Friday, February 28, 2014

Reading Update (28/2/14)

Well, this is my last week of freedom because next week, I go back to uni. So yeah, from now on the number of posts and things will probably decrease because both Chantelle and I do the same uni course and apparently this year is the year where things start getting really full on (third year, if you're interested, by the way).

As always, a reminder that these books are what I've read in the past two weeks. Actually, probably a little less than two weeks since I've changed the Reading Update day from Sunday to Friday. That's just so I have something to break up my reviews- i.e. Wed- review, Fri- reading update/discussion/quiz/whatever, Sun- review.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Title: Side Effects May Vary
Author: Julie Murphy
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 18 March, 2014
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 3.88 out of 5.00 (220+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.
Review by Nara

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Review: Death Sworn by Leah Cypess

Title: Death Sworn
Author: Leah Cypess
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Source: Greenwillow Books via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 3.76 out of 5.00 (240+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.
Review by Nara

Friday, February 21, 2014

Quiz: How well do you know your Hardcovers?

So, the other day I saw a photo of the Incarnate trilogy hardcovers without the dust jackets, and omg they're so pretty. (Sidenote: okay, I just searched for 15 mins in vain for a nice photo of them undressed, so you'll have to take my word for it. But seriously, they're really pretty)

Anyway, I grabbed a few of the hardcovers that I own and took photos of them without the dust jackets and my quiz is this- can you tell what books they are? Some of them are quite easy, but some are more difficult- so I've included hints and stuff. If you get completely stuck then you can look at my hardcover shelf on Goodreads. Seriously only use that as a last resort though, because I don't own that many hardcovers (25 apparently).

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Title: Panic
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 3.70 out of 5.00 (660+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
Review by Nara

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

If you're ready come and get it! na na na na

By Chantelle

Hey all! This is my first reading update for 2014, with the theme of it being: if you're ready come and get it, na na na na (yes, like the selena gomez song, whether that's a good, bad or "it's complicated" thing is up to you- for me it's the latter, I'm not a fan but it is freaking catchy!). It also sums up quite nicely how January and February have been for me so far, with so many anticipated YA releases.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Reading Update (16/2/14)

Okay, so remember when I had no internet a few weeks back and therefore read a lot? Well, for a few days last week, we had NO FREAKING ELECTRICITY AT ALL. It was really windy and a tree fell over and literally cut our power lines *shakes fist at tree*. So therefore I got quite a bit of reading done!

Also, today is the 16th of February, also known as MY BIRTHDAY! Woo! The most exciting thing about my birthday is probably the fact that I'm getting an icecream cake. omnomnomnom.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Blogger Love-a-Thon: Interview with Rebecca from The Library Canary

Evident from the button above, this post is a part of the Book Blogger Love-a-Thon, an event which you can read about here. It's hosted by Katelyn and Alexa and is basically an event to celebrate book blogging! Also, this post is supposed to be up at 9am EST but I suck at time conversions so I'm just posting 9pm Australia time. Better early than late I guess haha.

Anyway, as part of the Love-a-Thon, each blogger was paired up with another blogger in order to do interviews and spread the book blogger love! I was paired up with Rebecca from The Library Canary. So, let's get straight into it. Here are the questions I asked her!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Review: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

Title: The Shadow Prince
Author: Bree Despain
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Source: EgmontUSA via Edelweiss

Goodreads rating: 4.04 (100+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.
Review by Nara

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Interview with Kasie West! Author of Split Second & Pivot Point

Split Second has been released! Wooooooo!!! 

Look at all that gorgeousness. YOU CAN BUY THAT RIGHT NOW! And to celebrate its release, we got to interview the beautiful Kasie West. If you leave right now to go get a copy, I will understand completely :) If you don't know this book, it's the final installment of the Pivot Point duology- an awesome young adult paranormal series that you must read!

