Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #67

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
 
Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Releases on: September 23rd 2014
Add on Goodreads!

A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for
.

Thoughts:
I'm a historical reader only in a few cases, but I really love the sound of this book. The cover is simple but stunning and the description has me raring to dive into this!
 
What do you think of Salt & Storm? Do YOU want to read it?
And what are you waiting on this week?

 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Shelf: Cured (Stung #2) by Bethany Wiggins

Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way--until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter.

But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family—details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life. Bethany Wiggins’s reimagining of our world after an environmental catastrophe won’t fail to stun readers.

More info from Goodreads......


Review:

Cured is the stunning sequel to Bethany Wiggins sensational dystopian Stung and is as exciting, riveting and completely addictive as the first book. Stellar romance, shocks, secrets and danger all weave together to create a story that will have you highly entertained from beginning to end!

I have to start by saying, Stung became an unexpected favorite of mine last year. Though I knew nothing heading into it, it quickly became one of the best books I read last year, and I now consider it one of my favorite dystopian reads, right up there with the likes of Divergent and The Hunger Games! So in saying that, it goes without saying I was ecstatic for it's sequel....but I was also very nervous. Fo and Bowen won me over in the first book, but going into Cured I knew we had a new main character and a new storyline and I worried it wouldn't live up to the first....luckily this was in no way the case!

Cured picks up introducing, or re-introducing us I should say, to Jacqui "Jack" Bloom, a seventeen year old girl whom we met previously, albeit briefly, in Stung. Continuing on from the previous book, Cured depicts a society that has been devastated by the loss of bees and the result this has had on the ecosystem and as such society in general. In a world where Beasts roam and survival isn't guaranteed, it is especially unsafe for women. This shortage of women means Jacqui must live in secret as a boy; cutting her hair and now living as Jack in order to stay out of the sights and minds of raiders, who would otherwise do her harm.

I truly, truly liked Jacqui. Or Jack, I should say. Having come to love Fo so much in the previous book, I worried about the prospect of a new heroine, but found that Jack more than made for an adequate main character. Jack was a strong character; likable, capable and easy to follow. Having lived with so many [overprotective] brothers, Jack is capable of taking care of herself. She is a good shot, quick thinking and can outrun anyone, any day, but she's also a teenage girl. She has fears and insecurities; something living as a boy hasn't helped, but throughout Cured, as Jack searches for one of her brothers, she does grow and learn more about who she is.

Bethany Wiggins introduces us to new characters in Cured, with the character of Kevin a great introduction. Kevin is a mystery; plain and simple. Who is his and what his motives are is something that are constantly on your mind, but the sweet and endearing relationship he forms with Jack make for some addictive reading as Jack experiences her first taste of attraction and passion.

Cured explores another side to this world as Jack joins Kevin and some old favorite throughout the story. Wiggins thrilled me by including Fo and Bowen to the story and continuing to develop on their already amazing relationship, though they are no longer the central characters. Fo's brother Jonah also managed to worm in way into my heart in Cured and has me wondering if Bethany Wiggins might consider giving him his own happy ending one day.

Though very different personally I think Cured is as easily as good as Stung, and stood on it's own merit with endearing characters, a lovable heroine and a brilliant storyline. Bethany Wiggins continues to please with the second book in this series and has me crossing my fingers we'll get a third book as I'm just not ready to leave this beguiling world behind!


Rating:
Source: Sent for review by Bloomsbury Australia (Thank you Sonia!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: If you enjoy dystopian then you'll LOVE this!
Cover: I think it's very pretty--love the colour!
Will I read sequel/continue with series: I can't wait for more from Bethany Wiggins

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Free Ebooks

Hi everyone!

It's that time again :) Freebie time!



Hope you managed to grab something good!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Book Shelf: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

More info on Goodreads....


Review:

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira is an emotional and moving debut novel that explores the devastating effects of grief and the impact it can have on a young person who is just trying to determine who they are and where they fit in life.

In all honesty, I’m not sure if I can completely wrap my head around this book. I certainly enjoyed itit was an interesting read and kept me entranced, but at the same time now that its finished Im not exactly sure what to think. Ava Dellaira made me think and really feel at times with her unique and unusual story.

