29 March 2013

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth #3
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought
Rating: 3 out of 5

Buy the Book: Amazon UK

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction? - Goodreads

So, I really, really liked this book, guys! I was a bit wary of this book after the mess that was The Dead-Tossed Waves but I really think The Dark and Hollow Places is (mostly) back on form. There were a few things that mildly annoyed me but overall I enjoyed reading it and as a whole have loved the entire series. Carrie Ryan, teach me how to write like you.

28 March 2013

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Archived #1
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Hyperion
Source: Borrowed
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Enjoyable

Buy the Book: Amazon UK

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption. - Goodreads

There's been so much hype surrounding this one! I had been dying to read it ever since it was released, because it felt like every single blogger was talking about it. People still are talking about it, and it's been two months! So because of all that hype, I was excited, and my expectations for this were through the roof. I can honestly say that I did enjoy this book, but it wasn't as great as everyone had led me to believe.

27 March 2013

26 March 2013

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth #2
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought
Rating: 1 out of 5

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves. - Goodreads

This bloody book. I don't even know where to begin tbh. I'd read The Forest of Hands and Teeth and loved it so much I immediately ordered the next book, naively thinking the series would be consistently good throughout. Alas.

25 March 2013

New Releases: March 26 - April 1, 2013

In which I tell you about some of the books that are coming out this week. I found as many as I could, but (as always) I have probably missed some. Some of these sound really good, especially Going Vintage!

22 March 2013

Book to Movie Chat: Life of Pi


Tatum: Overall I think the film doesn't do too badly in terms of plot, given the kind of book it's trying to adapt to the screen. Pi feels true to the original character and his relationship with Richard Parker is basically front and centre throughout; the beautiful imagery of the book is brought to life in stunning 3D (no seriously, it is a gorgeous movie). However, I think the choice to not include some of the most important scenes in the book, such as the interaction between Pi and the blind man, kind of messes up the narrative a bit. You don't feel that same gravity in the closing scenes and that annoyed me, although I think this was basically done to simplify the plot for a Hollywood audience :/ It is a fairly good adaptation but not one without its holes - if you can get past those it will probably be an enjoyable movie, I think.

Amber: Aside from the fact the best scenes of the novel was cut out, I think the way the book was brought to the screen was fantastic. They covered all of the necessary plot points and did so really well. I do think it was quite rushed, though that is to be expected since it's almost always impossible for a movie include everything from the original work(s). The ending and its intended impact felt very diluted to me. I had such a strong reaction to the novel, but the movie... It just wasn't there. Maybe it's because I read the book and knew what to expect, but I do have the feeling that it was diluted for the regular audience. There was also that stupid romantic plot, which I didn't get at all. Whatever.


Tatum: Pi was great, especially Pi as an adult. I think he really brought to life the intelligence, faith and will to survive that was prevalent in the book counterpart. There aren't many other characters I noticed, because let's be real, when am I going to care about extra characters? (The answer is never, by the way). I did quite like Pi's mother and father, but the less said about the love interest the better.

why is she there? we just don't know.
Amber: Much like he was in the novel, Richard Parker was the best character, hands down. I also adored Pi, although I didn't feel the same connection to him in the movie as I did in the book. Isn't that what it's like most of the time, though? I mean, in the book we got to see his inner thoughts and feelings, but the actor and director had to try to put it all across on screen. I still felt the same faith and hope he emitted, just less strongly. On another note, I loved Pi's family. They were adorable together!

Stuff We Liked

Tatum: RICHARD PARKER. Ahem. Yes, the animals were the GREATEST, OKAY. I loved all the attention to detail and how beautiful the tiger actually is. The animals were just so gorgeous and realistic that I spent most of my time jumping out my seat whenever Richard Parker would roar or when the other animals would cry out. I think Amber nearly died laughing at my expense tbh. I have a fragile heart, okay.

ALSO, the special effects were stunning. Like, so, so beautiful and that really adds to the film because it brings to life all the incredible imagery found in the book; it's just so amazing.

