Friday, February 28, 2014

Review: Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Firstly, thanks to Allen & Unwin for this review copy <3



This review contains spoilers for Shatter Me and Unravel Me but not for Ignite Me

Date Read: February 11 - 12 2014
Release Date: February 26th 2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Paranormal
My rating:  (Not enough stars)

Synopsis:
"The exciting and chilling conclusion to the internationally successful Juliette Chronicles series. With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world … but that’s not all he wants with her."

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“I have been waiting for this moment for a long time now.”

Gosh darnit it’s going to be SO HARD to write this review without Ignite Me spoilers because so much of this book centres on Juleitte and a certain someone and the way things turn out… But here goes.

The first sentence continues off from the last page in Unravel Me so we remember straight away what happened to Juliette and where she is… And who she’s with. I’m immediately drawn into the the action-packed world Mafi has created because her writing – Juliette’s thoughts – demands this sort of panicked style of thinking. And away we go…

Props to Mafi for Juliette’s absolute growth in Ignite Me. She has shed the self-pitying, self-wallowing shell that cocooned her in Unravel Me (let’s be honest, if not for Chapter 62, Unravel Me would have gotten 3.5-4 stars rather than the 5 I gave it). She is strong. Independent. She harnesses her power. She wants change. And she’ll stop at nothing to get it. I loved this take-charge personality she finally shows! I admit I was really shocked at this despite her getting shot being a wake-up call. It was a very sudden change because all of Unravel Me she spent hating her power and worrying about Adam. But whatever, I loved Juliette here. And to be honest, a lot of it was supported by a certain someone who knew her potential. Juliette’s willingness to learn and to control her power was refreshing. I also adored the fact that she finally realised she didn’t need Adam or Warner to define her. She defines herself.

“I forge forward or die.”

As secondary characters go Kenji Kishimoto is one of the most spectacular I’ve read. Can he PLEASE get his own book/spin-off series? He really deserves it. Ever the comedian and ice-breaker, he was overlooked for his skills and military prowess. But here in Ignite Me I thank Mafi for giving him his own place and time to shine; and boy did he shine. I loved the exchanges between him and Juliette – jokes aside, they had many deep and meaningful conversations and I saw a side to Kenji that I knew must have been there but wasn’t explored til now. We see the weight that he carries, the responsibility he feels and his amazing support as a friend. Never faltering, never doubting, ever the faithful friend – why can’t we all have someone like that in our life?

“You can’t bullshit me with your innocent act.”

So… Romance… Um… Where do I start? *Bites lips* I can’t do this without spoiling. You all surely remember Chapter 62. Thought THAT was steamy? Wait til you get to Chapter 55. Won’t say who it’s with. Won’t say who she ends up with, except that it’s HOT. I was just squealing and rolling around in bed dying of fangirl happiness after Chapter 55. And chapters 56, 57, 58… and many more after that *fans self* Woah can Mafi write wonderfully sweet, passionate, intense and lovely passages without being explicit. That is a skill in itself. This is THE book chapter of the year guys. Not kidding.

“It’s the kind of kiss that inspires stars to climb into the sky and light up the world”

I really loved how Warner worked together with Juliette to try and take down the Reestablishment. The two complimented each other so well and I thought Warner brought out the strength in Juliette – he really saw her potential. I was actually surprised at how quickly things progressed with their plans and the way the story moved. It was all action from the get-go and I was surprised (and pleased) that Mafi managed to tie up loose ends with subplots that had been introduced in previous books. I basically had all my questions answered amidst the thrilling plot – really I couldn’t ask for a better conclusion.

What drew my attention with Shatter Me was Mafi’s unique writing style. It blew me away how she wrote Juliette’s thoughts exactly like one who thinks they’re going crazy (or so I would assume) would write. Seeing that change as Juliette grew throughout the series was wonderful because there were still elements that remained and I could see that in Ignite Me – the lack of punctuation when Juliette panics or is stressed; the way she uses ‘ands’ a lot and strings lots of verbs together to show she’s losing control; and the repetition and adjectives that really accentuate her thoughts give Ignite Me this integrity and uniqueness I’ve come to adore with the series.

“He pulls me into his arms.

And I fall.”


If I could sum this book up in one word it’d probably be passionate. Passionate in the way Juliette takes on the responsibility of taking down the Reestablishment; passionate in the way the characters strive to make the world a better place; the writing is passionate; heck the title is passionate, I mean come on IGNITE ME. But omg the love and the romance was the best part and it drive the book and gave it the most passion and it was sexy and this was so perfect ok I’m done.

