Waterfall Wednesday - Week 1

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waterfall Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Tina's Book Review, Edgy Inspirational Romance, Supernatural Snark, The Unread Reader and me.  For the period August 31st to September 28th each week we re-read chapters from Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren and answer five questions.  To join in on this awesome event visit Tina's Books Reviews

1. Waterfall opens with the introduction of Gabi, she's depressed, a little angry and is dealing with the feelings of loneliness.  Are you connecting with her this soon in the novel?  Do you things you like or dislike?

I found that I instantly liked Gabi.  The fact that she was a little down and angry is easy to relate too.  I felt the same way as a teen at times and I imagine most teens do.  The things I really admired about Gabi early on in the story is the way she cares so deeply for her family.

2.  Gabi gets to time travel back to 14th Century Italy - The Dark Ages in its prime.  It there anytime in history that fascinates you and would your travel back if you could?

Hmmm.... that is a tough one.  I think the most interesting time of history for me is late 5th and early 6th century when King Arthur was the leader of Britain.  I really enjoy the legend of King Arthur but I wouldn't like to travel back to there as I don't think I would last.   But then again there are gorgeous and brave Knights so I could be persuaded to change my mind.

3.  Most of the men, including Marcello have a very set opinion about a woman's place.  Gabi get manhandled a bit in these first few chapters, and even gets asked if she's a witch.  The men are shocked when Gabi rides a horse like a man and shimmies down the castle walls.  What do you think of men's mentality back then?  Gentlemanly, chauvinistic, simple-minded?

I think it depends on the man in the story.  Most of them came across gentlemanly and protective.  They do not mean any harm or to be rude.  They are just putting the women's safety and happiness before their own.  That being said I think they are men in that time that are chauvinistic and mean to women and think them beneath.  Just like the present you get a few bad ones too.

4 When Gabi becomes a part of this era, the people are immediately intrigued but suspicious of her.  Many judge her by her differences.  Do you think this is fair?  Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an outsider or the others were misjudging you ?

I don't think it was fair to judge Gabi but I don't think part of human nature will ever change.  I have had brief moments of feeling like an outsider like when I started a new job, college etc however I definitely get misjudged.

5. What do you think the coolest thing would be about living in the Dark Ages?  What would be the worst?

My first thought for the coolest thing was the hot Italian Knights but it would be the way appreciate the simpler things in life.  The worst, no plumbing equals no toilet and no hot showers :(

Thank you Tina for organising this event!
And Missie for making the beautiful button.   

My Book Boyfriend - Revisiting Ryan

My Book Boyfriend is 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. 

This week I am revisiting one of my favourite book boyfriends Ryan from Raw Blue as part of Kirsty Eagar Week.  You can check out my original post here.  What I love about Ryan (also known as Rhino) is that he doesn't give up on Carly no matter.  He is a genuine good guy who has had made mistakes but at least he learnt from them.  So here is one of my favourite passages from Raw Blue with Ryan.

'No, I mean there's bad things that don't matter and there're some things that really matter.'
His eyebrows twitch.  'You're a weird fish, you know that?'
'I'm not a fish.'
'Dunno about that, you spend a lot of time in the water.'
I start laughing but it turns into a sob.  And just like that I start to unpeel.  It's caught me by surprise.
Straightaway, Ryan's looking at me and there's nowhere to hide.  'What's up?'
'Nothing.  I'm sorry.  This is embarrassing.  I'm going.'
'No need to go.  You cry if you want.  Doesn't bother me.'
After a bit, I say, 'It's just hard.'
I laugh, then sniff. 'No, this.  I'm not very good with people.  And I don't know you.'
'Yeah, you mentioned that.  Isn't that what we're doing now?  Letting you get to know me?
'Yeah, but....'
'We're not getting married mate.'
I swallow,  When I'm sure I'll be able to keep my voice steady, I say, 'Don't make me feel like an idiot.  Every time I talk to you I come off feeling like an idiot.  I mean you must think I 'm insane.  And I'm not - not normally.  I'm just this tired and I don't know -'
His eyes are looking all the way into me.  Fora  moment we stare at each other then he looks back at the ocean and I watch the two boys making turtlebacks.  I don't make any noise but the tears are streaming down my face.  I can sense Ryan occasionally looking sideways to check on me.  Something about the two boys reminds of me Danny.  The look so innocent, so happy and free.  Then my crying turns into sobs, which is really crossing the line, I have to say.  It's just so ridiculous. I'm in the middle of a crowd on Dee Why Point, watching the biggest surf Sydney's seen for years with a guy I shouldn't be anywhere near, having some sort of breakdown.
I bury my face in my hands.  And then Ryan does such a nice thing.  He wraps his arms around my shoulders and pulls me against him.  I can feel his body heat through his cotton T-shirt, and directly in front of me are the worn, faded knees of his jeans.  But most of all I can smell him.  And he smells sandy-warm, like a beach.   No one can see my face in there protected by his chest.  Which is good because I can't stop crying.  I mean, I'm really going for the world record in terms of an inappropriate public breakdown.  But it doesn't matter, it just doesn't matter.  I'm sheltered.

