Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: The Year I Discovered My Favourite Author

Those of you who have read this blog for a while will know that my favourite author is Brandon Sanderson. Although he's been writing for quite some time (his debut was in 2005), I only actually discovered his books in January of this year. I suppose that's not true...I'd known about his books for a while, but only bothered reading them this year. Best decision of my life.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Favourites Breakdown

It's almost the end of the year, so I thought it's now time to look at some of the stats to do with my favourite books from this year.

Here's the list of my favourite books from this year:
The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch
The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan
Traitor's Blade by Sebastian de Castell
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
Cress by Marissa Meyer
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas
Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
Ruins by Dan Wells
Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead
Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Percy Jackson's Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

Friday, December 26, 2014

Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 7 January, 2015
Source: Penguin Australia

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Title: Beware the Wild
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.
Review by Nara

Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: Clariel by Garth Nix

Title: Clariel (Abhorsen #4/Prequel)
Author: Garth Nix
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Source: Bookworld

Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. And in Belisaere she is forced to follow the plans, plots and demands of everyone, from her parents to her maid, to the sinister Guildmaster Kilp. Clariel can see her freedom slipping away. It seems too that the city itself is descending into chaos, as the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr appear to be disintegrating.

With the discovery of a dangerous Free Magic creature loose in the city, Clariel is given the chance both to prove her worth and make her escape. But events spin rapidly out of control. Clariel finds herself more trapped than ever, until help comes from an unlikely source. But the help comes at a terrible cost. Clariel must question the motivations and secret hearts of everyone around her - and it is herself she must question most of all.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Title: Noggin
Author: John Corey Whaley
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Bookworld via their Readers Rewards program

Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.

Now he’s alive again.

Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.
Review by Nara

Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: Borderlands by Skye Melki-Wegner

Title: Borderlands
Author: Skye Melki-Wegner
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: The ReadingRoom. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

The action-packed adventure continues in the second book of the Chasing the Valley trilogy!

Danika and her crew of escaped refugees are seeking the safety of the Magnetic Valley – and trying to evade Sharr Morrigan, the king's most lethal hunter. But the borderlands they must cross to reach the Valley are smugglers' territory: lawless, wild and steeped in ancient magic. When one of the crew is badly wounded, Danika turns to the smugglers for help – and accepts a bargain that might prove deadly.

It is Lukas, however, who hides the most dangerous secret. What has he seen through the eagle's eyes? The answer can be found in an alchemy charm and a smuggler's tale, and will lead Danika and her friends to an electrifying, unputdownable showdown.

Review by Nara

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Title: Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3)
Author: Kristin Cashore
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy

Eight years have passed since the young Princess Bitterblue, and her country, were saved from the vicious King Leck. Now Bitterblue is the queen of Monsea, and her land is at peace.

But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisers, who have run the country on her behalf since Leck's death, believe in a forward-thinking plan: to pardon all of those who committed terrible acts during Leck's reign; and to forget every dark event that ever happened. Monsea's past has become shrouded in mystery, and it's only when Bitterblue begins sneaking out of her castle - curious, disguised and alone - to walk the streets of her own city, that she begins to realise the truth. Her kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year long spell of a madman, and now their only chance to move forward is to revisit the past.

Whatever that past holds.

Two thieves, who have sworn only to steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck's reign. And one of them, who possesses an unidentified Grace, may also hold a key to her heart...
Review by Nara

Monday, December 8, 2014

The TBR Tag

I've been tagged by Laura @ Laura Plus Books! Thanks Laura :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

Title: Talon
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Harlequin Teen Australia via NetGalley

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Title: Snow Like Ashes
Author: Sara Raasch
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: 14 October, 2014
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
Review by Nara

Monday, December 1, 2014

Read ALL THE BOOKS Update: October/November

If you don't know what this post is about, you can read this introduction post. Basically, I realised I have way too many unread books on my shelves, and so I'm going to try read as many of them as possible in the coming months. I'll probably continue this feature until I finish them all...but I don't know whether that will actually happen seeing as though I keep buying books. And borrowing books from the library. And requesting eARCs. Tis a problem.

