's prime now and we are super super lucky to be alive for it! <3

Saturday, October 29, 2011

In My Mailbox: 29/10/11

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!

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
How can you not love this? Seriously! It sounds amazing. Huge thanks to Scholastic Australia! I'm tossing up between this and All These Things I've Done to read tonight... *bites nails* I want to read both! Now!

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
Gosh guys, I hearted this hard. Last night after finishing Forbidden at around 11pm....I began reading Epic Fail at midnight....and finished the book a while after 2am. I wish the book had been longer. I could definitely have read about more adorable Derek and Elise! <3 Thank you Harper Collins Australia!

Another book sent to me by Scholastic! Seriously...time travel?! So there! Sounds like another great read I can't wait to sink my teeth into!

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
Yes, ANOTHER Scholastic title. I'm really excited to read this! I've been meaning to read The Maze Runner for a long time now and what better time to start? ;) Exciting action is ahead...

Borrowing Abby Grace (Episode 1 & Episode 2) by Kelly Green
The lovely Kelly sent me an email the other day asking if I'd review her series... Nancy Drew-like? Kidnappings? Mysteries? Typical high school life? Yes please! These books are released in "episodes" and the first two are out already, with the third coming out in late November. These look good! ;)

What's in your mailbox? :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: Virtuosity

Title: Virtuosity
Author: Jessica Martinez
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: November 1st 2011
Source: Simon & Schuster Australia for review

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. Two weeks before the most important violin competition of her career, she has bigger things to worry about—like growing out of that suffocating “child prodigy” label, and not disappointing her mother. But it isn’t just the wrong time. It’s the wrong guy. Jeremy is Carmen’s most talented rival, and according to her mother, he’s only interested in one thing: winning. He isn’t the only one. Carmen is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to control performance nerves. But what started a year ago as an easy fix is now a hungry addiction. Her mother insists now is not the time to quit, but Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of doing what she’s told. When the darker side of the classical music industry and her mother's ambition collide, Carmen must choose between her career and her love for music.

Calling all music lovers! Virtuosity brings alive the passionate love a person can have for music and the things they sometimes they have to sacrifice in order to pursue it. The novel starts with an absolutely bang, right at the climax of the novel where Carmen is about to make the most important decision of her life, one that could devastate her musical career forever. From then on, Carmen grows infinitely as a character as relationships are tested and stretched to limits, and as she learns that life is usually unfair. Virtuosity is a great read that I recommend to anyone who has a strong love for anything!

This novel will bring about quite a few laughs. Carmen is a one of the best violinists in the whole world and her exciting adventure begins one night when she decides to stalk Jeremy King, the only person standing in her way of winning the Guarneri competition. It comes around only once every four years and is the most prestigious title in the world, the winner taking home prize money, a priceless violin and the chance to play with some of the best symphonies in the world. Carmen and Jeremy immediately click, although she is very reluctant to get chummy with the enemy. Virtuosity deals with Carmen's struggles leading up to the competition, while she battles the fear that she's only being used. Are Jeremy's feelings real? Is he buttering her up so that she'll let him win? Is he planning to break her heart and mind? Readers are left in darkness and must wait until the end to find out! Oh how my heart broke for Carmen. Along with her conflicting feelings for Jeremy, she attempts to come off her anxiety pills with the competition looming just around the corner and her controlling mother doesn't believe that she can win without them. This novel is packed with raw emotion and compelling plot that you'll love.

Jeremy and Carmen's relationship begins quite suddenly and quickly. Usually this insta-love would annoy me but it suitably adds to the mystery of his motives, and despite the worry about the genuineness of his feelings, I really liked their relationship! Jeremy helps bring Carmen out of her shell and her innocence is a beautiful contrast to his cocky confidence. I think the events leading up to and after the climax will really shock you. I thought I had the story figured out but was I wrong! Tension and betrayal…who's to blame?

