Friday, August 31, 2012

Book Shelf: Elemental (Elemental Trilogy #1) by Emily White

Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should.

But she wants to.

For ten years—ever since she was a small child—Ella has been held prisoner on an interstellar starship. Now that she has escaped, she needs answers.

Who is she? Why was she taken? And who is the boy with the beautiful green eyes who haunts her memories?

Is Ella the prophesied Destructor… or will she be the one who's destroyed?

More info on Goodreads!


Emily White’s debut novel Elemental is a fast, high stakes tale set in a distant galaxy that mixes mystery with action and leaves you wanting more.

Elemental was a really enjoyable book to read. A slightly short story, Emily White does a good job of drawing you in and enticing you with Ella’s journey. Personally, I was caught from the very first chapter and sped through this book. While I admit there are times where the story lagged and I got lost with so many different societies and planets, Elemental was a great way to spend an afternoon.

It’s quite an interesting world that White has crafted together. There are vast planets and numerous societies that litter the galaxy within this world. The information given throughout the book is enough to keep you up with the quick moving storyline, however I would have liked a little bit more back story into the workings of these societies. While things are revealed at the perfect time throughout Ella’s journey, there was always something else that I wished would be explained and because of that I struggled to connect with the world.

It was interesting discovering who and what Ella actuslly is and why she’s been imprisoned for so long, but I yearned for more information about the mysterious creature that Ella actually is. I’m looking forward to what Emily White reveals about this race of people in the next book and look forward to her expanding on their world and race.

The best thing about this book is truly our heroine Ella. Despite the horrible decade she’s experienced in captivity, Ella is a very kind soul despite her “Destructor” status for the most part and really just wants to be loved. Ella is a really interesting character to read about. There’s a real aura of fragility about her and she has an extremely vulnerable side to her, but despite it all, she manages to find strength when it really matters. Ella is essentially the “Destructor” and while I’m not going to give away any spoilers I will say that this often causes personally changes in Ella that contradict the Ella we’re used to seeing. What I find interesting is that despite her actions that are sometimes out of her control, Ella really does want to do the right thing; by herself and those she loves.

The characters fit well within the story and all play a very different role in Ella’s life. The people that Ella meets throughout the book all have an effect on the girl who truly has know one in the opening pages. The relationship Ella develops with her saviour Meir is rather instant, but no less endearing and is a sweet touch to the story. There are plenty of intriguing characters including Malik and Ranem, but none more so than Cailen, a young man similar to Ella who shares a mysterious past with her.

I found the start of a romance between Ella and Cailen to be sweet, but again, I yearned to know more about what they had together in the past. Cailen is everything you want in a male lead, but I just didn’t “love” him like I wished I could. Emily White is good at adding aspects to the story that you want to know more about and this is one of those aspects.

After a fast paced and eventful ending, one that featured pain and betrayal, I find myself excited to read the next book. I wonder what is in store for Ella next and what she’ll face in the next stage of her destiny and look forward to seeing what Emily White does with the sequel Fae.

Source: Sent for review by Spencer Hill Press. (Thanks so much!)
Format: Paperback ARC
Buy it: Booktopia // The Book Depository
Reccomendation: Sci-fi fans will love this!
Cover: It's pretty, but doesn't pop out at me much.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes, I'd like to know more.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday # 29

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 Rules (Project Paper Doll #1) by Stacey Kade
Releases on: April 2013
Add on Goodreads!

1. Never trust anyone.

2. Remember they are always searching.

3. Don’t get involved.

4. Keep your head down.

5. Don’t fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans, to hide in plain sight from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…

My first initial thought upon seeing this book was literally, "SQUEEEEEEEE! Stacey Kade has a new book coming out!" My second after reading the description was, "How bad is it for an individual to stop breathing?" because that's how excited I am for this book! I LOVED Stacey Kade's Ghost and the Goth series and her new Paper Doll Project just sounds so uber awesome. Honestly, this book jumped right up my to-get-my-greedy-little-hands-on-at-any-cost list and I'm already looking forward to April newt year. WANT. NEED. MUST. HAVE.

Now tell much do you want this?!? Come on. Be honest. I know you do And while you're at it...let me know what YOU'RE waiting on this week!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cover Reveal: Naturals by Tiffany Truitt

Hello lovelies!

I hope you're all having a fabulous Monday! To kick-start the week off, I have the pleasure in helping Entangled Publishing reveal the cover for Naturals, the second book in the The Lost Souls series by Tiffany Truitt.

Here it is guys and girls.....

Tess is finally safe from the reach of the Council, now that she is living in the Middlelands with the rebel Isolationists. With James having returned to Templeton, she easily falls back into her friendship with Henry, though her newfound knowledge of Robert’s chosen one status still stings. Even surrounded by people, Tess has never felt more alone. So she’s thrilled when James returns to the settlement, demanding to see Tess — until she finds out that it’s because her sister, Louisa, has been recruited into Tess’s old position at Templeton, and that the dangerously sadistic chosen one George has taken an interest in her.

