Saturday, August 31, 2013

Quick Update - The Perils of University...

Hi Guys!

I know there hasn't been a post on here for a long time so I just wanted to update you and to tell you that the blog is still up and running.

The truth is that my course at university has me completely swamped and even though I'm trying to find time to read I just haven't been able to find the time.

A quick update on the book that I'm currently reading (and have been for about the past two months): So I'm currently reading "The Edge of Never" by J.A. Redmerski and I'm on page 406 of 459 so I'm almost finished but I can't even find the time to read those last few pages and trust me when I say the suspense is KILLING ME! This book is an amazing contemporary novel and one that I would definitely recommend that you run out and buy, you won't be disappointed.

I'm slowly accumulating a stack of my pre-ordered books that are being released so I'm counting down the days until uni is over and I can start to read them.

Thank you all so much for sticking with the blog and you will hopefully be hearing from me soon.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick...

Series: -
Published: June 14th 2012 by Dial Books For Young Readers
Pages: 394
Date Finished: July 7th, 2013
Rating: 5 stars
Age Recommendation: -


"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.


I didn't really know what to expect going into this book because by the time I finally got my hands on this book it had been so long since I had read the synopsis. But that isn't to say that I didn't have high expectations for this book, I remember loving the synopsis of this book when I first read it as well as seeing all the great reviews this book had gotten in the time it took to arrive. And for me this book didn't disappoint.

The plot. I really enjoyed the plot of this book and I think that I would have enjoyed it even more if I had been able to read it without such long breaks in between (and by long breaks I'm meaning days at a time). I really enjoyed seeing the contrast between both Samantha and Jase's families and also seeing how that even with those vast differences they were still in a way very much the same person and perfect for each other. I thought that the plot of the book was really interesting and dealt with a lot of other subjects other than teenage romance which I found made the book really interesting and hard to put down.

The characters. I have mixed feelings about the characters in this book. I thought that the main characters were written really well, but I also found that because there were so many side characters that they were all very one-dimensional and just didn't really have all too much impact on the story.
Samantha. I really enjoyed Samantha's character in this book. I thought that she was very relatable and I love seeing her grow throughout the book into a more independent and head-strong person. I also loved watching her become more confident through her relationship with Jase and seeing how he was able to bring Samantha more out of her shell. I really felt for her when she was struggling with the big decisions that she had to make, but I was really glad that in the end she chose the option that she did and that everything turned out well for her in the end.
Jase. I really enjoyed Jase's character in this book also. I thought that he was a very relatable person and he seemed like such a humble and down-to-earth person. I loved seeing the dynamic within his family and seeing how much it differed from Samantha's and even though they came from such different backgrounds they were able to have such a deep connection with each other. I really felt for Jase when his dad was in hospital and all of the extra responsibility he had as well as dealing with finding out about what Samantha knew.
Tim. Tim is probably one of the only side characters (though in the end I guess he became somewhat of a main character) that was written really well. I found myself really growing to love Tim's character in this book. When I first started reading about him I couldn't stand him. But as he started to turn his life around I found that he became a much more caring person and a great friend to both Samantha and Jase.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I think that it would have to be a staple in your summer book collection. I found it to be a fun, easy read but I thought that it was also a book with a lot of depth and meaning to it and it will be one that I will definitely be re-reading over the summer.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen...

Series: -
Published: June 4th 2013 by Viking Juvenile
Pages: 435
Date Finished: June 23rd, 2013
Rating: 2 stars
Age Recommendation: -


Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.


I had extremely high expectations going into this book after reading all and loving all but one of Sarah Dessen's books, I found sadly that this book just really didn't live up to the expectation that I have when it comes to a Sarah Dessen book.

The plot. I found myself not really being able to immerse myself in the plot of this book and I think the main reason for that is because really what the book centres around just didn't interest me. I found the pacing of the book to be rather slow and I felt that the story dragged on a lot and it was a really very easy book for me to put down, which is something I'm not usually able to do when it comes to a Sarah Dessen book. I felt that the plot wasn't really going anywhere so I decided after many times of almost putting it down that it was finally time for me to move onto another book and come back to it at a later date and re-read and finally finish the whole book.

The characters. For me I found that I couldn't relate to any of the characters which was a big surprise and also a disappointment as I had loved all of the other characters in Sarah Dessen's books before and I think this was also another big reason why I found myself not being able to enjoy the book.
Emeline. For me Emeline's character just fell flat which I found really disappointing. I didn't think that she was a very interesting character and I just couldn't find myself being able to relate to her so in turn I couldn't really sympathise with her in the things that she was going through and for me to really enjoy a book I have to be able to connect with the main character.
Theo. Theo was a character that really annoyed me. I can't really pin-point one thing but there was just something about him that always got on my nerves.

