Welcome everyone :) Things may be a little slow at the moment as I am in my last few months of school so I am swamped with work and exams but if you had time to leave a comment it would make my day!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Review: Emma Hearts LA


    Emma Hearts LA


    
Title: Emma Hearts LA
Author: Keris Stainton
Series: None
Pages: 256
Publisher: Orchard
Release Date: June 7th 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #46



Emma's not sure that LA's for her, but when she accompanies her sister Jane to an audition, a chance meeting with a teen TV star starts to change her new sunshine lifestyle for the better... But what about Oscar, so far her only friend in LA, who's turning out NOT to be the idiot she thought he was?

Soon Emma begins to find herself torn between two boys and reconsidering her entire future.

Maybe LA's not that bad after all.


I've been hearing wonderful things about Keris' books for a long while now so I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to review Emma Hearts LA. I must say that I really enjoyed how fun it was and I am sincerely looking forward to reading her other works.

Emma is a nice protagonist. She is a little stroppy to begin with but most people would be at the thought of leaving your friends behind to move to a new country. I could connect with her quite easily and found her likeable. It was Jane, her little sister, that I really liked reading about. Her bubbly personality was infectious.

There is a little love triangle thing going on with Oscar, a geeky boy who she was friends with when she was younger, and a hot movie star but I saw right through it. With the novel being as short as it was, there wasn't a huge development with both boys so I found it fairly easy to guess who she'd end up with.

Sexy boys may be nice but Oscar stole my heart. He is a little nerdy and not the most attractive guy but he is so sweet and kind and I just want him. I had a discussion post about Boys in Books and Oscar definitely is what I want more boys to be like!


Overall, Emma Hearts LA is a fun, light read that does touch upon some deeper issues such as family and divorce. I have not read Jessie Hearts NYC but I think it is a companion novel so if you have read it there were nice bits involving Jessie (the same one I presume). Recommended if you love contemporaries.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Review: Adorkable


     Adorkable 

    
Title: Adorkable
Author: Sarra Manning
Series: None
Pages: 385
Publisher: Atom
Release Date: June 7th (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 stars
100 Book challenge: #45



Jeane Smith is seventeen and has turned her self-styled dorkiness into an art form, a lifestyle choice and a profitable website and consultancy business. She writes a style column for a Japanese teen magazine and came number seven in The Guardian's 30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing The World. And yet, in spite of the accolades, hundreds of Internet friendships and a cool boyfriend, she feels inexplicably lonely, a situation made infinitely worse when Michael Lee, the most mass-market, popular and predictably all-rounded boy at school tells Jeane of his suspicion that Jeane's boyfriend is secretly seeing his girlfriend. Michael and Jeane have NOTHING in common - she is cool and individual; he is the golden boy in an Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt. So why can't she stop talking to him?


As soon as I read the synopsis I knew that I would love Adorkable. It sounded so fun and I am glad to tell you it was. It was a little crazy and the characters weren't the easiest to attach but the amusement I got from reading was so huge!

Jeane is a hugely confident character that knows exactly what she wants and how to get it. That being said, she is not a people person. She tends to scare people with her giant personaility. Michael Lee is most definitely a people person but he the kind of person that likes to placate people and please them. They couldn't be more different but, boy do they work together at times!

The romance is a love/hate type which I love! There was no instalove but all this tension and attraction. Despite their differences they seem to bring out a different side to each other and I loved watching them grow together. I thought Sarra Manning dealt with the subject of sex incredibly well and I was so pleased that it seemed realistic and honest rather than glamorised. There was no preaching or judgement, it just was.

At times, it suffered from "Plot! What plot?" syndrome.  There lots of tangents but I really enjoyed the unexpected nature of things. There were crazy things that happened that were so interesting and amusing.

The book has a really great message to it. It is about loving yourself and who you are and not trying to conform. More books like this are necessary I feel. Books are full of gorgeous, pretty girls but I want to see a normal looking girl which Jeane is. Very lovely to see.


If you love contemporaries please read this. It is a lot of fun and really refreshing!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Review: When It Happens


    When It Happens 
    
Title: When It Happens
Author: Susane Colasanti
Series: None
Pages: 320
Publisher: Scholastic UK
Release Date: May 3rd 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 3.5 Stars
100 Book challenge: #52



An off-the-wall love story told in two voices. Straight-laced Sara dreams of two things: getting into her first-choice university and finding true love. Rock-loving slacker Tobey also dreams of two things: winning Battle of the Bands – and winning Sara. He is determined to make her fall in love with him. Tobey's quirky wit and big blue eyes are hard for Sara to ignore. But can a scruffy rock-star wannabe ever win the heart of a girl who’s both beautiful and brainy? Sara and Tobey's intense connection will have you rooting for them from the very minute they meet!


I've been wanting to read this book for years, ever since it came out in the US but I just didn't get around to it. When I saw that it was being released in the UK I jumped at the chance to review it. Whilst it wasn't anything spectacular it was still an enjoyable read.

