Monday, December 30, 2013

Readiculous End of Year Celebration: Books I Should Have Read in 2013

So, for my second and last post as a part of the Readiculous End of Year Celebration organised by Shelly of Readiculous Reads, I'm going to highlight a few titles I really should have read this year. There are probably about a billion titles I could potentially mention, so I'm going to try limit it to ten-ish books. I'll try cover a range of genres too. Well, here goes.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

ARC Review: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: The Impossible Knife of Memory
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: January 2, 2014
Source: Text Publishing. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 4.26 out of 5.00 (140+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

For the past five years Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq.

Now they are back in town where he grew up so Hayley can go to a proper school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy's PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over?

Review by Nara

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Readiculous End of Year Celebration: Best 2013 Releases

Hello everyone! This is Nara for a very difficult-to-write post, discussing the Best 2013 Releases as a part of the Readiculous End of Year Celebration (hosted by Shelly of Readiculous Reads). GUYS. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS TO WRITE THIS POST. So many 2013 releases deserve to be on this list and it was such a struggle to narrow it down to the (relatively) small list I have here. Especially because I read so many books. Well, anyway, let's hope this isn't too long.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

ARC Review: Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Taste of Darkness (Healer #3)
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: January 1, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads rating: 4.26 out of 5.00 (200+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

She's fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he's gone forever.

But there's a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry's healing powers are needed now more than ever.Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.
Review by Nara

Sunday, December 22, 2013

ARC Review: Warrior by Ellen Oh

Title: Warrior (The Dragon King Chronicles #2)
Author: Ellen Oh
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Source: HarperCollins via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 4.17 out of 5.00 (30+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

First an outcast, now a hero.

But her fight rages on.

Kira, the yellow-eyed demon slayer who fiercely protected her kingdom—and the crown prince—has been proclaimed the Dragon Musado of the prophecy. With the defeated the evil shaman.

But it wasn’t enough.

Hansong is in chaos. The Demon Lord’s minions have infiltrated the city, treason is brewing among the military ranks, and Kira is buried by the overwhelming loss of her parents. She’s also plagued by the annoying feelings that blossom whenever she’s around Jaewon. But she is determined that nothing will stop her from finding the second treasure needed to fulfill the Dragon King’s prophecy. Not even the army of half-breed demons hot on their trail. If only she could learn to trust others…

Her father always said one person can change the world. Will it be Kira?
Review by Nara

Friday, December 20, 2013

Review: The Kensington Reptilarium by N.J. Gemmell

Title: The Kensington Reptilarium
Author: N.J. Gemmell
Genre: Children's Fiction
Source: RandomHouse Australia. Thank you!

Goodreads | The Reading Room

The Caddy Kids are home alone and they're having the best time ever. Until a stranger arrives with news...

This is the story of how four loud, grubby urchins from the Australian outback find themselves in London for the first peacetime Christmas after years of war.

But their new guardian hates children. He prefers the company of hundreds of snakes in his house- the Kensington Reptilarium.

Fate lends Kick, Scruff, Bert and Pin a helping hand when outraged citizens call for the Reptilarium to be shut down. With the police about to descend, can the Caddy kids warm Uncle Basti's heart- and have their Christmas wishes granted- before it's too late?

A feel-good tale that will have you cheering on these four fearless bush kids as they take on the world.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

ARC Review: The Art of Falling by Jenny Kaczorowski

Title: The Art of Falling
Author: Jenny Kaczorowski
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 19, 2013
Source: Bloomsbury via NetGalley

Goodreads rating: 4.33 out of 5.00 (12+ ratings)

For seventeen-year-old Bria Hale, image is everything. She’s a militant vegan with purple hair, Doc Martens and a permanent scowl. Kissing captain of the football team Ben Harris? Definitely not part of that image.

Now with each secret kiss, she’s falling deeper for the boy every girl at Oceanside High is crushing on. Throw in a few forbidden bacon cheeseburgers and she’s facing one major identity crisis.

Ignoring Ben should be easy, but when a flashy display of artistic spirit lands her in close quarters after hours with the boy she’s too cool to like, she can’t keep pretending those kisses meant nothing. With her reputation and her heart on a collision course, Bria must either be true to herself or to the persona she’s spent all of high school creating.