NATURALS is the second book in The Lost Souls trilogy, and follows the dystopian hit CHOSEN ONES.

Naturals is due for release on April 9th 2013!
 Add Naturals on Goodreads or pre-order it now!
Isn't this cover stunning. Personally, I think it's beautiful! While I haven't read the first book in the series Chosen Ones, I've heard nothing by rave things about this dystopian series and cannot wait to find out how good they are for myself one day.

Meet author Tiffany Truitt!
Tiffany Truitt was born in Peoria, Illinois. A self-proclaimed Navy brat, Tiffany spent most of her childhood living in Virginia, but don’t call her a Southerner. She also spent a few years living in Cuba. Since her time on the island of one McDonald's and Banana Rats (don't ask) she has been obsessed with traveling. Tiffany recently added China to her list of travels (hello inspiration for a new book).

Besides traveling, Tiffany has always been an avid reader. The earliest books she remembers reading belong to The Little House on the Prairie Series. First book she read in one day? Little Woman(5th grade). First author she fell in love with? Jane Austen in middle school. Tiffany spent most of her high school and college career as a literary snob. She refused to read anything considered “low brow” or outside the “classics.”

Tiffany began teaching middle school in 2006. Her students introduced her to the wide, wonderful world of Young Adult literature. Today, Tiffany embraces popular Young Adult literature and uses it in her classroom. She currently teaches the following novels: The Outsiders, Speak, Night, Dystopian Literature Circles: The Hunger Games, The Giver, The Uglies, and Matched.
Visit Tiffany:
Website // Twitter // Goodreads

Go back to where it all began with....Chosen Ones.

Life is bleak but uncomplicated for sixteen-year-old Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity's extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.

When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?
Add Chosen Ones on Goodreads!
I want to say thank you to Entangled Publishing and Tiffany Truitt for inviting along to be a part of this fantastic cover reveal! I hope you all decide to read this awesome looking series!

Owl Post #2

Welcome to this week's Owl Post!

Inspired by The Story Siren's In My Mailbox, Owl Post allows us bloggers to showcase the books we've bought, won or received throughout the week and is hosted by Brodie over at Eleusinian Mysteries. We all know that the Owl Post is the fastest way to send and recieve mail and they certainly make me happy every time they drop a book off.

So the owls have been a little lazy lately, not dropping books off for weeks and then all of a sudden.....Oh, alright. That's a fib, basically I've been too lazy to do a post. Happy? LOL.
Things have been bonkers at home recently and whenever I think I'll write an Owl Post I kinda don't. Forgive me?

Anyway, here are the books I've gotten recently.......

