Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

Pure by Julianna Baggott
Release Date: February 8th 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Edition: ARC, 448 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

From Goodreads: "We know you are here, our brothers and sisters .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.
Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . .
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her.
When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again."

I borrowed an ARC of this book from a friend who wasn't sure if they were enjoying it. So she gave it to me to read to see if I enjoyed it. With this book that is a tough question to answer. It's safe to say that this book is very unique. Pure is not like anything I have ever read before. 

It was hard for me to decide what rating to give this book, it was either going to be 3 or 3.5 stars. I contemplated not finishing this book, the first half of the book was tough for me to get through, it was slow moving and mainly setting up the world the characters live in and giving background on what has happened. I know this was necessary since it's the first book in a new series but I just couldn't get into it. However the second half made up for this. The second half was action packed and twists were revealed that I wouldn't have even thought to expect. I was expecting there to be a love triangle, and here was me thinking 'not ANOTHER love triangle, I can't cope!" But no I was wrong, there was no love triangle... But I won't tell you why, for spoiler reasons! 

Pure follows the story of Pressia, Partridge and Bradwell. They live in a world that has changed drastically. A dome has fallen on their town and unless you were within the dome when it fell like Partridge was, you became literally attached to the closest object to you. For Pressia it was a baby doll, which she now has as a hand. For Bradwell it was birds, he now has birds on his back. This blew my mind. The birds didn't die, they still flap their wings and everything. Pressia and Bradwell were lucky, others not so much. Some people were only close to the ground or glass or something else solid that caused them to die a very unfortunate death.

For those inside the dome life seems perfect, they don't know what goes on outside and most of them see no reason to care. Partridge used to be one of them. Until he breaks out, something that has not been done before. He breaks out and sees what life is like outside and begins to hate is Father who is the equivalent of a mayor for inside the dome. 

Julianna Baggott has succeeded in creating such a unique story that the idea alone is enough to warrant you reading this book. I'm hoping that the second instalment of this book will be more action filled and fast paced. Obviously this first book has to set up the world that the characters live in and that takes a bit of time, now that this has been done, hopefully the second book will pick up the pace!

I did enjoy this book and if this sounds up your alley then you should give it a go!

Have you read Pure? I'd be interested to hear what you thought of it!

Happy reading!
- Amy

300 follower giveaway


Hi everyone!!

My little blog has nearly reached 300 followers! I'm excited to announce another giveaway to celebrate this milestone! I also want to give back to all of my followers and readers both old and new. It's the start of the new year so here's hoping it's a great one!

Below you will find all of the details concerning the giveaway :)

The winner will get the choice of one of the below books:

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
Geek Girl - Cindy C Bennett
Legend - Marie Lu
Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi
Cinder - Merissa Meyer
Fracture - Megan Miranda
A Million Suns - Beth Revis
Fated - Sarah Alderson

Giveaway Details:

  • Open Internationally (if Book Depository ships to your country)
  • Must be a GFC follower! (I know there are some changes to the GFC system so if you cant follow with GFC use networked blogs or subscribe by email) 
  • Open to new and old followers
  • The giveaway will be open for one month starting today 11th of January 2012 and will be open until 12th of February 2012
  • If I hit another milestone in followers before the giveaway ends I might be extra kind and pick TWO winners!
  • To enter please fill in the below form

Please Be Advised:

  • I am not responsible for lost or damaged goods from The Book Depository
  • No personal information (address) will be stored or used except for the purpose of this giveaway
  • Winner will be contacted by email and will have 72 hours to respond with mailing address and book choice or a new winner will be chosen.
  • The winner will be picked by a random number generator (
  • There is only one entry per person, if you comment more than once, one of your comments will be deleted
  • I have the right to change giveaway details as I see fit
  • Entrants must be 13 or older

Follow Friday #12

Happy Friday everyone! I hope your first week in the New Year has been fabulous!

It's time for some Follow Friday fun! Follow Friday is a book meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. This weeks question is:

"Go count the number of unread books sitting on your shelf. How many?"

I'm not at home at the moment, but I can tell you that there is at least 22 books that haven't been read. Not including Ebooks.. If I included Ebooks it would be at least 35-40 books. I know this isn't as many books as some other bloggers but this is the most I have ever had sitting waiting to be read. The most daunting part of that pile is not knowing which one to read next! Since they all sound amazing and I want to read all of them next... Until I do read them all I  wont be buying anymore books or going to the library. Guess I better get reading then!

