Review: Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power (Avry of Kazan, #1)

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos. 

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life..

I think that it must be biologically imprinted in me to enjoy Snyder's books, because time after time she fails to disappoint me. Snyder's Study series is one of my favorite series ever, the Glass trilogy didn't disappoint, the YA sci-fi dystopian Insiders was pretty awesome and now the Healer series is starting out pretty darned amazing.

This book does what the Study series did for me a couple of years ago, it took YA and adult fantasy concepts and tied them together, so the book seems more 'mature' (not in that way) than other fantasy book. This is an adventure story, high fantasy with a good setting and great characters.

The world building fell a little short for me, we were thrown into this world which seems pretty medieval, then there are some aspects such as the syringes, and the virus and the political side of things (I think a president is mentioned somewhere) which make it seem modern and I'd have got a better grasp on the worl if there has been more world buidling. Then again, it is only the first in the series so that development could come further into the series.

The romance is what I have always enjoyed in Snyder's books, amongst soulmates and insta-love that are rife in the YA market these days, the romance Snyder's books are real, with issues and development, there may seem to be a lack of romance, but that's just because it's there, it's just very subtle. Kerrick was so likeable, not because he's an all around good guy (believe me, he is not) but because he's rugged and manly and made me melt into a pile of goo. Avry was a main character that I supported and enjoyed reading about her journey, she was flawed at times, but in the end she is a good person, along the journey she develops from a strong girl on the run, to a stronger but more sociable and open person who feels welcome somewhere.

Overall, it was amazing. It was fantasy at it's best, ith subtle romance to make you smile, action to have you gripping on the edge of your seat and a story that is so enjoyable and gripping.

Overall Rating: A

Released December 20th 2011 by Mira.
Book received as an e-proof from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Other books by this author:
Scent of Magic (Healer #2)
Inside Out (Insiders #1)

Interview and Giveaway with Rebecca McKinnon

Hi guys!

As part of the Cantrip blog tour, author Rebecca McKinnon has ever so kindly agreed to call by and answer a few questions! Stick by and there is a giveaway at the bottom!

Hi Rebecca, thanks for joining us today,
Hi, Jade! Thanks for having me.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
You had to start with the hardest question? Talking about myself has never been easy. I’m a stay-at-home mother of 3, which means time for doing the things I most enjoy (like writing) is limited. A number of acquaintances were surprised to learn I’m a writer, since my educational background is as a classical musician. I read more than I should, and the scent of old books is more of an allure even than chocolate.

And a little about your books?
The Refuge Trilogy is primarily a love story. The first book forces Narissa to choose between her first romantic love and the love she has for her sister. In the second book, that theme is still present, although the romantic relationship has changed somewhat.
How did you come up with the plot for Annexed?
After a night of being awake for hours with my two small boys, I got a few minutes of sleep. When I awakened, the story was there in my head. It wouldn’t leave me alone, so I decided to write it down. I’ve changed some things, and added others, but the main gist of the story stuck.

If Annexed was made into a movie, who would make up your dream cast?
Wow. I don’t know how to answer this one. I’m terrible at remembering the names of actors! I guess all I can say is that I’d want actors who weren’t too well-known. Also, as much as I love the way my characters “look” in the books, it would be more important to me to have really good actors than to have people who exactly match my descriptions of the characters.

What was the first story that you ever wrote?
Honestly, I don’t remember. I’ve always enjoyed writing—except when it was an assignment for school—but most of the things I’ve written fell by the wayside to never be finished.

If you could dine with any book character, who would you pick?
I’d have to choose Will Stanton from The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper. He’s been one of my best friends for nearly 25 years.

Are you currently working on any other projects?
My biggest project right now is rewriting and editing the third book of The Refuge Trilogy. I’ve also made a start on two other projects: one is based on a little-known fairytale. The other is much more epic in my mind. I plan to make this one my next main focus.

Thanks for answering my questions, do you have anything else you'd like to say?
Thanks again for letting me stop by. To celebrate the release of Cantrip, the ebook editions of the first installment of the trilogy, Annexed, will be FREE through the end of December. Enjoy!