For Review:
From Allen & Unwin.....
-Witch by Fiona Horne
Hadn't heard of this one until it turned up on my doorstep. Looks like a nice, quick read.
.....Thank you!
From HarperCollins Australia.....
-I, Wolf by Matt Boyd
The first thing that struck me about this book was it's cover. It's so cool. Read this one already and wasn't too bad.
-Arise by Tara Hudson
Tara's debut Hereafter was a favourite of mine when it was first released and I've been eagerly awaiting it's follow up Arise for what seems like forever. Cannot wait to read this! And how purdy is that cover?!?!
This book sounds amazing!! Cannot wait to dive into it. I must say I'm not a massive Melissa Marr fan, but this book just sounds too good to resist. And it came with a fun mask too. Totally cool!
......Thank you Eve!
From Simon & Schuster.....
-Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson
*can't breathe* Gaaaaaahhhhh. Omg, omg, omg. Losing Lila! *so happy* So thrilled to have this. Alex. Alex. Alex. I want some Alex. And Lila. And Jack. And Suki. And Nate.....well you get the picture. Basically, I cannot wait to start this book!
-Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.
Again, another book I hadn't heard of until it turned up on my doorstep, but since then I'd done my research and people love this book! Everyone's raving about it and me thinkie I may have to bump it up my to-read list a notch! Oh. And that cover's just trey awesome.
.....Thank you Caroline--you're a goddess!
From Bloomsbury Australia....
-Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Read the cover peeps....Throne. Of. Glass. Throne of Glass, people. This book has been one I've wanted to get my [greedy] little hands on since I read the descriptions ohhhhh so long ago. Basically, it's a fight, not to walk over to my shelf and start reading it right now. This....looks....EPIC!
......Thank you guys!
-Blood Storm by Rhiannon Hart  
Oh my goodness. Blood Storm. As in sequel to Blood Song, as in more RODDEN!! Why is it I'm not reading this right now?!?! I want to believe me I want to. SOOOOOOO Looking forward to this one. The first book was ah-mazing.
....Thank you Dorothy--You're a legend!
From HarlequinTEEN Australia......
-Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter.
Here's a really important fact you should know about me....I am 100% a Gena Showalter fangirl. Like totally. Embassingly so. As in, if she toured Oz I'd camp out in the rain/outside hotels kind of fangirl. Well, maybe not that far. I'm not that creepy, but I seriously adore every Showalter book I've picked up, and I've read a fair few. So to say I was practically dancing on the ceiling when this arrived would be an undertstatemeant. I devoured it in one go (review to come). And how good was it?!?! Anyone who's read this already will know what I mean. It's not even released yet and I'm already counting the days down until book #2.
-Legacy by Cayla Kluver
I believe I mentioned in my last post that I received the sequel to this for review, but hadn't had a chance to read the third. Well, lucky for me the amazing publicist over at HarlequinTEEN Australia was able to find me an old ARC! So now I can read this one!
....So thank you so much Polina--I seriously heart you!
I Bought:
-Sweep: Volume 4 by Cate Tiernan
This is actually one of my all time fave witch series. I seriously love it. I'm making my way through it real slow. Every few months I'll buy the next volume, and I decided recently I needed by Morgan and Hunter *cough* *cough* hit.
-Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Onyx! Onyx! Onyx! Daemon! Daemon! Daemon! Oh. Wow. Did I really write that? Basically, that's the chant that's been working it's way over and over through my head since I finished this book. *SQUEEEEE* Onyx. Was so good. As good as or better than Obsidian. Now I NEED Opal and my life will be complete ;)
-Awaken Me Darkly by Gena Showalter
-Savor Me Slowly By Gena Showalter
-Red Handed by Gena Showalter
I did mention I was a Gena Showalter fangirl right? Good, because after the brilliance of Alice in Zombieland I decided I wasn't getting enough Gena in my diet. So I went out and bought her entire Alien Huntress Series and the first YA Alien Huntress series to fix that. These are more or less the only Showalter books I haven't read (aside from a few stand alones that I will get to one day) so I'm really excited to finally read this series!
I Recieved:
The ever lovely to talk to Kiki Hamilton was kind enough to send me some signed swag to celebrate her second book The Torn Wing's release! Kiki is just a gem and while I haven't had a chance to read her books yet (I have the paperback copy of The Faerie Ring on pre-order!) I love stalking---err visiting Kiki's blog cos she's just that awesome!  THANK YOU SO MUCH KIKI <3
Phew! Well that's me for now!
Tell me what the owls dropped off in YOUR mailbox this week!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Book Shelf: I, Wolf by Matt Boyd

Sixteen-year-old Romy suffers from a disease that will send him mad...and ultimately kill him. His last hope is to travel to an isolated castle in Austria, where a cure is promised. But the treatment is drastic. Romy is turned into a werewolf.

When Romy meets Antonia, beautiful, headstrong and a natural-born werewolf, he slowly starts to come to terms with life as a lycanthrope. But then a spate of grisly night-time murders are reported and wild animals are suspected. What has Romy become?

Add it on Goodreads!


Aussie author Matt Boyd’s debut novel I, Wolf is an enjoyable read, filled with werewolves and excitement, and is a perfect way to spend an afternoon!

This was a really nice, entertaining book to read. Speeding through it really quickly, it was a great way to spend the day and I found that there was more than enough mystery and action to keep me entertained. I truly liked the plotline of this story. The idea of the main character suffering a terminal disease and the desperation he feels at having no choice but to become a werewolf or die is really outstanding. Boyd tells Romy’s tale well, whisking us off to various different European countries throughout the novel.
I must admit however that there were times when I found it hard to connect with some of the characters and in parts, the story. Perhaps it was just me, but I felt it lacked the depth and emotion I usually enjoy. While there was always a question left to be answered that pushed the story onwards and a purpose for the characters, things seemed to drag on at times. And yet, then there would be a moment where I’d be sucked in entirely.

I found I really liked the way Boyd has written his werewolves. I did feel like the majority of the book centred around what it meant for Romy to be a werewolf with the extensive teachings he and the other new werewolves went though, but it was impossible not to feel the excitement that buzzed through the pages in the lead up to every full moon and during it. Being inside Romy’s head during his time as a wolf was thrilling and enjoyable.

As a main character Romy is easy to follow and quite level headed. After his initial shock, he adjusts quite well to being a werewolf and has a strong sense of right and wrong. He does lose who his is due to some of the events of the book and he has a lot of guilt he must carry because of actions that he had no real control of, but I’m hopeful that he’ll stay the same great characters he in possible future books.

I was a bit put off by the introduction of a romance between Romy and the female wolf Antonia. I just didn’t feel it. I would have liked to, but it seemed to me like the author simply put it in to be there, rather than really be there, if that makes sense. Yes, it was a very normal attraction between two teenagers, but they didn’t have any electricity or outright connection that made their relationship stand up. While I can definitely see the potential storylines considering Antonia’s involvement towards the end of the novel, I don’t feel anything would have been lost if this hadn’t been a part of the book.

