Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: Find Me by Romily Bernard

Title: Find Me (Find Me #1)
Author: Romily Bernard
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Source: S&S Australia. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 3.81 out of 5.00 (570+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

A girl is dead…
A killer’s closing in…
And two little words are the only clue…
“Find Me”.

These are the words that Wick Tate finds in Tessa Wayne’s diary. And now Tessa has been found … dead. Does someone out there really expect Wick to uncover the truth about her death?

An expert computer hacker, Wick has the skills for the job, but with the threat of her ex-con dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around and new foster parents to keep happy, getting involved with a murder case is the last thing she wants to do. Until her little sister, Lily, is the next target.

Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker-girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare. And now she’s going to find this killer, no matter what it takes. Because it just got personal.

Review by Nara

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: Afterworld by Lynnette Lounsbury

Title: Afterworld
Author: Lynnette Lounsbury
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Source: Allen & Unwin Teen. Thankyou!

Goodreads rating: 3.50 out of 5.00 (6 ratings, pre-release)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Dom is the youngest person ever to arrive in the Necropolis, the 'waiting place' between death and what comes after. And it isn't long before he catches the attention of Satarial, a cruel Nephilim from the beginning of time, who has grim plans to use Dom as entertainment in his vicious gladiatorial games. When Dom's still-living sister, Kaide, appears in the Necropolis too, Satarial has the leverage he needs, and the stage is set for the biggest shake-up the afterlife has seen in centuries.

Dom's only option is to compete in the Trials and attempt to win the chance to enter the Maze. In his favour he has an enigmatic young Guide, Eva, and a Guardian, Eduardo, who may not be what he seems. But will they be enough?
Review by Chantelle

ARC Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C Stevens

Title: Faking Normal
Author: Courtney C Stevens
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: 5th February, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 4.10 out of 5.00 (100+ ratings, pre-release)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

Alexi Littrell hasn't told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in "the Kool-Aid Kid," who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.
Review by Nara

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quick but Important Question!

Hi everyone! Just a quick question for you all.

You might have noticed that we've installed IntenseDebate for comments rather than leaving the normal and crappy Blogger system. This is for several reasons:

1. It actually lets you know when we reply to your comments by sending you an email (rather than making you subscribe to ALL comments)
2. CommentLuv- it's a lot easier accessing everyone's blogs, and it's easier to promote your own posts and things.
3. Easier on the whole for Wordpress users (apparently the built-in Blogger system is really bad for Wordpress users?)

Anyway, the question we had was: are you okay with IntenseDebate as a commenting system? If on the whole, you guys don't really like it then we may as well get rid of it or change to Disqus or something. Let us know!

Review: After Eden by Helen Douglas

Title: After Eden
Author: Helen Douglas
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: Bloomsbury Sydney. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 3.69 out of 5.00 (780+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she's hooked. On the face of it, he's a typical American teenager. So why doesn't he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn't heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he's taking in her.

As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan's bedroom - a biography of her best friend - written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose ... and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.

Review by Nara

Friday, January 24, 2014

ARC Review: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Title: Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3)
Author: Veronica Rossi
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Release Date: 28 January, 2014
Source: HarperCollins via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 4.32 out of 5.00 (860+ ratings, pre-release)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ARC Review: Tape by Steven Camden

Title: Tape
Author: Steven Camden
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 30 January, 2014
Source: HarperCollins Australia. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 2.67 out of 5.00 (10+ ratings, pre-release)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Record a voice and it lasts forever…

In 1993, Ryan records a diary on an old tape. He talks about his mother’s death, about his dreams, about his love for a new girl at school who doesn’t even know he exists.

In 2013, Ameliah moves in with her grandmother after her parents die. There, she finds a tape in the spare room. A tape with a boy’s voice on it – a voice she can’t quite hear, but which seems to be speaking to her.

Ryan and Ameliah are connected by more than just a tape.

This is their story.

Review by Nara

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Split Second by Kasie West

Title: Split Second (Pivot Point #2)
Author: Kasie West
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Source: HarperCollins Australia. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 4.39 out of 5.00 (80+ ratings, pre-release)
Goodreads | The Reading Room


Life can change in a split second.

Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.
Review by Chantelle

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Reading Update (19/1/14)

Okay, so here in Adelaide where I live, we had this massive heatwave which meant that the entire week it was over 40 degrees Celsius (converts to 104 degrees Fahrenheit), and the hottest day it was 46 Celsius (115 Fahrenheit) so yeah. I really didn't go out much this week. Which meant I got a lot of reading done. Seriously, it was a lot. Not even sure myself how I read that much haha. Reminder, this is for the books I've read for the past 2 weeks :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

ARC Review: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Title: Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman's Daughter #2)
Author: Megan Shepherd
Genre: Historical, Thriller
Release Date: 28 January, 2014
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 3.93 out of 5.00 (140+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.

Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.

As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.

As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.

With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

ARC Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 3.99 out of 5.00 (420+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Review by Nara

Monday, January 13, 2014

Announcing the Stephanie Perkins Read-Along!

Hello everyone! You might remember that back in December, Chantelle and I (along with two other bloggers) hosted a Rainbow Rowell Read-a-Thon. Well, we enjoyed that so much that when Shelly of Readiculous Reads came up with the idea to do a Stephanie Perkins Read-Along in preparation for the release of Isla and the Happily Ever After we said heck yes!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Review: Phoenix Island by John Dixon

Title: Phoenix Island
Author: John Dixon
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: Gallery Books via NetGalley

Goodreads rating: 3.90 out of 5.00 (90+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

The judge told Carl that one day he'd have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be made for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can't seem to stay out of trouble, using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a terminal facility, it's the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States and immune to its laws, the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname "Hollywood" as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the sweatbox. But that's nothing compared to what awaits him in the Chop Shop: a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life. . . .

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he's not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it's just the beginning. . .

Review by Nara

Friday, January 10, 2014

ARC Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Title: Uninvited (Uninvited #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Source: HarperCollins via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 3.93 out of 5.00 (360+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.
Review by Nara

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Discussion: I can't wait to see your review!

Haven't done a discussion for a while, have I? Well, this is a topic I've been thinking about since someone (can't actually remember who it was...) commented on one of my Goodreads status updates with something like "I loved this book too! I can't wait to see your review!" This comment was for a book that I actually wasn't intending to write a review for. But it got me thinking: do you write reviews for every book you read?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

ARC Review: Avalon by Mindee Arnett

Title: Avalon
Author: Mindee Arnett
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: 21 January, 2014
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 4.06 out of 5.00 (100+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

A ragtag group of teenage mercenaries who crew the spaceship Avalon stumble upon a conspiracy that could threaten the entire galaxy in this fascinating and fast-paced sci-fi adventure from author Mindee Arnett.

Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.

Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.

Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.
Review by Nara

Monday, January 6, 2014

End of 2013 Survey

Well, I'm sure you've all already heard of this survey before, but in case you've been living under a rock and haven't, the 2013 End of Year Book Survey is a fun survey hosted by Jaime at The Perpetual Page-Turner (I'm pretty sure she actually hosts it every year). Chantelle and I decided to do the survey in vlog form rather than have to type everything out because we're kinda lazy. lol. I'll still type out the questions and books in case you can't watch the vlog :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Reading Update (5/1/14)

Hi everyone! So, because I realised I actually read a lot more books than I review (if I tried to review every book I read, I'd be writing reviews forever and not actually have enough days in the year to publish them all) I thought I'd start up a new feature called Reading Update where I briefly talk about/list the books I've been reading. This will be a biweekly feature- by which I mean every two weeks (maybe even less often than that- depends on my laziness levels haha). Also the title is slightly misleading, because I'll also include some songs that I've been listening to recently (maybe not so misleading, because I listen to music while reading? lol)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Review: Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Title: Shadowfell
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: PanMacmillan Australia. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 3.97 out of 5.00 (3,900+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

The people of Alban are afraid.

The tyrannical king and his masked Enforcers are scouring the land, burning villages and enslaving the canny.

Fifteen-year-old Neryn has fled her home in the wake of its destruction, and is alone and penniless, hiding her extraordinary magical power. She can rely on no one – not even the elusive Good Folk who challenge and bewilder her with their words.

When an enigmatic stranger saves her life, Neryn and the young man called Flint begin an uneasy journey together. She wants to trust Flint but how can she tell who is true in this land of evil?

For Neryn has heard whisper of a mysterious place far away: a place where rebels are amassing to free the land and end the King's reign.

A place called Shadowfell.

A story of courage, hope, danger and love from one of the most compelling fantasy storytellers.

Review by Nara

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

ARC Review: Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Heartbeat
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Source: Harlequin TEEN via NetGalley

Goodreads rating: 3.75 out of 5.00 (250+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Life. Death. And...Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

Review by Nara