Annexed can be found FREE here

To celebrate the release of Cantrip, Rebecca is kindly giving away one copy to a lucky winner (ISN'T SHE AWESOME!) and because I want everybody to have the chance to read it, the giveaway is pretty simple!
  • The giveaway is international
  • The giveaway will end 12th December at Midnight GMT
  • Following is NOT necessary but you can receive an extra entry if you follow.
  • Extra entries are available for spreading the word
  • Don't worry if you haven't read the first one yet, Annexed can be found FREE here

Review: Cantrip by Rebecca McKinnon

Cantrip (The Refuge Trilogy, Book 2)She spent the summer in The Refuge. Now, she’s come home.
Within days she realizes:

She wants back in.

Only two things stand in her way. The sister Narissa has protected for years can’t decide if she wants to go with her. And, of course, Narissa has no idea how to return to the splinter reality.

Complicating matters, Narissa discovers she can no longer avoid the problems her unexpected trip allowed her to escape.

Through it all, there’s one thing that keeps her going. She’s not the only person to have left The Refuge

I really enjoyed Annexed, but for me, Cantrip was on a different level. That pretty much sums up how I felt about it. I think that what made me enjoy this one a bit more was that there was more confrontation, more going on so the pace grabbed me as well as everything else, whilst the first in the series mainly dealt with Narissa's difficult choice, this one dealt with her struggle to get back to the refuge, her relationship with Damon as well as reclimatising to the 'real' world, there is more going on, more emotional things that connected me to the book and characters more than Annexed did.

I want to say something, it isn't really a negative but it confused me a little - we spend all of Annexed watching Narissa struggle to get home and at the start of Cantrip she wants to go back again, it seemed like an anticlimax. It didn't particularly bother me, but I doubt I'm going to find many flaws in this book so I thought that I would point that out.

I love the relationship between Damon and Narissa and found that I liked the rleationship and the characters a little more in Cantrip than I did Annexed. Damon comes across as more caring and likeable than in Annexed and Narissa seems less perfect, which I think she needed, but they still felt like the characters that I came to know in the first book, just evolved versions of themselves. I loved that Narissa doubted herself at times and made mistakes, it made her more human.

We finally get to meet Kassandra, Narissa's mother as well as the other people in her life and WOW that girl has it tough. Her home situation is utterly crazy and at the same time totally believable. I felt like I could totally see where her morals had come from when we meet her mother and sister, which made the book more believable.

And as always, I cannot fault Rebecca McKinnon's writing, as an author she is extremely talented, she manages to pull out this sci-fi/splintered reality kind of book and make it seem less techy and more like a contemporary at times. She is an author that I could read over and over again and never bore of the writing.

Overall, a fantastic sequel, I loved Narissa and Damon and their relationship, the writing was so good and the book dealt with serious issues without being overly pressing.

Overall Rating: A-

This book was released November 22nd as a sequel to Annexed (review here)
The first book in the series is currently free on Smashwords: HERE
I am currently hosting a giveaway for Cantrip: HERE

Review: Silver and Stone by J.D. Thompson

Silver and Stone (Bloodlines, #1)Welcome to high school high society hell, where last season’s slingbacks can warrant a lunch table demotion, the wrong date will knock you off the it-list and behind every pair of over sized Chanel sunglasses lies a secret people are dying to keep. 

As if senior year at Weatherford Preparatory School wasn’t hard enough, sixteen year old Alexis Bardolph had to add school outcast to the curriculum.

A new found notoriety following a family scandal, her lacrosse star boy-friend dumping her for a former BFF and a string of perpetually bad hair days were among the many things going wrong in her already turbulent teenage life.

But when the haunting nightmares that have plagued her since childhood begin to take an eerily tangible form and several Holler Creek residents are reported missing, Alexis can’t help but wonder if there isn’t more to her hellish dreams than meets the eye.

