Saturday, 25 February 2017

Sorry for not posting

Hi everyone,
Just thought I would write a quick blog post to let everyone know what I have been up to and why I haven't done many posts lately. Unfortunately we have had a few things happen in our household with one of my boys suffering some burns from spilling his hot dinner all over his leg to the whole family suffering gastro. It was the worst as one person would have it and then a day would go by and we would think we would be in the clear and then the next person would get it. Presently I'm the on,y person who hasn't had it yet so fingers crossed it doesn't happen.
On the plus side I have been getting a little reading done and have been making a dint in my TBR pile as I haven't had any new books come in. Anyway that's about all for now. Onto my reading and reviewing. I have posted two new reviews today so check them out and more will follow soon.

Jessica 

Book Review: No Virgin by Anne Cassidy

No Virgin
Author: Anne Cassidy
Publisher: Bonnier
Publication date: 3/01/2017
Pages: 183 pages
R.R.P: $16.99
My name is Stacey Woods and I was raped. Stacey is the victim of a terrible sexual attack. She does not feel able to go to the police, or talk to her best friend, Patrice. Patrice, outraged, when she cannot persuade her to go to the police, encourages Stacey to write everything down. This is Stacey's story.

My review
Thoughts on the book: I was first introduced to Anne Cassidy when I read Moth Girls last year so when the opportunity came up to read and review another one of her books of course I jumped at the chance. No Virgin tells the story of Stacey Woods, a young girl who has a fight with her best friend and her mum and sister and goes and stays at her dads houses for a break. The next day on the way to school she meets a nice young guy from a private school close by that invites her to stay with him. Everything seems to be going great guns until suddenly it's not. What started out as making out between Stacey and Harry quickly turns into something else when Harry's older brother arrives on the scene. I won't go into too much more detail as I want you to read this book for yourself but I will say what follows is one of the worst things that can happen to any girl.

I really am struggling to put into words how strongly I feel about this book being read by everyone. It really shows that if you don't report what happens, even if you think that it's your fault when clearly it never is in the case of rape,  that the same person might do it to someone else. Also that reaching out to someone, anyone is one of the best ways to start to come to terms with what is going on.  No Virgin is such a powerful book and one I believe should be handed to every rape victim to say that they aren't alone in this and it has happened to others as well and what they are feeling is what other people have felt as well. That they are not alone. 

Rating: 5/5



Friday, 10 February 2017

Book Review: The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly

The Four Legendary Kingdoms
Author: Matthew Reilly
Publisher: Pan MacMillan Australia
Published: October 2016
R.R.P: $42.99 hardcover
A ruthless kidnapping
Jack West Jr and his family are living happily on their remote farm...

...when Jack is brutally kidnapped and he awakes in an underground cell to find a masked attacker with a Kimye charging at him.

The great games
Jack, it seems, has been chosen- along with a dozen other elite soldiers- to complete in a series of deadly challenges designed to fulfil an ancient ritual.

With the fate of the Earth at stake, he will have to traverse diabolical mazes, fight cruel assassins and face unimaginable horrors that will test him like he has never been tested before.

To Hell and back
In the process, he will discover the mysterious and powerful group of individuals behind it all: the four legendary kingdoms.

He might a,so discover that he is not the only hero in this place...

My review
I squealed with delight when I opened one of my emails from Pan MacMillian that gave me the opportunity to review The Four Legendary Kingdoms. I just love Matthew Reilly's Jack West Jr series. My youngest sister actually got me hooked on the books way back in 2009. This was right before The Five Greatest Warriors came out, when I was pregnant with my daughter and was bed bound for the last four months, so it's been a long time between books and I had forgotten what had happened previously, as I've read so many books since. So I did a quick flip through of the previous books and got all caught up and patiently waited for my copy to arrive. The excitement I displayed when I recieved it made my husband laugh and upon telling my sister that I had it, made her very jealous. I sneakily took some snap chats while reading to tease her of what was happening, as I had recieved it before it came out.