I loved Pi, especially when he gets on the lifeboat and his struggle truly begins. His inner monologue is never boring and you really feel a connection with his character, with the things he struggles with. His relationship with Richard Parker is legit an epic bromance and I think I cried my way through most of their scenes.

Amber: Richard Parker! I have nothing to add to what Tatum said, and since she got in there first I will just say THIS ^. Every time Richard Parker was on screen I became very emotional because he was a beautiful animal. That said, I didn't really feel the danger that I did in the book. While reading I was kind of worried that Richard Parker was going to chew Pi's arm off for a mid-morning snack, but during the movie I kind of wanted the two to get into a warm embrace.

Stuff We Didn't

Tatum: Um, apart from the decision to not include key scenes? I have two words for you - love interest. BECAUSE WHY. Such a silly, unnecessary inclusion to an otherwise great film. And their scenes, ohmygod. It was painful to watch and ultimately it serves no purpose because she is in the film for all of ten minutes, thus making all that suffering IN VAIN.

Amber: The bloody romantic ~storyline. I don't even know. I also hated that they didn't include the part with the blind man, because that part of the story is what helped the Japanese investigators come to the conclusion that Pi might be telling tales. And I also loved that part of the book so... I wasn't impressed.

Favourite Scene

Tatum: I loved the scene with the whale breaching the surface of the ocean. It was just breathtakingly beautiful. I may have cried a bit, ngl.

Amber: I had two. 1) Pi getting hit by the flying fish, because it was my favourite scene in the book. 2) Richard Parker walking away into the jungle after the pair of them landed on the Mexican beach. I sobbed my heart out both in the book and in the movie.

'Why Is This Happening?'

Tatum: Seriously, why is that girl there and what purpose does she serve except to annoy me with her presence?

Amber: Who even is she? I thought that maybe she would have an effect on Pi's character, or teach him a valuable lesson of some sort. Instead she had two scenes and then disappeared completely. It was unnecessary. I feel like they only did this because a romance can draw in an audience, and it reminded me of how romance is often required in YA. 


Tatum: 7

Amber: 7

21 March 2013

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Covenant #1
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 3
Rating: Enjoyable

Buy the Book: Amazon UK

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

As a huge fan of the Lux series - also by Ms. Armentrout - when I first bought this I had high expectations. After reading some reviews, those expectations were drastically lowered, and I think that is one of the reasons I ended up enjoying this. I wasn't too disappointed, because I wasn't expected it to blow my mind the way the Lux series admittedly did.

20 March 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Source: Bought
Rating: 3 stars

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself? - Goodreads

So I’m depressed and because I believe in sharing my misery around like a plague made from sorrow and CW induced tears, I thought I’d talk about a book that I read last year. Incidentally, it also depressed me horribly although we’ll get to that.

The book in question is ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ by Laini Taylor. Sigh. Just sigh. This book had all the ingredients to be an exceptional addition to YA; it’s beautifully written, the world building is stunning, and the characters and their development (for the first half of the novel, anyway) unfold wonderfully. The first half of this book is totally deserving of all the awards and it made me so excited to keep reading. I was engrossed, enamoured with Karou, the awesome female protagonist, and I wanted to know what would happen. The pages couldn’t turn fast enough to be honest.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a unique novel, with one of the most original storylines I’ve ever read. I LOVED the first half – the seamless interweaving of the real world and the world behind the door are one of the best aspects of the novel. I adored the characters (lol not Akiva, no-one likes you buddy) and how real they seemed, despite how fantastical some of them are. This is definitely the kind of novel in which the world draws you in; you can imagine everything in your mind as though it’s happening before your eyes – a compliment to Taylor’s ability as a writer. BUT THEN, around the halfway point of the novel, the generic love interest is introduced and everything good in life dies along with this book’s potential.

“He was the most beautiful thing Karou had ever seen.”

God. Help. Me.