My definition for "unread" either means that I haven't read the book at all, or that I haven't read that particular copy of the book (might have read it before as an eARC or something)

So, here's my update for October and November! They're combined because I didn't read too many books from my shelves in October, and thought I'd wait until the end of November to do an update. I had exams during November, so I thought I'd read less, but I shouldn't have underestimated my procrastireading skills... Anyway, onto the update!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Notice of Semi-Hiatus

Hey everyone!
Just letting you know that I'm going to be on holidays in Europe from now until mid-January, so I probably won't be doing much commenting/replying and such.
I've scheduled quite a few posts to go up while I'm away, and I'll reply to all my comments and things as soon as I get back.
Bye for now! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: This Shattered World (The Starbound Trilogy #2)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: December 2014 (Aus)
Source: Allen and Unwin

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

The stunning second novel in the Starbound trilogy is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sci-Fi Month: First Lines Quiz

In Looking for the Panacea tradition, time for a little quiz! This is going to be a first line quiz; the rules are simple. I give you a first line from a YA Sci-Fi novel, and you must guess what book it's from! Answers are hidden under a spoiler tag, so you can check your answers yourself. Let me know how you go in comments!

All of the books have been mentioned in on of the collaboration posts I did with Kayla @ The Thousand Lives! Check them out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you need help.

I've also included some cover hints below, but those are quite obvious, so I'd try complete the quiz without using them first!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sci-Fi Month: Want to Dip into Adult Sci-fi and Not Sure Where to Start?

Okay, so admittedly, I haven’t actually read that much adult scifi. I really only started really getting into in this year. Maybe, though, my lack of experience makes me a good source for recommendations! (Or maybe not. Whatever, you’re getting recommendations anyway, people.)

One thing you have to understand about adult scifi (or actually, just adult SFF in general) is that it's often very slow to start. Up to the first quarter might just be about setting up the world and making sure you understand the general rules of the setting. Obviously, this isn't the case with every book, but many of the ones I've read so far have seemed like this.

Anyway, out of the adult scifi reads that I have read, there have definitely been some great ones- hence this post. Onto the recommendations!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1)
Author: Claudia Gray
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.
Review by Nara

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Title: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Five Mile Press

It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person - any dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand a bit of what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart... it's like she can't stop. And she'd certainly never dream of handing them in to her teacher. She writes about what it's like going to a new high school, meeting new friends, falling in love for the first time - and how her family has shattered since May died.

But much as Laurel might find writing the letters cathartic, she can't keep real life out forever. The ghosts of her past won't be contained between the lines of a page, and she will have to come to terms with growing up, the agony of losing a beloved sister, and the realisation that only you can shape your destiny. A lyrical, haunting and stunning debut from the protégé of Stephen Chbosky.
Review by Nara

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sci-Fi Month: Top Sci-fi Reads of 2014

It's the halfway point of the month, so it's time to pull out the top reads of the year list! I read quite a few great scifi books this year- too many to mention them all in this small list. It was pretty tough trying to narrow it down, but mostly I chose the books either because they were just freaking amazing, or because I thought that the books needed more attention.

The list is in no particular order.

2014 refers to books that I read in 2014, by the way! Not 2014 releases.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review: Catalyst by S.J. Kincaid

Title: Catalyst (Insignia #3)
Author: S.J. Kincaid
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Source: Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss

The explosive conclusion to the series reviewers have likened to Ender’s Game and “Hogwarts-in-Space”

This exhilarating, explosive, and heartrending conclusion to the Insignia trilogy brings Tom and his intelligent, passionate, and brave young friends stunning tests and dangerous confrontations and through to an impossible future they could never have predicted.

Tom Raines and his friends are eager to return to the Pentagonal Spire to continue training for the elite Intrasolar Forces, but they soon discover troubling changes: strict new regulations and the revelation that the Spire is under new military control. What begins as an irritating adjustment soon reveals a dangerous shift in reality. Those now in control are aligned with corporate sponsors and their ruthless agendas. And when the military academy begins welcoming new cadets with suspicious neural processors, the first step in a plan with horrifying worldwide ramifications, Tom is desperate to stop it, even if that means keeping secrets from his closest allies.

Then a mysterious figure, the other ghost in the machine, begins fighting against the corporations, but with methods even Tom finds shocking. And when the enemy comes for Tom, how much can Tom endure in the battle to save himself? He must decide if he can still fight when the odds of success seem to be sliding from his grip.
Review by Nara

Monday, November 10, 2014

Sci-Fi Month: Sci-Fi Subgenre Recommendations Part II

Continuing with our adventures in the sci-fi genre, today I'm going to be collaborating with Kayla from The Thousand Lives for Part Two of sci-fi subgenre recommendations! The subgenres we're going to present in this post are:
Space Opera
Steampunk/Alternate History
Time Travel

If you missed Part One, check it out here!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sci-Fi Month: Top Sci-fi Anime

So I was looking back on my Sci-Fi Month posts from last year, and realised I had done almost NOTHING about anime/manga. As a massive anime/manga fan, I felt like I should definitely do something on the subject this year- hence this post: some of my recommendations for sci-fi anime.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis

Title: In a Handful of Dust (Not a Drop to Drink #2)
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Genre: Young Adult, Post-Apocalyptic
Source: Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss

The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.