One of my favourite parts of the book was the friendship Romy develops with Dimitri and Nat. These two were great characters with very different lives and different histories but they quickly became great friends for Romy. The three of them had a great friendship from the very beginning, which continues on throughout the book.

With plenty of mystery and revelations in the lead up to a action driven ending, I, Wolf does leave you wanting more. There’s plenty of possibilities and hints about Romy’s ancestory and I’m truly looking forward to the next book if there is one.

Source: Sent for review from HarperCollins Australia (Thank you Eve!)
AU Release Date: Available now.
Buy it: Booktopia // The Nile
Reccomendation: I think this is without a doubt a "guys" book in a lot of retrospect. Male readers often complain about too much mushy romance, but I, Wolf focuses so much on the action and story that this is never a real issue.
Cover: This cover is just plain cool! Makes me have Hugh Jackman/X-men flashes---I love it!
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Shelf: The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Julie Kagawa

"In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.

More info on Goodreads!


Masterfully blending vampires with dystopia, Julie Kagawa breathes fresh air into a vampiric story that you’ll really be able to sink your teeth into with the beginning of her new exciting Blood of Eden series! 

Beginning this book, it quickly becomes clear that whoever said vampires were done certainly never met Julie Kagawa! Telling the story of Allison Sekemoto and her brave if not sometimes harrowing and lonely journey in the detailed and descriptive way that only Kagawa can, The Immortal Rules drives the reader straight into a hard, dark world where the characters struggle to survive and even to maintain their own humanity.

As with all of Kagawa’s other writing, I found this story to be richly descriptive while never lacking for danger and action sequences. Each word flows perfectly to the next, detailing the harsh, barren and plague destroyed world that our heroine, Allie, lives in. From the dark alleyways and harsh streets of the vampire city that Allie and her friends live in during the very beginning of the story, to the vast plains, forests and lands that Allie travels across with those she meets once she leaves, every detail manages to captive your imagination and only further catapults you into the world you are reading about. 

Set in this incredible backdrop, the vampires and their regime that drive part of the plot are very intriguing. We see only the streets where Allie lives and only the lowly parts of the city throughout the book and I found I wondered about the other side of the fence. I can certainly see Julie Kagawa building on this as she expands her world in future books and I look forward to seeing more of the vampire Kings, Princes and Masters that run the vampire cities.

Throughout The Immortal Rules we follow our heroine Allison “Allie” Setemoto in her journey from human to vampire and then onwards. As a reader I found it really interesting seeing Allie before her change and then afterwards. There’s that initial change as she becomes a vampire, but she’s still very much Allison. She many now be one of the creatures she despises, but she’s still the same girl she’s always been---resilient, bold and quick thinking. It was very hard not to like Allison in this book, and Julie writes her well—easy to emphasise with and to follow, but she also allows us to put ourselves in Allison’s shoes (which I did) and think how we’d react in her situation. Would we chose death or would we become the thing we hated most, simply to live? This makes it all the more engaging as Allison makes this hard choice and untimely seals her fate, setting her path.

The characters that litter the pages of this book are all wonderful and add a real depth to the novel. They add that human aspect to it that drives home the fact that there are more than just Allie suffering in this dystopian vampire world. Even as we see Allie struggling with her Hunger and her raging vampire desires, the other characters she meets including, little Caleb and shy Bethany, mingle with the stronger ones of Zeke and Jeb to enhance her struggle not to hurt them and her desperation to maintain the humanity within herself.

The relationship that develops between Allie and her sire, Kanin, is a central one in the story to me, even as it gets lost in amongst the danger and the romance because here are two people who were so very different, now bound together forever because he gave her a new chance at life. The predator and prey; the monster and the innocent who become the same when he turned her and made her like him. The father/daughter dynamic that develops is endearing and strange, albeit in an oddly comforting way. There’s this otherworldly and old-timely feel to Kanin that seems so different to the rough around the edges feel that we see with Allison—it’s a strange combination, but it works for them.  

Another thing I enjoyed about this book was that I didn’t feel that Julie Kagawa romanticised her vampires. She doesn’t make Allison, or even Kanin, out to be more or less than what they are. She gives it to us straight and doesn’t skirt around the fact that, despite her kindness and good intentions, Allie is still a monster. And no matter how hard she fights, there’s still that part lurking inside her, waiting to get out. And in turn, this is what makes so many of Allie’s decisions all the more powerful....because it’s goes against what she is and she’s choosing to go against what she is---I love that!

With a heart-racing few final chapters that are full steam ahead all the way until the very end, The Immoral Rules will leave you grasping for more and wondering what Julie Kagawa will do next!

Source: Sent for review by HarlequinTEEN Australia (Thanks so much guys!)
AU Release Date: Available now!
Buy it: Booktopia // The Nile // The Book Depository
Recommendation: This book will thrill Julie Kagawa fans, but is also a brilliant read for anyone who loves vampires and dystopians.
Cover: It's so creepy it's brilliant.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Definitely.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: Perception by Lee Strauss + Chapter 1 Excerpt!