Virtuosity teaches us lessons about believing in ourselves, doing what's right and ultimately growing to be stronger people who persevere no matter how difficult the task. The ending is so fitting and I love Martinez for not taking the easy way out. We're left with a sense of hope that what's to come in the future will be good. A really great story that'll ring strong with music lovers!
Who plays/has played an instrument? I used to play the clarinet and a little bit of piano.. It was fun! I didn't become a muso like Carmen but it was definitely something that gave me peace ;) I couldn't stop listening to violin music on Youtube while I was reading this - it really added to the atmosphere!

Which cover do you prefer?

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

Hot News: Hunger Games, Hourglass, Forgotten and More!

So many exciting things have happened/been announced recently!

Firstly, check out the cover of Surrender by Elana Johnson! Very pretty! While I wasn't a huge fan of the first book, the second does sound intriguing... Ooh, the theories are spinning already! Are you excited about this book?
Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control… Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi. All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque....

Ah, the lovely Forgotten by Cat Patrick! Who was shocked when Cat announced that it would be a stand-alone? *raises hand* WELL, before we had the lovely Hailee Steinfield picked out to play London and now we have a screenwriter for the film! Check out the report here ;) Will you go and watch this in the cinema? I think the story will be fantastic on the big screen! Besides, Hailee's gorgeous and has won/been nominated for a lot of awards! London's in good hands ;)

Hourglass by Myra McEntire has been optioned by 20th Century Fox! Another book that would be great as a film! I'll be reading this very very soon and I can't wait! It sounds absolutely wonderful and most people seemed to enjoy it ;) The ARC cover for Timepiece was also leaked this week. Gorgeous though, right? I'm loving it and if this isn't even the final! Which is your favourite?

Fabulous character posters from The Hunger Games have been released! Are you loving them? I am delighted that Peeta's hair is blond! Much better than that brown he was sporting before! ;) Click for larger HQ versions! Which is your favourite? Peeta, Katniss, Gale, Rue, Cato, Effie, Haymitch or Cinna?

Want the countdown for Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout? Grab it here! I'm so excited for this book - are you? Half Blood was fabulous and I'm so glad everyone else finally has the chance to read it! It was a long wait from ARC distribution to now!

Have you read Tera Lynn Child's Sweet Venom? Or perhaps her Fins series? Well, she's just announced today that there will be a third Fins book! I'm really glad to hear this :) Next month I'll basically be marathoning her books! Sweet Venom, Fins series, Gods series... *nods* Really looking forward to it! What did you think of her books? :)

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand is being developed by the CW! Yes, the guys who make The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, etc. The awesome ones. The script is currently being written - let's hope this gets made! It would do well as a series, I think! Lots of story to tell :) Looking forward to it?

Kim Harrington has gone a little mad and made these crazy pictures of herself!

If you want to join her...add your face to Clarity or to Perception! Are we excited about Perception? I am! Loved the first book ;)

Oh, and Harper Collins has launched a new Facebook page! Check out the Summer of Supernatural! It all begins November 1st ;)

What's made your day?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Carrier of the Mark

Title: Carrier of the Mark
Author: Leigh Fallon
Series: Carrier Trilogy #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: October 11th 2011
Source: Harper Collins Australia for review

Their love was meant to be. When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRís. But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

Carrier of the Mark is simply amazing. It's been a long time since I've read a novel with explosive romance, brilliant mythology, a whole cast of fantastic supporting characters and nail-biting suspense. I could shout praises all day long! Alas, I must control myself...... Megan Rosenberg and her father move every year, but something about Ireland just feels right, like maybe it's where they're meant to stay for good. On the first day of school, Megan is inexplicably attracted to Adam DeRís, despite the warnings from her friends to stay away. The Derís family have a reputation for being stuck up and caught up in the world of witchcraft... True? False? You're in for a nice surprise!

Adam and Meg…all I can say is WOW. Their love is intense, consuming, earth-shattering and meant-to-be. Fireworks are exploding everywhere here! Yes, they're drawn to each other immediately. Yes, they fall in love as they prepare for a huge paranormal battle. No, it is not like Twilight! Fallon is a magnificent writer and fully immerses her readers in the realistic world she's created. The romance is forever, but not cheesy or overdone. I dove in head-first and devoured every little "I love you" like it was water and I was dying of thirst. Throughout the book, my heart threatened to jump out of my chest because the romance isn't on a constant high, but is met with barriers and devastating revelations - not just between Adam and Meg, but their friends and family too! Even if you're not a romance fan…there are plenty of other things to love about this novel.

