ARC Review: Vendetta by Catherine Doyle

"A fast-paced, action-packed Contemporary with a huge twist. I loved it!"
 
Title: Vendetta
Author: Catherine Doyle
Genre: Contemporary/Thriller
Publisher: Chicken House
Published: January 1st 2015
Page Number: 384
Rating: 4/5

Summary:
 
When five brothers move into the abandoned mansion in her neighbourhood, Sophie Gracewell's life changes forever. Irresistibly drawn to bad boy Nicoli, Sophie finds herself falling into a criminal underworld governed by powerful families. As the boys' dark secrets begin to come to light, Sophie is confronted with stinging truths about her own family, too. She must choose between two warring dynasties - the one she was born into, and the one she is falling in love with. When she does, blood will spill and hearts will break.
 
Review:
 
When I read the premise of this book, I instantly knew that I had to have it. It's Young Adult, it's Contemporary, It's inspired by Romeo and Juliet - which I freaking love - and it included dark secrets and the Mafia. What more could a guy want?
 
Nothing.
 
At first I wasn't one hundred percent sure about what I was reading. The atmosphere was very dark and eerie and I felt like I was reading a YA Paranormal book, but after three or four chapters the story really took off. We were introduced to two hot smoking guys. Nic was charming with a dark edge, while Luca was a jerk. He was the type of character you love to hate, like Daemon Black from The Lux Series by Jennifer L Armentrout, only human.
 
Page after page after page, I was drawn into this non-stop action packed story that had me gasping from surprise, so many times that I simply couldn't count. Sophie is a character who you can fall in love with because she's so relatable. Her father is in prison and she doesn't have anyone who she's that close too, I think anyone who has lost someone can relate to her feelings of loneliness.
 
For a debut book, I was pleasantly surprised. It's heavily inspired by Romeo and Juliet and that comes across in the book so many times. I reminded me of watching the movie when I was in Primary school. I felt content and excited, like I couldn't sit still because it was so good. And I had the very same feeling while reading Vendetta.
 
If you love books that are fast paced and bring really good, relatable characters, or even if you like good books in general, then this is the one for you. And like a lot of other people, I'm dying to get my hands on a finished copy.
 
 
I received this book from the publishers for a honest review.
 

2015 Book and Blog Resolutions

2015 Book/Blog Resolutions
 

Book Resolutions

1. Read 40 books (I'm going to University in September, so reading will be scarce.)
2. Read the 5th, 6th and 7th books of the Harry Potter Series
3. Start and finish at least 5 series (Duologies/Trilogies)
4. Read at least 10 Fantasy books
5. Read 2 Classic books
6. Adventure more into New Adult Fiction
7. Read more debut authors
8. Re-read books you need to


Blog Resolutions

1. Finish up series reviews
2. Try and review at least 30 books read in 2015
3. Take part in more blog tours
4. Update the blog (Index reviews)
5. Upload more posts about depression
 
 
These are the 12 steps I plan to achieve in 2015. What are your goals? Let me know in the comments.

Most Anticipated Releases of 2015

2014 is nearly behind us and 2015 is coming a close, but despite there being so many great books published this year, 2015 looks to be an even better year for Young Adult books. Here are the 14 that I am most excited about!


Never, Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher - Publishes 11th January

I Was Here by Gayle Forman - Publishes 29th January

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - Publishes February 10th

Mind Games by Teri Terry - Publishes March 5th

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows - Publishes 10th March

Confess by Colleen Hoover - Publishes 10th March

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey - Publishes April 28th


The Heir by Kiera Cass - Publishes 5th May

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Mass - Publishes 7th May

End of Days by Susan EE - Publishes 12th May

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry - Publishes 26th May

The Cage by Megan Sheperd - Publishes 26th May

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare - Publishes September (No official release date yet)

November Nine by Colleen Hoover  - Publishes November 9th

 
 
Let me know some of the books you're most excited about for 2015

My 5 Most Disappointing Books of 2014

2014 was the year of extremely good books, but it was also the year for some terrible literature.




Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas - 3/5

I really liked the idea of this book, an Assassin who has to fight for the Prince to become the Kings Champion. However, I felt like this one was a little over-hyped for me. My goal for 2015 is to catch up with this series and read Crown of Midnight and Heir of Fire.


The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey - 3/5

This sequel really angered me. The 5th Wave was one of my favourite books of 2013 and then this one came along and ruined it all. Despite being so short compared to the first book, this one was dragged out and extremely boring. Plus all the new characters felt like bad, annoying versions of Cassie and Evan.


