Thursday, 23 October 2014

Review: Amazon Burning by Victoria Griffith

Bookish Details:
Pages: 279
Publisher: Astor & Blue
Release Date: November 7th 2014 (Paperback)
Buy it From: Amazon - B&N

Synopsis:

When 22-year-old aspiring journalist, Emma Cohen, is forced to flee the comforts of her NYU student life, she maneuvers an internship from her father at his newspaper in Rio de Janeiro. There, Emma is immediately swept into a major news story--and a life-threatening situation--when a famous jungle environmentalist, Milton Silva, is mysteriously murdered. Emma must now enter the Amazon rainforest with her father to investigate; both awed by the enormity and beauty of the Amazon, and appalled by its reckless destruction. Not only will Emma have to brave the primal world of the Amazon, she must fight to survive the kidnappers, villains, corrupt activists, and indigenous tribes that lay in wait along the ever-twisting trail of the murder case. Stretched to the brink, it s up to Emma, her father and the dreamy news photographer, Jimmy, to unravel the mystery and live to tell the tale. Amazon Burning by Victoria Griffith is a spectacular debut Young Adult novel. Griffith's powerful rendering of the Amazon rainforest forms the perfect, wildly exotic backdrop for this extraordinary tale of a young urban woman coming of age in the midst of intense conflict.

My Review:
First things first, I love the Amazon Jungle. I’ve even written a few essays about Indigenous people. And of all the years I’ve been reviewing books, I’ve never once been asked to review one set in the Amazon Jungle. So needless to say, I was really happy when this arrived in my inbox.

The plot for this story is unique and intriguing. And, of course, the setting was one of the highlights for me. There’s a murder mystery going on amongst a ton of action and romance, so there's plenty to keep readers entertained. There are also quite a few darker elements to this story, which I really enjoyed.

The characters were fantastic. I do wish we’d seen a little more of Emma’s father though, because I found him interesting and thought he had more potential. Emma herself was a wonderfully strong character. I loved her view of the Amazon and her passion to tell the world her stories from her time there. Jimmy was equally as great. He struck me as kind-hearted and streetwise. You'd feel safer travelling with him!

My favourite parts of this book had to be the scenes set within the Amazon itself. The culture was utterly compelling. The descriptions of the tribes and their way of life were fascinating and well researched. I like a book that lets you learn something from it, and I think this story will definitely get its readers thinking.

What didn’t work for me in this book was the romance. I liked both Emma and Jimmy, but the romance, for me, just didn’t have that spark that I felt it would. I wasn’t drawn in by it, and I wasn’t rooting for them to finally be together. I don’t know why, but it wasn’t as exciting for me as I’d hoped.  But as I said, I liked both of the characters.

I must admit, Jimmy’s story felt a little unresolved at the end of the book. Since his past as a doctor was brought up quite a few times, I expected some sort of conclusion from it. I know he explained why he gave up working as a doctor, but I still felt like it was all building up to something else, like maybe he’d put it behind him and try and get back into it?

As I see this blog as a place purely for YA reviews, I do feel the need to point out that this book feels more like a New Adult novel to me, rather than YA. The themes are more mature and the romance scenes are quite full-on. Just a heads up to any younger readers!

Overall, I’m happy I had the chance to read a story set outside of the usual locations. The way of life in a different part of the world definitely added the intriguing spark within this book. If you want to try something a little different, this story might just be one for you. 

Royal Rating:













Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Trailer Reveal: Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross

6 Days Teaser


We are so excited to bring you the Trailer Reveal for Julie Cross' WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU! WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU is a YA contemporary romance published by Entangled Teen, and is releasing on October 7th!!



Whatever Life Throws at You


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmfG4ZOv_rQ


About WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU:
Life loves a good curveball…

Seventeen-year-old Annie Lucas is too young to remember her dad’s glory days as a pitcher for the Yankees. So when her father is offered a coaching position with the Kansas City Royals, Annie is intrigued to see the baseball side of her dad. Of course, knowing he’ll be a mentor to hot young rookie pitcher, Jason Brody, certainly makes it more enticing.

