Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Maybe Someday
Written by Colleen Hoover
Published March 18th 2014
370 Pages
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia
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At twenty two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She's in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her;and she's forced to decide what her next move should be.

Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can't take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there's something about Sydney that Ridge can't ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.

A passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance, Maybe Someday will immerse readers in Sydney's tumultuous world from the very first page.

Introducing Professor Birdbrain and his first review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

After years of telling my husband how wonderful young adult novels are, I finally convinced him to read one. He's a gamer, not a reader, but I managed to lure him in with the promise of science fiction and a storyline I was certain he couldn't resist. Please welcome the man I lovingly call Professor Birdbrain, and his first ever book review.

Across the Universe (Across The Universe: Book One)
Written by Beth Revis
Published January 2011
398 Pages
Seventeen year old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship , tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Unhinged by A. G Howard

Unhinged Splintered Book Two
Written by A. G Howard
Fantasy, Retelling
Published January 2014
400 Pages
Thank you to Thames and Hudson Australia
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★★★★☆
Alyssa Gardner has been down the rabbit hole and faced the Bandersnatch. She saved the life of Jeb, the guy she loves, and escaped the machinations of the disturbingly seductive Morpheus and the vindictive Queen Red. Now all she has to do is graduate high school and make it through prom so she can attend the prestigious art school in London she's always dreamed of.

That would be easier without her mother, freshly released from an asylum, acting overly protective and suspicious. And it would be much simpler if the mysterious Morpheus didn’t show up for school one day to tempt her with another dangerous quest in the dark, challenging Wonderland, where she partly belongs.

As prom and graduation creep closer, Alyssa juggles Morpheus’s unsettling presence in her real world with trying to tell Jeb the truth about a past he’s forgotten. Glimpses of Wonderland start to bleed through her art and into her world in very disturbing ways, and Morpheus warns that Queen Red won’t be far behind.

If Alyssa stays in the human realm, she could endanger Jeb, her parents, and everyone she loves. But if she steps through the rabbit hole again, she'll face a deadly battle that could cost more than just her head.
It's been only twelve months since Alyssa has returned from Wonderland, her mother has been released from the institution and Jeb and Alyssa are happy and in love. Pity he doesn't remember his time in Wonderland, after following his muse with the promise of keeping her safe. But lately Jeb has been throwing himself into promoting his dark fairy artwork inspired by Alyssa, and determined to make something of his life. But as Jeb begins to pull away, Alyssa' s ties to Wonderland are calling her home and Morpheus is adamant that she now needs to claim her rightful place as queen before it's too late.

But Alyssa can't leave with her relationship with Jeb hanging by a thread. Throwing herself into her new mosaics, the morbid artwork created with blood and gems tell the story of a Wonderland future, a future Jeb knows nothing about. Deciding to confront her greatest fear, Alyssa needs to tell Jeb who she is, and the time they shared in Wonderland before she returns, but it may be too late, as Morpheus enters the mortal world.

Taking on the body of a British exchange student, Morpheus is all anyone can talk of at Pleasance High. With a band of swooning females in his wake, Morpheus is determined to show Alyssa that in order to become Queen and keep her loved ones safe, she must leave Jeb behind, his naivety being a weakness that Alyssa simply cannot allow. But Alyssa's indecision to act brings the inevitable, Wonderland has come to her world.

Kelly's Thoughts

It goes without saying that the Splintered series has the most stunning covers readers are likely to find, but I would expect nothing less from a series so utterly brilliant. Unhinged begins with Alyssa's life carefully being repaired. Her mother is home, Jeb is an incredibly devoted boyfriend and in a matter of days, Alyssa will graduate. But when you're a descendant of Alice from the original children's tale told by Lewis Carroll, you can expect life to throw a few surprises your way.

Author A. G Howard is an incredible storyteller with an amazing imagination. Creating not only an epic fantasy series, but beautifully written and a world in which readers can immerse themselves. Where Alyssa was previously unwavering in her loyalty towards Jeb, in Unhinged we see her darker side wanting to break free and her attraction towards Morpheus becoming too strong to deny. I'm team Morpheus all the way, he's eccentric, charismatic and Jeb is barely noticeable in his shadow. I really don't understand Jeb's character at all, besides being the anchor and love interest in Alyssa's human world. He reminds me of Adam from Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series. He's there as an option, but surely his lackluster and self centered personality is no match for the great and powerful Morpheus.