Legend by Marie Lu - 3/5

There is no doubt that Marie Lu can write, but what she fails to do is create great relationships that make sense. Day and June's relationship was so forced that I just could not enjoy the book. It was also a little predictable and will not be continuing on with the Trilogy.


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - 2/5

Everyone was talking about how amazing this book was, but I have zero idea what they're on about. The writing style was awful, the characters were bland and in no way realistic. I also guessed the "twist" after reading 5 pages.


Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira - 1/5

I thought I was going to be reading a good book, but what I got was a book filled with boring characters, an unrealistic lesbian friends with benefits situation and just plain awful writing. Ooh, and the blurb has BIASED written all over it. I seriously would not recommend this book to anyone.
 
 
 
What were your most disappointing reads of 2014?

Review: My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

Title: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories
Author: A Bunch of Various Authors
Genre: Christmas / Romance
Publisher: MacMillan's Children
Published: October 9th 2014
Page Number: 359
Rating: 3.75/5
 
Summary:
 
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ...This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.
 
 
 
 
Review:
 
Midnights by Rainbow Rowell - 5/5
 
I absolutely loved this short story by Rainbow Rowell which follows a girl called Mags over the period of 3 New Years parties. Each year is different and the ending is super cute. Rainbow Rowell really captured my attention and wrote great, flawed characters.
 
“You’re a kaleidoscope. You change every time I look away.”
 
 
The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link - 1/5

I just did not like this short story at all. The beginning was a little all over the place and the writing didn't do anything for me. Maybe having Rainbow Rowell start the collection was a really bad idea.


Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena - 5/5

I absolutely adored this short story. It was great with it following a guy named Shy because men do have slightly different thoughts to women. I also loved how it wasn't exactly a happy-ish ending. It was a mutual ending that fitted the story very well.

“The feeling it gave me was an odd combination of weightless self-pity and excitement. I understood my life was meaningless, and this knowledge freed me up to accomplish absolutely anything.”  


Polaris is where you'll find me by Jenny Han - 4/5

I was so surprised that I enjoyed this short story because it was about Elves. I don't have anything against Elves, but I didn't think it'd work, but it definitely did. The characters were great and very life like. The only negatives were the fact that Flynn could touch Natalie's cheek when she was standing up. Can Elves even reach that far? and the ending was so abrupt. But it was still super cute!

"When I think back on it, I realize it was the first time I ever got to introduce myself. I'd known everyone at the North Pole since I was a baby, and they all called me Natty, because that was what Santa called me. It was my first time being Natalie."


It's a Yuletide miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins - 4/5

I really did love this short story. Stephanie can create some of the best characters ever and she did with Marigold and North. I loved how witty and awkward and fresh they were. It was a little weird with the situation, but all I could while I read it was smile.

"Until tomorrow, Marigold Moon." And he kissed her one last time.


Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan - 0/5

I decided not to read this short story because the past two books I've read by David Levithan I've hated. Detested. That's not to say that you guys wouldn't like the story because it does sound interesting and it is about a gay couple.


Krampuslauf by Holly Black - 0/5

This short story by Holly Black didn't appeal to me at all. I wish it did, because I'm sure Holly Black has a great writing style, but when I think of Holly Black writing a book I think of Faeries and Vampires, not two humans falling in love.


What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth by Gayle Forman - 3.5/5

I really enjoyed this cute story. It was warm, fuzzy and super cute. I love Gayle Forman's writing and the characters Sophie and Russell were perfect together. I got butterflies in my stomach. I did take over an hour to read this because I haven't read anything is about 2 weeks.


Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McIntire - 4/5

AHHH! I loved this short story so much. I was expecting it to be a 2 or 3 star rating, but I absolutely fell in love with the characters and the story. Prankster and the priest's daughter as a pair? You'd never see it, but it was all about forgiving and family and it was the perfect read.


Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White - 3/5

I very much liked this story, but it was also a little generic and predictable. The girl felt like she "lost" her mother when she met Rick, but it turns out that they wanted better for her. I've read it over and over again, but I still enjoyed it.

“But people don't need to remember how it felt to be happy and safe in the past. They need to have hope that they can get there again in the future.”  


Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter - 4/5

I really really enjoyed this short story. I've heard a lot of mixed feelings about Ally's writing style, but I liked it. The characters were great, the writing was great and the whole premise was great. It was just a cute, quick read.

