Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (118)

Hey, 

This week I'm waiting for...
Red Queen
Release Date: March 26, 2015
Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army, she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a superhuman ability she didn’t know she had.

Except . . . her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a budding Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince and Mare against her own heart.

This sounds like a seriously overused story line... but I want to read it so bad. I have a feeling it's going to be so good. At first I thought it was a Alice in Wonderland retelling... but this is sounds so cool.
Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments below so I can check it out!

Have a good week,
Sam :D

Monday, 25 August 2014

My review of The Parts I Remember

The Parts I Remember (The Parts I Remember #1) by A.K. Mills 
Release Date: March 1, 2013
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

The Parts I RememberAct first. Think never. Remember nothing.

Welcome to Kelly Rockport’s existence at Haysville University, where responsibility is just an elective. After all, fake IDs, alter egos, and one-night stands are all part of the college experience, right? So what if she blacks out from time to time? Memory is overrated.

When freshman year lasts about as long as a one-night stand and is quickly followed by the Year of the Blackout, Kelly projects junior year to be nothing shy of amazing. But as shots, beer, cocaine and men mesh together in an intoxicating haze, Kelly’s reckless ways get her into serious trouble. The only problem is, she can't remember what happened.


As she hovers along the edge of consciousness, Kelly forces herself to think past her pain to piece together the shards of her life. This is her story, told in her words: The Parts I Remember.

The Parts I Remember will hit you in a way that you would never expect it to with its refreshing and honest characters who are all simply stumbling through life with no real direction. Though I never thought I'd love a main character who drinks until she "blacks out" and can't remember anything from the night before, or has one-night stands, and uses drugs... I did come to like her. Kelly is honest and she doesn't care what you think of her. She is daring and a complete one of kind that you wouldn't wish anyone other than her could tell the story.

Page one throws you into a car crash scene and you are literally put in the "what the utter heck is going on?" seat. However, through out explaining what is going on at that scene, the chapters and intersected with scenes of how it all began: when Kelly first starts college and moves in with a heavily religious girl who judges her every move, especially Kelly's partying habits. These scenes were some of the best in my opinion. But over the course of the book you slowly begin to put together how the crash happened and all the minor details before and after that.

I can understand why readers may not enjoy Kelly as a character. After all, she hardly learns from her mistakes and doesn't pay enough attention to her actions and the consequences of them, but I feel like that was what the author was aiming for. The Parts I Remember is a book about what you shouldn't do, what you should do, and also the things that are most important in your life. 

The Parts I Remember is a story that I really enjoyed and I did feel like I learnt a lot from it. I fell in and out of love with the characters and I honestly can't wait to read the sequel! YES, there's going to be more and I'm excited for it. I would recommend this book to those who prefer a new adult story which isn't all about sex and prefer a little more meaning.
Rating
A review copy was provided by the author

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Book Haul (#92)

Hey,

I hope you've all had a good week and read plenty of books! I'm finding myself now panicking about going back to school! I need to read two billion books and I've forgotten about homework until now. Stress, stress, stress. I did go and see the Inbetweeners 2 Movie yesterday and it was super funny. The foursome are simply brilliant.
ALSOOO! Weekly Teen Wolf update: SAY WHAT! The benefactor was NOT expected and I'm still in shock. Don't forget to watch it on SUNDAY before the MTV VMA's, it's not on Monday this week. ONE DAY EARLY SOUNDS GOOD TO ME I CAN'T WAIT GUYS YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. I do live in the UK and they don't show Teen Wolf so I'll have to stay up late and pray it comes on my trusty Watchseries website.

Anyway enough of me rambling on about things. This week I received and bought:


Thank you Hachette Children's Books! I'm really excited about this one. It's meant to be the most anticipated debut of the year... or something like that and the premise sounds AMAZINGG. I'll probably start reading it soon.
Animal Farm by George Orwell - Bought -
This is one of the books that I have to read for school. If anyone knows about the connections to the Russian war then please help me out. *Cries*

Leave a link to your Book Haul/Stacking the Shelves/Letterbox Love/Showcase Sunday/In My Mailbox in the comments so I can check it out!

Enjoy all your books,
Sam :)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Book Spotlight: Elemental by John Connors

Hello,

Today I'm here to introduce you to a young adult book that is a mix of fantasy, myth and mystery and is also available on Amazon right now! This book is called Elemental by John Connors and it is the first book in the exciting Heart of the World series. It's premise sounds absolutely brilliant. It's available as an ebook and print book so to find out more about it then check the cover and blurb below. 
Elemental (Heart of the World #1) by John Connors
Release Date: April 21, 2014
Thirteen year old Tom Allenby is plunged into the adventure of a lifetime when he moves to the village of Rooksbourne where nothing is what it seems. With the help of new friends and a mysterious stone that gives him new powers Tom battles deadly over-sized animals, plants and birds as he races to stop a plan that threatens the whole world. 
-----------------------------------
John has also kindly shared the first chapter of the book so you can dip your toes into the world of Elemental!
Chapter One

Tom Allenby ran across the road without even looking. Horns blew, brakes screeched and curses were yelled though they were already fading into the distance as Tom reached the other side. He glanced around and saw his pursuers were unable to match his recklessness and grinned across at them before disappearing along a narrow alleyway that ran down the side of a church. Emerging in a wide graveyard he quickly scanned for options. More houses and gardens lined the road opposite but to one side lay a much narrower street that he decided would be his escape route.