What do you think of Ryan?

Have you read Raw Blue?  If not, don't forget to enter to win a signed copy.  Open internationally.  Also make sure you visit the other blogs on the schedule for more chances to win.

Thanks to Missie for hosting this meme.  And no Missie Ryan is not yours ;) 

Guest Post by Kirsty Eagar - Night Beach

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I am so thrilled to have Kirsty Eagar stopping by my blog today!  Today Kirsty is talking about her upcoming novel Night Beach which is set to be published in February, 2012.  There is no synopsis for it yet so I am excited that Kirsty was able to share some details with us.

Night Beach – the story

Hey, thank you for having me guys! So, Night Beach … Probably the first thing I should say is that it’s not published in Australia until February next year, and I’m currently in the middle of the edits. What that means is that there is no nice, neat blurb for it as yet. Today is the literary equivalent of me showing you around an unfinished house!

The story is about a girl called Abbie Young. She’s seventeen, and in so many ways, she’s in-between:

Staring at the carnival from a distance. Not sure if I want to go forward and become an adult; liking the candy too much to turn back. Drinking and cars and Kane and freedom. All those glittering lights.

Abbie has grown up surfing at Walls, a break renowned for its graffiti-covered sea wall and aggressive locals. For Abbie, the ocean is a refuge, providing her with a sense of ‘home’, something otherwise lost to her in the wake of her parents’ acrimonious divorce. Since the divorce, Abbie feels like she’s also ‘split’, playing different roles according to each parent’s expectations. But at the beach, she’s in touch with a wilder, truer self.

Abbie has two obsessions. The first is art. Now in her final year of high school, she’s hard at work on an assessment piece that explores ‘beyond the sea’. But the phrase begins to take on supernatural connotations as she becomes aware of the disturbing changes in her step-cousin Kane – her second obsession.

If you didn’t know Kane, you wouldn’t call him hot. He’s got the surfer body, a top heavy V on short powerful legs, and it’s wrapped in a good tan, but he’s also got thick blond hair on his chest and forearms and legs. It marks him, makes him more masculine than surfing’s poster boys
What Kane’s got, though, is an intensity – compressed ambition. He’s always had it and it makes people notice him. Today, it seems to be stronger and not so controlled, like he’s changed to a higher octane fuel and isn’t sure how to handle the power.

Kane has recently returned from a surf trip overseas, during which he and his friends disregarded the locals’ wishes and stayed overnight on a forbidden island. Kane won’t say what happened on the trip, he refuses to explain the strange wounds on his back, and his increasingly violent behaviour soon sets him on a collision course with an alpha male from the surf break.

What’s more frightening to Abbie, though, is the darkness she senses shadowing Kane. A darkness that seems to be affecting her. As Abbie’s reality begins to warp, she finds herself sucked into the Beyond, a place with links to her own subconscious. A place with its own rules, rules that mean she might not make it back. The first rule being that what the sea wants, the sea shall have …

WOW.  I think after reading that I need Night Beach right now!  It sounds amazing.  Thank you Kirsty for stopping by.

Don't forget to stop by The Unread Reader today for Saltwater Vampires Review and Signed Giveaway, Books for Bleh to Basically Amazing for a Raw Blue Review and Bibliophile Brouhaha for Saltwater Vampires Review and Giveaway.

Kirsty Eagar Week Begins & Signed Raw Blue Giveaway!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Welcome to Kirsty Eagar Week!  

As you might know Kirsty Eagar is one of my all time favourite authors.  I still remember reading her debut book Raw Blue for the first time in October last year.  It was a story that slowly sneaked in my heart and hasn't left and never will.  Raw Blue is a regular re-read of mine as I love revisiting the amazing bunch of characters especially Carly.  Her story still has the same emotional impact on me no matter how many time I read it.  Then you have Saltwater Vampires another beautifully written tale that is dark and entertaining. 

