Aussie YA March Release!

Monday, February 28, 2011

March is nearly here and that means lots of amazing new Aussie young adult titles.  Here is a list of what is coming out with both Australian and international release dates (if available) together with a sentence or two from their goodreads description.

Note:  This post was inspired by Waiting on Wednesday over at Breaking the Spine and Books to Pine For by The Story Siren.

Triple Ripple: A Fabulous Fairy Tale by Brigid Lowry - Available 1st March, 2011 (Internationally 1st Sept, 2011) - Contemporary fiction.  It's a clever story that combines a fairytale and a modern-girl's tale, and reveals the magic of the writer's creative journey.

Me and Mr Booker by Cory Taylor - Available 1st March, 2011 (Internationally the same date).  Contemporary fiction.  Me and Mr Booker is a story about feeling old when you’re young and acting young when you’re not.

Burn Bright (Night Creatures #1) by Miranne de Pierres - Available 1st March, 2011 (Internationally - kindle 1st March, 2011 - no date yet for paperback) - Dark fantasy novel.  Into a world of wild secrets and deadly pleasures comes a girl whose innocence may be her greatest strength.

Desert Fish by Cherise Saywell - Available 1st March, 2011 (Internationally no date yet).  Contemporary fiction.  A dark love story, Desert Fish is a powerful and unflinching debut novel.

In My Mailbox #17

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.


The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta - This is an amazing gift from one of my all time favourite authors.  I already own and have read about 50 times the Australia edition but this is a signed copy of the US edition ~squeals with joy~.  I don't think I have ever hugged a book so tightly (actually I am still hugging it 4 days later). 


Laney - The Brookehaven Vampires by Joann J Martin Sowles - Thanks to Misha at My Love Affair with Books and Joann ((hugs)).  I won a signed copy plus some great bookmarks.  I am a big fan of a good vampire romance so I can't wait to get started!  


 Clean by Amy Reed - From S&S Galley Grab - YA realistic fiction.  I loved Beautiful by Reed and the wait for May for it to come in stores was killing me.  Thank goodness for Galley Grab.  And how gorgeous is that cover? 
Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott - From S&S Galley Grab - YA contemp fiction.  Elizabeth Scott, need I say more!
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter - From Netgalley - YA paranormal.  Another gorgeous cover. This is a debut author of 2011.

Still on a book budget so I avoided all book stores last week.  It is so hard with all the awesome reviews everyone is writing but I will be visiting my favourite bookstore in just a few days.

GIVEAWAYS - Don't forget to check out my Fury giveaway.  Ends 1st March, 2011. (International)

BLOGS I HEART -  Leanna at Daisy Chain Books Reviews has an awesome feature called Delightful Debutantes.  Also their is a giveaway for UK residents of Across The Universe by Beth Revis.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?
Leave a comment and I will make sure to drop by your blog and check out your mailbox.

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
by Lucy Christopher
Publication date: May, 2009
Source: Bought

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don't exist - almost.

My Review :

Favourite Quote:  "Lets face it, you did steal me. But you saved my life too. And somewhere in the middle, you showed me a place so different and beautiful, I can never get it out of my mind. And I can't get you out of there either. You're stuck in my brain like my own blood vessels."

Stolen is one huge emotional rollercoaster ride.  It had my stomach all tied up in knots and made my heart ache but it was AMAZING.  Truly, a stunning and thought provoking read.   

Lucy Christopher is a brilliant writer.  She really get you thinking about what is right and wrong and the place in between.  The plot was intense and captivating just like the characters.  Stolen is a story that you get emotionally invested in.  And the way Christopher vividly describes how stunningly gorgeous the land really is and how deadly it can be, makes it feel like it is another important character in this tale.

When I think of Gemma the first word that comes to mind is brave.  To be put in that situation at 16 I don't know if I could have handled it with as much strength as she did.  She never gave up hope for escape even when her feelings towards Ty began to change. 

Ty, wow, what a damaged yet frighteningly beautiful soul.  Even though it is written from Gemma's POV, I felt we got Ty story as well.  He is a character that haunts your thoughts.   I was so confused about how I felt about him.  I know what he did was wrong and I should be disgusted by him but I liked him.  You could see why he thought what he did was right in his head.  Just thinking about him breaks my heart. 

