Wednesday, 31 December 2014

End of Year Review - 2014 Part 3

I am completely overwhelmed by the attention the last couple of posts have got. The wonderful Robin Hobb shared the link to Part 2 and since then it's had over 1000 hits, which is extraordinary for my humble little blog.

Part 1 covered January to April and Part 2 covered May to August.

Obviously this final part will cover September to December, and I'll try to narrow them down a little bit more. That said, it is New Year's Eve and I have had at least one glass of wine, so I won't make any promises!

September



End of Year Giveaway!





Over on Reading Lark today, you can enter to win one of my favourite reads of the year. I had to narrow it down to 14 over there, not the exhaustive list I've indulged in on here. It's an international giveaway, open to any country that The Book Depository ship to, so get entering!

Part three of my review of the year coming later today.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Review of the Year - 2014 Part 2

In Part 1 I looked at my favourite reads from January to April.

Here are my favourites from May to August.

May






If I Stay is a beautiful, heartrending story about a girl who has a near death experience, and essentially has to decide whether to live or die. As part of that process we see what's going on in the present, as well as the events leading up to the accident which ended her world. I cried buckets.

The Universe Versus Alex Woods is probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it. Alex Woods gets hit in the head by a meteorite when he is ten. And that's not even the most extraordinary thing that happens to him in his life. The book explores issues such as bullying, loss, grief and euthanasia. Well worth a read.

Katie McGarry could write an essay on theoretical physics and I would buy it and love it. My glowing review of Take Me On is here. Haley has grown up around fighters and knows they're bad news, and she vows not to get involved with another one. But after West comes to her rescue and then turns up at school, her resolve is tested. Take Me On deals with issues of domestic violence and homelessness and is part of the Pushing the Limits series.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a book club read, and it's such a wonderful book. I don't know if I could say I enjoyed reading it, as enjoyed doesn't really seem to be the right word, but I felt incredible empathy for Charlie and was quite shocked by by the ending.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Review of the Year - 2014 Part 1

It's been a big year for books, and I've read more books this year than ever before. As of today (Boxing Day) I've read 112 books, and I'll probably sneak another couple in before the end of the year.

I've discovered some great authors this year, particularly from this part of the world (Australia/NZ) who I didn't previously know about, having spent the last 10 years under a rock (or in the UK). I've also revisited some authors whose books I haven't read for a while.

So, in chronological order, here are some of my favourite reads of the year.

January



Monday, 22 December 2014

The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer


The Intern (The Intern, #1)The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased from iBooks

I really enjoyed this. It has shades of Ugly Betty and The Devil Wears Prada, but at the same time is unique.

Josie is 17 and in her first year of a journalism degree at the local uni. With the dream of becoming an internationally acclaimed journalist, she's not pleased about being assigned an internship at a fashion magazine. As the magazine is based in the city, and she lives too far to commute, she stays with her cousin, Tim, in his city apartment. Tim didn't tell Josie about his tall, attractive, funny flatmate, and Josie soon finds herself falling for him. Things develop fairly predictably from there, but the story is well written and the characters are engaging and likeable, so this didn't dull my enjoyment of the story.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Amnesia by Peter Carey


Amnesia by Peter Carey
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Published: 14th October 2015
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher.
Genre: Adult literary/Political

I've never read any of Carey's novels, much to my shame, but the plot of Amnesia appealed to me on a number of levels, so when I saw it available on Netgalley, I jumped at the chance to review it.

The plot is convoluted and the pace varies greatly, and at times it's very difficult to follow. It's often impossible to tell who is a hero and who is a villain. I did not expect there to be a love story at the centre of this book, but there it is.