The unexpected arrival of a mysterious and dangerously handsome new student ultimately leads Alexis to troubling truths that not even her wildest imagination could have conjured.

From the first page of this book I knew I was getting something pretty different, it kind of has the same plot points as many para-romances; (mysterious new guy, best friend with a crush, a bit of insta-love), it never really had the predictability because just when I thought that the plot was going in an annoyingly predictable direction is suddenly spun me around so that I was immersed in the mystery again. 

I liked that the characters were mature and felt real, Alexis is going through a load of emotions and hasn't been sleeping well and her state of mind is written so well, Lucas doesn't seem too mysterious, he seems like a cute, romantic guy with an edge of mystery, but he isn't as one dimensional as many para-romance guys. The romance developed a little too fast for my liking, but even though it was insta-love it wasn't just "Oooh hot guy, I'm in love", it was more the way that the thing's Lucas said made Alexis feel, making it a bit better, I liked their relationship after they got together and at so many points I was surprised by the direction the relationship turns.

The mystery of the book is something that kept me reading, we are not told what Alexis is and what her dreams are about, or what the mystery around Lucas is until the very end, so I liked reading and guessing. I did find that the paranormal aspect near the end too a popular plot though. The action near the end, where it is all revealed is so well written, it was edge of seat, can't believe this is happening reading and I really enjoyed it.

Overall, Silver and Stone was gripping and pretty original. I was put off by the insta-love and the way that the paranormal aspect manifests, but enjoyed it primarily.

Overall Rating: B

Book received from author for review.

Review: New Beginnings by Rebecca Emin

New BeginningsSam Hendry is not looking forward to starting at her new school. Things go from bad to worse as the day of truth arrives and all of her fears come true... and then some.

When Sam meets a different group of people who immediately accept her as a friend, she begins to feel more positive.

With her new friends and interests, will Sam finally feel able to face the bully who taunts her, and to summon up the courage to perform on stage?

New Beginnings was a very quick and heartwarming read. It deals with issues that everybody has suffered in their life and was a nice departure from the really deep and emotional books that I tend to read a lot of.

I had a few issues with the writing in this book and that was that the writing seemed very stilted, with a lot of information given that wasn't necessary and the dialogue seemed very formal for the characters ages. I also couldn't believe that in today's day and age, Sam had never really been on a computer at 11 years old.

The story was so heart warming - Sam has moved to a new school and has been picked as a target for the schools bully which causes a big knock to her confidence, the story I one about battling bullying, which is a very relevant issue, but it never sounds preachy, it's well integrated into the story. I enjoyed reading about Sam regaining her confidence and her journey and I found her so easy to relate to, as she seemed so much like a younger version of myself. 
There are pop culture references to things like High School Musical and JLS as well as stage musicals, which make this book relavant and modern.

Overall, New Beginnings was heartwarming and sweet, the story and characters were nice but the writing failed to grab me. A nice time-killer to read by the fire in the cold months.

Overall Rating: C+

Book to be released January 23rd 2012 by Grimoire Books 
Book recieved from the publisher for review.

Review: Geek Girl by Cindy C. Bennett

Geek GirlJen's life of partying and sneaking out has grown stale. So on a whim, Jen makes a bet to turn Trevor, a goody-two-shoes geek, into a "bad boy." As she hangs out with Trevor, however, she finds it's actually kinda fun being a geek. But when Trevor finds out about the bet, Jen must fight for the things she's discovered matter most: friendship, family, and, above all, love.

"Stop smiling Jade. Stop smiling! This book was cheesy and corny and predictable so how dare you enjoy it so much! Stop enjoying this book!" 

That was my thought process for the first half of this book because it was so predictable and the first half lacked depth, I kept telling myself off for enjoying it because it lacked in originality, but for me, this didn't matter because it was funny and cute and so well written.

The start was a bit hard to get into, we get Jen, this goth-ish character who is just the stereotypical bad girl and didn't seem multi-layered and then there's Trevor who i didn't find geeky at all - sure he watches sci-fi movies, he is also good at sport, class president, he plays guitar and piano, he didn't seem like a geek, more like the typical nice guy, so i didn't play into the characters to start with. The plot development started out pretty predicatably, with the bet and how Jen goes about it, and it was obvious how that would turn out.

