Archive | December 2013

December Reads 2013

With my challenges deadline looming, it’s time to hit the books! Here’s what I’m trying to get through this month!

The Replacements Cover

The Replacements Cover

Pink House

the replacement cover

Happy reading everyone!

Book Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays Cover

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“You have to kill him.” Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. 

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was. 

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.”

What I See: This was a interesting beginning. The first few chapters are a bit rough, there’s not too much information, which I love. It kept me interested and by the first third way through I was ploughing through the chapters. 

I could guess at what the ending was going to amount too but I don’t read too much time travel stories and there was plenty of character development and plot and world building to keep me wanting more. 

Once you’re fully in the story, there’s no going back and this is a great, fast paced read for teens that are looking for more than a romance book. This is got plot, strategy and emotional developments. I was impressed!

Top Ten Tuesday: Winter TBR List

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all keeping warm this far into December!

I know I was supposed to do this week’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish, but work got super busy yesterday! Anyways, I TBR means ‘To Be Read’, and this winter I made choices on books I wish I had my hands on, books that I do have my hands on and even ones I have already had my hands on, but I want to read them again! It all counts doesn’t it? 

What’s on your TBR list?

1. Ruby by V.C. Andrews

Ruby Cover

Because I love this series, not as much as the first two that have come before it, but there’s something about this particular series that is calling my name this winter. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve already read this book. 

2. Christmas in Seattle by Debbie Macomber

Christmas in Seattle Cover

I’ve already read this collection as well, during my internship at Harlequin Mills & Boon, and although I don’t particular like Macomber’s writing style, there’s something special about reading a couple of stories about Christmas that are set in your hometown. It’s impossible not to feel that magic. 

3. Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Necessary Lies Cover

I adore all of Chamberlain’s work. Her stories are full of heart, emotion and just enough drama to give my brain a holiday from life. I devour her books and I’m so excited to start this latest book from her!

4. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night Cover

I have just finished the first book in this series and can’t wait to read this sequel in the new year! (Currently my reading challenges are in the way of attacking this book at the moment.) 

5. Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler

Hunger Cover

I’ve been wanting to read this series for a while, but I could only get it by ebook in the UK. I didn’t start it as soon as I returned because not all the books had been published yet. I think I’m waiting to dive in all at once which will be perfect this winter!

5. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City Cover

I adored the first book in this series, Miss Peregrin’s School for Unusual Children, and I seriously can’t wait for this book to be published! The medium use of words with chilling photography kept me engaged and reading throughout the night!

6. The One by Kiera Cass

The One Cover

Like Hollow City, The One is another much anticipated book in 2014 that I simply cannot wait to get my hands on and I wish I had it now!

7. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods and Monsters Cover

This book is like The One, they’re both the finale’s in the three book series and I’m looking forward to the publishing date. 

9. Mermaids by Patty Dann

Mermaids Cover

I saw the movie adaption two summers ago and fell in love with the story. It’s so family oriented that I feel it would be perfect for winter, but I am disappointed none of my libraries offer this book. 

10. Snakeskin Boots by Xara X. Xanakas

Snakeskin Boots Cover

I wanted to round off my Winter TBR list with this little gem I came across when searching for a book to finish one of my challenges. Here’s the summary. I believe it explains everything:

“Jeff Cordata has always known wolves can be dangerous. Not that his luck with snakes has been any better. It’s not easy being a wereboa constrictor in a world that worships werewolves.

When the customer he’s been watching for months turns out to be an interested wolf, his first instinct is to flee, but his attraction to Brad Cannidy is undeniable despite the strained relations between their families. Then Jeff’s anaconda ex-boyfriend re-enters his life as a pair of snakeskin boots, the hunt begins for the murderer who is turning weres into accessories, and Jeff will have to decide if a boa and a wolf can really mate for life.”

Are any of these on your TBR list??

Book Review: Finding Favor by Lana Long

Favor cover

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“What’s more important: friendship or freedom?