Usually when you have two amazing lead characters everyone else blends into the background, but you will love Adam's family, Meg's friends (and their cute boyfriends) and Meg's father. It's not everyday that you see a young adult character with a great relationship with her dad! What they have is sweet and trusting and will have you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside in no time! All of the characters will plaster a smile across your face with their humour and friendliness - oh, these Irish folks are so lovely!

So many things are revealed and turned onto their heads in Carrier of the Mark, which is why I haven't gone into the plot. It's all part of the mysterious allure! It's exciting and unique, and you'll have a lot of fun exploring…"things". The beautiful scenery of Ireland plus the magical element of this story is so engaging and will quickly have you falling in love! It doesn't get much better than this. I guess I should stop fangirling now and just let you read the book. Do it now, before I send evil villains after you!
Maybe I was in a serious romance mood? Who knows! I loved this book. That is all.

Find Leigh on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy Carrier of the Mark from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Waiting on Wednesday: 26/10/11

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.

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
 Released June 2012

When foster teen Jane Williams is invited to attend elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls and escape her violent urban neighborhood, she thinks the offer is too good to be true. She's even offered her own living quarters, the groundskeeper's cottage in the center of the birch grove. Something's not quite right about the school -- or is it Jane? She thinks she sees things in the birch grove at night. She's also beginning to suspect that the elegant headmistress and her sons are hiding secrets. Lucky is the gorgeous, golden son who is especially attentive to Jane, and Jack is the sardonic puzzling brother. The school with its talented teachers and bright students is a dream for a science and math geek like Jane. She also loves her new friends, including hilarious poetry-spouting rich girl, Mary Violet. But the longer Jane stays at Birch Grove, the more questions she has about the disappearance of another scholarship girl and a missing faculty member. Jane discovers one secret about Birch Grove, which only leads to more mysteries. What is she willing to sacrifice in order to stay at this school...and be bound to Birch Grove forever?

Oh this book honestly sounds so exciting! Fancy schools? Suspicious activity? Puzzling love interests? Ooh, my type of read! Are we all looking forward to this? ;)

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: 25/10/11

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! 

So apparently I don't give two-sentence teasers anymore! I just had to give you a whole paragraph... This little Magpie demon (who's programmed to like glittery, shiny things) is adorable!
It rapped on the side of the container and pointed at the bag with a concerned expression. She understood. It would be like someone making off with her favorite lip gloss.
“Okay, Flash, here you go.” Unscrewing the top, she carefully dropped the bag inside, then tightly resealed the lid. The Magpie promptly pulled out a shiny penny and someone’s tie tack. Those earned her a grateful demon smile. It curled around the treasure and fell asleep.
I'm enjoying Forsaken (aka The Demon Trapper's Daughter) by Jana Oliver! Not addicted yet but that's probably because I've been a busy worry-wart all week! I'll be back in my groove in a fortnight when hell ends ;) I think I'll really like this series!

What's your teaser this week?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: After Obsession

Title: After Obsession
Author: Carrier Jones and Steven E. Wedel
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: October 1st 2011
Source: Bloomsbury Australia for review

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.

After Obsession is a creepy supernatural read with some truly chilling moments - don't read it at night! If you're looking for a nice blend of romance and supernatural thriller, this is the book for you! Aimee Avery and Alan Parson alternate as narrators as they both deal with the consequences of a suspicious drowning. Courtney, Aimee's best friend and Alan's cousin, has summoned a ruthless demon in her attempts to bring back her dead father. Will she make it out alive? Why is this demon so focused on Maine?

