180 Seconds by Jessica Park

180 Seconds

180 Seconds by Jessica Park

We are engaged in a form of intimacy that scares the hell out of me. 

Is it possible to fall in love in 180 seconds if you stare into each other’s eyes? I don’t believe in insta-love, but this story caught my eye and I started cautiously only to be swept into a beautiful character-driven, contemporary story that blew any misconceptions away. It’s been a long time since I was this emotional over a book.

Sometimes, the unexpected happens…

This is a couple it would be hard not to route for. They both have issues and it’s messy. But it’s also electrifying and I couldn’t put the book down.

It’s as if there is a weight on my chest that I want to shove off, and have never been this terrified before. 

P.S. He may have only become her adoptive father when she was sixteen, pulling her out of the foster care system, but Simon is my new favourite bookish father.

He, like me, is fighting something. 

Although the characters are in university, the book reads more like YA (young adult)

I want to run. I want to stay. I want to do both.
Together we battle.4 Star

 

 

Title: 180 Seconds180 Seconds

Author: Jessica Park 

Publication Date: 25 April 2017

Publisher: Skyscape

Source: Review copy

 

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After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love. — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Adding to Your TBR August 2017

Adding to your tbr

Adding to Your TBR August 2017

Adding books to your TBR (To Be Read list) is serious business #bookwormproblems I have more books on mine than I care to admit but fortunately, that doesn’t stop me adding more every month. So I am sharing my most anticipated books of August 2017 new releases to help you compile a threatening fabulous list too.

These are the books I am most looking forward to… (In order of release so you can get your pre-orders in before you forget!)

 

Have you read any of these? What’s on your TBR for August?

 

The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby 

Expected: 1 August 2017

A YA thriller with an unreliable narrator.

Adding to Your TBR

 

When Olivia awakes in a hospital bed following a car accident that almost took her life, she can’t remember the details about how she got there. She figures the fog is just a symptom of being in a week-long coma, but as time goes on, she realizes she’s lost more than just the last several days of her life—she’s lost her memory of the last four years. Gone is any recollection of starting or graduating high school; the prom; or her steady boyfriend Matt. Trying to figure out who she is feels impossible when everyone keeps telling her who she was. 

As Liv tries to block out what her family and friends say about who she used to be, the one person she hasn’t heard enough from is Walker, the guy who saved her the night her car was knocked off that bridge into the bay below. Walker is the hardened boy who’s been keeping his distance—and the only person Olivia inexplicably feels herself with. With her feelings growing for Walker, tensions rising with Matt, and secrets she can’t help but feel are being kept from her, Olivia must find her place in a life she doesn’t remember living. – Abstract from Goodreads

Goodreads    Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Book Depository    

 

Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

Expected: 1 August 2017

A psychological thriller full of secrets and promising unpredictable twists.

Adding to Your TBR

 

Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay.

The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name. -Goodreads

 

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Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock

Expected: 1 August 2017

Well, I had to put at least on contemporary in! I know this sounds like thousands of books just like it but I know it’s going to be just the thing to turn a bad day around.

Adding to Your TBR

 

Jenny meets Chance for the very first time when she is assigned as his partner in their Junior Oral Communications class. But after they rescue a doomed assignment with one clever lie, the whole school is suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever. It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow―especially when you really, really want it to be the truth.

With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that TV shows and movies have always promised. Through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are “just friends.” But that might be the biggest lie of all. – Abstract from Goodreads

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The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride

Expected: 8 August 2017

I love scavenger hunts and with the chance to read a thriller with a scavenger hunt makes The Bakersville Dozen my most anticipated August read.

Adding to Your TBR

 

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up. But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone… – Abstract from Goodreads

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Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Expected: 8 August 2017

I loved Brandy Colbert’s ballet thriller Pointe (link to my 5-star review) so much that she became one of my ‘auto-buy’ authors so the inclusion of Little & Lion is a given.

Adding to Your TBR

 

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse. – Abstract from Goodreads

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Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker 

Expected: 8 August 2017

Disappearing sisters, lies, dysfunctional family… this sounds like a winner!