“I sang because that is what I do when I am happy and when I'm sad. I sang because it is who I am when I am being the best possible version of me.”  


The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - 3/5

This story was definitely a little different, but the writing was so unique, beautiful. I enjoyed the characters a lot and it ended up as a well done Christmas Day read (It's near 1am here on the 25th).

“She wanted to be free, and if she could never be free, at least she wanted to be brave - brave enough not to sell herself, no matter what the payment, or the cost of refusing.”  
 
 
 
 
If you could pick any of your favourite authors to appear in a book like this, who would you choose and why? (pick no more than eight)

Ps, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

 
 
 

The 5 Best YA Book Cover Designs Of 2014

YA book cover design had a strong year in 2014 and here are some of the designs I saw and fell in love with!

 
Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
 


Jacket Photography by Andre Schneider
Jacket Design by Michelle Taormina
Map Art by Jordan Saia


The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin


Cover Photography by Heather Landis


City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare


Cover and fold out Illustrations by Cliff Neilsen
Comic Strip by Cassandra Piedra and Cassandra Claire LLC


A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray


Jacket Art by Craig Shields
Design by Elizabeth Woods


Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch


Art by Jeff Huang
Design by Erin Fitzsimmons


What are some of your favourite YA covers of this year?

My Favourite Books of 2014

So I am pretty sure that 2014 was a great year for reading, especially for me. I had a 3 month reading slump from March - June and I still have managed to read around 116 books, which is just so insane. So, to celebrate coming to the end of 2014 I have decided to show you my top 10 books that I read in 2014.
 
 
10. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness - 5/5
 
9. Insurgent by Veronica Roth - 5/5
 
8. The Host by Stephenie Meyer - 5/5
 
7. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman - 5/5
 
6. The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter - 5/5
 
5. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare - 5/5
 
4. The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - 5/5
 
3. Where She Went by Gayle Forman - 5/5
 
2. Slammed by Colleen Hoover - 5/5
 
1. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry - 5/5
 
 
Honorary Mentions
 
I Was Here by Gayle Forman - 5/5
 
This book comes out next month on the 29th and I'm so excited for you all to read it, because it was an outstanding novel.
 
Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott - 4/5
 
I loved how nostalgic this book was. It was written well and I'm so excited for the sequel, Salt and Stone.
 
Wonder by R J Palacio - 5/5
 
This is a book that every child should read because it details the important message of acceptance.
 
"Don't fit in when you were born to stand out"
 
 
What were some of your favourite books of 2014?


Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Published: January 30th 2014
Page Number: 459
Rating: 4/5
 
Summary:
 
Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words ...And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone. Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible ...
 
Review:
 
After reading Eleanor and Park - Which I absolutely loved by the way - I decided to wait until the paperback of Fangirl came out, so I could read it and enjoy all the extra comic pictures of the characters. And once again I was not disappointed by Rainbow Rowell. Is there nothing she can't do?
 
The story follows twins Cath and Wren who are about to start College and while Wren wants her own independence, it's clear that Cath doesn't. She want's her roommate to be Wren, she wants to write fan fiction with Wren, she wants to be joint at the hips with Wren like she always has been. On her first day of College we're introduced to both Levi and Reagan, who play a huge part of the story as well as Wren, Cath's father and Nick. It's instant that there's somewhat an attraction between Cath and Levi and it really is great to see an older, more mature character in a YA book. It's refreshing. Over the story we see a lot of ups and down, but also a lot of hot makeup scenes and I'm not talking about Levi and Cath. In fact there's more action happening between Simon and Baz then it is Levi and Cath.
 
Cath wasn't the best character to have as a main protagonist. I found her to be extremely immature for her age and the fact that she became a recluse because she was too scared wasn't very convincing. I think she was lost without her Twin, Wren who was an epic character and full of sass! Still Cath was extremely boring. Her days went like this:
 
1. Wake up
2. Have breakfast
3. Go to class
4. Stay in the library
5. Sleep
 
It became annoying, but after the incident that happened with her father she came out of her shell, which was great because we got to know her a bit more, but it would've worked better if she weren't so lonely, annoying and immature.
 
The other main protagonist in this book was Levi. He is definitely a great character: witty and full of charm and has a slight obsession with gay fan fiction - sorry, not sorry - His relationship with Cath was very confusing. It was borderline friendship/awkwardness and then after the whole he-kissed-another-girl-in-his-kitchen incident it felt like he realised that he liked Cath a lot more than he thought and decided to act like a jerk - a sweet jerk - and he still is one of my favourite book characters.
 
