Friday, 31 January 2014

Feature and Follow (11)

Here's this weeks question:


Time for Book Spine Poetry again! Take a picture of your book spines spelling out something epic. 


Feature & Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community.

Yay I love doing book spine poetry even though I don't really have a talent for it haha. But I especially love reading everyone else's creative posts. So anyway here it goes...
You're the one that I want, Someone Like You.
A Hopeless, Beautiful Disaster.
My Safe Haven.

Give it a go guys, I'd love you read your poems, so leave your links in the comments below :)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine! that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

They All Fall Down

(Roxanne St.Claire)
Expected publication: October 14th 2014

Pretty Little Liars meets Final Destination in this YA psychological thriller that will have readers' hearts racing right till the very end!

Every year, the lives of ten girls at Vienna High are transformed.

All because of the list.

Kenzie Summerall can't imagine how she's been voted onto a list of the hottest girls in school, but when she lands at number five, her average life becomes dazzling. Doors open to the best parties, new friends surround her, the cutest jock in school is after her.

This is the power of the list. If you're on it, your life changes.

If you're on it this year? Your life ends.


Why I'm Waiting for it:

This just sounds so good. I've been in the mood for a good suspenseful YA horror/mystery for a long time, ever since I read Ten by Gretchen McNeil. However the ones I've picked up have been a let down to say the least. I'm really hoping this one delivers on the creepy side, and doesn't downplay the murders for silly teen dramas.

What book are you waiting for this week?

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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Book Blogger Hop (3)

Q: Do you think you will ever read every book on your TBR stack?
Honestly, No. As of today I currently have 767 books on my TBR shelf on Goodreads. Even if I read on average 50 books a year it would take me 15 years to read every book currently on my TBR, and that would be without adding new books, which I am a sucker for doing.
Also I frequently take books off my TBR, usually because I've added them hastily and then upon closer inspection I decided its not really for me.
Do you want to join in the book blogger hop? More info can be found here @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted writer

So what about you? Do you think you'll ever finish every book on your TBR? How long would it take you if you did?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Review- Perfect Ruin (Lauren DeStefano)  
On Internment, the floating island in the clouds where 16-year-old Morgan Stockhour lives, getting too close to the edge can lead to madness. Even though Morgan's older brother, Lex, was a Jumper, Morgan vows never to end up like him. She tries her best not to mind that her life is orderly and boring, and if she ever wonders about the ground, and why it is forbidden, she takes solace in best friend Pen and her betrothed, Basil.

Then a murder, the first in a generation, rocks the city. With whispers swirling and fear on the wind, Morgan can no longer stop herself from investigating, especially when she meets Judas. He is the boy being blamed for the murder — betrothed to the victim — but Morgan is convinced of his innocence. Secrets lay at the heart of Internment, but nothing can prepare Morgan for what she will find — or who she will lose..

My Review

After reading multiple reviews of this book, I have come to the realization that there are very mixed opinions regarding this book, mine included. While I did find the book drawn out at times, overall I really enjoyed it, mainly due to the excellent detailed world building, and the unique story line.

The beginning started strong, with the murder of a teenage girl within the first 10 pages, and then the end was well worth the wait, setting the scene for the next book and leaving me wanting more. It’s the bits in between that could be a bit tedious. However although they were drawn out at times, Lauren DeStefano used her words wisely creating a very believable world, that was detailed so intimately.

She details how Internment came to be an island floating in the sky, she discusses how and when babies are born, which involves potential parents registering on a que and how each child born has a partner betrothed to them since birth. The inhabitants of Internment even have their own belief system with a God, and a bible of sorts. Every detail was woven so beautifully and created such a dynamic picture of the world and its people.

What I think I enjoyed most and really sold the book for me, was the stunning writing throughout the book, in particular the snippets from the murdered girls ‘blasphemous’ essay at the start of each chapter. The words were just beautiful and I connected with their meaning in my own way.

“We accept gods that don’t speak to us. We accept gods that would place us in a world filled with injustices and do nothing as we struggle. It’s easier than accepting that there’s nothing out there at all, and that in our darkest moments we are truly alone.” - Daphne Leander ,Perfect Ruin (Lauren DeStefano)

“Our bodies are burnt when we die. All the good in our souls live on in the tributary, while all the bad in us burns away forever. This frightens me. Who decides what is good and what is bad? Who decides what is saved and what is lost from our souls?” - Daphne Leander, Perfect Ruin (Lauren DeStefano)

Overall I felt like the entire book was written for the sole purpose of world building and setting the reader up for the next book which is going to be VERY interesting. I agree with many who say that the book was a little drawn out. But overall I felt that the world building and thought provoking prose was well worth it. However it’s definitely not something I would recommend to everyone.