Hello everyone!

Well it's offically the middle of the week and today I'm thrilled to be revealing the stunning cover for Perception by Lee Strauss, a fantastic new YA sci-fi novel that's set for release on September 12th!

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you....Perception!

Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans.

Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.

Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

About Perception:

PERCEPTION is a ( SF/mystery/romance) Young Adult novel that takes place in the not too distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions—both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or alliance us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there’s room to fall in love.

This is the first book in a planned three book series

Honestly, I think this book sounds like a brilliant new addition to the sci-fi genre and if that incredible cover--I mean just look at it, it's so purdy!---isn't enough to tempt you into adding this to your to-read list, Lee has also allowed me to share with you the first chapter!

Chapter 1

I balanced on my surfboard, right thigh burning and salt water stinging my eyes, while the best wave of the early morning carried me like a goddess on a pedestal to shore. My older brother Liam and I shared a friendly competition, and it gave me a certain, blissful satisfaction to catch the same wave and to get to shore first.

“Beat ya!” I shouted over the noise of the crashing surf.

Seagulls flocked and circled over us, squawking loudly, adding to the cacophony.

The sun glistened off Liam’s damp blond curls as he shook them out. His eyes sparkled as his lips tugged up into a grin. “I let you win.”

“Did not!” I smacked him playfully on the arm. “One more ride?”

Liam unzipped his wetsuit letting the top half fall down past his waist. He was in fine form, and I understood why all the girls raved about him. He was responsible for a long list of broken hearts.
“I gotta get going,” he said, lifting his board.

I fell into stride beside him, my feet sinking into the cold, wet sand. “So soon?”

He nodded, the glint leaving his eyes. My lips tightened into a frown “You’re taking off with Jackson again?”

Jackson was my boyfriend but lately he’d been spending more time with my brother than he had with me. It was starting to tick me off.

Liam stared straight ahead. “Lab stuff.”

“What are you working on?” I rushed to keep up with my brother’s long, strong strides. He flicked his head, tossing the hair out of his eyes but didn’t answer.

“Come on,” I knocked into him sideways. “Tell me!”

“It’s just stuff.”

“Just stuff? Like what? Top CIA stuff? I know you’re smart but I think the government has been doing a good job without your help.”

I meant it as a joke, but Liam huffed. “It’s just stuff, okay? So leave it.”

I stopped short shocked that he’d snapped at me.

He turned around and exhaled, “Zoe, I’m sorry.”

“Fine. If you can’t tell me, you can’t tell me.”

We resumed our trek along the beach, and I pushed back my frustration. Liam used to include me in everything. It was always him and me against everyone else. Him and me against Alison and Paul, aka our mom and dad. Him and me against the surf. We were a team. When did we start keeping secrets from each other? Rather, when did he start keeping secrets from me?

I re-adjusted my board under my arm. Maybe I could get Jackson to unzip his lips. Especially if I helped him. He could be easily persuaded if I poured on the charm. I hated to go behind my brother’s back for information, but something about all this--this, whatever it was that Liam was doing--made me uneasy. I couldn’t pinpoint why, it just did.

We reached our home, a massive glass box with two floors of windows facing the Pacific Ocean. It was built after the San Andreas Fault shifted and triggered the Big Quake that, along with the subsequent tsunami, wiped out ten miles of shoreline.

A nearby white-stucco storage shed housed all our water toys. We stopped there to hang up our wetsuits to dry.

“Thanks for surfing with me today.” Liam said, smiling at me, back to his jovial self. “I know it was a sacrifice for you to get up so early.”
I smiled in return. “No problem. It was fun.” Surfing with Liam was one of my most favorite things to do.
“You’re back for dinner?” I asked.

Liam didn’t know it, but once he left, I’d be spending the rest of the day preparing for his surprise birthday party. He’d turned twenty-one yesterday and had celebrated at a bar with his friends. I couldn’t go because I was underage, and it irked me that Jackson went and that he and Liam had once again shared a significant moment without me. I took consolation in the fact that Alison and Paul gave me free reign to plan this party. My heart beat with excitement, and I couldn’t wait to see his face when he got home and found the house full of his friends.

“Yeah, I’ll be there,” he answered.
I bit my cheek to keep my voice even. “Good.We’ll see you, then.”

Our property tiered twice before connecting with the sandy beach. Three glass doors slid open disappearing into the corner and creating a wall-less view of the stone patio that encased an eternity pool. Its waters slipped over the far edge into a waterfall that was collected again on the second tier.
Liam strode into the house, through the living room and down the hall to his bedroom at the back, his wet shorts dripping on the glossy white tiles.

I tightened the towel around my waist and climbed the open-slat staircase to my room.

As I passed the maid, Saundra something, her brown face blanched. She stumbled slightly before grabbing the rail and catching herself.

“Excuse me,” she said softly at my astonished look.

The woman really didn’t look well, and I was thankful for my enhanced immunization. I was glad I didn’t have to worry about diseases brought in from the outside.