Sara and Tobey were nice enough characters. I thought Sara was a little demanding and had such high expectations but as a teenager, it is quite common to have unrealistic ideals, especially when it comes to relationships. Tobey was sweet too, and it was clear he cared deeply for Sara. He was quite a realistic depiction of a teenage boy, I believe.



I must admit, with the explicit content warning I was expecting a little...more. There was definitely an openness about sex and there were some crudities thrown around but I didn't find it to be too obscene. I wasn't too disappointed though. The romance was very sweet between the two and it was nice to see their relationship grow.

Overall "When It Happens" was an enjoyable read but it didn't really stand out for me in the contemporary genre. I am, however, looking forward to reading some of Colasanti's more recent novels!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Review: Second Chance Summer






    
Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Series: None
Pages: 468
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: June 7th 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 5 Stars
100 Book challenge: #51



Taylor's family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then they get news that changes everything: Her father has pancreatic cancer, and it's stage four – meaning that there is basically nothing to be done. Her parents decide that the family will spend his last months together at their old summerhouse in the Pocono Mountains. 

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven't actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is suddenly around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he's much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve. 

As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they've ever been before. But all of them very aware that they're battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love.



Second Chance Summer is the first Morgan Matson novel I have read and I must say that I cannot wait to read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and every other book she writes next. It was so much more than just a romance book; it dealt with some really difficult issues and got me emotional more often than not.

Taylor is an avoider. She runs when things get tough but she has to spend the summer facing things she once ran from. I could relate to Taylor quite a bit. I too like to avoid difficult situations but things tend to fester and get worse and Taylor definitely has to face the destruction she left.

The title is beyond fitting for this novel. There were so many second chances in loss, love, self-discovery. Matson touched upon these issues so delicately and beautifully and she has such a talent for making you feel like you are a part of the novel.


Henry, oh Henry. I love you. You are sweet, loving and a little bit scarred but you are so full of love.

It is a slow burn book. I ate it up but some people do say it is slow and I suppose it is. There are many a reference to Taylor's past and where things went wrong there and it definitely takes a while to find out what happened but the way it was written made me really enaged.

it is a summer book, yes, but it deals with hard-hitting issues that means it goes beyond the typical fluffy romances (that I albeit love) and makes it something incredible. Contemporary fans, you'll want to get your hands on this!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Review: Slated


    Slated (Slated, #1)

    
Title: Slated
Author: Teri Terry
Series: Slated #1
Pages: 448
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: May 3rd 2012 (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 Stars
100 Book challenge: #42


Kyla’s memory has been erased,

her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?



I really really enjoyed 'Slated', a lot more than I thought I would. When I first started I didn't realise it was set in England which is an added bonus for me! I got swept away in the story and I got so attached to the story and wanted to uncover all the secrets!


Kyla was a really sweet protagonist and I could really feel her pain. She has so much love in her heart and so much compassion. I loved how freely she cared for others and found it hard to contain her emotions. She is definitely someone I would like to be friends with.

There is a little romance in 'Slated' but it is not a key feature of the story. There is a lot more going on with Kyla trying to figure out what she did to deserve having her memory erased  and why there seems to be so many secrets.

'Slated' leaves a lot more to be discovered later on in the series though there a few things discovered. It definitely is setting up for a lot more to come later on.

I must say that I cannot wait for book two! What a wonderful refreshing read! Highly recommended. 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Review: The Selection


    The Selection (The Selection, #1)
    
Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection #1
Pages: 327
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: June 7th (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 Stars
100 Book challenge: #50



Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…

It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's love.

Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.

Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret – one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.



I had been a bit sceptical about reading 'The Selection' after hearing so many mixed things about it but when it finally arrived I was dying to read it. I have never seen the bachelor but I kind of watched a dating thing with Poison and I did watch a couple of episodes of Playing It Straight (a woman trying to find out which guys were gay and which were straight). That being said the whole concept sounded fun and who doesn't want to be a princess? Oh yeah...that would be America! Anyway, I digress. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought. It was so fun, and whilst it felt a little familiar, I was dying to find out what happened and now I cannot wait for the next book.

 We shall start slightly negative so I can finish on a really high note! It has been compared to 'The Hunger Games' and it did feel a little same-y at times. There were the castes, similar to the districts, where their jobs were defined by their caste. It wasn't that huge of any issue for me though. Just be warned, it is not at all like The Hunger Games in terms of violence of female protagonists. America does not have the fight that Katniss has, not that I wanted her to.

Fun is really the best word to describe it. It is like watching a Disney movie; I couldn't get enough. I was thinking about it and wanting more and it just made my heart sigh a little. It is fairy juvenile in the writing style and the romance is sweet but there are some things that prevent it from being suitable for, say 10-12 year olds, in my opinion.

I really like Maxon. I thought I would find him a little annoying but I thought he was sweet and kind and a really genuine character. Sometimes, I didn't agree with his actions but to be perfectly honest the whole dating 35 girls at once thing bothers me a little but it was destined in terms of the plot.