Overall for me this book wasn't one of Sarah Dessen's best, but I will be giving this book a re-read sometime soon because I think one of the main reasons I found that it dragged so much was because of the long intervals I had when reading the book and I will re-review this book when I give it a second read. But as my feelings on the book stand right now, this isn't a book I would say you had to immediately rush out and buy.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen...

Series: -
Published: May 15th 2010 by Penguin Group
Pages: 432
Date Finished: June 10th, 2013
Rating: 5 stars
Age Recommendation: -

After her mom vanished in a stench of drugs and alcohol, Ruby continued to live in the family house alone. Finally found out, the introspective teenager is sent to the luxurious home of her older sister, Cora, whom she hadn't seen in ten years. Everything there seems unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and supremely weird: her fancy new room; her lavish new wardrobe; the exclusive private school where she never quite fits in. Most mysterious of all is Nate, the friendly boy next door who seems to have a deep secret of his own. Another subtle character-driven teen novel by Sarah Dessen, the author of Just Listen and That Summer.


Well it took a year and a half but I finally managed to finish this book. I had picked it up multiple times before and never got past the first couple of pages, either it wasn't what I felt like reading at the time or something better came along. But I finally finished it and wow... It was amazing.

The plot. I loved the plot of this book. There was just something so REAL and honest about it, it almost felt like Sarah Dessen had seen the events happen in this story and then retold them to me on the page, I completely fell in love with it. I really felt for both Ruby and Nate with their home lives and I really thought it was a great twist to the book finding out about Nate part way through I definitely had not seen that coming and it shoed me just how strong of a person he is. I thought that the storyline of this book was heartfelt, believable and moving and it was one that kept me up into the early hours to finish.

The characters. I really enjoyed all of the characters in this book, I thought that both the main and side characters were written extremely well and I found myself loving all of them.
Ruby. I really enjoyed Ruby's character in this book and I thought that she was extremely relatable and a great character to have the POV of the book told from. I really felt for her in her situation and how she had to got through such a massive change, but I thought it showed just how strong and resilient she was in that she was able to make the best of the situation she was in. Sure, she did make a few mistakes but overall she in the end decided to take advantage of the situation and I felt that it changed her for the better.
Nate. I also really enjoyed Nate's character. I loved seeing just how strong he was and that even after what he endured he was still so kind and caring. I really enjoyed seeing how he changed throughout the book and finally took the steps he needed to protect himself.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and it will be one that will stick with me for a while. This is one that I would recommend everyone to read.

Dare You To by Katie McGarry...

Series: Pushing The Limits (Book #2)
Published: June 7th 2013 by Mira Ink
Pages: 352
Date Finished: June 5th, 2013
Rating: 5 stars
Age Recommendation: 15+ (Due to mature themes)


Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...


All I can say is... Wow, this book completely blew me away. I had extremely high expectations going into this book after reading and loving "Pushing the Limits" and I was really interested to read Beth's story and find out more about her and this book didn't disappoint.

The plot. I LOVED the plot of this book. I loved being able to see into both Beth and Ryan's lives through the duel narration that happened throughout the book and seeing that they were in a way going through some of the same things and how they helped each other through all of it. I really enjoyed watching how Beth and Ryan's relationship changed throughout the book and seeing how their relationship both changed them for the better and helped them to stand up to the people that they needed to and ultimately do what was right for them. I thought that the book was paced extremely well, the whole story was really realistic and it was one that I couldn't put down.

The characters. One thing that I really love about this series is that with each book I get to meet a whole lot of new characters but also see the old ones and get to know a bit more about them. I feel that I have become more attached to Noah, Isaiah and Beth and I have also come to love Ryan.
Beth. I really enjoyed Beth's character in this book. I thought that she was very relatable, quick witted and extremely entertaining to read about. I really enjoyed how she was a three dimensional character and through the duel narration in the book I got to see that she wasn't nearly as tough as she portrays to the world. I liked how she was fiercely loyal to the people she loves and also how through the book she changed and started to let people into her life.
Ryan. I also really enjoyed Ryan's character. I loved being able to see into his home life and see that it wasn't as great as what his family portrayed to the world. I loved seeing how he also changed throughout the book and finally stood up to his dad and did what was right for him in the end which I think also had a lot to do with Beth's influence on him.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I thought that it was a fantastic second edition to the series and it really made me thankful for the life that I have. This would have to be one of my favourite YA series and I would recommend it to anyone. I will definitely be pre-ordering the next book in the series "Crash into You" very soon.

Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer...