Review by Nara

Monday, December 16, 2013

Review: How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You by Tara Eglington

Title: How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You
Author: Tara Eglington
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Source: HarperCollins (thank you!)

Goodreads rating: 4.31 out of 5.00 (150+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Executor of the Find a Prince Program™ and future author, sixteen-year-old Aurora Skye is dedicated to helping others navigate the minefield that is teenage dating. Counsellor-in-residence at home, where her post-divorce ad-agency father has transformed into a NAD (New Age Dad) intent on stripping his life bare of ‘the illusionary’ (i.e. the removal of home furnishings to the point where all after-hours work must be done in lotus position on a hemp cushion) Aurora literally lives and breathes Self-Help.

When the beginning of the school year heralds the arrival of two Potential Princes™ who seem perfect for her best friends Cassie (lighthouse beacon for emotionally fragile boys suffering from traumatic breakups) and Jelena (eye-catching, elegant and intent on implementing systems of serfdom at their school) it seems as if Aurora’s fast on her way to becoming the next Dr Phil.

As Aurora discovers, however, Self-Help is far from simple.

Aurora’s mother arrives home from her extended ‘holiday’ (four years solo in Spain following the infamous ‘Answering Machine Incident’) throwing the NAD into further existential crisis. With Valentine’s Day drawing closer and the new Potential Princes not stepping up to the mark, Aurora is literally forced to take to the stage to throw two couples together. However, being cast opposite Hayden Paris (boy next door and bane-of-Aurora’s life) in the school production of Much Ado about Nothing brings challenges of its own. Not only does Hayden doubt that Cupid is understaffed and thus in dire need of Aurora’s help, but playing Beatrice to his Benedict throws her carefully preserved first kiss for a Prince into jeopardy. As Aurora races to save love’s first kiss and put a stop to the NAD’s increasingly intimate relationship with her Interpretive dance teacher (guilty of putting Aurora on detention for a ‘black aura’) she is left wondering who can a self help guru turn to for help? Can she practice what she preaches? And can long-assumed frogs become Potential Princes?

Review by Chantelle

Sunday, December 15, 2013

ARC Review: The Sound of Us by Ashley Poston

Title: The Sound of Us
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 19, 2013
Source: Bloomsbury via NetGalley. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 4.51 out of 5.00 (30+ ratings)

America's favorite pop band, Roman Holiday, is done, dead, and so totally last year. For eighteen-year-old rockoholic Junie Baltimore, this is music to her ears. But when she discovers their sexy ex-lead singer hiding out on the boardwalk, her summer vacation becomes the cover story of the year.

She's willing to keep him a secret, but when a sleazy paparazzo offers her the cash she needs to save the bar her father left behind, could she sell out for the chance to save her future? Who is she kidding? That's a no-brainer...but she never planned on falling head over heels for the lead singer.

Review by Nara

Friday, December 13, 2013

Blog Tour + Giveaway: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Title: The Promise of Amazing
Author: Robin Constantine
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Source: Balzer + Bray as part of blog tour

Goodreads rating: 3.38 out of 5.00 (160+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | The Book Depository

Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

Review by Nara

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Search for the Panacea [2]

Time for the second Search for the Panacea post! I didn't have time to film in between September and now, so, really sorry, but it's ridiculously long. No worries if you don't have the time to watch it haha. I don't blame you :P
Also, that was a really feeble bye. Oh well. Couldn't be bothered filming it again because laziness. hahaha.
p.s. correction: Percy is 12 in the first book.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Title: Beauty Queens
Author: Libba Bray
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Satire
Source: Allen & Unwin Australia. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 3.57 out of 5.00 (22,000+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Teen beauty queens. A lost island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email.
And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives deep in the heart of every girl, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness.

Oh, the horror, the horror!

Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.

Review by Nara

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Attachments Final Discussion- SPOILERS

Okay, since this is the FINAL discussion post for the Attachments Read-Along- there will be spoilers. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Title: The Promise of Amazing
Author: Robin Constantine
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: HarperCollins & Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 3.38 out of 5.00 (110+ ratings pre-release) Expected publication: 31st Dec 2013
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

Review by Chantelle

Saturday, December 7, 2013

ARC Review: Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

Title: Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2)
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Source: Penguin Australia via NetGalley

Goodreads rating: 4.42 out of 5.00 (100+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Love, power, and magic collide with war in the second book of the Falling Kingdoms series

Auranos has fallen and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now united as one country called Mytica. But still, magic beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world...