How many books have you not read on your shelf?

Happy reading!
- Amy

Review: A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton

A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton
Release Date: January 5th 2012
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Edition: Proof Copy, 346 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

From Goodreads: "Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain. 

Although a perfect fit for the paranormal romance genre, A WITCH IN WINTER avoids fangs, excessive body hair and submissive female leads, and tells the heart-wrenching story of a couple meant to be together, but being forced apart. Seth is utterly irresistible and Anna is an empowered, proactive young woman with unimaginable magic inside her. This is fast-paced, sensuous writing with believable incantations inspired by Warburton's research into witchcraft legend and old English"

I won this book in a giveaway hosted by the author, Ruth Warburton on twitter, so I would like to say thank you! Receiving a free copy of this book does not influence my review. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Though it did take a lot longer to read than I would have liked. This had nothing to do with the writing or the story, purely because I was so busy that I didn't have much time to read. 

Anna is a witch. A witch who doesn't believe in witches. When she moves to a small town and into 'Wicker House,' things start to change. Anna experiences crazy storms and finds a very unusual book, and manages to enchant a boy into loving her. Sounds juicy right? Well it is. 

Anna is a great female lead. She has been without a Mother most of her life and she has turned out just fine. Though she wishes that her Dad would tell her what happened or even more about her Mum. Especially once she finds out she is a witch. She manages though, finding a clan that are willing to help her and in turn she is willing to help. When it comes down to it, she will put her life on the line to save her new town and her new friends. 

Seth, oh lovely lovely Seth. The boy with the bad reputation. The same boy that Anna casts a love potion on. A nice twist to the story as we think that he is in love with Anna because the spell, while towards the end we aren't sure. There are also questions raised about who Seth is. Upon meeting one of his relatives who tells Anna to leave them alone her type aren't good for them. So there are many questions to be answered in the second instalment! 

Overall this was a fast paced, action packed, filled with boy drama novel that Ruth Warburton has managed to carry out very well. She has done an amazing job creating a unique and very intriguing story that kept me hooked the entire way! Can't wait for the second book!

I know this review is a little sparse compared to my others, but I read it a couple of weeks or so ago and should have written the review then, but I found myself without the time! Pretty much all you need to know though, is that this book was amazing, and you should check it out :)

What are you all currently reading? I'm on a book buying ban so I will be living vicariously through you until I finish my TBR pile!! 

Happy Reading!
- Amy

Waiting on Wednesday #9

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. For more information please check out her lovely blog :)

This week I haven't picked a book that is yet to be released. I picked one that I am literally waiting to arrive. Drum roll please!

Fury by Shirley Marr
Release Date: May 1st 2011
Publisher: Black Dog Books
Goodreads | Fishpond

From Goodreads:
"Let me tell you my story. 
Not just the facts I know you want to hear. 
If I’m going to tell you my story, 
I’m telling it my way. 

Strap yourself in... 

Eliza Boans has everything. 
A big house. 
A great education. 
A bright future. 

So why is she sitting in a police station confessing to murder?"

So that pretty much tells you nothing about the story right? Except that she confesses to murder. But I have heard amazing amazing things about this one from fellow blogger's and twitter friends. Shirley Marr is an Aussie author, not only that she is from Perth, my home city! 

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Happy reading!
- Amy

Teaser Tuesday #9

Happy Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading

This week my teaser comes from:

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Released: September 27th 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Find it on Goodreads

"Noah closed his eyes. He stepped away from me and turned to face the intruders. I blinked, trying to bring everything back into focus."

I really loved this one! I know I'm a little late on the Mara bandwagon! But one of my giveaway winners Dani @ Pen to Paper said that I had to bump it up my TBR pile! So glad I did because it was awesome!!

What are you reading at the moment? Leave me links to your teasers so I can stop by!!

- Happy reading!
- Amy

IMM #9

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! Did you have a good New Years Eve? I hope you have all had a fabulous 2011 and wish you all the best for 2012.

Lets get down to business. So if you saw my Follow Friday, you would know that Me and Taneika @ Flipping Through the Pages are going on a book buying ban at the start of the New Year. So this could be one of my last IMM posts for a while. I do have some books waiting to be delivered so I will have another IMM post somewhere down the line. But until I finish all the books on my TBR pile I won't be buying anymore books. Of course I had to go to the shops yesterday to stock up on books, and this does also include the books I received for Christmas

For Christmas:
Imaginary Girls - Nova Ren Suma
Legend - Marie Lu
Wolfsbane - Andrea Cremer
Unleashed - Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie


Bought with Christmas money/vouchers:
Lies - Michael Grant
Blood Red Road - Moira Young
Under the Never Sky - Veronica Rossi
Blood Bound - Rachel Vincent

What was in your Mailbox this week? Leave me links so I can find your posts :)

Also let me know what books you would like to see available to win in an upcoming giveaway!

