Friday, May 30, 2014

Review: Sekret by Lindsay Smith

Title: Sekret
Author: Lindsay Smith
Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Paranormal Fantasy
Source: Macmillan via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Reading Room

An empty mind is a safe mind.

Yulia's father always taught her to hide her thoughts and control her emotions to survive the harsh realities of Soviet Russia. But when she's captured by the KGB and forced to work as a psychic spy with a mission to undermine the U.S. space program, she's thrust into a world of suspicion, deceit, and horrifying power. Yulia quickly realizes she can trust no one--not her KGB superiors or the other operatives vying for her attention--and must rely on her own wits and skills to survive in this world where no SEKRET can stay hidden for long.
Review by Nara

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tea Party Blog Tag

So, this week (25-30th May), The Notebook Sisters are celebrating their third blogoversary! Woohoo! As part of the celebrations, they've created a tag: The Tea Party Tag! (Because one member of the Sisters, or possibly both- not sure, is slightly obsessed with a certain moth from a certain series that is a retelling of Alice in Wonderland). Anyway, on to my answers!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: 1 June, 2014 (Aus)
Source: Hardie Grant Egmont. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

There are a lot of rumours about Alice Franklin, and it's stopped mattering whether any of them are true.

It all started at a party, when Alice was supposedly with two guys in one night.

Soon everyone at Healy High has picked a side in this game of he said/she said. Do they believe Brandon Fitzsimmons, the most popular guy at school and the football hero of Healy? Or do they believe Alice, the girl who wears too-tight T-shirts and was caught kissing Brandon in a closet a couple years before?

When Brandon dies in a car crash, there are serious allegations that his death was Alice's fault. As the rumour mill spins into overdrive, Alice's small town becomes suffocating. And when the truth becomes a matter of opinion, something's got to give.
Review by Nara

Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy (but not really...)
Release Date: 10 April, 2014 (Aus ebook), 3 July, 2014 (Aus paperback)
Source: Bloomsbury Sydney. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. Kestrel has other ideas.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

The first novel in The Winner's Trilogy is a story of rumours, lies and deadly games with everything at stake.
Review by Nara

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Search for the Panacea [7]: April haul. Yes it's late. My bad.

Well, as the title above explains, this is my book haul from April. And it's late. Again. Sorry. lol.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Review: The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead

Title: The Immortal Crown (Age of X #2)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Adult, Dystopian, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: 28 May, 2014
Source: Penguin via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.

Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.

Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret.
Review by Nara

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Title: Prisoner of Night and Fog
Author: Anne Blankman
Genre: Young Adult, Historical
Source: Hachette Australia via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Munich, 1931 - Hitler is on the rise. A compelling coming-of-age tale for fans of Elizabeth Wein, author of CODE NAME VERITY and ROSE UNDER FIRE.

Gretchen Muller has, as best she can, dealt with the horrors of her family's past. Her father, a senior Nazi officer, died trying to save the life of their leader, Adolf Hitler. And now Germany has the chance to be great once more. Swept up in the excitement and passion of life in Munich in 1931, seventeen-year-old Gretchen has embraced the life laid out for her by that leader, her 'Uncle Dolf'.

But the secrets of the past cannot be silenced forever. When Gretchen receives a letter from an anonymous sender claiming to have more information about her father's death, she becomes swept up in a desperate and dangerous search for the truth. With the full might of the ever-powerful Nazi party on her tail, it is a race that will risk everything she has and change her life forever...
Review by Nara

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Book Blogger Test

Thanks to Kelly @ Diva Book Nerd, Francine @ Always Lost in Books and Jaz @ Fiction in Fiction in Fiction for tagging me! :)
Apparently the rules are thus: answer the questions and then tag some other book bloggers.
So, here goes!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Review: Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Don't Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller
Source: Hodder Books via NetGalley
Goodreads | The Reading Room

What if you had the chance to start again...but only if you promised never to look back? Samantha is popular, rich, and seemed to have it all...until the night she and her best 'frenemy' Cassie disappeared and only Sammy resurfaced, with no recollection of who she is or what happened. Sammy's a stranger in her own life - a life she no longer wants any part of. Losing her memory is a chance to start again. Then Sammy begins receiving mysterious notes warning her about that night, urging her to not look back. But she can't let it go. As she starts poking around in her past she begins to remember...and something sinister begins to surface.
Review by Nara

Friday, May 16, 2014

Discussion: The Contemporary Love Interest

Thinking about it, the factor that carries the greatest weight in my perception of a contemporary romance (assuming that writing quality is acceptable) is the love interest. Interestingly, the plot, the other minor characters and even the protagonist seem not to play as great a role as the love interest. For example, let me examine the two Kasie West's contemporary romances to illustrate.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Title: The One (The Selection #3)
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Dystopian
Source: HarperCollins Australia. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

The Selection changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. And now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.