Overall, I really loved that Fangirl was set in College because there's no other YA book set in college. I loved that despite her annoying traits, Cath showed the awkwardness and nervousness of going to college for the first time and having a hard time settling in. But to be honest, its Rainbow Rowell, so it wasn't going to be bad.....Unless Levi was never in the story and then it would be bad. But I really enjoyed it and found myself to fly through it very quickly. 

Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Title: The One
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Dystopia
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: May 5th 2014
Page Number: 323
Rating: 4.5/5

Summary:

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.


Review:

After the disappointment of The Elite, I was very sceptical of The One. I knew I wanted to finish up the trilogy, but I weren't sure if it was going to be a rating like The Selection or The Elite. But I can say, that I LOVED this book. It wasn't my favourite in the trilogy, but it was so much better than The Elite.

There was no doubt in my mind that Maxon would select America. Maxon may have been flirting and kissing the other girls, but his connection to America was real. He became reliant on him and she became reliant on him, because a King can't be a ruler without his Queen. Every chapter welcomed new twists and turns and I was so shocked by the ending. I never expected some of the most important side characters to be killed off, especially when nothing that dramatic had happened in the first two books.

My only dislike was the slow start, but after eighty-odd pages, it picked up and became a page turner. I wanted to read more and more and more, and when it ended I was both sad and content. The ending satisfied me, but I was also sad because over the time of reading The Elite and The One, I had fallen in love with America and Maxon. I was rooting for them from the beginning of The Selection, but they really did gel together as a team.

I was also extremely happy that I guessed who could be trusted and who not. America's father was sneaking off when he was at the castle and that just raised my suspicions, Kriss was too nice and no one can be that nice, unless it's all an act, which it was. At least Celeste was forward with it and I've always said that you can trust a Bitch, always.

Overall, I really enjoyed it and I am super excited for The Heir. I'm dying to know why The Selection Ceremony has been brought back, especially since they planned to stop it.

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Re-Reads

Top 5 Wednesday was set up by Lainey over at GingerReadsLainey. Every week you have a new topic and you pick your top 5 choices for each topic. This is done in Vlogs, but I think it will be great for Bloggers to do as well. Today's topic is our Favourite books to re-read. I don't know if it's books you like to re-read over Christmas or just favourite books to re-read, so I'm going with the one that makes sense to me.

 
So, there are actually only two books that I re-read because I use them for writing inspiration. Beautiful Disaster is the book that got me wanting to write New Adult Fiction and going back to it inspires me with my male characters, because I sometimes write them a little too feminine. Pushing the Limits is used for the emotions and relationship. Katie McGarry knows how to punch someone in the gut with feelings!

 
These are 3 books that I am hoping to re-read in the year of 2015. the Divergent trilogy because the Insurgent movie comes out in March, Angelfall and World After so I can prepare for the third and final book, and Prisoner of Night and Fog because I was in a high reading slump when I read it.
 
 
What books have to re-read the most? Which ones do you plan on re-reading?

ARC Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

"I Was Here,was a beautiful and engaging read. One of my favourite books of the year "
 
Title: I Was Here
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Contemporary/Mystery
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Childrens
Published: January 29th 2015
Page Number: 270
Rating: 5/5

Summary:
When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything - so how was there no warning?

But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington.

About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open - until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.
 
Review:
 
I know very well that as soon as I open up a Gayle Forman book that I will be in the ride of my life and just like If I Stay and Where She Went, I was. I was compelled from page one and couldn't put it down until I had finished the book in it's entirety.
 
This Young Adult contemporary is a lot darker and mysterious than most. Cody has just lost her best friend, Meg to suicide and something seems off. She never told Cody and that's what she never understood. They were best friends and best friends told each other everything, but Cody had to learn how well she truly knew her best friend.
 
Gayle Forman has written an incredible, engaging book with I Was Here. Cody's voice is strong and distinctive, she lives off trying to find out what truly happened to Meg and it drags you in. You become Cody's eyes. What she see's, you see. What she feels, you feel. It's like the book transports your body into the book and you live through everything. Feel everything.
 
Just like any other Gayle Forman book, the romance was pretty much perfect. I had my instincts on who could be her perfect suitor, but whether she ended up with them was a different story. It's a mix of Young Adult and New Adult, but  it's so much more than that.
 
I Was Here is filled with secret messages. It's not another suicide book. It's a book of letting go of the past - not forgetting - but forgiving. Move on and live your life. Through out the book we have little information about Meg and what she went through and I really delved into her life and lived it, because I have lived it.
 