He had no idea where he was going and was well aware that the others would be much more familiar with the layout of the village but he’d made his choice now. When he reached the end of the street he came across a far quieter main road and on the other side nothing but woodland. What better hiding place?

It was so hot and he’d run so fast he was panting with the effort. He felt sweat dripping down his face that he had to stop for a moment. He could still hear shouting and knew he wasn’t out of trouble yet - what’s more he was loving it! This was more like it! Perhaps this place would not be as dull as he’d first imagined.

Once he set off he found harder to make progress with thick undergrowth and foliage to contend with but he knew he would have to put some distance between himself and the gang. He could hear thrashing and yells behind him so he pushed on further, straining against the heat of the afternoon. What a way to spend his first full day in a new place.

Rooksbourne was a village so insignificant it didn’t feature on any but the most detailed maps and which as far as he had been able to find out had never been the location of one important thing in the history of the world ever. The one place in the world about which even Google could find next to nothing to say. It was almost as if it didn’t really exist and he was imagining it in a nightmare.

It was a nightmare had started barely two months ago when his parents had announced that it would be good to move to the country. Just like that. He’d forgotten about it until the following day when he’d caught them poring over property leaflets and maps. In that way he’d noticed they always had of pretending nothing is happening when it obviously is they slipped the literature into a drawer and started talking about the traffic as soon as they noticed him.

He’d tried arguing that as he was nearly grown up they should have asked him. He’d even tried announcing he’d never help with anything in the house ever

again and could see Mum was trying to stop herself laughing. Dad had said the only thing Tom had ever helped with had been bringing his own laundry downstairs. Sometimes.

They had sat him down to give him one of those boring parental talks - something about cities choking people and how healthy the country was which made sense for all of ten seconds which was how long it took for him to realise he hadn’t actually told any of his mates. He had been so convinced that his resistance would pay off and the move would be abandoned he’d never bothered to mention it at school. With the end of term looming he had to break it to his friends all at once and nobody had any time to organise a goodbye party.

Upon arriving yesterday afternoon he’d immediately realise how isolated he was going to be as his phone was unable to pick up any Wi-Fi. Instead, he received that annoying circling symbol and a strange burst of static every few seconds. He wasn’t sure what was causing the noise which he’d never known a phone to emit before but it meant he couldn’t contact anyone especially since his laptop had recently met with an accident. Perhaps Rooksbourne was so far away from anywhere else that nobody knew about it and there actually was no signal here ever.

“Nice isn’t it?” his mother had said as they had unloaded the car, “Peaceful. Don’t you think, Tom?”

“Isn’t that just a way of saying boring?”

“No,” she replied stuffing some cardboard boxes into a bin that was already overflowing, “It’s a way of saying how nice it is here. Living here will make us all far more healthy and happy. You can feel it in the air.”

“Some of us were perfectly happy living in London.”

His mother pulled a face, “London is just too big, too polluted. Six months from now you’ll go back for Christmas and realise what a horrible place it is to live.”

“Yeah, but this place? We could have moved to, I dunno, Venice or Rome or New York! All the places in the world and you chose here. Six months from now, I’ll have died of boredom.”

“Don’t be like that. Think of it as an adventure. Explore. Discover somewhere new. And if that doesn’t sound exciting enough for you, just think of the extra pocket money you’ll get now your father’s being paid more.”

“Yeah?”

“He was one of several surgeons at St. George’s. Here’s he’s the only one in his specialism the district so you see it’s not all doom and gloom is it?”

“Does that mean I get a new laptop?”

“We’re still not sure how the old one got broken.”

“That wasn’t my fault. Look, I’m going to need a new one here aren’t I? How else will I connect to the world? My phone won’t work.”

“It’s probably just atmospherics.”

“Mum; do you even know what that means?”

She smiled and shook her head.

“We’ll see about the laptop. It will depend on how co-operative you are. If you’re going to mope about looking unhappy all the time...”

Tom pulled out his best ear to ear grin.

“See. I can be happy! Loving the place already!”

“Good. Now go and explore. It’s a lovely day. Smell that air.”

“It smells rank!”

“That’s the smell of the country.”

“Mum that is the smell of cow dung!”

“Natural smells, its nature, Tom. Being here is like being in the heart of the world.”

He looked over at her and wondered if she’d gone mad. She smiled back at him as if everything was wonderful.

“Why don’t you go and explore? There’s bound to be lots of places to discover.”

“Mum, I’m thirteen, not six!”

“Well thirteen year olds still like to explore don’t they?”

Tom shrugged and set off.

“And be back by six”

“Yeah, yeah.”

