Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cover Reveal: Frigid by J. Lynn

I absolutely love cover reveals. Especially when it's for one of my favourite authors: J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)! So Jennifer is an amazing troller (and I love her for it). What was initially a Sentinel (Covenant #5) cover reveal sign-up, turned out to be the cover reveal for... *drum roll*


Cover design: Okay Creations 
Photographer: Jennifer Rush 

"For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one."


Woah how awesome is that synopsis? For once, a NA that isn't about some depressing issue (I've read too many of those). This looks cute but sexy and I don't doubt that it will be AMAZING because come on, it's JLA <3

Frigid will be available in digital formats on July 30th 2013

Print release of Frigid will be November 5th 2013



About J. Lynn/Jennifer L. Armentrout

J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is a # 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. She lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russel Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Losing It (Losing It #1) by Cora Carmack

Firstly, thanks to Random House for this NetGalley <3

Losing It (Losing It, #1)

Date Read: February 22 – 23 2013
Release Date: March 28th 2013
Publisher: Random House UK/Ebury Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary
My rating: 

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.”


“We want what we can’t have. It’s human nature.”

I was extremely hesitant to read this book as the premise seemed to be that being a virgin in college was a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with being a virgin while in college – if you’re not ready and you haven’t found the right person then why would you give away something you can’t take back? But the amount of hype and positive reviews surrounding this broke my resolve and I just had to check it out. And I’m really glad I did because this was such a cute book (I think a LOT of people have labelled this cute) that I couldn’t stop reading until the last page.

What I really liked about Losing It was that it addressed one of my issues immediately – the whole reason why Bliss left that delectable, British specimen, NAKED in her own apartment was because she wasn’t ready. Points to Bliss for actually having sense! The course of the book then shows Bliss’ growth and understanding that just because she doesn’t want to be a virgin, doesn’t mean she’s ready for sex. I loved how she came to realise she wasn’t ready until she was in love. Also, I absolutely loved Bliss’ insanely awkward personality. She was a bit of a control-freak, overanalysing every situation and so paranoid – her thoughts were so relatable and funny, I liked her instantly!

“Like a complete psycho, I leaned my face into the pillow and sniffed like girls in books and movies always do to see if I could still catch his scent. I couldn’t. And I felt super creepy.”

Now, aforementioned delectable British specimen. It would be a crime to explain him in such a manner and then leave y’all hanging as I talk about other things. SO. Garrick Taylor. WOOOOOAH *SWOONS* gorgeous accent, soft blonde hair, bright blue eyes that turned dark when staring into Bliss’ and washboard abs! I was a goner from the first mention. Gah can he be any more perfect? He was so sweet, caring, understanding and undeniably sexy I just wanted to hug him all to myself. I think Garrick’s one of the most constant book boyfriends I’ve ever read. And when I mean constant, I mean he was always there for Bliss, never hurting her, holding her up figuratively and literally.

“The world fell over, bent sideways, broken. And it cradled me, taking me with it, but instead of dying, I fell into the warmth, solid and strong.”

OhmysweetGOODNESS the romance! Let me get the bad out of the way first. I felt there was a bit of insta-like bordering on insta-love. Carmack tried to dispel the insta-like/love but I felt she fell short of achieving this. Despite Bliss saying she wasn’t falling in love, I could still see things moving too fast and her feelings developing in a matter of short chapters. However, the romance was so SWEET and it made me feel so warm and fuzzy I think I was floating half the time. Carmack doesn’t hold back on the steaminess and man can she create sexual tension! I think I paused a couple of times to fan myself because dang was it HOT! Garrick was sexy as hell and so seductive – yet adorable at the same time… is that even possible? I DON’T CARE BECAUSE IT’S TRUE.

“His tongue slid against mine, and my hand beneath his shirt came back to life, curling around his side, pulling closer until my pelvis pressed into his hip. The kiss was leisurely and divine, but too slow, slow, slow.”