The ending it made me cry like a baby and it hurt.  I know some people will disagree with me but I really wish it could have ended another way.  Yet I see that it would have been impossible.

Stolen, is an unforgettable and breathtaking story that I highly recommend.  Just make sure you are ready for a few tears.

Overall Rating: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Cover: 5/5

For more info:  Visit Lucy's Christopher's website.

For more rave reviews:  Visit Inkcrush and My Girl Friday

This is an Australian title that is available internationally.  Great book for the Aussie YA Reading Challenge 2011.

My Book Boyfriend #6

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Book Boyfriend is hosted by the awesome blogger Missie at The Unread Reader.   What is My Book Boyfriend you might ask.  Well it is a weekly meme where we talk about a literary crush including stats, a picture of what you imagine he looks like and some quotes from him that make you swoon.  If you are interested in participating please check out Missie blog The Unread Reader.
Jericho Barrons
From the Fever series

Barrons was powerful, broodingly good-looking, insanely wealthy, frighteningly intelligent, and had exquisite taste, not to mention a hard body that emitted some kind of constant low-level charge. Bottom line: He was the stuff of heroes. And psychotic killers.
Faefever by Karen Marie Moning


Dominant, stubborn, mysterious, dangerous, sexy, strong, clever, protective, scary, hot and jackass are just a few words that come to mind when I think about Jericho Barrons.  He is not your sweet hero type but rather the dark and deadly type that takes what he wants and know how to make a girl blush.  Plus he owns a bookstore ~sighs dreamily~ 


"We have to save the world," I reminded him.
He reached for me. "The world can wait. I can't."
Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

"I was about to look away when he reached across the seat, touched my jaw with his long, strong, beautiful fingers, and caressed my face.
Being touched by Jericho Barrons with kindness makes you feel like you must be the most special person in the world. It’s like walking up to the biggest, most savage lion in the jungle, lying down, placing your head it its mouth and, rather than taking your life, it licks you and purrs."
Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

I moistened my lips. His gaze fixed on them. I think I stopped breathing.
He jerked so sharply away that his long dark coat sliced air, and turned his back to me. “Was that an invitation, Ms.Lane?”
“If it was?” I asked, astonishing myself. What did I think I was doing?
“I don’t do hypothetical. Little girl
Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

Anybody else drooling over Jericho Barrons?
Thanks again to Missie for hosting this meme.

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Darkness Becomes Her (Gods and Monsters #1)
by Kelly Keaton
Publication date: 22 February, 2011
Source: Simon Pulse (S&S Galley Grab)

Goodreads Description - Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.
Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.
She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.  Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

My Review:

Darkness Becomes Her is a well needed refreshingly different young adult paranormal read.   From it misfit bunch of characters to its action packed plot, it was very unique and completely intriguing.

From page one it is pretty much just go, go, go.  Fast paced with a thumping narrative.  It is dark, edgy and a little creepy.  The story is a mix of mostly mythology with touch of paranormal.   Sometimes I got a little lost with the history and everything else going on that I had to go back and re-read parts but the mysterious plot that had me hooked kept pushing me through those moments that I struggled.

My favourite element of this story is the characters.  Distinctive, well rounded and fascinating.  Ari is strong, smart, independent and doesn't take any crap for anyone.  When all hell breaks lose she doesn't stand back and worry about what to do she gets in their and kicks some butt.   There is a whole gang of misfit secondary characters in this story that I adored especially Violet.  She is a wonderfully odd little character but certainly one that gets into your heart.

Their is a touch of romance.  Ari and Sebastian act on attraction pretty quickly but they didn't pretend it to be something is wasn't.  It certainly wasn't sweet but rather some sizzling chemistry .   I am very curious to see how their feelings will grow and change in the next installment.

Overall, Darkness Becomes Her is a solid debut novel that has left me curious to see what is coming next in this original and imaginative series.

Overall Rating: A high 3.5/5 
Writing: 3/5
Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Romance: 3.5/5
Cover: 2/5

For more info:  Visit Kelly Keaton's website

For more reviews: Book'd Out

Check out the UK edition cover.  I prefer it to the US.  What do you think?    Release date June, 2011 in UK.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Today, I have the always entertaining and outspoken Eliza Boans from Fury by Shirley Marr stopping by for my first ever character interview.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of reading Fury yet. Here is the blurb from it:

Let me tell you my story.
Not just the facts I know you want to hear.
Eliza Boans has everything.