When the evil King Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of events that will forever change the face of this land, forcing Cleo the dethroned princess, Magnus the reluctant heir, Lucia the haunted sorceress, and Jonas the desperate rebel to take steps they never could have imagined.

Review by Nara

Friday, December 6, 2013

Roo-ah-rooo-ahhh! Attachments Mid-way Discussion (chp 1-45)

Hello!!!!! This is discussion post for the Attachments read-a-thon where hopefully most of you have read up to chapter 45. Firstly, profuse apologies for posting late (completely my fault i.e. Chantelle's fault), so if this has inconvenienced anyone, I'M REALLY SORRY! Secondly, as a reminder, roo-ah-rooo-ahhh, is the "Cute Guy Alarm" Beth makes up in chapter 19 but I'm going to use it and abuse it as the new Rainbow Rowell alarm :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

ARC Review: Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe

Title: Fireblood
Author: Trisha Wolfe
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads rating: 4.19 out of 5.00 (70+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.

When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father’s capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin.

Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.

When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart’s twisted world, Zara’s path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara’s hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father’s evil nature, or they will take him out.

But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels’ command and where the prince’s heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she’s truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart.

Review by Nara

Monday, December 2, 2013

Attachments Read-Along: Thoughts Before Reading

Today is December 2nd, so we begin the first leg of the read-a-thon with Attachments!
(By the way, the Attachments read-along is hosted by both me and Chantelle, but Chantelle's name is probably not on the banner as it's too long haha)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Review: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

Title: Edenbrooke
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Genre: Young Adult Historical Romance

Goodreads rating: 4.38 out of 5.00 (11, 800+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she'll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry. From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

Review by Chantelle

The Rainbow Rowell Read-a-Thon Has Begun!

Hello again! It is now December 1st and the Rainbow Rowell Read-a-Thon has officially begun! As part of this introductory post, we thought we might share a few excerpts from each of her novels to convince you to join! By the way, it's not too late to sign up. The sign up post can be found here or if you click the button in the sidebar.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Discussion: Dude...why do you give out so many 5 star ratings??

I don't know if many people would have noticed, but I give out a LOT of 5 star ratings. I also give out a lot of 4 stars. I know that some people don't "trust" reviewers who give out high ratings, so I thought I'd explain why I give out so many high ratings.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Red Hill by Jamie McGuire

Title: Red Hill
Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: Adult, Horror
Source: Simon & Schuster Australia. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 4.05 out of 5.00 (2,000+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.
Review by Nara

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Books that I can't seem to finish

My worst bookish habit would hands down have to be my inability to finish books that I'm not loving. If I'm reading a book and it isn't ticking my boxes, or I'm getting frustrated with characters or authors that drag out plot lines, or there's too much plot and not enough romance, or there's too much romance and not enough plot, or basically any out of a whole plethora of reasons that cause me to figuratively chuck my book at a wall, I'm terrible at persevering. I end up with a mound of books I partially start, such that the books I do end up finishing are usually 4 or 5 stars, and hence the ones I end up reviewing are usually 5 stars.

But today I thought I'd just feature some of the books that I've struggled with in the past few weeks, to see other people's opinions of them, and whether I've been a bit harsh and should give them another go!

By Chantelle

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ARC Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound Trilogy #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: November 20, 2013 (Aus); December 10, 2013 (US)
Source: Allen&Unwin Australia. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 4.20 out of 5.00 (700+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets to the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other's arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder - would they be better off staying in this place forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won't be the same people who landed on it.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.
Review by Nara

Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Attachments
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Humour

Goodreads rating: 3.95 out of 5.00 (9, 800+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

Review by Chantelle

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sci-Fi Month: Interview with Dan Wells

And on the fourth and final Saturday of Sci-Fi Month, we are featuring Dan Wells, author of the Partials Sequence. I feel like his books are pretty underhyped despite being absolutely incredible. And I seriously want me a copy of Ruins. So without further ado, here is the interview:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sci-Fi Month: Recommended Sci-Fi Reads for People Who Don't Read Sci-Fi

So, to those people who want to give Science Fiction a try, but aren't quite sure where to start, or to those people who want to find a particular type of sci-fi book, hopefully this post will give you a bit of help. Since I mostly read YA, a lot of the books featured in this post are going to be be YA novels. Don't know what else to write in this introduction, so let's get straight into it:

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Introducing: The Rainbow Rowell Read-a-Thon!