I really want to celebrate this amazingly talented Aussie author and spread the word on how awesome Raw Blue and Saltwater Vampires both are.   And also give readers a chance to win a copy of both books as I know they are hard to come by internationally. (Note:  they are available through fishpondworld.com internationally with free shipping)

My co-host is Linds from Bibliophile Brouhaha.  Make sure you stop by her blog this week as well as the other blogs listed on the schedule.   There is loads of giveaways and exciting posts.

Here is the schedule for this week.

Mon 29th
- Introduction post here at Irresistible Reads and signed Raw Blue giveaway (International)
- Case for Carly post at Bibliophile Brouhaha plus signed Raw Blue giveaway (US/Can)
- Raw Blue review at Buried in Books

Tues 30th
- Review for Saltwater Vampires at The Unread Reader and a signed Saltwater Vampires giveaway (US/Can)
- Guest post by Kirsty Eagar about Night Beach here at Irresistible Reads
- Review of Raw Blue at Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing
 -Review for Saltwater Vampires at Bibliophile Brouhaha and Saltwater Vampires giveaway (US/Can)

Wed 31st
- Review for Raw Blue at Fiction Folio
- Collections of thoughts on Raw Blue at Inkcrush plus signed copy of Raw Blue giveaway (international)
- Guest post by Kirsty Eagar at I Swim For Oceans plus signed copy of Raw Blue giveaway (US/Can)
- Revisiting a favourite Book Boyfriend, Ryan, here at Irresistible Reads

Thur 1st
- Post on Older YA at Steph Su Reads
- Saltwater Vampires cover post at Supernatural Snark plus signed giveaway of Saltwater Vampires (US/Can)
- Review for Saltwater Vampires here at Irresistible Reads

Fri 2nd
- Guest Review for Raw Blue here at Irresistible Reads
- Other Older YA Aussie titles recommendations at Inkcrush
- Guest post by Kirsty Eagar at Bibliophile Brouhaha


I am giving one lucky reader the chance to win a signed copy of Raw Blue.  All you have to do to enter is fill out this FORM.  There are plenty of ways to gain extra entries to increase your chances.  Good luck to everyone.
Rules of entry:
- Must be a follower to enter
- Giveaway closes on midnight Sunday 4th September (AUS time).
- Winner will be chosen by random.org in accordance with my giveaway policy.

I would like to say a big thank you to Linds for hosting this event with me, Missie and Melissa for making the buttons and all the other fantastic bloggers who are participating this week.


Book Review: Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Published by: Simon & Schuster Australia
Publication date: 1st September, 2011
Source:  Thanks to publisher

17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. Or thereabouts.After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets in a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them.

My Review:

Favourite Quote:  He bent his head and in a voice that Jack couldn't hear, said, "When you came down the stairs and fell into me, that was the moment.'"  Then his lips pressed against mine.

Wow!  Hunting Lila is such an awesome read.  It is a fast paced, entertaining, intensely readable story that is completely addictive.

Alderson has some dazzling story telling skills.  I was completely absorbed in this tale and was unable to put it down until the last page.  It has a fantastic mix of supernatural powers, suspense, mystery, action and romance.  While the supernatural theme in Hunting Lila has an familiar yet enjoyable feel I thought the military element added an interesting element.  Hunting Lila also has an upper YA feel too which makes it great read for those of us who are no longer a young adult but still love our YA.

Lila has a genuine and strong narrative makes her instantly likeable.  Easy to relate too especially when it comes to her love life (who hasn't crushed on someone older or someone they have know for years?) and she is also a lot of fun.  Then we have Alex.  Protective, smart and caring (and it doesn't hurt that he is gorgeous too).  There is also a well rounded bunch of secondary characters that I am looking forward to getting to know better in the next installment.

The romance is Hunting Lila was perfect.  I was swooning at that dreamy and slightly sexy romance within the first couple of chapters.  Lila and Alex had believable and sizzling chemistry together with a relationship that moved at the right pace.

Oh and what an ending!  Alderson throws us an unexpected twist that leaves me craving book #2 now despite it not being a cliffhanger ending.

Overall, Hunting Lilia is an engaging and passionate read.  I suggest you run out and grab a copy of this impressive debut immediately.

