Saturday, 19 April 2014

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer‏ - Blog Tour Giveaway!

Summary from Goodreads

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake.

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys; all the ones she doesn't want. When she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot, everything is about to change. Chris is different from the guys at school... really different. He can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. The brothers are powerful and dangerous. And now that Becca knows the truth, so is she.

When the mysterious new kid, Hunter, turns up, Becca thinks she can trust him. But when he goes head-to-head with Chris, Becca's left wondering who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: April 17th 2014 by Much-in-Little (first published April 24th 2012) 


Right guys, I have up for grabs one paperback copy of Storm by Brigid Kemmerer (lucky ducks). The lovely folks over at Much-in-Little are handling the prize, so if you win your details will be passed along to them. This giveaway is open to anyone in Europe! You know the drill - fill out the Rafflecopter below & good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, 18 April 2014

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Summary from Goodreads

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission - because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

Paperback, 389 pages
Published February 6th 2014 by ATOM (first published January 28th 2014) 

My Review

Aw, what a bittersweet feeling finishing this book is. I have lived, breathed and lost myself in this beautifully crafted trilogy and have loved every second. The characters are fabulous, the world building exquisite and the love story epic - I'm sad to see it all come to an end!
What an ending Into the Still Blue is! It pushes our characters to their limits and forces them into the darkest of moments - the action is raging and the tension nail biting!
Perry and Aria are still trying desperately to find a way for everyone to escape safely into the Still Blue before it's too late. They are also making plans to try and save Cinder from Hess and Sable's clutches. So, they attempt a daring mission....
The ending was good, also satisfying, but I couldn't help feeling that things worked out a little too conveniently and perhaps predictably.
Into the Still Blue is a must read for fans of the series. It shows the characters in a new light - with what they would endure for others and also what happens when their relationships become tested. Veronica Rossi writes fantastically vivid and can very easily transport readers into the thick of the action. I will go back and revisit this world again in the future. If you haven't yet read the books....go pick up Under the Never Sky today!
4 / 5 Stars!
*Special thanks to ATOM for the review copy*

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #64

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
Out of Control by Sarah Alderson

Summary from Goodreads

When 17 year old Liva witnesses a brutal murder she’s taken into police custody for her own protection. But when the police station is attacked and bullets start flying it becomes clear that Liva is not just a witness, she’s a target.

Together with a car thief called Jay, Liva manages to escape the massacre but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.

When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: May 22nd 2014 by Simon & Schuster UK 

 Why this book?
Well, I'm a fan of Sarah's writing style, so that had me checking it out.  It sounds like an action packed thrill ride with edge. I love the line 'When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.' I have the blog tour stopping by my blog on the 2nd June - be sure to stop by!

What are you 'Waiting On'?

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Summary from Goodreads

Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end?

In Ethan Wate's hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .

There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.

There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it's been promised. And no one can stop it.

In the end, there is a grave.

Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.

My Review

Beautiful Creatures is a gorgeous tale, set in a small town where nothing exciting ever happens - until Lena Duchannes that is....

Main character Ethan Wate, is blown away be the arrival of Lena, who he seems to recognise from his rather strange dreams. Lena doesn't fit into small town Gatlin life, where everything is ordinary and her quirky brand of weird sticks out like a sore thumb.

There is a really interesting mix of super colourful characters scattered throughout this story. I love the super fierce Amma, who's charm and wit will have you very easily loving her. Also Macon Ravenwood, who's very quirky and strange reclusive ways will intrigue readers and have them pondering him over in their minds.

The storyline churns along at a pacy rate. I found the fated love story achingly beautiful - Ethan and Lena's chemistry really is a thing of beauty. I really enjoyed all of the supernatural elements and I sat on the very edge, waiting to see which direction the storyline would eventually take. (shocked & surprised)

Beautiful Creatures is a really thrilling Gothic tale full of dark secrets and lots of big twists. The small town setting is suffocating but I think adds to the allure of the story. The characters are gloriously moreish and I just can't wait to go on the next big adventure.

4.5 / 5 stars

*Special thanks to Penguin for the review copy*

(I had read and adored Beautiful Creatures years ago but never reviewed the book. So when given the opportunity to read the series again to get readers excited for the upcoming release of Dangerous Creatures - how could I possibly refuse! One of my all time favourite series' - look out for the rest of my reviews in the coming weeks.)

Dangerous Creatures is available for preorder on Amazon here

Monday, 14 April 2014

Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan

Summary from Goodreads

Bea Hogg is shy but fiery inside. When national dance competition Starwars comes to her school looking for talent, she wants to sign up. It's just a shame her best friend agreed to enter with school super-cow Pearl Harris. Bea will fight back! But when school hottie, Ollie Matthews, who also happens to be Pearl’s boyfriend, decides to enter the competition with Bea, she will have more than a fight on her hands.

This warm, nuanced, hilarious story about friendship, fortitude . . . and dancing is impossible not to fall in love with. Jenny’s voice is fresh and convincing, and she handles both darker and lighter elements of the story with equal panache.

Paperback, 300 pages
Expected publication: July 3rd 2014 by Bloomsbury Childrens

My Review

Tee hee! This is an incredibly funny read that I thoroughly enjoyed snorting out loud to like an idiot! Even though it was funny, it had some more serious notes and also lots of little positive messages!

Jenny McLachlan writes superbly and captures typical bitchy teen drama perfectly. I really enjoyed main character Bea, who endured a load of crap from an ex-best-friend - a friend who is now a super popular super bitch. 'Though she be but little, she is fierce!' (fav line ever!) and fierce, Bea, turns out to be when overcoming those bully's. 