“Are you okay?” I asked.

She nodded weakly, and proceeded to clean the rails. I’d requested extra staff to get the house ready for Liam’s party.

A trill of anticipation reclaimed my thoughts. I couldn’t wait for tonight.

The door beside my bathroom opened into a second room, a walk-in closet big enough to house another bedroom set. Racks of clothes and shoes lined the walls, a well-lit mirror station was located near the sky light and a cushioned leather bench was placed in the middle for sitting. I stood in my closet and stared at the rows of sundresses, blouses and shorts.

What to wear?

I settled on a lace blouse and cotton shorts, then went to take a luxurious shower, rinsing the sea water out of my long, blond hair. I leaned into the built-in seat that was designed specifically for my body height and shape. Laser lights mapped my head and twenty-eight silicon fingers reached out to massage my scalp while shampooing and conditioning my hair. Most days I had to watch or I’d doze off, but today I was excited. I commanded the water to turn off as soon as the rinse was done.

When I was dressed and my hair combed out and tied back, I slipped my platinum Communication Ring onto my left middle finger. I tapped it which produced a holographic image of my phone apps on my palm. I touched the clock icon and holographic digital numbers appeared in the air.

Ten already? Where did the time go? That was the thing with summer holidays; every hour ran languidly into the next.

I imagined the cook and her crew were busy preparing for the party in the kitchen. I’d requested fresh sea food and simulated roast, fresh fruit and vegetables, an assortment of fancy chocolates and baked items plus a three-tiered, surfer-themed birthday cake.

I skipped down the stairs to check on the progress, but in my hurry to the kitchen, I slammed into a body.
“Sorry,” a male voice said.

I stepped back agitated. I recognized the dark-haired boy wearing the white tunic my mother made the male staff wear. He was the maid’s son and I guessed he was part of the extra staff. He held a wet mop in his hand, and I figured he’d been cleaning up Liam’s spotty water trail.

He stepped politely out of the way, but the expression on his face was stoic. Even though he was clearly from the outside and the help, I still expected some small sign that what he saw when he viewed me was pleasing. A twinkle in the eye, a slight upturning of the lips. These were the responses I got from all the boys. The straight ones, anyway.

He wasn't especially attractive but I didn't see people with his appearance very often. He had eyes the color of imported coffee beans and skin like caramel candy. His nose was wide and his jaw-line sharp. I was suddenly intrigued by him and surprised myself by thinking he looked exotic.
“Excuse me, what was your name again?” I asked.


Right. I remembered now. I waited for him to say something, but he stayed quiet.
Footsteps echoed from the hall above. My parents spoke together, their muffled voices floating across the high ceilings.

“Do other maids send their sons to do their work?” Alison's voice had a brassy tone that carried through the cavernous space.

I felt a flare of red creep up my neck when I realized Alison was talking about Noah. My eyes darted to his, but he kept his averted.

“He does a good job,” Paul responded. “That's the main thing. Besides you know they need the money.”

“So we're charity now?”

“What's wrong with a little charity? Besides, they're not just anybody.”

“I don't care. I still don't trust him.”

I was mortified. My feet felt cemented to the floor and I didn’t know what to say. Anything would come off as trite since nothing I could say could undo what Noah had heard.

“Did you know the Pikes have a household robot now?” Alison, again. “Apparently it’s very efficient, and at least Mary doesn’t have to worry about things going missing.”

Noah’s jaw tightened and he turned his back to me. He attacked Liam’s dried and dusty water spots aggressively and soon had disappeared around the corner.

“Zoe?” Alison click-clacked down the wooden stairs. She wore a pale yellow pant suit and high heels even though it was Saturday. She was in-between careers now, having spent the last fifteen years in law. She barely looked thirty years old and with lots of time ahead of her, she could do anything. Probably several things.

“Mom! You have to keep your voice down. How many times do I have to tell you your voice travels in this glass box?

“Oh.” She looked mildly shaken. “No matter. Is everything coming together to your satisfaction?”

“I’m just checking in on things now.”

“Your father and I are meeting people for lunch. What time is the party again?”

I blew a frustrated breath. She could at least pretend she cared enough to remember details I’d told her a dozen times already.

“Right. We’ll see you at seven.”

Things proceeded throughout the day as planned and I was pleased with my ability to pull off an event like this on my own.
The decorators showed up at 1:00 as promised.

The band arrived to set up at 3:00.

I got dressed at 4:30, having bought a thigh-length mini-dress that sparkled with tiny crystals just for the occasion.

My hair and makeup girl arrived at 5:00.

I tapped my ring and called Jackson at 5:30.

“Where are you?” I said to the three-inch holographic image of him that popped up above my palm. “You said you’d help.”

“Sorry, Zo. Got tied up at home.”

“Are you okay? You don’t sound so good.”

