Wednesday 25 February 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (144)


This week I'm waiting for...
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak
It all begins when Ana Watson's little brother, Clayton, secretly ditches the quiz bowl semifinals to go to the Washingcon sci-fi convention on what should have been a normal, résumé-building school trip.

If slacker Zak Duquette hadn't talked up the geek fan fest so much, maybe Clayton wouldn't have broken nearly every school rule or jeopardized Ana’s last shot at freedom from her uptight parents.

Now, teaming up with Duquette is the only way for Ana to chase down Clayton in the sea of orcs, zombies, bikini-clad princesses, Trekkies, and Smurfs. After all, one does not simply walk into Washingcon.

But in spite of Zak's devil-may-care attitude, he has his own reasons for being as lost as Ana-and Ana may have more in common with him than she thinks. Ana and Zak certainly don’t expect the long crazy night, which begins as a nerdfighter manhunt, to transform into so much more… 

Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments below so I can check it out!

Have a good week,
Sam :D

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (143)


This week I'm waiting for...
My Heart and Other Black Holes
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner. 

Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

I feel like this book is going to be emotional. I don't read many suicide books but I think this one has an interesting story to tell.

Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments below so I can check it out!

Have a good week,
Sam :D

Monday 16 February 2015

Interview and Review: The Spark and the Drive

Hey guys!

Today I'm here to show you a wonderful contemporary book that you may have missed in the year of 2014: The Spark and the Drive by Wayne Harrison. Below is the cover and blurb, as well as my review of the book and an interview with the author himself!
The Spark and the Drive
Release Date: July 15, 2014
Justin Bailey is seventeen when he arrives at the shop of legendary muscle car mechanic Nick Campbell. Anguished and out of place among the students at his rural Connecticut high school, Justin finds in Nick, his captivating wife Mary Ann, and their world of miraculous machines the sense of family he has struggled to find at home.

But when Nick and Mary Ann’s lives are struck by tragedy, Justin’s own world is upended. Suddenly Nick, once celebrated for his mechanical genius, has lost his touch. Mary Ann, once tender and compassionate to her husband, has turned distant. As Justin tries to support his suffering mentor, he finds himself drawn toward the man’s grieving wife. Torn apart by feelings of betrayal, Justin must choose between the man he admires more than his own father and the woman he yearns for.
The Spark and the Drive is a contemporary novel that hits home the meaning of first love and betrayal. It is easy to fall into the life of Justin as he struggles to find a place where he belongs until he has the chance to work with famous mechanic Nick Campbell. He teaches Justin everything he needs to know as well as making him feel part of a family with his wife Mary Ann and their son. But soon things begin to unravel and Nick begins to lose his hold of his legendary mechanic status, Justin finds himself slowly falling for Mary Ann. And this, my friends, is the plot line that appealed to me in the first place. A complex story of love and betrayal has been woven beautifully by Harrison into a captivating novel that you will devour in one sitting.

I enjoyed the main protagonist of the story Justin as he was likable, real, and so believable as a character. It's not easy to write from the point of view of an eighteen-year-old and to capture their thoughts, feelings and decisions, but Harrison did so brilliantly. We are opened to Justin's life as, once so simple, grows to be much more complicated than anyone could of imagined. We witness his internal struggles as he fights between his wants and what he knows is wrong. 

Overall, I would recommend The Spark and the Drive for those who like to read contemporary novels with depth and plenty of tension to keep you hooked. This story is perfect if you're also looking to experience flawless writing by an impressive debut author.

A review copy was provided by the author
Now bring your hands together for Wayne Harrison!
What or who inspired you to write The Spark and the Drive?
I published a short story in The Atlantic about a celebrity mechanic, Nick Campbell, whose technical genius and capacity for imagination transcended his work and gave him a mythic reputation around town. Justin, the narrator, is Nick's perfect witness, young and idealistic, and when Nick's talent starts to wane, when he and his wife suffer the tragedy of losing their baby to SIDS, Justin steps in to try and help but ends up, both intentionally and unintentionally, causing havoc. Afterward, I couldn't stop thinking about the characters, and when the story made it into Best American 2010, a number of agents asked if I had thought about developing the story into a novel. The writing came pretty quickly once the love affair began and the betrayals started piling up, and the storyline became one of those wonderful obsessions writers sometimes discover. I couldn't stop thinking about it when I wasn't writing.