After an awkward first meeting with “Brody” involving very little clothing and a much-too-personal locker room interview, Annie’s convinced she knows Brody’s type: arrogant, self-involved, bossy. As her dad grows closer to the pitching phenom, the friction between Brody and Annie increases. But when opening day arrives and it looks like both her dad and Brody may lose their dream jobs, Annie steps up and offers support. She and Brody call a truce that grows into friendship—and beyond. Falling for a rising star who’s quickly reaching a level that involves rabid female fans is not what Annie would call smart, except suddenly she’s getting hints that maybe this crush isn’t one-sided after all. Could someone like Brody actually fall for a girl like her?



Julie Cross Author PhotoJulie Cross Bio:

Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast and longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former gymnastics program director with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credentials, Julie is a committed—but not talented—long-distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar-weather survivor, and expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym-shoe addict.






Friday, 26 September 2014

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Bookish Details:
Pages: 421
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: January 1st 2011

Synopsis:

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...

My Review:
I have no idea why it took me so long to read Bloodlines, I really don’t. I adored Vampire Academy, and one of the things I loved most about the series was Adrian, so I should have jumped on this series straight away, but I didn’t. It had been lying on my bookshelf, looking up at me with puppy dog eyes for so long that I finally took pity and picked it up. And God, I wish I’d done it sooner.

Even though I already loved Adrian and Sydney, I had a sinking feeling that I just wasn’t going to like Bloodlines as much, and it was only going to make me want to go back and re-read Vampire Academy again. It didn’t. Sydney is a much stronger character in a series of her own. I had doubts about whether she’d be interesting enough for me to continue with the series, but I was totally surprised.

What’s also great is that romance isn’t the main plot in this first book. It’s very much about Sydney being taken out of her comfort zone and her reactions to it all. I have no doubt that a romantic plot will feature later in this series, but for the first book, I love that we’re simply getting the chance to get to know the characters separately without them being thrown into relationships. I think it’s pretty obvious as to whom the romance will eventually revolve around, but we’re being treated to a better build up towards it. You’ll find no ‘love at first sight’ stories here.

I liked having a new and interesting plot, but with the familiarity of the wonderful world that Mead created in Vampire Academy.  I also loved Jill and Eddie being included in the story. I really liked the two of them in the original series, so I was glad to see the again. I love how the secondary characters from the VA books have been given a chance to shine on their own in this series.

The plot was really intriguing. It started out quite slowly at first, with little hints of something more sinister being at work. I liked the build up towards the bigger problems in the story. It kept me guessing. There are also plenty of questions left to be further explored in the series. And then there was the last line. That really made me excited to read the second book.

So overall, I’m excited to continue with this series, and I am definitely kicking myself for not picking it up much sooner. 

Royal Rating:



Sunday, 21 September 2014

Blog Update!

Hi guys!

As you can see, the blog has been a little empty lately! I had a bunch of reviews planned for last week, but I had quite an unlucky few days and ended up being ill for most of the past week. But I'm back to myself again now and ready to get back to blogging! This update is mainly to let authors know that I am now once again accepting review requests for eBooks. Please check out my review policy for more details.





Wednesday, 20 August 2014

REVIEW: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Bookish Details:
Pages: 422
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: August 7th 2014
Source: Sent from publisher
Buy it From: Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control...

My Review:
Sometimes, I get so sucked into fantasy worlds and paranormal stories, that I forget good contemporary novels exist. And then I pick one up, and can’t put it down for two days straight, reminding me just how much I’ve missed them. This was that book for me, the book that reminded me that the woes of a junior in high school can still make an exciting and dramatic story.

Lara Jean writes a love letter to every boy she’s ever loved. She doesn’t do it in the hopes of them reading it and returning her feelings. She doesn’t write them with intention of the boys in question ever reading them. She writes the letters purely for herself, to help her get over her feelings. She pours her heart out onto the paper, before folding it away. It’s her own way of getting over the boys she loves. But then her letters get sent out to those boys.