Depression isn't something that can be sorted out with pills. It takes a lot of courage to admit and get help. It's a lot of hard work, but hard work pays off in the end. It's correct that you only live once, but don't live life like it's short because you'll always wonder what you missed out on.
 
I really really loved I Was Here and I'm excited for Forman's future releases after this incredible book. I would recommend this book to everyone who wants a contemporary book that isn't all school and romance.
 
 
I received this book off the publishers for an honest review.

Release Blitz: Wicked by Jennifer L Armentrout

Wicked RWB Banner

 

We are over the moon excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout's WICKED! WICKED is a New Adult Paranormal Romance and the first book in Jennifer’s Wicked Trilogy!


  Wicked

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo

WICKED Synopsis:

Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans. Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart. Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her. But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

A picture of a fresh cupcak placed on a sensual female butt

Excerpt:
 
It was him. Green Eyes. Ren. That was his name. Now I remembered. I started to step forward, but he beat me to it. Moving as quickly as a damn snake striking, he caught my wrists. He didn’t yank my arms to my sides. All he did was hold my fists away from his face.
A lopsided grin appeared on those full lips. “Can’t say I’m entirely surprised you took a swing at me.”
“Then I guess this won’t surprise you either.” Leaning back, I shifted my weight onto my left leg, but again, Ren outmaneuvered me with a quickness that was sort of embarrassing.
He stepped into what would’ve been a fantastic kick and forced me back against the wall. Then there was nowhere to go, no space whatsoever. My back was against the building, and the entire length of his hard body was pressed against mine.
Son of a bitch.
As if he could read my mind, that grin spread and the dimples played peekaboo. “Now I think we can have a conversation without me ending up bloody.”
I blew out an aggravated breath. “I wouldn’t bet on that not happening.”
He chuckled, and the sound rumbled through me. I couldn’t even remember being this close to a guy since . . . since Shaun. “Look, I’m sorry for snatching you off the street like a kidnapper, but you were about to make yet another huge mistake.”
His apology was lost on me. “Make another mistake?”
“Yeah, like the one last night that ended with you getting shot.” He dipped his chin, and the yellow glow of the light attached to the wall above us glanced off his broad cheekbones. “I know what you were about to do.”
“I didn’t make a mistake last night. I was doing my job,” I spat. “And I doubt your job includes grabbing chicks off the street.”
“That would be a hell of a lot more entertaining, but the moment you thought you could engage that fae last night, you made a mistake. And you were about to do it again, you little ass.”
“Little ass?” I sputtered. “You grabbed me off the street like a serial killer!”
“And I’ve apologized for that even though you should be thanking me. I just saved your life, sweetness.”
Floored, all I could do was stare at him for a moment. “You’re insane.”
“I’m a lot of things, but today I’m your fucking saving grace.”
black and white closeup of woman end man kissing  

Author Photo
About Jennifer L. Armentrout: # 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads

 

New Adult Recommendations

New Adult was never really a huge genre before, but now it's one of the biggest and most loved. I started reading New Adult after I found Erotica (50 shades) to be too much sex for me. I wanted something sexy, but fun, with great storylines as well. So here are 5 of my favourite New Adult books.
 
 
 
 
After by Anna Todd - Anna Todd became famous after 'After' become one of Wattpad's most read books. It may have been a 1D Fan Fiction originally, but everyone fell in love with it. I haven't read the published version, but I have read the Wattpad version. It was good.
 
Breathe by Abbi Glines - This is a big series, so you may want to make sure you have a lot of time on hand to read these. Not only is there the Sea Breeze series, but there's also the Rosemary Beach, and the Too Far series. That is a lot of sexy New Adult.
 
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire - Jamie is one of my favourites. Her books are so addictive with incredible characters and a lot of drama. The relationship in Beautiful Disaster is a little intense, but Travis 'Mad-Dog' Maddox is sexy-as-sin and so are his brothers.
 
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover - Colleen Hoover is the Queen of New Adult. There isn't one book I've read by her that I haven't loved, and what makes Maybe Someday the perfect New Adult is that it's more up-beat and comes with a side track. Also, Maybe Not was recently released, so it's definitely the right time to read it!
 
Slammed by Colleen Hoover - Like I said, QUEEN! Slammed is even better than Maybe Someday. It's filled with three beautiful, intense, heart-breaking storylines. And it's also got incredible slam poetry. Everything about this book was beautiful and I guess it's why she's been quotes as the 'female version of Nicholas Sparks'
 
 
What are some of your favourite New Adult books?

Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Dystopia
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: April 23rd 2013
Page Number: 326
Rating: 3/5

Summary:

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Review:

To say I loved The Selection would be an understatement. I fell completely head over heels in love with it, not just the writing but the premise and the characters. Everyone was easily recognisable and courageous and that just isn't seen in Young Adult Dystopia.

However, this book fell short.

The storyline flowed nicely, but slowly and I'm not entirely sure if I loved it or not. It fitted in some scenes, but in others, I felt that it needed to be quicker. Not only that, I felt like the stubborn America had gone and been replaced by a hormone infested 14 year old, who wanted every guy she saw in her sights.

Maxon.
Aspen.
No, Maxon.
I need Aspen.
But Maxon makes me feel things.
I still love Aspen.
Wait! WAIT! It's Maxon...no. Aspen.
Shit! Who do I pick?!

I just couldn't keep up with her and her decisions. I understand that Maxon had to talk to the other girls because that is part of the show, America knows that, but it's like she only wanted him to spend time with her, while also spending alone time with Aspen. I also weren't fussed on that ending.

I had my predictions for the people who you can't trust and luckily for me I was completely right. I will say it's the quiet ones you've got to look out for.

Overall, I wasn't exactly satisfied with the book, but it was still great seeing the great characters being brought back onto the page.

Gift Ideas: What to buy your friends who love to read


So, the most normal and cliché gift to get your friends who love reading would be a book, but buying a book comes with a lot of stress.

1) What if they already own the book?
2) What if they've already read the book?
3) What if it's not their Genre?
4) What if they dislike the author?

Stress. Stress. Stress. Stress.

S T R E S S !

So here are 5 bookish gifts that your reading friends will love.


1. A Gift card -  It may be small and simple, but at least they get to pick the books they actually want. Plus, who doesn't love a gift card? I would suggest Amazon Gift cards, B&N Gift cards, WHSmith Gift Cards and Waterstones Gift cards.



2. Bookmarks - Another simple gift. All you have to do is choose a design that your friend/family member would like and then wrap them up. Plus, we all know that booknerds love super cute book marks that befriends our pages. I'd recommend you look at the ones designed and made by craftedvan on Etsy.



3. Bookish Art - These are a little more pricey, but they look amazing. What way to show off their love of a book then having their favourite quote hanging beautifully on their wall.



4. A book scented Candle - This is a weird gift, but it's also very thoughtful. Is book sniffers need to satisfy our needs and with this one, all you'd need to do is place it up to your nose and enjoy!



5. DVD's - Uh, DVD's. You sure? Yes, I am one hundred percent sure. 2014 was a great year for Books to movies/TV shows. The Fault in Our Stars came out, so did Divergent. But then there's also If I Stay and The Maze Runner releases this month. Also Amazon has a great deal on where both Hunger Games movies are £10. TV show wise, I'd recommend The 100, which became a huge hit and also Season 1 of Under the Dome (S2 was terrible)



I hope I've somewhat given you a few ideas on what to get and if you've already bought your book loving friends something, maybe this will help for next year.

Book Tag | Let it Snow

As it's December 1st I have decided that we need to kick the month off with a Christmas book tag. Let it Snow was the perfect one, and it was so quick and easy to write up. Anyway, I hope y'all have an amazing Christmas and I'll see you in 2015 (this is not my last post, lol).


1. What book gets you in the holiday spirit?
I've picked My True Love Gave to Me because it's a bunch of Christmas short stories and that'll get you into to Christmassy mood. Also, despite not having read it, I have won a copy of the book from Goodreads (MyKindaBooks) and I'm excited to start it!







2. It's a blizzard outside and you're snowed in, which character would you want to be stuck inside with?

I've chosen a character that no one else is going to pick: Mara Dyer from The Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. She's in no way a trust worthy character because she's insane, but I just absolutely love her. She's a quirky character who's completely likeable.






3. You're having a snow fight, which cold hearted character would you aim for first?
He's not a horrible character, but this character got on my nerves so so much. I wanted to punch him whenever he appeared and that's not how I should feel about a character, especially one that was a side character. Aspen may be a guard, but he's so childish. It's a pity he wasn't shot!