Gaby Baillieux is the child of a radical socialist mother and a Labour minister father. Brought up in such a politicised household, it's little wonder that she became an activist. When a computer virus releases the doors of detention centres, allowing asylum seekers to escape, it also releases the doors of prisons throughout Australia and America, as well as the American Pine Gap facility in central Australia. The US government believes this is a deliberate act of terrorism, but Gaby's mother, actress Celine, doesn't believe her daughter is smart enough to have pulled it off. She is a scapegoat.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Dead Over Heels by Alison Kemper


Dead Over HeelsDead Over Heels by Alison Kemper
Publisher: Entangled
Released: September 29th
Source: Review copy supplied by the publisher
Buy it at Amazon.com
Genre: YA


Ava would much rather be at the mall with her friends, back in Florida, than stuck in a run-down holiday house with her parents in the North Carolina wilderness. Allergic to pretty much everything, she's not exactly the outdoors type. So when the boy next door appears at her door yelling about zombies and making her leave the house, she's not entirely thrilled about heading out into the forest. Nor is she convinced about her chances of survival. If the zombies don't get her, Banjo Boy, also known as Cole, might just annoy her to death.

With no supplies or food, hiking the 40 miles to Glenview without getting eaten will be a challenge. Two teenagers, no food, no shelter and ravenous zombies. The perfect setting for a love story.

Storm by Danielle Ellison


Storm (Salt #2)Storm by Danielle Ellison
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA, contemporary fantasy
Publisher: Entangled
Released: September 29th

Review refers to a review copy supplied by the publisher.

Storm is the sequel to Salt, in which we met Penelope, a witch with no magic, and Carter. Storm picks up soon after the events of Salt. Pen and Carter are working as Enforcers, protecting the Nons from demon attacks, when suddenly Statics start manifesting magic. With no knowledge of how to control it, Statics and Enforcers are soon getting hurt. It seems that the events at the end of Salt have led to this, and Penelope, now able to access magic from the Void, feels responsible. Things start unravelling and she turns to an unlikely ally to help reset the magical balance. Carter is convinced that Pen can't trust the demon, Lia, but Pen wants to undo the damage that she's done. Her chosen path could save or destroy them all.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O'Neill

Title: Reluctantly Charmed
Author: Ellie O'Neill
Source: Review copy kindly provided by Simon & Schuster Australia
Publication Date: October 1st 2014

Rating: 3.5 stars

Kate McDaid was rather shocked when she received a letter telling her she was the sole beneficiary of the will of Kate McDaid. After establishing that it wasn't her own will they were referring to, she discovers that her mystery benefactor was her great great grandaunt, the last woman born into her father's family.

In order to receive her inheritance, Kate must publish seven letters, one per week. The first is a message from the fairies to the Irish public, asking them to return to the old ways and to once again acknowledge the natural world around them.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier


MasqueradeMasquerade by Kylie Fornasier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: ARC courtesy of Penguin Australia

Masquerade is the masterful debut from Australian author Kylie Fornasier. It starts, Shakespeare style, with the list of characters, and the Shakespearean theme runs quite heavily through the book. Elements of The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew and others are present in the story. I loved picking out these elements, it felt like an inside joke between the author and me.

Masquerade follows the fate of a group of Venice's teenaged population, but starts with the recently orphaned Orelia as she arrives at the Venice palazzo of her Uncle. Forced to masquerade as his god-daughter, she is unable to reveal her true identity to anyone, even her cousins, Angelique and Veronica.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

An Evening with Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor is the very talented author of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and a couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to hear her speak.

The event, organised by The Little Bookroom and Hachette Australia, and held in  the beautiful new library at the Docklands, attracted dozens of book lovers keen to hear what had inspired the fantastical story of Karou.

Photo Tweeted by @Little_Bookroom September 3, 2014

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Winter People by Rebekah L Purdy


The Winter PeopleThe Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

The following review is also published at http://readinglark.blogspot.com.au/20...



As a child, Salome Montgomery fell into the frozen pond on her grandparents’ property and was narrowly saved from drowning. Convinced that there were terrifying creatures in the water who saved her, and left with a phobia of wintery conditions, Salome has endured years of therapy and medication.

Now 17, she is left in charge of her grandmother’s garden for the winter. The strange ritual of leaving gifts in the garden, and the need to ensure the gate is secured and threaded with pieces of rowan wood don’t ease Salome’s fears. The voices that haunted her childhood return and she finds herself fighting for her life against a mysterious evil.


Box Office: The Collected U.S Box Office Reports 2004 - 2014Box Office: The Collected U.S Box Office Reports 2004 - 2014 by Lane Myer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased by reviewer

If you are interested in movies and the stories behind them, then this is a fascinating and informative read covering the major (and sometimes not so major) cinema releases of the past 10 years.

