Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Blog Tour: Touch of Death - Guestpost

28 Nov 2012

by Kelly Hashway
Published by Spencer Hill Press
on January 15th 2013

Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know. After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins. Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.

*Mythology behind Touch of Death*
It’s no secret Touch of Death is based on mythology. I’ve been a mythology fan all my life. It was always my favorite unit to study in school, and growing up I was obsessed with finding all the constellations in the sky that represented figures in mythology. And actually, that’s how Touch of Death began, too.

       I was researching for another manuscript at the time and it had to do with constellations, one of which was Ophiuchus, the 13th sign of the zodiac. He was a healer that Zeus placed in the heavens after Hades complained that Ophiuchus was bringing too many people back to life and stealing his souls from the underworld. I loved this myth, so I dug deeper.

       I’m partial to lesser-known myths and I found one about Ophiuchus, Medusa, and Athena. According to this myth, Athena gave Ophiuchus two vials of the Gorgon Medusa’s blood: one from the right side of her body with the power to heal the dead and one from the poisonous left side of her body with the power to kill. Ophiuchus only ever used the vial from the right side of her body, but I wondered what would happen if there was a group of people with both abilities. Touch of Death was born. My necromancers are descendents of Medusa and born under the sign of Ophiuchus, which is why they call themselves Ophi.

       Naturally Hades had to be part of the story because if he disapproved of Ophiuchus bringing the dead back to life, he’d have a real problem with an entire group of necromancers doing the same thing. I won’t give any spoilers for the rest of the series, but more mythology is on the way for Jodi and her Ophi friends.

Shirley: I love mythology as well!! Now I REALLY can't wait to read Touch of Death!

Blog Tour: Rouge - Review

27 Nov 2012

Welcome to my stop on the Rouge Blog Tour hosted by YA Bound.  Click HERE to check out the full blog tour schedule!

by Leigh T. Moore
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: November 27th 2012
Format: e-ARC
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Kobo |  Smashwords

Trapped in the underground theater world of 1890s New Orleans, Hale Ferrer has only one goal: escape. But not without Teeny, the orphan-girl she rescued from the streets and promised to protect. Freddie Lovel, Hale's wealthy Parisian suitor, seems to be the easy solution. If only his touch could arouse her interest like Beau's, the penniless stagehand who captures her heart. Denying her fears, Hale is poised to choose love until an evil lurking in their cabaret-home launches a chain of events that could cost her everything.

Transporting readers back to the 19th Century, we are exposed to a world where only the rich and white citizens will survive, while the poor, the ones with nothing, must do anything and everything to ensure their own survival. Rouge is a dark and edgy historical romance, ominous and thought-provoking, and at its core it prompts the readers to choose between love or survival.

I very much admired our main character Hale. Orphaned at a young age, she was brought up by the theatre her mother worked at and her constant companion, the person she cares about most in the world is Teeny, an orphan she picked up off the streets several years ago. Her constant selflessness, while aggravating at times-especially when it came to her own happiness- was also really admirable. Everything she does, she would first think of the consequences it would have on Teeny. They're not blood-related in any way, and she has no obligation to take care of her, but she's willing to risk her life and soul to protect the little girl. And yet, sometimes it was so frustrating that she never thought for herself or anyone else other than Teeny; the fact that she was willing to hurt multiple people just to save Teeny didn't sit well with me.

There is a love triangle in this book but it plays a major role in driving the story forward so I guess...I wasn't too annoyed by it. On one hand we have Freddie who is rich and can take care of Hale and Teeny forever. They'll never have to suffer and be forced to...well...become 'prostitutes' at the theatre when they come of age. Then we also have, Beau, the new stage hand at the theatre who Hale has fallen deeply in love with. But he's poor, and won't have the money nor the necessities to take Hale and Teeny away from the theatre. Hale must therefore choose between love and survival.

I initially loved Beau (my feelings changed slightly after he did something unforgiveable...or at least it was unforgivable to me) ; he was so kind and considerate, and so selfless when it came to protecting Hale. Their relationship may have progressed a little rapidly, but there was so much chemistry between the two. I was rooting for the two throughout the majority of the book, but every now and then, I did try to put myself in Hale's shoes and I guess...I did understand why she was so reluctant to continue seeing Beau. At times I also despised Hale for being so hostile to Beau, accusing him being penniless and lying about making promises to her when he lost his job; she was constantly saying "You can't take care of us - you have no money. Stop making promises" (something along those lines). While I understood her feelings, what came out of her mouth was really...despicable in my opinion.