There is a national dance competition calling for auditions at Bea's school - and it's going to be on T.V. eeekkkkk! As you can imagine everyone clambers together to enter the competition, Bea's best-friend even teams with a dance team. Poor Bea, is left out....but never fear, her good old nan bombs in to save the day! She pairs her up with an unknown boy and sends her to dance lessons!

The unknown boy just so happens to be a super fit guy from the year above....but he is only the boyfriend of Pearl - the ex-best-friend super bitch who makes Bea's life hell! This could not end well....

I loved watching the pair dance, have fun and get to know each other. Bea, really grew throughout the story - it was really lovely to see. She realised that it's okay to just be yourself - to hell with everybody that tries to put you down! A message that I think needs to be on the forefront of everybody's minds!

Flirty dancing is a whole lot of fun. It's emotional, funny, brave and is filled with flirty dancing *wink* Go grab it when you can!

4 / 5 Stars

*Special thanks to Bloomsbury Children's for the review copy*


Friday, 11 April 2014

Hate by Alan Gibbons - Blog Tour!

Summary from Goodreads

Eve's older sister, Rosie, was bright and alive and always loved being the centre of attention. Then one day, she is brutally murdered. Six months later, Eve meets Antony and discovers that he was there the night Rosie died and did nothing to help. Is there any way she can ever get past that? Inspired by the Sophie Lancaster murder in 2007, which saw Sophie and her partner Rob viciously attacked in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, Lancashire because of the way they dressed. This is a hard-hitting real-life thriller about friendship, courage, loss, forgiveness and about our society and communities.

Paperback, 304 pages
Publication: April 10th 2014 by Indigo

My Review

Hate is a powerful story, a moving story and a story that speaks volumes! It forces the reader to sit up and take notice....also think!

This story is inspired by the tragic murder of Sophie Lancaster. It very powerfully pushes home the standing up for who and what you are point fantastically. Alan Gibbons tackles these very tough topics with great care and attention to detail. He makes the reader think and also to ask questions that they probably would of never thought of before.

I thought about why people hate, what causes someone to cause so much harm to another person? One act of unprovoked senseless violence ruins not only the lost life but a wide reaching span of people - who's lives become shattered. Why can't people be free to be themselves and why is being different any business of anyone else's anyway?

In this storyline we have Eve, who's sister died after a completely unprovoked attack. It's about Eve and her family trying to repair their lives and get justice. It's also about Anthony, a witness of the murder who never tried to stop it or give evidence. Both stories are moving and emotional.

Hate is a gripping story that is both beautifully and honestly told. It's enlightening to see all the different sides and points of view and how the event effects everyone in different ways. I would love to see everyone read this and be inspired to make a change and end the hate that is everywhere around us in today's society. What happened to Sophie Lancaster was truly tragic and should never be allowed to happen again. Take a stand - end the HATE!

4 / 5 Stars!

*Special thanks to Indigo for the review copy*

Writing a ‘real-life’ story   
By Alan Gibbons     

To a certain extent, all stories are ‘real-life’ stories. Most are inspired, at least in part, by events that occur in the news or are heard about first or second hand. Art does not float about in some ethereal, alternative universe to the everyday world. The books, paintings, films, sculptures, poems and songs people produce are part of their social reality. The most finely-wrought fantasy says something about the way we conduct our day-to-day lives, even if it is by trying to imagine a world completely different to the one in which we live.  

So what about a novel like Hate, based on a true story, the murder, in 2007 in Stubbylee Park, Lancashire of 20-year-old Sophie Lancaster, a young student with her whole life in front of her? The details of the case are in the public domain. Sophie’s murder was the subject of a high-profile trial in Preston, two plays, Simon Armitage’s Black Roses and Ian Kershaw’s Porcelain, a non-fiction book by a local journalist and a campaign by Sophie’s mother Sylvia against hate crime.  

When it came to writing my novel, in which Sophie becomes the fictional Rosie, I had an advantage, the research was there in the form of the facts and a disadvantage, I could not alter what had happened to suit the development of the novel without reducing the power of the book as testimony.

  The core of my research was not the reading of the non-fiction book on the case, the newspaper articles or the court record. It was a long interview with Sophie’s mother Sylvia herself. What I had to hear, harrowing as it might be, was the response of a family member to what happened. The family’s story, in the form of the witness statement written by Sylvia, was never given a full, public airing. The two dramas and my novel may, in some small measure, give Sophie a voice from beyond the grave, a plea for empathy and humanity. It is the only possible good to come out of a shocking evil.

 The next job was to work in the fictional character of Anthony Broad, the ‘Bad Samaritan’ who failed the murdered girl, who did not intervene and has to carry the burden of guilt for his inaction. The tension between the murdered girl’s fictional younger sister Eve and Anthony are the engine that drives the book. Will he learn from his earlier moral failure and be redeemed as a decent human being? In this way, fact is transformed into fiction.

About the Author

Alan Gibbons is a million-copy-selling full-time writer and a visiting speaker and lecturer at schools, colleges and literary events nationwide, including the major book festivals. He lives in Liverpool with his wife and they have four grown up children. He travels globally and is known the length and breadth of the country for his high profile ‘Campaign for the Book’ and school visits.

Praise for Alan Gibbons:

‘Gibbons clarifies but never simplifies the issues involved. The least escapist thriller imaginable, and yet as exciting, and often as much fun as Horowitz’ DAILY TELEGRAPH

‘Utterly gripping, honest and courageous.  We need more books like this... Cracking contemporary thrillers addressing today's key issues’ - THE BOOKBAG

AN ACT OF LOVE was listed for the 2012 CILIP CARNEGIE MEDAL, and THE EDGE and CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE have both made the shortlist - Alan's real-life thriller novels are his best writing.