Every week, Lane Myer wrote a box office report detailing the week's releases and reporting on the top 10 movies in the US. As the years went by the reports got more and more detailed, some over 4,000 words long. The biggest franchises of the decade are analysed and Lane presents detailed background information about the making of the films. The Avengers, The Hobbit, the various Spiderman, Batman and Superman reboots are all here.

If you have any interest at all in how films are made and how they make money, then this is the book for you. As a collection of weekly columns, you can search for the films you're interested in and dip in and out as you please.

For the price, this is an absolute steal. And I'm not just saying that because I'm married to the author ;)


Friday, 29 August 2014

Miss Spelled by Sarah Belle




Title: Miss Spelled
Author: Sarah Belle
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Date of Publication: 1st September 2014
Source: Kindly provided by the publisher
By it from: Escape Publishing
Rating: 3.5 stars

Everything is going right for Lou. She loves her job as a teacher and loves the run-down cottage she's renovating with her dad, and she's just become engaged to the man of her dreams in the most romantic setting possible. But when she finds out that her fiancé Aidan's childhood nemesis and her gap year romance are one and the same person, she panics. Determined not to let her ex, Hunter, ruin her happiness, she consults an online witch who sells her a spell to erase her from Hunter's memories. When the spell goes awry, Lou finds herself not just erased from Hunter's memories, but from Aidan's as well. With the love of her life about to marry someone else, can Lou get herself back into his memory and heart?

When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett

This review also appears on Reading Lark

Title: When the Night Comes
Author: Favel Parrett
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley.


Blurb:
Running away from the mainland was supposed to make their lives better. But, for Isla and her brother, their mother's sadness and the cold, damp greyness of Hobart's stone streets seeps into everything. Then, one morning, Isla sees a red ship. That colour lights her day. And when a sailor from the ship befriends her mother, he shares his stories with them all - of Antarctica, his home in Denmark and life onboard. Like the snow white petrels that survive in the harshest coldest place, this lonely girl at the bottom of the world will learn that it is possible to go anywhere, be anything. But she will also find out that it is just as easy to lose it all. For Isla, those two long summers will change everything. Favel Parrett delivers an evocative and gently told story about the power fear and kindness have to change lives.

When the Night Comes is the second novel from Australian author Favel Parrett. Set primarily in Tasmania, it tells the story of Isla, a young girl isolated by sadness and loneliness as she transitions from primary school to secondary school. Isla has moved from the mainland following the breakdown of her parents’ marriage, and she finds the landscape bleak and oppressive. It is only the coming of the ice breaker Nella Dan, and with it the Danish sailor Bo, that brings light and happiness to her life.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb


Fool's Assassin (The Fitz and The Fool Trilogy, #1)Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased by reviewer

Fitz is happily living at Withywoods with Molly and her sons, as well as Patience and her household. Chade, Dutiful and Kettricken are still trying to get him to spend more time at Buckkeep, but, as always, Fitz is resistant to get involved in Six Duchies politics. Surely he's given enough of his life to the crown? It seems that fate is not done with Fitz, however, and a strange messenger arrives and then disappears before being able to deliver her message. It's more than 10 years before the message finally gets through, and we are left to wonder whether anything could really have been changed had the original messenger succeeded. After all, it seems that Fitz is above all else the Fool's Catalyst, and there is no escaping that.

Apart from the fact that Ms Hobb seems to have been spending far too much time with George R.R. Martin, Fool's Assassin is a fabulous read. It was wonderful to be immersed in this world again, even if I wasn't always happy about what happened to characters that I love. There are elements of this story that make Prince Regal's dungeon seem like a good time.

I can't say much more without giving major spoilers, and I think it's best to read this book without prior expectations.

I want to go back and read all of the other books set in this world over again.

Robin Hobb is a cruel, cruel woman. This book is amazing. It will be a very long wait for the next instalment.