I know many people who cry at the certainly was heart-breaking. But for me? Well...Beau did something that I couldn't forgive and I guess from then on, my feelings towards the two changed. I still liked them, but...I didn't care that much about them anymore. There was also too much kissing for my liking. Remember in Twilight/Eclipse when Edward and Bella would kiss like every 2 seconds, and each time, it was described almost the same way? Well...that's what it felt like here. Beau and Hale would kiss and touch at every possible moment and readers must put up with it. I don't just felt really annoying and tedious after a while.

Overall, Rouge was a solid read. I enjoyed it and it was rather thought-provoking, which was great :) I actually have no idea if this is a stand-alone or a series, but if there's a second book, I'm most definitely reading it! 

Mini Review: Pure by Jennifer L Armentrout

22 Nov 2012

by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: April 2nd 2012
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Book Depository

There is need. And then there is Fate…

 Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria’s “other half” is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.

 When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon… and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude… or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

Pure, the sequel to Half-Blood was just as thrillingly entertaining as the first book. I absolutely adored it! Ms Armentrout certainly has a talent for writing; with all her books once I started reading, I literally can't stop. I only have one complaint after devouring Pure - that is, a lack of appearances from Aiden. I think Half-Blood could be dubbed "Aiden's book" while Pure is "Seth's book". I believe, in Deity, there will be a showdown between these two hotties :) And yes, I'm eagerly anticipating the release of Deity!

Alex is as witty and humorous and plain awesome as ever. I loved her in Half-Blood, and I think I love her character even more after reading Pure :) She may be reckless and implusive and I suppose a little frustrating at times, but when it comes to Alex, I really didn't care. Now, onto the love interests. Aiden...Oh My Gods. Why is the guy so perfect? I don't know how anyone can not like Aiden after what he did at the very end. It was so ridiculously stupid damn swoonworthy. Seth is still...Seth. He's mysterious, hilarious and infuriatingly narcissistic as ever. I may not *mind* him anymore, but I still don't trust him; and no matter how much he appears to care about Alex, I'll never become Team Seth. Just putting it out there;) Oh, and I do believe there's something up with Leon. His weird ability to always appear at the most crucial moments is seriously freaky. I'm actually debating whether I should trust him or not....

The plot is becoming as riveting as ever; so much happened in Pure, and a lot was also revealed. I loved what happened towards the end; it really set the scene and plotline for the future books :) In a nutshell, Ms Armentrout's a freaking genius and I'm in love with her. Guys, I don't care if you thought Half-Blood was too similar to VA, just...PICK UP THE SEQUEL. It is SO much better and totally different :)

Book Review: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

21 Nov 2012

by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: October 18th 2011
Format: Paperback
Purchase: Book Depository

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi—pure-bloods—have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals—well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

 Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:

 Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. 

Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

Half-Blood was incredible. It had all the elements I LOVE in a YA book- a sarcastic, humorous and independent heroine; a steamy romance that develops over time; heart-racing action and some butt-kicking fighting scenes; a mind-blowing plot that will likely be explored in further detail in the next book. Half-Blood was just...unputdownable!

I loved how this took on a different approach on Greek Myth- it wasn't based on a particular myth, but rather on Greek mythology in general. The fact that there weren't supernatural creatures like vampires and were involve, was a relief and made this so much more interesting! The main plot for this series was definitely fascinating, although Half-Blood seemingly sets the scene leading up to the main storyline. But fear not! There's an abundance of awesome action, sizzling chemistry between Alex and Aiden, and the hilarious interactions between the characters to keep you occupied!

Have I mentioned how I much I adore kick-ass heroines? Well, I do. And Alex? Well...she is badass. The girl doesn't take crap from anyone; she's stubborn, hilarious and she's literally a comeback machine. (she ALWAYS has a snarky comeback at the ready!) Oh, and her interactions(more like bantering) with the sexy Sentinel, Aiden made reading Half-Blood all the more enjoyable!( Plus the fact that their romance is FORBIDDEN- literally frowned upon by the Gods- made it so much more exciting :) )

If you haven't already figured, I loved this.  I don't care that it's striking similar to the Vampire Academy series; I found it incredible in its own way! I've no doubt Pure will be just as fantastic :)

Giveaway: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor (AUS only)

by Laini Taylor
Published by Hachette Australia
on November 13th 2012

Sequel to the extraordinary DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE. 