If I’m going to tell you my story,
I’m telling it my way.
Strap yourself in...
A big house.
A great education.
A bright future.
So why is she sitting in a police station confessing to murder?

1. How are things going for you these days? How has your life changed?
Hey Nic, thanks, like, TOTES for asking me! Everyone just thinks I'm really strong or that I'm going to chew their head off for asking (like of course I won't). I am human too. It's like these days every time I look at anyone I used to know, they pretend not to see me, or they turn away or start talking into their phone even though, like, I know their phone hasn't even rung. I know I've probably aged a million years since being in custody, but I reckon I look at least a billion times better than Lindsay Lohan, so I don't get it at all. I mean, last week I saw a bunch of girls from school I wouldn't even talk to back in the day, and I was like "Hey guys!" (only cos I'm sorta desperate and lonely these days) and they... whispered among themselves, stuck their noses in the air and avoided me. WTF? I'm Eliza Boans! They should worshipped the fact I said hello! But obviously times have changed...

WELL, the court case is taking up most of my time right now. And I'm spending almost every second of the day with my MOTHER. I know, seriously. But Mum's kinda like my only friend right now...

2. Tell us something unique about you?
That I am like totally smarter than anyone else thinks. I mean I don't have a lot of time these days (what with dodging the tabloids and paps, who write the worst, UNTRUE things about me) but when I get the time I read like, really really old books. You know the ones written like about a billion years ago and I review them on my blog (Eliza-Doo-Little). Like my byline reads: I am not a dumbass. I know that Shakes Spears is not related to Britney Spears.
Oh and I totally suck at math, but when it comes to a shoe sale, I can magically work out the discount in my head. Go figure. One of my many hidden talents.

3. Tell us one of your favourite memories?
I remember when I was really young and my dad was still around - Mum, Dad & me would sit together on our old couch on a Friday night and watch a movie. Most of the time it would be something totally crapola and OLD (Dad's choice) or crapola and a chickflick (Mum's choice), but what I really liked was back in the day, we were still kinda poor (before Mum became a rich lawyer) and our couch was so small, we'd all be touching when we sat on it. It was... nice. Like we were very close.
Of course these days our house is huge and our furniture is also massive and Dad's gone. Me and Mum would never dream of sitting so close together.

4. If you could spend 24 hours with anyone famous dead or alive who would it be and why?
Ooo, I should totally say Paris Hilton cos I want to know how she can keep going in and out of jail and still be a socialite people ACTUALLY want to hang out with... but I think maybe I should say, like, Buddha or Ghandi or something Lexi would say. They would probably teach me something actually worthwhile. Sometimes I feel like I don't want to be shallow forever...

5. What do you see your self doing in 10 years time?
OMG. In 10 years I will be, like, almost 30! Sorry, but I can't imagine being that OLD. I guess I will probably be seeing a very good dietician (cos my Mum says I can't keep eating crap 'cos one day my metabolism will catch up with me and then my life will be Muffin-top Misery) and a good beautician. And a good plastic surgeon. Only jokes. I don't want to end up with a permanently surprised look. I like glaring at people for one thing. But um to be, like, serious, I would like to free, independent and a strong working woman, maybe working with other people who have made a massive mistake in their lives, but want to overcome that and just be good person. Actually, it wouldn't be too bad if I ended up like my Mum (but no one ever heard me say that).

6. What is your favourite song on your ipod at the moment?
For some reason I keep listening to this song by The Manic Street Preachers called The Soulmates. My friend Neil put it on there for me last year. Which used to really annoy me, cos he would put random stuff that was "alternative" (yeah, like a crap alternative to decent mainstream popular music). But now I appreciate what he did for me. I keep listening to the lyrics "the graffiti/you left one me/means every part/is still bleeding" and it makes me feel a funny emotion I don't think I've ever felt before... I think it's called... sadness?

7. If you could give advice to your younger self what would it have been?
I would say to Young Eliza: appreciate your parents, cos they might not always be there. Appreciate your friends cos one day they might be gone. And appreciate what you have today, cos these will be the best days of your life.