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Review: Batter Up by Robyn Neeley

Title: Batter Up
Author: Robyn Neeley
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Date: 1st August 2014
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Rating: 3.5 stars

The Story: 
Emma Stevens inherited more than just her grandmother's bakeshop (just as an aside, I've never seen that word before, it looks like a strange melding of bakery and cake shop. Anyway...), she also inherited her grandmother's magical ability to predict who a man will marry. Every Monday night, the bachelors of Buttermilk Falls gather to find out who the next bachelor to meet his match will be.

When Jason Levine, a Miami reporter, finds out about this he is intrigued and sets to find out how an entire town could be duped by one woman and a bunch of cake batter. When Emma discovers what he's up to, she's determined that he won't discover her secret or put her out of business. Sparks inevitably fly and when Emma's arch-nemesis bids on Jason in the town's traditional Summer Fling bachelor auction, Emma finds herself bidding against. her. Will Jason be just a summer fling, or will the batter predict something more for them?

Batter Up is a fun, light-hearted read perfect for holiday reading. It's not going to demand too much of you as a reader, but, if you can accept the slight fantasy elements, the story will leave you with a lovely warm glow.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Review: Fast Track by Julie Garwood



Title:  Fast Track
Author:  Julie Garwood
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Release Date: 1st August 2014
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for a review
Genre: Contemporary/Romance/Crime

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Story:
Cordelia and her friends, Sophie and Regan, have been inseparable since they were 5 years old. Cordie has had a crush on Regan's big brother, Aiden, for almost as long, but she's long given up hope of him noticing her.

When her father dies suddenly, Cordie discovers that he hadn't told her the whole truth about her mother. Trying to find out about the mother she never knew leads Cordie from Chicago to Sydney, but it seems that someone would rather she didn't find out anything about her mother's family, and they're willing to threaten her life to keep their secrets.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Review: God is an Astronaut by Alyson Foster


God Is an AstronautGod Is an Astronaut by Alyson Foster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Published: 19th June 2014
Source: ARC courtesy of Bloomsbury Australia via Netgalley

Jessica Frobisher is a botany professor. Her husband, Liam, runs SpaceCo, a company providing private passengers the opportunity to travel into space and orbit the earth, for a suitable price tag. When the SpaceCo shuttle explodes on take off, the inevitable media circus follows Liam home and Jessica, and their children Jack and Corinne are drawn into the fray. When the SpaceCo PR team decide to allow a documentary film maker shoot the unfolding saga, Jess finds herself sitting uncomfortably in the spotlight.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

A Groom With a View by Sophie Ranald


A Groom With a ViewA Groom With a View by Sophie Ranald
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Source: Purchased from amazon.co.uk

A Groom With a View is the second novel by Sophie Ranald, a follow up to the very enjoyable It Would be Wrong to Steal My Sister's Boyfriend (Wouldn't it?).

Pippa and Nick get incredibly drunk at a friend's wedding and one of them, neither is really sure which, proposes to the other. And there the fun starts.

Nick takes on most of the wedding plans and wants to give Pippa her dream day, but Pippa's dreams don't quite match Nick's. Pippa finds herself a bit stuck - she doesn't want to hurt Nick's feelings by saying no to his ideas, but this wedding is turning out to be not at all what she imaged.

When Nick's overbearing mother, Erica, arrives for an extended stay and starts taking over the apartment, it's almost more than Pippa can bear. Fortunately, a work trip gives her the opportunity to escape for a bit, but will her going away send Nick into the arms of his ex-girlfriend? And if their ideas about the perfect wedding are so different, should they be getting married at all? Should someone who can't find a wedding dress even be a bride?

Friday, 16 May 2014

Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry


Take Me On
by Katie McGarry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
You can purchase it at Harlequin Australia.
Pub date: May 27th (US - Harlequin Teen)
               June 1st (Australia - Harlequin Teen Australia)
Source: ARC kindly provided by the publisher.

This review also appears on Reading Lark


I must start this review with a confession – I am a total Katie McGarry fangirl and love everything she’s written to date. That might colour my review somewhat, so I thought it only fair to make that declaration from the start. J

Take Me On is the fourth novel in the Pushing the Limits series. While each novel stands on its own merits, there are characters and events that are shared between the novels and I would recommend reading them in order. Take Me On is quite closely related to the previous title, Crash Into You, which tells the story of Rachel and Isaiah. Take Me On actually takes place during the Crash Into You timeline, and tells the story of Rachel’s brother West.