I’m not really sure how I felt about the supporting characters. I really disliked Bliss’ best friend Kelsey – she was trying to improve Bliss’ moods when she was down, but it was in a really selfish way and I just wasn’t convinced. Cade on the other hand, oh sweet Cade. Fell in love with him instantly! He was sort of the boy next door and I couldn’t help but think of him as wounded puppy at times. I’m super excited to read his story in Faking It!

Not an overly big issue, but I felt that there could have been more depth to the characters at times – especially Garrick. In particular situations it was like he was there only for making out purposes and his back story was a bit lacking too. Other than being a teacher, I wanted him to have a purpose too. But like I said, no biggy and the main plot of Bliss trying to sort out things with Garrick smoothed over this minor detail. On the other hand, I admired Bliss’ independence. There may have been an insanely hot and sexy teacher who was smitten with her but she wasn’t about to let him control her life!

“And Garrick can be cool or not with it; he doesn’t decide what I do.”

I really liked the writing style Carmack employed. Her descriptions were detailed and I loved the techniques she weaved into Bliss’ hilarious thoughts (always a good sign when a debut author can show). The physical descriptions were especially a great read and it really allowed me to take in Bliss’ surroundings and feel what she felt.

“Each step felt like a nail gun had been taken to my heels, my knees, my hips.”
“Shampoo became the villain of my story, stinging my eyes and exhausting me as I tried to rub it in and rinse it out. It felt like hours before the water ran clear enough for me to open my eyes with them burning. And then I couldn’t convince myself to do it again with conditioner.”

This was such a feel good book I’m definitely buying the paperback when it comes out to get some more Garrick! I feel all peaceful and content just writing the review. Re-reading bits to find quotes had me biting my lip and smiling hehe.

“It was the sun, and it held me in its arms, called me by name, touched me from forehead to toes. I fell asleep cradled in the sky in the arms of a star.”

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Spotlight: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

I have a special post today *grins*

On the blog today is the stop for the book spotlight of Laura Howard's debut The Forgotten Ones!!!

Keep reading for an exclusive author interview + giveaway :D

The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Publication Date: May 15, 2013
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Book Description:
Allison O'Malley just graduated from college. Her life's plan is to get a job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She doesn't have room for friends or even Ethan, who clearly wants more. 

When Allison's long-lost father shows up, he claims he can bring her mother back from the dark place her mind has sent her. He reveals legends of a race of people long forgotten, the Tuatha de Danaan, along with the truth about why he abandoned her mother.


Author Bio:

Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.

Author Links:


Author Interview

Questions About the Book

I know that writing a book requires a lot of research, and The Forgotten Ones has Irish roots as well as having a character that has schizophrenia; how did go you about your research? Did you travel to Ireland? (I've always wanted to go to Ireland :DDDD)

For the Irish aspects, I read A LOT of Irish Folklore and there are a wide variety of websites that are about the Tuatha de Danaan. Even before I had decided to write about them, I had a keen interest in Irish mythology and folklore, so this research was very enjoyable.

As for the schizophrenia, it was much the same. I found YouTube to be a great place to find videos of actual case studies, which was hard to watch at times. But, it helped me connect with what happens when someone has serious mental illness.

You mentioned co-authoring fan fiction before two particular characters took form in your mind - was there any particular fan fiction that gave you the inspiration to write The Forgotten Ones?

No, The Forgotten Ones wasn't inspired by Fan Fiction. It was inspired by the Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black, The Sevenwaters Series by Juliet Marillier, Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr and the Books of Faerie by Maggie Stiefvater.

The Forgotten Ones has been labelled New Adult Paranormal Fantasy Romance - what's your take on the new adult genre that seems to have sprung up last year? And what makes The Forgotten Ones NA - is it the age of the characters or the themes (or both?)