So Tom had explored as much as it is possible to explore somewhere that doesn’t really have anything. The optimistically named Main Street for example turned out to be the only street that wasn’t packed with cottages and houses. A sorry looking row of shops sat next to a pub that had been painted white. There was a small supermarket opposite but it looked as if it was closed. In fact the entire village looked as if it was closed. Every few minutes a car would rattle through. Tom imagined drivers wanting to get past as quickly as possible.

All of a sudden he’d heard the chatter of voices and laughter coming from a bus stop further along the road. Perhaps there were some young people here after all though he was quite pleased to even see a bus stop; at least it meant there was a way out!

As he approached though, he began to have second thoughts. The group of six looked older than he was and he quickly turned around intending to make his way back.

“Hey,” came a shout from behind, “Hang on.”

Reluctantly he turned around to see a tall, lean, tanned boy with spiky hair walking towards him.

“What’s your name then?” he asked as the other teenagers sauntered towards them.

“Tom. Tom Allenby...”

“Tom Tom, not seen you about before.”

“Funny. We moved here yesterday from London. Into Cross Farm Lane.”

The boy smirked, “Into the spook house?”

“Eh?”

Close up the other boy was twice Tom’s height and looked down at him with a mocking expression.

“You haven’t heard about that house? The people that used to live there, the Olyphant’s, they all died.”

This was news to Tom.

“You’re joking mate?”

“No joke. Slaughtered in their beds by persons unknown.”

A girl roughly the same height as the boy but pale with long dark black hair approached.

“It’s not true of course. Jake’s just winding you up. He does that a lot.”

Tom wasn’t sure what to make of them and laughed nervously.

“Oh, right.”

“Something weird did happen though. They vanished overnight. Just upped and went didn’t they Jake?”

Jake nodded, “Just like that. So perhaps you want us to protect you?”

“From what?”

Jake laughed, “From us!” and the others who had also now joined them followed suit except the pale girl who remained stony faced.

“Protection racket; like gangsters do?” said Tom, keeping his eyes peeled for an escape route.

The girl laughed, “He’s going to be trouble, this one, I can tell.”

“If you like, “replied Jake, ignoring her which she did not seem to appreciate, “It’s just how it works here. Join us and you can share in it.”

“No thanks.”

“This isn’t London, Tom Tom. This place is too small for you to hide. There’s only us and the pathetic kids that give us money. Which of those sounds like the better deal to you?”

Tom had met people like Jake before and he didn’t like bullies.

“Maybe I’ll join the pathetic kids then, mate.”

“Don’t be stupid.”

“I didn’t want to come here anyway.”

“What’s wrong with it?”

“Small time isn’t it? You think you’re cool but there are ten year olds from where I live that would beat you up.”

“Oh, yeah? Get him!”

Tom knew that while older kids could out- run him they were never as wily, never saw the opportunities of the chase or the places where he could squeeze through. Back home, he’d outfoxed local gangs several times and this lot were going to be easy.

Now he was in dense woodland he could use the cover to his advantage. He headed for a dense thicket of shrubs to try and make himself as invisible as he could, crouching low as he got his breath back. From his vantage point he could just make out Jake and another boy searching in vain but after a while they moved away. The voices became feint before Tom was left on his own. He sat back in the long grass and for the first time started to become fully aware of other less familiar sounds.

He could hear the buzzing of insects, flapping of wings and scurrying of small animals. There were noises whose origin he had no idea of. He could smell something sweet mingling with the omnipresent smell of dung. A dragonfly landed nearby, its gossamer outline seeming like an alien this close up. The sound of birds singing repetitively suddenly demanded his attention, their notes flying across the woods like a symphony.

He pulled out his phone but there was still “no signal”. It was probably too much to expect here. His limited research into Rooksbourne had at least shown there were woods surrounding much of the village so he assumed that was where he was. All he had to do was walk back the way he had come and he would find the road

again. On the other hand he had got here so speedily he had failed to notice any landmarks that would guide him back. Looking up at the canopy of trees that blocked the strongest of the sunlight he felt he was further away from anyone than he had ever been. By now, the humidity had built to a stifling level and Tom could feel his hair matted to his forehead.

There was a sudden noise overhead that made him jump. A repetitive call echoed across the branches as a bird with flashes of blue plumage on its body and long tail circled above and began swooping down towards him. As it whooshed past something fell from its mouth, spinning round and plummeting to the ground directly at Tom’s feet.

The bird circled once more before flying away again as quickly as it had arrived leaving Tom staring at the object in the grass. He had a feeling he should just walk away, but then again it wouldn’t hurt to take a look - after all he knew some birds were notorious for hoarding valuable things; perhaps he’d get some money for a piece of jewellery.

What he picked up was unlikely jewellery though. In his palm sat a perfectly polished small piece of black rock roughly the size of a marble. Its shiny surface was speckled with white patterns and attached to a light gold chain presumably so its owner could wear it round their neck. Maybe he or she would pay for its return- there were bound to be some rich people around here judging from the large houses he’d spotted.