But i could just not stop myself smiling, predictable as it was. I had awww moments and yay moments and I barely made it through this book without looking at the last page to see how it turned out (I would have if it wasn't my kindle that i was reading it on). The first half was pretty fluffy, but when we get to the second half, we hear Jen's story, we come to see her as layered character and want her and Trev to work out, the book takes this whole new direction with sweet moments but also a lot of heartbreak.

I enjoyed the book because it was pretty easy read, it does deal with some difficult aspect but it isn't a totally angsty read like a lot of contemps lately. I didn't find it absolutely amazing, and I struggled to buy into the whole 'Trevor is a geek' thing, but it was an enjoyable read.

Overall rating: B

Released 8th December through Cedar Fort, book received as an eGalley through NetGalley.

Review: Annexed by Rebecca McKinnon

AnnexedFriends or family? Desire or responsibility?
She thought she'd made her choice.

Now, finding herself trapped in a world splintered from her own, Narissa is determined to return home. Learning that the means of crossing between realities has been lost, she vows to find the elusive gateway.

Narissa doesn't plan to make friends. She certainly doesn't intend to fall in love.

Faced with the decision, will she choose the life she wants, or return to the world where she belongs?

This book was so imaginative with this level of realism that I was not expecting. McKinnon creates this well thought out world that is just different enough to give that level of mystery but also doesn't through out main character Narissa off balance.

This book throws you into the action, which is great because it grabs your attention, but for the first two or so chapters had me trying to catch up. The rest of the book isn't quite as fast paced but still held my attention because of the choices that Narissa had to make. There is a lack of confrontation meaning that this book isn't the most dramatic and the bulk of this book is about Narissa's choice.

My favorite character has to be Mac and I think he may have been overlooked in the book, he would have been a much better romantic interest for Narissa despite his insistence that she was 'like a sister'. That's not to say that i didn't like Daman, I loved seeing him come out from his shell and develop a relationship with Narissa! I really enjoyed the rate at which the relationship developed, as well as how it happened.

Narissa was a pretty good main character. One thing that did bother me was how little she fought when she found out that she was stuck in The refuge, I think she could have taken more time to accept it. Afterwards though, she was a believable main character with a spunky, rebellious side which I really enjoyed, she never annoyed me either.

Overall, Annexed was a great start to a series which didn't have a lot of action but still grabbed me due to the storyline and characters.

Overall Rating: B

June 28th 2011, book received from the author for review

In My Mailbox (19/11/2011)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, 
in which you post all of the books/e-books/audio books that you have recieved/bought/won this week and link 'em all up!

Last night I went to see Breaking Dawn Part 1, I'm not really a fan of the Twilight series but was dragged along by my Mum and her sisters, who are. It wasn't that bad, and Kirsten Stewart smiled! Only twice like, and her "I'm-scared", "I have a demon baby inside me" and "I'm just about to have sex" Faces are exactly the same"

For Review

Lolly Luck  The Storyteller

Incarnate (Incarnate, #1) Pretty Crooked  Dust Girl (The American Fairy Trilogy #1)

Lolly Luck by Ellie Daines - January 5th 2012 by Anderson Press
The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis - January 1st 2012 by Abrams and Chronicle

EBOOK (Courtesy of NetGalley and the publishers)
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows - January 31st 2012 by HarperCollins
Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig - March 13th 2012 by HarperCollins
Dust Girl by Sarah Zettel - June 26th by Random House

From Swaps
Infinite Days  The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

Clarity (Clarity, #1)  You Against Me  Sisters Red (Sisters Red, #1)  Sweetly

Clarity by Kim Harrington
You Against Me by Jenny Downham
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Review: Borrowing Abby Grace by Kelly Green

Borrowing Abby GraceWhen Abby Grace wakes up in the back of a van, she has no idea who she is, how she got there, or why anyone would want to kidnap her. After escaping her masked captors, she hurries home, only to discover that she unknowingly left her younger brother behind in the van. Unable to answer the police’s questions with her memories gone, she retreats to the safety of her bedroom where she tries to reconstruct her life. Just as she is settling into the belief that things will one day return to normal, she looks in the mirror—and sees a stranger’s face. 