I love the concept of New Adult. When I first started writing TFO, I didn't know that publishers weren't interested in characters in their early twenties. I just wrote the story that made sense to me. Self-Publishing has given me the freedom to write what I want and I'm glad traditionally published authors are now being given the same freedom. 

My characters are New Adult  because of their ages. It's not a really steamy read, like some other NA books. It's more about the situations they're in and that the way I write doesn't feel "Adult". I guess that is because I have a deep love of Young Adult novels.

Questions About You

I grew up reading Sweet Valley High too :) Did you prefer Elizabeth or Jessica? Have you also read the ending? I was a bit shattered when I read about how the series officially ended :(

I preferred Elizabeth. I am not much of a bad girl, even though sometimes I do take extra marshmallows on my Lucky Charms. ;)

I don't think I read the finale, I probably would remember it if I had... We'll have to discuss this further, I'm intrigued in how it wraps up.

What other "girly" books did you grow up reading?

My sister handed down a series called The Girls of Canby Hall. I was the resident book nerd-- whenever we had book orders, I would always have the biggest stack when they came in. I liked  Lurlene McDaniels and Beverly Cleary books, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, any of the books that had some sort of teen love story were devoured. I also loved going to the book swap store in my town when I finished a bunch of books, so that I could trade them in for more!

You seem like a real coffee addict :P How many cups of coffee did you go through a day when writing The Forgotten Ones? And how many cups a day do you consume normally? (I personally am a tea person hehe)

I don't really drink THAT much coffee, but I don't do well if I don't have 2 cups of coffee with my Hazelnut Coffeemate! As a special treat my hubby will sometimes bring me Mochaccino from Starbucks!

Other than writing and taking care of people, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to READ. I have been known to read a book a day when I'm really on a roll. But, that hasn't happened since my revisions started. I love a good book!

Ever since I was a kid, my love of books had me dreaming of becoming published (well I need to write a book first but yeah haha). Were you like that as well or did the desire to have your book on a shelf in the bookstore come later in life?

I think it was always a dream. One of those things that I just didn't believe would ever happen. After reading so many stories about writers receiving rejection letters, it was even more disheartening. But, I started writing The Forgotten Ones for myself, with the dream still lurking in the back of my mind whispering What if??

Thank you for your time Laura <3


And now for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #9

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and every week bloggers post about books they’ve added to their bookshelves! This includes books bought through a physical store, online store, eBooks, books borrowed from the library/a friend and gifts.

HOLY DAIMON BABIES GUISE THIS IS MY FAVOURITE STACKING THE SHELVES YET BECAUSE OF ONE PARTICULAR BOOK! I'm like wriggling around in my seat from the absolute joy and excitement :DDDDD

Ok again like last week I haven't had time to do any reviews this week as it was super busy! I finally, FINALLY got my project done at work - for those of you that know me, you know I absolutely HATE coding and learning PHP (and Perl) was just UGH, GROSS. I also have a vendetta against SQL after first year uni but yeah... So my project is done and things should be calmer, only got a uni assignment and hw to deal with now. If I have time I'll put up a review tonight after I get started on aforementioned assignment and hw.
Now onto the good stuff...


At the insistence of many, mainly Kerrie @ Two Girls and a Novel, Saz @ Saz101 and Lisa @ Badass Bookie, I got the Guild Hunter series! I must admit I'm really excited to read this because I read the excerpts and WOAH Raphael dayum he's intimating yet so sexy!~ Darkfever was a result of the very persuasive powers of Saz hehe.


Dear Cassie

Thanks to Entangled Publishing for this e-galley

  • Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush (Sci-fi) - this looks AMAZING and I can't wait to read it. The hardback is also so gorgeous :3
  • Hooked by Liz Fichera (Contemporary) - I actually have this on NetGalley but the formatting is absolutely HORRIBLE on my iPad Kindle app that I had to borrow this off Shirley to review it.