As he held the chain and swung the stone a little, he started to feel a pull on his arm. It was as if someone was adding more and more weight making the stone heavier by the second. He held onto the chain with both hands but felt the stone was pulling his hands down towards the ground, as if under a magnetic force. He fell heavily to his knees, felt the pull in his shoulders and let go.

The stone fell a few inches onto the grass where it lay innocently. The rebound sent Tom stumbling backwards from where he stared at the stone. How could it possibly have altered its weight so dramatically and so quickly? Surely he was imagining it? Mum was always going on about sunstroke so perhaps this was the effect it had on people. A stone doesn’t change its weight just like that does it?

Even so he was intrigued enough to try again. Breaking a twig from a nearby tree, he slid it along the grass and hooked the chain before lifting it slowly. To his surprise, the stone somehow seemed to weigh nothing again.

Lifting it off the twig he placed the chain over his head and round his neck. It felt smooth to touch but there was a tingling sensation if he kept his fingers in the one place for more than a few seconds. Then, it began to feel heavy again.

Frantically trying to lift it back he was pulled sprawling back onto the grass with a bump before he could remove it. Like a magnet it seemed drawn to the ground and Tom couldn’t lift his head up. He started to feel nauseous, his body unable to resist the force of whatever had pulled him down. He relaxed, ready to muster all his efforts to stand up again or hoping that the stone would change its weight.

As he lay in an ungainly heap, his head pressed against the grass, he became aware of something. It felt like something beyond the warmth of the afternoon or the discomfort of his position, something more important. It was a thumping noise, steady and rhythmic. Of course it was his own heartbeat, he realised. What else could it be?

As suddenly as before, the rock became light again and he was able to sit up, breathless after the ordeal. He lifted his hands to pull off the chain, determined to leave it here when he noticed a movement from the corner of his eye.

A short distance from where he was sat the ground a spray of ferns was moving. Something was lurking inside and Tom stood slowly, not wanting to alarm whatever it was. He had no idea if there could be anything dangerous in these woods but he’d better be on the safe side. He could see reddish fur crouching under the cover of the green plants and as he stared he realised what he was looking at was a fox. He relaxed a little; he’d seen urban foxes before, rustling through bins on the edge of London one night when Dad was driving them home. He knew they were largely harmless unless you provoked them. It was probably more wary of him than he was of it.

He backed off but this seemed to encourage the fox to emerge fully into the dappled sunlight. It was a very large red fox, in fact it seemed rather too large for a fox and Tom did not like the way it was glaring at him. There was something about its eyes that made him imagine it was sizing him up for a snack. He was not going to be intimidated by a fox, however big it was and remembered he’d seen something that said you should stare out wild animals and they’ll back off. However as he stared back he realised that the animal’s features seemed spikier than any fox he’d seen a picture of and it looked ready to attack.

He heard a rustle nearby and saw a second fox emerge, equal in size and far less tentative. It snarled baring long white teeth. There was no doubt that the foxes saw him as an enemy and he was starting to doubt that they were anything like ordinary foxes.

He looked around and saw a route by which he could leave quickly and as he did he became aware of a third fox. This one was perched on a mound and it, too, was growling. Tom was beginning to feel worried now; one fox was all very well, but this was a pack, probably a family whose lair he had inadvertently stepped into.

Tom had no idea how fast could foxes run but he was about to find out. As he sped off, the trio leapt from their vantage points and began the pursuit. Tom hoped they’d give up once the chase had moved away from their home, but they did not seem ready to do so. He leapt over a fallen branch but his left foot slipped on moss and he tumbled to the ground. He was unhurt but this fall had allowed the foxes to gain on him. He could hear them snarling now and sensed that they were in no mood to give up.

What he needed was high ground; from what he could recall foxes were not able to climb. He looked around and spotted a very large old tree stripped of foliage and as quickly as he could, scaled the lower branches. From this vantage point, he dared a look down to see the three red shapes running towards the tree. As he

scrambled further up the tinder dry branches his pursuers careened to a halt around the base of the imposing tree, circling and looking upwards.

Tom became concerned that the foxes might still make an effort to climb so decided to ascend further but as he placed his foot on a very thick, gnarled branch, it buckled sending wood splinters into the air and causing him to lose his footing altogether. Flailing awkwardly he tumbled into the thick centre of the tree which gave way easily swallowing him up layer by layer. He closed his eyes and tried to protect his head as he fell amidst a pile of dusty debris. A rough landing alerted him to the fact that he was now effectively on the ground albeit inside the hollow tree.

The rotting wood and the foul smells of decay made him retch. Momentarily he glimpsed scuttling insects and multi legged crawlers but didn’t like to dwell on that. He heard a ripping noise and when he felt the wood behind him buckle slightly he knew only too well what was happening.