Overall Rating: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Characters: 4.5/5
Romance: 5/5
Cover: 4/5

For more info:  Visit Sarah Alderson's website.

For more reviews:  Daisy Chain Book Reviews

Book Review: Torrent by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Published by:  David C. Cook
Publication date: 1st September, 2011
Source:  Thanks to Lisa Tawn Bergren

When Gabi and Lia finally learn to surf the river of time, they realize they must make hard choices about life and love in the third and final book in the River of Time series.   Gabi and Lia Betarrini have learned to control their time travel, and they return from medieval Italy to save their father from his tragic death in modern times.   But love calls across the centuries, and the girls are determined to return forever—even though they know the Black Plague is advancing across Europe, claiming the lives of one-third of the population. In the suspenseful conclusion of the River of Time series, every decision is about life … and death.

My Review:

Favourite Quote:  "And yet, this is part of it too.  This deep, dark grief - it kind of shakes you up, makes you appreciate life, love more.  It opens your heart."

The River of Time is one of my favourite series so I was super excited to get my hands on an early copy of the final installment Torrent.  And what an incredible read!  It was everything I hope for and so much more.

Again Lisa Tawn Bergren has written another exciting and suspense filled plot.  There are so many pulse pounding moments as Gabi and her love ones are never far from danger.  But it isn't just action and adventure but also a insightful and meaningful story.  It reminds you to appreciate every moment you have.

Gosh, I adore these characters.  They are the type you admire and who inspire you to be a better person.  It is always hard to pick a favourite out of this outstanding bunch but it would have to be Gabi with her strength, courage and kindness.  She really has grown and mature so much in the series.   Then you have Marcello and he is much more than just an Italian hottie.  He is smart, loyal, brave and has such a beautiful and caring soul.  In this installment Gabi's family plays such a large part of the story.  It is great to read a book with such strong and positive family presence.  

Now, talk about swoon.  Torrent had plenty of heart melting moments.  And I was surprised as another character tempted my heart away from Marcello (which I thought impossible).  I wish I could say more but I don't want to spoil the book for you.  I am hoping (and begging) that Lisa Tawn Bergren will decide to write this character a spin off series because I am in love again!

Overall, Torrent was amazing.  My favourite out of the three and a perfect end to an unforgettable series.  If you like stories full of adventure and romance then this is a must read.

Overall Rating: 5/5  ***An absolute favourite read of 2011***
Writing: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Cover:  Love the gorgeous sunset and how it matches the series so perfectly.

For more info:  Visit Lisa Tawn Bergren's website.

For more reviews:  Tina's Book Reviews

Don't forget about Waterfall Wednesdays from 29th August to 28th September.  Each week we will read chapters from Waterfall (River of Time #1) and answer questions.  For more details click on the button below.  Thank you to Tina's Book Reviews for organising this event and Missie at The Unread Reader (aka the button queen) for making this gorgeous button.

My Book Boyfriend #28 - Alex

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Book Boyfriend is 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.  

This week's pick is:

He was so close I would only have had to move my face an inch or two forwards to press my lips against his neck.  I resisted the urge to trace the shadow of stubble along his jawline to the hollow of his chin.  His dark blonde hair had been recently crew-cut - I could tell by the thin white line that traced his hairline at the nape of his neck, which stood out against his tan.  There was a crease by his eyes that looked suspiciously like the beginning of a laughter line.

Alex is 21 years old, works for a special division of the military, owns a motorcycle and is HOT. 

As though he sensed me studying him, Alex turned then walked around to my side of the car.  He put his arms around me and I sank my head against his chest, feeling some of the anxiety immediately fade away.  He lifted me up and rested me on the bonnet of the car and we stayed like that for a while, me cocooned in his arms with the sun slowly warming us.

"Are you OK? Did they hurt you?"
I shook my head and clutched at this hands.  "No, no, I'm fine.  Alex, I need to --"
I couldn't say another word because his mouth was on mine again and lights were dancing in my head.

"Happy Birthday," I replied, sitting up.  The room spun a little as I did so, Alex's bare chest was like a flashing billboard in Time Square.  My eyes were drawn back to it again and again, before my gaze fixed on the shallow dips on either side of his hips that were swallowed up by the waistline of his shorts.  It was all I could do not to trace the shadows with the tips of my fingers.
He grinned at me a little sheepishly, setting the tea down by my side.