Things I loved about the book:

  • The beautifully written prose. Especially at the start of each chapter.It just gave me shivers, how the character questioned things others take for granted.
  • How detailed the author was in creating 'Internment'. Every little detail seemed to be thought of.

Things I didn't enjoy so much about the book:

  • Besides the ending and the beginning there were bits in the middle that felt a little drawn out. Though they were still manageable, it just drew out the book longer than it needed to be.
  • It finished on a major cliff hanger. I hate when that happens.

My rating: 4/5 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review- The Rules For Disappearing (Ashley Elston)

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

My Review 

The Rules for Disappearing is definitely a unique story, which moves outside the realms of your typical YA book. The book opens with ‘Meg’ and her family in a witness protection facility being issued with new ID’s. The fact is that ‘Meg’ and her family have moved 6 times in the last year. With each move her family seems to be falling apart more and more. Her mother’s drinking has increased and she can’t hold down a job, her younger sister ‘Teeny’ is becoming more withdrawn and her dad doesn’t know how to deal .

With this latest move to Louisianna, Meg is determined not to put down any roots, for fear that she will move again and leave behind people she cares about. Something that she has had to do multiple times. So she formulates a plan.

1. I will not join any clubs
2. I will not try out for cheerleading or any other sports/teams
3. I will not make any friends
4. I will discover the truth no matter what
Despite this she ends up catching the attention of Ethan, a sweet Louisianna farm boy. Who knows that ‘Meg’ isn’t who she says she is.
But ‘Meg’s’ main goal is to find out why her family has been placed in witness protection in the first place, and believes her dad got involved in some shady business back in their old life. Slowly everything comes together and is revealed and not everything or everyone is who they seem.

Ok, so now onto the actual review. For me the characters felt like they were missing some pizzaz, they were put together well but I was just lacking a connection to them. ‘Meg’ is actually bearable as far as YA female leads go, although she does do a few things that make me want to rattle some sense into her. Ethan is the adorable southern farm boy, who is all sweetness and charm, but besides that I didn’t feel any tingley’s for him.

Some parts of the book were drawn out (much like this review) and I felt like a lot of time was taken up by ‘Meg’s’ internal struggle around her relationship with Ethan, regarding needing to push him away for his own protection, and to protect her heart blah blah.

The ending did feel a little rushed, and everything seems to come to a climax all at once. But then you realise the end isn’t really the end and merely the beginning of something bigger....and that last page!!! Whew that gave me goosebumps.

Ultimately I did enjoy the book, the storyline was unique. But the characters felt like they were missing something for me and I couldn’t connect with them. The ending really picked up, and left me wanting more, but some parts in the middle felt a little dull.

Things I loved about the book:

  • Unique plot. I’ve never read anything about witness protection before, and as a child I always thought it would be cool, to move around and have a new identity (So naive).
  • The ending. I loved how the ending left me wanting more and wondering what was going to happen next.

Things I didn't enjoy so much about the book:

  • The internal monologues from the main characters became tedious and started to feel a little repetitive.
  • I didn't develop a connection with the characters. They just lacked something that I can't put my finger on. 
My rating: 3/5


Monday, 20 January 2014

New Year, New Goals! 

So it's midway through January and I'm finally getting around to writing down my reading goals of 2014. I hope you all had a great Christmas (and didn't put on too much weight) and New Year (and didn't require to much recovery.) 

So this afternoon I was reviewing my book goals for last year and I actually think that I did Ok. My main goal was to read 50 books which I surpassed and read 53 which was an accomplishment for me since I'm such a slow reader and in previous years only managed 35 books.

As for my other goals I didn't manage to finish as many series as I was hoping and I also didn't finish books starting with all 26 letters of the alphabet for the A-Z challenge (I managed 18) but overall I still feel satisfied with what I managed :) So without further ado, lets get onto this years goals...