Petrified he ducked and crouched as splinters were hewn from the spine of this once mighty tree. The foxes howled as they tore wildly at the exterior sending chunks of bark flying into the clearing and causing narrow strips of light to blaze in on Tom like lasers. It wouldn’t be too long before they hacked away the whole trunk and he was left defenceless. Foxes shouldn’t be this dangerous or this strong, surely? Every attack was making holes and weakening the structure. Shaking, Tom tried to marshal his thoughts.

If only I could get the tree to hit them or something.

He imagined being able to control the branches, which seemed a stupid thing to think of yet it was something that just popped into his head.

Then he felt a sudden jolt as the whole trunk of the tree began to shift in the ground as Tom realised his not especially safe bolt- hole was starting to come alive. As the bulky tree twisted around, creaking with the effort, the lowest branch caught one of the foxes off guard and catapulted the animal into the air. It flew several yards before collapsing in a heap. The tree was flailing around now whipping its branches in an attempt to hit the foxes who were leaping sideways to avoid the assault. Inside the trunk Tom tried to cover himself from the wood fragments raining down. As he did, he noticed that the stone at the end of the chain was glowing faintly; a pale green glimmer that he felt drawn to. He cupped the glowing stone in his hand and it felt warm and reassuring seeming to separate him from what was going on.

Did this mean that the stone was helping him somehow? There was only one way to answer that question.

Outside the other two foxes renewed their attack jumping at the bark and making more dents as they ripped pieces away but the old tree cranked around catching a second fox across the face hurling it into a thicket of brambles.

The third fox was the most tenacious and instead of retreating once it had torn another strip it kept its head in the gap straining at the bark with its claws. Tom

looked across and yelled with shock at the sight of the fox’s face inside the tree. Its red eye glow was now more intense in the semi darkness.

“What do you want?” shouted Tom but the fox remained determined to burrow its way into the centre and he knew the tree wouldn’t last much longer so he tried something else. After all, if it had worked once…

I want the roots to attack the fox, he thought and the fox’s face suddenly disappeared as it was wrenched from the hole by a dirt covered tendril that had emerged from the soil and wrapped itself around the animal’s body. As the other two foxes mounted a new attack it was as if a rug had been pulled from underneath them. Tom peered through one of the many holes in the bark and saw thick roots emerging from the ground like snakes, coiling around the foxes and sending them once again flying through the air. The first attacker ended up twisted out of shape and tossed into bush. The second was gnawing angrily at the writhing root until there was an audible snap and it became still. The third fox held back, howled into the air and dashed away but there was to be no escape. Its legs were pulled from underneath it as the animal was dragged backwards and soon it, too, lay still. As soon as all three foxes were dead, the roots disappeared into the ground and the area became still save for pieces of wood and fern floating slowly downwards and settling.

Breathlessly watching, Tom could not move. He felt tired and uncertain of what had just happened. He realised he was shaking and felt a strong urge to get out of the inside of the tree especially as he could feel things crawling over his legs. As if it had once again obeyed him and with an almighty crack the entire tree fell apart, each side crashing to the ground in a hail of splinters leaving him exposed, curled up sitting in a pile of rotten wood.

Tom was still trembling as he clambered out of the remains of the tree as quickly as he could. He was glad of the sunlight and even the smell of cow dung as he frantically brushed debris and insects away, desperate not to have anything creeping about on him.

He felt dizzy and stumbled unsteadily from the mound of shattered wood. Exhaustion soon caused him to slump down on the warm ground, holding the stone up to his face.

“What are you?” he whispered.

He felt his eyelids closing despite the brightness of the day as a wave of tiredness swept over him, rather like it did if he stayed up too late. Perhaps if he slept it would all turn out to be a strange dream? He hoped he actually was asleep and he would wake up back home in London with everything as it should be. If he just closed his eyes for just a bit, he’d be fine. He felt the side of his face touch the grass and his hearing became muffled as he drifted quickly into a half sleep.

As he lay there visions swam into his head as if he could see the layers beneath him, the soil and rock right down to the Earth’s core itself. Just natural sciences he thought, some lesson half remembered. He’d never experienced such a sensation but his body felt calm and relaxed as if this was exactly where he should be. After a few moments he heard a new sound, at first as delicate as the wafting of a summer breeze causing the easy sway of tall trees yet at the same time he was aware

that it was something intensely powerful. At first he thought it was his own heart yet his ear was hearing something more. It grew louder, becoming a distinct thump-thump, like his heart but coming from somewhere else.

The noise was pounding now, louder than before, as if it was from a machine. He started to panic when he realised his own pulse was not in unison with the other sound, wherever it was coming from. This sound was something else.


What could he hear? That phrase his mum had used earlier- the heart of the world. Was this was he was hearing now- the heart of the world itself? It grew louder and he started to drift into a deep slumber feeling as if he could sleep forever.
-----------------------------------------
Elemental is available NOW on Amazon so go over and check out the ebook version or print!

You can find John at his website or on Twitter at @JohnCauthor

Have a good week, 
Sam

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (117)

Hey,

This week I'm waiting for...
A Little Something Different
Release Date: August 26, 2014
The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship. 

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together....