In the eight years since seventeen-year-old Favor Miller’s father died, she’s had to endure her reluctant, self-righteous guardians the Browns. Every day for eight years, they’ve reminded her that she doesn’t fit in, that she’s not one of them. Every day for eight years, she’s eagerly awaited the day when she’ll finally be free to live her life her way.

On the eve of high school graduation, Mr. Brown ambushes Favor with the offer of college funding and a to-die-for summer internship–with the one stipulation that she must discontinue her friendship with his son, Ethan.

Accustomed as she is to sharing everything with her best friend, this is one secret Favor must keep in order to protect Ethan. The distraction of his new girlfriend, her growing friendship with his older brother, and her need to understand her family history, add in further complications.

As Favor debates signing the contract, she must decide if she’s willing to give up her best friend in order to pursue her dreams. Will she have to stay in the place she’s so desperately wanted to escape in order to make the right decision and get what she really needs?”

What I see: From the summary I thought this book was going to be a period piece, but it’s anything but. (I know it says High School in it, but everything else gave me the impression that it wasn’t going to be as contemporary as it is.) I was disappointed, but as a self-published book it’s nearly there and has great potential. My issues with it are that it’s too obvious. Too much time is spent on the clichéd romance when there were other more strong elements in the book that if explored further and executed well could have made a 180 turnaround for the story. 

Book Review: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Piece cover

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“The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn’s haunting debut.

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.”

What I see: This ended up not being what I expected which was surprising to say the least. I did feel it didn’t bring anything new to the table amongst the other books that I have read and it was a bit long. I feel I would like enjoyed it more should the pacing been a bit faster. Other than that I liked how selfish Annaliese was, the reactions to the parents over Annaliese’s reappearance were my favourite bits to read. I also liked how the themes of the book were a bit more adult, and also that I didn’t entirely understand what was going on some of the time. There are some instances where the interpretation is left up to me and I liked that imaginary freedom.

It’s not a quick read, so be prepared to fight the pacing. If your looking for a book that as supernatural mystery to it, romance galore and an ending that will make you ponder life, this is a great choice! 

Freshly Published: December 2013

HOW is it December?? One last month for freshly published books for 2013! Have a gander. (Covers and summaries are from Goodreads)

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Starbound #1)

Cover These Broken Stars

It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

Control by Lydia Kang (Control #1)

Cover Control

An un-putdownable thriller for fans of Uglies

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn’t even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Cover The Promise of Amazing

Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how. 

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding

Cover Ink is thicker than water

For Kellie Brooks, family has always been a tough word to define. Combine her hippie mom and tattooist stepdad, her adopted overachieving sister, her younger half brother, and her tough-love dad, and average Kellie’s the one stuck in the middle, overlooked and impermanent. When Kellie’s sister finally meets her birth mother and her best friend starts hanging with a cooler crowd, the feeling only grows stronger.

But then she reconnects with Oliver, the sweet and sensitive college guy she had a near hookup with last year. Oliver is intense and attractive, and she’s sure he’s totally out of her league. But as she discovers that maybe intensity isn’t always a good thing, it’s yet another relationship she feels is spiraling out of her control.

It’ll take a new role on the school newspaper and a new job at her mom’s tattoo shop for Kellie to realize that defining herself both outside and within her family is what can finally allow her to feel permanent, just like a tattoo.

Deadly by Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars #14)

Cover Deadly

Deadly, the fourteenth volume in Sara Shepard’s YA Pretty Little Liars series, delivers more juicy scandals, dark secrets, and shocking plot twists. This #1 New York Times bestselling series is also a hit ABC Family original TV show.

High school seniors Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer have all done horrible things—things that would put them behind bars if anyone ever found out. And their stalker “A” knows everything.

So far A has kept their secrets, using them to torture the girls. But now A’s changed the game. Suddenly the girls are hauled in for questioning, and all their worlds begin to unravel. If A’s plan succeeds, Rosewood’s pretty little liars will be locked away for good. . . .