Archive | August 2013

August Purchases

I’ve had a busy month and that’s just not in buying books! I also got a lovely new bookshelf! (really sorry about the photo quality, still working on getting a decent camera)

August purchases

This month I purchased:

Labyrinth by Kat Richardson

Vanished by Kat Richardson

Underground by Kat Richardson

Poltergeist by Kat Richardson

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

Special Mention:

Royal Baby

Last month I bought the Royal Baby collection from Mills & Boon, but it arrived this month. Doesn’t it look fabulous? 

How sad I am that summer is coming to a close! But a new month means more books!

Until next time, 

Ashleyisee

xx

 

Freshly Published: August

Just a taste of the many YA books that have been freshly published this month! Images/summaries from Goodreads.

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea 

(Between #1)

Devil Cover
You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…
Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery…who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

The Beginning of Everything

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Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.
No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes? 

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

Out of Play

Out of play cover
Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn’t have a drug problem. Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—just need a little help taking the edge off sometimes. After downing a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska. 
Hockey player Penny Jones can’t imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers to all the best schools, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who’ll take care of her absentminded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered to come home from work, let alone deal with their new tenants next door. 

Penny’s not interested in dealing with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps and begins to see what he’s been missing. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.

 

The Sound

The sound cover
When aspiring music journalist Ren Kingston takes a job nannying for a wealthy family on the exclusive island of Nantucket, playground for Boston’s elite, she’s hoping for a low-key summer reading books and blogging about bands. Boys are firmly off the agenda.

What she doesn’t count on is falling in with a bunch of party-loving private school kids who are hiding some dark secrets, falling (possibly) in love with the local bad boy, and falling out with a dangerous serial killer…

The gripping new stand-alone novel from the author of Hunting Lila.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Forgive cover
In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I’m sorry I couldn’t be more than I was—that I couldn’t stick around—and that what’s going to happen today isn’t their fault.
Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.

Remember, this is just a taste of what’s out there this month! Pick up something new and give it a try!
Ashleyisee
xx

Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

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Please note: This is the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series and does contain spoilers.

Check out my review for Daughter of Smoke and Bone (1).

Karou has found a way home, but there is nothing left.

Akiva has returned to his flock. Hiding his distraught over losing Karou again, he puts his efforts toward finishing what their love started.

Two sides battle against the other in a different world. Yet Karou is now mixed, she is part of her own world, but she is also of Earth now. The small fact brings new opportunities and worse dangers to her fight.

As each side fights for what they believe is right, how can survival prevail?

I have been hording this book for a while. I knew it wouldn’t disappoint and man, it was just as miraculous as the first book. The blending of fantasy with reality is spectacular, as is the hardship and the grief. Taylor doesn’t hold back and she ploughs full force into this next exciting chapter in her well-crafted series.

If you have read the first book but not this one, DO SO IMMEDIATELY.

I can’t wait for the final book, although I’m sad to say it’s scheduled for publication in 2014, called Dreams of Gods & Monsters.

Book Review: The Girl with Borrowed Wings by Rinsai Rossetti

Wings cover

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What would you do if you believed that love was a weakness?

Frenenqer Paje was created by her father. Everything she does and who she must become is destined by his vision of her.

Yet, she feels the beat of wings under her shoulder blades, aching to burst free from her cage whilst flying away to worlds unknown.

One day when at the markets of the Middle East, Freneqer rescues a cat near death.

This cat is not an ordinary cat at all.

Together, Freneqer and Sangris – a Free Person, a shapeshifter, a boy, journey around the world and inside themselves.

When one has their life cast for them, is it possible to break free?

I really enjoyed this story. It’s definitely off the beaten path and there needs to be more YA like this. Exploring other cultures and creating stories about growing up that teens of all races can relate too.

What a refreshing read with a main character that isn’t Caucasian! Finally a setting where English isn’t the main language! It’s written beautifully and true of the surrounding cultures. At times it can be harsh but this is not America and it’s brilliant to read about how other families function.

It’s such a touching love story, and doesn’t relate at all to traditional YA. The emotions are real and genuine. You feel the characters learning from one another. Not lusting after each other, but developing feelings based on similarities and longing for a true place to call home. As it’s also a standalone and quite short, it’ll make you thirsty and feeling the pulsing sun through your modest clothing. 

Literary Item Spotlight: Library Candles from Assouline.com

Candles can sometimes be a girl’s best friend, but put them together with the luscious smell of a library? Match made in heaven I say!

Assouline.com – also known as the place for ‘The Most Sophisticated Books in the World’ has a range of candles inspired by the best teacher – The Library. 

*All photos are courtesy of http://www.assounline.com. 

The scents range from Books, Leather, Wood, Culture Lounge and Havana.

candles

Each candle is $49.00, is 3.5 x 3.5 x 3.5″ and weighs 6.8oz. A quote is etched on the glass container. 

set of four candles

It’s also possible to buy four candles at once for a steal of $79.00. 

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I know the prices are a bit much for a candle, but you might spend the same amount for a truly beautiful book right? Exquisite and elegant these candles are high class and I wish I had the option of smell and sniff on the blog, because I bet the aroma is the big selling aspect for these candles!

Book Review: Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black

Dance of Shadows cover

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Vanessa Alder has been haunted since her older sister Margaret’s disappearance. Three years later she finds herself in Margaret’s place as a standout freshman at the New York Ballet Academy. As the handsome Zeppelin Grey catches her eye and head choreographer Josef hints Vanessa could be up for the lead in the winter ballet, she’s easily caught up in the movements.

However, Vanessa isn’t there to dance. Her main goal is to find her sister. Reported as a runaway, Vanessa is positive that Margaret is lurking somewhere in New York. Yet as the pressures of dance begin to overwhelm her, Vanessa wonders if she is starting to hear and see things. There are secrets hidden within the NYBA and Vanessa will do whatever it takes to discover what happened to her sister.

This book was a real letdown. The cover? Fantastic! The blurb on the back? I need to read this now! The verdict? BOOOOOOO.

Let’s go over the reasons why. 1. The romance not only doesn’t make sense, but it makes the plot clunky and derails from a possible interesting plot. Zeppelin Grey? The name annoyed me so much I hated every scene he was in. 2. It wasn’t executed well. 3. The ending is blurry, and there are bits and characters that are completely forgotten about. This is a first in the series, but there was no alluding to ‘there’s more that lies ahead’ until the last page. 4. Vanessa as a whole is one-dimensional and her heart and soul for finding her sister isn’t followed throughout the book. It’s a mistake that could have changed the outcome of the book.  

I really wanted to like this book; it had such promise. I was excited from the prologue and cover, but this was not carried through with each chapter. I loved the idea of a dark mystery surrounding an elite dance school in New York. The beauty and grace of ballet flitting through the pages. Perhaps someone else can give it a go. I won’t be continuing the series. There isn’t enough intrigue for me to want to know what happens, but kudos to the Bloomsbury marketing team! They did a standout job! I just wish someone had held the author to the same standard as the cover design. It really could have been a perfect match.