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living - one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers' arms to take their turn in the killing and dying. Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon's secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel - a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness. This was not that world.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

I have an ARC of Days of Blood and Starlight to give away to one lucky winner from Australia! I won an ARC a while ago and then a finished copy arrived last week, so I thought I'd pass on my ARC :)

The giveaway will end 5th December 2012.

Good Luck guys!<3 

Author Interview: Hannah Harrington & Giveaway! (INT'L & AUS/NZ)

20 Nov 2012

Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you an interview with the lovely Hannah Harrington, author of Saving June (2011) and Speechless (2012). I recently read reviewed Speechless - it was an incredibly powerful and engaging novel; I'd recommend it to everyone :) There is also a giveaway of 2 copies of the AU edition of Speechless for AUS/NZ residents only, courtesy of the lovely peeps at Harpequin Teen Australia. I'll also be giving away one paperback copy for my awesome international readers as well! 

Hannah Harrington
August 28th 2012
Harlequin Teen

Please describe Speechless in 5 words or less.

Words have power. Also, diners.

Chelsea’s vow of silence was certainly a very brave and praise-worthy decision. I personally can’t imagine keeping silent for so long! What’s the longest time you’ve been able to keep silent for?

I have never attempted a vow of silence! I like to think I could go at least a day... and then I remember how often I have to yell at my cats to behave, and I don't think I'd be able to do it!

Can you share your favourite quote(s) from Speechless.

I admit I really loved this one when I wrote it:

“I walk to my car without looking back, and as I drive away, I'm hit with a sudden wave of sadness. But it's a distant kind of sad - like when you look at your Barbies and realize you don't want to play with them anymore, because you're growing up and you've moved on, and in your heart you know it's time to make room for other things.” 

If Speechless were to be made into a movie, who would be your ideal cast?

I could see Emma Roberts as Chelsea and Darren Criss as Sam, but really I am not married to any dream casting!

If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?

Well, I do have a day job at an office, which isn't nearly as exciting, but I'd probably be doing that still! Writing is definitely "the dream job", and I can't think of anything else I'd rather be doing with my life.

Can you tell us anything about your upcoming projects?

I am in the early stages of a third novel, which will be another contemporary romance! I love writing for that genre.

Shirley: YAYY! Another contemporary romance from Hannah? I CANNOT WAIT. No doubt it's going to be just as amazing as Hannah's first two books :)~

Hannah Harrington is a 25-year-old born and bred Michigander. She grew up in the town of East Grand Rapids before later moving to the Lansing area, where she currently resides with three cats and a black labrador, all of whom are named after famous musicians. She wrote her first book at age nine, a stunning, forty-page Call of the Wild/Black Beauty ripoff ode to her dead dog. She later attempted her second at fourteen (by longhand), but failed miserably. She got the idea for Saving June during the summer after high school, while living out of her car and working as a pizza cook. It wasn't until she was twenty-one that she decided to write a story around the scenes she'd scribbled into a notebook years before. Saving June, Hannah's first novel, was published by Harlequin Teen in 2011. Her next novel, Speechless, will be released in the US on August 28th, 2012. When she isn't busy writing like a crazy person, Hannah enjoys horseback riding, arguing about politics, watching documentaries, playing guitar (very badly), and speaking about herself in the third person.

Find Hannah on:

Book Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

18 Nov 2012

The Lost Prince
by Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 23rd 2012
Format: ARC
Purchase: Book Depository

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for. 

 Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

I don’t think I've ever given any of Julie’s books less than 5 stars, nor have I ever had any complaints about any aspect of her work. Julie’s books (the entire Iron Fey series and The Immortal Rules) were all superbly written, wonderfully plotted and executed with a cast of likable and relatable characters. I had extremely high expectations for The Lost Prince; I was ready to give it 5 stars before I even opened the front cover, but unfortunately, and I deeply regret saying this, the first book in the Iron Fey spin-off failed to impress me.

