Show Me The Free Reading Challenge

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Now that I have a kindle I am signing up for the SHOW ME THE FREE READING CHALLENGE hosted by one of my favourite bloggers Missie at The Unread Reader.

Here is some details about the challenge as per Missie's blog The Unread Reader:
  • Should you choose to participate in this challenge, your goal is to read at least twelve (12) legally obtained e-books which you got for FREE for your e-reading device. While twelve is the minimum there is no maximum limit.
  • Anyone can join. You don't have to be a blogger, and you don't have to live in the United States. 
  • Any E-Reader will work for this challenge, including: iPad, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, enTourage. 
  • Please Note: If you don't have an e-reading device, you can still join in with Amazon's Free Kindle Reading Apps which you can download for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, Blackberry and more.
  • The challenge runs from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011. You can join at anytime.
  • e-books in ANY genre count for this challenge as long as it was FREE at the time that you downloaded it.
  • Every month in 2011, I will make a post for the Show Me The Free Reading Challenge so you can link your reviews. 
  • Those that link their reviews will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a different prize each month, such as an Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card, a bookmark, or a GelaSkins for your E-Reader. Winners will be announced at the end of each month.
Here are some of the free books I have already downloaded that I look forward to reading for the challenge:

Hopefully I will be able to reach the goal of 12 with only 6 months remaining.

If you want to sign up for the challenge go to The Unread Reader.

Book Review: Enticed by Jessica Shirvington

Monday, May 30, 2011

Enticed (Book 2: The Violet Eden Chapters) by Jessica Shirvington
Release date: 10th April, 2011 
Source: Thanks to Hachette Australia


Violet Eden is Grigori - part angel, part human. Her destiny is to protect humans from the vengeance of exiled angels.
Knowing who to trust is key but, when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something. Even Lincoln. The only thing Violet does know: Phoenix's hold over her is more dangerous than ever.
The race to find the one thing that could tilt the balance of power brings them all to the sacred mountains of Jordan, where Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme. And the ultimate betrayal exposed.

My Review:

Favourite Quote:  "I don't when I feel asleep, only that his arms stayed wrapped around me the entire time.  For the first time I could remember, when I dreamed the sun shone brightly and the world was as it should be.  A dream.
  In the end, though, we all wake up.....Don't we?"

Before reading Enticed I was a little bit nervous as I had mixed feelings about Embraced the first book in the series.  But I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this installment. 

Again I liked Shirvington prose.  Simple yet elegant.  The plot this time had less romantic drama.  In Embrace I felt like it overwhelmed the rest of the storyline.  This time there was a nice balance of romance and action and adventure.  Enticed is also full of plenty of unexpected twists and turns making for an edge of your seat read.

Violet felt like a more believable character.  In Embrace I couldn't see her as a 17 year old girl (I felt like she was 25) but this time she seemed her age and a more down to earth character.  Violet is also stronger and smarter.   And I am really liking the character she is becoming.

Shirvington knows how to write romance.  Violet and Lincoln have some sizzling chemistry.  Sparks were flying, especially in those delicious kissing scenes.   And it felt like more than just physical attraction but rather a deeper connection.  

The only problem that I still have is the relationship between Violet and her Dad.  I find it hard to believe.  I hope in the final instalment he has a stronger presence in the story line.  As well as resolving some of the issues they have with their relationship. 

Overall, Shirvington delivers a page turning novel that is full of passion, romance, action and suspense.  I am very curious to see how it is all going to end in the final installment Emblaze.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Writing: 4/5
Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 3/5
Romance: 4/5
Cover: 3.5/5 - I love how the cover matches with the first one and the gorgeous earth tone colours.

For more info:  Visit The Violet Eden Chapters website.

For more reviews:  ALPHA Reader

In My Mailbox #26

Sunday, May 29, 2011

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

Saving June by Hannah Harrington - YA contemp and debut author of 2011.  It has an early release date in Australia (not out in the rest of the world until November) so I was super excited to see this in store.  It is one of my most anticipated reads of 2011.

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski - YA contemp.  Looks like a fun and swoon worthy story.  Thanks to Crystal.

Past Perfect by Leila Sales (ebook) - YA contemp.  Already read this and it was fantastic.  Review will be posted soon.  Thanks to Simon & Schuster.
Across Eternity by Aris Whittier (ebook) - YA contemp.  This an upper YA love story.  Thanks to Aris Whittier.

What did you get in your mailbox?