Thanks Nic for asking me these questions. When I become rich and famous one day I'll remember you.
xoxo Eliza

Thank you Eliza for stopping by!   As you can see Eliza is very amusing and not your typical teenage heroine. You can check out my review for Fury here.

Thanks to the awesome Shirley Marr I have a SIGNED copy of Fury to giveaway (I am sending virtual hugs to Shirley for this). Fury is an Aussie title and is not available internationally so I am extra excited to announce this contest is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY!!!!!

How to enter:
* Simply leave a comment in the section below with your name and email address.
* You must be a follower to enter.
* If you are participating in the Aussie YA Reading Challenge 2011 you get 5 extra entries. Make sure to note this also in the comment section.
* Contest ends 1st March 2011 (midnight Australian EST) and winner will be selected by as in accordance with my giveaway policy.

Good luck to everyone!

In My Mail Box #16

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.


XVI by Julia Karr - YA dystopia fiction and 2011 debut author.  This book has such a thought provoking and interesting premise.  Can't wait to get started.
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand - YA fiction about angels.  I read this a while back thanks to Netgalley and finally picked up my own copy.  Definitely a favourite read of mine.  You can check out my review here.
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - Can you believe I have never read this well known YA contemp fiction title!  I have heard so many good things about this and thought it about time I give it a try.
Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning - (ebook not pictured) Adult paranormal.  The final book in the series.  I have already read it and my review for this series will be up soon.


Hearts of Blood by Carolyn McCray - Adult paranormal romance.  Won this ebook thanks to the lovely Misha at My Love Affair With Books.


* Tomorrow I have an awesome international giveaway so make sure to stop by for that. 
* Also Missie at The Unread Reader has an amazing 'Mega Hot Giveaway' as celebration for her one year blogging and book boyfriend week.

What did you get in your mail box? 
Leave a link for your mail box and I will make sure to stop by. 

Stay by Deb Caletti

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stay by Deb Caletti
Publication date: 5th April, 2011 by Simon Pulse
Source: Thank you to Simon Pulse (S&S Galley Grab) for providing me with a copy.

Goodreads Description: Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is—and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.  Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough.......

My Review: 

This is my first Deb Caletti book and won't be my last because I LOVED it.  Stay is masterfully written and so powerfully honest, it is just an absolutely brilliant read.

Stay is the story of Clara, a normal teenage girl.  It is just her and her Dad as Clara's Mum pasted away when she was younger.   Clara meets Christian and quickly falls in love.  At first he appears to be the perfect boyfriend - sweet, caring, gorgeous and treats her so well.  But Christian becomes controlling and obsessive.  It is told in two different perspectives, before and after and alternates each chapter. Before is Clara's and Christian's relationship and After is Clara's and her Dad's escape for the summer to Bishop Rock.

This book could be a true story, as Caletti really captures how it feels to be in a controlling and obsessive relationship.  Like how you are always anticipating their reaction, how they put you down, how you do anything to avoid a fight and the lies you tell.   I wish I could go back in time and hand this book to my teenage self, it was the kind of book I needed and one I think all teenage girls should read.  

The writing in Stay is beautiful and full of raw emotion.  I badly wanted to put a favourite quote up but since it is an ARC I am not allowed.  But I noted over 30 quotes!  I kept highlight paragraph after paragraph.  Something about Caletti's writing really connected with me.  I think it is the honesty and all the heart in the story.

The characters are exceptional.  Clara, her Dad, Finn, and Sylvie, I loved them all.  So well fleshed out and so fully alive especially Clara.  You can completely see why she fell for Christian and understand her decisions as the relationship went on.  I have to say I would have probably made the same choices she did.  Clara is definitely one of the most realistic characters I have read in a while.

I also enjoyed the relationship Clara had with her Dad.  He was a loving father but he still had his flaws.  And again it nice to see a parent being present consistently throughout the story.   Their is also some very swoon worthy moments provided by Finn.  He was such a good guy, confident, happy and caring.  Having Finn in the story you could easily see Christian flaws and the difference between a healthy and a unhealthy relationship.

Overall, this book is amazing.  I highly recommend Stay to all fans of contemporary fiction.  Definitely a favourite read for 2011.

Overall rating: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Cover: 5/5

For more info:  Visit Deb Caletti's website.