4. Which family would you like to spend the holidays with?

Easy. I'd want to spend the holidays at The London Institute with Charlotte Branwell and everyone else. Despite not being a real family by blood, they acted like one and everyone was welcome. Plus I happen to love the 19th century. The clothes, the mannerisms, everything! Also, I want to meet Sophie and Gideon and see them get married.





5. Who would you want to kiss under the mistletoe?

Jase from My Life Next Door. He's my ultimate book boyfriend, so it seems right for me and him to kiss under the Mistletoe. However, if he's not the best kisser than I have a few guys on standby. *Starts counting down on fingers* Ridge from Maybe Someday, Adam from Where She Went and Will from Slammed.





6. Which character was on the Naughty list, but made his/her way on to the nice list?

Warren from Maybe Not (Maybe Someday #1.5) He's always been a great character, but Maybe Not showed a whole new side to him. He was sexy and masculine, almost an alpha male. He just gave me all the good reasons for me to love him......and man does he have patience.






7. You're HOME ALONE, when two burglars come into your house. Which character would you want to help fight them off?

Since I'm not like any of the boys from Home Alone, I will definitely need help in fighting them off. I'd have Tris from Divergent because she is fearless. She's kick ass and even though she's not the most happy of characters, she could shank a bitch if need be. DAUNTLESS FOREVER!




8. The Hallmark channel is having a holiday movie marathon, what book has the cheesiest cover?

Every cover of The Lux Series by Jennifer L Armentrout. These are going to be the UK editions and I just.....msbojsbdkjfnsdjkbjks. They're so cheesy, but I will say this: There is nothing wrong with cheese. Especially Hallmark cheese.

Hallmark film recommendation: A Christmas Kiss, Let it Snow and Where Calls the Heart (It's a TV series, but it's soo good!)


9. Spread the holiday love, who do you tag?

*Grabs mic and sings* And you and you and you!

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

"I couldn't put this book down, it was too trippy."
 
Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: March 1st 2012
Page Number: 452
Rating: 4.25/5
 
Summary:
 
Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own.

But Mara’s new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people’s deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she’s going crazy! And if dealing with all this wasn’t enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can’t seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can’t help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…
  
 
Review:
 
I've had The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Evolution of Mara Dyer for the longest time but never got around to reading them because I weren't sure if they'd be my cup of tea, but if anything, they're my perfect match. It's dark, creepy and if you love American Horror Story then you will one hundred percent enjoy this.
 
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer starts off with a little note to us readers from Mara Dyer, herself. And right from that I was entered this crazy story and just couldn't leave. I think it'd be a freaky thing if I said that I feel Michelle Hodkin really understood me as a person, but it's totally true. Mara Dyer is not a character like any other, but she's actually one of my most liked characters because I can relate to her on so much stuff. 
 
What I loved so much about this crazy-ass book is that it's not like any of paranormal book I've read before. It's like you're not actually yourself when you're reading it because Mara Dyer isn't a sane narrator. She's crazy. Some of the scenes made me think, WHAT. THE. HELL! because it was that darn weird. It's also so intelligently written that I could picture it all in my head, it'd make a brilliant TV show or Movie.
 
One of my favourite scenes in the book would have to be the rice-turning-into-maggots scene. It was shit bat crazy, but it also made sense. Everything from Mara's POV makes sense even though it shouldn't.
 
Santeria plays a huge role in the book as well, especially as we go into book two. Santeria is a Afro-Caribbean religion based on Yoruba beliefs. And like most religions it has both good and bad sides. In fact in the late 19th century, early 20th century it was mostly known as a sacrificial religion, specifically in Brazil. People were coming down with diseases and converted to the religion in hopes of being cured. They'd sacrifice something important to them. Sometimes it was a chicken tongue, a snippet of their hair, loose teeth and in one case a woman chopped off her own thumb. They never got cured. (This was all information via myself. I love history.)
 
I just love this book so much, I'm currently reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer. My review of that should be up by next Friday. Hopefully. Despite myself loving this book there were also a few small problems. The beginning was quite slow and I couldn't really get into it until after 120 pages. I also found the writing to become a little iffy three quarters of the way through. But other than that everything was great.
 

Top 5 Wednesday: Books Over 500 Pages

Top 5 Wednesday was set up by Lainey over at GingerReadsLainey. Every week you have a new topic and you pick your top 5 choices for each topic. This is done in Vlogs, but I think it will be great for Bloggers to do as well. Today's topic is Big Books Don't Lie. Well, now I'm lying. It's Favourite books over 500 pages long!

Christmas time is the perfect time for big books because we get more time to ourselves, that is if you've already finished your shopping, like me.


