Friday, 29 August 2014

Blog Tour: GYPSY by TRISHA LEIGH



Title: Gypsy
Author: Trisha Leigh 
Series: The Cavy Files #1
Publication date: May 13th 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction


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Inconsequential: not important or significant.
Synonyms: insignificant, unimportant, nonessential, irrelevant.
In the world of genetic mutation, Gypsy’s talent of knowing a person’s age of death is considered a failure. Her peers, the other Cavies, have powers that range from curdling a blood still in the vein to being able to overhear a conversation taking place three miles away, but when they’re taken from the sanctuary where they grew up and forced into the real world, Gypsy, with her all-but-invisible gift, is the one with the advantage.
The only one who’s safe, if the world finds out what they can do.
When the Cavies are attacked and inoculated with an unidentified virus, that illusion is shattered. Whatever was attached to the virus causes their abilities to change. Grow. In some cases, to escape their control.
Gypsy dreamed of normal high school, normal friends, a normal life, for years. Instead, the Cavies are sucked under a sea of government intrigue, weaponized genetic mutation, and crushing secrets that will reframe everything they’ve ever been told about how their “talents” came to be in the first place.
When they find out one of their own has been appropriated by the government, mistreated and forced to run dangerous missions, their desire for information becomes a pressing need. With only a series of guesses about their origins, the path to the truth becomes quickly littered with friends, enemies, and in the end, the Cavies ability to trust anyone at all.

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Review
Genre: sci-fi,romance,YA,review copy

Gypsy is described by irs author, Trisha Leigh, as "X-men meets Alias" and at the time when the genetically mutated teenagers are introduced, living in a secluded house owned by the Professor, the similarities to Marvel's sci-fi series are obvious. However, Trisha Leigh is able to free Gypsy from this label as the story progresses, writing a story which is unique and gripping.
The talents the teenagers who live at Darley Hall possess range from "operational" to "inconsepuential", with three categories of "substantial", "developmental" and "unstable" inbetween. Gypsy, the story's main character, is able to see the age a person will die when she makes skin-to-skin contact with them. This talent is considered to be unuseful and she feels set apart from the group of Cavies and she even considers escaping Darley Hall.
The Cavies are unprepared for the changes which discovery brings, as they are 'rescued'. Gypsy if relieved to be reunited with her the father she has never met, but finds adapting to life in the outside world confusing and noisy.
We watch each Cavy deal with their new lives differently; some findinbg relationships difficult and others struggling to control their powers. Despite this they retain their 'Clubhouse', a telepathic meeting place, which is a vital link for the reader.
The story crosses from sci-fi to romance and suspense, as the group reveal secrets about their biological families and reasons for being placed at Darley, as well as trying to rescue their friend who is in danger.
Trisha Leigh's plot is involved and after each chapter I was eager to expose more of the story. I like the fact that each character is so individual, with strengths and weaknesses, but we are constantly asked to question who is trustworthy.
Gypsy is a cleverly told story, which leaves us excited for its sequel and I can guarantee it is a book I will buy!
Rating:
 

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About the Author


Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies,  reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.
Her family is made up of farmers and/or almost rock stars from Iowa, people who numerous, loud, full of love, and the kind of people that make the world better. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they’ve taught, through characters and stories—made up, of course, but true enough in their way.
Trisha is the author of The Last Year series and the Whitman University books. She’s represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.



FEATURE AND FOLLOW FRIDAY . . .LET'S HOP!!!


Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly event hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee, and the idea is to hop around blogs, increasing followers and friendships! First we follow the two hosts and then any featured blogs, which this week are Words I Write Crazy and Please Feed the Bookworm.

The Question this week is: Tell Us About A Book Character you'd trade places with.
Following on from my answer last week, it would have to be Mac, from the Fever series. She is kick-ass, kisses a Faery, has hot sex with Barrons, knows Christian MacKeller (YUM!) and works in a bookstore in Ireland. Perfect!!


I can't wait to see everyone else's answer!!