Happy New Year and happy reading!

- Amy

Friday, December 30, 2011

Follow Friday #11

Follow Friday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. For more information on how to participate and to see the other participants, please visit their blogs!

With the New Year approaching fast, this weeks question is only fitting!

"The New Year is here -- and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?"

This year is the first New Year that my little blog has seen! I have been finding that lately I have been buying more and more books before I get the chance to actually read the ones I already have. So my New Year's Blogging Resolution this year is to go on a BOOK BUYING BAN *gasp!* with Taneika @ Flipping Through the Pages until we finish the pile of books we have waiting to be read! It's going to be really tough, especially since starting my blog and seeing all of your lovely book posts. 

I have a feeling that I will be finding any excuse to go to the shops to buy books up until the New Year. That only gives me two days...  If you follow me on twitter, you can expect some very distressed tweets as I go into book buying withdrawal. 

My second resolution is to actually have a review schedule and to get more posts done in advance, so when I do get busy, the posts are all there ready to go! I also need to organise a blog button

What is your Years Resolution? 

Happy reading!
- Amy


Hi everyone!

So I know I have been a bit MIA from the blogging scene but it has been Christmas time and I have had family over so I have been trying to spend as much time with them as possible, I'm sorry! I will hopefully be on a better schedule in the new year :) I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas or holiday season and have an awesome new years!!

I just signed up for Bloglovin so if you would like to follow me on there, feel free!!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Happy reading!
- Amy

Friday, December 23, 2011

Follow Friday #10

Hi everyone!

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read as an opportunity for us to find new blogs to follow!

This weeks question is:

"If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?"

This is such a hard question for me to answer. There are many books that I would like to live in, but then I think about all the baddies in the books and I have to stop and think! Oh I just don't know!! Of course there is Harry Potter (I have a feeling this will be a popular choice), but with that comes He Who Must Not be Named! Or I would pick Julie Kagawa's world from the Iron Fey series, or Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series (I decided to pick more than one since HP will be a popular choice today!) There are so many good books out there, I couldn't imagine spending eternity in just one!

Do you have a book that you would like to spend eternity in? Leave me links or let me know in the comments below!

If I don't get another post up before Christmas, I hope everyone has a great holidays!!!!

Happy reading!
- Amy

Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: No Rules of Engagement by Thomas Wilson

No Rules of Engagement by Thomas Wilson
Release Date: August 30th 2011
Publisher: Smashwords
Edition: Ebook, 304 pages
Goodreads | Amazon

My Rating 3/5 stars

From Goodreads: "For eight year old orphan, Alexander Hawk, the question, "Is there other Intelligent life in the Universe?" has been answered with a resounding YES! 

Plucked from a correctional facility for boys because of a test he never even finished, Alexander is sent to train for combat against an alien race of Alligators which is attacking another group of aliens, the Macktonics, who have allied with United States in return for advanced technology. 

The United States' gathers an army of children so they will arrive at the perfect age for fighting. Alexander faces grueling training exercises as he struggles to rise to the challenge of preparing to save the placid Macktonic alien civilization from pending attack. Before his training is complete he comes face to face with the enemy. Alexander becomes student and teacher as they square off against a superior aggressor. Traveling through time portals crossing time and space to gain intelligence, and ultimately to hunt down their foe before they attack the Macktonics."

Let me start by saying thank you to Thomas Wilson for supplying me with an ecopy of his book. This in no way impacts my review. All opinions are my own.

No Rules of Engagement isn't like any book I have read before. This is the first book I have read that revolved around aliens. I wasn't too sure that this book would be for me as I am more of a paranormal fan. For the most part I was right, this book is a little bit far out of my favourite genre's but it was still an enjoyable read. 

Alexander Hawk is an 8 year old orphan who has been recruited for a special government program. He will be sent into space for a 6 year trip to fight an army of aliens (the Alligators) of unknown size and unknown strength. In the 6 years leading up to their arrival they will train and train and train. They are allied with another alien species, the Macktonics, who are far more advanced technologically than humans. They have discovered the secret to time travel. This is how they know that the Gators will eventually attack the Macktonics and take over their worlds. To avoid this the Macktonics allied with the United States, as they needed an army filled with people who know violence. In return the United States have been promised that they will remain the worlds superior power for the next century. 