I thought this would just be another one of those contemporary books which attempts to claim that it's what everyone has been waiting for. But, I read the blurb and it actually sounds so unique! The way it's said to be narrated really interests me and I will be picking this one up as soon as it's released!
Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments below so I can check it out!

Have a good week,
Sam :D

Monday, 18 August 2014

My review of Take Me On

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4) by Katie McGarry
Release Date: June 6, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping him fighting for her is a shot at redemption. Especially since it' s his fault her family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.


Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

Take Me On is the fourth book in the Pushing the Limits collection. Obviously, I absolutely adored it. Katie McGarry is one of my favourite authors for contemporary because she simply does them so flawlessly. The plot, the characters, the climax, THE ROMANCE, THE EVERYTHING!

HALEY AND WEST. Oh lawrd. They were so freakin' exquisite together... MY HEART COULDN'T TAKE THE ROMANCE. McGarry will take you on a wild roller coaster full of emotions and feels, and by the end you will be left feeling like you've just had the best time. I also loved the fact that the unique factor of this book was the martial arts and kickboxing. In Crash Into You, I found out plenty about cars, and in Dare You To it was writing. And having the heroine teach the "strong" male love interest how to fight was absolutely brilliant! Haley is strong and she can look after herself and I admired her strength and courage all the way through the book.

A lot of the book is West dealing with his families and coming to know that Haley is going through the same thing. Despite their very different backgrounds, they manage to come together and make something beautiful. And as West young is related to our last protagonist from Crash Into You, we get a visit from those characters which was absolutely brilliant as we can all relate in not wanting to let out much-loved characters go. However, West and Haley have stolen their own place in my heart and I couldn't have adored the two more.
Overall, all I can say is: if you don't start reading this series this summer then you should really go get some help because you're crazy. There is never a dull moment and I couldn't recommend this series enough to all of you YA fans.
Rating
A review copy was provided by the publisher

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Book Haul (#91)

Hey,

I hope you've all been dandy with your books and your outgoing lives. I've done a lot of watching Teen Wolf, so now I'm all up to date! (WHO'S THE BENEFACTOR?) I have also done plenty of Dylan O'Brien stalking to prepare for The Maze Runner movie. What have you all been doing?

ALSOALSOALSO, the If I Stay movie adaptation will be released next week!! WOOPWOOP. Who's excited. I AM. The cast look brilliant and I'm probably going to cry plenty! Make sure you go and see it on August 22nd.

This week I received and won:
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)Picture Me Gone
Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas - Received -
Thank you Bloomsbury Children's Books! I have been dying to read this. I am completely ready for some more exciting adventures with Celaena. 
Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff - Won -
This is another book that I won from the Book Passion For Life giveaway that I mentioned in my book haul last week. It's a signed hardback and the cover is so intriguing. I've heard a lot about Meg Rosoff so it's about time I tried one of her books.
A Midsummer's Nightmare
A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger - Won -
Thank you Hachette's Children's books and Book Passion For Life. This is once again another book that I won from the giveaway. I do already own a copy and have read and reviewed it (you can check out my review here) so perhaps I shall host a giveaway for this copy.

Leave a link to your Book Haul/Stacking the Shelves/Letterbox Love/Showcase Sunday/In My Mailbox in the comments so I can check it out!

Enjoy all your books,
Sam :)

Other posts that you may also enjoy:
Review - Better Than Perfect by Simone Elkeles
Review - Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Review - Before You by Amber Hart
Waiting on Wednesday - The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (116)

Hey,

This week I'm waiting for...
The Stars Never Rise (Untitled Series, #1)
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.

When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.

To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?

Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

*Happy sigh* That cover is just stealing my heart. And, well, the plot as well. Rachel Vincent has already won me over with her Soul Screamers series I will read ANYTHING SHE WRITES BECAUSE. Need there be nothing to back up that statement. I know I will love this book. *Reads something about immortal souls and demons* I'm sold.
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Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments below so I can check it out!

Have a good week,
Sam :D

Monday, 11 August 2014

My review of Better Than Perfect

Better Than Perfect / Wild Cards (Wild Cards #1) by Simone Elkeles
Release Date: August 14, 2014 (UK) | October 1, 2013 (US)
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Better Than Perfect (Wild Cards, #1)Ashtyn's life just got complicated. Her boyfriend is being distant and her sister's back at home after ten years - with a stepson in tow!


Derek has a perfect body, THE sexiest smile and a car - Ashtyn's only way to escape from her crazy life. But Derek likes to play by his own rules and is keen to take Ashtyn on a ride she'll never forget. As they spend more and more time alone together, will Derek's flirty games drive Ashtyn wild?

You know it's a Simone Elkeles book when you fall for the characters at first sight and immediately know that the journey you are about to go on with these characters is going to be epic. So obviously I knew that Better Than Perfect was going to be better than perfect! Elkeles met all the bars for me eventhough some may argue that it wasn't as good as her previous series Perfect Chemistry. While Perfect Chemistry dealt with gang related and more hardcore issues, Better Than Perfect was perhaps more emotional, and dealt a lot with finding yourself and achieving goals. Also, we've got a kickass heroine who plays football and won't be messed with! 