  • Apollyon (Covenant #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Paranormal Fantasy) - HOLY DAIMON BABIES YES. I cannot WAIT to write my review for this because guys? If you thought Deity was amazing, Apollyon will BLOW YOU AWAY. Correction, Aiden St. Delphi will. Just ERMAGHERD ALL THE FEELS. I've never read a series where the middle books get better and better but shit Covenant has done just that. Half-Blood was alright, Pure was pretty darn good, Deity was freaking LOVE, and Apollyon... well I don't have enough emotions to convey what I feel for Aiden St. Delphi Apollyon.
Thanks to Shirley for lending me these (and Sharon @ Obsession With Books for sending me Apollyon after she finished with it)

Yeah I am one extremely happy camper.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review: Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions #1) by Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions, #1)

Date Read: February 3 – 8 2013
Release Date: January 4th 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: Bought
Genre: Contemporary
My rating: 

Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make
1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?
2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.
3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)
Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.
(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)
(Sorry. That was rude.)


“The rules of high school are completely, entirely, disturbingly mysterious to me. But everyone else seems to get them.”

A thoroughly enjoyable read, I thought this was a well written contemporary that was light (well lighter than the other stuff I’ve been reading of late) and easy to get through. With issues of bullying, adjusting to high school, acknowledging the feelings for that first crush and peer pressure, this was a realistic and relatable account of freshman high school.

Fourteen-year-old Rose Zarelli is dealing with the recent loss of her father that’s caused her family to fall apart – her brother has gone away to college and barely calls, while her mother isn’t so much a mother as a not-wanted therapist. As she and her small number of friends enter high school, they’re swept away in the glamour of cheerleaders and popularity, leaving Rose behind questioning her friendships.

“Is that why I’m leaving? I’m leaving because I don’t feel like having Tracy flaunt her new friends in my face as if I’m not worth anything anymore.”

I could really feel all her pent up frustration at everything, at not knowing where to channel it all and just having so much rage that people don’t understand. Rose’s voice was really likable as I think (I can’t remember, I do know I hated high school) I went through some similar things in my high school days. I really liked the juxtaposition of what Rose was thinking as opposed to what she actually said aloud to people. Not only observant, but I thought she was wise beyond her years. I adored her sarcasm but I also liked how, in her thoughts, she knew what she wanted and what was right for her. I might not have agreed with all her decisions (especially in regards to bullying) and what she ended up acting on but what went on in her mind was the right thing.

I’m not sure I liked all the other characters – I truly hated the best friend Tracy. She was a lousy best friend and at times Tracy, along with the “popular” girls were a bit stereotypical – similar to something out of Mean Girls. I’m sure these situations exist, but they’ve been explored so many times it got a bit cliché. That being said, Rozett did a well-rounded job of handling the more “bitchy” characters. I also really warmed to Angelo, the boy who probably should have graduated years ago and everybody ignores. He was really misunderstood and judged (even by Rose) so I was like woah double standards much? When Rose herself realised this, I think it opened her eyes a bit more and helped her come to terms with the fact that, yes maybe the world was against her sometimes, but she wasn’t really doing much to rectify the issue.

“Bad things happen whether you’re scared or not, so you might as well not bother being scared. It’s a waste of time.”

The romance was really adorable – I’m not sure that’s the right word because it caused a LOT of confusion and angst (and so much trouble) between Rose and Jamie but I thought it was cute. Actually I don’t think it even really counts as a romance, more a first crush thing so yay no insta-love! The reason I say it wasn’t much of a romance is also because Jamie is hardly ever present. He’s talked about, thought about but his actual physical presence is rare. Even when he was in the same room, Jamie was always quiet and enigmatic. (But damn is he a good kisser!)

“For a split second, there’s so much sorrow in his eyes that I want to reach out and touch his hair, his face – find a way to make him feel okay.”

I thought this was a great book about being misunderstood, jumping to conclusions and that first crush in high school. Confessions of an Angry Girl had a good combination of themes that were all addressed thoroughly and well written, I can’t wait for Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend!