 
A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin - I haven't read this series, but I know everyone either loves the books or the TV show, so I know it'd be perfect to recommend and take my 5th place. It's a high fantasy with a lot of death. Enjoy!
 
50 Shades of Grey by E. L James - This isn't the best written trilogy ever, but it's a very quick read. I read all three books in three days and really enjoyed them. Plus I've met E L James and she's super nice! Also you get to read them before the movie comes out. (I'm going to see it with some friends)
 
The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs -  I officially read three chapters on Wattpad, but bought the book when it came out. This book is an amazing, sexy novel about kidnappings and Vampires. It's brilliant!
 
The Host by Stephenie Meyer - This Dystopian is incredible. I loved the movie, but when I read the book I was blown away. It was...unique. Great writing, great editing and an amazing storyline. It is over 600 pages long, but totally worth it.
 
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness -  This is my all time favourite series and the first book clocks up an epic 680 pages long. It's an adult fantasy that includes Witches, Vampires and Daemons. I was 14/15 when I read this and even faked that I was ill to finish reading it!
 
 
What are some of your favourite books that are over 500 pages long?

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

"A magical quick read that will have you hooked from beginning, middle and end."

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Dystopia
Publisher: Harper Collins
Published: April 24th 2012
Page Number: 336

Summary:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


Review:

I should have reviewed this book after I had finished it a little over a year ago, but I never did. But now I've decided that I am going to be reviewing the whole Trilogy. My review of The Elite will go live next Monday and The One will go live the Monday after that.

America Singer lives in a world that is divided into Castes, each Caste goes along in numbers 1 - 8. Being a One is being the King, Queen, Prince and (soon to be) Princess. And being an Eight means you have a terrible life. No food, no home. You are most likely to become a Rebel.

What I loved about this book was that despite it being a Dystopian novel it was also very light and fluffy. It was a face-paced, action-packed quick read. The whole world isn't too intricate, but it's also interesting because you'd think that it'd be a pretty perfect world.

It is not.

Maxon's life isn't what you all expected. He may be a Prince, but his Father is harsh on him and every once in a while, the Castle is attacked by Rebels. The Northern Rebels are less affective because they NEVER kill, while the Southern Rebels WILL kill. It's a hard life, but for Maxon it all changes when he meets America.

The change is his personality made him my favourite character, not once did I ever dislike him. My only dislike was Aspen and if I was writing the book I would have him killed in the beginning. He was a character who liked to hold out on things and never let them go.

Overall, I really did love this book. I read it within a few hours and couldn't wait until the sequel (I read it a year on). 5/5 Stars! This book deserves every star rating I gave it because it was that good.

Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Chris Riddell

Title: The Sleeper and the Spindle
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fairy-tale Retelling
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published: October 23rd 2014
Page Number: 68

Summary:

On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

 
Review:

I've not really read an actual Neil Gaiman book before, but I have read Coraline the graphic novel. I enjoyed it, but it was quite boring compared to the movie. When I got this in the post I literally couldn't stop touching it. It's beautiful.

 
The book is a mixed retelling of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I got was a lot of creepiness and incredible, beautiful writing. The story was thrilling and enjoyable, and I just couldn't put it down. (It's not a long book and could be read within an hour.) I felt such a connection with the story and in a way it was both confusing and similar at the same time. I could see the original stories, but also the retellings.
 
 
One of the scenes that really made me smile was when both queens kissed. It wasn't a romantic kiss, it was just a kiss. The kiss of life. It was a nice surprise because I'm gay and I definitely didn't expect to see it in a children's book.
 
 
I wouldn't say the story blew me away, but I did enjoy it. 4/5 stars!
 
I received this book from the publishers for an honest opinion.
 
 

Book Blitz: Breaking the Rules by Katie McGarry





Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits #1.5)
Release Date: 12/08/14
Harlequin Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry.

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.



Available for Pre-Order:
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Books in the series:
(covers linked to Goodreads)
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Excerpt From Noah’s Point of View
“Me and you,” I whisper, hoping my words will sink into her subconscious, beyond where she overthinks. “It’s how it’s supposed to be.”
Echo’s hand glides over mine, and she links our fingers together. “You like disturbing my sleep, don’t you?”
I kiss her shoulder, permitting my lips to linger on her soft skin. Guess I did wake her. “Just keeping things straight between us.”
“In my sleep?” Damn, I love that groggy voice.
“You argue less that way.”



About the Author
KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

Author Links:
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