“You’re finally ready to fight.”

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cover Reveal: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

Cover reveal time for another of my fav authors, Cora Carmack! All Lined Up is the first book in her new Rusk University Series c:

 

ALL LINED UP


Synopsis:

"In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them knows how to walk away from the attraction they feel."

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ALL LINED UP will be released May 13, 2014 by William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins)

Add ALL LINED UP to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18505845-all-lined-up?from_search=true

Pre-Order Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes

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About Cora Carmack

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Find her at the following places:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CoraCarmack
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CoraCarmackBooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6535659.Cora_Carmack?from_search=true

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review: Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West

Firstly, thanks to HarperCollins Australia for this review copy <3



This review may contain spoilers for Pivot Point, but not for Split Second

Date Read: September 17 - 25 2013
Release Date: February 11 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins (HarperTeen)
Source: ARC via publisher
Genre: Paranormal
My rating: 

Synopsis:
"Life can change in a split second.
Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.

When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.

Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.

As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything."

---


“Everyone is falling apart.”

Kasie West’s 2013 debut Pivot Point was one of the most stunning and original paranormal debuts I’d ever read. The concept was brilliant and I loved the idea of one choice producing two alternate outcomes. Split Second managed to stun me even more as Addie’s story continues. Whereas Pivot Point showed Addie’s possible future, Split Second is the reality of one of those choices based on her Search in Pivot Point. And the beautiful thing was how uncertain and different reality turned out to be.

One of the great points of West’s writing is her strong and relatable female leads. I loved Addie’s resilience as she faced the consequences of her choice; her indeciciveness as she struggled with what to tell those around her based on what she knew; and I especially loved her sarcasm/snark as a form of defence and fa├žade to daily life. She was such a relatable character with her down to earth nature and approach to decision making. As YA heroines go she’s definitely one of my favourites.

“I’m not a very good awkardness buffer. I kind of create awkwardness.”

I find it rare for friendships to be a focal point in YA books. I think that’s why I loved Split Second so much – because unlike most YA books where dual point of views are female/male (both being the love interests), West made Laila the other POV. I’ve always found the best friend to be annoying in YA books, and maybe it’s because we aren’t given their perspective so we can’t understand them. In Split Second however, with Laila’s POV, I could see very clearly the reason behind her actions. It was so enlightening to see both sides of the friendship and it really enforced their bond – especially Laila’s motives. The dual POV also allowed the reader to see both worlds (Addie’s and Laila’s) and give both girls their own story. Whilst Laila was the one that rushed head first into decisions and seemed boy crazy in Pivot Point, her growth and maturity really shone in Split Second given her responsbilities and difficulties she had to face.

“Laila is really good at keeping secrets. If you asked hre not to tell, she wouldn’t even tell me.”

Remember sweet Trevor? Remember his and Addie’s relationship? Well wipe that slate clean because West is one author who doesn’t insta-love and knows the meaning of reality. I absolutely loved the interactions between Addie and Trevor – Addie trying not to come across as if she knows him and Trevor’s doubts and distrust of her actions. It was all so gloriously thrilling as I wondered what fact Addie would accidentally spill that would ignite Trevor’s suspicions, and what fact would instead bring a smile to both their faces.

“I want to know you… I need to.”

I loved how the plot extended from something we glimpsed in Pivot Point because it showed the connection to the story, evidenced Addie’s ability to Search but at the same time produced its own story that meant I wasn’t reading Pivot Point again. The twists and turns West added really gave Split Second a form of integrity while the familiarities to Pivot Point gave me a sense of comfort. There was just this perfect balance of both and it was brilliant.

West’s writing is one of the reasons why I love her books. I adore her style. She already wrote so well in Pivot Point but I could definitely see the improvement with time. Her prose flows so easily and I can just get into her books so quickly. There are no unnecessary sentences that make me wonder why the author wrote that – everything is relevant to the story and has a purpose. And West does it in such a witty/humorous way and makes it look so easy but really I couldn’t do that if I tried.

“We just need to take away tonight without them suspecting.”

There was so much danger, suspense and more of the world West created in Pivot Point I was hooked from the beginning. Great world building, fantastic plot and pacing, great writing and beautiful relationships made Split Second a kind of perfect only West can do.

“We’re both so screwed up. Are you sure we’re good for each other?”