My Book Boyfriend #5

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Book Boyfriend is hosted by the awesome blogger Missie at The Unread Reader.   What is My Book Boyfriend you might ask.  Well it is a weekly meme where we talk about a literary crush including stats, a picture of what you imagine he looks like and some quotes from him that make you swoon.  If you are interested in participating please check out Missie blog The Unread Reader.

Ren from Nightshade

Sexy, strong, charming, protective dangerous alpha male with a wicked smile. 
Need I say more?  I really can't resist those delicious bad boy types.  ______________________________________________________________________

Favourite Quotes:

When he whispered, his warm breath brushed over my lips. “Just let me kiss you, Calla. You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to. No one has to know.”
My lips parted as I drew a sudden, startled breath and in that instant his mouth was on mine, soft as velvet. I closed my eyes against the rush of a hundred wings that suddenly beat in my chest and soared through my body.
His scent was all around me. Leather, sandalwood, bonfires in autumn. He pulled back, but only for the sake of moving his lips to trail over my neck.

His sharpened canines traced my skin, scratching but not breaking the surface. My body quaked and I pivoted in his arms, pushing against his chest, making space between us.
“I’m a fighter, not a lover,” I gasped.
“You can’t be both?” His smile made my knees buckle.

This is where you belong, Calla.” He pulled me closer, tilting my chin up. “Be with me. Tell me it’s what you want.”
I couldn’t tear my eyes from his. “What I want?”
“Yes. Anything, everything you need, I’ll give you. Always. I promise. Just tell me one thing.”
“That you want this, us.” His voice dropped so low I could barely hear him. “That someday you’ll love me.”
My hands began to tremble where they rested around his neck. “Ren, you know we’re going to be together. We’ve both known that for a long time.”
He gave me a hard look. “That’s not what I’m talking about.”
“Why are you asking me this?” I tried to pull back, but he held me against him.
The glimmer of a smile appeared on his lips. “Why not?”
My temper flared. “Are you trying to say that you love me?”
I meant it as a challenge rather than a serious question, but his eyes seemed to catch fire.
“What do you think?” He touched his lips to mine, softly at first, gradually building pressure, parting them."

What do you think of Ren?  Who are you crushing on?
And don't forget to stop by Missie blog, The Unread Reader

Talk to Me Tuesday #5

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by one of my favourite blog I Swim For Oceans where we will discuss anything (and everything) literary-related in an open forum of honesty.  If you are interesting in participating make sure to go I Swim For Oceans and link your post.

This week's discussion is:

Who are your all-time favourite male & female characters and why?

My favourite male character will be no surprise to those of you who regularly stop by my blog.  Of course it is Thomas Mackee from The Piper's Son and  Saving Francesca.

First off he is flawed and believable.  No super powers, he is just a normal guy, someone you could easily know.   He loves his family and friends even if his relationships with both have been rocky.   He is a character that has grown and change for the better in each book and has made me laugh and cry .  What I love the most is the complete HONESTY of Thomas Mackee's character.

Some other notable mentions are: Etienne St Clair from Anna and The French Kiss and Peeta from The Hunger Games.

Picking my favourite female character was a little tougher.  But after careful consideration it has to Katniss from The Hunger Games

So many reason why I love her - strong, loyal, smart, determined, fierce and so much heart.  She doesn't need anyone to save her, she is the kind of girl who saves herself and everyone else while she is at it.  And most of all Katniss is an INSPIRING character.  She makes you want to be a better person.

Some other notable mentions are: Carly from Raw Blue and DJ from The Dairy Queen.

I would love to hear who your favourite male and female characters are?  And don't forget to stop by Melissa blog, I Swim For Oceans.

Angel by L.A. Weatherly

Monday, February 14, 2011

Angel by L.A.Weatherly
Published: October, 2010
(See bottom of review for US release date details)

Goodreads Description: In a world where angels are beyond redemption, Alex thinks he's found one that might deserve mercy. Alex is a ruthless assassin - of angels. Forget everything you've heard about them before. Angels are not benign celestial creatures, but fierce stalkers whose irresistible force allows them to feed off humans, draining them of their vitality until there is barely anything left. As far as Alex is concerned, the only good angel is a dead angel...until he meets Willow. She may look like a normal teenager but Willow is no ordinary girl. Half-angel, half-human, Willow may hold the key to defeating the evil angels. But as the hunter and the hunted embark on an epic and dangerous journey and Willow learns the dark and terrifying secrets of her past, Alex finds himself drawn to Willow...with devastating consequences.