“Something in my chest eases a little for the first time since last summer… There’s a world out here.”

Stacking the Shelves #8

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and every week bloggers post about books they’ve added to their bookshelves! This includes books bought through a physical store, online store, eBooks, books borrowed from the library/a friend and gifts.

Sadly I haven't been able to get a review out this week because 1. I'm sort of in a reading slump 2. Uni started again 3. Work has been insanely stressful and hectic this past week and it might be this coming week as well. All that has added up to me barely finishing any books the past 1-2 weeks :( I am trying however to get a review done before I sleep tonight depending on how much more stuff I have to do.

All the books I received this week are bought:

What did you guys get this week?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Cover Reveal: A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris

Today, I have the great pleasure of revealing to you all, the cover for A Tale of Two Centuries, the sequel to Rachel Harris' 2012 debut, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century. This awesome cover reveal is not just that; y'all get a sneak peek into the book AND we have TWO giveaways! Keep reading for more info!

For those of you that follow/read my blog and know about my 1 month blogoversary (giveaway on until 13th March), you'll know that Rachel Harris was the first author to follow me on Twitter. She also helped me with my first ever giveaway for said blogoversary AND did an author interview for me <3 You'll also know how much I adore her and how much I LOVED My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century.

So imagine my absolute DELIGHT when I found out that My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century would have a sequel!


Now onto the cover reveal!

I absolutely LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE the cover for A Tale of Two Centuries. More so than MSSSC - don't get me wrong I loved that cover but I've never been a fan of pink. My favourite colour is blue so I chucked an internal spazz at work when I saw the cover!

Are you guys ready?!


*Huggles it* ISN'T IT GORGEOUS? And I love how it really matches the first book too! I love the blue colour scheme and Less' Renaissance gown underneath her 21st Century sweater. And the flourishes around the font are so pretty *shiny eyes*

"Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?"

An Excerpt

And that's not all guysssssss... here's a sneak peak into A Tale of Two Centuries!

Austin pushes the red and black Jet Ski into the water, past the first few crashing waves, then throws a leg over the side. He turns to me, extending an upturned palm, but as I watch the water pound against his legs, I slowly shake my head and inch away. Forget the confusion of the past few minutes or my concern if riding wrapped around Austin is appropriate…are jet skis even safe? So far, my experience with modern machines has taught me that they travel at terrifying speeds. What if I were to accidently let go and fly off? I don’t know how to swim!

Austin’s face gentles and he curls his fingers, coaxing me closer to the watery death trap. “I’ve got you, Alessandra,” he says. “I promise nothing’s gonna hurt you. You can trust me.”

The sardonic guise he hides behind drops for just a moment, but it is enough.

I say a quick prayer and place my hand in his.

With my legs straddling the seat, my arms wrapped tightly around Austin’s firm stomach, and my chest and face pressed against his back, I do not need the extra layer my wetsuit provides. I am quite warm without it. Under me, the engine rumbles. Austin grabs my clasped hands, ensuring my death grip. And then we are flying.

Fear is left behind me on the beach. My laughter is swallowed by the wind. And I hold onto Austin. The rest of the world falls away as he powers the machine forward. Whistling sound envelops us yet there’s also silence in the midst of the roar. Out here, there’s no room for worrisome thoughts about the future or about the past. No time for concerns over when I will return or how much I miss my family. In this bubble of Austin, wind, and water, all I can do is live and breathe and smile.

Austin spins us in circles and then we fly straight ahead, free as the winged creatures overhead. He bounces us over a swell and a spray of water splashes my face, tickling the skin left exposed from my wetsuit. I squeal, and under my clasped hands, I feel his taut stomach muscles shake with laughter. Then he takes off again in another sharp turn, racing in the opposite direction of which we came. Excitement has me screaming, asking him to go faster. I close my eyes against the sting of the salty air and the lash of my hair and tilt my head back, feeling more uninhibited than I ever have before.