(My Alex is played by Jensen Ackles from Supernatural.  A show I have never watched before but do know that there is two hot guys in it)

What do you think of Alex?

Stayed tuned for my review later this week of Hunting Lila.

Thanks to Missie for hosting this meme!

Book Review: Brother/Sister by Sean Olin

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Published by:  Penguin Australia
Publication date:  3rd October, 2011
Source:  Thanks to publisher

Will and Asheley have a troubled past. Their father left them when they were little, and their mother has just been carted off to an alcohol treatment center. Now, they have the house to themselves, and an endless California summer stretching out before them. Through alternating perspectives, they tell the story of how and why their lives spun violently out of control - right up to the impossibly shocking conclusion you'll have to read for yourself to believe.

My Review:

Brother/Sister is an intense read.  I am still trying to take it all in and I am kind of lost for words at how I am going to explain this book.

Sean Olin writing is sharp, powerful and extremely gripping.   The first chapter just grabbed me and sucked in.  Even when I wanted to stop reading because some scenes were too painful and pushed me out of my reading comfort zone, I couldn't.  I needed to know what happened.

I don't want to give much away about the plot.  Let just say that at the beginning you know something horrible has happened but you really have no idea actually how bad it is.  Brother/Sister with definitely surprise you with it's dark and shocking twists.  

Will and Asheley, the main characters, are definitely two souls you feel sorry for.  No parents that really care about them.  As I was reading all I could think was how none of this terrible stuff would have occurred if Will and Ashley actually had positive parents in their lives.  It just shows you how important a parent's role is.   However, as much my heart went out to Will and Asheley, I felt the plot was stronger than the actually characters.  I never really connected with them or understood their actions.

Overall, if you like your realistic fiction edgy, gritty and gut-wrenching this might be the perfect read for you.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Writing: 3.5/5
Plot: 3.5/5
Characters: 3/5
Romance: N/A
Cover: It suits the mood of this book perfectly.

For more info:  Between The Lines

For more reviews:  Daisy Chain Book Reviews

Book Review: Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart

Monday, August 22, 2011

Published by:  Random House Australia
Publication date:  1st September. 2011
Source:  Thanks to publisher

I wanted to turn but I was held captive by the song on the wind. I’m coming, I told the voices. Please, wait for me.

When her sister becomes betrothed to a prince in a northern nation, Zeraphina’s only consolations are that her loyal animal companions are by her side – and that her burning hunger to travel north is finally being sated.

Already her black hair and pale eyes mark her out as different, but now Zeraphina must be even more careful to keep her secret safe. Craving blood is not considered normal behaviour for anyone, let alone a princess. So when the king’s advisor, Rodden, seems to know more about her condition than she does, Zeraphina is determined to find out more.

Zeraphina must be willing to sacrifice everything if she’s to uncover the truth – but what if the truth is beyond her worst nightmares.

My Review:

We all know that I am constantly saying I am not a huge fan of fantasy but it turns out I am. But only really good fantasy and that is definitely what Blood Song is.  I absolutely loved it. For me it was the perfect reading escape.

Zeraphina has always known she is different with her unusual striking looks and her craving for blood which is getting strong each day and calling her to the north.  When her older sister Lilith becomes engaged to Prince Amis in the northern land Zeraphina jumps at the chance to visit a place that will bring her closer to the answer she is seeking about her strange condition.  There she meets Rodden, the King's advisor who seems to know the answers but isn't willing to tell Zeraphina the truth.

Blood Song has that easy style of writing that is just addicting.  You can picture the world, the atmosphere so beautifully without being weighed down by heavy and boring world building unlike some other fantasy books.    And then on top of that you have a suspenseful and intriguing plot that keeps you turning the pages.  

I adore the main characters. There is something special about them.  Zeraphina, is strong, independent and just an enjoyable protagonist.  She seeks out the answers she needs even if it gets her into trouble.    Also she is never without her cat called Leap and an Eagle named Griffin and they make awesome sidekicks.

Rodden, is one of those dark, sexy and mysterious types.  He comes off tough and a little bit arrogant but you know he is a good guy underneath.  The relationship between Zeraphina and Rodden, is amusing.  They didn't fall over each other.  They  had plenty of witty banter and you can just see the sparks flying between them.  I am looking forward to seeing what happens next with these two.

Overall, Blood Song is a magical read that left me craving more.  I definitely recommend this outstanding debut to fantasy and paranormal fans.