Of course Matthew Reilly did not let us down and The Four Legendary Kingdoms was brilliant and the best book in the series so far because of one character, a new character to me... Shane Schofield, call sign: Scarecrow. I must admit I have never read the Scarecrow series by Matthew Reilly. I have them sitting in my bookshelf to read but I have just never gotten around to them, which means that I have never really met Scarecrow before. But I certainly know him now and can't wait to devour the books in his serious. As with all of the other books in the series, The Four Legendary Kingdoms has so much action packed adventure and shocks, twists and turns throughout. There were so many moments throughout where I was yelling at the book and cursing the author saying that no you can't do that to that character or it can't end like that. Of course I never wanted it to end but unfortunately it did and I can't wait for more books in the series.

Rating:5/5


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Book Review: We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan

We Come Apart
Authors: Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
Release date: March 2017
R.R.P: $17.99
Jess would never have looked twice at Nicu if her friends hadn't left her in the lurch. Nicu is all big eyes and ill-fitting clothes, eager as a puppy, even when they're picking up litter in the park for community service. He's so not her type. Appearances matter to Jess. She's got a lot to hide.

Nicu thinks Jess is beautiful. His dad brought Nicu and his mum here for a better life, but now all they talk about it going back home to find Nicu a wife. The last thing Nicu wants is to get married. But his dad's fists are th most powerful force in Nicu's life, and in the end, he'll have to do what his dad wants.

As Nicu and Jess get closer, their secrets come to the surface like bruises. The only safe place they have is with each other. But they can't be together forever and stay safe- can they?

My review
Thoughts on the book: We Come Apart tells the story of renowned shoplifter Jess and Romanian import Nicu, who after both getting caught for the third time shoplifting, must take part in the reparation scheme where they will do community service and attend classes to help them be better citizens. Here is where Nicu and Jess meet and eventually a friendship forms. Both have serious troubles in their lives that they are also trying to deal with and through this new formed friendship they both learn to let someone else into their lives who will truly know them. We Come Apart is a co-written book b Sarah Crossan and Brisn Conaghan and is told in verse form by our two main characters Jess and Nicu.

We Come Apart was a surprising read for me. I don't normally read books told entirely in verse and I think from memory this is only my second book in verse. I thought it would be quite difficult to get the gist of the story being as its not as long and there aren't full sentences or chapters but amazingly I felt that there was so much more depth to the story with less. I could really feel the emotions of how the characters were feeling and get pictures inside my heads of what I though the characters and settings were with little to know words. It was really amazing and I think I might have to try more books in verse.

I found the story very easy to follow until the end where sometimes the points of view would be put into one verse instead of there normal seperate ones which confused me a little. But I loved watching Jess's and Nicu's friendship blossom and how Jess and Nicu change throughout the book, not to mention how fascinating it was to see how the author put in about how hard it is for someone from a different country to fit into their new one. When I was at school we actually had a new student one day from Romania and of course we all thought he was a little weird because he didn't speak English very well and dressed weird. But come the end of our schooling he we just like any of the rest of us and was one of the most popular people at our school. I now know through this book how he might have felt during that initial period and it makes me sad that we weren't as friendly and accepting of him as we should have been.

Last thing before I wrap this all up though is that ending. The last 100 pages or so are so terrifying yet thrilling at the same time. I felt so hurt and angry for what happens to Jess and Nicu and the sacrifice that one of them makes in the end for the other is truly heartbreaking, I just wanted more. I think We Come Apart is a very powerful read that will leave you thinking about how you treat people.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, 6 February 2017

Book Review: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

The Amateurs
Author: Sara Shepard
Publisher: Allen and Unwin Australia
Publication date: 23/11/2016
Pages: 336 pages
R.R.P: $16.99
When Aerin Kelly was eleven, she idolised her seventeen year old sister, Helena, and they did everything together. But when Helena went into senior year things started to change. Rather than being Aerin's inseparable sister, she started to push her away. Then, on a snowy winter's day, Helena vanished.