I'm not generally a fan of fantasy novels, but this series is incredible. You don't need to be mad to enjoy Unhinged, but it sure helps.

 

Grim Anthology by Various Authors

Grim
Edited by Christine Johnson. Written by Julie Kagawa, Amanda Hocking, Rachel Hawkins, Claudia Grey, Jon Skovron and more
Published February 25th 2014
459 Pages
Thank you to Harlequin Australia
Step into a world of dark and twisted fairytales, with stories by Julie Kagawa, Amanda Hocking and more...

In the days when fairytales were first spun, they weren't the sweet and cheerful stories we tell today. Back then, fairytales were terrifying. They were a warning to the listener to stay out of the night, to keep away from the mystical and ignore the mysterious.

Grim features some of today's best young adult authors, sharing their own, unique retellings of classic fairytales from around the world. These talented writers, many of them New York Times bestsellers or award winners, have put their own spin on these magical worlds...

Prepare to open a treasure box of the unusual and the macabre.

Carrier by Vanessa Garden

Carrier
Written by Vanessa Garden
Published March 1st 2014
174 Pages
Thank you to Netgalley and Escape Publishing
Add to Goodreads
★★★
From the day she was born, Lena has viewed the world through the jagged window of a razor wired fence. The hundred acre property she shares with her mother in the Australian outback may keep her safe from the Y Carrier disease, but it is no longer enough to hold Lena’s interest, and her mother’s increasingly tight grip on her free will is stifling. Just as her curiosity blooms and her courage rises, she meets a boy through the fence, the first boy she has ever laid eyes on. His name is Patrick and he comes with a dangerous yet irresistible invitation of adventure beyond the fence, an invitation to which Lena cannot say no.

But Lena’s new found freedom is short lived and she soon discovers that the Y Carrier disease is not the only enemy she faces on the outside. Her new enemies want something Lena has, and they are willing to do anything to get it...
Lena has lived her almost seventeen years behind the fence. With no human interaction, all she has now is her mother, after her cousin Alice was brutally murdered. Lena a can't remember a time where the world was safe from Carriers, the infected population of the country. A Carrier is male, presenting with rash type symptoms. But where males carry the virus, a female contracting the illness will die, so Lena's mother will stop at nothing to keep her safe. But like her cousin Alice, Lena longs to see beyond the fence, so when Patrick approaches from the outside, this may be Lena's one chance to see the world.

Patrick is looking for his father, a man who went hunting only to never return. The seventeen year old boy is now left to provide for five other children alone. With her mother taking to the bottle and locking herself away, Lena and Patrick develop an easy friendship, despite Lena harbouring a secret that may tear the two lonely teens apart.

While defying her mother, she scales the fence in search of Patrick and his home while Lena can't shake but feeling she's being watched. But it seems that there is a civilisation beyond the fence, when the two teens are captured and taken to what seems to be a civilian camp. The camp are preparing for war against an unknown enemy, waiting for an antidote to cure the Carriers the group hold captive. But as the enemy approaches, the desolate West Australian out back warriors will be no match for what they have in store.

Kelly's Thoughts

Carrier started brilliantly, the premise of a teen girl being confined to her home, a rampant virus killing the female population and the mystery of Patrick immersed me within the storyline. But sadly the final few short chapters felt as though the story was verging on the ridiculous. It left me feeling deflated, as though two different books had been merged together. I'm not generally big on criticism, but with a rewritten ending, a longer and more drawn out storyline, this book could easily be a five star read.

I really enjoyed Vanessa Garden's Captivate, and this one has the potential to surpass. I would love to see it further developed. But as is, I can't see too many readers appreciating the ending.

Enmity Review and Author Thoughts: E. J Andrews

Enmity Enmity Book One
Written by E. J Andrews
Expected Publication April 2014
295 Pages
Thank you to Harlequin Australia
Add to Goodreads
★★★★
Love vs Life.
Good vs Evil.
War vs Warfare.

Which would you choose?

After a solar flare wipes out most of the world’s inhabitants, it leaves behind nothing but a desolate earth and a desperate population. Existence is no longer a certainty. And with factions now fighting for the power to rule, people start to become reckless with their lives. The world has become a dangerous place.

Amongst the ensuing chaos, Nate and Hermia, two victims of the new world order, are taken against their will to The Compound. Joined by eight other teenagers all chosen for a specific reason, Nate and Hermia are forced to train as assassins to overthrow the current president and make way for a new leader of the free world. Here, they learn to plan, fight, and most importantly... To survive.