Book Review: We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Friday, May 27, 2011

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
Published: 26th April, 2011
Source: Bought

It's been two years since Conrad told Belly to go with Jeremiah. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly had hoped it would be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to question what she thought was true love. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who has her heart forever.

My Review: (May contain spoilers)

Favourite Quote: "It’s a known fact that in life, you can’t have everything. In my heart I knew I loved them both, as much as possible to love two people at the same time. Conrad and I were linked, we would always be linked. That wasn’t something I could do away with. I knew that now—that love wasn’t something you could erase, no matter how hard you tried."

I was extremely excited to read the final installment in the Summer series (so excited that I hugged the book and did my little happy dance when I got it).  And after finishing it I am left feeling a bit disappointed.  It just felt it lacked the something special the last two books had.

I am having a hard time summing up why this book has left me feeling a little down (and also trying to write it spoiler free) so I decided to do a pros and cons list.

  • Belly - I adore the character she has become.  Finally I feel like Belly has grown up.  She is wiser and stronger.
  • Despite not always been happy with what was going on with the plot it still kept me turning the pages.  It was impossible to stop reading no matter how mad I got.
  • Getting Conrad's POV finally. At last I understand him.  If I didn't have his POV I don't think I would be able to forgive him so easily for the past.  Conrad has changed for the better like Belly.  Although I would have like a bit more of him in the book.  
  • The ending - It is the ending I wanted.  The journey there might have not gone the way I liked but the ending left me very happy.  I would have liked a little more detail though (like a big smooching scene) but still ended the way it should have.
  • Lack of swooning.  This book felt like it was missing some chemistry between the characters.  
  • Some of the events in the plot felt unnatural.  Not like actions these characters would really make.
  • They way Han portrayed one of my favourite characters.  It felt like she was forcing us not to like this certain character and not letting us make our own opinion .  
  • Last time the love triangle was just right.  This time it felt way off.  Love triangles need to be equal in my opinion to work and this time it wasn't.  You should feel heartbroken having to choose between the two and Han didn't give one of them a chance.
Overall, We'll Always Have Summer is still a somewhat good read but it feels out of place in what has been such an enjoyable series.

Overall Rating: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Plot: 2/5
Characters: 3/5
Romance: 2.5/5
Cover: 4/5

For more info: Visit Jenny Han's website.

For more reviews:  The Reading Housewives of Indiana

Aussie YA May Releases

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I know I am super late with this month's Aussie releases due to my holiday.  But here they finally are:

I don't know how to classify this book, so check out the link.
Released in Australia on 1st May 2011.  No international date.
A little bit of mystery, romance and humour.
Australia 1st May, 2011.  Ebook available internationally.

Historical fiction.
Australia 2nd May, 2011 - International no date.
Suspenseful contemp.
Australia 1st May, 2011 - E-book available Internationally

Contemporary fiction.
Australia 1st May, 2011 - International no date 
Paranormal - angels (Book #2)
Australia 6th May, 2011 - International 9th June from TBD (also ebook from same date)

Most of these titles are available to be posted internationally from

Also would you like to see any of these titles on the GO AUSSIE BOOK TOUR?

My Book Boyfriend #17

Wednesday, May 25, 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.

Book Boyfriend (aka shirtless men meme) is back.  Sorry I didn't have any posts while I have been away, I know how much you ladies like to drool.  I promise I will make it up to you.    Keep your eye out for a double book boyfriend which will be coming soon. 

This week however we the very swoon worthy Vincent from Die For Me 

He was breathtaking, with longish black hair waving up and back from a broad forehead.  His olive skin made me guess that he either spent a lot of time outside or came from somewhere more southern and sunbaked than Paris.  And the eyes that stared back into my own were as blue as the sea, lined with thick black lashes. 

(Model Mike Sharits)

Vincent is gorgeous, mysterious, sweet yet sexy and has a french accent.  What else could a girl want!

  I looked up over my shoulder and registered his sincere expression.  He turned me slowly to face him.  He gazed at me for a full minute with his big dark eyes, as if trying to memorize every inch of my face.
  Then he raised his hand to brush a lock of my hair back from my face, tucking it gently behind my ear as he lifted my lips to his.
  Our skin barely touched.  He was hesitant, as if he knew what he wanted but was afraid of scaring me away.  Our lips brushed, and I felt like a chord had been struck inside me, and my body was humming with a pure musical note....

Vincent was wearing baggy black karate pants but was bare foot and shirtless.  When he spun with the sword, his rock-hard abdominal muscles and broad chest rippled as he raised and lowered his weapon.  He was chiseled but not pumped up like Ambrose.  His body was perfect.