What I love about Julie’s work is her ability to craft the most creative and incredible world. I’ve always loved the Nevernever- I love the creatures and every part of the Nevernever, and I’m happy to say that once again, Julie has amazed me for her talent for world-building. It was definitely a pleasure to re-visit the world of the fey and be introduced to even more astoundingly imaginative creatures! I don’t think I can ever get tired of Julie’s fantastic world-building J

Unfortunately my praise for The Lost Prince ends here. I couldn’t connect with any of the new cast of characters; I never expected them to surpass my love for the old cast, but I never expected to well…not care about them either. There are many traits that Ethan possess that I would normally admire, but this time, I just…couldn't bring myself to care. His aloofness and purposeful rudeness to everyone around him was understandable, but I couldn’t really connect with him. (I guess it also doesn’t help that he’s constantly having murderous thoughts about my darling Ash. Haha)

I hate to criticize anything written and thought out by Julie, but to be honest, I didn’t care for any of the secondary characters either. The love interest, Kenzie annoyed the crap out of me. There’s just something about her that rubs me  the wrong way. I guess I did feel sorry for her towards the end, but that only lasted like 2 seconds, and then I continued to not care for her. Keirran was by far, my favourite character. But my love for him wavered as the story progressed, especially when Annwyl came into the picture. Annwyl, a Summer fey, is Keirran’s love interest, and possibly the most empty character of Julie’s. I never felt any connection between her and Keirran, and their romance felt like it was only written so that either 1) there won’t be a love triangle or b) everyone has to end up with someone. Seriously, I wouldn’t care if she was killed off in the next few books. (Okay, I’m starting to sound mean :S)

The plot was quite interesting for the most part, but I was a little disappointed with the ending. The ending just wasn’t…very climactic. It really hurts to say anything bad of Julie’s books, but The Lost Prince failed to impress me. But I would still highly recommend this series to everyone! I mean, we’re talking about Julie Kagawa after all J

**Oh, and while I’m at it, GO READ THE IRON FEY SERIES IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY. I will seriously haunt anyone who fails to obey this! hehe

Blog Tour: Undeadly - Blurb, Author Spotlight & Giveaway

16 Nov 2012

Welcome to my stop on the Undeadly blog tour hosted by Shane at Itching for Books

by Michele Vail
Published by Harlequin Teen
on November 20th 2012

The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.


Michele Vail writes young adult paranormal fiction about zombies and reapers. 

She likes reading, dogs, cats, board games, ghost-hunting shows, and Halloween. She believes in magic, in the impossible, and in the restorative powers of chocolate. 

Michele lives happily-ever-after with her Viking and their family.


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Showcase Sunday 11-11-12 - 2 months edition :)

11 Nov 2012

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits and Bites. Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and The Story Siren, the aim of this meme is to showcase our newest books!

This one's going to be a massive edition - over 2 months worth of books in fact! Due to some intense studying leading up to exams, I held off from showing the books I received, but now that exams are over, here they are :) 

A massive thank you to Allen & Unwin, Pan Macmillan, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Harlequin Teen, Penguin, Walker Books, Bloomsbury, Kate & Spencer Hill Press, Michelle @Novels On The Run, Sarah @ Saz101, Rebecca @Reading Wishes and my awesome friend Lana for the above awesomeness<3

What did you receive in your mailbox? Leave links!

Blog Tour: Luminosity - Review & Giveaway

9 Nov 2012


by Stephanie Thomas
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: November 13th 2012
Format: e-ARC
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.

 The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me. 

 But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.

It was impossible for me to pass up the chance to read Luminosity when I read the blurb; it consisted of everything I love in YA books – Institution, paranormal elements and girl falling in love with the enemy? Hell yeah! While Luminosity was beautifully written, well-paced and action-packed, I found myself constantly feeling the urge to just..skim through certain parts or put it down entirely for a while. All I can say is, this is one of those “it's not you, it’s me” cases. I liked it, but for whatever reason, I just couldn’t connect with the story as much as I would’ve liked.

 The concept of ‘Seers’ and ‘Dreamcatchers’ is quite unique and I enjoyed learning about the history of Seers and Dreamcatchers immensely :) Seers, in this case refer to the group of people who can See visions of the future, while Dreamcatchers fulfill the role of preserving the past. I don’t know if it’s because I skimmed certain parts because there was a lot of info-dumping, but I still don’t have a good understanding of the Dreamcatchers – How do their use their skills to kill? Where do they live/Where is the place they live in? How do they survive outside of the City? I suppose the world-building could’ve also been better; I still don’t know much about the City where the Institution, Seers and Citizens reside. 

Beatrice is one of the best, if not the best Seer; her visions are usually clear and accurate. I admired her strength and bravery during the situations these qualities were displayed, however, she made many decisions that left me feeling extremely annoyed. After having dreams of certain events, she decides that she couldn’t tell anyone, not even her best friend her dreams because she “doesn’t want to lose them” and asks them to “trust her”. Both are fine except I still have no idea how keeping those secrets is suppose to help them? And if I was Gabe, I would have a hard time trusting her when she’s purposely keeping important things from me.