It was odd. No one in Sol City ever got really sick, but it wasn’t unheard of to get run down if you pushed yourself too hard. Jackson had been working a lot lately.
“I didn’t sleep well last night. Uh, spent most of the day in bed.”
I felt a little panicky. “You’re still coming, aren’t you?”

“Of course. I’ll be there soon.”

Alison and Paul arrived at 6:30 along with all of mine and Liam’s friends.

I hushed everyone at 6:55, giving instructions on when to shout “Surprise!”

It was all a wasted effort.

Liam never showed.

Add Perception on Goodreads!
Visit Lee Strauss on her website or find her on Facebook!
Oooooh. Wasn't that delish? I'm already intregued by this world and um.... Noah ;) Can't wait to find out what's happened to Zoe's brother!
I just wanted to take this moment to thank Lee for inviting me to be a part of the cover reveal and urge you all to check out this great new book!

Waiting on Wednesday #28

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....
Unchained by J. Lynn
Releases on: October 16th 2012.
More info: Goodreads

Between the pissed off creatures that want demon-hunter Lily Marks dead and the fallen angel who just...wants her, Lily is about ready to trade in forever for a comfy job in a cubicle farm.

The fact that she and Julian are civil to one another is enough to have her thrown out of the Sanctuary, but she can't shake her not-so-angelic stalker or how he brings her dangerously close to ecstasy.

Her forbidden relationship with Julian provides the perfect fuel for suspicion when a traitor is discovered to be working within the Sanctuary. Lily quickly finds herself hunted by well, everyone.

Her only hope is to discover the real traitor before she loses everything--and she'll need Julian's help. That is, if Julian is really there to help her...and not destroy her.

Yeah, being a Nephilim isn't everything it's cracked up to be.

Alright, so I have a confession to make. Do you know what first caught my attention about this book? Yes, that's right. The cover! It's totally bad ass. Honestly, just looking at it makes me wanna pick the book up and that's before I read the description. Demon hunters, fallen angels and a not-so-angelic stalker. Um. Yes please. I cannot wait for this one!

What do you think of Unchained? Will you me giving it a go.
And just what are YOU waiting on this week?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Book Shelf: Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me. You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don't kill him first, that is.

More info: Goodreads.


Move over E.T, there’s a stellar new bunch of aliens in town! Sizzling, electric and utterly addictive, Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Obsidian is one book you you’ll travel the universe to read!

First off, I feel I must say I honestly wasn’t blown away by Armentrout’s debut novel Covenant. I felt as though I’d seen that all before and it just wasn’t for me, however going into this I still had high expectation based on all the rave reviews I’d read and opinions I’d heard. Fast forward less that one chapter into Obsidian and I was in heaven! Hooked. Gone. Needing more and desperate for it to never end. Getting pulled into this book from more or less the get to, the story that Armentrout has woven together within Obsidian is delightfully entertaining.

Her characters are vivid and truly jump off the pages with their fun personalities and place within the story. Her writing is solid if not simplistic, and she doesn’t go overboard on unnecessarily details and descriptions; rather creating a wonderful flow that allows her to twist together the amazing banter thrown back constantly between main characters Daemon and Katy with the books’ exciting storyline.

The aliens that litter her pages, the Luxian’s are intriguing and devilishly human. There’s still so much we don’t know about them and the little snippets learnt throughout this book make me eager to know more. Jennifer clearly knows how she envisions her aliens and she makes sure we see it too. The aliens that walk amongst us in Obsidian are, thankfully, like nothing I’ve seen before and Jennifer’s creativity and originality make it so easy to become intrigued by her characters that, quite literally, shine.

Throughout the whole time I was reading Obsidian, there was one question I kept asking myself: has there ever been a female lead like Katy. If ever I was going to look at a heroine within a book and say that she reminds me of myself so much at times, Katy would be my girl. I think Jennifer L. Armentrout personifies so many of us female bloggers with Katy. I mean, she’s almost exactly like us, am I right? While we’re definitely different in so many ways, who of us doesn’t love our blogs like she does; setting up our Waiting on Wednesdays and In My Mailboxes as she does. This girl is pure dynamite; her intelligence and normality blend together with the firecracker she becomes when Daemon is around to create one hell of a female lead that I simply adore.

Now let's take a look at the male lead. Ahhh. Daemon. Let me just think for a moment. Daemon. Daemon, Daemon, Daemon. There hasn’t been a cocky, arrogant, utterly frustrating, but incredibly amazing male lead like him for a while. He’s a walking contradiction of himself. He says one thing and then does another. He acts a certain way, but its clear there’s a whole world of different thoughts floating around in his mind. He’s insufferable and often a jerk and he sure knows how to push Katy’s buttons. He knows just what to say to get a rise out of her and he never fails to come back with a retort of his own. This boy is pure naughty. With a dash of sweetie thrown in. With dark, good looks, a fierce desire to protect his family and a sarcastic wit to put other to shame, Armentrout writes Daemon with the perfect amount of complexity that doesn’t overshadow the rest of the book, but definitely makes him stand out.