After one fight too many, West is expelled from his exclusive school and is enrolled at the much less prestigious Eastlake High. With his father all but disowning him, West finds out just how tough it can be for those not lucky enough to have his privileged upbringing. After trying, and failing, to come to the rescue of a girl he sees being chased by thugs, West bumps into her at Eastlake and sparks fly.

Haley has enough to worry about without West getting in her way. She’s dated fighters before and there’s no way she’s going back there again, with West or anyone. But when West falls foul of her ex-boyfriend she has to train him to fight, or see him destroyed in the ring. Training West will make Haley face things she’d rather ignore, and resisting his charms may prove impossible.

Things I loved: Fan favourite Abby plays a sizeable role in the story, although she remains an enigma. Here’s hoping her story is told soon! The wonderful (and slightly interfering) Mrs Collins also makes an appearance. I want to be her when I grow up! The level of research that has gone into this book is amazing, I really felt immersed in the world of mixed martial arts (and I really want to be able to throw a punch combination like Haley).

Throughout this series, McGarry has dealt with some pretty heavy issues and Take Me On is no exception. Along with West’s guilt over his role in Rachel’s accident, issues of domestic violence, homelessness and infidelity are also addressed. McGarry is not heavy-handed in her approach however, and these issues are approached with sensitivity. The story never becomes preachy.

Take Me On is a wonderful addition to the series. West and Haley are seriously hot together and I just couldn’t put it down.


5 birdies.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Review: My Not-So-Super Sweet Life by Rachel Harris


My Not So Super Sweet Life (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #3)My Not So Super Sweet Life by Rachel Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source: Review copy courtesy of Entangled Publishing

Cat is the 16 year old daughter of Hollywood Royalty. Her mother left when she was 5 and hasn't been seen since, apart from on the cinema screen. Her dad is about to marry Jenna, the best step-mother a girl could ask for. Things with her boyfriend, Lucas, are heating up. Cat is in a good place. That is, until her mother, Caterina decides to drop a bomb that threatens everyone's happiness.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Review: Losing Kate by Kylie Kaden


Losing Kate by Kylie Kaden

Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.

Thirteen years after the Schoolies trip that cost Frankie her two best friends, she thinks she has moved on with her life. That is until Jack comes back to Brisbane, and suddenly she's forced to deal with the feelings of loss and guilt all over again. Frankie has always believed that Jack was telling the truth about Kate's disappearance that night, but could the boy she'd known and loved her whole life, have fooled her?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Review: Outside In by Doug Cooper


Outside InOutside In by Doug Cooper
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.





Brad "Call me Shep" Shepherd is a 28 year old teacher who faces an existential crisis after a tragedy in his classroom. he follows the Summer crowd to Put-In Bay in the middle of Lake Erie where he hopes to find himself and his path.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa



The Forever Song
by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
US release date: April 15th 2014
Australian release date: May 1st 2014

Source: ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley. This review relates to the US publication.


The Forever Song is the third, and final, instalment in the wonderful Blood of Eden Series by Julie Kagawa. You can find my review of The Immortal Rules, the first in the series, here.

I will try as far as possible to avoid spoilers for this book, but this review will include spoilers for The Immortal Rules and The Eternity Cure, so if you haven't read them (and why not? They're brilliant), I suggest you do so before proceeding!


Monday, 17 March 2014

Review: The Color of Angels' Souls


The Color of Angels' Souls: A NovelThe Color of Angels' Souls: A Novel by Sophie Audouin-Mamikonian
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The cover is gorgeous, and the plot is very interesting, but this book didn't live up to my expectations.

Jeremy Galveaux, 23 yr old financial wizard, is brutally murdered outside his apartment block. He becomes an angel, forced to feed on human emotions to survive, and sets out to discover why he was killed. As part of this, he follows Allison, the murderer's intended victim, and falls in love with her. The other angels warn him that no good can come of falling in love with a human, but he can't resist trying to save Allison from the killer who is still on the loose. However, it's not only the human killer he has to worry about, the world of the Angels is divided into two factions, the Reds who enjoy negative emotions, and the blues, who feed on positive emotions. Each tries to influence the affairs of humanity to produce more of their chosen emotion. Jeremy finds himself caught in the middle, a dangerous place to be.