Four years later, Helena's body is found. Wracked with grief and refusing to give up on her sister, Aerin spends months trying to figure out what exactly happened to Helena and who killed her.

A young, familiar officer named Thomas wants to hell and suggests she checks out a website called Case Not Closed. Hesitantly, she posts, and when ten angers Seneca and Maddix show up on her doorstep offering to help investigate she accepts in desperation. But as their investigation begins, it seems that maybe it's no accident that they are all together, and that maybe the crimes have something- or someone- in common.

My review
Thoughts on the book: I loved TV series Pretty Little Liars which is based on the book series that Sara Shepard wrote. I have previously read and reviewed The Perfectionist series and I felt that it was a lot like Pretty Little Liars with basically different characters but one of the girls actually doing the killing (sorry spoiler alert if you haven't read The Perfectionist series). So if I'm perfectly honest I totally expected The Amateurs to be along the very same lines, as once again a crime has been committed and a group of young teenagers are being super sleuths and trying to figure out what happened, well ok it is but so much better. 

In The Amateurs all of the main characters have pretty much never met before, which is why Seneca thinks Maddox is a girl when they first meet, but have all logged on and been a part of the online group Case Not Closed. Case Not Closed is where everyday people can make a post about a case, such as Aerin's sister's case, where the police basically have no leads and nothing is being done. There are heaps of people who are willing to give new insight into the case and there are even professionals on their, such as retired police, doctors and such, who are willing to help in any way they can, So when Aerin reaches out as a last resort to find out what happened to her sisters killer she is met with three complete strangers who are willing to help. The idea behind Case Not Closed is really interesting and I wonder if there was a sight like this (which I'm sure there are properly a couple) if more crimes would be sold because everything is being seen from a new vantage point and different people may offer different options that even the police haven't thought of. Hmm something to ponder.

I felt like I was being thrown all over the place in this book. I would think I have all the evidence of what happened in front of me and then something else would be found and the. I would have to reasses with where I thought the story was going. I was thrown for a loop on multiple occasions  and that ending OMG. Hurry up and give me book 2 so I can find out what happens next. Seriously people have to stop leaving me with these cliffhanger moments!

Rating: 5/5

Friday, 3 February 2017

Blog Tour: Freeks by Amanda Hocking Review and Q&A

Freeks
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 336 pages
R.R.P: $16.99
The Carnival is all she's ever known but an old terror could tear it all down.

In the spring of 1987, the carnival comes to small town Cauldry, Louisiana. Then events take a dangerous turn. For Mara Besnick, the carnival is home. It's also a place of secrets, hidden powers and a buried past making it hard to connect with outsiders. However, sparks fly when she meets local boy Gabe Alvarado. As they become insuperable, Mara realises Gabe is hiding his own secrets. And his family legacy could destroy Mara's world.

They find the word 'Freeks' sprayed on trailers, as carnival employees start disappearing. Then workers wind up dead, killed in disturbing ways by someone or something. Mara is determined to unlock the mystery, with Gabe's help. But can they really halt this campaign of fear?

My review
Thoughts on the book:  Freeks tells the story of our main character Mara who is part of Gideon Davorim's Traveling Sideshow. Although she lacks any specific talent, Mara has always been apart of the travelling Sideshow which goes from town to town showing the groups talents to earn money. There is the sideshow ally where you can win prizes from the games, a fortune tellers tent, a weird and wacky museum and of course the big top where there is a magician, Tigers and acrobats. Everything seems to be fine until they enter the next town on their stop. Recommended by a friend, Cauldry is supposed to bring in a huge payday for the carnival but as soon as they enter the outskirts of the town everything seems to go wrong. No matter what they do it seems like they can't catch a break and people from the show start leaving fearing for their lives. Can Mara Flanders her friends, including the new boy she met on her first night in town, find out what is causing all the destruction and save the traveling show in time?