Adding to Your TBR

 

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime. – Abstract from Goodreads

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The Diplomat’s Daughter by Karin Tanabe

Expected: 10 August 2017

After reading the brilliant Nora & Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor, which highlighted the appalling conditions Japanese American citizens were subjected to after Pearl Harbour, I have been more aware of the US/Japanese aspect of WWII. I am strangely drawn to the Second World War but for the most part, my interest has centered on Europe. Having had the privilege of living in Indonesia I have seen relics of their Japanese Occupation and I am looking forward to immersing myself and learning more about the Asian Pacific aspect.

Adding to Your TBR

 

During the turbulent months following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, twenty-one-year-old Emi Kato, the daughter of a Japanese diplomat, is locked behind barbed wire in a Texas internment camp. She feels hopeless until she meets handsome young Christian Lange, whose German-born parents were wrongfully arrested for un-American activities. Together, they live as prisoners with thousands of other German and Japanese families, but discover that love can bloom in even the bleakest circumstances.

When Emi and her mother are abruptly sent back to Japan, Christian enlists in the US Army, with his sights set on the Pacific front—and, he hopes, a reunion with Emi—unaware that her first love, Leo Hartmann, the son of wealthy of Austrian parents and now a Jewish refugee in Shanghai, may still have her heart. – Abstract from Goodreads

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A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Expected: 15 August 2017

I have been on the fence with this one, it could go anyway. But I’m going to put my trust in the early ratings on Goodreads and give it a go.

Adding to Your TBR

 

Emma had always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two had always been best friends. Until something happened that wrecked them. Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in this gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart. 

To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this—or anything. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?  – Abstract from Goodreads

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Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

Expected: 15 August 2017

Another one I am not too sure about, but again it’s had great early reviews…

Adding to Your TBR

 

All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love. 

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever? – Abstract from Goodreads

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Zero Repeat Forever by Gabrielle Prendergast

Expected: 29 August 2017

OMG just look at this cover! #coverlove I don’t read a lot of science fiction, and although I added it to my TBR just for the cover, the story line is intriguing and the early ratings in Goodreads are excellent.

Adding to Your TBR

 

He has no voice, or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind.

Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall.

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting.

Until a human kills her… – Goodreads

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Narratored by Christian Coulson

 

I fell in love with the irresistible Monty within the first paragraph and Percy shortly after. Witty, sensitive and adorable these two precious and extremely shippable characters will burrow into your heart before the end of chapter one.

So although I’ve got nothing on but my waistcoat—by some sorcery now buttoned back to front—and one shoe, it seems safe to assume we both kept our bits to ourselves.

It takes a little longer to reach the ‘real’ Felicity but she’s the kind of brave, smart, independent girl I’d love to be. Mackenzi Lee has promised a spin-off book The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy in 2018 where Felicity gets a turn to shine.

I’d like you to both remember just how much you adore me and how dull and gloomy your lives would be without me in them.

I listened to the Audible audio version and Christian Coulson was a brilliant narrator portraying the hilarious, oblivious, flawed and outrageous Monty through their unexpected detour off the preplanned road-trip.

We are not broken things, neither of us.

Fast-paced, adventurous, romantic and quirky The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is also the funniest book I have read in a long time.

There’s really nothing to do but pretend I’m fully clothed and in control of the situation.

The diversity of the characters feels natural and a far cry from the run-of-the-mill ‘read me’ stories who force diversity into the story like an add-on.

And we are looking at each other, just looking, and I swear there are whole lifetimes lived in those small, shared moments.5 Star

 

 

Title: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Author: Mackenzie Lee 

Narrator: Christian CoulsonThe Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

Publication Date: 27 June 2017

Publisher: Harper Audio

Source: Purchased

 

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Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn

Girl on the Verge

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn

 

The good news is Girl on the Verge is good, the bad news… it’s good – but just doesn’t tip the scales to great simply because it’s just a little too shallow. The shallowness of both plot and characters let the story down. The storyline, although unoriginal, has all the makings of a brilliant psychological thriller where the reader alternates between wanting to slap the gullible character and hiding under the duvet. More depth is needed and although there were occasional flashes of sinister, dark intent I wanted more. Much more.

… it makes the chill crawl up my back, one long spider leg at a time.