More free, more alive…just more.

About Rachel Harris

"As a teen, Rachel Harris threw raging parties that shook her parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels. As an adult, she reads and writes obsessively, rehashes said embarrassing fodder, and dreams up characters who become her own grown up version of imaginary friends.

When she's not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, you can find her homeschooling her two beautiful princesses, hanging out with her amazing husband, or taking a hot bubble bath…next to a pile of chocolate. A Tale of Two Centuries is her second novel."

Visit Rachel's blog
Follow Rachel on Twitter (@RachelHarrisYA)
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series Facebook page


BUT THAT'S NOT ALL. WE HAVE A GIVEAWAY. Yes you heard right. (I know, we just keep giving. Aren't Rachel and Entangled just amazing? <3)

There's 2 giveaways: one open to US only, and the other is international (YAY)!!!

  • 1 print copy of A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris - this is US ONLY
  • 1 e-copy of A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris - open internationally

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Firstly, thanks to Atria Books for this NetGalley <3

The Sea of Tranquility

Date Read: February 6 – 22 2013
Release Date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary
My rating: 

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.
The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.”


“I don’t want you to save me and I can’t save you.”

The opening line of the synopsis caught my eye immediately and if that wasn’t enough to convince me to read The Sea of Tranquility, the immense number of raving reviews did. TSoT was painful in the most beautiful way (yes I know I’m a masochist) and I loved the characters so much.

When we first meet Nastya she seems like one of those rebel goth teens who hates anything and everything around them. And that’s definitely how the world sees her. But what goes on inside her head is another story altogether. From the beginning we’re made to understand that something destroyed Nastya and that’s the way she is now, the way she thinks now – and she’s intent on destroying the person who did that to her. I absolutely loved her “voice” (she actually chooses not to speak to people because of reasons), she’s so cynical and sarcastic with everything she takes in of the world – and mark my words is she observant! As the story unfolded and her interactions with students from her new school increased, her past slowly came to light and there became even more grounds for her paranoid and untrusting nature.

“Dying really isn’t so bad after you’ve done it once. And I have. I’m not afraid of death anymore. I’m afraid of everything else.”

Then there’s Josh who’s had everything ripped away from him and refuses to love because hey, what’s the point when everybody he’s ever loved has been taken away? He takes solace in his carpentry and woodwork and has nearly no friends. But when Nastya steps into the picture, he can’t help but be intrigued by this speechless girl who just happens to barge in on his space. He’s nearly as cynical as Nastya and just as sarcastic. Reading from his point of view was really eye opening as it showed just how cryptic Nastya was and how the outside world saw her – unreadable, confusing and stoic.

“I believe in God, Sunshine. I’ve always believe that God exists… I just know that he hates me.”

I absolutely loved the dynamics between Josh and Nastya. And I’m not even talking about the romance. It was the way they practically crashed into each other’s lives and through their light-hearted banter (or lack thereof), managed to bare their souls to one another. There were so many questions, so much that was demanding to be understood but they were both so damaged they didn’t know how to go about resolving this. Now the romance? Woah there was so much sexual tension between the two! I’m so glad there was no insta-love! Their relationship developed slowly, gradually and the best part? Hesitantly. Neither wanted to progress and I think that made it all the more realistic. It may not have been the best romance, but hey it was raw and I felt it. People got hurt but in Nastya’s words, “things suck” and that is life. Also, for all those people who think destructive couples and think of a particular book, don’t worry, there is no co-dependence!

“’You are the only good reason’. I may not be allowed to love her, but that doesn’t mean I’ll let anyone hurt her.”