He leaned his head down to the side of my neck and held his mouth an inch away from ear, exhaling warm breath onto my skin.  I felt goose bumps rise all over my body as he slowly leaned forward and pressed his lips to the side of my neck.    I shuddered, and sighed instinctively as he began working his way with soft kisses downward, then move slowly forward to my throat.  When he got to the place between my collarbones, he paused and said. "Or maybe here...."........ 

(With a shirt or without shirt he looks good!  Although I prefer shirtless)

What do you think of Vincent?  Have you read Die For Me?

Thanks again to Missie for hosting this meme!

Book Review: It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Not Summer Without You (Summer #2) by Jenny Han
Publication date: 27th April, 2010
Source: Trade

Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?
It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.
But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started--at Cousins Beach.

My Review:

Favourite Quote: "I stared at him. Did he really say that? Did he remember? The way he looked back at me, one eyebrow raised, I knew he did. And this time, I was the one to look away.
Because I remembered. I remembered everything."

Don't you love it when the second book in a series is way better than the first?  That is the case with It's Not Summer Without You.  I enjoyed The Summer I Turned Pretty but sometimes founds the characters are little annoying.  But in this installment of the series the characters have grown and the story seems a little deeper and more meaningful.

I love Han's writing.  She really captures the emotions of being a teen and in love.  I am sure we all remember how painful and confusing it is.  And Han writes it perfectly so that it causes your heart to ache.

Belly's character is showing some maturity in this book. If you have read the first book you will know she was a little bit selfish.   Sure she still makes mistakes but in this installment she starts to get a little wiser.

"That's when I finally got it. I finally understood. It wasn't the thought that counted. It was the actual execution that mattered, the showing up for somebody. The intent behind it wasn't enough. Not for me. Not anymore. It wasn't enough to know that deep down, he loved me. You had to actually say it to somebody, show them you cared. And he just didn't. Not enough."

Love triangles for me are either sooooooo bad or sooooo good.  And surprisingly, considering it is two brothers (how more complicated could it get), it is good.  Probably because I really love them both even though they are complete opposites.  

Conrad is moody and sometimes selfish and is definitely unpredictable when it comes to his interactions with Belly.  I love how in this book his character is very slowly unravelling and we are getting a glimmer of who he really is behind all that angst.  And there is something about a flawed soul that I can't resist.

Jeremiah made me swoon.  I mean how could anybody not adore this guy especially since in this book we got snippets of his POV allowing us to get know him on a deeper level.  Seriously, he is the biggest sweetheart and the underdog when it comes to Belly's affection.

Overall, I loved It's Not Summer Without You.   I got completely emotionally invested in it and now am super excited to read the final installment (even though I know it will probably break my heart). 

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

Shout Out: I would like to say a big thank you to Nomes for reading this with me.  It was an awesome experience.  We read it over one night and check in every hour or so to discuss.  We had so much fun dissecting the book and ended up typing over 3700 words through conversation on google docs about it.  Okay so most of it was Jeremiah is making me swoon and Conrad is moosy....I mean moody (still laughing about your typos Nomes).

In My Mailbox #25

Sunday, May 22, 2011

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

Well this week I have lots of books since it has been 3 weeks.  Also yesterday I attended a library books sale.  So I picked up a bunch of bargains from there.

Divergent by Veronica Roth - YA dystopia 2011 debut.  Thanks to Brodie @ Eleusinian Mysteries and Harpers Collins.
The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan - YA thriller.  Thanks to Jacinda & Jasmine @ The Reading Housewives of Indiana.

Die For Me by Amy Plum - YA paranormal 2011 debut.  I have already read this but my copy has arrived.  Favourite read of mine.  You can check out my review here.
We Always Have Summer by Jenny Han - YA contemp and third book in the series.  Loved the other two (book #2 review will be posted tomorrow) and am excited to read the final book.
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John - (KINDLE) YA contemp.  Read this while I was away and it is a standout read.
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong - (KINDLE) YA supernatural.  Love Armstrong's books so looking forward to trying this new series. 

Magic Hands by Jennifer Laurens - YA contemp.  Looks like a lot of fun.
The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti - YA contemp.  I am huge fan of Caletti even though her books are hit and miss

I got a bunch of books mostly older Aussie titles including Wilful Blue by Sonya Harnett which I have been searching for.  Also Dreamland by Sarah Dessen.  All for $4.50.  I won't list them all but rather just show you a picture.

What did you get in your mailbox?

300 Followers Giveaway!!!!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

WOW I have reached 300 followers!  I still can't believe it.  It seems like only a short time ago I started my blog.  I really appreciate all your comments over the past few months.  They always make me smile.