Overall rating: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Romance: 4.5/5
Cover: 4.5/5

For more info:  Visit Rhiannon Hart's website.

For more reviews:  Inkcrush

**** Aussie title for those of you participating in the Aussie YA Reading Challenge.

In My Mailbox #37 - Legend and more...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

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

For review:
Deception by Lee Nichols - First book in a YA trilogy of "ghosts, romance and mystery".  Thanks to Bloomsbury.

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin - YA dystopia.  I had already received the bound pages but now I have a finished copy.  You can check out my review HERE.  Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia.  I also received All These Things I've Done in audio format as well thanks to Macmillan Audio.

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick - The sequel to Hush, Hush.  This was sent to me so I can catch up on the series before Silence is released in October.  Thanks to Simon & Schuster.

Unlovable by Sherry Gammon - YA contemp and debut author of 2011.  Thanks to Sherry Gammon.

Legend by Marie Lu - YA dystopia and debut author of 2011.  I am so excited to read this after reading so many amazing reviews for it.  Thanks to Alexa.

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler - YA contemp.  "The good girl, the jock, the beautiful one and the geek.  Tangled them together and the unexpected happens".  Doesn't that sound good?  Thanks to my friend in Germany.

Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James - YA Aussie thriller.   I have been wanting to buy this for months and yesterday being National Bookshop Day in Australia and gave me an excuse to finally buy it (even with my TBR pile overflowing).

What did you get in your mailbox?  

Book Review: Taste of Apples by James Laidler

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Taste of Apple by James Laidler
Published by: Interactive Press
Publication date: September, 2010
Source: Thanks to James Laidler

Pedro Jones is lost. Abandoned by his father and forced into commission housing with his Filipino immigrant mother, the future seems bleak.
But when Pedro meets the 'mad' street busker, Johnny Lazzaro, and gets involved with the East Timor freedom movement, life takes an unexpected detour through the uncharted backblocks of the human heart.

My  Mini Review:

The Taste of Apple is written in a verse and it is done well.  It is the coming of age story of Pedro who's father walks out on him and his Filipino mother forcing them to move into commission housing.  There he meets and becomes friends with Johnny, a street busker who lives in his housing estate and Pedro's life changes.

I love the mix of cultures in The Taste of Apples with Pedro's Filipino background and the Australian setting.  I also adored all the Aussie references like James Marsden and the old Olympic Village as I love it when an Aussie book actually feels like home.

The story is gritty and raw in places but also hopeful.  I felt like Laidler never held back and therefore it felt a true reflection on life.

The Taste of Apple comes with an accompanying CD (although you can read it without it).  I like the mix of media, it added a refreshing take.

The only thing that I found disappointing about The Taste of Apple is when I put it down I found myself losing interest.   I was in no hurry to get back to it.

Overall, The Taste of Apple is a good solid read.  And  I will leave you with my favourite passage from this enjoyable and moving story.

I walk beside him
in a daze,
soaking up the snippets
of his life;
but totally unable
to pull myself away
from his strange

Overall Rating: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Plot: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 3.5/5

For more info:  Visit James Laidler's website.

***This is an Australian author for those of you participating in the Aussie YA Reading Challenge.

Book Review: Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Published by:  Penguin Australia (Internationally by Dutton)
Publication date:  3rd October, 2011
Source:  Gifted

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. 

My Review:

Favourite Quote:  "I know you aren't perfect. But it's a person's imperfections that make them perfect for someone else."

As some of you know I take notes as I read.  So I thought I would share some of mine for Lola and The Boy Next Door:
  • I like the name Cricket (I don't know why)
  • YAY for Anna
  • Cheeky St. Clair
  • Awwww (several times)
  • Oh please kiss now
  • Love (more like little hearts drawn everywhere - several times)
  • What are Blow Pops?
  • Awww... melting
  • Swoon (several times)
As you can tell from the above I LOVED IT!  It was everything I was hoping it would be with it extraordinary writing, entertaining plot, unforgettable characters and yummy romance.

I love Perkins writing.  It is just effortless to read.  The pages just fly by and before you know it you are finished.  She manages to write another charming plot that has a lot of heart.  But her writing strength is in her characters.  There is something enchanting about them.

I adore Lola.  Multi-layered and far from perfect.   Just instantly likeable and a fun character.  Somebody I would love to hang out.  She doesn't always make the best choices between Max (her boyfriend) and Cricket (the boy next door).  Love and relationship are never simple and it is hard to know what is right sometimes.  I found her actions and confusion believable.

