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Shadow and Bone is a dark, hypnotic fantasy which threatens to suck any reader down into its murky depths where you’ll meet sinister, magnetic characters, such as the commanding anti-hero – The Darkling…

Leigh Bardugo’s seductive writing brings to life an exotic story-world so realistic you’ll find yourself at the heart of darkness where things are not always what they seem.  Read it if you dare!4 Star

Recommended age: 13+

Title: Shadow and BoneShadow and bone
Series: The Grisha #1
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publication Date: 6 June 2013
(first published 2012)
Publisher: Indigo
Source: Purchased
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Unremembered crop

A clever, original, intriguing story that keeps popping into my mind at odd times, days after finishing the book.

Full of suspense, the plot follows mind-blowing twists and kept me spellbound until the end. Excellent, well thought out concept with believable, well developed characters. I am looking forward to reading the sequel.4 Star

Recommended age: 13+

Title: Unremembered
Series: Unremembered Unremembered
Author: Jessica Brody
Publication Date: 28 February 2013
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Source: Purchased
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Sixteen-year-old Sera is the only survivor of an explosion on a plane. She wakes up in hospital to find that she has no memory. The only clue to her identity is a mysterious boy who claims she was part of a top-secret science experiment. The only adult she trusts insists that she shouldn’t believe anything that anybody tells her. In a tense and pacy novel exploding with intrigue and action, Sera must work out who she is and where she came from. Eventually she will learn that the only thing worse than forgetting her past is remembering it.  — Extract from Goodreads.com

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My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die.

I counted.

It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I have ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-La.

I loved the way the two separate stories not only intertwined but enriched each other in the process.

Beautifully written. Engaging. Full of wonder.4 Star

Recommended age: 14+

Title: Jellicoe RoadJellicoe
Author: Melina Marchetta
Publication Date: 9 March 2010
(1st published 2006)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
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In this lyrical, absorbing, award-winning novel, nothing is as it seems, and every clue leads to more questions.

At age eleven, Taylor Markham was abandoned by her mother. At fourteen, she ran away from boarding school, only to be tracked down and brought back by a mysterious stranger. Now seventeen, Taylor’s the reluctant leader of her school’s underground community, whose annual territory war with the Townies and visiting Cadets has just begun. This year, though, the Cadets are led by Jonah Griggs, and Taylor can’t avoid his intense gaze for long. To make matters worse, Hannah, the one adult Taylor trusts, has disappeared. But if Taylor can piece together the clues Hannah left behind, the truth she uncovers might not just settle her past, but also change her future.   — Extract from Goodreads.com

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Every day I am someone else. I am myself – I know I am myself – but I am also someone else.

With a simmering undertone of yearning this book highlights the lives we all lead behind the scenes, where imperfections are hidden from the rest of the world.

A mesmerising account of longing, loyalty and friendship that emphasises not only the weaknesses of humanity but also the overwhelming importance of our relationships with each other.

I try not to alter the lives I borrow for a day. But sometimes it can’t be helped.4 Star

Recommended age: 14+

Title:  Everyday
Series: Everyday #1
Author: David Levithan Everyday
Publication Date: 28 August 2012
Publisher: Knopf Books
Source: Borrowed from Library
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Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day    — Extract from Goodreads.com

Sometimes it happens crop

‘Sometimes It Happens’ is a compelling read, full of drama and angst interspersed with laugh-out-loud wit.

Although the story, told in alternating chapters (present day – the first day of senior year and flash-back to the beginning of the summer), is predictable and includes the inevitable love triangle, it is also great fun and has realistic lovable characters.4 Star

Recommended age: 13+

Title: Sometimes It Happens
Author: Lauren BarnholdtSometimes it happens
Publication Date: 12 July 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased
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This novel opens on the first day of Hannah’s senior year, but the story really starts on the last day of her junior year. That’s when Hannah not only gets dumped by her boyfriend, Ryan, but she also finds out her best friend, Ava, is going to be gone for the entire summer. But Ava’s boyfriend, Noah, is definitely around–and such a good guy that he snags Hannah a job at the diner where he works. Hannah and Noah move from coworkers, to friends….and one night, to something more.

Now it’s back to school, where Hannah will see Ryan, Ava, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, Hannah will learn a lot about love, friendship…and herself. — Extract from Goodreads.com

Welcome Katie McGarry…

I am so excited to welcome one of my favourite authors, Katie McGarry! Thank you so much for taking the time to appear on my blog. You Rock!!