In this companion to Not a Drop to Drink, Mindy McGinnis thrillingly combines the heart-swelling hope of a journey, the challenges of establishing your own place in the world, and the gripping physical danger of nature in a futuristic frontier.
Review by Nara

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Review: Corruption by Jessica Shirvington

Title: Corruption (Disruption #2)
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Source: HarperCollins Australia

How do you live with yourself
when you’ve deceived the one you love?

How do you move on when the person
you’ve been fighting to save betrays you?

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens began the hunt.

Four weeks ago, Maggie’s world fell apart, when she finally
found what she’d been looking for. And when Quentin,
who had blindly trusted her, unravelled her web of lies.

Now, Maggie lives in the dark. But she’s not about to stay there.
Not when she still has to bring M-Corp down.
Not when there is still a chance she could win him back.

In the exhilarating conclusion to Disruption, Maggie must do
whatever it takes to show the world the truth.
And the price for her quest?

Review by Nara

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sci-Fi Month Has Begun!

It's the first of November, and you know what that means? Sci-Fi Month has begun!
Brief explanation: Sci-Fi November is an annual event first set up last year by Rinn of Rinn Reads, and currently hosted by Rinn and the bloggers at Oh, the Books. It's basically an event to celebrate everything sci-fi: books, movies, TV shows, whatever.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

Title: Even in Paradise
Author: Chelsey Philpot
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Source: HarperCollins via Edelweiss

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden... until now.
Review by Nara

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quiz: Guess the Book from the Chapter Heading

You know, I'm not even sure whether "chapter heading" is the right term for it, but whatever.
I'm giving you the quiz anyway!

It's been quite a while since I've done a quiz, so I thought it was definitely time to pull one out: this time we're going to be looking at how the chapter number/title is presented and seeing if you can guess what book they're from!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Review: My True Love Gave to Me

Title: My True Love Gave to Me
Author: Rainbow Rowell, Kelly Link, Matt de la Pena, Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, David Leviathan, Holly Black, Gayle Forman, Myra McEntire, Kiersten White, Ally Carter, Laini Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Anthology, Contemporary, Romance, Fantasy, Magical Realism
Source: St Martin's via NetGalley

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.
Review by Nara

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Book Tag: 20 Things You Might Not Know About Me

I've been tagged by Joy @ Thoughts by J and Romi @ Where the Writer Comes to Write. Thanks guys!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: Remember Me by Romily Bernard

Title: Remember Me (Find Me #2)
Author: Romily Bernard
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: 23 September, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

In the sequel to Find Me, Wick Tate, sarcastic teen hacker, is back and once again dealing with criminals and corrupt cops…and a brooding new love interest. Will Wick persevere when some secrets refuse to stay hidden?

Wick had thought her troubles were over.

But she should’ve known better.

Not only is she embroiled in a new murder case, which starts with a body with “Remember Me” carved into it and doesn’t stop there, but she also discovers new evidence surrounding her mother’s suicide…which leads her right back to her imprisoned deadbeat dad. And she has to deal with her flirty new hacker friend, Milo, sniffing around—which her boyfriend, Griff, isn’t too happy about.

The pressure might be too much as secrets—including Wick’s own—climb to the surface.

Remember Me is an edge-of-your-seat thrilling read that’ll have readers turning the pages at lightning speed! The paperback of Find Me is on sale simultaneously, and a digital original novella from Romily, featuring Griff, is on sale just a few weeks before!
Review by Nara

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Flailage: Where I Spill All My Blood of Olympus Feels

Title: The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus #5)
Author: Rick Riordan
Genre: YA/MG crossover, Fantasy

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen—all of them—and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood—the blood of Olympus—in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.
Review by Nara

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Read ALL THE BOOKS Update: September

If you don't know what this post is about, you can read this introduction post. Basically, I realised I have way too many unread books on my shelves, and so I'm going to try read as many of them as possible in the coming months. I'll probably continue this feature until I finish them all...but I don't know whether that will actually happen seeing as though I keep buying books. And borrowing books from the library. And requesting eARCs. Tis a problem.

So, here's my update for September!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Get Even (Don't Get Mad #1)
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: 16 September, 2014
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Title: Afterworlds
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary//Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: 23 September, 2014
Source: Simon Pulse via Edelweiss

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.
Review by Nara

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review: Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Sacrifice (Elementals #5)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: 24 September, 2014
Source: Allen & Unwin Australia

Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick understands pressure. He's the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it in for his family, and he's all that stands in the way.