Hello everyone! I have a rather exciting event to announce. Probably obvious from the banner, but this December, we at Looking for the Panacea, along with Eve from PaperGrey and Em from Fluttereal Flight are hosting a Rainbow Rowell Read-a-Thon!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sci-Fi Month: Interview with Marissa Meyer + Giveaway

And on our third Saturday, we have an author who many people are obviously quite excited about: Marissa Meyer! Now I'm sure I'm one of the many people DYING for a copy of Cress, but while we pine for it, have a read of the interview and enter the giveaway for a swag pack! (I actually have one of these myself haha)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

ARC Review: Pawn by Aimee Carter

Title: Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1)
Author: Aimee Carter
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Release Date: December 1, 2013 (Aus)
Source: Harlequin TEEN Australia via NetGalley

Goodreads rating: 3.93 out of 5.00 (290+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room


For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.
Review by Nara

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

ARC Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Title: Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3)
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2013 (Australia)
Source: Harlequin TEEN Australia. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 4.33 out of 5.00 (750 ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane 

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.
Review by Nara

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sci-Fi Month: Interview with Janet Edwards + Giveaway

EEEEEE! On this second Saturday of November, I have one of my ABSOLUTE favourite sci-fi authors: Janet Edwards! Janet is the author of the amazing Earth Girl- which has some of the most incredible world building ever (and being a world building nerd...*FLAIL*). Anyway, Janet has generously donated a signed copy of either Earth Girl or Earth Star, so read the interview (these answers seriously have to be some of my favourites EVER), then enter the giveaway!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Quick Update: S.O.S. Drowning in Anatomy

So, it being November, THAT dreaded period has come upon us. That's right, the horror of the exam period! *dun dun dun*

Chantelle and I both do the same course at the same uni, and we have exams from the 9th until the 22nd. We'll therefore be unable to comment and reply and such as much as we usually do. In terms of blog posts, Chantelle won't be posting at all until late November (possibly), but because of Sci-Fi Month and things, I still have posts going up that I've already written and scheduled. So this post is just to let you know that replies to comments on our posts might be quite late- by which we mean we're probably going to be replying to them all on the 22nd.

Anyway, that's it for the update. Remember to look out for the sci-fi month giveaways- the other two giveaways (from Marissa Meyer and Janet Edwards) are international, so yes. Enter away.

p.s. I'll probably still be on Twitter because, yeah. Twitter. Tis a trap.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: November

Completely forgot about Waiting on Wednesday for a while there, so here we return after 3 months ish for another edition where I showcase the book from November for which I am most GIMME IT NOW.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Review: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Title: Wild Cards
Author: Simone Elkeles
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Bloomsbury Sydney via NetGalley (Thank you!)

Goodreads rating:
Goodreads | The Reading Room

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?
Review by Nara

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sci-Fi Month: Interview with S.J. Kincaid + Giveaway

Today is the first Saturday of November, so I introduce to you the first author up for interview: S.J. Kincaid! She is the author of Insignia, a book which, to be honest, I wanted to read because of the cover. But the actual book is rather amazing, so have a read of (and be sucked in by) the synopsis and get yourself a copy of the book. And we also have a giveaway. S.J. has generously agreed to give away personalised copies of both Insignia and its sequel Vortex! So, have a read of the interview and then enter the amazing giveaway.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sci-Fi Month: Introductory Post

People! IT IS NOVEMBER. You know what that means? Yeah, okay, it's obvious from the banner. It is......
SCI-FI MONTH!! *throws confetti*
I don't know how well people know me, but I freaking LOVE sci-fi. So when I found out about this event I was pretty damn excited. For those who haven't heard about the event, basically, it's an event hosted by Rinn Reads celebrating all things sci-fi: books, movies, TV shows etc. etc. So, as part of the introductory post, Rinn would like us to answer a couple of questions. Without further ado, here they are!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson

Title: Blackmoore
Author: Julianne Donaldson
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads rating: 4.27 out of 5.00
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Kate Worthington knows her heart and she knows she will never marry. Her plan is to travel to India instead—if only to find peace for her restless spirit and to escape the family she abhors. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. She makes a bargain with Kate: India, yes, but only after Kate has secured—and rejected—three marriage proposals.

Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore determined to fulfill her end of the bargain and enlists the help of her dearest childhood friend, Henry Delafield. But when it comes to matters of love, bargains are meaningless and plans are changeable. There on the wild lands of Blackmoore, Kate must face the truth that has kept her heart captive. Will the proposal she is determined to reject actually be the one thing that will set her heart free?

Set in Northern England in 1820, Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn how to follow her heart. It is Wuthering Heights meets Little Women with a delicious must-read twist.
Review by Nara

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Discussion: Villains in Contemporary Novels + A Completely Unnecessary Quiz

The time has come again for another discussion post with Nara! And in signature Nara style, I'll include a short quiz as well. Because, why not? It's more fun that way :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bookish Survey: Cast a Harry Potter Spell

So, this is an AWESOME survey that Jasmine at Flip That Page thought of. Basically, you cast a Harry Potter spell on a book (the title was probs self explanatory, but whatever haha). Chantelle and I are going to do this chat style again, and we're just tackling the first half of the survey today. The second half will probably go up next week sometime.

Friday, October 25, 2013

ARC Review: The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: November 1, 2013 (Aus); October 29 (US)
Source: Harlequin TEEN Australia and Harlequin TEEN via NetGalley. Thanks!

Goodreads rating: 4.28 out of 5.00
Goodreads | The Reading Room

In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice. 

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Title: Never Fade
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Paranormal
Release Date: November 1, 2013 (Aus)
Source: HarperCollins Australia. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis. Other kids in the Children's League call Ruby 'Leader', but she knows what she really is - a monster. When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet - leaving the Children's League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America's children - and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts - has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place - in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future and who now wouldn't recognize her. As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam, she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself.
Review by Nara

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Liebster Award

So, Chantelle and I were nominated for Liebster award by Annie of The Runaway Reader. However, as this blog has more than 200 followers, we actually aren't eligible for the award! Still, in acknowledgement of being nominated, we're going to answer Annie's questions anyway. We won't be nominating anyone further though, because we technically don't have the award. So, without further ado: here are the answers to Annie's questions!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Resist by Sarah Crossan

Title: Resist (Breathe #2)
Author: Sarah Crossan
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Source: Bloomsbury Sydney. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

The sequel—and conclusion—to Sarah Crossan's Breathe. Three teen outlaws must survive on their own in a world without air, exiled outside the glass dome that protects what's left of human civilization. Gripping action, provocative ideas, and shocking revelations in a dystopian novel that fans of Patrick Ness and Veronica Roth will devour.

Bea, Alina, and Quinn are on the run. They started a rebellion and were thrown out of the pod, the only place where there's enough oxygen to breathe. Bea has lost her family. Alina has lost her home. And Quinn has lost his privileged life. Can they survive in the perilous Outlands? Can they finish the revolution they began? Especially when a young operative from the pod's Special Forces is sent after them. Their only chance is to stand together, even when terrible circumstances force them apart. When the future of human society is in danger, these four teens must decide where their allegiances lie. Sarah Crossan has created a dangerous, and shattered society in this wrenching, thought-provoking, and unforgettable post-apocalyptic novel.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

ARC Review: Parasite by Mira Grant

Title: Parasite (Parasitology #1)
Author: Mira Grant
Genre: Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Reading Room

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives...and will do anything to get them.
Review by Nara

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Discussion + Quiz: The First Line

Hello people! Time for another discussion. This one is about first lines. And there's a nice little quiz for you to test your first-line-remembering-abilities.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (The I Love HarperCollins Edition)

Okay, this haul is going to be rather large, but it's only going to include the HarperCollins eARCS received from Edelweiss in the last two or three weeks. Yes, you heard me correctly, EDELWEISS FINALLY APPROVED ME FOR SOMETHING. It seems that I've been whitelisted for all the HarperCollins titles, which is incredibly exciting! They have so many great titles, so I may have gone a bit wild hehe. Anyway, here it is:

Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Title: The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus #4)
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: Middle Grade (although these later books tend more towards Young Adult), Fantasy
Goodreads | The Reading Room

The House of Hades is the fourth book in the bestselling Heroes of Olympus series, set in the action-packed world of Percy Jackson.