This will not be everyone's cup of tea. The writing is a little basic, the romance fairly clich├ęd but god I had so much fun! I kind of want to reread it again. Take it for what it is: a light-hearted, softer side of dystopian fiction with a touch of fairytale-esque qualities. Loved it!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Book Haul {10/06/2012}


Camera died so sorry for the abrupt ending. Hope you all had a great reading week :)


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Saving June Blog Tour



Saving JuneI am lucky enough to be part of the Saving June blog tour. If you haven't read my review you can view it here. Hannah Harrington kindly agreed to answer some questions for me so I hope you enjoy!

--

1. ‘Saving June’ is littered with musical references. How did you choose which music to include?

I mostly just picked songs I was familiar with and already loved. I didn’t want to shoehorn songs into the story unnecessarily, so I tried to just include the ones that best fit the narrative as it went along. I also did want to represent a number of genres rather than restricting it to just one type of music, so I did make sure to include jazz, punk, rap, and other styles among the classic rock

2. What has been your most exciting road trip? If you haven’t been on a road trip where would you like to travel to?

My most memorable road trip is probably when two friends and I went from Michigan to Atlantic City and back again within two days. We spent more time on the road than in our actual destination, but it was a blast, and we had some fun detours along the way!

3. Which 3 people, dead or alive, would you like to go on a road trip with?

Anthony Bourdain, Rachel Maddow, and Kathleen Hanna.

4. Were there any moments in ‘Saving June’ that were inspired by things that happened in your own life?

The “urn splitting” was something that did actually happen to someone I knew in real life. I also did have a group of anarchist friends in high school I would go to political protests with. But for the most part, the events and characters of Saving June are all fabricated!

5. What is your next novel going to be about?

My next book, SPEECHLESS, will be published by Harlequin Teen at the end of August. It’s the story of a girl named Chelsea Knot, who takes  a voluntary oath of silence after her gossip-mongering ways get her in big trouble.

--

Thank you so much Hannah for answering my questions. If you haven't read Saving June DO IT NOW. It is wonderful.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Review: Saving June

    Saving June
    
Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Series: None
Pages: 336
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Release Date: June 1st (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4.5 stars
100 Book challenge: #44



‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

Ever since I heard about Saving June last year I have been dying to read it. I knew it would break my heart and split it into a million little pieces and make me weep giant tears. I just knew it. And I was so right in the best way possible. It was moving and emotional and heart wrenching and hopeful.

Harper is a little rebellious. She has a hard shell that keeps her protected from the world around her. But she has such a good core to her. Her love for her sister shows how much love she really has hidden within her heart. The idea of my sister committing suicide with no known reason makes me want to sob. I can't imagine dealing with something like that and it was handled perfectly.

I have never heard a road trip book and I was so excited by the concept of it. The road trip brought in the music aspect which was a really wonderful touch. There is a soundtrack at the back of the book so I recommend you listen after reading!

Jake was wonderful. He was mysterious and dark and sad and I love boys like that. It was great to learn more about Jake as well as slowly realise some of the secrets he was keeping hidden. His and Harper's relationship was a nice slow development rather than a race which I adored.

A fabulous novel that had me feeling so many emotions. Absolutely beautiful!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Review: Changeling




    
Title: Changeling
Author: Philippa Gregory
Series: The Order of Darkness #1
Pages: 266
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: May 24th (UK)
Source: For Review
Rating: 4 Stars
100 Book challenge: #49



Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of the first-ever teen series from #1 bestselling author ofThe Other Boleyn GirlItaly, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.     

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.     

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.      

The first in a series, this epic and richly detailed drama is grounded in historical communities and their mythic beliefs. It includes a medieval map of Europe that will track their journey; and the interior will include relevant decorative elements as well as an interior line illustration. And look for a QR code that links to a note from the author with additional, detailed information about the setting and the history that informed the writing. With Philippa Gregory’s trademark touch, this novel deftly brings the past—and its salacious scandals—vividly and disturbingly to life.



 I haven't read any of Philippa Gregory's adult titles but when I read she was writing a young adult series I knew I had to read it. Historical fiction isn't my favourite genre and at times I find it a little hard to get into but Changeling was full of drama and exciting to read!

It started a little slow to begin with and took a little while to get into the main body of the story but once it got going it was really engaging. It was full of crazy goingsons and I couldn't help but get wrapped up into the plot and I couldn't wait to discover the mysteries. It most definitely got better as it went along.



We didn't find out a huge amount about the characters and I have a feeling there is a lot more to learn about in the rest of the series. My favourite character was Freize a friend of Luca but both Luca and Isolde were both really likeable. I look forward to discovering more about them in the rest of the books.

A little warning, there isn't really any romance but there are hints that suggest there will be some in the series as a whole. Despite how much I love romance, the hints were more than enough and added to the realism of the time period.



If you like historical fiction then I would recommend this and even if you don't there is a lot happening to keep you entertained!
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