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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Blitz with Giveaway: IN THE REARVIEW by MARIE ANN GREEN


Title: In The Rearview
Author: Marie Ann Green
Release date: August 19th 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary/Coming of Age


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When Meagan’s secret is found out, and she realizes there is no way to outrun her habit of cutting, she tries to work through it, and her depression, before she cuts too deep, making a mistake that can never be undone.
Meagan's problems aren't like every other adolescent's no matter how much she wishes they could be. Hers are worse. They've pulled her down into the depths of a depression that is anything but normal. She begins her pattern of self-harm as her depression threatens to drown her. She starts with one cut that leads to the next, and the next. After starting, it's apparent that there's no stopping, and Meagan spirals into a dark and cruel world she doesn't understand. Meagan cuts to feel better, but that comfort doesn't last long enough, and soon life is worse than it ever was before.
While learning to quit cutting Meagan faces life-altering obstacles and grows up in the process. IN THE REARVIEW is a story of pain, loss, confusion, and hope told through Meagan’s poems, journal entries, and a splash of narrative.

Purchase: Amazon | B&N


EXCERPT

Meagan stared down at her desk. Her focus moved beyond the assignment in front of her without actually seeing what she was looking toward. There were lines, spaces of white, and blobs of writing, but nothing seemed important enough to consider closely. Truthfully she didn’t care.
She didn’t feel the need to focus.
Her gaze slowly moved up to the front of the classroom, and again she fixated on a point past what was before her. She did not concentrate on the teacher. There was a face, a moving mouth, but she didn’t connect it with the sounds struggling slowly, like sticky sludge past her ears. She didn’t hear the instructions being uttered; each word fell on deaf ears as she mindlessly doodled.
Twisting her hair around her finger, she thought about how nice it would be to be at home, in bed, with the curtains closed instead of in this loud and hyper school. It seemed her classmates had recently started caring too much about what was going on around them. There was too much drama, too much noise, too much concern jumping all around her. It was all so taxing.
It was such a bother.
Meagan, in contrast, was usually in a world of her own. Her head felt fuzzy most of the time, and unless she used a lot of energy, most conversations sounded muffled, like there was cotton in her ears. She didn’t feel the need to engage anymore. Her desire to try so hard just to do what had once come easily had dwindled to nothing. At first she’d tried, but not now. Not anymore. It had become too difficult to care.
And that was her biggest problem. Meagan didn’t care much about any of these changes. She was fine walking through school without any effort. Her feet felt a little heavier as each day passed, and her head felt a little more under pressure of a crushing fog that numbed her, but she pushed through it all. She didn’t mind neglecting what used to bring her excitement. In fact, it was just easier not to give a crap.
Everything was distinctly lackluster these days.

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About the Author



Maria Green currently lives in Minnesota, despite its bitter winters, with her husband. She graduated with a degree in Psychology and a minor in English. When she isn’t writing, Maria loves to read with a cup of strong coffee or a glass of sweet wine, craft, and spend time with her family. This is her first published novel. 

Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook


Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Review: BELIEVE by ERIN MCCARTHY


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Title: Believe
Author: Erin McCarthy
Series: Ture Believers #3
Release Date: January 21st 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend's boyfriend. Now she's faced with being THAT girl, and couldn't be more disgusted with herself. She can't even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that's good and oh, so bad…
Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin's house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he's drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn't care that he's done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.
But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it's a na├»ve dream to believe that his record won't catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Review
Genre: review copy,netgalley,friendship drama,romance

I started Believe immediately after finishing Sweet so I think I was still on a romance-high and I fell in love with Robin, and particularly Phoenix, as soon a the story began. These are two characters who are far from perfect, but Erin McCarthy shows them recognising their flaws and trying to change.
We saw Robin in both True and Sweet as a party-girl, but after a night of drunkenness which leaves her with no memory of sex with her best-friend's boyfriend, she becomes introverted and tee-total. In Believe she is a shadow of her former self, confused and lacking confidence. As soon as she meets Phoenix there is an instant connection, beyond physical attraction (he is a tatted bad boy *gulp*).
Phoenix is on parole, living on Riley's couch, dressing in Riley's clothes, jobless and penniless. Yet there is something about him which I adored. He is gentle with Robin and accepting of her needs. He struggles with his violent side, to a self-destructive extent, until he is overwhelmed by his need to protect.
Erin McCarthy tries hard to make this plot different from her previous books, and unfortunately Robin and Phoenix's is an insta-love relationship. Although I wanted to see both characters happy, I would have ideally like to have seen more development of their romance and characters, before the 'I love you' scene.
I like the fact that Erin McCarthy links the characters and previous stories in this series, although I think the books could also be read as stand-alones.
I now really look forward to reading Kylie's story in Shatter.
Rating:
 