I love love LOVED the secondary characters. Tierney, Clay, but especially the Leightons! Each of them had their own drama, their own problems that was at times reminiscent of Josh/Nastya’s but it was the way THEY presented themselves to the world to deal, that was so loveable. Millay gave each of them their own unique voice that I sympathised and fell in love with. And sweet Mrs. Leighton who saw so much! Her wisdom was so eye opening but she never interfered – I think she’s like the perfect mum. My favourite supporting character was definitely Drew though. It’s no secret he’s a man-whore and he doesn’t deny it. He always knew when to draw the line and I loved how he didn’t judge. I think I loved him as much as Josh (maybe more?). His character was so real and ohmyGOODNESS so bloody hilarious. His sense of humour and wit added just the right touch to balance out the more depressing issues of the novel. *Hugs this lump of affection*

“‘I’m not sure exactly. Something centering on the importance of the conservation of fabric.’ He looks in my direction, focusing on my clothes, or lack thereof, while he bullshits them.”

“I know what her hair smells like, but I can’t get close enough to her to press my face into it. I know how soft her skin is on every part of her body, but I can’t touch it. I know what she tastes like, but I can’t kiss her.”

My only qualms with TSoT was the pace. The first 75% was progressing a tad too slowly for my liking but then the ending just sort of all rushed at me and everything was happening at once and I was like WOAH what slow down, holy crap my feels *crying*.

I really enjoyed this: the writing was amazing, the characters so IMPERFECT but lovable and overall a great take on two ruined people trying to save each other.

“There’s got to be a better story. Because we deserve one. You deserve one. Even it doesn’t end with you coming back to me.”

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Harlequin Summit + Stacking the Shelves #7

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and every week bloggers post about books they’ve added to their bookshelves! This includes books bought through a physical store, online store, eBooks, books borrowed from the library/a friend and gifts.

Harlequin Summit

The Harlequin Summit was on Wednesday and my was it awesome! Other than hear about Harlequin's awesome future releases later this year, I also got to meet many great Aussie bloggers. Finally got to put faces to names and I must admit I was a bit weirded out as I'd always associated bloggers with their twitter avatars. It was actually quite funny as I didn't know anybody's names (I don't think anybody did) and we all went around asking for people's twitter handles; you could practically see the light bulb go off when the blog name/twitter handle was said :D

Rachel Vincent, author of the Soul Screamers, Shifters and Unbound series was present as the guest author and she talked about her books as well as answered questions.

Harlequin also gave us all a bag of insanely amazing goodies along with an awesome umbrella!

Woah those are all either JUST released or ARCs/to be released so I feel extremely privileged to have gotten these books!

Also... see that key in the middle? It's a USB containing like FIFTEEN eBooks. Yes you heard right, 15!

Those are all new romance releases from Harlequin's new romance imprint, Escape Publishing.
Titles include:


HOLY SMOKES THE WHOLE SOUL SCREAMERS SERIES!!! Books 1 - 6 (My Soul to Take, My Soul to Save, My Soul to Keep, My Soul to Steal, If I Die, Never to Sleep + Before I Wake) as eBooks + the physical copy of book 7 that hasn't been released yet = the whole series right here. 

Thank you so much Harlequin *huggles*


Gifted/Borrowed from Saz:


 Wait for You Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers, #1)
  • Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1) by Kasie West (Sci-fi) - one of my most anticipated releases this year I am so excited to read this. I have heard only stunning things about Kasie's writing. The hardback is gorgeous hehe, thanks to @runswithundead for telling me it was out in Aus!
  • Wait for You by J. Lynn/Jennifer L. Armentrout (New Adult/Contemporary) - another title I've been eagerly anticipating! I was lucky enough to take part in the cover reveal :) I bought this straight away! Not sure if it will be available in print but if it is, I'm buying that too. JLA <3
  • Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1) by Michelle Rowen (Paranormal) - had to get the first book since I have the 2nd. The 2nd book had a promo where I could get Dark Kiss for free so yay!

 Whew, great week! What new additions to your bookshelves did you guys get?