Then you have Cricket.  Just thinking of him brings a small to my face.  While I love St. Clair (even though he is short), Cricket is more my kind of guy (and tall).  There is something about his energy that makes him irresistible.  He is a little bit nervous but ever so sweet and brilliantly smart.

Perkins knows how to write romance.  She has the perfect amount of tension and heart melting moments and some seriously delicious kissing scenes.

There was also plenty of Anna and St. Clair and I was glad to see them again.  They provided plenty of awwwwww moments of their own.

Overall, Perkins has delivered another amazing novel.  Lola and The Boy Next Door is a smart, playful and heart warming story that you shouldn't miss.

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

For more info:  Visit Stephanie Perkins' website.

Kirsty Eagar Week: Get Ready!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

As you all know I love spreading the word about awesome Aussie young adult authors.  Kirsty Eagar author of Raw Blue and Saltwater Vampires would have to be one of my absolute favourites.   Kirsty's books are intensely readable, honest and beautiful.   

My co-host for this event is Linds from Bibliophile Brouhaha and if you know Linds you would know that she is Raw Blue biggest fan.  Linds personal quest is to see that Raw Blue gets published in the US. 

So together with some help from our favourite bloggers we are celebrating Kirsty's amazing books book by holding a Kirsty Eagar Appreciation Week.

Kirsty Eagar Appreciation Week details:-

When: 29th August to 4th September

What:  Reviews, guest posts from Kirsty Eagar including info on her upcoming novel Night Beach, amazing GIVEAWAYS and more.

 If you have any questions or ideas please feel free to contact me at irresistiblereads(at)hotmail(dot)com.

Kirsty Eagar Week Buttons:  Please help us spread the word!


We hope you will join us!

My Book Boyfriend #27

Wednesday, August 17, 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.  

This week's pick is:

With the memory of his stunning physical display fresh in my mind, I gazed at his strong face.  His flashing and dangerous blue eyes had always taken my attention.  I had learned to read his facial expressions as a survival tactic but I had never really looked at him in this way before.  He was a study in contradiction.  The man who carved delicate statues was also capable of disarming seven opponents without breaking a sweat.

Valek is described as being in his late-twenties-early-thirties with a muscular build, dark hair, blue eyes and a strong, angular face.   His job is the Chief of Security and his is the most dangerous man in Ixia.

Valek was liquid in motion.  As I watched him, one word came to mind: beautiful.  His movements had the speed and cadence of a complex dance performance.  In comparison, his adversary resembled a newborn colt, lurching and jerking his arms and legs as if this were his first time on his feet.  Valek's smooth lunges and graceful parries disarmed his opponent in no time.

"Yelena, you've driven me crazy. You've caused me considerable trouble and I've contemplated ending your life twice since I've known you." Valek's warm breath in my ear sent a shiver down my spine.
 "But you slipped under my skin, invaded my blood and seized my heart."
“That sounds more like a poison than a person,” was all I could say. His confession had both shocked and thrilled me.
“Exactly,” Valek replied. “You have poisoned me."
   He rolled me over to face him.  Before I could make another sound, he kissed me. 

What do you think of Valek?

Thanks to Missie for hosting this meme.

Book Review: Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trial by Fire (Raised by Wolves #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher:  Quercus (Pan Macmillan Australia)
Publication date: 1st August, 2011
Source:  Thanks to Quercus (Pan Macmillan Australia)

There can only be one alpha. 

Bryn is finally settling into her position as alpha of the Cedar Ridge Pack—or at least, her own version of what it means to be alpha when you’re a human leading a band of werewolves. Then she finds a teenage boy bleeding on her front porch. Before collapsing, he tells her his name is Lucas, he’s a Were, and Bryn’s protection is his only hope.

But Lucas isn’t part of Bryn’s pack, and she has no right to claim another alpha’s Were.  With threats—old and new—looming, and danger closing in from all sides, Bryn will have to accept what her guardian Callum knew all along. To be alpha, she will have to give in to her own animal instincts and become less human. And, she’s going to have to do it alone.

Bryn faces both the costs, and the rewards, of love and loyalty, in this thrilling sequel to Raised by Wolves.

My Review:

Favourite Quote:  I could feel his heart beating, feel his mind and thoughts blending with my own as the two of us stood there, bathed in the moonlight and feeling its effects like a drug.
Whoever Chase was, he was mine.