Love Letters to the Dead was actually a very awkward book to read. And I don’t necessary mean that in a bad way. Love Letters to the Dead is written as a series of letters written by our protagonist Laurel to late stars that shone bright and died too soon. What starts out as an assignment for a class at school soon becomes an ongoing obsession for Laurel as she writes to the famous names we all know and love like Kurt Coban, Jim Morrison, Amelia Earhart, Judy Garland, Janis Joplan, River Phoenix, and Heath Ledger amongst others.

Having just begun high school, Love Letters to the Dead depicts a time in Laurel’s life where she’s just trying to figure out who she is, as an individual and a person. She’s in a position I think we can all sympathize with and understand, as peer pressure, pain and uncertainty mingle. Laurel’s voice comes across as na├»ve, lost and alone, although I don’t necessary think she is innocent. Even prior to the loss of her older sister May, Laurel experienced harsh truths and betrayals at the hands of those around her and she’s really quite frayed at the seams.

Throughout the novel it becomes clear that Laurel harbors a lot of anger, guilt and betrayal where her sister is concerned. Laurel held May to such high esteems and the hero-worship attitude she had towards her was something that was shattered over time by the realization that May wasn’t as perfect as Laurel always believed her to be.

Laurel’s voice comes across very young and through her writing she almost seems younger than she is, although as she tells her story through the various letters it becomes abundantly clear that Laurel is moving fast towards a future she doesn’t have complete control of.

With those around her facing their own demons, Love Letters to the Dead is a mix of Saving June by Hannah Harrington and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Laurel’s friends Hannah and Natalie are conflicted and messy, and coming from a broken home means Laurel doesn’t have anyone to turn to with her dad doing the best he can and her mother half-way across the country.

As Laurel deals with her inner demons, falling in love for the first time and slowly making mistakes as she bends to peer pressure and expectations, she manages to put herself in some dangerous situations, something that was really hard at times to understand as the reader. I kind of just wanted Laurel to grow up and get over simple things, but the journey she is on won’t allow that until she faces some harsh truths.

Ava Dellaira explores the self-destruction that can be brought on by grief and anger as her heroine continues to struggle in Love Letters to the Dead. Deep, meaningful and infinitely painful Love Letters to the Dead is as well written as it is difficult to read, but so, so worth it.


Rating:
Source: Sent for review by Hot Key Books (Thank you Jennifer!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: If you enjoyed Saving June by Hannah Harrington you'll be sure to enjoy this.
Cover: It's very ethereal
Will I read sequel/continue with series: This is a stand alone novel

Friday, July 18, 2014

Blog Tour: Shattering Halos by Sunniva Dee- Guest Post & Giveaway

 
Today the Blog Tour for Shattering Halos by Sunniva Dee stops by the blog thanks to Xpresso Book Tours! Sunniva Dee is guest posting on the blog today and shares her Top 10 Favorite Quotes from Shattering Halos.
_______________________________________________

I traded my death for love. I wasn’t given a choice. His decision has caught up with us, so now I am a living, breathing catalyst to war between Heaven and Hell.

The violations he committed saved my life. Since the collision, he’s appeared everywhere. In my hospital room, my school, even my house. He shows up in my paintings, my drawings, in all of my art projects. I can’t stop thinking about him.

He says his name is Gabriel, and he doesn’t understand what’s happening to him. He doesn’t know how I can see him or why he wants me in ways that should be impossible for a Celestial.

My obsession grows. I need him to hold me, kiss me—give all of himself. For every day he protects me, the consequences loom darker and taller. Soon, they’ll crash down on us.

The war is about to begin.
 

Purchase:
 
 
Top 10 Quotes
 1) I would not hurt you, I would… delight you? But the sensation is an unintentional side effect. The first Fallen angel to take a daughter of Eve created it, and nobody was ever supposed to feel this way—this much. With the pleasure being too intense for an Earthly One, you can’t let go of the source on your own. It has to let go of you.”

2) I crossed my arms and glared at my brother. At the moment, he was lounging peacefully in the ditch with a girl who should’ve been toast.
    “Why’s she still alive? Take her out, man! You know you can’t get away with this.” Seriously. Way to go altering destinies.
 
3) And why was I assuming the role of my brother’s conscience again? I didn’t have one myself!
 