From the point Akiva is introduced, the novel basically abandons all semblance of build-up and plot progression in favour of waxing lyrical about the epic romance between Karou and Akiva, which is a tragedy because of how good this book could have been. All that potential thrown away for a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, which by the way isn’t even that great a play! And if I wanted to read Romeo & Juliet, I would have bought the damn thing. YA, why do you hurt me this way?

I think this novel will be enjoyed by people who like love stories and I would recommend it to them; I’m pretty sure I’m in the minority when it comes to this book anyway. I do wonder if the sequel is any better and a part of me is curious but I just couldn’t put myself through another 400 or so pages of true love when I could barely get through this. Just, no way. 

19 March 2013

Scandal by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur

Scandal by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 2
Rating: Bland

Buy the Book: Amazon UK

You know you're not the author of the "Ivy Insider" articles.

But how are you going to prove it?

Callie Andrews returns from spring break to find herself facing expulsion. Someone has framed her as the author of a series of anonymous articles vilifying an elite social club and now, unless she can prove her innocence, she can kiss her college education good-bye. So who is the Ivy Insider?

the girl who has had it out for Callie since day one

the guy who told her he loved her (at least she thought she heard that) but then he vanished in the middle of the night

his friendship supersedes his hatred for social clubs—right?

Callie's best frenemy

. . . or is it someone else entirely? Callie's made more than a few enemies during her freshman year, but can she count on her true friends—and the (missing, just-maybe-meant-to-be) love of her life—to pull through? - Goodreads

As a huge fan of the previous books in this series - especially the first one - I was both excited and disappointed to read Scandal. It had been an entertaining ride, and I wasn't really sure if I was ready to let these characters go. They aren't the best characters ever, not by any means, but they provided enough entertainment to keep me reading well into the night. The Ivy series - prior to Scandal - is a fun and light contemporary that I'd definitely recommend to anyone who wants a break from a heavier read.

While I enjoyed Scandal to an extent, it wasn't as great as I was expecting it to be. Since it's the last book in the series, I was hoping for something that would blow me away, but unfortunately this felt like a filler. And it's the final book!

18 March 2013

New Releases: March 19 - 25, 2013

Here are some of the books that are coming out this week, starting tomorrow. I've probably missed a few, like I seem to every week. Click on the titles to go to Goodreads, and be sure to let me know which releases you're looking forward to this week!

Cover Reveal: International Night Creatures 2.0

I revealed the international covers of the Night Creatures series a couple of weeks ago, and since then they have gone through a cover change. But don't worry, this change is definitely for the better! Marianne de Pierres and Jarek Kubicki have come to an agreement to share the beautiful Aussie covers with the world.

Aren't they gorgeous? I am so happy about this, because I adore these covers! What do you think of them?

17 March 2013

Author Interview and Giveaway: Marissa Meyer, Author of The Lunar Chronicles

Marissa Meyer, author of the amazing series The Lunar Chronicles, is coming to London for her first ever UK signing. To celebrate, and to help pass on the word, we have an author interview and a giveaway today!

1. Cinder and Scarlet are both very well developed characters, and very different. If you could choose one trait from each girl to have for yourself, which traits would they be?

I would love to be as resourceful as Cinder. She's like a girl MacGyver - able to fix things with floss and a piece of gum, or whatever. I, on the other hand, am not mechanically minded at all!

As for Scarlet, sometimes I wish that I could be as frank as she is. I'm one of those people that has trouble sending food back at a restaurant even if it's not what I wanted, but Scarlet has no trouble saying just what she thinks and feels. Of course, that habit tends to get her in trouble sometimes, so if I was the same way I would hope for a bit more of an on/off switch...

2. You're going to Bromley very soon. What kind of state is London in in Cinder and Scarlet's world?

London has some scarring from the war, but I don't envision it being quite as damaged as Beijing and Paris had been, and what was destroyed has been rebuilt by 126 T.E. (when Cinder takes place). It's still the home of the United Kingdom's royal family, who have returned to ruling power but with some checks and balances from a Parliament, and all of the UK plus Canada are now under the same government. Population wise, the UK is by far the smallest country in the Earthen Union, but its history as a global power has earned it a great deal of respect from the other countries.

3. Scarlet is one of my favourite YA heroines right now because she's just so kickass. Do you have any favourites of your own?

Thank you! One of my all-time favorite YA heroines is Fire (from FIRE by Kristin Cashore). She's brave and daring, but also sensitive - especially as her "kind" (she's a ridiculously gorgeous Monster) are treated with such scorn and hatred. Often, beautiful characters are treated as ring-leaders in fiction (the lead cheerleader, etc.), so I loved what Cashore did by turning that trope upside down.

4. I feel the need to express my love for Captain Thorne. He is such a charismatic, attractive, and funny guy. He is AWESOME. I must ask, if you had any control over casting, who would you have portray him in Scarlet, the movie?

Well, writers aren't supposed to choose favorites, but... between us, he might be my favorite character in the series. (Don't tell anyone!) I'm really, really bad at choosing actors to represent my characters, though! Some people have suggested the actor who plays Hook in Once Upon a Time, but I think he's too fierce looking. This is the inspiration photo I used for Thorne, so maybe we can track this guy down?

Except Thorne has blue eyes, so I don't know. I'm so bad at this!

5. Do you have another favourite fairytale that you would have loved to have covered, but that wouldn't have worked with the story you wanted to tell with The Lunar Chronicles?

I originally planned on including "Puss in Boots," which was going to be the fifth book in the series, and the identity of the True Lunar Princess wasn't going to be revealed until then. Obviously, this did not work out! I didn't get very far into the planning process before I realized that Puss in Boots needed to be cut out of the mix. There are plenty of other fairy tales that I think would be fun to adapt outside of the Chronicles, though. We'll see...
Enter to win a swag pack with bookmarks, stickers, temporary tattoos, and signed book plates!


And, if you live in the UK, I hope you can make it to Marissa's signing at Waterstones Bromley on the 26th March!

16 March 2013

New Guest Blogger: Introducing Tatum!

*creeps out from behind alias* *coughs*

So, Hi! My name's Tatum and I'm a friend of Amber's. You might've seen her talk about/to me on Twitter every so often but most of you would probably know me better as Reviewer X. I was totally cool with anonymity but apparently Amber enjoys embarrassing me horribly because she harassed me into writing a quick bio for myself, even though I am literally the most boring person I know. Sigh.

Well, what can I tell you about myself? I'm a British girl in my twenties and have basically spent my whole life reading. Not an understatement - reading has been my one hobby and constant from a toddler right up until now. I read voraciously and will read just about anything...which is how Amber manages to talk me into reading a wide range of YA. I have a degree in English Literature, which you would think would have made me appreciate Austen. You would be wrong. Jane Austen and I will never be friends.

I also enjoy yelling about TV shows on the internet, sobbing over the couples I love and on occasion, enthusiastically recommending books to people. I also have a dog, a cat and a younger brother, all of whom I am very fond of and spend a lot of time with.

Like I said, I am not very interesting. I just love books a lot and like to talk about them!

If you want to see me fangirl, talk to me about books, discuss various television or movie 'ships, or all of the above find me on Twitter or on Goodreads.

15 March 2013

Poison by Bridget Zinn

Poison by Bridget Zinn
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher (NetGalley)
Goodreads Stars: 3
Rating: Enjoyable

Buy the Book: Amazon UK

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.

But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

I was more impressed by Poison than I thought I was going to be. I wasn't expecting too much from it, because lately I have been reading fairly average or not-good reads. However, I did end up enjoying Poison, especially the world it was set in and Bridget Zinn's writing style.

14 March 2013

Feedback by Robison Wells

Feedback by Robison Wells
Variant #2
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: 3
Rating: Enjoyable

Buy the Book: Amazon UK

Benson Fisher escaped from Maxfield Academy’s deadly rules and brutal gangs.