First off can I say a massive Thank You to Alana Kelly from Pan MacMillan for letting me be apart of this blog tour for the release of Freeks. I fell in love with Amanda Hocking's writing when I was offered the chance to be a part of the blog tour for Crystal Kingdom. So when the opportunity was offered to be apart of another blog tour for Amanda Hocking I jumped at it and once again it was by far one of the best decisions I've made. There were so many things about Freeks that made me fall in love with it:

-there was the amazingly twisted plot which had me guessing all the way to the end and then left me shocked at the end as I certainly didn't expect to see the story move into that direction at all (trying not to give too much away here which is really hard). 

-the fantastic main character Mara and the supporting characters. Mara is such a strong female character and in Freeks she grows so much throughout the book and learns more about who she really is and where she comes from (even though it is really set over the course of just over a week). Mara finally finds her place in the world and in the Travelling show. And as for the supporting characters I loved all of the different talents of the travelling show families and the friendships that Mara had with not only her mother but also her friends. They are all so close and would do anything for each other which is evident more and more throughout the book.

- of course there is the new relationship between our main character Mara and townie Gabe (which is the perfect mix of wrongness that you look for in a book, as she is a carney and he is a townie and you know it should never really work but it does and of course they fall in love so hard so fast that it can't possibly be true but you hope it is).

-and then there is the feel of being inside a travelling show and all of the effort that goes along with setting it up and getting everything in place for the shows. It's not as easy as people make it out to be and yes sometimes the things in them are a little tacky but this is their lively hood.

Overall I think anyone who loves Amanda Hocking or books like Caraval, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children or anything with a slightly paranormal weird and wacky feel would love Freeks and I will certainly recommend it to all my friends.

Rating: 5/5

Q&A with Amanda Hocking
1.      Where did you get the inspiration for Freeks?
 Freeks  was inspired by my favorite things – namely, 80s pop culture. The most liberal inspiration came from Pretty in Pink and The Lost Boys, but in general, I just filled the book with as many things that I love as I could.
 2.      What was the strangest thing you had to remember about the 80’s while writing Freeks?
The hardest part for me was making sure that the slang was appropriate. There are plenty of phrases and idioms that are common now that weren’t 30 years ago, so I had to be careful with that.
 On the flipside, I didn’t want to use too much 80s specific lingo, because I didn’t want it to be confusing or sound silly to readers that were unfamiliar.
 3.      Why did you choose to set the novel in a small town?
 I envisioned the story as sort of a Southern Gothic, taking place in a sleepy small town. The carnival coming in to town is a tight-knit group of performers, all hiding their own secrets, and I think it made the most sense to me to have Caudry be a reflection of that. 

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Release day Blitz: New York Nights by C.J. Duggan


RELEASE BLITZ
Title: New York Nights
Series: Heart of the City #2
Author: C.J. Duggan
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: January 29, 2017

New York Nights is the second standalone book in CJ Duggan's HEART OF THE CITY series - a very sassy, super sexy New Adult romance from the internationally bestselling author of the SUMMER and PARADISE series.

Sarah Williams is a spirited, independent Aussie who has always dreamed of living in New York City. So when a job opportunity arises to become an au pair for a successful businessman in the heart of Manhattan, Sarah jumps at the chance, ready to embrace the Big Apple in all its brilliant well-lit glory.

What she doesn’t bet on is Grace, the beautiful newborn she’ll be looking after, and Grace’s distant, abrasive father whose eyes hold a million anguished secrets. Determined to care for Grace and face the challenges of the impossible Ben Worthington, Sarah was always prepared to follow her heart; she just wasn't prepared to lose it to a complicated man like Ben.



TEASER


PURCHASE LINKS 



ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY SERIES

#1 Paris Lights



AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

#3 London Bound



AUTHOR BIO


CJ DUGGAN is the internationally bestselling author of over ten books. She lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales. When she isn't writing books about swoony boys and 90s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos.


AUTHOR LINKS


Keep an eye out tomorrow for my review of New York Nights.