I have to say, I was immediately intrigued by the concept. It’s such an awesome idea for a story! But this book isn’t all about the complicated boy issues that stem from the letters being sent. It also has a strong family element running throughout. It shows the realistic relationship between Lara Jean and her older sister Margot, who moves away to college in Scotland. Being an older sister myself, I could relate to the strains that appeared in their relationship.

Lara Jean is also a relatable character throughout the story. Yes, she’s a little naive, but that’s what I love about her character. I enjoyed reading her progression and how she learnt to deal with the situations that are being thrown at her. Before the letters are sent out, she’d never had to come clean about her feelings with a guy before. Seeing her finally face up to that was touching to read.

I loved Kitty, the youngest sister of the family. She made the story a little more entertaining at times. Again, the older sister in me couldn’t help but relate to Lara Jean’s relationship with Kitty. Even though she’s the youngest, her advice appears to be the wisest at times, and it’s adorable.

And then there are the guys who the letters were about, the main two being Josh and Peter. Josh was Margot’s boyfriend, which instantly makes the whole ‘love letter’ dilemma a little more dramatic and embarrassing for Lara Jean. Josh is a close friend to her, and had no idea of her feelings towards him, so it sends their friendship hurtling into complications.

Peter, however, is the complete opposite to Josh. He was Lara Jean’s first kiss, but now he is one of the most popular guys in school, and has an over-controlling ex girlfriend. I knew I was going to like Peter more and more as the story went on. I liked seeing the popular, cool guy soften down a little, and show a bit more of his real personality. Although the boys are completely different, I loved them both. It was easy to understand why Lara Jean had feelings for the two of them in the first place.

This is a touching story, with adorably quirky characters to love. Jenny Han has a wonderfully entertaining writing style that’s easy to read. If you want a cute, relaxing summer read, this is the next book you should pick up.

Royal Rating:





Saturday, 2 August 2014

Just a Heads Up

Hey guys!

Hope you're all having a fantastic summer so far! I just wanted to let you all know that I'm taking a week away from books to take part in a charity scavenger hunt for the next seven days. I will get back to blogging after August 10th. I have loads of reviews planned for the next month, including my review of City of Heavenly Fire, which took me forever to write because I couldn't put it into words!

Have a great week, and I'll speak to you guys soon!





Saturday, 19 July 2014

Book Blitz: Winter Angel by Mia Hoddell!



Winter Angel
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA Romance
Release date: 25th June 2014
Length: Novella

Blurb:

She was on holiday. He was tricked into returning.
Neither of them wanted to be there, but neither could avoid it.

Amy wants to be back under the sun in Portugal. However, when her suggestion is overruled in favour of a skiing holiday, even she can't turn it down. What she couldn't have predicted is that the holiday could make her break the one, and only, rule she has: not to get into a serious relationship again.

When Amy first sees Luke, she knows something is wrong. He's struggling to cope with everything and her need to help people makes him the perfect distraction from the cold. He hasn't been to the Alps in five years and he swore to never ski again. But as his defences are broken by Amy's persistence, the winter paradise begins to reawaken his desires.

However, with constant flashbacks triggering his anxiety, he's torn, battling conflicting emotions as he becomes increasingly captivated by Amy. She has a rule though. She didn't go on holiday to fall for someone and the last thing she needs is to ignore her own advice. Whether or not she can move past her insecurities will depend on whether Luke can face his biggest fear.

Winter Angel is a standalone, young adult romance novella, but is the second book in the Seasons of Change series.

Download in now for FREE!
Only free 19th & 20th of July

Add to Goodreads

You can also download Summer Demons: the
first, bestselling, standalone novella in the Seasons of Change series for
99c / 77p.