Review: SWEET by ERIN MCCARTHY


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Title: Sweet
Author: Erin McCarthy
Series: True Believers #2
Release Date: October 15th 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Jessica Sweet thought going away to college would finally make her free of her parents’ constant judgments and insistence she play chastity club role model for their church events, but if anything, the freedom has made her realize she can’t go home and be a hypocrite anymore. Tired of dodging their questions, she stays at school over the summer and lands in an unexpected crash pad: Riley Mann’s house. 
Sarcastic, cocky, and full of opinions, Riley is also sexy personified with tattoos and biceps earned from working as a roofer all day. Not the right guy for her even if Jessica was looking for a relationship, which she is definitely not. But Jessica knows that Riley hides the burden of having to raise his younger brothers behind that grin and as she helps him get his house in order for a custody hearing, they begin to fall hard for each other, and she is forced to question what she’s hiding herself. 
Jessica has never had a problem getting naked with a guy, but when it comes to showing Riley how she truly feels inside, her fear of rejection may just ruin the best thing—the best guy—to ever happen to her…

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Review
Genre: NA,contemporary romance,owned book,emotional,family drama

No one could dispute that Erin McCarthy's True Believers series should be firmly placed in the New Adult Contemporary Romance genre, but she is also able to layer her stories with deep emotion, making them stand apart from the crowd. 
The majority of male characters in the series are prime book-boyfriend material, giving us female readers happy tingles (and yes in Sweet, Riley does spend A LOT of time with his shirt off)!
Any readers of True will already be aware of the history surrounding Riley's family, which previously we had Tyler's viewpoint on. I love the fact that Erin McCarthy does not dwell on the past, but is able to give any new reader enough details, this time focussing on events concerning Riley and his future with Easton and Jayden.
One of the reasons I found Sweet so enjoyable is the relationship between Jessica and Riley. Although they know each other at the beginning of the novel Jessica is really Tyler's friend and is moving in with Riley temporarily, as a last resort rather than returning home to her devout parents. There is initially a tension between the, which translates into an exchange of sarcastic comments. Their dry wit makes reading this story fun despite the often serious topics Erin McCarthy covers. Jessica and riley are forced to trust each other when a family emergency arises and it is great to watch their relationship change as they open up to one another.
Perhaps one of my favourite things about Sweet is that Erin McCarthy does not use sex as a way to show the feelings between the couple. Yes, there is clearly a sexual chemistry between them and we are aware that they love being together, but Erin Mccarthy leaves us anticipating the moment when they decide to consummate their relationship.
Sweet is one of the best New Adult Contemporary Romances I have read for a long time and I would recommend it to all fans of this genre.
Rating:
 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

ARC Review: THE WONDER by COLLEEN OAKES


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Title: The Wonder
Author: Colleen Oakes
Series: Queen of Hearts Saga #2
Release Date: Septmber 4th 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Retelling/Fantasy

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An Exiled Princess.
An Ancient Tribe.
A Dangerous Stranger with Unknown Loyalties. 
Dinah, the former Princess of Wonderland Palace, has been chased into the wilds of Wonderland after the brutal murder of her brother and the ruin of her impending crown. Now, as her half-sister Vittiore sits on the throne beside her Father, the brutal King of Hearts, Dinah finds herself alone in the forbidding Twisted Wood with only Morte, a homicidal beast, for company. 
Hunted by the King and his army of Cards, Dinah struggles to evade those who long for her head, including Cheshire, the King’s clever advisor, who is slowly tightening his grasp around her. Spurred on by her rising terror, the former Princess finds herself at the center of a web of conspiracy reaching far beyond the Palace and deep into the mysterious Yurkei mountain tribes. 
Even with the balance of an entire Kingdom at stake, Dinah knows something that her allies and enemies do not: that the most dangerous conflict of all has already begun as she battles the enticing rage that beckons her ever closer as love slips further from her grasp.
The second book in the bestselling and award-winning Queen of Hearts Saga, The Wonder takes readers back to the most wondrous and curious places in Wonderland, and continues this darkly addictive tale featuring one of the most infamous villains of all time.