Except, despite the casual cruelty of their new existence, both Nate and Hermia, two very strong but very different people, begin to form fragile bonds within the group. But they soon realize their happiness is short lived... Because their training is just the beginning.

A war awaits... Regardless of how ready or willing they may be.
Sixty years ago, a solar flare reaped havoc on the Earth and it's inhabitants. Most of the population was decimated, and those left behind still continue in a fierce battle to rule over what remains. Hermia lives alone, a resilient urban warrior in a new society where only the determined survive. But when arriving home to her meager possessions, Hermia is captured and taken to The Compound along with nine other teenagers, including Nate. Nate should have been home on time, a guilty conscious weighs heavily on his mind. He arrives home to a household of slaughtered family members and a message containing nothing more than an address. But justice for his family had led to Nate being taken against his will, joining the other carefully selected teens awaiting further instructions at The Compound.

Darria has amassed the team of ten teens to fight against a group of dangerous activists, simply known as The Cain. Their duty is to take down the current empire, the current President Collins who has vowed to clean up the apocalyptic ravaged streets, with the promise to form a new society and a stronger world while The Cain operate under the guise of fighting for democratic rights. The hand selected group of teens will live within the Compound, each day completing a new challenge aimed to hone their skills at combat. The savage program is overseen by a guard posted to each teen, they are taken to and from training under duress, and silenced if they dare question authority.

The training is intense, emotions are heightened and fear drives the teens together and separates the group into factions. Nate finds solace in the company of Marina, a girl taken against her will. While Hermia finds herself gravitating towards Keeper Chase, keeping their brief rendezvous hidden. But Hermia is quick to push Chase away, her cold exterior hiding her inner turmoil of a past where abandonment has only made her more determined to survive.

But these aren't any ordinary teens. Some have volunteered to join the fight to protect the President, while others just want to return home. But coming together is no coincidence, and it may take answers from The Cain to see what the group are truly fighting for.

Kelly's Thoughts

Enmity was a mix of The Hunger Games, a dash of Divergent and science fiction packaged in an action packed storyline where teens are trained to fight an enemy most couldn't care less about. It follows the story of both Nate and Hermia, told in dual points of view. Both were taken against their will to join eight other teens, some taken and some volunteering to train for a war against a brewing revolution. Nate is deemed as their leader, a young man with an imposing presence that is mourning the loss of his family. Hermia was on the verge of selling her body into a life of prostitution before she was snatched, but she's abrasive and isn't winning friends amongst the other teens. The two couldn't be more different, but the two share a common secret that neither of them knows about the other... Yet.


I really enjoyed it. It was a short, sharp read that sucked me in and kept my attention. The storyline seems to have been inspired by many of the popular dystopian novels that many of us have on our shelves, but merged them into a brilliant little read. My only complaint (which I'm sure will be what lures most readers in) is that I wanted more action, more fighting and less romance. But there's no awkward love triangles in this one, a case of instant love in one case, but rather than having the two points of view merge into one romance, it strays from the usual. It was really refreshing. Take a chance with this one, it'll really surprise you.

Twice Upon a Time by Kate Forster

Twice Upon a Time
Written by Kate Forster
Published January 27th 2014
377 Pages
Thank you to Hardie Grant Egmont
Add to Goodreads
★★★★
Ludo introduces Cinda to the heady world of the super-rich, taking her to parties on yachts and villas all over Europe. Sparks start to fly as Ludo and Cinda spend more and more time together, and even cautious Cinda wonders if there might be something real between them. Then Gus, Ludo's twin brother and heir to the Sardinian throne, arrives to ruin everyone's fun. Gus is obsessed with duty, and having a commoner like Cinda around just isn't part of his plan. But when fate throws Cinda and Gus together, he's astounded to discover that he and Cinda get along well. So well, in fact, that he might be prepared to throw away everything to be with her...
Lucinda had always wanted to see Italy, and at nineteen, she and best friend Jonas now find themselves backpacking through Europe. With very little sleep and not much more money, Cinda enjoys the simple life of travelling, armed with her paints and her imagination. It's painting on the edge of a cliff that she meets Ludo, the Prince of Sardinia, although Cinda has no idea who he is apart from the charming and charismatic young man who smudged her painting. Ludo is instantly smitten with the curvacious, free spirited Australian and opens Cinda up to a world only seen by the wealthy and entitled.