What message are you trying to get across to the readers with your story?
I don't really think about messages in my work, and it seems very easy to become heavy- handed that way. I do hope that whatever messages a reader might take will feel organic and true. Themes I found myself exploring and developing throughout the book were, of course, coming of age, but also displacement, loss, disillusionment and dreams, hero worship, love and loss.

Who is your favourite character from the book?
Mary Ann, the wife of Justin's mentor, would have to be my favorite. She was both the most challenging character and the one I felt most sympathy for. Her heart break wasn't hard to imagine - all parents to some degree are terrified of their children falling victim to something as shocking and mysterious as SIDS - but add to that a husband who has turned frigid, and her grief became profound. She could become consumed by it or survive, and her turning to Justin for comfort and intimacy was a challenge to dramatize accurately. I don't believe that characters must be portrayed as sympathetic, but in the case of Mary Ann, I badly wanted her to be. In some ways I felt I owed it to her, after all she'd been through.

If The Spark and the Drive were to become a movie or TV series, who would you pick to play the main roles in the book?
Great question. All the main characters would, I think, require actors capable of evoking a full spectrum of emotion. Perhaps Ryan Gosling as Nick, the maverick mechanic, brilliant but inarticulate, reticent but full of pathos, driven but powerless in the face of his grief. Natalie Portman as Mary Ann, dignified and confident, tough and candid, vibrant, then demoralized, broken. Josh Hutcherson as Justin, eager, hopeful and sincere. I think he captures the torment of heartbreak especially well.

Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
Right now I'm acually at work on two books. The first is a literary thriller that mines my past job in Corrections. It's about a female corrections officer named Lynn, whose understanding of the criminal mind makes her very good at her job. Her husband is in a rock band that's on the brink of a major record deal, until the lead guitarist is arrested for murdering his wife. Though he has confessed in writing to the crime, he hasn't spoken a word. He's brought into Lynn's jail awaiting sentencing. Lynn finds herself doubting his guilt, and taking outrageous chances that threaten her job and her marriage to prove his innocence.

The second book is a Young Adult novel about a 14 year old boy who has been training to be the youngest person in the world to rock climb El Capitan. (Rock climbing is another of my passions.) When he finds out he has multiple sclerosis he is driven to outrageous free-soloing climbs (climbing big walls without a rope) that threaten not only his life but the lives of those he loves most.

Lastly, sum up in 10 words why you think readers should pick up your book.
Can I chose another author's words? Peter Orner, in his generous blurb, calls the novel, "As intense and well-written a love story as you’ll find."

Don't forget to add The Spark and the Drive to your Goodreads TBR list and you can find Wayne on his website or on his Facebook.

Have a good week,

Sunday 15 February 2015

Book Feature and Giveaway: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Hello there!

I'm here today to show you a book that may have darted under your radar at the beginning of the month. A book that you may have never realised you wanted to read because you were yet to know that it existed. Ally Carter has released a new book series that was available from February 5 this year: All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1). YES ANOTHER SERIES! I absolutely adored the Gallagher Girls series so I couldn't believe that I hadn't known Carter had this series to come.
All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)
All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1) by Ally Carter
Release Date: February 5, 2015
Grace can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay - in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved. 
Sounds good right? And to make things even better, Miss Sporty has partnered with Hachette Children's Books and have come up with some brilliant nail tutorials for each of the Gallagher Girls. They will be available on the back of each of the re-issued Gallagher Girls series, but I've got one for you today! Here is Cammie's Floral Manicure:
Hachette Children's Books has kindly provided a copy of All Fall Down as well as 3 pieces of Miss Sporty make up for a giveaway. This competition is open to UK only. To enter fill out the Rafflecopter below.
Winner: Moonlight

Thank you all for entering!
Good luck to everyone who's entered!