 Then, there’s the LOVE TRIANGLE. *shakes head* *groans* Beatrice has feelings for her best friend, Gabe. That’s totally fine. Then, she meets the enemy, Echo, in her dreams, and for some inexplicable reason, decides he is trustworthy, and the third time she “sees” him in her dream, they start kissing.(Like, seriously? There’s more important things going on- like a WAR- and you two strangers are kissing?!) Then follows some weird dream/reality love triangle which annoyed the hell out of me. Echo, most unfortunately was a very empty character. To be honest, if his character was female, the storyline still would’ve worked. To me, he was an unnecessary addition, and the love triangle was also unnecessary. 

So, the verdict? Luminosity was good and many people will enjoy it; there’s war, fighting and one’s fight for survival, which, under normal circumstances I would enjoy greatly. BUT, most unfortunately, I found it hard to connect with the story and characters. Overall, a mediocre read for me.

Stephanie Thomas has been writing ever since she could put letters together to form words. When she was a small child, she would present her mother and father with self-made newspapers filled up with make believe stories and pictures. Her love for writing followed her all throughout her schooling, where she entered and won writing contests of all sorts. Stephanie decided to become an English teacher and completed her B.A. at The Pennsylvania State University. While teaching, she later went on to get her Master’s in writing from The Johns Hopkins University. She completed her very first manuscript during her graduate studies, and by the end of the program, she had completed two more. Stephanie is quick to tell anyone that she’s a born and raised Philadelphian, and her heart will always belong there. She moved to Baltimore with her husband, and they’ve been living there for the last five years with their doggie, Sailor, and their rabbit, Buns (aka “T Sizzle).


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Blog Tour: Greta and the Goblin King - Author Spotlight and Giveaway

5 Nov 2012

Welcome to my stop on the Greta and the Goblin King blog tour hosted by Shane at Itching for Books
I'm currently halfway through reading this, and I have to say, it's really good so far :) (It helps that Isaac is incredibly hot<3 ) I'm hoping to finish it soon and post up my review!

by Chloe Jacobs
Published by Entangled Publishing
on November 13th 2012

While trying to save her brother from a witch’s fire four years ago, Greta was thrown in herself, falling through a portal to Mylena, a dangerous world where humans are the enemy and every ogre, ghoul, and goblin has a dark side that comes out with the eclipse. To survive, Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young goblin king, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her will to escape. But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. An ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal, and with the next eclipse mere days away, every bloodthirsty creature in the realm is after her—including Isaac. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back... 

Chloe Jacobs is a native of nowhere and everywhere, having jumped around to practically every Province of Canada before finally settling in Ontario where she has now been living for a respectable number of years. Her husband and son are the two best people in the entire world, but they also make her wish she'd at least gotten a female cat. No such luck. And although the day job keeps her busy, she carves out as much time as possible to write. Bringing new characters to life and finding out what makes them tick and how badly she can make them suffer is one of her greatest pleasures, almost better than chocolate and fuzzy pink bunny slippers.


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Book Review: Rumour Has It by Ali Cronin

4 Nov 2012

Rumour Has It
by Ali Cronin 
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Release Date: October 4th 2012
Format: Paperback

This isn't gritty. This isn't glamorous. This is real life. Real sex. Real teens. Three Little Words is the irresistible new series of romances for teenage readers. There's always one page each book will fall open at. One scene that gets people talking. The sexiest, most romantic scene. The kind you don't want to read in public. Four girls. Three boys. They are turning 18 and in their final year at school... This book takes them from November to the New Year, with all the attendant parties - and pitfalls. Extra X-rated scenes exclusively available in this ebook edition.

Note: I wrote my review for this a while ago, but stupid Blogger automatically saved the post afterI accidentally deleted what I’d written. So, this is a second review, hopefully I didn’t get anything wrong… :S 

I didn’t like the first book. I won’t go as far to say I ‘hated’ it, but it was certainly very disappointing and the main character, Sarah annoyed the hell out of me. I therefore started Rumour Has It with very low expectations, but surprisingly, I ended up really liking the sequel! 

