Jul
22

Title: Time Between Us (Time Between Us #1)
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Published: October, 2012 by Doubleday
Pages: 371
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet. Why would they? Anna is sixteen in 1995, fiercely determined to leave her quiet town and finally travel the world. Bennett’s seventeen in 2012, living in San Francisco and trying to control his ability to travel through time – an incredible gift, but also an unpredictable curse, which constantly threatens to separate him from the people he loves.

When Bennett suddenly finds himself in Anna’s world, they are inescapably drawn to one another – it’s almost as if they have met before. But they both know, deep down, that it can never last. For no matter how desperate Bennett is to stay with Anna, his condition will inevitably knock him right back to where he belongs – and Anna will be left to pick up the pieces.

Final Thoughts:
I’ve always been quite fond of time travel, and recently, I’ve gotten into contemporaries. This book seems to combine the two in a way that could easily pass as a contemporary romance; and not just if you took out the fact that the boy is from the future. It focussed quite a bit on the romance. Still, it was a bit hit-and-miss for me, though. I found stretches of the book had me hooked, keeping me speeding through the chapters, yet others fell a bit on the slow side. It was still good though, and I hand that to the characters. Anna actually had some personality to her, and while I may not have agreed with her at every moment, she wasn’t one of those characters too stupid to live—definitely a plus when you’re trying to enjoy a book.

Jul
12

Title: Picture Perfect (Geek Girl #3)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: September, 2013 by Harper Collins
Pages: 400
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Harriet Manners knows more facts that most. She knows that New York is the most populous city in the United States. She knows that its official motto is “Ever Upward”. She knows that 28% of Americans believe we never landed on the moon.

But she knows nothing about modelling in the Big Apple, and how her family will cope with life stateside. Or how to “become a brand”, as the models in New York put it. And, even more importantly, what to do when the big romantic gestures aren’t coming from your boyfriend…

Does geek girl go too far this time?

Final Thoughts:
So, it turns out this wasn’t the finale of the trilogy like I had thought it would be. In fact, I can’t see an end in sight. With little of an overarching plot, Harriet’s modelling/teen drama adventures could continue on for many books to come. At least I can say they’re fun—fluff, but fun. Some of Harriet’s antics did irritate me this time, but I still didn’t want to stop reading. I think I’m hooked. Books two and three haven’t been as funny, though. The burst-out-in-fits-of-laughter humour seems to have been tamed down in favour of focusing on Harriet’s love life. And while I missed that, honestly, it was about time we got to see why Harriet liked this boy so much.

Jul
06

Title: Model Misfit (Geek Girl #2)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: September, 2013 by Harper Collins
Pages: 386
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Harriet knows that modelling won’t transform you. She knows that being as uniquely odd as a polar bear isn’t necessarily a bad thing (even in a rainforest). And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.

What Harriet doesn’t know is where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives.

With summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get as far away from home as possible. But nothing can prepare Harriet for the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes.

Because, this time, Harriet knows what a broken heart feels like.

Can geek girl find her place on the other side of the world or is Harriet lost for good?

Final Thoughts:
Having read and loved Geek Girl a week prior to this, I jumped straight in, ready to lap up another instalment of Harriet Manners, haphazard model-slash-know-it-all and all of the whacky characters that came along with her. However, and I hate having to say this, I think a bit of second-book-syndrome came into play this time. A lot of the crazy antics that her agent, Wilbur, as well as her wannabe-teenage father and lawyer, but loveable, stepmother brought were gone. And that’s just because the characters were. Shipping Harriet off to Japan—while cool—left all of the side characters I’d come to love behind, and so, it felt like the book had lost something…

Jun
29

Title: Geek Girl (Geek Girl #1)
Author: Holly Smale
Published: February, 2013 by Harper Collins
Pages: 378
My Rating: ★★★★½ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.

She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn’t quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she’s spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn’t seem to like her any more than the real world did.

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

Final Thoughts:
Prepared to be irritated by a know-it-all character, I went into Geek Girl on the defensive, but Harriet quickly broke me down and had me cracking up page after page. It was seriously freaking hilarious. I think it came from her inane way of blurting out the most random things at perfectly timed intervals, or sometimes constantly. While I may be more inclined towards sarcasm and drier wit, she was simply that hilarious that she even had me on board. Coupled with an abundance of heart, this was one book I just couldn’t let go of. Even during my first time sitting beside the pilot on my employer’s private plane yesterday, I had my head buried in this book rather than looking out the front of the cockpit. Harriet was just so much fun.

Jun
25

Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Published: July, 2013 by Harper Teen
Pages: 312
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

Final Thoughts:
Effortless. I soared through the pages of this. Caymen was just such loveably sarcastic narrator that I wanted to read more, more and more. I love dry wit—nothing makes me laugh more. And laugh I did. I cracked up reading this book. Sure, it’s a romance, but if you’re a sarcastic person, you’ll find it hilarious at the same time. It’s kind of fluffy, with rich boy meets poor girl, different worlds—the stuff you could make a montage out of—but it’s the slow build of their romance, all of the interactions, that make it worth it.

Jun
18

Title: The Coldest Girl In Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Published: September, 2013 by Little, Brown Books
Pages: 419
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

Final Thoughts:
With my interest waning in Holly’s Curse Workers series, I was reluctant to start Coldtown. Borrowing it from my local library, I’d renewed it twice before I had actually started reading it. Within the first few pages, I was bored. I wondered to myself whether I’d have to give up on it, but by page ten things had taken a turn and I couldn’t stop. It became really engrossing, with characters you could care about, ones you really wanted to win—or to lose—and a lead girl that didn’t irritate me one bit. Tana was fully of worry, but incredibly strong willed and at times, morally conflicted. It all added together making her someone I really wanted to read about.

Jun
14

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
Geek Girl by Holly Smale (library)
Shattered by Teri Terry (purchased)
Tape by Steven Camden (purchased)
Until I Die by Amy Plum (purchased)
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su & Kate Rorick (thanks to Publisher)
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (library)
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West (library)
The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham (library)
Soulmates by Holly Bourne (library)

I went to the library Thursday night looking to pick up the copy of The Darkest Minds that my friend, Brittany, had told me to read, but ended up walking out of there with an armful. Hopefully, I actually get time to read them before they’re all due back. That’s always my problem, I see everything I want and snatch them up, then they just sit in a stack beside my desk for the month while I go on reading other books that I’ve ordered online.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy of the Lizzie Bennet book. It wasn’t what I was expecting in the mail this week, but it was a nice suprise. I’m going to give it to Joey to do a guest review for me though. He’s actually read Pride and Prejudice so he’ll probably enjoy a lot more than I would.

Lastly, as of about an hour ago, I bought these last three books: Shattered, Tape and If I Die. I even walked a 5km round trip up and down hills to get them. There were big red banners posted in the windows of my local Mary Ryan’s bookstore/cafe announcing a 50% off pre-refurbishment sale that I’d noticed earlier and had me intrigued to check out the normally to-expensive-for-me store. There was more there I could have gotten, I even had them stacked in the crook of my elbow, but I convinced myself to do the right thing and leave them there (as much as it didn’t feel like it). I rewarded myself afterwards with a trip to the anime and manga store (and just browsed!)

Here’s what Joey and I have been reading this week:
Johnson, Mo Boofheads – Aussie YA coming of age story that Joey found.
Perkins, Stephanie Lola and the Boy Next Door – AWESOME! Bring on Isla.
Rowell, Rainbow Attachments – Fun, heartwarming, loved it.

So, what books have you gotten lately? Which books would you recommend I read first? Let me know in the comments.