His girlfriend, Hannah, understands pressure too. She's got a child of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could put her life in danger at any moment.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael's defiance, his family's 'bad luck'. Before he knows it, Michael's enemies have turned into the Merricks' enemies, and they're armed for war.

They're not interested in surrender. But Michael isn't the white flag type anyway. Everything is set for the final showdown.

Four elements, one family. Will they hold together, or be torn apart?
Review by Nara

Friday, October 3, 2014

Summer Bookish Bingo Wrap-Up

For the past few months, I've been working on a bingo challenge made by Great Imaginations. It was the Summer Bookish Bingo, and included quite a few interesting challenges! This post is just to wrap everything up and link to all my reviews of the books. I actually managed to finish everything on the bingo- although some of the squares were definitely quite tough.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DNF Review: Endgame: The Calling by James Frey

Title: Endgame: The Calling (Endgame #1)
Author: James Frey
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: 7 October, 2014
Source: Bookworld

Twelve thousand years ago, they came. They descended from the sky amid smoke and fire, and created humanity and gave us rules to live by. They needed gold and they built our earliest civilizations to mine it for them. When they had what they needed, they left. But before they left, they told us someday they would come back, and when they did, a game would be played. A game that would determine our future.

This is Endgame.

For ten thousand years the lines have existed in secret. The 12 original lines of humanity. Each had to have a Player prepared at all times. They have trained generation after generation after generation. In weapons, languages, history, tactics, disguise assassination. Together the players are everything: strong, kind, ruthless, loyal, smart, stupid, ugly, lustful, mean, fickle, beautiful, calculating, lazy, exuberant, weak. They are good and evil. Like you. Like all.

This is Endgame.

When the game starts, the players will have to find three keys. The keys are somewhere on earth. The only rule of their Endgame is that there are no rules. Whoever finds the keys first wins the game. Endgame: The Calling is about the hunt for the first key. And just as it tells the story of the hunt for a hidden key, written into the book is a puzzle. It invites readers to play their own Endgame and to try to solve the puzzle. Whoever does will open a case filled with gold. Alongside the puzzle will be a revolutionary mobile game built by Google’s Niantic Labs that will allow you to play a real-world version of Endgame where you can join one of the lines and do battle with people around you.
Will exuberance beat strength? Stupidity top kindness? Laziness thwart beauty? Will the winner be good or evil? There is only one way to find out.

People of Earth.
Endgame has begun.
Review by Nara

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas

Title: The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy #2)
Author: Sherry Thomas
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Alternate History
Release Date: 16 September, 2014
Source: Balzer + Bray via Edelweiss

After spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in.

Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future.
Review by Nara

Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

Title: Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1)
Author: Philip Pullman
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

When Lyra's friend Roger disappears, she and her daemon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him. The ensuing quest leads them into the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Gif Book Tag

I was tagged by Kayla @ The Thousand Lives! The rules:
1. Kayla gives me a list of ten books.
2. I need to find a gif to accurately portray my thoughts about each book.
Well, here goes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: Sway by Kat Spears

Title: Sway
Author: Kat Spears
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 16 September, 2014
Source: St Martin's Griffin via NetGalley

In Kat Spears’s hilarious and often poignant debut, high school senior Jesse Alderman, or "Sway," as he’s known, could sell hell to a bishop. He also specializes in getting things people want---term papers, a date with the prom queen, fake IDs. He has few close friends and he never EVER lets emotions get in the way. For Jesse, life is simply a series of business transactions.

But when Ken Foster, captain of the football team, leading candidate for homecoming king, and all-around jerk, hires Jesse to help him win the heart of the angelic Bridget Smalley, Jesse finds himself feeling all sorts of things. While following Bridget and learning the intimate details of her life, he falls helplessly in love for the very first time. He also finds himself in an accidental friendship with Bridget’s belligerent and self-pitying younger brother who has cerebral palsy. Suddenly, Jesse is visiting old folks at a nursing home in order to run into Bridget, and offering his time to help the less fortunate, all the while developing a bond with this young man who idolizes him. Could the tin man really have a heart after all?

A Cyrano de Bergerac story with a modern twist, Sway is told from Jesse’s point of view with unapologetic truth and biting humor, his observations about the world around him untempered by empathy or compassion---until Bridget’s presence in his life forces him to confront his quiet devastation over a life-changing event a year earlier and maybe, just maybe, feel something again.
Review by Nara

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review: Blackbird by Anna Carey

Title: Blackbird
Author: Anna Carey
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: 16 September, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her.