Derek has been kicked out of school because of a prank that he pulled at the senior graduation. Now his step mother has decided that she wants to go back and live with her family who she hasn't seen for seven years with him and her son. What he doesn't know is that his twenty five year old "mother" has a hot sister his age. And despite a rough start of Ashtyn accidentally stabbing Derek in the foot, overtime they simply can't shy away from the attraction that has been there from the start.

Better Than Perfect made me laugh so much because there were endless innuendos and banter between our two main characters Derek and Ashtyn. I could even say... they had perfect chemistry. (DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) They both have to come to terms with what they each want from the other, and also others around them. They've been  through emotional ordeals during their time growing up and for them to learn to console each other was just beautiful to witness.

The way Simone Elkeles described Derek simply made me drool. Not only his irresistible body, but also his southern drawl and gentle interior that he reserves only for those who he can keep close. He's into one night stands and can't bring himself to think past that. It seems strange that his budding match is Ashtyn. A girl who feisty, thick skinned, and some may describe her as a tom boy as she plays football. But when she tries, she can be 100% girly. Her and Derek. My gosh. Now that's a pair! I can recount so many scenes that I loved: Ashtyn being allergic to purple dye, THE TRAMPOLINE SCENE. Now aren't you curious?

Better Than Perfect was the perfect read to hoist me out of my reading flunk. The romance was hot and so swoon worthy. There was humor and also teary scenes. Definitely one of my highlights this year! I can't wait to read more of the books from the series because Simone Elkeles just delivers top notch contemporary stories.

You need some hot contemporary YA in your life? No need to look any further! Your summer is sorted. Simply purchase every single one of Simone Elkeles' books, find a comfy chair, or a nice setting where you won't be disturbed, maybe some tissues at the ready and you're done! 
Rating
A review copy was provided by the publisher

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Book Haul (#90)

Hey,

I hope you've all had a brilliant week and that you've read loads and loads of books. I must say, I've been great as I've finished quite a few books!

It may seem like I have received so many books but I actually won a big giveaway at Book Passion For Life so YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! I apologise in advance if you are more of a YA person because a lot of the books that I've won are mostly NA or adult.


ALSOALSO! My new favourite binge-worthy TV show is Teen Wolf. YES! I've just started.... actually I'm on season 3 and it's been 4 days! I honestly love it so much and if any of you love it too then feel free to start a conversation on Twitter! I'M ONLY ON SEASON 3 NO SPOILERS OR I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN.
This week I bought and won:
Insignia (Insignia #1)Masquerade (Games, #3)
Insignia (Insignia #1) by S.J. Kincaid - Bought -
Last year I saw that this one was getting a lot of attention from UK bloggers so I thought it would be time to pick it up.
Masquerade by Nyrae Dawn (Games #3) - Won -
Nyrae Dawn is a very popular NA author so I'm excited to read one of her books.
Eversea (Eversea, #1)Forever, Jack (Eversea, #2)
Eversea (Eversea #1) by Natasha Boyd - Won -
This looks like a really cute NA duo. It also has some brilliant reviews.
Forever, Jack (Eversea #2) by Natasha Boyd - Won -
Take Me Under (Dangerous Tides, #1)Keep Me Closer: Dangerous Tides 2
Take Me Under (Dangerous Tides #1) by Rhyannon Byrd - Won -
A bit sexy. Well, we'll see how it goes!
Keep Me Closer (Dangerous Tides #2) by Rhyannon Byrd - Won -
Make You Mine: Dumont Bachelors 1A Seaside Affair
Make You Mine (Dumont Bachelors #1) by Macy Beckett - Won -
I'm actually excited for this one! It sounds like it has an interesting plot.
A Seaside Affair by Fern Britton - Won -
An adult book that I'm not sure whether I'll get round to.

Where I Found YouHow to Fall in Love
Where I Found You by Amanda Brooke - Won -
This is a book about a chance encounter between two people who can help each other with the dilemmas that each of them are facing. It sounds like an engrossing read!
How To Fall In Love by Cecilia Ahern - Won -
THE LADY WHO WROTE THAT BOOK THAT'S BEING TURNED INTO A MOVIE WITH SAM CLAFLIN AND LILY COLLINS. Yes, I just realised and I can't wait for that movie by the way (Love, Rosie). I definitely want to give Ahern's books a go.
The Last RunawaySense & Sensibility
The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier - Won -
A book told during the slave trade and I'm very interested in how it all plays out.
Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope - Won -
I think this is a retelling of Jane Austen's book, or some kind of adaptation which has received much praise!
A Foreign CountryIce Creams at Carrington’s
A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming - Won -
Ice Creams at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown - Won -
This seems like a cute read that I may one day come round to? I love ice creams this will probably make me hungry.
PaybackThe Pagan Lord: A Novel (The Saxon Stories, #7)
Payback by Kimberly Chambers - Won -
The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles/Saxon Stories #7) by Bernard Cornwell - Won -

Leave a link to your Book Haul/Stacking the Shelves/In My Mailbox/Showcase Sunday/Letterbox Love in the comments below so I can check it out!