My Review:

Favourite Quote:  "It' worth it you know," said Alex, smiling into my eyes.  "What is?" I said.  His thumb moved slowly over my cheek.  "All of this.  Having you.  It's worth - anything."

I have found another awesome angel book.  Last year it seemed I was having the worst run with angel themed books.  They were all a little too similar and I was thinking maybe they weren't for me.  But Angel is nothing like any other angel book I have read before.  Not only does it have a unique concept but has great blend of heart pumping action, surprising twists and turns and a captivating romance.

First off the mythology is really something that makes this book standout from the rest.  Angels feed off humans causing them death, insanity and disease and it is called angel burn.  And most people can't see it as they are too blinded by the angel's beauty.   The mythology though is easy to understand and comes together well as the story is explained and is quite interesting.

Angel alternates from both Willow's and Alex's points of views and smoothly changes from one to the other. Also every now and then you get a point of view from two of the secondary characters that play an important part in the story. The pace is mostly quick and engaging.  There are couple of slow points in the book but it is 500 pages long and overall held my interest the whole way through.

The characterization was good.  Willow is a little different from the average girl with her psychic abilities and love of cars.  She is instantly likeable.   Alex is the dark, sexy, mysterious type and completely crush worthy.   Their romance builds slowly at first but then turns into that epic type of love.  Very mushy but in a good way.

Overall, this was fantastic start to this trilogy and I can't wait for more!

Overall rating: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Cover: 4/5

For more info: Visit the Angel website

For more reviews: Daisy Chain Book Reviews

NOTE:  This books is a UK title and has not been released in the US yet.  It's release date is 24th May, 2011 by Candlewick Press and with the title Angel Burn and the gorgeous cover below.

My favourite love stories

In honour of Valentine's Day and also because I am a romantic sap, I thought I would post my top 5 favourite love stories.

Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - I loved how Anna and St Clair's relationship developed from friendship to something else.  They had some sizzling chemistry even when they would accidentially touch knees there was sparks flying.

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley - Lucy's & Ed's romance will make you reminisce your teen days.  So much fun yet so much heart. 

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - This is another one of those slowing building relationships filled with sweet yet real moments.

Thrill Ride by Rachel Hawthorne -  This book is the perfect escape for a few hours.  A quick, funny, sweet read with absolutely swoon worthy crush.

Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams -  The romance in this book is kind of like an adventure as Beatle's and Destiny's romance never went smoothly but was always entertaining.

I would love to know your picks for best love story.  So leave a comment of any great books that you would recommend.

In My Mailbox #15

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

A quite week for me since I am trying to stick to a book budget.


Luxe by Anna Godbersen -  This series has been out for a while and is YA historical fiction.  I have a copy already so I plan on doing a giveaway with my review soon.   Thanks to Penguin Australia for providing me with a copy. 

Swag from The Class of 2k11 - Bookmarks and stickers to send out to readers. 

What did you get this week in your mail box? 

Interview with Cath Crowley

Friday, February 11, 2011

I am so happy to have one of my all time favourite authors Cath Crowley stopping by for an interview.  Seriously I am jumping up and down with excitement.  Cath Crowley is an Aussie author of A Little Wanting Song (known in Australia also as Chasing Charlie Duskin), Graffiti Moon and the Gracie Faltrain series.

Why YA?
I like writing about firsts – first dates, first loves, first longings. In Graffiti Moon Lucy says that she feels like bare skin shining in darkness. I remember feeling like that when I was a teenager, as though great and terrible things could happen at any moment.

What is your typical writing day/night like?
It varies. Once I have my plot mapped out and I know my characters I write from about five in the morning until about two in the afternoon. I don’t have a set routine when I’m still working on the idea. I might go for a walk or see a film. I’m still working but it’s mostly not in front of the computer.

What were your inspirations for Graffiti Moon?
Ed and Lucy, the main characters, connect through art. So their conversations are inspired by the artists that I love - Mark Rothko, Sam Leach, Rosemary Laing, Jeffrey Smart, Pablo Picasso, Johannes Vermeer, Michael Zavros, Rosalie Gascoigne, Bethany Wheeler, Ghostpatrol and Miso. I wanted to write about people who speak through images as well as words.

