Sunday, June 29, 2014

Read ALL THE BOOKS! (That are unread on my shelf)

So, being in Australia, and also being an undergrad uni student, I have almost the entire month of July off for holidays! Woo! And because I have so much (reading) time, I thought I'd set myself a goal of attempting to read every unread book on my shelf.

There are two types of unread books on my shelf
1. Completely unread
2. Books I have read before, but of which I haven't actually read my copy. As in, I first read it from an eARC or the library or something.

I was thinking to myself that there wouldn't be that many books that I haven't read on my shelves, and so I started up a Google Doc listing what I thought would just be like 10 or 20 books and then DISASTER. I hadn't read SO MANY OF THEM. What da heck?! I hadn't realised it was so out of control D:

Since I have a lot of eARCs and stuff to read, I thought I'd maybe make some priority books that I must read this holidays (bolded on the Google doc), and then any others I read are bonuses. So here are those books:

Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: The Minnow by Diana Sweeney

Title: The Minnow
Author: Diana Sweeney
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Bookworld. Thank you!

Tom survived a devastating flood that claimed the lives of her sister and parents. Now she lives with Bill in his old shed by the lake. But it’s time to move out—Tom is pregnant with Bill’s baby.

Jonah lets her move in with him. Mrs Peck gives her the Fishmaster Super Series tackle box. Nana is full of gentle good advice and useful sayings.

And in her longing for what is lost, Tom talks to fish: Oscar the carp in the pet shop, little Sarah catfish who might be her sister, an unhelpful turtle in a tank at the maternity ward. And the minnow.

The Minnow is a moving and powerful coming of age story with a whimsical element that belies the heartbreaking truth of grief and loss. Tom is a character you will never forget.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Never Give Your Lunch to a Talking Squirrel: Marcus Valencio from The Partials Sequence

Okay, so this is the first in a series of posts (don't know how often I'm going to post these though haha) spotlighting my favourite minor(ish) characters from some of my favourites series. In today's post I'm going to be flailing about Marcus from The Partials Sequence.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: In the End by Demitria Lunetta

Title: In the End (In the After #2)
Author: Demitria Lunetta
Genre: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic
Release Date: 24 June, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

The thrilling conclusion to In the After, the survival story of Amy and Baby, set in a near future where Earth has been overrun by vicious, predatory creatures.

It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby.

Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order to save Baby, Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival.

One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.
Review by Nara

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

Title: The Year of the Rat
Author: Clare Furniss
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Simon & Schuster Australia. Thank you!

Grappling with grief is hard enough without repeat visits from the deceased. Pearl deals with death, life, and family in this haunting, humorous, and poignant debut.

The world can tip at any moment…a fact that fifteen-year-old Pearl is all too aware of when her mom dies after giving birth to her baby sister, Rose.

Rose, who looks exactly like a baby rat, all pink, wrinkled, and writhing. This little Rat has destroyed everything, even ruined the wonderful relationship that Pearl had with her stepfather, the Rat’s biological father.

Mom, though…Mom’s dead but she can’t seem to leave. She keeps visiting Pearl. Smoking, cursing, guiding.

Told across the year following her mother’s death, Pearl’s story is full of bittersweet humor and heartbreaking honesty about how you deal with grief that cuts you to the bone, as she tries not only to come to terms with losing her mother, but also the fact that her sister—The Rat—is a constant reminder of why her mom is no longer around.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Discussion: A Weird Confession About Diversity

This may be weird to hear, but I honestly don't care that much about seeing ethnic diversity in books. Well, if it's there, it's there, but I also don't actually mind if it's not there. There is a good reason for this, and it's not that I love reading about white characters lol. The reason why I don't mind about not having diversity in books is because I'm not a very visual reader.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Review: The Caller by Juliet Marillier

Title: The Caller (Shadowfell #3)
Author: Juliet Marillier
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: 9 September, 2014
Source: PanMacmillan Australia. Thank you!

Neryn has made a long journey to perfect her skills as a Caller. She has learned the wisdom of water and of earth; she has journeyed to the remote isles of the west and the forbidding mountains of the north. Now, Neryn must travel in Alban's freezing winter to seek the mysterious White Lady, Guardian of Air. For only when Neryn has been trained by all four Guardians will she be ready to play her role in toppling the tyrannical King Keldec.

But the White Lady is not what she seems. Trapped with Whisper, her fey protector, Neryn is unable to send word to her beloved Flint, who is in danger of being exposed as a double agent. When a new threat looms and the rebellion is in jeopardy, Neryn must enter Keldec's court, where one false move could see her culled. She must stand up against forces more powerful than any she has confronted before, and face losses that could break her heart.

The Caller is the thrilling conclusion to the Shadowfell trilogy.
Review by Nara

Friday, June 13, 2014

Review: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Title: Fan Art
Author: Sarah Tregay
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, LGBT
Release Date: 17 June, 2014
Source: Katherine Tegen via Edelweiss

When the picture tells the story…

Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.

As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

This book is about what happens when a picture reveals what we can’t say, when art is truer than life, and how falling in love is easy, except when it’s not. Fan Art explores the joys and pains of friendship, of pressing boundaries, and how facing our worst fears can sometimes lead us to what we want most.
Review by Nara

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Review: (Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn

Title: (Don't You) Forget About Me
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: 10 June, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.
Review by Nara

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Review: The Wizard's Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Title: The Wizard's Promise
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: 6 May, 2014
Source: Strange Chemistry via NetGalley

All Hanna Euli wants is to become a proper witch – but unfortunately, she’s stuck as an apprentice to a grumpy fisherman. When their boat gets caught up in a mysterious storm and blown wildly off course, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before.

As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized, especially when a mysterious, beautiful, and very non-human boy begins following her through the ocean, claiming that he needs Hanna’s help.
Review by Nara

Friday, June 6, 2014

Discussion: Don't Read This Post. It's For Your Own Good. (But seriously, read it lol)

You know what I freaking hate? THIS LINE:
"I'm sorry, but I can't be with you anymore. It's for your own good."
"I'm too dangerous. You can't be around me anymore."
or even
"I'm breaking up with you" (and in the character's mind, they say "It's for your own good" and don't actually explain it properly to the other character and the other character is left wondering what the hell they did wrong).

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review: Take Back the Skies by Lucy Saxon

Title: Take Back the Skies
Author: Lucy Saxon
Genre: Young Adult, Steampunk
Release Date: 5th June, 2014
Source: Bloomsbury Sydney. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.

So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all . . .
Review by Nara

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Review: Witchfall by Victoria Lamb

Title: Witchfall (Tudor Witch Trilogy #2)
Author: Victoria Lamb
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Paranormal
Source: HarlequinTeen via NetGalley

Her darkest dreams are coming true.

In Tudor England, 1555, Meg Lytton has learned how powerful her magick gift can be. But danger surrounds her and her mistress, the outcast Princess Elizabeth. Nowhere is safe in the court of Elizabeth's fanatical sister, Queen Mary. And as the Spanish Inquisition's merciless priests slowly tighten their grip on the court, Meg's very dreams are disturbed by the ever-vengeful witchfinder Marcus Dent.

Even as Meg tries to use her powers to find guidance, something evil arises, impervious to Meg's spells and hungry to control England's fate. As Meg desperately tries to keep her secret betrothed, the Spanish priest Alejandro de Castillo, out of harm's way, caution wars with their forbidden desire. And with her most powerful enemy poised to strike, Meg's only chance is a heartbreaking sacrifice.
Review by Nara