Cover Reveal: Sacrifice (The Elemental Series #5) by Brigid Kemmerer

I haven't done one of these in FOREVER so it's about time I get on a cover reveal! And guys this one is SPECTACULAR. I kid you not when I got the email from Brigid containing both the US and Aussie covers for Michael's book my eyes popped, my jaw dropped and I was just sitting there staring at the covers. Hot damn THEY ARE SO HOT. Sacrifice is like the hottest cover in the whole series. Especially that US cover; who is that male model because woahhhhh I couldn't stop staring into those beautiful eyes. Ohmygod I didn't even really care for Michael at the beginning (truth, sorry Brigid) and he definitely grew on me as the series progressed, but for me he was this support in the background. This cover changes everything. EVERYTHING I SAY.

ARE YOU READY? Ahem.

Let's do the Aussie cover first because I'm Aussie and also evil as I want to add some suspense.

Australian & New Zealand Sacrifice Cover



Oh it's pretty. To be honest, I thought it'd be green since Michael is an Earth elemental... But it's pretty. He is yummy and Hannah looks pretty!

OK DRUM ROLL..

US Cover



Ohmysweet goodness my ovaries exploded. I'm done. I just stopped typing for like 30 seconds just because I was too busy staring.

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Synopsis

"One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick is used to pressure.

He’s the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it out for his family, and he’s all that stands in the way.

His girlfriend, Hannah, gets that. She’s got a kid of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could end her life without a moment’s notice.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael’s defiance, his family’s “bad luck.” Before he knows it, Michael’s enemies have turned into the Merricks’ enemies, and they’re armed for war.

They’re not interested in surrender. But Michael isn’t the white flag type anyway. There will be blood on the ground tonight…"

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Sacrifice will be out later this year. Published by Allen & Unwin in Aus and Kensington Teen in the US c:

Add SACRIFICE to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17149158-sacrifice

Find Brigid at the following places


Pre-order Sacrifice

Amazon link to Elemental Series: http://www.amazon.com/Brigid-Kemmerer/e/B005IB0MTA/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1391773518&sr=8-2-ent

Barnes & Noble link to Elemental Series: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/brigid-kemmerer/3072647

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=brigid+kemmerer&search=Find+book

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/storm/id495681634?mt=11

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/search/apachesolr_search?author_filter=Kemmerer%2C+Brigid

Monday, February 3, 2014

Blogoversary Closing Up


Okies delayed post lol sorry guys I'm sure you were all enthusiastic to see the giveaway winners.

But firstly, I'd like to thank everyone who celebrated my first year of blogging with me! First and foremost I'd like to thank ALL the authors that participated - giving up their time and effort to write posts and offering items to giveaway to you, m'dear readers.
Cora Carmack, Lindsay Cummings, Kate Evangelista, Paula Stokes, Gabrielle Tozer, Amie Kaufman, Katie McGarry, Jessica Shirvington, Trish Doller, Leigh Bardugo, CJ Duggan - BIG HUGS TO YOU ALL and thank you SO MUCH for everything you've done. Forever in my heart <3 Let us continue the greatness!

My thanks then to all the lovely bloggers who have supported me through the year and all the new people I've met along the way.

Lastly, thank you to everyone who participated in my giveaway - I will now endeavour to reply to all your lovely comments c:

And now without further ado, the giveaway winners! I've emailed each of you so please reply within 48h or a new winner will be picked and this list updated.

Giveaways:
Day 1 - Signed FINDING IT by Cora Carmack (US) - Holly L.
Day 1 - Bookmarks from Lindsay Cummings (International) - Giedre S.
Day 2 - Kindle copy of TASTE by Kate Evangelista (International) - Sara G.
Day 3 - Signed paperback of VENOM or ARC of THE ART OF LAINEY by Fiona Paul/Paula Stokes (International) - Alicia M.
Day 6 - Bookmarks from Katie McGarry (International) - Holly B.
Day 8 - WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE by Trish Doller (Australia) - Sunny A.
Day 10 - All 3 ebooks in the SUMMER series by CJ Duggan (International) - Pernille M.

One more thing... I had a hidden giveaway that I didn't post about. So for everyone that posted a comment on my blogoversary posts, your name was entered into a spreadsheet and through a random number generator I picked a winner. Each comment counted as 1 entry c:



Congrats Michelle L. you've won a book of your choice from The Book Depository to the value of $15 (AUD) as long as TBD ships to your country.

Edit: new winner is Christiney for this last giveaway.


I actually had to redraw multiple times as I couldn't find contact details for anyone ;_;

Congratulations and thank you everyone!~

Now, back to reviewing! I have a lot to catch up on :c