My first thought when reading this book was, "Alexander is 8!? Why so young?!!" Later I found out that it was because they would be travelling for 6 years and would be at their fighting prime by the time of their arrival. Still that only leave his at 14 years old. Though he is the youngest on the ship, everyone else started out 10, on arrival 16. So at 8/10 years old these kids were taken from orphanages around the US to train to fight this alien army. Though it does make sense that by the time they reach their destination the kids will be 16 (or 14 in Alexander's case), I still thought that this was way to young for kids to be actively training for combat situations. I just couldn't seem to get passed the fact that he started out being 8.

The man in charge of the operation is General Deke Harrbinger. Who was arrogant, rude and hot headed. Which I suppose he would have to be to see it as a-okay to train 10 year old kids in combat! At the start of this book there is a chapter when he picks Alexander up from the orphanage and is really rough with him, which made me seriously not like him as a character. Though throughout the book he did calm down a lot and he did grow on me as he grew as a character. Eventually he realised that Alexander was smart. Smart enough to see flaws where he hadn't.

Age aside I did like Alexander as a character (I kind of chose to ignore that he was starting out 8 years old though). Again though, he did grow on me throughout the story. At the start he was incredibly violent (even slamming General Harrbinger's hand in the car door - ouch!) He was the youngest of the kids but he was also the best. The kids would train in a very advanced and high tech simulator that simulated situations of war. This I liked. The kids were able to play out different situations and tactics without actually dying, though the simulation did cause them to feel if they came into forms of impact. 

Alexander liked to show his superiority by intimidating the people who were condescending or thought they were better than him. He did this through violence, which I found similar to Deke. I don't remember what age he was but at one point he breaks someones finger to prove that he is superior. I know this fits with his character but it was still very unsettling. 

Thomas has taken modern day America and mixed it with an alien life force, creating a world that is very intriguing. During the first couple of chapters the pace seemed a little bit off, but as the story started taking shape this improved. There is room for improvement here and there, but Wilson has created a very appealing story. So if this sounds up your ally, check it out!

Happy reading!
- Amy

Sunday, December 18, 2011

In My Mailbox #8

Hi everyone!

In my mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at the Story Siren, check out her blog for information on how to participate and to also se all the other participating blogs!

Since I have been working at the bookstore for December (My local bookstore has a Christmas store of sale stock only for December) I have purchased a few books...

This week I purchased:
Working Stiff - Rachel Caine
Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
Finger Lickin' Dead - Riley Adams
The Single Girls To-Do List - Lindsey Kelk
Divergent - Veronica Roth
Anomaly - K.C. King (Ebook I actually bought a couple of weeks ago!)

This week I won:
River Cottage Veg Everyday - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (from Bloomsbury Sydney on twitter! Thank you!)
A Stila Makeup Palette (from Sophie @ Born to Buy, thanks Sophie!!)

Thats all folks! I steered clear of the library this week, I need to finish the books that I own before I go and borrow more!

What was in your mailbox this week?? Leave me links to your IMM post so I can comment back!

Happy reading!
- Amy

Waiting on Wednesday #8

Hi everyone!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine! This is a chance for book lovers to discuss the books that they can't wait for and to also discover new books that others are waiting on!

 This week my waiting on Wednesday pick is...

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 6th 2012
Series: Delirium #2
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

"I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame."
The way Delirium ended, OH MY WORD! I seriously cannot wait to read this one!! I tried to do a review of Delirium a while back but I just couldn't find the right words to describe it, so I didn't. But I will let you guys know that I really enjoyed it!!

What is your WoW pick this week? Leave me links so I can comment back!

Happy reading!

Teaser Tuesday #8

Hi everyone!

I can't believe that it's nearly Christmas. That's insane. And I only finished my Christmas shopping on Sunday. At least I didn't leave it till the VERY last minute right?

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB over at Should be Reading. For information on how to participate please visit the link! So this weeks teaser is from....

A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton
Publisher: Hodder Childrens Books
Expected Release Date: January 5th 2012
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

"It felt so, so wrong to open up my mind to a complete stranger, lower all my defences... Suddenly there was humming, a thrumming, a whirling buzz - and the magic flooded in."