There is a lot of good werewolves books out there but the Raised by Wolves series would have to be my absolute favourite.  So I was a little nervous about book two but it didn't disappoint with it pulse pounding plot and awesome characters.

Barnes writing is fast paced and engaging.   I love how even though werewolves tales are a popular genre Barnes still manages to make it seem fresh and unique making for such an exceptional read.  Trial by Fire has a solid plot that is filled with action, suspense and plenty of unexpected delicious twists.

My favourite part of this series is Bryn.  I like that even though her life is full of danger she is drama free.  Just likeable and down to earth character who is strong, brave and a great leader. There is a distinctive bunch of  secondary characters who are just as fantastic.  All the characters are fighters and the underdogs.  They never back down and always try to do what is right.  You can't help admire this constantly entertaining pack and love the strength of their friendship and loyalty to each other.

Another thing I love is that this series always ends perfectly.  It wraps things up nicely but at the same time leaves you wanting more.  If only all series could end like these.

Overall, Trial by Fire is enthralling and exciting tale.  If you haven't read this series yet and are a fan of all things paranormal and supernatural, I recommend you pick it up immediately.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Writing:  4.5/5
Plot: 4.5/5
Characters: 5/5
Romance: 4/5
Cover: 4/5

For more info:  Visit Jennifer Lynn Barnes website or Pan Macmillan Australia.

For more reviews:   Supernatural Snark

Book Review: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Monday, August 15, 2011

All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1) by Gabrielle Zevin
Published by: Pan Macmillan Australia
Publication date: 1st September, 2011
Source: Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia

Sixteen year-old Anya becomes the head of a mafia family after her parents are both murdered by rival gangs. Although Anya is embrolied in the criminal world, she is determined to keep her brother and sister out of the mafia family, but her father's relatives aren't so keen to let them go. When Anya's violent ex-boyfriend is poisoned with contaminated chocolate – chocolate that is produced illegally by Anya's mafia family – she is arrested for attempted murder and sent to the notorious jail on Manhattan Island.
Eventually she is freed by the new D.A. in town, who believs she has been framed. But this D.A. is the father of Win, a boy at school to whom Anya feels irresistibly drawn, and her freedom comes with conditions. Win's father wants to be mayor, and he can't risk having his ambition jeopardised by rumours spreading that his son is seeing a member of a notorious crime family. Anya knows she risks the safety of her family by seeing Win again, but the feeling between them may be too strong to resist...

My Review:

All These Things I've Done surprised me but I mean that in the best possible way.  I was completely captivated by this intriguing and tension filled story.

I have been reading quite a bit of dystopia lately and I loved that this novel did not focus on matching people or the government trying to control everybody.  In the year 2083 they are plenty of problems and changes but overall it feels more like a realistic future.  Chocolate is illegal (EEK! no chocolate would make me crazy)  together with a million other things like caffeine, paper without a permit, phones, cameras.  I felt the world was very convincing as it feels similar to the stories of the 1920's when alcohol was banned and smuggled in.

This is the first book of Zevin's I have read.  I found her prose sharp and alluring.  Writing that draws you in immediately.  It was perfectly paced story that had a cleverly constructed plot and world.

Anya is part of the Balanchine Family, one of the most well known crime syndicates in the world.  Her father use to be the head of it before he was murdered.  Anya mother was also killed in a hit gone wrong.  Now Anya is trying to do the best she can caring for her ill grandmother, her older brother Leo, who has a learning disability and her younger sister Natty.  Anya is a mature, brave and compelling character.  I love that she always but her family first.  I found the secondary characters to be just as well crafted and likeable as Anya especially Leo and Natty.  

Win, is the son of the head of the District Attorney Department and Anya's love interest.  So it is has a little bit of the star crossed lovers thing going on.   The romance between Anya and Win was passionate and yet sweet at the same time.

The mafia part of the storyline was probably the highlight for me though.  I found  myself fascinated by this mysterious and dangerous element of the story.  I would definitely like to see it play an even bigger part in the next installment.

I am so happy All These Things I've Done is going to be a trilogy.  Even though it ended in a good place I felt like the story was just getting started and it has left me desperately craving more.

Overall, I found All These Things I've Done to be a clever and engaging read.  Zevin definitely delivers all the right elements in this impressive novel.

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

For more info:  Visit Gabrielle Zevin's website or Pan Macmillan Australia

For more reviews:  Visit Steph Su Reads

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