This book had a lot of promise, the storyline was complex and interesting, but in the end it just didn't pull it off. The dialogue was very clumsy and obvious - I'm not sure if that's due to the translation or the original text, but it really affected my enjoyment of the book. There are also cultural references that just aren't believable for the characters. The POV moves all over the place and some elements move beyond fantasy into the ridiculous.

If you can read French, it might be worth trying the original, but this translation just isn't sure what it wants to be.



View all my reviews

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Review: This is Now - Maggie Gilbert

This Is NowThis Is Now by Maggie Gilbert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.

The first thing that interested me about this book is the title. It reminded me of SE Hinton's That Was Then, This Is Now, and there are some similarities, in that the main character in both books are trying to escape from the poverty and hopelessness that surround them and make something more of their lives.

The book is billed as a Cinderella story, and that it is, although it bears far more resemblance to another Cinderella inspired story, Pretty Woman. The author even makes mention of the film, and there is more than one scene that is immediately reminiscent of Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

Jess and her family live in a run down area of Sydney. The type of place you wouldn't want to leave your car for fear of it being pinched, and where people driving slowly past the houses are probably looking to do a drug deal. She knows only to buy drinks in bottles in nightclubs, and not to put them down for fear of having them tampered with. She is a very real and down to earth character.

Not content with the life her brothers and mother seem to have settled on for her, Jess is going to TAFE (like a community college) in order to get her high school certificate in the hope of going to university and having a real career.

On a night out with her sort-of-friend Anna, Jess meets Anna's brother, Sebastien. Jess is instantly struck by Sebastien's model looks and prodigious talent. Sebastien seems just as enamoured with Jess, but she can't believe he honestly feels the same way; after all, he's rich beyond her dreams, what could he possibly see in her?

Gilbert creates a truly 3-dimensional character in Jess. Not all of the characters are so well developed. The romance between Jess and Sebastien develops rather predictably, but it's no less enjoyable for that. There are some kissing scenes that will make you blush. These two are hot together. And who doesn't love a cello? That is one sexy instrument.

Inevitably class differences threaten to get in the way of their relationship, and it looks like Jess might end up working in her friend's hairdressing salon after all, rather than pursuing her dream of becoming an architect. Will their love be enough to overcome the obstacles between them?

This is Now is quite different from most of the New Adult titles out there. It's refreshing to get a uniquely Australian take on the genre. Jess is no virginal college student, she's a street-smart young woman trying to escape the benefits trap her family is stuck in. Her journey is interesting enough to keep you turning pages to find out whether she eventually prevails.



View all my reviews

Review: The Wrong Girl - Zoe Foster


The Wrong GirlThe Wrong Girl by Zoe Foster
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Published Feb 26th 2014 by Penguin Books Australia

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.

Lily produces a cooking segment on morning television. She lives with a supermodel which means she feels frumpy and inadequate a lot of the time. She drinks, swears lots, and occasionally falls into bed with the wrong person. The latter leads to Lily and her flatmate, Simone, making a pact to swear off men for six months. A guy-detox. It should be easy for Lily, the only man in her life is Jack, the new, highly irritating chef they’ve hired for her segment and she can’t stand him. Although he does seem to be growing on her. Then Simone meets someone at her whole foods store and the detox is off. When this handsome foodie turns out to be Jack, Lily’s Jack, she is faced with a dilemma. Simone and Jack just don’t seem right for each other, but she can’t steal her best friend’s boyfriend, and working with Jack is getting increasingly uncomfortable. Will Jack see that Lily really is the right girl for him?

Zoe Foster has created a smart and funny novel which is a pleasure to read. Lily is witty and likeable and it’s easy to relate to her. I think most people at one time or another have had a crush on a friend’s boyfriend or a colleague. Foster has recreated those uncomfortable moments really well. There were times when I found myself cringing for Lily when Simone and Jack were together. I also like that the book is set in Sydney. I haven’t read a lot of contemporary adult fiction set in Australia, and it’s a refreshing change from the mountains of London based chicklit that seem to dominate women’s fiction.