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Katie writes YA contemporary books, such as her Pushing the Limits series pictured above.

Lets get straight into the interview:

Were you an avid reader as a child? 
I read some when I was a child, but unfortunately stopped reading as much in my tween years.

What was your favourite childhood book?
My favorite book when I was in elementary school was Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.

Other than The Outsiders which we know you love, what is your second favourite YA book and why?
There a quite a few YA novels that I love. Some of my favorite authors are Gena Showalter, Trish Doller, Miranda Kenneally, Colette Ballard, Joy Hensley, Courtney Stevens, Kristen Simmons, Sabrina Elkins, and the list can go on and on…

What is the last book you read that really spoke to you?
I just read an advanced reviewer copy of Courtney Stevens‘s The Lies About Truth and it was amazing!

What keeps you awake in the middle of the night?
Sometimes my characters choose the middle of the night to “speak to me”. That’s usually when I figure out my plot problems.

Would you consider visiting South Africa (we have lots of beautiful beaches!) in the future?
I would love to visit South Africa someday. Right now, due to my travel schedule and deadline schedule, I’m not sure when I can make it there.
(I’m are hoping it’s sooner rather than later – I’d love to have my books signed…)

Can you give your readers a hint of what we can look forward to?
I’m currently working on the Thunder Road series. The first book in the series, Nowhere But Here, follows teens who are raised in a motorcycle club. It will be released in the US on May 26, 2015.Nowhere but here.

 

Just look at this beautiful cover! I can’t wait for release day…

Add to Goodreads and don’t forget to follow Katie McGarry (links below) so you don’t miss any news of her upcoming books.

More about Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

KatieMcGarry

Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits series out now
Nowhere But Here series Spring 2015
Breaking the Rules (Echo & Noah #2) 12/8/14
www.katielmcgarry.com
Twitter: @KatieMcGarry
Facebook Page
Goodreads
Instagram

Boy Nobody Crop 1

Reminiscent of Robert Muchamore’s CHERUB series, this is a fast paced story of a teen assassin. He’s on an assignment with complications, huge complications, that completely change the game plan and put his life in jeopardy.

Well written, engaging, exciting, this book is very popular in our school library.4 Star

Recommended age: 13+

Title: Boy Nobody
Series: The Unknown Assassin #1
Author: Allen Zadoff
Publication Date: 11 June 2013Boy Nobody
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Source: Purchased
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They needed the perfect assassin.

Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school in a new town under a new name, makes a few friends, and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die-of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, moving on to the next target.

But when he’s assigned to the mayor of New York City, things change. The daughter is unlike anyone he has encountered before; the mayor reminds him of his father. And when memories and questions surface, his handlers at The Program are watching. Because somewhere deep inside, Boy Nobody is somebody: the kid he once was; the teen who wants normal things, like a real home and parents; a young man who wants out. And who just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s mission.

In this action-packed series debut, author Allen Zadoff pens a page-turning thriller that is as thought-provoking as it is gripping, introducing an utterly original and unforgettable antihero.    — Extract from Goodreads.com

Touching the Surface Win

The parcel I have been waiting for arrived yesterday. So exciting! Look what I got…

I won this awesome prize during the The YA Scavenger Hunt a few months ago where I had such fun hopping from blog to blog collecting clues and entering the participating author’s additional giveaways.

A huge thank you to author Kimberly Sabatini and her very generous prize of a signed book for myself as well as one (a hardcover!) for our school library…
And look at all the signed bookmarks and beautiful origami birds! The students are going to love these! I can’t wait to show them.

Program crop

Reminiscent of Slated by Teri Terry, Suzanne Young has created a disturbingly realistic dystopian world. The unique method used in the memory removal procedure was particularly alarming… all the more because it didn’t even seem far-fetched.

I became so absorbed in this story that when I finally had to face the real world I brought back a lingering trace of paranoia….

Although it did not distract from the story as a whole, I wish we had been told the underlying cause of the overwhelming depression and suicide rate that triggered the need for a new society – I don’t like unsolved mysteries!4 Star

Recommended age: 13+

Title: The ProgramThe Program
Series: The Program – # 1
Author: Suzanne Young
Publication Date: 30 April 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased
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In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.        — Extract from Goodreads.com