As Courtney begins displaying the symptoms of possession, the people in her life begin to behave strangely. Take Aimee's usually sweet boyfriend, Blake, for example. He becomes jealous, cruel and violent after the arrival of Native American, Alan, going to frightening lengths to keep her in his life. Everyone around Courtney has elevated levels of sadness and aggression, and it's not long before the whole town is poisoned by the demon's presence. I really enjoyed seeing Aimee and Alan work together to solve the mystery of the demon! We discover that it's been around for a while and has been involved in many other deaths….all very alarming stuff! The demon taunts, terrorises and plays with our minds, and we're constantly thrown for a loop as the unexpected keeps occurring. Both Aimee and Alan have their own unique supernatural abilities so anything is possible!
Mom, I promised to behave. It wasn't easy. I mean, she couldn't help herself. She was all over this hunk of Navajo manhood, and I had to keep telling her I promised not to let her violate me. Eventually she wore herself out and fell asleep.
While After Obsession has its creepy moments, it has its fair share of sweet and funny ones too! Aimee's always witty and Alan's the cheeky type, so we've got endless entertainment. Their relationship blossoms slowly as they go from acquaintances, to friends and finally to lovers. Although I liked seeing how their relationship grew, I didn't find their romance mind-blowing. This was probably due to my difficulty of connecting with the characters on a personal level. I followed their lives but didn't get sucked in and emotionally invested like I usually do, which is a shame! I think the character development was sacrificed a little for the plot, but the novel is still enjoyable. There are precious moments between the main characters, their friends, siblings, parents and other family members which are sweet and should put a smile on your face!
So, I take the pen out and hold it up and he's still like, "I need a pen. Anyone got a pen?" And I'm waving my pen in front of his face now, because I'm super annoyed that he's ignoring me, and I'm thinking, What? Is my pen not good enough for you, Justin Willis?
If you're in for something a little different, definitely give this book a try! We're able to explore ancient myths, American Indian history and more. Alan brings something unique to the story with his background and I think you'll enjoy it! I didn't realise that two authors co-wrote this book until the acknowledgements page (I know, I'm SO observant) but they worked so well together, I didn't notice the switches at all! After Obsession is sure to please thriller/supernatural fans.
Who's read this? Thoughts? Team Alan? Team Blake? Team Aimee? ;)

Find Carrie on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
Buy After Obsession from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox: 23/10/11

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!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi I even need to say it? This book is absolutely amazing. Maybe my favourite book of 2011. Exciting plot plus drool-worthy characters... Winning combination! Big thanks to Allen & Unwin. You've made my year!

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Loved this too! I fell head over heels in love with all of the characters. So excited for the sequel! Thanks to Harper Collins Australia!

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
Another great read. I loved the music, the characters, the unexpectedly-twist-y plot.... Definitely something to pick up! Thanks Simon & Schuster Australia! Don't know whether I like this cover or the US one more!

Forsaken & Forbidden by Jana Oliver
I've been meaning to read these for a while now! Got these from Pan Macmillan Australia, and have started to read! Main character seems quirky...we'll have to see about the love interest ;) Good so far! 

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Thanks to Pan Macmillan again! Really excited to read this book. The plot sounds great! Oh how I love crime families <3

Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey
I can't wait to begin the series! I received this from Bloomsbury Australia and will have get my hands on the other books soon! Sounds like a great series a lot of people like.

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
I've wanted to read this for a very long time now - lookie what appeared on Net Galley! Luckily, it's being released again in America so I've got the chance to check it out ;) Sounds absolutely wonderful!

What's in your mailbox? How do these books sound?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Beautiful Days

Title: Beautiful Days
Author: Anna Godbersen
Series: Bright Young Things #2
Publisher: Penguin
Published: August 24th 2011
Source: Penguin Australia for review

For the bright young things of 1929, the beautiful days seem endless, filled with romance and heartbreak, adventure and intrigue, friendship and rivalry. After a month in New York, Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur are small-town girls no longer. They spend their afternoons with Astrid Donal at the Greys’ lush Long Island estate and their nights in Manhattan’s bustling metropolis. But Letty’s not content to be a mere socialite. She is ready at last to chase her Broadway dreams—no matter the cost. Cordelia is still reeling from the death of her father at the hands of Thom Hale, the man she thought she loved. Now she is set to honor Darius Grey’s legacy . . . and take her revenge. Promised to Cordelia’s half brother, Astrid is caught up in a world of dazzling jewels and glittering nights—and the sparkle is blinding. Charlie Grey is a gangster playing a dangerous game; and for Astrid, Cordelia, and Letty, the stakes could be deadly.