The Wrong Girl is an enjoyable, light read that will leave you with a smile and a warm glow.


Monday, 3 February 2014

Entangled turns 3.


Entangled launched as an online only imprint publishing romance titles and have expanded to produce some excellent books across several genres, including teen and young adult. They've been kind enough to supply me with a few review copies over the years, so I was very pleased to be able to help them celebrate their birthday.

The Entangled team have provided the following post. Enjoy!





Entangled is turning 3!

Entangled launched in 2011 and we’re celebrating! Two years ago this February, we launched our first category imprint with Indulgence. The Marriage Bargain, one of our first releases in Indulgence, went on to be one of the top selling books of 2012 and catapulted Jennifer Probst to the USA Today and NY Times bestseller lists.  Since then, we’ve grown to have six category romance imprints, as well as single title books for teens and adults in our Select, Edge, and Teen imprints, and have had multiple USA Today and NY Times bestsellers.  We’re in our third year and it’s been a wild ride, and it’s just the beginning.

What better month to begin celebrating our third year than February?

We’re celebrating!  All month long, our February new releases, as well as select titles on our Steals and Deals page, are just 99 cents! (USD)

Yes, you read that right. Every new release will be offered at an introductory price of just 99 cents!

Be sure to join our big Facebook celebration from February 24th-28th with scavenger hunts, authors, games, gossip, and lots of fun! 

Explore our new website and prepare to find romance, because we have something for everyone and join our“Steals and Deals” newsletter.

More after the jump!!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Where You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher


Where You'll Find MeWhere You'll Find Me by Erin Fletcher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: ARC provided by Entangled Publishing for review

Hanley is a bit of a tearaway, with very little regard for her own personal safety. While sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night to attend a party with friends, she discovers a seemingly homeless teenager living in her parents' garage. Hanley is sufficiently messed up that getting to the party is more important than letting anyone know about the handsome boy in the garage, so she kicks him out and goes on her merry way.

When she gets home too drunk to even unlock the door, the mysterious Garage Boy, as she thinks of hiim, comes to the rescue. For his kindness she lets him stay the rest of that night, but tells him not to return or she'll report him.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Salt by Danielle Ellison


Salt (Salt, #1)Salt by Danielle Ellison
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Release date: 7th January 2014


Source: ARC provided by Entangled Teen in exchange for review.

Penelope is a witch without power. A demon attack as a child left her without essence, necessary for witches to perform magic. Penelope has been hiding this fact for years, borrowing from her family in order to fool the rest of the witching community. Penelope is only a few weeks away from sitting the test to become an Enforcer, part of the elite demon hunting force. If she can get access to the Enforcers' library, she might be able to find the demon who stole her essence and perform the ceremony necessary to regain her power and be "normal" again.

Then Penelope meets Carter and strangely, she's able to draw power from him in a similar way to her family. He has secrets of his own and could use her help as much as she needs his.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Defy - Sara B Larson


Defy (Defy, #1)Defy by Sara B. Larson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for review.

When Alexa and Marcel's parents are killed in the ongoing war between their own and a neighbouring kingdom, their future is uncertain. Female orphans are sent to the king's "breeding house" where they are provided for the amusement of the king's soldiers in order to produce the next generation of soldiers. Boys are sent to train and eventually join the army. A skilled fighter, Alexa is convinced by her brother to cut her hair and become Alex and become a soldier. Several years later, Alex and Marcel are serving in the Prince's guard and Alex is acknowledged as the best fighter among them. Unfortunately, it's getting harder to hide the fact that Alex is really Alexa, and when she is assigned to guard the prince even more closely, she fears her secret will come out.

Alex isn't the only one with secrets, others have been forced to hide who they really are in order to survive the king's brutality.

This is, at its core, a teen romance. There are supernatural elements but they really are secondary to the developing love triangle and its resolution. Those looking for high fantasy will possibly be disappointed by this, although there is scope for the fantasy elements to develop more in subsequent books.

One thing I did like is that although this is clearly the beginning of a series, the story had its own resolution - there is nothing worse than a book that doesn't actually end!

If you enjoyed Throne of Glass and the Avry of Kazan series then this is worth a look.

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