Excerpt
White. Gazing out of the small, circular window, it
was the only colour he could see surrounding him. The bursts of light—which had
broken through the heavy, grey clouds—were reflected back as the ground grew
closer with each passing second. Not too long ago he had been blissfully
unaware of the location his sister was dragging him to for a holiday. A bubble
of excitement had surrounded him throughout the early morning as he got up, and
stayed with him through travelling to the airport and catching the flight. However,
it had burst as soon as the icy tips of the mountains appeared and the plane
began its descent. Until that moment, he had hoped his guesses had been wrong.
His sister had carefully planned
the trip, making sure to hide all clues as to where they were heading, and as
she glanced across at him, it seemed as if she had been successful. Luke’s
knuckles were white on the arm rests. He had claimed both of them, gripping
them so hard they looked like they would snap under the force, or at least be
moulded to the shape of his hands when he removed them.
Ellie watched as he took in a
shaky breath, but she heard no exhale.
“Luke?”
The silence that filled the space
around them was icier than the Alps they had just flown over. Her brother’s
gaze remained fixed on the window, watching as the ground, and his fate, drew
ever closer. Deep, ragged breaths steamed up the window, which was almost
touching his nose. Desperately, he tried to control the tremors shaking his
body, and his pounding heart, from the fear that washed over him in waves.
“Luke, please, say something.”
Worry had crept into Ellie’s tone. She had thought her idea would do him good,
that forcing him to face everything would turn him back into his old self.
Ellie missed the brother she had grown up with and wanted him back. However,
seeing his eyes wide with fear, his jaw clenched in anger, and his arms tense
with both, suddenly she wasn’t so sure about her plan.
“You promised, Ellie. You swore
you wouldn’t pressure me, and I trusted you with that. You know how I feel
about this.” His voice was sharp and curt as he spoke through clenched teeth,
trying to keep a hold on his emotions.
The urge to flee surged within
him. He wanted to go home, to get off the plane and board the next flight
straight back to England, but he couldn’t. Not only was the plane still minutes
from landing—trapping him in the confines of economy class, which felt even
smaller as realisation forced him to understand Ellie’s plans—but he also
refused to waste more money on the pointless trip Ellie had conned him into
taking. If he was going to use the money he had earned from before everything
changed, it would be on his own terms.
“You’ll enjoy it when you’re
there,” Ellie stated, brushing off his comments like they meant nothing to her.
“That’s easy for you to say. You
don’t have to live with, or through, what I have.” Luke was trying hard to
control his voice. Had they been in private, he would have already been
shouting. The cramped environment meant that Ellie was getting off lightly, but
he swore that when they reached their chalet, he would not hold back. She had
no right to interfere with his life.
“Never tell me I didn’t live
through it, Luke. I was there when it happened, in the hospital, and when you
got home. I was there through it all. It may not have been me, but it wasn’t
like it had no effect on my life,” Ellie hissed. It was the only way she could
convey her anger without disturbing other passengers.
“Why though, Ellie? Why is this
such a big deal to you?” Luke’s eyes were full of sorrow as he turned to face
his sister for the first time, begging to understand her reasoning for putting
him through something she knew would hurt him.


About the Author
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything paranormal and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of
the morning.

With three poems published before the age of sixteen, Mia moved on to short stories but finding she had too much to tell with too little space, Mia progressed to novels. She started her first series (The Wanderer Trilogy) at the age of fourteen and since then hasn’t stopped writing. Elemental Killers is her second series and with an ever growing list of ideas, Mia is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination
generates them.

Connect with Mia:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+ | Amazon Author Page

or subscribe to Mia's Newsletter for information on:

 ARCs, giveaways and new releases




Saturday, 12 July 2014

An Evening With Rainbow Rowell!

Hey, everyone! So yesterday, I was lucky enough to attend an evening with the fabulous Rainbow Rowell in Liverpool. It was a sold out event, so I was glad I managed to get my ticket back in May! 

The place was already crowded when I arrived half an hour early. Rainbow is definitely one popular lady. I was a few rows away from the front, though, so I had a good view!

