Apr
16

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Published: March, 2012 by Simon Pulse
Thanks: Simon & Schuster, AU
Pages: 452
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

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…

Final Thoughts:
I went into this book with an open mind. I really tried to like it, but there were just so many obstacles that kept getting in my way. With clichés all over the place, it became increasingly clear what kind of book I was in store for. Mara is another one of those characters that thinks she’s pretty smart, but isn’t. Her internal dialogue grated on me early on. Listening to her rationalise her choices to herself, all I could think was, ‘this guy is a douche, you know he’s a douche, you’ve said so yourself. Oh, Mara, why?’

Apr
14

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: April, 2014 by Pan Macmillan, AU
Pages: 461
My Rating: ★★★★★ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

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…

Final Thoughts:
Honestly, I hadn’t even heard of this book before last week. I missed all of the hype, randomly picking up my copy of Fangirl while browsing my local bookstore. Finding out later that it was apparently the new bible of YA upped my expectations, but I can safely say that it delivered on them. I was left clutching the book for hours, never wanting it to end. With an abundance of disdain towards socialising and her passionate fanfic enthusiasm, Cath is one protagonist that you just can’t help but love. If I could live inside this book, I would.

Apr
07

Title: Timestorm (Tempest #3)
Author: Julie Cross
Published: January, 2014 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 358
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

The battle between the Tempest division and Eyewall comes to a shocking conclusion in this final installment of the Tempest trilogy, where the need for survival stretches the boundaries of history, both past and future, and the world Jackson once knew is a place forever marked by the detrimental effects of time travel.

As Jackson recovers from his brush with death, he’s surrounded not only by the people he loves most—his dad, Courtney, and Holly—he’s also amongst a few of the original time travelers. As he learns more about their life and how this world began, it becomes apparent that they need to put a stop to Thomas and Doctor Ludwig’s experimenting at Eyewall Headquarters. What starts out as an escape plan becomes a war between time and humanity, between freewill and peace. It’s the battle Jackson was born to fight and he’s not about to back down. Not for anything. Not for anyone.

Final Thoughts:
What was with that ending? No, I’m not going to give it away, but seriously…I didn’t like it. Timestorm was all over the place for me. There were moments where I was in love with the book, where it managed just the right balance of time-traveller stuff and the romance, but at other times, the book had a tendency to drag. It was the final book, so I expected a back and forth battle between the series-long antagonist, Thomas, and our hero, Jackson, but unfortunately that played out as more of a side issue to the Jackson/Holly love saga.

Apr
05

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Titles link back to Goodreads
Disruption by Jessica Shirvington (purchased)
The Cracks In The Kingdom by Jaclyn Moriarty (thanks to Pan Macmillan, AU)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (purchased)
Collision Course by Shannon Curtis (purchased)
Second Chances by Ros Baxter (purchased)
Forbidden Affair by Amy Andrews (purchased)
Stormswept by Shannon Curtis (purchased)

It’s been freaking ages since I’ve done one of these. About a year. I’ve bought books since then, but these are just the ones I’ve picked up in the last couple of weeks. Thanks to Pan Macmillan for surprisingly me with a copy of Jaclyn Moriarty’s new book. I had barely finished reading A Corner Of White when this one rocked up in my PO Box, taunting me, trying to jump ahead in my tbr list. The rest are all from my regular trips to my local Big W’s book section. They’re probably the only one of the three Australia discount department stores chains I’ve found that still stocks a semi-decent range of YA. At least where I live.

I’m hearing good things about Disruption, so I’d like to check it out before it becomes another one of the unread books collecting dust on my shelves. Fangirl, I haven’t heard much about, but I did a quick Goodreads check in-store on my phone and all looked good so I added it to my shopping pile. And yes, you are seeing right, I did buy all four of the Bold And The Beautiful tv-show tie-in romance novels. $6 each, and based on my favourite scheming, angst-riddled soap, there really was no other choice.

That’s it for this time. Hopefully, it isn’t another year before my next book haul.
So, what books have you gotten lately? Let me know in the comments.

Mar
24

Title: Nevermore (Nevermore #1)
Author: Kelly Creagh
Published: August, 2010 by Atheneum Books
Pages: 543
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

Final Thoughts:
While reading Nevermore, I was fully aware of Kelly Creagh’s talent and excited by her ability to meld the mysterious life/death of American writer Edgar Allen Poe into this twisted, exhilarating plot, and at no time did I tire of its macabre zaniness. However, I did ‘struggle’ with this novel which so far I have claimed to be enjoyable, and you’re probably wondering why.

Mar
13

Title: A Corner Of White (The Colours Of Madeleine #1)
Author: Jaclyn Moriarty
Published: April, 2013 by Pan Macmillan
Pages: 412
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

This is a tale of missing persons. Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life, under mysterious circumstances, and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge (in our world).

Elliot, on the other hand, is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle was found dead. The talk in the town of Bonfire (in the Kingdom of Cello) is that Elliot’s dad may have killed his brother and run away with the Physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth.

As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds — through an accidental gap that hasn’t appeared in centuries. But even greater mysteries are unfolding on both sides of the gap: dangerous weather phenomena called “color storms;” a strange fascination with Isaac Newton; the myth of the “Butterfly Child,” whose appearance could end the droughts of Cello; and some unexpected kisses…

Final Thoughts:
The cover got me with this one. It was so colourful and quirky, plus I found the title a little strange, so I just had to pick it up and see what it was about. Reading the humorous introduction in store, I snatched it up and put it next in line on my to-read list. Unfortunately, once I got into it, I didn’t find it as gripping. I think I’d expected some kind of note-leaving romance like in The Lake House, but instead found chapters upon chapters of friendship drama. It was really a struggle to get through the first half of the book, so it surprised me when things suddenly turned around midway and I became addicted this story. It’s left me polarised on how I view the book. Finishing it, I felt like it was excellent, but then I have to remember the weeks I spent chugging along through the first half, wishing it would end.

Feb
26

Title: The Impossibility of Tomorrow (Incarnation #2)
Author: Avery Williams
Published: June, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 375
My Rating: ★★½☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Seraphina has been living for centuries, thanks to a special method of alchemy, but only recently has she really felt alive. She’s finally broken free from her controlling boyfriend, Cyrus, and after years of swapping bodies to preserve her immortality, is happily settled into a life worth sticking with. Because in this life, she has Noah.

But Noah might not be as trustworthy as he seems. After he delivers an ominous message that could only come from Cyrus, Sera is worried that her new friends and family will find out her secret. And as her suspicions extend beyond Noah, Sera is forced to wonder about her new friends as well: Could her old coven be disguising themselves right under her nose?

Will Sera have to move to another body—and take another life—or can she find a way to keep what she’s got, forever?

Final Thoughts:
I went into this one with the notion that I had really enjoyed the quick little read that was The Alchemy of Forever. I’m not sure if something changed since then or if time has altered my memories, but I just couldn’t get on board with this one the way I would have liked. It was all teen drama—and high school dance teen drama at that. Sure, the book has its cat and mouse aspect to it, but it was nothing too exciting. It’s another one of those ‘everything squashed into the last quarter’ kind of books.