Ludo invites the two backpackers to party with the elite in Sardinia, leaving Italy behind. Ludo's lifestyle is nothing but parties and wild nights, and Cinda is swept away in his lavish lifestyle... Until she meets his twin Gus. Gus is heir to the throne and lives his life accordingly. He has the expectations of a nation on his shoulders and only five years before his mother hands the throne over to him. His life doesn't allow for the carefree existence that Ludo lives, so why does he find himself frustrated and wanting to live as Ludo does?

Cinda has nothing to return to. In Sydney, her mother has met yet another man and decides to move to New Zealand, renting out their home for the next six months. So when Ludo is desperate to keep Cinda close, he commissions the budding artist for a portrait. Sure to keep her busy for the next few months, Ludo believes Cinda is the one. But Gus sees her as one of a long list of beauties that could potentially destroy his family name and wants her and her freeloading companion gone.

If Gus ever forgets his place, his mother and uptight girlfriend Perrette are there to remind him. But Gus longs for something more, so when Ludo is sent to South Africa to sort his life out, Gus is stuck watching over Cinda and standing in as the portrait model. It isn't long before the two begin to find common ground, a love of art, creativity and seeing beauty in the world. With both in respective relationships, future King Gus would never be allowed to share his life with a commoner, but is he willing to give it all up for the chance to live a life with Cinda, and will she want him?

Kelly's Thoughts

It's been far too long since I've read a fun, flirty and romantic contemporary, and Twice Upon a Time was the perfect heartwarming read. It follows the story of Cinda, an Australian backpacking through Europe when she's swept up into a world of royal princes, lavish parties and brooding brothers. Cinda is a fun loving character, she's vivacious and isn't afraid to speak her mind, a quality that both Gus and Ludo both find irresistible. But under the surface, Cinda hides a sadness that even a luxurious lifestyle can't repair. Even though she's technically an adult, her mother has abandoned her for yet another man. This time, her mother plans to marry a man that Cinda has never met, move to New Zealand and entertain a new family that doesn't involve her only child. But Cinda doesn't dwell, and although hurting, she carries on and makes the most of the opportunities life is throwing her way.

I loved Jonas. He's the token sassy gay friend and budding fashion designer. He's fabulous and would love to read his story next. If you're looking for a light and heartwarming read that will sweep you into a lavish world of travel, then Twice Upon a Time is a flirty read that will leave you warm and fuzzy.


Author on the Grill and Giveaway: Tonya Alexandra

Nymph: The Love Oracles is available now.
Thank you to Jaclyn and the team at Walker Books
Check out my Review

The Love Oracles is a love story based on Greek mythological characters set in modern times. It chronicles the story of Merope, a Pleiad star nymph, who falls in love with Lukas, a mortal boy who lives on an olive farm on a small Greek island. The relationship between Lukas and Merope is forbidden and so a wild journey of gods, men and monsters unfolds as the two struggle to find a way to be together. A fun and flirty teen read that will appeal to the fans of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush series. She's Tonya Alexandra, and she's an Author on the grill.

Nymph: The Love Oracles by Tonya Alexandra

Nymph The Love Oracles Book One
Written by Tonya Alexandra
Published in Australia February 1st 2014
432 Pages
Thank you to Walker Books Australia
Add to Goodreads
★★★☆
An idyllic Greek island. Obsessed demigods. A fallen nymph. A mortal boy. Merope, a beautiful but faded star nymph, is banished to Earth for displeasing the gods. She tries to fit in, go to school and live a normal "human" life.

And then she meets Lukas - but relationships between men and goddesses are forbidden. Will their love grow? Or will Merope and Lukas feel the wrath of the gods?
Merope is a Star Nymph that has been promised to the heavenly tyrant Orion, an aggressive demigod that will stop at nothing until he has her firmly in his grasp. Merope's only escape is to hide on Earth among mortals. Aalong with her Uncle and guardian Prometheus, the two settle among the natives on the small Greek island, banished by Zeus as a consequence of not accepting her role as consort.

Earth is a new and dangerous world, where Merope finds herself choosing to live in solace. Human's have always been strange creatures, unattractive and emotional beyond comprehension compared to the heavenly beings that Merope has spent centuries in the company of. So when local boy Lukas breezes into her life, Merope realises that she's been severely misinformed. Her instant attraction to Lukas is pulverising, and a chance meeting on the beach now consumes her thoughts. But the distraction has cost her dearly, with Orion and Heracles having tracked her down. But thankfully the heavens have allowed Merope to stay on Earth, much to Orion's disgust. He has proclaimed that she shall have three months to decide her fate, and only then will he return to force her home.