Sounds good right?? I was lucky enough to win this one from the author! Super exciting. I'm only 30 pages in at the moment but I'm enjoying it so far!

What are you reading this week? Leave me a little teaser or link me to your TT posts!

Happy reading!

Monday, December 12, 2011

100 Follower Giveaway Winners!!!

Hi everyone!!

It's time to announce the winner(s) of my 100 follower giveaway!! Since I hit 250 followers while my 100 follower giveaway was open, I picked two winners! The winners of my giveaway have been emailed and have both responded! The winners were chosen with a random number generator (

So I will now happily announce the two winners!

Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf 
Who chose Dearly Departed

Dani @ Pen to Paper
Who picked The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Congratulations to both winners! I will be organising postage from the Book Depository today! Thank you to everyone who entered and to all of my new and old followers! I really can't thank you all enough.

Happy reading!
- Amy

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday #7

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. For more information please visit her blog. 

In the past two weeks I have read all 4 of the Gallagher Girl books by Ally Carter. The last one, Only the Good Spy Young, left the story line way open and I need to know what happens next!! 

So this WoW pick is:

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Release Date: March 20th 2012
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Goodreads  | Book Depository

From Goodreads: "The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan--an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home. 

Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer." 

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Happy reading!
- Amy

Teaser Tuesday #7

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can join in all you have to do is:

1. Grab your current read
2. Pick a quote
3. BE SURE it does NOT contain spoilers!
4. And share the Title and Author so your blog readers can find it!

This week I chose:

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Find it on Goodreads

"I could change them, she thought. I could become anything, anyone. She had never felt more mutable, more fluid, or more lost." pp 176

Please share with me your teasers for the week, I love to see what everyone else is reading!

Happy reading!
- Amy

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review: Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Release Date: June 11th 2009
Publisher: Penguin Books
Edition: UK Paperback, 424 pages

My Rating 4/5 stars

From Goodreads: "It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live. 

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend."

This was my first Sarah Dessen book! I don't know how I took so long to jump on board, she must have slipped through my radar somehow. This was one I picked up at my library, because I felt like an easy contemporary read. Along for the Ride really fit the bill for that!

I really loved Auden's character. Really academic and not so social. She feels it's her fault that her parents got divorced. Surely she could have prevented it? Once she realised that her parents waited for her to go to bed before arguing she would stay up later and later in hopes they wouldn't fight at all. Eventually it didn't matter what time she went to sleep, her parents would still fight. But by this point she was pretty much an insomniac and was awake and alert for all of the fights. She blames herself, and as a result she tries to please her parents by being academic. 

Auden decides that she wants to spend her summer after senior year with her Dad and his wife Heidi and their new baby girl Thisbe (don't particularly like the name, but then neither do half the characters in the book). Having spoken to her mum previously about the new baby and finding out that when raising Auden and her brother, her mum pretty much did it all alone as her dad 'needed his full 9 hours sleep,' Auden walks into pretty much the same situation with her Dads new family. Heidi is stressed to the max, not knowing how to look after Thisbe and run a business and do all of the domestic things that are expected of her. 

Auden was never very good in social situations so when she first meets the girls working at Heidi's shop, she is pretty judgemental. The girls are far more into their looks and into boys than she has ever been. Finding herself with a job working at the store doing Heidi's books, she realises that there is much much more to the girls there and she can finally call them friends. 

Of course along the way she meets a boy, Eli, but of course he is socially unavailable, and has been since the car accident. He doesn't talk to anyone and he rarely goes to the parties or hangs out with his friends. But somehow he finds himself talking to her, she is different to everyone in town. She doesn't look at him with pity for what happened and he finds it refreshing. They take comfort in each other during the night, as they both are insomniacs. Word starts to get around that the old Eli is starting to show himself again.

Sarah Dessen is a great YA writer, though I did find that some of the information included could probably have been skipped. I thought that it took a little bit too long for the story to get going. I really didn't care much for Auden's Mums dinner party with her students that seemed to drag on for a couple of pages at the start of the book. I would have preferred the start of the book to be more about Auden and not her Mum. However once the book got underway it was a really great read, I look forward to reading more of Dessen's work!

Have you read any of Sarah Dessen's work? What would you recommend?

Happy Reading!
- Amy

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blog Tour: Reveal by Brina Courtney

Hi everyone!!