4) “It’s remarkable! You know how grateful I am, but this makes no sense. Our Gaia was the sole person who escaped, and she did it by getting launched through a side window—in a head-on collision!”
 
5) “We’re not having sex?” His breath danced warm down my throat.
          “Will you stop saying that already?”
    “What, sex? Us having sex?” He chuckled, enjoying the responses he drew from my stupid body.
           “Shut up—we’re faking this, Cassiel.” Why was I shivering?
 
6) This dream. The flutter of feather-light kisses all over my face, the warmth of a lap. Strong arms held me and didn’t let go. Amid the kisses, the same strangled words repeated over and over again.
          “You’re so stupid. You’re so stupid. You’re so stupid.”
 
7) “What you’re asking is too much, Gaia. I couldn’t possibly make this any less than it is. My self-control wouldn’t be the problem. It’s yours that would be lost. Completely. Do you understand?”
 
8) Don’t panic. Don’t panic. Don’t panic.
 The last thing he needed was me falling apart. I tucked away my anxiety and stroked a stray lock of hair from his burning forehead. Then, I hummed to him in low, reassuring whispers.
         “Everything is going to be okay.”
 
9) Slick and smooth as hot glass, she coiled herself around me. When she growled, I seized her by an arm and twisted it onto her back as I conquered a mouthful of a breast. Time for another stab at her pride.

10) For a nanosecond, he pulled away, eyes widening as he concluded the reading of my mind. He frowned, confused at some murky remnant I hadn’t managed to hide.
     “Did Cassiel behave?”
     “Oh yes, uh-huh.”
       Eventually…

I write New Adult fiction with a paranormal twist and don’t shy away from romance and heart-wrenching passion when necessary.

I moved from Norway to the United States in 2001, and the first awesome five years I spent in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles. Then I read “The Book,” aka Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which spurred my husband and me to move cross country to beautiful Savannah, Georgia.

I’m currently on my seventh year in the Deep South, where I enjoy the heat and the humidity. Besides writing, I spend my time with our “petting zoo” as in an opinionated parrot, a herd of cats that are experts on keyboard shortcuts, and puppies that…uh, bark.

I hold a Master’s degree in languages, with concentrations within literature and linguistics. I taught at college level for a decade before settling in as a graduate adviser at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Writing is my passion, my joy, and my addiction. When I’m not writing, I read.
Shattering Halos is my debut novel, and its standalone sequel, Stargazer, is due out later this year.

Visit Sunniva:

 
--Kindle Wifi (US) or 50$ Amazon Gift Card (INT)
--4x eBook copy of Shattering Halos a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Book Shelf: Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood #1) by Victoria Scott

A modern day thrill ride, where a teen girl and her animal companion must participate in a breathtaking race to save her brother's life—and her own.

Tella's brother is dying. He's got cancer, and Tella is helpless to save him. Or so she thought. When an invitation arrives for Tella to compete in the Brimstone Bleed, a deadly competition that will lead her through treacherous jungle and scorching desert, she doesn't think twice. Because the prize is a cure to any illness. But Tella will be facing more than just the elements.


More info on Goodreads....


Review:

Fire & Flood is an absolutely sensational story by Victoria Scott that will entrance you from the get go and sweep you away with it's face-paced storyline, riveting stakes and dashing originality. Danger, excitement and even romance blend in this gripping story that will leave you begging for more!

Can I just start by saying how incredibly much I loved this book--I mean, I adored it! And would dive straight into the sequel if it was already released. It simply was that good! Honestly, I'm having difficulty wrapping my head around this novel, because there's so much I wanna say, but I want to make sure it makes sense.

Heading into Fire & Flood, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I'd never read a book by Victoria Scott, though I know she's written another series previously. It really was a surprise to receive a copy of this for review as I'd never heard of it before and the back cover doesn't give too much away.  And in saying that, imagine my surprise when I began the story and was instantly caught up in it's riveting storyline.

Fire & Flood follows sixteen year old Tella Holloway whose older brother Cody is suffering from a terminal illness and is slowly dying. Tella is faced with the heartbreaking reality of watching her brother die and knowing there is nothing anyone can do, when a mysterious box is left on her bed, and the device inside promises a cure to his illness if she wins a contest known as the Brimstone Bleed. Despite its mysterious origins and its vague instructions, Tella jumps at the chance to possibly save her sibling and soon finds herself following the directions of the devices makers to enter the race.