  • Become less sporadic and more consistent in my blogging. I really hope to write one review a week, and participate in one feature a week, along with the occasional book haul.
  • Read 35 books. I've lowered my goal this year even though I managed 50 last year, mostly due to the fact that this year is my final year of University and I really want to do as well as I did this year. However the number is subject to change especially since I've started the year off quite well :)
  • Participate again in the A-Z challenge and try to better my result from last year which was 18/26. 

And just cause I can I've shared some of my non-reading goals too:

  • Learn to play the Drums and Ukulele fluently. I started last year, but really haven't had much time to dedicate to getting better, and I've always wanted to learn to play instruments.
  • Lastly to finish the year up with a degree in Veterinary Nursing and Animal Welfare and hopefully with good grades and a job waiting for me at the end.
  • Stay active and go to the gym 4/7 days of the week. I'm hoping to loose some weight, which I have slowly accumulated over the last couple of years. My overall goal is to reach 65kg.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Review- Breathe (Abbie Glines)
In the shore town of Sea Breeze, Sadie discovers that fame is nothing in the face of passion. A steamy read from bestselling author Abbi Glines.

Sadie White’s summer job is at the beach, but she won’t be working as a lifeguard. Since her mom is pregnant and refuses to work, Sadie will be taking over as a domestic servant for a wealthy family on a nearby island.

When the family arrives at their summer getaway, Sadie is surprised to learn that the owner of the house is Jax Stone, one of the hottest teen rockers in the world. If Sadie were normal—if she hadn’t spent her life raising her mother and taking care of the house—maybe she’d be excited about working for a rock star. But she’s not.

Even though Sadie isn’t impressed by Jax’s fame, he is drawn to her. Everything about Sadie fascinates Jax, but he fights his attraction: Relationships never work in his world, and as badly as he wants Sadie, he believes she deserves more. Yet as the summer stretches on, Jax’s passion leaves him breathless—and Sadie feels like the only source of oxygen.

Can their love overcome the disparity in their lifestyles? One breath at a time, they’re going to find out…

My Review

The story begins with our main character Sadie White who has grown up, raising her hopelessly dependent and now pregnant mother.  She’s roped into spending her summer holiday cleaning houses in place of her mother, who can’t manage with her increasing pregnancy. Little does Sadie know that she is actually cleaning the house of the famous teen heart-throb Jax Stone, who happens to take a liking to her.  Their friendship/romance blossoms, but then runs into trouble when the media find out that the famous Jax Stone is dating the help.

“I know being with me is not easy. But I want you to understand no one has me, or has ever had me, except you.”- Jax Stone, Breathe (Abbi Glines)

One of the main things I loved about this book, is that Abbi Glines took time to develop the secondary characters. Sadies mom is the epitome of a terrible parent. She is self-absorbed and narcissistic never considering how her actions may have consequences.But while I often found myself resenting her I also felt sorry for her, she’s one of those people who can never get their shit together no matter how hard they try. While Ms. Mary the head housekeeper at the Stone Mansion, is kind and motherly and looks out for Sadie at every turn. Even lecturing Jax about not breaking Sadie’s heart because she has too much drama in her life already. And then there’s Mr Greg, the elderly gardener with arthritis who Sadie spends her afternoons playing chess with. The author created this nice atmosphere of family for Sadie in her workplace, which gave a nice contrast to her home life.

 There is a slight hint at a love triangle between Jax, Sadie and Marcus, a serving boy who befriends Sadie. But unlike many YA books with love triangles, Sadie knew who she wanted and there was none of this back and forth crap. She was clear from the start with Marcus that friends are all they were, despite him wanting more. However  if I had had the choice I would have hands down chosen Marcus *swoon*, there was just something about him that set him apart and definitely had me more excited than Jax did.

“He doesn't deserve it. He can have any girl in the world's love and he took yours. someone who deserves so much more than a summer fling”– Marcus Hardy, Breathe (Abbi Glines)

Overall I really enjoyed this book. Being summer here in New Zealand, I have been staying at the beach so this was the perfect getaway read, simple, romantic and cute.I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, ‘Because of Low’ which is a companion novel, focusing on Marcus *girly giggle*.

Things I loved about the book:

  • The development of the secondary characters. Especially those at the Stone mansion, and how they become a great support system for Sadie.

Things I didn't enjoy so much about the book:

  • The writing at times felt rather basic making me feel like I was reading a book aimed at a younger age group (but then the raunchy sex scenes had me thinking twice :P ) and the dialogue sometimes felt unnatural and forced.
My rating: 4/5

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