But without further ado, here's the interview where I ask Kasie about Addie, Laila, the boys, and possible spin-offs in the future...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review: White Space by Ilsa J Bick

Title: White Space (Dark Passages #1)
Author: Ilsa J Bick
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy, Horror
Source: EgmontUSA via Edelweiss. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 2.92 out of 5.00 (70+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

In the tradition of Memento and Inception comes a thrilling and scary young adult novel about blurred reality where characters in a story find that a deadly and horrifying world exists in the space between the written lines.

Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it's as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she's real.

Then she writes "White Space," a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.

Unfortunately, "White Space" turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she's never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she's dropped into the very story she thought she'd written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they--and Emma--may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.

Now what they must uncover is why they've been brought to this place--a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written--before someone pens their end.
Review by Nara

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Blog Tour: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Secret (Elemental #4)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Allen & Unwin. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 4.34 out of 5.00 (400+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He's trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won't get in to college. He's trying to keep his brother's business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He's trying to keep the secret of where he's going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel or he fears he'll lose his family. And he's trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his 'girlfriend's' partner.

And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.

Review by Nara

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Search for the Panacea [3]

Well, this is incredibly late, but here's my book haul for December! It's kinda long because Christmas = splurging on books. Plus I got quite a few books for review. As always, I'll list the books in case you don't want to watch :)

p.s. I was wrong about Not a Drop to Drink being a standalone. Apparently a companion novel is in the works!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Review: Bird by Crystal Chan

Title: Bird
Author: Crystal Chan
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Source: Text Publishing. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 4.17 out of 5.00 (70+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Nothing matters. Only Bird matters. And he flew away.

Jewel never knew her brother Bird, but all her life she has lived in his shadow. Her parents blame Grandpa for the tragedy of their family’s past; they say that Grandpa attracted a malevolent spirit—a duppy—into their home. Grandpa hasn’t spoken a word since. Now Jewel is twelve, and she lives in a house full of secrets.

Jewel is sure that no one will ever love her like they loved Bird, until the night that she meets a mysterious boy in a tree.

Grandpa is convinced that the boy is a duppy, but Jewel knows that he is something more. And that maybe the time has come to break through the stagnant silence of the past.

Entrenched secrets, mysterious spirits, and an astonishing friendship weave together in this extraordinary and haunting debut.
Review by Nara

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Discussion: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Fairytale Retellings

Goodreads rating: 3.91 out of 5.00 (1, 135+ 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.

Discussion by Chantelle

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Review: Unhinged by A.G. Howard

Title: Unhinged (Splintered #2)
Author: A.G. Howard
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Thames & Hudson. Thank you!

Goodreads rating: 4.39 out of 5.00 (800+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room

In Splintered, A. G. Howard's dark reimagining of Alice in Wonderland, Alyssa Gardner was crowned a Queen in Wonderland. Yet she chose to leave her subjects so she could live in the human realm. For a year she's been trying to be regular Alyssa again, with her boyfriend, Jeb, her newly returned mom, her friends, the prom and the promise of a future in London.

But Morpheus, the seductive, manipulative netherling who haunts her dreams, won't let her leave her legacy behind that easily. Neither will Wonderland, which appears to be suffering from her neglect.

Alyssa is torn between two worlds: Jeb and her human life...and the intoxicating wildness of Wonderland- and Morpheus. When those worlds collide and Wonderland starts to invade her "real" life, Alyssa must find a way to keep balance between the two realms or lose everything she loves.
Review by Nara

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Reading Update (2/2/14)

So...if you haven't noticed we've had a couple of changes on the blog this week. First, the commenting system was changed to IntenseDebate- if you've had any issues with it, can you please let us know? Email or Tweet or whatever. redesign! Pretty happy with how it turned out, and it seems like the response has been fairly favourable- nobody has yet said that the colours have burned their eyes or anything so we're going to assume it's acceptable haha. I'm keeping the feature buttons to match the old design for now though because I'm lazy. hehe.

Anyway, onto the update!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

February Flailage

First, no. Flailage is not a word. Unless words that I make up count as words too lol.
Second, what is this post for? It's to showcase the February releases that I'm most excited about!
Third, let's get straight into it. PREPARE FOR EXTREME FLAILAGE.