Of all the characters Kan stood out and I empathised with her perception of always being the odd one out. All the secondary characters were flimsy paper dolls.

I could explain how I’m from two worlds but don’t fit in either.

I visited Thailand once, but it was a fleeting stay so it was a huge bonus to glimpse a little of the Thai culture through Kan’s grandmother whose authentic Thai food made my mouth water.

“We’ve kept this secret for seventeen years…”3 Star

 

 

Title: Girl on the VergeGirl on the Verge

Author: Pintip Dunn

Publication Date: 27 June 2017

Publisher: Kensington

Source: Review copy

 

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In her small Kansas town, at her predominantly white school, Kanchana doesn’t look like anyone else. But at home, her Thai grandmother chides her for being too westernized. Only through the clothing Kan designs in secret can she find a way to fuse both cultures into something distinctly her own.

When her mother agrees to provide a home for a teenage girl named Shelly, Kan sees a chance to prove herself useful. Making Shelly feel comfortable is easy at first—her new friend is eager to please, embraces the family’s Thai traditions, and clearly looks up to Kan. Perhaps too much. Shelly seems to want everything Kanchana has, even the blond, blue-eyed boy she has a crush on. As Kan’s growing discomfort compels her to investigate Shelly’s past, she’s shocked to find how much it intersects with her own—and just how far Shelly will go to belong… — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Polly Stone

The Nightingale is a story that I will remember. Not just remember, embrace. More than a story, this book clings to me. Its heart and soul speak out as though it was made for preserving. A keepsake.

… grief, like regret, settles into our DNA and remains forever part of us.

I am drawn to WWII books, in particular, those set in occupied France. I don’t know why – they are almost always sad and I tend to question what I would have done in the same situation… I know courage would have failed me and that doesn’t lead to happy thoughts. But it is why I found myself drawn to Vianne whose courage didn’t come easy.

If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.

Although the Goodreads abstract below suggests the sisters were always close this isn’t how I interpreted their relationship which had been negatively influenced by the loss of their mother, subsequent absent father, and very different personalities. Their tenuous bond fluctuated over the course of the war and brought additional tension and emotion to the story.

“Men tell stories. Women get on with it. For us it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.”

While the novel is written in the third person, the intermittent glimpse to the future (1995) is narrated by one of the sisters (it is not clear for the majority of the book which sister this is) in the first person. This glimpse forward with its unmistakable hindsight adds an element of mystery to the story which I loved.

He held her gaze and suddenly she couldn’t breathe. “I am a soldier now it seems”.

The book ended with me in tears – as almost all great books do. My last notes are monosyllables: brilliant, sad, love, forgiveness, courage, courage, courage…5 Star

 

 

Title: The NightingaleThe Nightingale

Author: Kristin Hannah 

Narrator: Polly Stone

Publication Date: 3 February 2015

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Source: Review copy

 

 

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Despite their differences, sisters Vianne and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Vianne is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Vianne finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength are tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Vianne and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos

Life in a FishbowlLife in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos

Their house was being transformed into a cruel kind of fishbowl, and all they could do was pucker and swim.

Life in a Fishbowl… Where to start? I didn’t like this book. The plot concept had potential but ultimately lacked execution and the matter-of-fact, detached writing style was off-putting.

That’s when it would be game over. But the tumor didn’t know that. It only knew it had to keep eating, that Jared’s memories tasted wonderful, that they were things to be savored.

 

Why didn’t I like it you ask?…

Too many third-party PVO’s (point-of-views) to keep track of and – wait for it – one of those voices is the brain tumour, a glioblastoma to be precise, killing Jackie’s father.

Deirdre was crying. More than anything, the glioblastoma wanted to stop her from crying.

But even this aspect could have worked better if the tumour voice was a more realistic, perhaps more scientific. Instead, it’s personified – with feelings. And decision-making skills. Maybe a bit of sarcastic wit could have made a difference…? But all the tumour character did was give the story a dry, warped, fantasy twist. Which was awful and meaningless, taking up space in the book which would have been better suited to developing the flimsy human characters.

In that moment, the tumor knew, the bond formed between father and daughter was unbreakable. It paused to savor that feeling, letting the unbridled happiness envelop it.