Review
Genre: fantasy,fractured fairytale,netgalley,review copy,awesome

The Wonder begins exactly where we left Dinah after the end of The Crown; struggling through the Twisted Wood, lost and hungry, with only Morte as a protective companion.
This second book in The Queen of Hearts trilogy has a more ominous atmosphere than its prequel, taking place entirely outside the relative security of the Wonderland palace.
Events are revealed during the complex plot which shock the reader and characters. Colleen Oakes is able to maintain a suspense throughout the story as we try to guess what Dinah's fate will be.
I enjoyed the fact that Dinah's surprising 'saviour' is a character unknown to us and it is interesting to watch how their relative distaste for one another develops into a genuine friendship.
Colleen Oakes directs her reader's imagination with her exquisite descriptions of Wonderland and the new personalities we are introduced to. I was particularly pleased that she creates a revised version of the caterpillar, including his famous line, 'Who are you?'.
Unlike Lewis Carroll's original tale, which was supposedly written as a children's story, The Wonder takes its reader into a darker world, where the threat of violence and death is always present.
The reader witnesses Dinah mature, both physically and emotionally and despite everything she goes through, she is able to cling onto her dream of love. I admired her new found strength and bravery, but admit that my heart broke for her towards the end of the novel.
The Wonder is a fantastic sequel and I am so excited to read the final installment of the trilogy.
Rating:
 

Review: THE CROWN by COLLEEN OAKES


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Title: The Crown
Author: Colleen Oakes
Series: Queen of Hearts Saga #1
Release Date: February 14th 2014
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Retelling/Fantasy 

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As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.
When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.
Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinah's furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath. 
Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Review
Genre:fractured fairytale,family drama,awesome,owned book,fantasy

Alice in Wonderland is perhaps the story I have read most retellings of and I was interested to see how Colleen Oakes would adapt the tale.
This is a brilliant book in which the author creates original personalities, animated characters and haunting scenes, but retains enough references to the traditional text that the world is recognizable. I love how Colleen Oakes humanizes the Cards, each suit representing different characteristics, and how Cheshire is no longer a cat, but the King's slimy and untrustworthy advisor.
Whereas Lewis Carroll's story is haphazard and crazy, The Crown is more organized, but just as intricate and fantastical. The courtiers in the King of Hearts' castle bathe with hedgehog skins, eat a huge amount of tarts, play croquet even in pink snow and there is an execution day every year when criminals lose their heads.
The most brilliant character is The Mad Hatter, whose identity I did not anticipate, but whose existence stirs an emotive response from the reader.
It is the darkness of this new Wonderland that catches us by surprise; the torture of prisoners in the Black Towers, murder of innocent people and the cruelty of the King towards his eldest daughter.
As the story begins Dinah is not the most likeable of characters. She is self-absorbed and often unkind, but she is also a romantic who is proud of her homeland and she cares deeply for her brother, her best friend and loyal servants (who spoil her!). I found it was easy to forgive her jealousy and rudeness once we got to know her and discover that she has reasons for her behaviour, mainly her mother's death and her father's rejection of her. Dinah has also been raised as the heir of the kingdom, which is a weight on any young woman's shoulders.
I like hoe Colleen Oakes has developed the story without pursuing the relationship between Wardley and Dinah, which would have been predictable. They have grown up together and she is obviously in love with him, but his feelings remain ambivalent, possibly because he is a Card and his duty is to the Crown. However, I do hope he is a character who makes an appearance later in the trilogy.
The Crown is an excellent start to The Queen of Hearts saga and it is a perfect read for fans of fairytale retellings or just an enjoyable book for fans of the Young Adult genre.
Rating: