Sunday, May 31, 2015

Review: Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Crimson Bound
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.
Review by Nara

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

Title: None of the Above
Author: I.W. Gregorio
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex... and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?
Review by Nara

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

So This Is What People Mean by a Book Hangover: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J Maas
Genre: (Mature) Young Adult, High Fantasy, Fae
Source: Bloomsbury Australia

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
Review by Nara

Monday, May 18, 2015

Review: Omega City by Diana Peterfreund

Title: Omega City
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Genre: Middle Grade, Science Fiction
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

The first middle grade novel in an exciting new series from acclaimed author Diana Peterfreund, perfect for fans of The Goonies and The City of Ember.

Gillian Seagret doesn't listen to people who say her father's a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Cold War–era rocket scientist Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job and forced them to move to the middle of nowhere, but Gillian knows he's right and plans to prove it.

When she discovers a missing page from Dr. Underberg's diary in her father's mess of an office, she thinks she's found a big piece of the puzzle—a space-themed riddle promising to lead to Dr. Underberg's greatest invention. Enlisting the help of her skeptical younger brother, Eric, her best friend, Savannah, and Howard, their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off on a journey into the ruins of Omega City, a vast doomsday bunker deep inside the earth,.

But they aren't alone inside its dark and flooded halls. For while Gillian wants to save her dad's reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg's secrets to light, there are others who will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried . . . forever.
Review by Nara

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Review: Rogue by Julie Kagawa

Title: Rogue (Talon #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Harlequin Teen via NetGalley

Ember Hill left the dragon organization Talon to take her chances with rebel dragon Cobalt and his crew of rogues. But Ember can't forget the sacrifice made for her by the human boy who could have killed her—Garret Xavier Sebastian, a soldier of the dragonslaying Order of St. George, the boy who saved her from a Talon assassin, knowing that by doing so, he'd signed his own death warrant.

Determined to save Garret from execution, Ember must convince Cobalt to help her break into the Order's headquarters. With assassins after them and Ember's own brother helping Talon with the hunt, the rogues find an unexpected ally in Garret and a new perspective on the underground battle between Talon and St. George.

A reckoning is brewing and the secrets hidden by both sides are shocking and deadly. Soon Ember must decide: Should she retreat to fight another day…or start an all-out war?
Review by Nara

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Book that Makes Me Want to Read More Memoirs: A Work in Progress

Title: A Work in Progress
Author: Connor Franta
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Source: Simon & Schuster Australia

In this intimate memoir of life beyond the camera, Connor Franta shares the lessons he has learned on his journey from small-town boy to Internet sensation so far. Here, Connor offers a look at his Midwestern upbringing as one of four children in the home and one of five in the classroom; his struggles with identity, body image, and sexuality in his teen years; and his decision to finally pursue his creative and artistic passions in his early twenties, setting up his thrilling career as a YouTube personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and tastemaker.

Exploring his past with insight and humor, his present with humility, and his future with hope, Connor reveals his private struggles while providing heartfelt words of wisdom for young adults. His words will resonate with anyone coming of age in the digital era, but at the core is a timeless message for people of all ages: don't be afraid to be yourself and to go after what you truly want.

This full-color collection includes photography and childhood clippings provided by Connor and is a must-have for anyone inspired by his journey.
Review by Nara

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Reading Compatibility Test 4: High Fantasy

Basically, I'm going to give you a list of statements that you have to agree or disagree with. If you have any idea what book/series they're referring to, it means that you've probably read some of the books that I've read, i.e. our reading tastes are somewhat compatible. I thought it'd be more interesting doing this in quiz form than me just listing off some of the books that I enjoy. Really, this feature is going to be a series of disguised recommendation posts!

Time for another Reading Compatibility Test! This time: High Fantasy.

High/epic fantasy is basically my favourite genre to read, mostly because I'm a huge world building reader, and obviously the typical high fantasy would have much more world building than a contemporary or a paranormal. I just love to see the creativity and thought that authors put into constructing the little details of their worlds. One of the (many) reasons why Brandon Sanderson is my favourite author (I tried to steer away from the Sanderson in this edition- he's written so many books that I could probably do a Sanderson specific edition haha)

Anyway, you've probably heard me go on about Sanderson a billion times haha, so onto the statements!

1. You know that winter is coming. (start off with an easy one)
2. You occasionally chat to cats with spots to see if they chat back.
3. You could rattle the stars. You could do anything, if you dared.
4. You want to join the Greatcoats.
5. If you're facing a semi-powerful wizard, you won't foolishly steal his evil amulet and make off with it (unlike a certain character in a certain book)
6. You know that you can be more than words in the dark.
7. You like to play a game to help your control over your brain function where one half of your mind hides something and the other half of your mind has to try find it. (Yeah, I don't think that makes any sense either...)
8. You know the name of the phenomenon where you come out on top of the bid, but only by paying a steep price.

Let me know whether you were able to tell which books each of the statements refers to.
Otherwise, just let me know if there are any that you're unable to answer! Maybe you'll find a new book/series to read.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Hodder via NetGalley

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “Duffy,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
Review by Nara

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Powerful New Angle On Mental Illness: Challenger Deep

Title: Challenger Deep
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary (Mental Illness)
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.

Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.

Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence, to document the journey with images.

Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.

Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.

Caden Bosch is torn.

A captivating and powerful novel that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by one of today's most admired writers for teens.
Review by Nara

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Review: Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu

Title: Making Pretty
Author: Corey Ann Haydu
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 12 May, 2015
Source: HarperCollins Australia

Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life.

With Arizona wrapped up in her college world and their father distracted by yet another divorce, Montana’s been immersing herself in an intoxicating new friendship with a girl from her acting class. Karissa is bold, imperfectly beautiful, and unafraid of being vulnerable. She’s everything Montana would like to become. But the friendship with Karissa is driving a wedge between Montana and her sister, and the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust.

In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a heady distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?
Review by Nara

Friday, May 1, 2015

Read ALL THE BOOKS Update: April

If you don't know what this post is about, you can read this introduction post. Basically, I realised I have way too many unread books on my physical shelves, and so I'm going to try read as many of them as possible in the coming months. I'll probably continue this feature until I finish them all...but I don't know whether that will actually happen seeing as though I keep buying books. And borrowing books from the library. And requesting eARCs. Tis a problem.

My definition for "unread" either means that I haven't read the book at all, or that I haven't read that particular copy of the book (might have read it before as an eARC or something)

So, I had a rather fantastic month in reading in terms of books on my shelf! Which isn't too surprising, because I pretty much only buy books I know I'll enjoy/want to reread. And the ones I got for review/won were pretty good as well!

Random question! Did anyone send me the first four books in the Dresden files? Because I got them in the mail the other day and I'm pretty sure I didn't buy them...I don't remember entering a giveaway for them either...such a mystery.