I'm very excited to be part of the Reveal blog tour which is stopping by my blog today. Thank you to the lovely Brina for asking me to be part of her tour! For information on the blog tour or more information regarding the author, please visit her blog.

**Reveal is released TODAY 16th of December!**
 Reveal by Brina Courtney
Release Date: 16th December 2011
Format: eARC
Series: Cryptid Tales #1
Goodreads | Smashwords | Amazon

 My Rating 3.5/5 Stars

 From Goodreads: "Shay Tafford is not normal. Being a cryptid is not normal. Seeing ghosts is not normal. Her father’s disappearance is not normal. Lucky for Shay, Hugh isn't normal either. 
 So when he enters her life through her dead best friend, Shay knows he may be her only chance at a normal life. A life she is desperately searching for."

The eARC was supplied to me by the author for the purpose of this blog tour, this in no way alters my review. All thoughts are my honest opinion.

Reveal follows the story of Shay, a high school student that has been through a lot. Her Father went missing when she was a young girl and ever since that night, life hasn't been the same. Shay was close to her Dad and to this day, they don't know what happened to him. Since that night, Shay has been able to communicate with ghosts. Specifically a boy named Jeremy, who we were first introduced to in Ignite. He lived in a orhpanage until someone burnt it down and all the kids inside were killed. Now they are all ghosts carrying out certain tasks.

Jeremy has been Shay's best friend for many years, that is until they have a fight and she unknowingly banishes him. Forced to spend more time with living people Shay makes friends with Olivia, who she now spend the majority of her time with. During their trips to the coffee shop they come across a boy named Hugh. Who she later finds out is like her, he even knows more about it than she does. Shay discovers that there is a whole tribe of people just like her, Cryptids. People who can see ghosts or change into cats. As their relationship grows Hugh's parents realise that they could be the Cryptid couple of the prophecy. The couple that is supposed to defeat the "darkness."

I found the story to be intriguing and pretty unique as stories these days go! I liked Courtney's writing style and found it to be a fairly quick read. The pacing of the book was a little bit fast in parts, a little slow in others, but the other elements of the story definitely make up for it.

Shay is a very like able character. She is a fairly normal teenage girl, here is no mention of her being an outcast or popular, she is just your average girl. This I liked, so often the main character is incredibly 'uncool,' then all these things start happening to him/her and they make friends with one or more of the popular teens. Shay and her family have been darkly effected by the disappearance of their father and husband. Entirely understandable. They are moving on with their lives but there are still unanswered questions that are keeping them down. As the story develops we see Shay discover things about herself and the people close to her that she never knew.

Hugh is the love interest in the story. He's a college boy, while Shay herself is still in high school. As the story progressed I found Hugh to be pretty full on as a character. Shay is the reason he is in town (I won't say much, I don't want to spoil any surprises!) even before Shay knew he existed.

Both Shay and Hugh were left with room to develop both as characters and in their relationship, I look forward to seeing this in the next book in the series.

One thing I will say though - That ending? I did NOT see that coming!! I really thought that it would be your typical happy ending to the first book in a series. Though there were still plot lines that were left open at the point in time of the ending things had died down. Or so I thought. Until the final sentences of the novel! This was very well done! Just when I thought the story was coming to a close, it gets blown wide open!

This is only the second book I have read primarily about ghosts and I was not disappointed! Courtney has done a great job of leaving her readers hanging! I can't wait to find out what will happen next!

Don't forget to stop by the next blog on the tour Word Spelunking for an author Interview!

What do you think? Does this sound like a book you would like?

Happy reading!
- Amy

In My Mailbox #7

In my mailbox is hosted by the lovely Kristi over at The Story Siren. In My Mailbox was created to showcase books that have been bought or received, as not all of them may necessarily get reviewed.

This week I had a pretty big book haul.

From my local library:
Die For Me - Amy Plum
Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover (Gallagher Girls #3) - Ally Carter
Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls #4) - Ally Carter
Stolen - Lucy Christopher
Revelations - Melissa De La Cruz
Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires #1) - Rachel Caine
Dead Girls Dance (Morganville Vampires #2) - Rachel Caine

Won in a giveaway:
A Witch in Winter - Ruth Warburton (Thanks Ruth!!)

Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls #2) - Ally Carter
Clockwork Prince - Cassandra Clare (!!!!!!!!!)

From Author:
Paradox: Progeny of Innocence - Patti Roberts (Thanks Patti!)
Pyxis bookmarks from KC Neal, Thank you!

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Happy reading!

- Amy
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