Series: Elemental (Book #3)
Published: May 28th 2013 by K Teen
Pages: 301
Date Finished: June 3rd, 2013
Rating: 5 stars
Age Recommendation: 15+ (Due to mature themes)


With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…


I had extremely high expectations going into this book after reading and loving the first two books in the series and I was really interested to see what Brigid Kemmerer had in store for Hunter's character, and I wasn't disappointed.

The plot. I really enjoyed the plot of this book even though it wasn't what I was expecting at all. I really felt for Hunter in everything that he went through in this book and I thought that it showed just how strong he was in the way that he dealt with it all. This book was an emotional roller-coaster from the first page and it was a book that I couldn't put down, it was full of suspense, mystery and just a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Something else I really enjoyed in this book was the duel narration and being able to see the story from both Hunter and Kate's perspective and being able to see what they were both dealing with at the time and also things to do with their pasts. I thought that it was a really fast paced, easy and enjoyable read.

The characters. I find myself becoming more attached to each of the characters with every book I read in this series, I loved seeing how all of the brothers developed a little bit more and seeing how they all are starting to work more as a team.
Hunter. I really enjoyed Hunter's character in this book and I thought that he would have to have had the hardest life out of all the boy's books I have read so far. I really felt for him in everything that he went through in this book but I thought that he handled it all extremely well. I loved seeing how he grew throughout the book with the help of the Merrick family and also through the help of Kate. I really enjoyed seeing how he finally started to open up and trust people as he started to discover more about himself and also his past.
Kate. I also really enjoyed her character in this book. I thought that she was very quick witted, strong and very entertaining to read about. I loved seeing how great of a match her and Hunter were for each other and how they had gone through a lot of the same things and were trying to work through a lot of the same issues and eventually bought out the best in each other. I really admired her character and the sacrifice that she made for Hunter and it showed how in that short time just how close she had become to him.

Overall I thought that this was a great third book in a fantastic series and this would have to be one of the best YA fantasy series I have read for a while. Each book just keeps getting stronger and the characters all become more interesting the more I read. This is a series that I would highly recommend and I will be pre-ordering the next book in the series as soon as possible.

Reckless by S.C. Stephens...

Series: Thoughtless (Book #3)
Published: April 25th 2013 by Simon & Schuster UK
Pages: 532
Date Finished: May 27th, 2013
Rating: 5 stars
Age Recommendation: 16+ (Due to mature themes)


Can love survive when life gets Reckless?

When the band hits it big, Kiera and Kellan must ask themselves: Can their love for each other survive the constant pressures of superstardom? The friendships they've formed, the new family they've found, and the history they've forged will all play a part in helping them navigate the turbulent waters of the band's exploding popularity. A greedy executive hell-bent on success, a declining pop star looking for an edge, and a media circus that twists lies into truths are just some of the obstacles the lovers will have to overcome if they are going to remain together. Fame comes with a price-but will it cost Kiera and Kellan everything?


I. Am. Speechless. I had extremely high expectations going into this book after reading and loving the first two in the trilogy and I was really interested to see what challenges Kellan and Kiera would be face with in this book, and it didn't disappoint.

The plot. I completely fell in love with the plot of this book. I loved being able to have a behind the scenes look into what it takes to be both a writer and a musician and really just how annoying record labels can be. I also really enjoyed seeing how Kellan and Kiera's relationship grew throughout all the things that they went through in all three books and how they finally got the life that they each deserved and seeing how happy they were with each other. But most of all I loved the epilogue of this book, I really enjoyed seeing how S.C. Stephens finished Kellan and Kiera's story and I thought that it was a great way to tie up all of the loose ends in the series and I thought that it was perfect.

The characters. I thought that all of the characters were written extremely well in this book and I feel really attached to them all.
Kiera. I really enjoyed her character in this book and I loved seeing how she came more into her own especially when it came to Kellan and her relationship as she finally realized that she had nothing to worry about with him and that he was always faithful to her. I also loved seeing how she became more confident through her writing and how she finally wrote the story of her, Kellan and Denny which I knew was hard for her but I think that they had all moved on enough and it was time for her to write it.
Kellan. I really loved Kellan's character in this book as well as the whole series. though he did make a few mistakes in this book he did those to protect Kiera and to respect her wishes. But in the end everything worked out for the best and I was so happy to see all the success that the band was having by the end of the book and just how content Kellan was with his life with Kiera and his family.

Overall I thought that this was a great book to end the series on (even though I wish that their were a lot more books to come) and I thought that it finished the series very well in that there were no unanswered questions. This is a series that I would recommend to anyone and one that I will be reading again very soon as the characters and storyline was amazing and it is a series that you will stay with you long after you have finished it. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry and ultimately you will fall in love with the series.