To celebrate I am giving away ONE of the following titles. 

These are all upcoming titles that I am drooling over!

Rules of entry:

To enter please leave a comment with your name and email address.

Open internationally (wherever The Book Depository ships)

Must be a follower to enter

Open until 2nd June, 2011 (midnight AUS time) and winner will be selected by as in accordance with my giveaway policy.

Good luck to everyone!

I'm back!!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm back from Thailand.  I had such a fun holiday filled with lots of relaxing, swimming at some gorgeous beaches, jet skiing, riding around the island on  mopeds, eating delicious food, boat trips, snorkelling, exploring the crazy night life and the highlight of the trip my friend's beautiful wedding.

But I am glad to be home now.  I didn't get a chance to do much reading on my holiday so I am looking forward to getting stuck into the big pile of books waiting for me.  I also excited to check out what has been happening on my favourite blogs.

One of the gorgeous beaches I spent a couple of days at!

A view from the lookout at Phuket                               Maya Bay

Cocktails with friends                 Some of the delicious food

My friend's wedding

Stay tuned tomorrow for my 300 FOLLOWERS GIVEAWAY!

Time for Thailand

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm off to Thailand in a few hours!  Super excited to be visiting the beautiful beaches of Thailand again.  This time I am going for a friend's wedding.  I will be gone for two weeks. 

I am not organised so I have no scheduled blog posts as things have been crazy busy lately.   I will miss visiting all your blogs while I am gone.   So feel free to leave a comment telling me what awesome books reviews I have missed so I can check them out when I get back.

I promise to post some pics of my holidays when I return plus a 300 followers giveaway. 


My Book Boyfriend #16

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.

Cam from Sea Swept
Sea Swept by Nora Roberts is one of my guilty pleasure reads, just pure romance.  I read this book (and the whole series) years ago and feel in love with the Quinn brothers.  Cam is a race car driver turned boat builder and a bad boy who can play the guitar a little.    He is described as "long and lean sort - ripped", "Some native American blood, perhaps, bones and bronzed skin.  Hair truly black...."  "Eyes the colour of bitter storm"  - in another word delicious!

He didn't speak, didn't dare, when her hands slid limply from his back to the bed.  He felt as if he'd tumbled off a cliff and fallen hard on his heart.  Now his heart was swollen, exposed.  And it was hers.

He brought his mouth back to hers, hungrier now, more possessive.  This time her sigh caught on a trembling gasp as he jerked her jacket off her shoulders and trapped her arms.  "I'm wanting the hell out of you.  Day and night."

"I've been real careful never to tell a woman I loved her - except my mother.  I didn't tell her often enough.  Take a chance on me, Anna, and I'll tell you as often as you can stand hearing it."

Thanks again to Missie for hosting this shirtless feature! 

The winner is......

It's time to announce the winner of a copy of FRIENDSHIP ON FIRE by Danielle Weiler.

~Drum Roll~ The winner is............... Missie @ The Unread Reader.

Congratulations!  Thanks to everyone who entered.

Winner was generated by

Mini Review Special #3

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Desires of The Dead by Kimberly Derting - The second book in the Body Finder series.  Again another great read from Derting, although I didn't quite love it as much as the first book.  It took me a bit longer to get into it but once I did I was hooked.  The plot is intriguing and I love the way that Derting is setting up this series adding in some new elements.  It certainly has got me excited for the next book.  Jay and Violet were gorgeous as usual.  I LOVE their romance.  Sweet yet full of passion and heart.  Definitely worth a read.    Rating: 4/5 

Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready - The sequel to Shade.  It was just an okay read for me.  The concept is unique and I love the paranormal element of the storyline.  The writing was fast paced and full of suspense.   However this time I felt that there was too much relationship drama and it annoyed me to the point I thought about giving it up.  Just when you thought things would settle down with Aura and her love life and new problem would appear.  Rating: 2.5/5   

Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach - I really wanted to like this.   I had heard so many great reviews but I was bored.  I felt like I was studying a history book.  It may have just been due to the fact that historical genre is not my thing (but then again I have just read two historical books this week and loved them).  I think the concept was good but it just needed to have writing that flowed effortless.  Rating: 2/5

The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoyA good coming of age story about three sisters.  Has well written characters that were easy to relate too.  The plot was a little slow at time and it seemed to drag but I liked the way all three sisters stories came together.  Also I was expected a cute read and it was surprisingly more realistic than I thought.  Rating: 3/5
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