Ashley is a character I instantly liked. She’s witty, fun and I love how she doesn't care about what others think of her. She's a party girl, a ‘player’ ; she doesn’t have boyfriends, but rather has sex with well…to put it bluntly, whoever she meets at a party. Her non-commitment way of life is a result of her difficult family life – her father having left her, her mother, and 2 sisters when she was young and her mother has since been unable to forge lasting relationships with other men due to her inability to forget Ashley’s father- and I guess that seemed like an acceptable reason for Ashley’s way of life- no strings attached sex i.e. no commitment. I also liked how there was character growth present in this book; Ashley makes some pretty stupid mistakes but she’s able to realize where she went wrong and manages to change herself for the better. By the end of the book, I liked her even more! 

As for the other characters, I'm still having trouble warming up to Cass. I really hope she’ll mature and realize what a jerk her boyfriend is in the third book though. (Like, seriously, he's the Biggest.Jerk.EVER) I can’t get my head around Cass’s way of thinking - I mean, she’s willing to forgo her placement/potential placement at Cambridge University for a guy who…doesn’t even respect her. SERIOUSLY? *shakes head* . As for Dylan, the love interest, he's incredibly sweet! He balances out Ashley perfectly, and he has a really good influence on her , which I loved :) I really hope they appear in the third book- I want to know more about them!! 

It was a great experience being inside Ashley’s head; there were some laugh-out-loud times when Ashley made some really humourous remarks. While I have doubts about the third book, mainly because I don’t like Cass’s character and her decisions, I really hope Cass will undergo character growth like Ashley. But  let's hope the third book will take me by surprise :)

** There's also something I'd like to clarify: The blurb says "This is Real. Life. Real Sex. Real Teens". Umm yeah...but please note that not ALL teens are like Sarah/Ashley. So please don't think ALL teenagers are some obsessed, delusional or sex-loving party girls. Just something I thought I should clarify...

Book Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

2 Nov 2012

The Golden Lily 
by Richelle Mead 
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Release Date: June 12th 2012
Format: Paperback

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

The Golden Lily is possible one of the most, if not the most anticipated title of the year; and I, like 95% of the book-loving population waited eagerly for its release. While The Golden Lily did not disappoint, unfortunately it did not impress either. I don't know if it's because I'm subconsciously comparing Sydney to Rose as a result of me comparing Bloodlines to The Vampire Academy, but I feel that The Golden Lily ( and even Bloodlines for that matter) lacks...this spark. Thats the only way I can describe it. While I did enjoy it (quite a lot actually while I was reading it at least) it failed to leave a memorable impact on me upon finishing.

Adrian *swoon* No book is complete without Adrian'a presence. I cannot believe I never appreciated his role/appearances in VA, (probably because I was too obsessed with Dimitri) but I can say, I absolutely LOVE Adrian now!So, Adrian and Sydney are perfect together!Adrian himself, even admits some very interesting things about him and Sydney- I won't spoil them for you but they're definitely swoon-worthy! I'm sure many people DIED after reading that ending- it was like...all our anticipation for the climax; our prays were finally answered, and we had several seconds or minutes of squealing and laughing and joyous moments and then BAM. That last sentence killed us. I for one, am considering hibernating until early next year, and re-enter the world when The Indigo Spell releases! 

And now...onto a few things I wasn't entirely content with; firstly, no matter how much I absolutely adore Richelle Mead's books, I wasn't happy with the plot line of The Golden Lily. In fact, there seemed to be a lack of plot; basically we follow Sydney's mundane life as a high school student, while simultaneously protecting Jill. Every now and then, something close to exciting may happen- but overall, I really have no idea where the series is heading. Since this will be a 6 book series, I hope a solid storyline will begin to unravel, one that will take up a span of 6 books. 

Secondly, I love some thrilling action. Unfortunately, The Golden Lily lacked action- I understand that action probably wouldn't suit the story since Sydney's an alchemist, and she uses her knowledge rather than physical exertion, but still...a little action involving some badass guardians and strigoi would be welcome :) And last, not a huge issue, but I'm sick of Jill. She's never been a favourite character of mine, but the fact that Eddie, who is one of my favourite characters lusts after her when I clearly cannot understand why, has dampened my tolerance of her character even further.(Don't kill me Jill fans!) I'm hoping something will happen between Eddie and Angeline :) But...that's just me :D

The Golden Lily will no doubt be a 2012 favourite for most people, and clearly it was a well-written sequel, but I suppose I just have high expectations. Nevertheless, I'm anticipating The Indigo Spell...and maybe we'll have more Adrian/Sydney romance? Pretty pleaseeeee Richelle Mead! Us Sydrian fans are dying here!!