Thursday 12 February 2015

The Originals: The Rise Book Giveaway


I hope you're as excited as I am about the new The Originals book trilogy being released this month! For all of you out there who have no idea what I'm going to be fan-girling about; The Originals is the spin-off TV series to the very popular The Vampire Diaries. It focuses on a set of characters who were initially introduced in The Vampire Diaries but were so popular that they had to have their own show. The "Originals" are not simply vampires, but are the first vampires who have ever walked this earth, and because they have been around for so long, they have many stories to share. This is why the trilogy has been put together, so addicts, like many others and I, can explore these characters even more.

The Originals: The RiseThe Originals: The Rise
Release Date: February 2015
Goodreads | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

Family is power. The Original vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together always and forever. But even when you're immortal, promises are hard to keep. 

Arriving in New Orleans in 1722, Original vampire siblings Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson believe they've escaped their dangerous past. But the city is lawless, a haven for witches and werewolves unwilling to share territory. The siblings are at their mercy…especially after Klaus meets the beautiful and mysterious Vivianne. Her impending marriage is key to ending the war between the supernatural factions—and Klaus's attraction to her could destroy the uneasy alliance. As Elijah works toward securing a piece of the city for his family, and Rebekah fights her unexpected feelings for a French captain, will Klaus's volatile desires bring their world crashing down—and tear them apart for good?

I'm barely containing my excitement. Just LOOK at Klaus on the cover. Perfection, I know. And just when I thought it couldn't get any better... I found the covers of the second and third books, which will be available later this year.
The Originals: The LossThe Originals: The Resurrection
Hachette Children's Books has kindly provided my with two copies of The Originals: The Rise to give away. This giveaway is open to UK only. To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter below.
***Giveaway Closed***
Thank you all for entering!
Good luck to everyone who's entered! And don't forget that The Originals will return to UK screens on Syfy on February 24th at 10pm! Don't forget.

Have a good week,
Sam :)

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (142)


This week I'm waiting for...
The Memory Key
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Lora Mint is determined not to forget.

Though her mother’s been dead for five years, Lora struggles to remember every detail about her—most importantly, the specific events that occurred the night she sped off in her car, never to return.

But in a world ravaged by Vergets disease, a viral form of Alzheimer’s, that isn’t easy. Usually Lora is aided by her memory key, a standard-issue chip embedded in her brain that preserves memories just the way a human brain would. Then a minor accident damages Lora’s key, and her memories go haywire. Suddenly Lora remembers a moment from the night of her mother’s disappearance that indicates her death was no accident. Can she trust these formerly forgotten memories? Or is her ability to remember every painful part of her past driving her slowly mad—burying the truth forever?

Lora’s longing for her lost mother and journey to patch up her broken memories is filled with authentic and poignant emotion. Her race to uncover the truth is a twisty ride. In the end, Liana Liu’s story will spark topical conversations about memory and privacy in a world that is reliant on increasingly invasive forms of technology.

Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments below so I can check it out!

Have a good week,
Sam :D

Monday 9 February 2015

My review of The Originals

The Originals by Cat Patrick
Release Date: May 6, 2013
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

The Originals
Ella, Betsy and I look like sisters: triplets, you might think.
But that's not what we are at all.
We are clones in hiding. We split our lives and exist as one person in the outside world. And we've always been happy.

But now I've fallen head-over-heels in love . . . and that changes everything.

Because, to let love in, I need to be allowed to be Me.

The Originals is a book about clones. Yes, clones! It has a unique and interesting storyline, which is a common find in all of Patrick's books, but also awesome and realistic characters that you will adore.
The Originals is about three girls who are triplets, but not really. They were made in a lab and now living in hiding, while leading a life of one person. The girls take it in turns to go to school and live life as "Elizabeth". But when Lizzie meets Sean and she knows that she does not what to share her life anymore, she wants to be herself. Even if that might mean putting herself in danger. 

I really, really enjoyed the idea for this book, and also each of the girls: Lizzie, Ella and Betsy. Each girl has their own personality, but I quite liked the book just being told from Lizzie's POV alone. She is a determined girl with a deep longing to live a normal life. Though I did not like her mother at all. Not her biological mother, but the woman who stole them from the lab and brought them up as her own. Her protectiveness over the girls is understandable, but I didn't like the fact that she controlled everything they did.
Lizzie and Sean's relationship also added a nice touch to the book. I adore their moments together and when they first got to know each other because they were quite the entertaining pair! Sean is lovely and I loved how he was so willing to help Lizzie with her unusual problem, but also her mother.