Rainbow started the event by showing us the gorgeous heeled shoes she was actually planning to wear for the evening, but couldn’t because she’d hurt her ankle! The shoes were totally cute, so I could understand the disappointment.

She then went on to talk a little bit about her books and how she was supposed to write Landline before Fangirl, but decided to switch it around. We were then treated to a reading of a scene from Fangirl.

Then the Q&A got underway and we learnt a lot about Rainbow’s book and how she came to write novels after being a journalist for many years. We also discovered that she’d like nothing more than to right a screenplay for Benedict Cumberbatch to play a romantic role!

After the questions, we were than allowed to go and get our books signed. It was lovely to meet Rainbow, she was so fun! She told me she loved my outfit and I was stupidly happy.   



It was an amazing evening and since Fangirl is one of my favourite reads in a long time, I was thrilled to get my copy signed! Rainbow is wonderful and made for a greatly entertaining evening. If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of her events, definitely do so! You won’t regret it. 

Have a great weekend!





Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Review: Kissed by Kimberly Loth

Bookish Details:
Series: The Thorn Chronicles #1
Pages: 250, Kindle Edition
Release Date: April 21st 2014
Source: Provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
Buy it From: Amazon UK - Amazon.com

Synopsis:

Trapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks. With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father.

Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses. Kisses that bring her a supernatural strength she never knew she had. As the big day approaches, Naomi unearths more secrets of about her father’s cult. She learns she has power of her own and while Kai may have awakened that power, Naomi must find a way to use it to escape Dwayne and her father—without destroying herself.

My Review:
Within the first few pages of this book, I was completely intrigued by Naomi and her story. Although it appeared her parents were some sort of religious fanatics, I knew there was so much more to it than that. I found the scenes with her father very disturbing and, at times, difficult to read. I desperately wanted her to find an escape from the nightmare she was living. It was quite confusing at first, and I didn’t really understand what was going on, or why her home life was the way it was, but it compelled me to continue reading and find out.

Kai was an interesting aspect of the first few chapters of the story. I figured that he was going to be a love interest, and I liked how he was helping Naomi, but I just didn’t know what to think of him. I also didn’t know whether or not to fully trust him, even when he was helping Naomi get to safety.

The story really took off for me when Naomi went to Vegas and met up with Ginny. I loved the setting and all of the exciting new characters that were introduced. It was entertaining to read Naomi entering this brand new world, and begin to experience ‘normal’ things that she’d never been able to do before, like going to a party or getting her hair done. 

I absolutely adored meeting Puck. I have to admit, I like Puck more than Kai. I didn’t expect to love him as much as I did! I found myself looking forward to the scenes he shared with Naomi. I wanted to know more about him than I did Kai. There is a certain little plot twist in the book that really got me excited, but I’m not going to say anything, of course. No spoilers here! But it really added to the story and made me think ‘oooooh this is going to cause some drama!’ I’m definitely looking forward to how this part of the story plays out in the next book.

I was really intrigued by the whole idea of Guardians and Destroyers, and the powers that they each have. It’s quite fascinating and I’m keen to read more about what they can do. However, I definitely don’t blame Naomi for being more than a little annoyed when she discovered how Guardians replenished their energy!

The final couple of chapters were thrilling to read. I was not expecting the story to take the turn that it did. I was reading it whilst traveling on a train at the time and I was just like this for the entire journey:


I’m really looking forward to finding out what happens next in the series. I’d love to see Naomi kick a little more ass in future, which I totally think she will. Also, I’m looking forward to finding out more about the characters. I want to know all about Alejandro, Puck, and the mysterious Kai, who I still can’t quite figure out. Bring on the second book!

Royal Rating:









Friday, 13 June 2014

Patience, My Friends!

Hello, everyone! This is just a little post to say that there probably won't be any posts for the next week. My WiFi is down until June 20th, so it'll be quiet around here until then. Speak to you all soon!



LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...