The biggest draw about this book for me is undoubtedly the attraction between Katy and Daemon. While the storyline and plot is driven, it’s the chemistry and sexual tension between these two that steal the show. Every interaction between they is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face as they fight for verbal dominance over the other. The one liners and sarcastic comments are a constant and the chemistry between the two of them is off the charts. Seriously, Holy Hawt Chemistry Batman, these two are explosive. From their smallest of interactions to what has to be one of, if not the hottest make-out scenes in YA fiction Katy and Daemon smoke up the pages. Someone fan these two down, please. The attraction and love/hate relationship that develops will have you wanting to pull your hair out and hurl the book against the wall---in the best way possible of course!

With all the chemistry you could want from two main characters and a storyline that’s fun, fresh and engaging, Obsidian is a thrilling read. The moment I turned the last page of this book I wanted to weep. Simply because of what it was—the last page. Featuring a story and connection that just keeps getting better with every page, Obsidian will entertain and fascinate and leave you wanting more, more, MORE!

Source: I bought it myself.
Buy it: Booktopia // The Nile // The Book Depository
Reccomendation: Holy Hawt Chemistry Batman, this book is the bomb! If you're looking for an alien tale that hooks you from the very beginning or really just a fantastic read, this book is for you!
Cover: It's nice, although I do wish I could see the female model's face :/
Will I read sequel/continue with series: YES! I've already ordered my copy of the sequel, Onyx--just waiting for it to arrive.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Shelf: The Alchemy of Forever (Incarnation #1) by Avery Williams

Seraphina has been alive since the 1300's, made immortal when the boy she was beginning to love back then, Cyrus, saved her from death with a strange liquid - a method of alchemy that lets them swap bodies with any human being. But now, in modern day America, Sera has decided that she can no longer bear the weight of stealing people's lives so she can keep living on. So she decides to run away from Cyrus and end her stolen existence once and for all.

Her plan goes awry when she accidentally takes the body of a dying teenager and feels forced to take over her life. When the lines between Sera and Kailey's identity begin to blur, Sera finds a reason to desire to live once more. But she can't shake the guilt of having taken Kailey's life, even if she was dying. And what if Cyrus finds her?

More info: Goodreads


The Alchemy of Forever is a fresh, fun debut by Avery Williams that had my direct attention from the beginning and left me wanting more!

A surprisingly short novel, just under 250 pages, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Seraphina’s entertaining tale. In fact, I breezed through it, reading it in one sitting. Williams form of alchemy was interesting and fresh. I loved the idea of the transference of souls from one body to another and thought Williams wrote it well. Personally, I would have liked a bit more explanation into the history and occurrence of this form of alchemy, but considering the shortness of the story, I understood the lack of this explanation.

I found our heroine and main character Seraphina to be surprisingly layered. Despite her 600-years-long life, Sera is desperate to escape the life of murder and manipulation that she has lived. Her desperation to escape the clutches of her captor and once lover Cyrus bleeds through the novel. From the very beginning, it’s impossible to ignore her desire to escape the only way she knows die. Sera is in no way blameless, but has instead grown weary of taking life after life in an effort to keep her immortality. I found Sera to be really brave to attempt to escape the world she lives in. Williams wrote her in such a manner that Sera’s confliction transfers to you as the reader as you weigh her past actions with her current ones. She’s conflicted--wanting to do the right thing, despite all her years of painful decisions.

Watching Sera immerse herself in Kailey’s life, the girl whose life she attempted to save but instead ended up taking, you can see such fragility in her. She grieves for the girl she doesn’t know and the family and friends who love her but don’t know she’s gone. As Sera begins to come to love the people of Kailey’s life, her parents, her brother, her friends, and her next-door neighbour Noah, she begins to live for the first time in hundreds of years. She struggles all the more knowing that Cyrus won’t let her go, but not wanting to leave and cause them the pain she knows she ultimately will.

I was really intrigued by a lot of the characters in this book, not only Sera. The individuals from Sera past mixed with everyone from Kailey’s life to form a great cast of colourful side characters. As the villain, Cyrus was one who especially perked my interest. I wondered how the young man from the prologue became the cruel, controlling character we glimpsed throughout the rest of the novel. I definitely want to learn more of his history throughout the rest of the series.

Sad and painful; filled with longing and desire, The Alchemy of Forever is a light, whilst still emotion debut about hope and one girls path to redemption! Williams ends the story rather abruptly, but in a manner that leaves you wanting the next instalment, stat!

Source: Sent for review by Simon & Schuster Australia (Thank you Caroline!)
AU Release Date: Available now!
Buy it: Booktopia // The Nile // The Book Depository
Reccomendation: If you're looking for a light and fresh read with a touch of emotion, this one is for you.
Cover: I admit I'm a bit in favour of the US one, but this one is beautiful too.
Will I read sequel/continue with series: Yes, I'd  like more after that ending.