As Abby learns next, she has become a Shadow, sent to inhabit the lives of strangers in trouble. With nothing to go on except the vague hints of her cute but maddening Guardian, a 19th century ghostly teenager named Will, Abby sets out to rescue the missing brother. But she will need all of her intelligence, fearlessness, and wit, because if she fails to find him in time, she will remain trapped in this unfamiliar body forever.

I'm always anxious when starting novellas because sometimes I find that the story is too jumpy and fast-paced for me to relax into. This was the (only) issue with Borrowing Abby Grace for me. The start was gripping and the story was full of enough intrigue, but because of the length it lacked substance and whilst I enjoyed it, I never fully connected.

This novella is a quick read, and because of this I'm going to find it hard to pull up enough to write a full length review. I found that the story jumped a bit, it takes place over three days and I found that whilst the timing ran smoothly there was a lot of jumping between places. I also found that the length meant that there wasn't much character building, but I look forward to seeing Abby and Will in the next book in the series and maybe getting to know them a little bit more. I loved Will, and there was definite chemistry between Abby and him so i hope to see some romantic devlopment somewhere along the line.

The intrigue about how Abby came to be a shadow is interesting and I can't wait to hear more about it, and find out what her next mission is.

Overall, it lacked substance but I put this down to the short length. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the next one.

A Little Note...

Hi guys!

I just wanted to swing by and apologise in advance for the lack of reviews over the next few weeks, I will probably only be pumping out like 3 a week compared to my usual 6+.

Just to tell you why (and extract some sympathy).

  • My college courses are taking their toll and I'm getting more homework than I do free time, so I'm only managing to read a few books a week.
  • I have quite a few books for review for December/January/February and I think I may concentrate on reading and scheduling those reviews so I'm ahead of the game.
Don't worry, I'm still here, just not quite as much as I was before.

I am still accepting books for review, but reviews may not be up until the beginning of the new year.


Review: Exile by Rebecca Lim

Exile (Mercy, #2)Mercy is an angel with a shattered memory, exiled from heaven for a crime she can’t remember committing.
So when she ‘wakes’ inside the body and life of eighteen-year-old Lela Neill, Mercy has only limited recall of her past life. Her strongest memories are of Ryan, the mortal boy who’d begun to fall for her – and she for him.

Mercy soon discovers that circumstances have forced Lela into waitressing at the Green Lantern, a busy city café frequented by suits, cab drivers, strippers, backpackers and the homeless, while caring for her terminally ill mother.

Just as Mercy is adjusting to Lela’s life, her beloved, Luc, reappears in her dreams, and she begins to glimpse her true nature and true feelings for Ryan. What she does not know is that her attempts to contact Ryan may have explosive consequences for everyone around her.

Meanwhile, ‘the Eight’ — the angelic beings responsible for her banishment — remain determined to keep Mercy and Luc apart, forever

Rebecca Lim seems to have mastered the art of writing a good but not great book, I felt the same about the first book in the series (Mercy) as I do about this - I didn't dislike it, I got through it quickly, I was captivated, I was enjoying the read, but at the same time I never loved it. I will say that it WAS a step up from the first book in the series.

I felt closer to the characters in this book than the first. Mercy seemed more real, more believable and her narrative didn't waver between mature and immature and seemed realistic for the character, the narration is still beautiful. I give Lim that, the way she weaves words is like an art form and it was a pleasure to read them.

I felt that in the first book i was very confused and it pushed me away, I'm still confused about what is going on, two books into the series. This level of mystery is kind of good, but it's frustrating because I feel like by know I should know more.