But she needs to immerse herself within the community, blending into everyday life as a teen at school. Despite her protests, Prometheus arranges for a guided tour with local girl Eleni. Merope carefully navigates living as a mortal, but she can't escape the attention of Lukas. Law states that Nymphs cannot engage in human relations with mortals, with a forbidden romance promising more than just banishment. But as she spends more time in the company of the sweet and kind hearted boy, Merope finds herself struggling to resist him.

While pushing Lukas away, Merope needs to evade her new minder, Heracles, who's on a mission to watch over the fallen Star Nymph. At home, Heracles barely noticed the meek and shy girl, preferring to spend his days charming more attractive beings, but here on Earth he might just be beginning to see why the mortal is so enamoured with her. But as the tensions begins to build between friends, mortals and beings, cracks begin to form and Merope may have just blown their cover. Suddenly three months on Earth doesn't seem long enough.

Kelly's Thoughts

Nymph, book one in The Love Oracles series, is an easy mix of forbidden love, mythology and navigating a world that isn't your own. Merope is a Star Nymph who isn't the fragile and agreeable servant that her counterparts are. Rejecting the advances of Orion, a demigod who loves the thrill of the chase, she is sent to Earth... And the results are entertaining to say the least. Thank goodness for Eleni, without her guidance Merope would have been a social outcast. Her misfortunes are hilarious, I really enjoyed how author Tonya Alexandra created what seemed to be a perfect being, but thrust into a world where she's not overly popular, intelligent or excels beyond the teens she's trying to emulate. Although she's bound by the laws of her own world, being out of her element makes Merope more human that you'd expect.

The star of Nymph is Heracles, a chauvinistic, fashion conscious god who is sent by Orion to keep an eye on the sassy and unpredictable Star Nymph. But slowly by surely, he starts to warm to Merope where someone is bound to have their feelings hurt. Fans of Becca Fitzpatrick will enjoy The Love Oracles series, Nymph reminded me of the hugely popular Hush Hush but targeted at the larger audience. I really enjoyed the mythology aspects and seeing what are generally immaculate gods as nothing more than chauvinistic and controlling rulers that flaunt their double standards and see the race of Nymphs as nothing more than servants.

Nymph is perfect for the teen audience or those looking for a fun, flirty read.

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

Review contains spoilers for books one and two
The Forever Song (Book of Eden: Book Three)
Written by Julie Kagawa
Expected Publication April 15th 2014
416 Pages
Thank you to Harlequin and Netgalley
Vengeance will be hers. Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer. MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions, her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost, the last vampire free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short
lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

The Firebird Mystery: A Jack Mason Adventure by Darrell Pitt

The Firebird Mystery A Jack Mason Adventure
Written by Darrell Pitt
Published in Australia 26th February 2014
256 Pages
Thank you to Text Publishing
Add to Goodreads
★★★☆
Jack Mason has grown up as an acrobat in a circus. Now, after the tragic death of his parents, he must live inside the gloomy walls of Sunnyside Orphanage in London, a city of fog and snow, filled with airships, steam cars and metrotowers that stretch into space. Luckily for Jack, he’s taken under the wing of the brilliant and eccentric detective Ignatius Doyle. Little does he know how dangerous life is about to become.

A girl named Scarlet Bell comes seeking the great detective’s help. Her father has been kidnapped, and the future of the world itself may be at stake. Is the evil hand of Professor M pulling all the strings? Mr Doyle and Jack know there is no time to lose.
Fourteen year old Jack Mason can't remember a day when he wasn't the target at the Sunnydale Orphanage. But Jack is about to have the adventure of a lifetime, bringing hope to Jack's life, something he hasn't experienced since his patents died. Before life at the Orphanage, Jack was an acrobat, his parents forming a team of trapeze artists known as The Flying Sparrows and were tragically killed performing a stunt. But nothing could prepare Jack for the eccentric and flamboyant Ignatius Doyle, Consulting Detective.

When the police have an unsolved case, they turn to Mister Doyle. Using the powers of observation and deduction, the quirky middle aged detective has now found an assistant, the nimble and highly observant Jack. In the lustrous world powered by steam, the new duo's first case arrives in the form of miss Scarlett Bell. Scarlett's father had disappeared, and what sounds like a simple missing persons case, has become a web of intricate secret societies, lies, inventors, monster men and Nazis.