Fire & Flood is a really beguiling book to read. In some ways Fire & Flood is reminiscent of The Hunger Games and yet it has it's own unique storyline that sets it apart. Beginning the story, I almost had my mind made up that this would be a dystopian read of sorts, so imagine my surprise when I quickly discover Fire & Flood is set in the modern world. Victoria Scott does a fantastic job drawing her readers in while managing to maintain the highest level of mystery throughout the novel.

Something I found really powerful in Fire & Flood is that the contenders within the Brimstone Bleed really know next to nothing about the actual race they're participating in, and the thing that drives them is the possibility of a cure to the ailments effecting those they love. There's really no proof that this cure exists or that the race is actually legit and yet they're driven onwards just by the possibility that they can potentially cure someone they love.

Each with the help of their own animal companion known as a Pandora, the Brimstone Bleed contestants must make their way through different legs of the race, two of which we witnesses in Fire & Flood in order to win. Different elements at different destinations ensure the Brimstone Bleed is a really horrific and dangerous race. It's very grueling; both emotionally and physically and puts all the contenders through their paces. Personally, I never knew what would happen next and loved that Victoria Scott managed to keep me on my toes!

Scott introduces us to a really fantastic cast of characters in Fire & Flood, starting with, but not ending with our main character Tella. In the beginning of the story, Tella starts out as almost self centered and vain, and yet she's driven by the base love she has for her brother. Participating in the Brimstone Bleed forces Tella to grow up fast and to re-evaluate what's important.

I think the growth Tella undertakes in this first novel is nothing short of amazing. Scott has penned a really interesting character in Tella; one that I truly enjoyed following! Tella has her faults, as everyone does but at her base is a really good individual. The strength she displays throughout the novel is admirable and the kindness and love she exhibits to her those around her, both human and Pandora was lovely to witness. I loved the relationship Tella builds with the other characters including her adorable fox Madox. Tella sees Madox differently than the other contenders see their Pandoras and I found them so adorable to behold at times.

Tella meets a multitude of characters in Fire & Flood and Victoria Scott does an amazing job in writing her supporting characters. They compliment the fantastic storyline and I fell in love with each and everyone of them. The group of contenders Tella travels with including Guy, Harper, Caroline, Dink, Levi, Ransom, Jaxon, Olivia were all great editions to the story. The complexity of the story is driven home by the fact that there can only be one winner, but at the same time each individual is a human being with feelings and emotions, something we come to learn as the story progresses.

Victoria Scott pleased me to no each with all these individuals and appealed to the romantic in me by including a love interest for Tella, whose relationship with her continued to develop and rock my socks off! No spoilers here from me, but I just adored these two and hope they continue to shine throughout the rest of the series!

The inclusion of the Pandora's within the story was something I found absolutely sensational to be honest! Each contender has their own Pandora meant to assist them during the race and I was very impressed that Scott managed to make them each different and unique from the other. They themselves were really another bunch of characters with their own drives and differences and I loved seeing them within then story--especially Madox! He was just the most cutest thing on four legs in this novel!

There a lot of unexpected humor and wit in this novel with the inner monologue Tella keeps making for some fantastic reading. And yet Victoria Scott blends so much danger and violence in the story with more than one of the characters not making it through the first two legs of the race.

High on excitement and mystery, Fire & Flood is a captivating read that will easily have you ready for more. Racing towards a climactic ending with unexpected revelations, Victoria Scott has quickly won a fan in me, and has ensured I'll be reading the next installment as soon as I can get my greedy little hands on it!

Rating:
Source: Sent for review by Scholastic Australia (Thank you Sarah!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: Bookworld | The Nile | The Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: This book was sensation and completely worth a read!
Cover: It's simple, but I like it.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: YES!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #64

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine where you can spotlight an upcoming release that you're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on.....
 
The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
Releases on: August 26th 2014
 
In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…
 
Thoughts:
Even though I know Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series is extremely popular, I've never actually read one of her books. I adore the sound of The Beautiful Ashes so I'm looking forward to changing that in the near future :)

What do you think? Are you a Jeaniene Frost fan?
And what are you waiting on this week?