The characters are all fictional, but they were inspired a little from people I met. A girl with long plaits told me she was psychic. A tattooed guy read me a line of his poetry. A glass artist told me stories about taking lessons when she was in Year 12. Ed reminds me of teenagers that I’ve taught over the years. He’s smart but he doesn’t realise it because he learns in a different way to most of the kids he knows.

A Little Wanting Song and Graffiti Moon are both written in dual narrations. Was that the original plan or did you ever consider tell either story a different way? And were any of the characters easier to write than others?

I had always planned to write both books as dual narratives.
I love writing characters that bounce off one another.

In the first draft of Graffiti Moon Lucy was an angry character and Ed was quite playful. It wasn’t working, though, so I switched their characters. One I did that they were easy to write. The second draft rolled out pretty quickly.

Charlie Duskin was a hard character to write. My editor at Pan Macmillan, Brianne Tunnicliffe, helped me a lot.
Charlie changed again when I rewrote her for the US version. Allison Wortche edited that version and her help was invaluable. I like that Charlie became more upbeat with every draft. I was lucky to have two brilliant editors.

Music is a big part of the story in a Little Wanting Song.  If it had a soundtrack name one song that would be on it?
Galaxies by Laura Veirs.
And maybe A Little Bit of Sunshine by Reamon

What was your journey to publication like?
I studied Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT in 2001, when I was about twenty-nine. I loved the subjects Literary Non-fiction and Writing for Young Adults. Some of the articles and short stories that I wrote in class were published in newspapers and magazines.

While I was writing those smaller pieces I finished my novel and in 2003, Pan Macmillan published The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain. I’ve been published with them since then.

After I was published I had to work hard to get better – I’m still working hard at this. And it took me a while to find my style. I think I’m getting close to that in Graffiti Moon. That book has sold overseas, as has A Little Wanting Song (Chasing Charlie Duskin), which is great.

What are some of your favourite Aussie YA titles?
Notes from the Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell
Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood
On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Five Parts Dead by Tim Pegler
When Dogs Cry by Markus Zusak
Little Paradise by Gabrielle Wang

Are you working on another book?  Can you tell us anything about it?
I’m working on a book called The Howling Boy. It’s a dual narrative, told from the perspectives of Audrey and Crow. It’s a mystery and a love story. I’m preoccupied with the same themes – teenagers on the fringe and how they find a way to fit in.

A BIG thank you to Cath Crowley for stopping by my blog and answering my questions.  I am so thrilled that she is writing another dual narrative book.  I will be eagerly awaiting The Howling Boy's release.    

Don't forget to check out my reviews for Graffiti Moon and A Little Wanting Song.  I absolutely LOVE both of those books.  You can also visit Cath Crowley's blog here.

Slice by Steven Herrick

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Slice: Juicy Moments From My Impossible Life
by Steven Herrick
Release date: June, 2010

Goodreads Description:
A funny, refreshing look at the most awkward time in any young boy's life—from school, girls, and parties to parents, friends, and the dreaded "sex talk"

Darcy Walker is a normal 16-year-old boy—but he can handle that. He can even cope with parents, deal with parties, and soldier through the occasional fight. He's certainly got his infatuation with the beautiful Audrey under control, is clearly the best at spending quality chess-time with his nerdy best friend, Noah, and doesn't blink an eye at the misadventures that can occur when kayaking on a school excursion. He's a teenage boy—he can handle anything. That is, if only he'd learn to keep his mouth closed first.

My Review:

My favourite quote: "I'm sixteeen years old and my mouth runs ahead of my brain.  Our friend Pete would describe it as - ahem  - premature enunciation.  Mum say I talk without thinking.  She's wrong.  I mean what I say, I just shouldn'st say it aloud."

Slice was a deliciously fun read.  I love books that make you laugh and leave you feeling good and that sums up Slice perfectly.

Slice is the story of 16 year old boy Darcy, who's mouth is constantly getting him into trouble.  He is quirky, lovable and HILARIOUS.  Herrick really did an amazing job of writing the character Darcy and he offers a brilliant and honest insight into the world of a teenage boy.  It was interesting to see what guys really think.

