Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Title: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
Author: Stephanie Oakes
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Source: HarperCollins Australia

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, and her ability to trust.

And when Minnow rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now the Kevinian Prophet has been murdered and the camp set aflame and it's clear Minnow knows something. But she's not talking. As she adjusts to a life behind bars in juvenile detention, Minnow struggles to make sense of all she has been taught to believe, particularly as she dwells on the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of; if she is willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

Powerful and compelling. this remarkable and brave debut novel reveals the terrible dangers of blind faith. And the importance of having faith in yourself.
Review by Nara

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Review: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Title: Nowhere But Here
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Harlequin Teen via NetGalley

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart, and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighbourhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father — the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent — but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father, and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re...family. And while Emily — the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member — is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.
Review by Nara

Friday, June 26, 2015

Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

Title: Extraordinary Means
Author: Robyn Schneider
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Katherine Tegen via Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster Australia

A bitter-sweet, coming-of-age novel that's perfect for fans of John Green and Stephen Chbosky.

When he's sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over.
But when he meets Sadie and her friends - a group of eccentric troublemakers - he realises that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn't have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.

Extraordinary Means is a darkly funny story about true friendships, ill-fated love and the rare miracle of second chances.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Review: Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin

Title: Denton Little's Deathdate
Author: Lance Rubin
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Simon and Schuster

Imminent death has never been so funny! Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world exactly like our own ­­- except that everyone knows the day on which they will die.

For Denton, that's in just two days - the day of his senior prom. Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life - but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle (the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's sister. Though he's not totally sure - see, first hangover).

His anxiety builds when he discovers a mysterious purple rash making its way up his body. Is this what will kill him? Then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious characters . . .

Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers. Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, gripping, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning and (just maybe) a way to live on . . .
Review by Nara

Monday, June 22, 2015

Review: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Title: Made You Up
Author: Francesca Zappia
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Greenwillow Books via Edelweiss

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal.

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.
Review by Nara

Friday, June 19, 2015

Inside Out: Rollercoaster of Emotions

Watch the trailer here!
Rated: PG
Synopsis: Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley's main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Review: Cold Burn of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Title: Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade #1)
Author: Jennifer Estep
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Kensington Books via NetGalley

There Be Monsters Here. . .

It's not as great as you'd think, living in a tourist town that's known as "the most magical place in America." Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I've got my mom's bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend's pawn shop, and I have to make a call--get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn't. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I'm stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I'm going to end up just like her. . .
Review by Nara

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

Title: Hello, I Love You
Author: Katie M. Stout
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: St Martin's Griffin via NetGalley

A teen escapes to a boarding school abroad and falls for a Korean pop star in this fun and fresh romantic novel in the vein of Anna and the French Kiss.

Grace Wilde is running—from the multi-million dollar mansion her record producer father bought, the famous older brother who’s topped the country music charts five years in a row, and the mother who blames her for her brother’s breakdown. Grace escapes to the farthest place from home she can think of, a boarding school in Korea, hoping for a fresh start.

She wants nothing to do with music, but when her roommate Sophie’s twin brother Jason turns out to be the newest Korean pop music superstar, Grace is thrust back into the world of fame. She can't stand Jason, whose celebrity status is only outmatched by his oversized ego, but they form a tenuous alliance for the sake of her friendship with Sophie. As the months go by and Grace adjusts to her new life in Korea, even she can't deny the sparks flying between her and the KPOP idol.

Soon, Grace realizes that her feelings for Jason threaten her promise to herself that she'll leave behind the music industry that destroyed her family. But can Grace ignore her attraction to Jason and her undeniable pull of the music she was born to write? Sweet, fun, and romantic, this young adult novel explores what it means to experience first love and discover who you really are in the process.
Review by Nara

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Read ALL THE BOOKS: May Update

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)

After 18 weeks of continuous placements...I am finally on holidays! We unfortunately get only 3 weeks, but I'm definitely making the most of it! Went up to The Gold Coast the past week, which is why you haven't really seen me around the blogosphere or Goodreads. It was definitely great visiting all the theme parks again, although I got a cold, which is a bit unfortunate.

Anyway, onto books. I just realised how blurry the photo is haha. Oh well. Forgive my laziness in not taking another one.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Review: The Hush by Skye Melki-Wegner

Title: The Hush
Author: Skye Melki-Wegner
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, High Fantasy
Source: Bookworld

Chester is on the road, searching every town for clues about his father and why he disappeared.

But when he's caught accidentally – and illegally – connecting with the Song as he plays his beloved fiddle, Chester is sentenced to death. Only a licensed Songshaper can bend music to their will. The axe is about to fall . . .

But there is someone else watching Chester. Someone who needs his special talents. Who can use him for their own ends. And who knows the secrets of The Hush, where there is no music, only deadly Echoes who will steal your soul.

Susannah is that someone. The young captain of the infamous Nightfall Gang, Susannah has plans for Chester. Finally, she will have her revenge.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Review: King by Ellen Oh

Title: King (The Dragon King Chronicles #3)
Author: Ellen Oh
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Girl warrior, demon slayer, Tiger spirit of the Yellow Eyes—Kira is ready for her final quest. In this thrilling finale to the Prophecy trilogy, fans will get even more of the fierce Kira and her quest to save her kingdom!

All eyes are on her. Kira, once an outcast in her home village of Hansong, is now the only one with the power to save her kingdom. She must save her cousin, the boy fated to be the future king, uncover the third lost treasure, and face innumerable enemies in order to fulfill the famed prophecy.

Kira braves a sea of tigers and battles armies of demons as she musters her inner strength and learns to trust herself, the romantic feelings for Jaewon that are growing within her, and the destiny that must be hers.
Review by Nara