Or so he thought.

But now Benson is trapped in a different kind of prison: a town filled with hauntingly familiar faces. People from Maxfield he saw die. Friends he was afraid he had killed.

They are all pawns in the school’s twisted experiment, held captive and controlled by an unseen force. As he searches for answers, Benson discovers that Maxfield Academy’s plans are more sinister than anything he imagined—and they may be impossible to stop. - Goodreads

Daph sent me the first book in this duology for my birthday late last year, and I absolutely devoured it. I was super excited to get to this one because Variant ended on an epic cliffhanger, and I couldn't wait to see what new mysteries the characters would unravel next. So Daph and I planned a readalong, and we read this together in just a few hours. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed by Feedback. It didn't live up to my expectations at all.

13 March 2013

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
Mila 2.0 #1
Release Date: March 28, 2013 (UK)
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Stars: 3
Rating: Enjoyable

Buy the Book: Amazon UK

Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.

Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.

Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.

Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity-style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel. - Goodreads

Along with the rest of the book blogging community, I was super excited for Mila 2.0 because, duh, cyborgs! I love a good science fiction. My high hopes definitely weren't shattered into a million pieces and thrown to the wind, but they weren't quite met. Mostly because of the focus on the romantic plot. Because no.

12 March 2013

Top Ten Books On My Spring 2013 TBR List

Spring is right around the corner, and I have a TBR mountain to get through. These are the top books that I either want or desperately need to read. A lot of them are review books, but there are a few of my own sprinkled in there.

11 March 2013

New Releases: March 12 - 18, 2013

There aren't as many great releases as last week, but there are a couple here that I'm looking forward to! All links go to Goodreads.

10 March 2013

Weekly Wrap Up (10.03.13 - 16.03.13)

I've decided to start doing a weekly wrap up post to round up the posts and reviews I post each week. Hopefully this will give the people that have missed posts an easy way to catch up!


I posted about this week's new YA releases like I do every Monday (come back tomorrow to see next week's!), and Reviewer X posted their review of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart. According to X, this book is AMAZING and everyone should read it. I was definitely convinced to add it to my TBR!

Coming up next week are more reviews, what I'm planning on reading this spring, and I am also introducing a new guest blogger! Exciting stuff!

08 March 2013

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Release Date: March 28,  2008
Publisher: Hyperion
Source: Bought

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:
Debate Club.
Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”
A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:
A knockout figure.
A sharp tongue.
A chip on her shoulder.
And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Laundau-Banks.
No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.
Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.
Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.
Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.
When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.
And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:
Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way. Goodreads

Have any of you ever felt frustrated by the world we live in? By the societal pressures; the limitations placed on us because of our genders; the undeniable inequality that still exists between men and women? Especially as young, teenage girls? Have you ever have had a boyfriend who patronised you, a family who undermined you and a schooling system which didn't challenge you? I ask these questions because these are the issues that are raised in The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

07 March 2013

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
The Arkwell Academy #1
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Publisher (NetGalley)
Goodreads Stars: 2
Rating: Bland

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.


Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy, is hard enough. But when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing. But it does. Eli is dreaming of a murder.

Then Eli’s dream comes true.

Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target.

I was so excited to read The Nightmare Affair because, hello, boarding schools! Who doesn't like a good boarding school book? Better yet, this particular boarding school is full of magical folk, and the main character is a Nightmare! I've only seen one Nightmare in YA before, and that's a character in Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series - one of my favourite series to date. I had fairly high expectations, and The Nightmare Affair was one of my most anticipated debuts of the year. Unfortunately it feel very, very flat.