Kelly's thoughts

The Firebird Mystery was charming, witty and intelligently written. I haven't read many steampunk novels, but this middle grade addition to the genre was incredibly enchanting and entertaining. The book follows orphan Jack, plucked from a questionable children's home and thrown into the world of crime solving. Mister Doyle has faith in Jack's abilities and provides the emotional stability that Jack desperately needs.

But Mister Doyle is the clear star of The Firebird Mystery, his constant testing of Jack's observational skills is hilarious. Nailing a piece of toast above a door, putting together a spy kit with a nose disguise, to storing cheese in his pocket for random snacking. Although he's described as being well past middle aged, his character reminded me of a quirky Johnny Depp type character. Fabulously eccentric.


Scarlett isn't without her fans. In a time of modest women, she's a trailblazer for teen girls. She's feisty and can hold her own, despite Jack's need to protect her. This series no doubt will be a huge hit for early teens, the writing is intelligent and Darrell Pit has created characters that challenge and provoke readers to invest in the storyline.

Stacking The Shelves and Weekly Wrap #015

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online bookshops, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course eBooks. Hosted by Tyngas Reviews.

News


●  Penguin Teen Australia has announced their live showcase of upcoming titles held in Melbourne. Check it out on their website for more details and how to book.
●  Congratulations to Chiara over at Books for a Delicate Eternity who won a copy of Afterworld. Your book and a few extra goodies are on their way.
●  This week interviewed Rosie Borella who enchanted me with Jack Chant. Now you too can win a copy with thanks to Allen and Unwin Australia.

Publisher Paperbacks



The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow. Thank you to the lovely Harlequin Teen Australia
On The Fence by Kasie West. Thank you to the brilliant Harper Collins
Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide by Michelle Rowen and Richelle Mead and Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta. Both with thanks to the super cool Penguin Teen Australia
and Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. I was beside myself when this one arrived. Thank you to the incredible Simon And Schuster

Purchased Paperbacks



The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. Purchased to add to my collection. Brilliant series.
The World of the Hunger Games by Kate Egan. Purchased this one from the Scholastic Australia website. Dirt cheap at only five bucks for a hardback, I couldn't refuse.
Rebel Heart by Moira Young. Already read both books in the trilogy so far, but needed the paperback to add to my collection.

What are you stacking your shelves with this week?

The Well's End by Seth Fishman

The Well's End
Written by Seth Fishman
Published February 25th 2014
352 Pages
Thank you to Stacey at Putnam Penguin (Imported Copy)
Add to Goodreads
A deadly virus and an impossible discovery unite in one enthralling can’t miss read...

Sixteen year old Mia Kish has always been afraid of the dark. After all, she’s baby Mia, the one who fell down a well. That was years ago, though the darkness still haunts her. But when her classmates and teachers at ritzy Westbrook Academy start dying of old age from a bizarre and frightening virus that ages its victims years in a matter of hours, Mia becomes haunted by a lot more than the dark. Their deaths are gruesome and Mia worries she and her friends may be next. In order to survive, Mia and her small crew must break quarantine and outrun armed soldiers in hazmat suits who shoot first and ask questions later.

And there’s only one place to go, the Cave, also known as Fenton Electronics. Mia knows it’s somehow connected and hopes her dad, Director of Fenton Electronics, who has always been strangely secretive about his work, has the answers she needs, and more importantly a cure to save everyone before the whole town succumbs to the mysterious virus. Unfortunately, it’s not answers Mia discovers, but something far more treacherous and impossible than even the virus itself.

A high stakes, fast paced adventure with imagination and heart.

Author on the Grill & Giveaway: Rosie Borella

The One and Only Jack Chant  is available now in both paperback and eBook format where all great books are sold.
Thank you the fabulous Lara and Allen and Unwin
Check out My Review

She's won acclaim for her unique version of The Snow Queen, previously working as a journalist, sub-editor, editor, in public relations, marketing and science writing. She's a woman who's done it all. But Rosie's returned to her one true love, besides horses, and penned what could be one of the most intelligent, gentle and satisfying contemporary young adult novels that you're likely to read this year. Her name is Rosie Borella, and this week she's an Author on the Grill.