Theses human characters were the typical paper-doll kind, you know the ones, so superficial they can hardly stand up. Many of them play such a small, arbitrary role in the story it’s hard to know why they are there.

 

Title: Life in a Fishbowl

Author: Len Vlahos 

Publication Date: 3 January 2017Life in a Fishbowl

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Source: Review copy

 

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Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone is a prisoner in her own house. Everything she says and does 24/7 is being taped and broadcast to every television in America. Why? Because her dad is dying of a brain tumor and he has auctioned his life on eBay to the highest bidder: a ruthless TV reality show executive at ATN.

Gone is her mom’s attention and cooking and parent-teacher conferences. Gone is her sister’s trust ever since she’s been dazzled by the cameras and new-found infamy. Gone is her privacy. Gone is the whole family’s dignity as ATN twists their words and makes a public mockery of their lives on Life and Death. But most of all, Jackie fears that one day very soon her father will just be . . . gone. Armed only with her ingenuity and the power of the internet, Jackie is determined to end the show and reclaim all of their lives, even in death.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

 

The fact that I received this copy of this book from the publisher does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Series – Why I Delay Reading Them

Series

 

Confession… I often forget what a book was about – even if it’s one I really liked. #bookwormproblems I’m sure you’ll agree that my excuses explanations are valid:

  • I read a lot.
  • Half my attention is on what to read next.
  • I sometimes read more than one book at a time.
  • I alternate during the day between reading one book and listening to another on Audible.
  • Authors and Publishers deliberately confuse readers by changing the covers.

And one of the biggest #bookwormproblem of all is that authors don’t write fast enough. (Yes, I know the other big #bookwormproblem is they write too fast and how am I going to ever get through my TBR) but when it comes to series I have often forgotten the essence of the story by the time the sequel comes out…

My solution: avoid series until all books have been published so I can binge read. This brings its own problems… Avoiding spoilers, missing out on the hype excitement and struggling to find anyone interested enough to talk about book 1 after they’ve read the whole series.

The following series are ones I intend to read. One day. Maybe. Once all books are published.

My most anticipated series

Which ones can you recommend? Do you read the first book in a series as soon as it’s published or do you delay like I do?


Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Book 1: Wintersong

SeriesAll her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns. – abstract from Goodreads

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Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Book 1: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire

SeriesWhen the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched. The heirs of the city’s most powerful—and warring—families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself.

But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan—and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die.- abstract from Goodreads

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Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

Book 1: Poison’s Kiss

SeriesMarinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It’s a miserable life, but being a visha kanya, a poison maiden, is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she s really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose. – abstract from Goodreads

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Monsters of Verity by Victoria Schwab

Book 1: This Savage Song

SeriesKate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music.

When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. – abstract from Goodreads

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The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

Book 1: The Crown’s Game

SeriesVika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.- abstract from Goodreads

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The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Book 1: The Girl from Everywhere  

SeriesNix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination.

As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix. But the end to it all looms closer every day. – abstract from Goodreads

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Book 1: Passenger

SeriesIn one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not. – abstract from Goodreads

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Lux by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book 1: Obsidian

SeriesStarting over sucks. When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring… until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth. Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something… unexpected happens. – abstract from Goodreads

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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Book 1: The Wrath and the Dawn

SeriesIn a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. – abstract from Goodreads

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The Chronicles of Alice by Christina Henry

Book 1: Alice

&nbspSeriesIn a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo the screams of the poor souls inside. In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blond, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place. Just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…

Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago. Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful. – abstract from Goodreads

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Top Ten Tuesday

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index is a thoughtful story with likable characters and a hopeful message. The suspense added a thread of bittersweet brilliance throughout the story.

Once there was a girl who made a wish in anger. She didn’t mean it, but that didn’t matter because at that very moment a star was falling and heard her and listened.

There were many elements that reminded me of one of my favourite books I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Ropes are snapping. My cool dangles by a thread.

Juniper and her sister Cammie’s story is revealed slowly, like a secret. This, combined with brilliant, unpredictable twists keeps the reader in suspense and adds tension to the story which I loved.

It’s hard to keep close a person everyone is telling you is gone.