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined.

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.
Review by Nara

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Title: Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N. Hensley
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 9 September, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.
Review by Nara

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life of a Blogger [1]

I thought it was about time that I start sharing a bit more information about myself in terms of my life outside blogging/reading! So I'm going to join in on the Life of a Blogger meme hosted by Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat.

Because I've missed so many, I'm just going to combine a couple per post, starting from the very first one until I finally catch up to current time. And I might skip some of the ones like "101 things I like" because I'm lazy. lol.

So this post is going to be addressing:
Favourite Bands

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: State of Grace by Hilary Badger

Title: State of Grace
Author: Hilary Badger
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: 24 September, 2014
Source: Hardie Grant Egmont

Nothing and no-one exists beyond the garden where Wren and the others live, but that's okay – they have everything they could possibly need right there, in paradise. The trees are laden with fruit and the water in the lagoon is as clear as crystal. Wren's world is a utopia.

If only Wren could stop the strange visions she's started having: flashes of another world, where there are people she doesn't know – couldn't possibly know – but who somehow feel familiar. And what does Blaze, the most beautiful and mysterious of creations, know about what's going on in Wren's head?

When she uncovers the lies that are propping up everything she has ever believed in, Wren must choose: remain in blissful ignorance or face the ugly truth?
Review by Nara

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Title: Illusions of Fate
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: 9 September, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Review: The Witch of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper

Title: The Witch of Salt and Storm
Author: Kendall Kulper
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: 4 September, 2014
Source: Orchard Books via NetGalley

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the sea witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe and prosperous at sea. But before she could learn how to control her power, her mother - the first Roe woman in centuries to turn her back on magic - steals Avery away from her grandmother. Avery must escape before her grandmother dies, taking with her the secrets of the Roe's power.

The one magical remnant left to Avery is the ability to read dreams, and one night she foresees her own murder. Time is running short, both for her and for the people of her island who need the witches' help to thrive.

Avery has never read a dream that hasn't come true, but a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane tells her he can help her change her fate. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected. And as she falls in love with Tane, she learns it is his life and hers that hang in the balance.

A sweeping romance with a spellbinding twist - from a talented new voice in YA fiction.
Review by Nara

Monday, September 8, 2014

Read ALL THE BOOKS Update: August

If you don't know what this post is about, you can read this introduction post. Basically, I realised I have way too many unread books on my shelves, and so I'm going to try read as many of them as possible in the coming months. I'll probably continue this feature until I finish them all...but I don't know whether that will actually happen seeing as though I keep buying books. And borrowing books from the library. And requesting eARCs. Tis a problem.

So, here's my update for August!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Flailage: Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

Title: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)
Author: Sarah J Maas
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: 2 September, 2014
Source: Bloomsbury Sydney

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
Review by Nara

Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

Title: Anatomy of a Misfit
Author: Andrea Portes
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 2 September, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

This emotional, hilarious, devastating, and ultimately triumphant YA debut, based on actual events, recounts one girl’s rejection of her high school’s hierarchy—and her discovery of her true self in the face of tragedy.

Fall’s buzzed-about, in-house favorite. Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika—from laughter to tears, and everything in between.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Title: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Simon & Schuster Australia

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.
Review by Nara

Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Title: The Jewel
Author: Amy Ewing
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Release Date: 2 September, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
Review by Nara

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cosmere Read-Along: Elantris Quotes

I'm currently taking part in the Sanderson Cosmere Read-Along run by Faye at The Social Potato. Brandon Sanderson is my favourite author ever, and so I knew I had to take part in this event even though I've already read most of his books (just need to read Warbreaker and Legion + The Emperor's Soul).

The first book we're reading is Elantris! So I thought I'd try and get more people to join the read-along by making some quotes graphics to entice you to read his books. (You really should read them. They're awesome.)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Don't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

Title: Don't Touch
Author: Rachel M. Wilson
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 2 September, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

A powerful story of a girl who is afraid to touch another person’s skin, until the boy auditioning for Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.

Caddie can’t stop thinking that if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, her parents might get back together... which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin.

It seems harmless at first, but Caddie’s obsession soon threatens her ambitions as an actress. She desperately wants to play Ophelia in her school’s production of Hamlet. But that would mean touching Peter, who’s auditioning for the title role—and kissing him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn't sure she's brave enough to let herself fall.

Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, this debut novel from Rachel M. Wilson is a moving story of a talented girl who's fighting an increasingly severe anxiety disorder, and the friends and family who stand by her.
Review by Nara