Have a great week and enjoy your books!
Sam :)

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (115)

Hey,

This week I'm waiting for...
The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Release Date: February 10, 2015
There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.

Cynthia Hand has already stolen my heart with her Unearthly trilogy (Unearthly, Hallowed, Boundless) about angels, so I am very, very eager to see how well she does at contemporary. From the blurb, this sounds like it'll be a pretty emotional read.
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Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments below so I can check it out!

Have a good week,
Sam :D

Monday, 4 August 2014

My review of Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: July 9, 2014 (UK) | September 1, 2011 (US)

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Oh my… Oh, how you made my heart ache and spasm so much I could hardly breathe at times. Lola and the Boy Next Door is so heart-breakingly perfect that I never wanted it to end. I was so sure that this book could not steal the place in my heart that Anna and the French Kiss took claim to a few years ago, but it has. It knocked that book out of place by not only showing the characters from Anna’s story, but by also offering me a gorgeously hot geek, who is as sweet as pie and loving with no limits, as the male interest. Yes, Cricket, you are just perfect. 

I can't be the only one who wishes that they had a great neighbour that they could fall in love with, right? Lola is extremely lucky in my mind to have someone like Cricket that close! At first, Lola is dating Max, a complete bad boy who her two fathers definitely do NOT approve of. I didn't like him either and also felt that Lola was 100% too whiny. Thank heavens Cricket awkwardly walks back into her life to save the day. However, it's not all that easy with Cricket's twin on the scene who most definitely is not Lola's #1 fan.


I may have not liked Lola at the beginning, but I was certainly intrigued with her intricate fashion sense and her completely quirky and unique EVERYTHING. This girl goes all out no matter what she's wearing and I really liked the idea of her using the clothes as a mask to who she really is. Okay, yes I actually adored Lola by the end. I'm so disappointed that I never read this book sooner because I can't stop re-reading it! It's captured my heart for sure.

Stephanie Perkins' contemporary books are absolutely perfect if you are craving some addictive storylines and gorgeous romance. I wish that this book didn't have to end, but thankfully the characters are said to be making an appearance in the next book Isla and the Happily Ever After, as well as the characters from Anna and the French Kiss. GUESS WHO'S ALL UP IN THAT IDEA?
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I would with all my heart recommend this book to you as it made my heart ache so much in the best possible way. The characters are all brilliant including Lola's gay parents who are fiercely protective in a hilarious way. Definitely don't miss this gorgeous read because it will fast become one of your favourite contemporaries.
Rating

A review copy was provided by the publisher

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Book Haul (#89)

Hey,

I HOPE YOU'RE ALL OKAY AND ENJOYING THE LOVELY HEAT OF SUMMER! And enjoying books and holidays and all the rest of it! It feels like a long time since I've done a book haul post. I haven't taken many trips to the library and I've only just been requesting books to review so.. here we goo!

Also, I've started reading The Maze Runner! I've FINALLY made a start and I'm really liking it and I can't wait for more of my questions to be answered because I'm like 30 pages in.


ALSOALSOALSOOOOO, this week I've been obsessing over the sci-fi TV show The 100. YOU AMERICANS YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! It's been out for a few weeks in the UK but the series has already finished in the US and THAT is how I have seen the whole of season 1 despite being in the UK... yes, I watched them online and cheated and watched them all in under 24 hours. 
Damn it's just so good. I might write a whole post about how much I love it. Actually I will do that at some point!! By the way, I am 100% shipping #Linctavia. AND season 2 will be out on October 22nd so all of you who haven't started watching it can go and do so... NOW!!

This week I received:
Better Than Perfect (Wild Cards, #1)Unmarked (The Legion, #2)
Better Than Perfect (Wild Cards #1) by Simone Elkeles - Received -
Thank you so so so much Bloomsbury! Also, thank you for the Skittles, I was quite confused but when reading the book it made sense. I read this in one sitting, I honestly couldn't put it down. *Sigh* This book has reminded me how much I miss Simone Elkeles' books. I want like 10 more please... even better if they're about Ashtyn and Derek. My review shall be out soon. Get ready for some gushing.
Unmarked (The Legion #2) by Kami Garcia - Received
Thank you, Simon and Schusters and Netgalley! I liked Unbreakable so I thought I'd have a go at this one as it is said to be better than the first. This is about ghosts and it's pretty darn creepy!
The Parts I Remember
The Parts I Remember by A.K. Mills - Received -
Thank you, A.K. Mills! I'm actually quite excited about the premise for this which is why I've agreed to take part in the blog tour for the sequel in October so my review should be in the next month.

Leave a link to your Book Haul/Stacking the Shelves/In My Mailbox/Showcase Sunday/Letterbox Love in the comments below so I can check it out!

Have a great week and enjoy your books!
Sam :)