The pacing of the book is pretty good throughout, though never so gripping that I couldn't put it down, towards the end it got pretty chaotic and I struggled to keep up with what was going on.

Overall, Exile was an alright read which kept me entertained and had fantastic writing. The issues were with the development of the plot.

Overall Rating: C+

First released in the UK in June 2011 through HarperCollins.
Book bought by myself.

In My Mailbox (12/11/11)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, 
in which you post all of the books/e-books/audio books that you have recieved/bought/won this week and link 'em all up!

This week was another amazing week :)



Aurelia by Anne Osterlund (Loved Academy 7, looking forward to this!)
The Glass Swallow by Julia Golding (Adored Dragonfly, I love Julia Golding)

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson (I have the second in this series, so best read book 1)
Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph (looks cute!)

Grey Eyes (The Forever Trilogy #1)  Hollowland (The Hollows, #1)Pride and Premiership   

Grey Eyes by B. Alston and Quinteria Ramey (free e-book)
Hollowland by Amanda Hocking (free e-book)
Pride and Premiership by Michelle Gayle


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)

From the absolutely fantastic Lesley at My Keeper Shelf (one of my fave blogs, check it out!):
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
I've been dying to read this one for ages, so thank you so much Lesley!

For Review

This Is Not Forgiveness ARC by Celia Rees (Bloomsbury, February 2nd) 
I love Rees' historical stuff, so a dark psychological contemp? Yes please!

Enthralled by Various Authors (HarperCollins Childrens, September 1st)
Some of my fave authors: Carrie Ryan, Kimberly Derting, Allie Condie... YAY!

Muse (Mercy #3) by Rebecca Lim (HarperCollins Childrens, October 27th)
I still have book two to read... eek! 


Deadly Little Secret (Touch, #1)  Warriors of the Black Shroud Everneath (Everneath, #1) Under the Never Sky  Pure (Pure #1)  Borrowing Abby Grace (The Shadow, #1) The Moon Coin Practice Cake  Travel to Tomorrow: Book One of the Fifties Chix Series

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz (Disney Hyperion)
This was on NetGalley, so I grabbed it because it looks alright.

Warriors of the Black Shroud by Peter Howe (HarperCollins, 31st January)
I love MG fantasy books! NetGalley.

Everneath by Brodi Ashton (HarperCollins, 24th January)
Cover love! I can't wait to read this!

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (HarperCollins, 3rd January)
More cover love! This sounds AMAZING!

Pure by Julianna Baggot (Grand Central, 8th February)
This cover grabbed my interest!

Borrowing Abby Grace by Kelly Green

The Moon Coin by Richard Due and Carolyn Arcabascio

Practice Cake by Dalya Moon

Travel to Tomorrow by Angela Sage Larson

So what did you get, link up and I'll call by, follow and i'll follow back!

Review: Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Saving JuneHarper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.
When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

I have been sat here for five minutes wondering how to start this review. This book grabbed my heart, stomped on it then put it back to pieces again and I have to admit that i was crying real tears by the end of the book.

This book was so real, so relatable. Harper's grief, but also the stages she get's to to actually grieve, the anger, the 'pretending-everything-is-okay', the guilt - they were all heartbreaking to read. As well as this though, the book isn't all sadness, there are funny, witty and romantic bits that will have you laughing. 

I loved all of our main characters. Harper was one of those really real characters, she was flawed; she could be mean and tough but underneath she was vulnerable and because of this I related to her and supported her journey. Laney, Harper's best friend was somebody I supported because she reminds me of people I know, rich, but not cared for and feels the need to kind of... give it out to make up for it. Now Jake... oh Jake... you and music geekiness and your ABBA obsession and your sexiness... I want a Jake Tolan of my own... he was absolutely amazing!

The romance that developed was quite nice to read because it developed at a nice pace, but the chemistry was there and it didn't completely end on a happy ever after. I am the biggest Jake and Harper supporter, those two are so adorable.

the writing is gorgeous, it's real and sharp as it's from Harper's point of view, but also poetic and beautiful and so readable!