Even though I adored The Originals, Patrick's debut novel Forgotten still remains my favourite out of her books. The characters and the romance and storyline was just perfect for me, except from the cliffhanger ending. I liked Revived and I also liked how some of the characters appear in this book as well!

If you like books which are fairly contemporary with a supernatural twist then pick up any of one Cat Patrick's books because they are gems!

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (141)


This week I'm waiting for...
The Game of Love and Death
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Antony and Cleopatra. Helen of Troy and Paris. Romeo and Juliet. And now . . . Henry and Flora.

For centuries Love and Death have chosen their players. They have set the rules, rolled the dice, and kept close, ready to influence, angling for supremacy. And Death has always won. Always.

Could there ever be one time, one place, one pair whose love would truly tip the balance?

Meet Flora Saudade, an African-American girl who dreams of becoming the next Amelia Earhart by day and sings in the smoky jazz clubs of Seattle by night. Meet Henry Bishop, born a few blocks and a million worlds away, a white boy with his future assured — a wealthy adoptive family in the midst of the Great Depression, a college scholarship, and all the opportunities in the world seemingly available to him.

The players have been chosen. The dice have been rolled. But when human beings make moves of their own, what happens next is anyone’s guess.

Leave a link to your WoW post in the comments below so I can check it out!

Have a good week,
Sam :D

Monday 2 February 2015

My review of Tempting the Best Man

Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
Release Date: April 23, 2012
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon

Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers, #1)Madison Daniels has worshipped her brother's best friend since they were kids. Everyone thinks she and Chase Gamble would make the perfect couple, but there are two major flaws in their logic. 1) Chase has sworn off relationships of any kind, and 2) after blurring the line between friends and lovers for one night four years ago, they can't stop bickering.

Forced together for her brother's wedding getaway, Chase and Madison decide to call a truce for the happy couple. Except all bets are off when they're forced to shack up in a tacky 70’s honeymoon suite and survive a multitude of "accidents" as the family tries to prove their "spark" can be used than for more than fighting. That is, if they don't strangle each other first…

Tempting the Best Man is the first book in J Lynn's romantic adult contemporary series, the Gamble Brothers. As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it; mainly because J. Lynn is Jennifer L. Armentrout's pen name and I l adore Jen's YA works: the Lux series, the Covenant series, etc. This book is extremely hot and you won't want to put it down until you read how it ends!

Madison's brother is getting married, and she couldn't be happier for him, but one person is going to ruin everything she's worked so hard to forget. Chase Gamble is her brother's best friend, and the boy that Madison could never stop thinking about ever since they were young. Though she knows she could never have him due to the Chase's policy of one night stands, but also because of a night four years ago that can never be repaired. Now, at her brother's wedding, they are forced to share a room and they can't stop bickering. Will the two admit their feelings before they kill each  other?

Chase and Madison's relationship was quite humorous to read about due to their awkward conversations and arguments. The pair are absolutely crazy! And when they are left to their own devices they couldn't be more perfect for each other. Madison is a beautiful, young and vibrant woman who may act a little hastily at times but you will laugh at how easily she is embarrassed and her out-of-the-ordinary habits. As for Chase, he is hot, cheeky and the worst kind of play-boy, but underneath that there is a sweet boy who cares. If you love a love-hate relationship then this book is definitely for you! 

Even though I loved the characters, I thought the plot lacked a little excitement. I felt like maybe more could of happened to make the book a tad more interesting. Half-way through and I was expecting a massive bomb to drop and ruin the happiness, but it didn't, there were just some minor issues that needed to be dealt with. Jen does round off the story well leaving us imagining what is next for Chase and Madison's relationship.

Tempting the Best Man is the perfect short, romantic read that will drive you nuts. I can't wait to read Tempting the Player, which is told from Chase's older brother, Chad; the ultimate lady's man.