There is also plenty of impressive and slightly off beat secondary characters like Audrey, Noah and  Darcy's parents.  It was awesome to read a book where parents were a positive and entertaining part of the story.

The writing was simple yet clever.  Unlike the previous books of Herrick's that I have read this one wasn't written in verse.  It was actually his first YA prose novel.  Personally, I prefer his verse books because they get across more emotion.  Don't get me wrong this book was still warm and touching just not as powerful.  However, the slight lack of emotion is made up for by the dialogue that is full of humor.  I loved the conversations that Darcy had in this book with various characters but especially Audrey.

'You say like to say the first thing that comes into your head, don't you, Darcy?'
'Not if I can help it.'
Audrey looks reproachfully at me.
I nod, 'Yeah, I can't help myself.'
'Have you ever played "word association"?  You'd be an expert.'
'Is that where someone says a word and I say "sex" back?'

The romance between Darcy and Audrey is tender, amusing and realistic.  Herrick captures how awkward yet sweet young love can be.

Overall, if you are looking for a smart and funny coming of age story this might be for you.

Overall rating: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Romance: 4/5
Cover: 5/5

Recommend for fans of : Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood, Beatle Meets Destiny by Gabrielle Williams.

For more info: Steven Herrick's website.

Note:  This is an Australian title.  Slice is not available internationally yet on The Book Depository (it says out of stock).  Herrick does however sell his books signed directly on his website.

My Book Boyfriend #4

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My Book Boyfriend is hosted by the awesome blogger Missie at The Unread Reader.   What is My Book Boyfriend you might ask.  Well it is a weekly meme where we talk about a literary crush including stats, a picture of what you imagine he looks like and some quotes from him that make you swoon.  If you are interested in participating please check out Missie blog The Unread Reader.

Shane Collins from Morganville Vampires

Shane is funny, protective, snarky in a loveable way, loyal, gorgeous and one of those guys who doesn't realise how awesome he is.  He can be really sweet but he likes to hide that side.  Plus Shane can also cook a mean chilli!

Some of my favourite quotes:

"God, I needed you," he murmured. "I can't even tell you how many times I thought about this. The funny thing is, I don't need you any less now. I think I need you more."
Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine

"Did you see my ninja move?
That was fast, right?"
"You are not a ninja, Shane."
"I've watched all the movies. 
I just haven't gotten the certificate from the correspondence course yet."
Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

He leaned back, eyes half shut, and he was smiling. Shane didn't smile all that much, and it always left her breathless and tingling. There was a secrecy about it like he only ever smiled at her, and it just felt... perfect."Claire, you're being careful right?" He smoothed hair back from her face. "Seriously. You'd tell me if you got into trouble?"
No trouble," She lied, thinking about Monica's not-so veiled threats, and that glimpse of Shane's dad seated across from Oliver in the coffee shop."No trouble at all"
Good" He kissed her again, then moved down her jawline to her neck , and, wow neck nibbles took her breath away. She closed her eyes and buried her fingers in his warm hair, trying to tell him through every touch how much she liked this, like him, loved...
Her eyes came open, fast.
She did not just think about that.
And then, maddeningly, he let go and leaned back, lips damp. He licked them, watching her, and then gave her that slow crazy, sexy smile again.
Go to bed" he said " Before I decide to come with."

The Dead Girls Dance by Rachel Caine

Anyone else crushing on Shane?  Who is your book boyfriend?

Thanks again to Missie for hosting this meme!

Talk to Me Tuesday #4

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by one of my favourite blog I Swim For Oceans where we will discuss anything (and everything) literary-related in an open forum of honesty.  If you are interesting in participating make sure to go I Swim For Oceans and link your post.
This weeks discussion is:

What makes a great novel for you?

So many things make a great novel for me.  Here is my list:

  • Realistic characters that you get emotional invested in.    
  • Unique, interesting and gripping plot.  A book that keeps me up all night wondering what is going to happen next.
  • Writing that is effortless to read.  It should just flow so you feel like you are there with the characters rather than being told a story.
  • Most importantly a book that when I finished I can't stop thinking about. I love books that get me thinking about the message in the story.  That get me wondering what I would have done in the main characters position.   Would I have chosen the same path.  Book that when you are finished you just want to talk to everyone about. 
 Some novels that I adore:

What makes a great novel for you?

Thanks again to Melissa for hosting this meme.
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