After the luxurious first novel of the series, things begin to heat up and become deadly serious in Beautiful Days. With family wars, speakeasy openings and relationship problems, there is never a dull moment and this novel will definitely impress, whether or not you liked the first!

I hardly want to spoil anything for you because so many intriguing things happen that will send you into a tailspin. As always, Godbersen transports us into the wonderful 20th century and shows us the real world of that time. If you've read Bright Young Things, you know that the different relationships are plentiful. Each and every one develops more in this book and provides that extra little bit of mystery. How exactly will things end for our three starlets? Will they get everything they wanted? Less? More? Something they never expected? Oh, at times I felt like crying and at others, squealing, but what did you expect? These characters grow greatly and will have affected you by the end! I can't pick a favourite.

While the first book concentrated more on the friendships and growth of the girls, Beautiful Days is action-packed and much more exciting. If you love deception, high-speed car chases and kidnappings mixed amongst your romance, this is the book for you! I absolutely loved the conclusion of this series. It was perfect and made me feel like reading the last few chapters over and over. A sense of contentment and complete fulfilment will wash over you as you bathe in the happiness of Letty, Cordelia and Astrid. Three girls with wild dreams have finally grabbed onto their desires and have no plans to let go. A sensational novel!
Who's read the Luxe series? Good?

Find Anna on Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy Beautiful Days from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review: Bright Young Things

Title: Bright Young Things
Author: Anna Godbersen
Series: Bright Young Things #1
Publisher: Penguin
Published: October 12th 2010
Source: Penguin Australia for review

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star... Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for...and someone will. The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

With an air of sophistication and grandeur, a mysterious narrator firstly prepares readers for a tale about three young girls. Each have a different dream: one wishes to become famous, one wishes to be married and one wishes to find her family. In the lush 1920's, the roles of women were changing and Bright Young Things is a magnificent telling of the difficult journey three friends take to make something of themselves in the real world.

On the night after her unwanted wedding, Cordelia Grey and her friend, Letty Larkspur, take a one-way train to the glamorous New York to live the lives they've always dreamed of. In their hometown, the narrow-minded townsfolk don't appreciate Letty's femininity or Cordelia's boldness, expecting women to be practical and behaving. Already in New York is Astrid Donal, the socialite girlfriend of Charlie Grey. While Cordelia and Letty begin their stay in New York together, some misunderstandings lead to their separation before fate steps in and intertwines all of their worlds. I absolutely loved that they were all connected in some way! The trio hit their absolute highs together, and their lows, and together climb back onto their feet to triumph once again. This is truly a rollercoaster ride!

The best thing about Bright Young Things is the relationships between the girls, their families, friends and beaus. There is no question in my mind that they carry the story and keep readers invested from beginning to end. Some relationships will have you giggling like a lovesick schoolgirl, some will have you weeping and some will have you fuming while others are simply comforting with their warmth. Mysteries and adventures are littered throughout this novel and you'll really enjoy exploring the scandals, highlights and lowlights of their lives.

If you wish to enjoy an authentic frolic in the fascinating Jazz Era, Godbersen's classy novel will have you roaring with joy. These ambitious girls will worm their ways into your heart and have you invested in the stories they tell. Overall, these well thought out plots and characters will make for an enjoyable read. Be prepared for a wowing sequel!
Find Anna on Goodreads, Facebook and her website.
Buy Bright Young Things from Amazon, The Book Depository and Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: 19/10/11

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.

Above by Leah Bobet
Released April 1st 2012

Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee's wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above--like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers. But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe's history and the shadows' attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home--not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before.

The Night She Disappeared by April Henry
Released April 10th 2012

Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Released June 12th 2012

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

Underground cities? Kidnapping attempts? Killer mermaids? Unexpected love? I'M THERE! Really excited to read all three of these books! I hope Australian rights get snatched up soon :)

What are you waiting on this fine Wednesday?
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