From the very first page of The Selection, this #1 New York Times bestselling series has captured readers' hearts and swept them away on a captivating journey... Now, in The One, Kiera Cass delivers a satisfying and unforgettable conclusion that will keep readers sighing over this electrifying fairy-tale long after the final page is turned.
Review by Nara

Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: How They Met, and Other Stories by David Levithan

Title: How They Met
Author: David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Source: Text Publishing. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Eighteen stories, all about love, and about all kinds of love.

From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down.

What is love?

With this original story collection David Levithan proves that love is a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing.
Review by Nara

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review: Rebel by Amy Tintera

Title: Rebel (Reboot #2)
Author: Amy Tintera
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Note: I would recommend not reading this blurb as it's super spoilery.
The sequel to the action-packed Reboot is a can't-miss thrill ride, perfect for fans of James Patterson, Veronica Roth, and Marie Lu.

After coming back from death as Reboots and being trained by HARC as soldiers, Wren and Callum have finally escaped north, where they hope to find a life of freedom. But when they arrive at the Reboot Reservation, it isn't what they expected. Under the rule of a bloodthirsty leader, Micah, the Reboots are about to wage an all-out war on the humans. Although Wren's instincts are telling her to set off into the wilderness on their own and leave the battle far behind, Callum is unwilling to let his human family be murdered. When Micah commits the ultimate betrayal, the choice is made for them. But Micah has also made a fatal mistake . . . he's underestimated Wren and Callum.

The explosive finale to the Reboot duology is full of riveting action and steamy love scenes as Wren and Callum become rebels against their own kind.
Review by Nara

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars Movie Review

Note: We saw an advanced screening of TFIOS on the 5th of May. Thanks so much to Bookworld!

The Fault in Our Stars is hands down the best YA movie adaptation we have ever seen. It was everything we hoped it would be: a perfect visualisation of the key moments in the novel. All the scenes we wanted, the majority of our favourite quotes: everything was there.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review: Life by Committee by Corey Ann Haydu

Title: Life by Committee
Author: Corey Ann Haydu
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Source: Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Some secrets are too good to keep.

Tabitha might be the only girl in the history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. But her so-called friends say she’s changed, and they’ve dropped her flat.

Now Tab has no one to tell about the best and worst thing that has ever happened to her: Joe, who spills his most intimate secrets to her in their nightly online chats. Joe, whose touch is so electric, it makes Tab wonder if she could survive an actual kiss. Joe, who has Tabitha brimming with the restless energy of falling in love. Joe, who is someone else’s boyfriend.

Just when Tab is afraid she’ll burst from keeping the secret of Joe inside, she finds Life by Committee. The rules of LBC are simple: tell a secret, receive an assignment. Complete the assignment to keep your secret safe.

Tab likes it that the assignments push her to her limits, empowering her to live boldly and go further than she’d ever go on her own.

But in the name of truth and bravery, how far is too far to go?
Review by Nara

Monday, May 5, 2014

Review: After the End by Amy Plum

Title: After the End
Author: Amy Plum
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Paranormal Fantasy
Release Date: 6 May, 2014
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
Goodreads | The Reading Room

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.
Review by Nara

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Title: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Author: Leslye Walton
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism
Source: Walker Books via Goodreads First Reads. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room

Foolish love appears to be a Roux family birthright. And for Ava Lavender, a girl born with the wings of a bird, it is an ominous thing to inherit. In her quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to join her peers, sixteen-year-old Ava ventures into the wider world. But it is a dangerous world for a naive girl...
Review by Nara

Friday, May 2, 2014

Reading Update (2/5/14)

Switching up the format of these posts a little: going to do a bit more in depth ratings breakdown for a few highlight books (either really good books or really terrible books will be featured here), and then list the others afterwards. Also going to include a recap of recent reviews.

You might recognise some of the mini reviews if you follow me on GR- in classic lazy Nara style, I've just copied and pasted them :P