YA authors are writing more and more about dealing with the loss of a parent, sibling or friend. These books are very necessary particularly because not only do we all handle grief in a different way, we are all going to be dealing with grief in our lives at some point.

A sister.
A lined card.
A lover in a letter.
A blank night, a blackout: the hours I can’t remember.

4 Star

 

 

 

Title: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness IndexJuniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

Author: Julie Israel

Publication Date: 1 June 2017

Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books

Source: Review copy

 

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It’s been sixty-five days since the accident that killed Juniper’s sister, and ripped Juniper’s world apart.

Then she finds the love letter: written by Camilla on the day of the accident, addressed mysteriously to “You,” but never sent. Desperate to learn You’s identity and deliver the message, Juniper starts to investigate.

Until she loses something. A card from her Happiness Index: a ritual started by sunny Camie for logging positives each day. It’s what’s been holding Juniper together since her death – but a lost card only widens the hole she left behind. And this particular card contains Juniper’s own dark secret: a memory she can’t let anyone else find out.

The search for You and her card take Juniper to even less expected places, and as she connects with those whose secrets she upturns in the effort, she may just find the means to make peace with her own.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

 Midnight at the Electric

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

“I think all my life my heart has been broken… and I didn’t even notice. And I don’t even know by what.”

Midnight at the Electric was added to my TBR (to-be-read list) simply for its haunting title, gorgeous cover and the possibility of magic these allude to. But the magic escaped me and I am now left with a burning question…

We are a house full of secrets. The main secret is we are afraid.

Actually, I had a lot of questions at first as story threads are not very clear (at least to me) and I spent a few hours scrolling back and forth to try and work out what I had missed and how the characters across time intertwine. I worked much it out in the end – who belongs to who and who ended up where. These answers lead to further questions… what happened to everyone? One of the family lines is rather flimsy having neither a history nor a present and I wonder why are they in the story?

…I am strange to myself and getting stranger all the time.

But, back to the question I’m still trying to answer.

Spoiler Alert!

Midnight at the Electric - The Title

The title has little to do with the story… Why give the book the title ‘Midnight at the Electric’ when the Electric hardly features in the story? Actually, it is in barely more than a chapter and that is mostly the build up to the midnight event. A couple of paragraphs about it in the beginning of the book and bam! it is never mentioned again. Not the Electric nor its consequences… What am I missing?

[collapse]

“Apparently, people need closure,” she said. “It’s some kind of thing.

The characters are unique and interesting but it’s a strange story – so many loose ends… I think I also need closure.

I don’t think you can leave a person you love without leaving your skeleton behind.
crushingcinders.com

 

 

Title: Midnight at the Electric  

Author: Jodi Lynn AndersonMidnight at the Electric

Publication Date: 13 June 2017 

Publisher: HarperTeen

Source: Review copy

 

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Kansas, 2065 Adri has been handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before Launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.

Oklahoma, 1934 Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called The Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire — and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life — Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

England, 1919 In the recovery following World War One, Lenore tries to come to terms with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?
— Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Dividing Eden

 

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Dividing Eden has all the necessary political intrigue murder and espionage to make it work, but it lacks pace and world building.

Freedom was a myth

The positive

The twists were unexpected and left me confused – which twin was I rooting for? I started off rooting for one, only to change my alliance a few times during the story.

The world was safer when people believed justice was the same for the powerless and those in power.

The negative

Agonisingly slow (including the repetitive setting-the-scene) through much of the first half and far more political than I expected. This led me to compare it to Grave Mercy, a beautiful book with intense world building that Dividing Eden didn’t live up to.

Freedom was a mirage. It taunted and promised a great deal as it hung just out of reach.

The many unanswered questions and the ending left plenty of room for the sequel/s. I just hope that they are published fairly soon as I am not so sure I am going to be eager to pick up the next book unless this one is still fresh in my mind.

3 Star

 

 

Title: Dividing Eden

Dividing Eden
Series: Dividing Eden #1
Author:  Joelle Charbonneau
Publication Date: 6 June 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Review copy

 

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Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.  — Abstract from Goodreads.com

The fact that I received a free advanced copy of this book does not influence my policy to write an honest review.

Disclaimer: The quotes appear in my advanced review copy and may not appear in the final version.

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