The stakes have never been higher. If Percy Jackson and Annabeth fail in their quest, there'll be hell on Earth. Literally.

Wandering the deadly realm of Tartarus, every step leads them further into danger. And, if by some miracle they do make it to the Doors of Death, there's a legion of bloodthirsty monsters waiting for them.

Meanwhile, Hazel and the crew of the Argo II have a choice: to stop a war or save their friends. Whichever road they take one thing is certain - in the Underworld, evil is inescapable.
Review by Nara

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Horror October: Recommended Ghostly Reads

So for the second post as a part of Horror October, I thought I'd recommend some of the good ghost books I've read. Because you can't go past horror and Halloween and what not without ghosts. Oh, and if you missed the first introduction post I did with Chantelle here you go.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Horror October: Random Discussions About Horror

If you haven't heard of Horror October before, basically, it's an event organised by the lovely Leanne (WHO IS A FLIPPING PASTRY CHEF!) at Literary Excursion to celebrate everything horror- books, movies, whatever. So, to kick off Horror Month, in this incredibly riveting *cough* discussion that Chantelle and I had, we contemplate what makes a book scary, the books we've read that actually fit the genre of horror and other such things.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Title: Unbreakable (Legion #1)
Author: Kami Garcia
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: October 10, 2013 (Aus); October 1, 2013 (US)
Source: Simon & Schuster Australia. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Kennedy Waters didn't believe in ghosts, until one tried to kill her.

When Kennedy finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn't know that evil forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into her house and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon - a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother's place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon - battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Review: Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb

Title: Witchstruck (Tudor Witch Trilogy #1)
Author: Victoria Lamb
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Magic
Release Date: 24th September, 2013
Source: Harlequin Teen via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Reading Room

If she sink, she be no witch and shall be drowned. If she float, she be a witch and must be hanged. 

Meg Lytton has always known she is different;that she bears a dark and powerful gift. But in 1554 England, in service at Woodstock Palace to the banished Tudor princess Elizabeth, it has never been more dangerous to practice witchcraft. Meg knows she must guard her secret carefully from the many suspicious eyes watching over the princess and her companions. One wrong move could mean her life, and the life of Elizabeth, rightful heir to the English throne. With witchfinder Marcus Dent determined to have Meg's hand in marriage, and Meg's own family conspiring against the English queen, there isn't a single person Meg can trust. Certainly not the enigmatic young Spanish priest Alejandro de Castillo, despite her undeniable feelings. But when all the world turns against her, Meg must open her heart to a dangerous choice. The Secret Circle meets The Other Boleyn Girl in Witchstruck ,the first book of the magical Tudor Witch trilogy.
Review by Nara

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Discussion: The Art of Jumping Fences

So what exactly do I mean, the art of jumping fences? Well, clearly, this being a book blog, that actually isn't what I'm going to discuss today. Today, we're discussing misleading titles and blurbs.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Search for the Panacea [1]

So what is this SEARCH FOR THE PANACEA, you say? Well basically, it's our own version of a book haul. What makes this different from a Stacking the Shelves post, you say? IT'S A FLIPPING VLOG. And this is the first one. So yeah, sorry for the crappy editing- the jump cuts are really abrupt. And I'm lazy, so I didn't want to invest the time to make them less abrupt, because I'm an editing noob and it took me long enough as it is to edit the video. Also, I say "um" WAY too many times. Anyway, without further ado, here is our first vlog, mostly featuring me (Nara).

Friday, September 27, 2013

ARC Review: Skulk by Rosie Best

Title: Skulk
Author: Rosie Best
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: 1st October, 2013
Source: Strange Chemistry. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

When Meg witnesses the dying moments of a shapeshifting fox and is given a beautiful and powerful stone, her life changes forever. She is plunged into the dark world of the Skulk, a group of shapeshifting foxes.

As she learns about the other groups of shapeshifters that lurk around London – the Rabble, the Horde, the Cluster and the Conspiracy – she becomes aware of a deadly threat against all the shapeshifters. They must put aside all their enmity and hostility and fight together to defeat it.

Review by Nara