Tuesday, 31 March 2015

One True Thing by Nicole Hayes

Title: One True Thing
Author: Nicole Hayes
Publisher: Random House Australia Children's
Published: 1st May 2015
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley


When is a secret not a secret? When your whole life is public. Frankie is used to being a politician's daughter, but it's election time, so life's crazier than usual. Add a best friend who's being weirdly distant, a brother to worry about, and the fact that Frankie's just humiliated herself in front of a hot guy - who later turns up at band practice to interview her about her music. Jake seems to like Frankie - really like her. But then everything crumbles. Photos appear of Frankie's mum having secret meetings with a younger man - and she refuses to tell the public why. With her family falling apart around her, Frankie is determined to find out the truth - even if it means losing Jake.

I love reading books that are set in my home town of Melbourne. Sydney might get more international attention, but Melbourne is a great city with so much to offer and so much character that it's great to see it featuring in novels. If you look very closely at the cover of One True Thing, it actually features Melbourne's skyline and I'm sure you'll agree, it's just gorgeous.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Review: Girl Underwater by Claire Kells

Title: Girl Underwater
Author: Claire Kells
Publisher: Bantam (Random House)
Date of Publication: 1st April 2015
Source: ARC courtesy of Random House Australia.

Nineteen-year-old Avery Delacorte loves the water. Growing up, she took swim lessons at her community pool and captained the local team; in high school, she raced across bays and sprawling North American lakes. Now a sophomore on her university's nationally ranked team, she struggles under the weight of new expectations, but life is otherwise pretty good. Perfect, really.

That all changes when Avery's cross-country flight home makes a ditch landing in a mountain lake in the Colorado Rockies. She is one of only five survivors, which includes three little boys and her team mate, Colin Shea, whom she's avoided since the first day of freshman year. 

Now, faced with sub-zero temperatures, minimal supplies, and the dangers of a forbidding nowhere, Avery and Colin must rely on each other in ways they never could have imagined.

This is not a book you want to start at 11pm when you have an early start the next morning. Trust me. 

Monday, 23 March 2015

Orient by Christopher Bollen

Title: Orient
Author: Christopher Bollen
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Aus)
Published: 1 April 2015
Source: ARC via NetGalley

At the eastern edge of Long Island, far from the hustle of New York City, stands Orient, a village that has been home to a few families for hundreds of years and is now - reluctantly - opening up to wealthy weekenders and artists from the city. 

On the last day of summer, a young man with a hazy past appears, and not long after comes a series of events that shatters the peace in this isolated community. A strange, twisted creature washes ashore on the Sound and then a human corpse is found floating in the water. A woman dies in bizarre circumstances and a house fire erupts out of nowhere. Fear and suspicion mount until everyone's secrets threaten to be exposed. But who is Mills Chevern? What is his real name and why is he here? As all eyes shift towards the orphan drifter, Mills elicits the support of Beth Shepherd, an Orient native who is hiding a secret of her own.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Mini Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

On Friday, I reviewed A Court of Thorns and Roses over on Reading Lark. You can see the full review here.

I'll just add some other thoughts here. How beautiful is that cover? It's absolutely stunning. Even the ARC, without the full cover art, was beautiful, with thorns creeping over the pages that start each chapter (is there a proper name for those? If you know what it is, please let me know in the comments!)

It also came with a cute little mask charm on a piece of string, and an Heir of Fire bookmark (which I have been putting to good use).

So thank you very much to Bloomsbury Australia for the package and the opportunity to review.

It's no secret that I'm a Sarah J Maas fan. Over on Reading Lark you can see my review for Heir of Fire, and my Book BFF post on Celaena Sardothien, so I was very eager to get a copy of this one, and I wasn't disappointed.

Feyre is a strong heroine who will do anything for those she loves, Tamlin is a charming leading man, and the secondary characters are well developed. While the story has a satisfying conclusion, there is just enough left unresolved to tease the sequel.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colga

Title: Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery
Author: Jenny Colgan
Publisher: Sphere
Source: Purchased from Amazon.co.uk

Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn't be happier. Because Polly is in love: she's in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she's in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she's in love with her boyfriend, Huckle.

And yet there's something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that's floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend's fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he'd left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence.

Polly sifts flour, kneads dough and bakes bread, but nothing can calm the storm she knows is coming: is Polly about to lose everything she loves?

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder

Title: Shadow Study
Author: Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
Source: Review copy courtesy of the publisher via Netgalley


Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she’d survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands — and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek’s job — and his life — are in danger. 

As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret — or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is — while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

I was so excited when I saw this title. I loved the earlier books in the series. Yelana is a great character and she has really grown and developed during the course of the books. I hadn't, however, read the Opal Cowan books (Sea Glass, etc) and as the characters from those books play a pretty major role in this one, I thought I'd better go back and read them before starting Shadow Study.