I think that if anything threw me on this book, it's the tiny issue that i was expecting Jake's secret to be a teeny bit bigger than what it actually was.

Overall, Saving June was a beautifully written, heart wrenching novel about a real issue and real people, I loved it!

Overall Rating: A

Book to be released november 22nd by Harlequin.
Book recieved for review from netGalley

Review: Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Immortal Beloved (Immortal Beloved, #1)Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past.

Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

Despite finding Cate Tiernan's 'Sweep' series dull and preachy I have to say that I loved Immortal Beloved, which was a shock because, had I not received this and it's sequel for review I would never have chosen to read it, simply because it sounded like the same old, same old.

Was it? No. The set up is different, the 'home for wayward immortals' may be a similar setting to certain books, but the way the plot develops and the characters develop is different and enjoyable to read. The tone of the book started pretty dark and I thought I was getting into one of those really dark, doom and gloom books that i have to be in the right frame of mind to read. Whilst the book does have a serious tone at times, it isn't all doom and gloom.

The book is narrated by Natasya, whose narration sounded pretty immature for a 400+ year old, i'll let this pass just because it was so enjoyable to read her thoughts. Nasty is a pretty mean character to start with, but throughout we see her reasons and we watch her develop and grow as a character. This isn't just a shallow YA paranormal, it also has some depth.

At first i thought that I was looking at a typical romance but complications further in the book really make this romance unique and I look forward to reading more about Nasty and Reyn. I liked Reyn as a character as well, a reformed bad boy with a dark history and a little depth, he could be compared to other YA hunks, but he also stands out for me.

The Mr. Miyagi teacher lady, River was maybe a little too shallow, a stereotypical leader/teacher, I didn't really find myself liking her character. Nell was a typical cow and many of the other side character were stereotypical and lacked development.

The writing is pretty good, as I said above, I liked Nasty's writing. At some points it seemed that Tiernan had just thrown bits together without linking them and so it didn't seem like some parts were well structured.

overall, Immortal Beloved was better than I expected, i totally enjoyed it though it had some flaws such as lack of development in minor characters. I loved the main characters and the romance.

Overall Rating: B+

UK publisher Hodder and Stoughton first released this title October 1st 2010.
My copy was given for review from the publisher.

Review: Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

Texas GothicAmy Goodnight knows that the world isn't as simple as it seems—she grew up surrounded by household spells and benevolent ghosts. But she also understands that "normal" doesn't mix with magic, and she's worked hard to build a wall between the two worlds. Not only to protect any hope of ever having a normal life. 

Ranch-sitting for her aunt in Texas should be exactly that. Good old ordinary, uneventful hard work. Only, Amy and her sister, Phin, aren't alone. There's someone in the house with them—and it's not the living, breathing, amazingly hot cowboy from the ranch next door.

It's a ghost, and it's more powerful than the Goodnights and all their protective spells combined. It wants something from Amy, and none of her carefully built defenses can hold it back.

This is the summer when the wall between Amy's worlds is going to come crashing down.

I just love young adult ghost stories, but I find that they kind of go one of two ways - the really horror, thrillery kind of scary that I try to avoid, or girl who can talk to ghosts falls in love with one/forms an attachment with resident ghost, which tends to get dull after so many reads. For me, Texas Gothic was a break away from the typical ghost stories and concentrates more on the mystery surrounding the past of the ghost.

What also made Texas Gothic so fantastically original was that the set up was so different. Amy was the new girl at a new town, but she's looking after her aunt's ranch, already knows that magic exists, isn't painfully shy or cheesily erratic, no, she was one of the best heroines that I have read in a long time: spunky, strong-minded, a bit silly but not too stupid.

The romance was different as well, no love at first sight sexual tension. there was definite attraction, but it seemed real, not forced or overly described, it was subtle. I do have a thing for cowboys (we're so short in supply here in the UK) and so i may have been biased but I also loved hot/cold, strong, protective Ben.... eee!