06 March 2013

Between the Lines by Tammara Webber

Between the Lines by Tammara Webber
Between the Lines #1
Release Date: February 14, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Stars: 4
Rating: Enjoyable

Buy it: Amazon UK

Young actress Emma is starring in her first ever major film role, opposite well-known teen heart-throb Reid. The exclusive clubs, snapping photographers and screaming fans are all a normal part of life for Reid but it's all new to Emma.The other actors befriend her - and Graham in particular seeks her out - but Emma isn't sure she's really comfortable in this scene. Reid is also experiencing something new - girls throwing themselves at him is an everday occurrence but genuinely falling for his co-star? That's not what he expected to happen . . . - Goodreads

Between the Lines was my first venture into the new world of New Adult. I had been meaning to pick it up for a while due to the number positive reviews I have seen around Goodreads and the book blogosphere, so when I was offered a copy to review I jumped at the chance.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Between the Lines. From what I had heard about the New Adult genre, I didn't have the highest hopes, since I was expected under-developed characters and plot in order to make way for sex and drugs and booze. Fortunately, my initial feelings were totally off, and Between the Lines was packed with great characters and interesting subplots.

04 March 2013

New Releases: March 5 - 11, 2013

There are tonnes of great books coming out this week. I'm excited for almost every single one of them! All the links go to Goodreads.

02 March 2013

Monthly Wrap Up: February 2013

I have been in a huge reading funk this month, but I think I have finally broken free of it. Let's cross our fingers for me, okay?

Books Read in February:

1. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
2. The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding
3. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
4. City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster
5. Requiem by Lauren Oliver
6. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
7. Pretty Girl Thirteen by Liz Coley
8. The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett

01 March 2013

2013 Debut Showcase: March

The purpose of this feature is to show you guys which YA debuts I'm most looking forward to, and which ones I've enjoyed. Hopefully it'll also help build some buzz around some of these debuts. There will be one post at the beginning of each month showing the top three upcoming debuts I'm most looking forward to and excited for, and it will also wrap up the previous month by showing which debuts I read and enjoyed.

So, without further ado, here are the February debuts that I have read, and my thoughts on them in a couple of sentences.

Night Creatures International Cover Reveal

I've heard amazing things about this series from a lot of Aussie bloggers, and I've been dying to get my hands on it. Guess what? The series is being released internationally this month! I'm rather excited, aren't you? And here are the three international covers for the series:

In Ixion music and party are our only beliefs. Darkness is our comfort. We have few rules but they are absolute . . .

Retra doesn’t want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night, ever-youth and never-sleep. Retra is a Seal – sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn’t crave parties and pleasure, experience and freedom.

But her brother Joel left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him. Braving the intense pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she’s ever known, Retra stows away on the barge that will take her to her brother.

When she can’t find Joel, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me, whispers a voice in her head. Who are the Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion?

Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures, but its secrets are deadly. Will friendship, and the creation of an eternal bond with a Riper, be enough to save her from the darkness?

Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark.

Retra - now called Naif - has escaped from Ixion, the island of ever-night. She doesn't know if her friends on the island survived the battle between the Ripers and the rebels. But she does know that she must return home, behind the sealed walls of Grave, to find out why the Ripers have been seen there talking to the councillors. What links the two worlds?

First she must convince Ruzalia to help her. The fierce pirate captain saves those who face terrible fates on Ixion, but that doesn't guarantee their gratitude. Instead, she faces a revolt - and Naif is caught in the middle.

Naif will need all her courage to survive. For Lenoir, who wants to keep her safe, for her friends Suki and Rollo, if they live, for Markes, who has secrets of his own, and for the new friends she will make on this journey.

The fate of worlds depends on it.

Ixion. The island of ever-night.

If she had a choice, Naif wouldn’t go back. But her friends will die if she doesn’t find a cure for the badges that are slowly killing them, and her brother is there, fighting against the Ripers who hold everyone in thrall. And Naif has knowledge that might save them all.

First she must solve the mystery of Ixion’s eternal night. Then she must convince everyone – rebels and revellers alike – to join her cause. And all the while, she must fight the urge to go to Lenoir – her greatest love, her mortal enemy.

The secrets of Ixion must be revealed. The evils must be stopped. A new dawn will come.