The One and Only Jack Chant by Rosie Borella

The One and Only Jack Chant
Written by Rosie Borella
Published in Australia March 2014
311 Pages
Thank you to Allen and Unwin
Add to Goodreads
★★★★☆
Sixteen year old Amber never expected to find romance while working in an old people's home... But then Jack Chant is not what she expected either. He's young, exciting and enigmatic, and deeply troubled by something that happened in his past, something he can't quite remember. Gradually Amber suspects that Jack's past might be a whole lot further back in time than he realises. Is he solid flesh and blood, or just some kind of dreamy fantasy?

A sweetly romantic coming of age story in which Amber learns more than most teens about getting old, falling in love and letting go.
Amber has just passed her carer's course and is now looking to apply for a full time position at Tranquil Banks Nursing Home, where she completed her practical assessment. While her friends have moved on to university, Amber is at a loss of what she wants to do with her life, deferring her further studies. At home, her parents expect Amber to be the adult, far too much responsibility than her sixteen year old self should shoulder. But with the lure of a full time job, Amber will be able to escape from home, earn her own money and save to flee Stockford and move onto university. Surely working at Tranquil Banks would give her the sense of freedom she so desperately needs.

The residents at Tranquil Banks are certainly entertaining. Floss who doesn't speak, rather than screeches out Bloody Murder and clucks along with nursery rhymes. Mister Hatchett who is Amber's former math teacher, stealing anything that isn't nailed down while telling tall tales of the many lives he's lead. The staff vary from kind hearted and caring, to lazy and perfectionists, but none more neglectful than Mrs Ingersoll. The woman simply known as The Eye, rules the home with an iron fist. Always short staffed, residents going hungry and verbally abused by the woman who also owns Tranquil Banks. Thankfully being relegated to the night shift has it's benefits, The Eye's absence being one of them.

Riding Warpaint has always been an escape, Amber's horse who brings a sense of freedom to her small world. Allowing her to visit next door neighbour, elderly resident Mrs Maitland. Although in her eighties, the widow lives alone, bakes and tends to her garden. She lives a life of solitude, with both her grown children having moved to the city, and rarely seen to return back to the family home. But when Mrs Maitland has a nasty fall, she's in need of care. Her family won't allow her to interrupt their own lives, so she's placed into care at Tranquil Banks.

With the stress of navigating work, home and fighting for the rights of Mrs Maitland, Amber stumbles across a campsite down by the river. A boy, not much older than she. He refuses to answer questions, and only provides cryptic clues of his own. But who is he? Well spoken and impeccably dressed, there is something strange about him that Amber can't quite put her finger on. So when he shows up at Tranquil Banks, naturally chaos ensues.

His name is Jack Chant and he can't remember why he's there, only that he feels drawn to Tranquil Banks. The last thing he remembers is fleeing the oppression at home to join the circus. Amber finds herself inexplicably drawn to Jack, and the sense of fun and mystery he brings to the sleepy town of Stockford. But will Amber allow the boy with nothing to offer but a smile, a chance to make a difference in her world and change her life in the process?

Kelly's Thoughts

The One and Only Jack Chant was wondrous. It follows the story of Amber, who is trying to find her place in the world. Like so many teenagers, Amber feels the pressure of the expectations to not only help out at home, but be a responsible adult. Nothing exciting ever seems to happen, and Amber feels as though the world has left her behind. Her best friend has left for university and since found a new life, one that doesn't include Amber. So when the mysterious Jack Chant comes to town, Amber is naturally attracted to the thrill of a mystery.

Even though the title may elude to the book being all about Jack, it isn't. It's strangely magical, allowing the reader to interpret the storyline to suit the individual. Where I see Jack as a metaphor, another reader may see him as a romantic protagonist who brings life to the story. But Jack is both. It wasn't Jack's character that drew me in, it was the idea of Jack himself. Magical, a conscious voice who brings sense of fun, in what could be described as a unsatisfying existence for both Amber and the residents of Tranquil Banks. Jack is a beacon of hope, he's that little voice in your thoughts that encourages you not to sit back, but to take a stand, create your own adventure and help those less fortunate than yourself.

I absolutely adored it.

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer
Written by Katie Alender
Published in Australia September 4th 2013
296 Pages
Thank you to Scholastic Australia
Twenty first century girl. Eighteenth century ghost. Heads will roll.
The city of light just got a little darker. . . .

Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She'll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family's French roots. But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: A pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.

Colette knows her popular, status obsessed friends won't believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is in danger...
 

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