The pacing was good, my only criticism being that at times the author tended to overdescribe and tell, not show. I found that the writing didn't stand out for me, it wasn't bad but it could have been maybe a little more unique.

Overall, Texas Gothic was a great read that took some time to get into but was enjoyable as it brought something fresh to the YA genre.

Overall Rating: B

Published July 7th by Corgi children's
Book bought by myself.

Review: Meridian by Amber Kizer

Meridian (Fenestra, #1)Sixteen-year-old Meridian has been surrounded by death ever since she can remember. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders would burrow into her bedclothes and die. At her elementary school, she was blamed for a classmate’s tragic accident. And on her sixteenth birthday, a car crashes in front of her family home—and Meridian’s body explodes in pain. 

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she’s a danger to her family and hustled off to her great-aunt’s house in Revelation, Colorado. It’s there that she learns that she is a Fenestra—the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos.

What can I say about this book? It was a bit slow, slightly confused me at times and yet I really enjoyed it. It started out a bit confusing, I was grabbed by Meridian's 'power', wondering what she did, the start had a bit of a dark tone and I thought I was getting into a darker book than most that I've read lately.

A chapter or so in, we've been introduced to Meridian's history and the action starts to pick up. I found that the pace of the book fluctuated between being fantastic and gripping and slow and dragging, which was so distracting because just when I was getting into it, I lost it and it was pretty difficult to read because of that. The plot was pretty good, it was kind of a typical paranormal romance with a mystery twist.

Meridian was a good character, she had a level of strength that wasn't too whiny but wasn't unbelievably strong that it was difficult to relate. she did have her weak and unlikable moments, but I didn't dislike her throughout the book. I also liked Meridian's great-aunt, she kind of worked as a tutor to Meridian. Tens, Meridian's guardian and later romantic interest was pretty swoonworthy, though quite boring at times.

I thought the romance was going to be insta-love, but I was pleasantly surprised. there was a level of 'hot guy, mysterious, oooh' but it doesn't develop until the end of the book and I loved the attraction between Meridian and Tens.

Overall, I found that I struggled with the pacing of this book. I enjoyed the plot and the characters but because of the pacing I wasn't completely gripped.

Overall Rating: C

Released August 2011 by Delacorte.
book received through Read It, Swap It.

In My Mailbox (Last three weeks!)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, 
in which you post all of the books/e-books/audio books that you have recieved/bought/won this week and link 'em all up!

I've condensed the past three weeks into one IMM, because I've been sorting out peronal problems for the past few weeks.



For Review


The Lens and the Looker & The Bronze and the Brimstone by Lory S. Kaufman - It's a futuristic time travel book, a great concept. I'm taking part in a blog tour for these books in March, so I have a while to read them.

New Beginnings by Rebecca Emin (Paperback: 23rd January 2011) - I was contacted about this a few months ago and got it through today, it sounds heartwarming!

Heist Society by Ally Carter from Orchard books - I wasn't a fan of Carter's Gallagher Girls books, but this concept is pretty good!

Immortal Beloved & Darkness Falls (ARC - January 2012, Hodder and Stoughton) by Cate Tiernan - so excited to read this series! 

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin (ARC - 6th April 2012, Panmacmillan) - Did I ever tell you how much I love Zevin, and how excited I am that she has done a dystopian!?

Tempest by Julie Cross (ARC -5th January 2012, Panmacmillan) - This has been on my wishlist for YONKS! Now it's here and I wasn't even expecting it. Oh panmacmillan, you do spoil me!

eBooks for review:

eBooks bought/free:

Katie's Hellion (Rhyn Trilogy #1)  Kiera's Moon  Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, #1) Sojourner (Sojourner Trilogy)  Stray (Touchstone, #1)  Hot Ticket: Hot Ticket Trilogy  Harsh Pink: Color Me Burned (TrueColors Series, #12)  Fauns and Filinians (Prophet of Panamindorah #1)  Snapdragon Alley  Kisses for Lula  Demon Girl (Rae Wilder, #1)

So a pretty awesome few weeks for me! Link me yours up, scotty!