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 :)

Review: Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

28 Jun 2013

Between the Lives
by Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Release Date: May 1st, 2013
Format: Paperback, 336 pages

Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole. 

 Until now, that is... 

 For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other. 

 With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?

I’ve heard so much praise over the years for Jessica Shirvington’s Violet Eden series (which I own but have yet to read), so I was very excited when I heard about Jess’s new book, Between the Lives coming out in May. I got even more enthusiastic about starting the book when 4-5 star reviews began showing up on my GR updates and I was like “ Could this be THAT amazing?”. Sadly, Between the Lives wasn’t as brilliant as I expected it to be, but it was a refreshingly original and praiseworthy book nonetheless.

While the concept was so creative (kudos to Jess for thinking up such an imaginative and unique concept!), I couldn’t quite engage with the story. Sabine is meant to take on the role of two completely different characters 1) Herself in Roxbury 2) Another self in Wellesley. Despite being 2 different people, Sabine sounded exactly the same in both worlds. Now, this can be interpreted as both a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand, I liked how she sounded the same because it obviously meant she never ‘lost’ herself during the shift and she’s still the one and only Sabine. On the other hand, I felt her thoughts, actions and image in Wellesley were so contradicting, there was no way she could be this perfect, materialistic rich girl. It didn’t help either, that her voice was so bland and indistinguishable from so many other YA heroines.

I’m legitimately starting to loathe psychiatric wards now. Not for the first time, I wonder how many patients are there not because they need to be there, but because the psychiatrists believe anyone ‘special’ or ‘different’ requires help. *sigh* Our male lead Ethan is a total sweetie, no doubt, but I couldn’t feel the chemistry between him and Sabine at all. No spark, no chemistry, no nothing. Just a guy and a girl who supposedly fall in love. Yes, I should love him because he’s so understanding, selfless..etc. but I couldn’t root for them. I just didn’t feel a connection with these two characters unfortunately.

Some readers/bloggers might’ve cried at the end; I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel anything, because well…I was sort of sad. I’m certain many readers will absolutely adore this standalone novel by everyone’s favourite Aussie author, however, this wasn’t my cup of tea. It’s a story I enjoyed, but not one I would read again. 
A massive thank you to HarperCollins Australia for providing a copy of  Between The Lives for review! 

Book Spotlight: Conquer Your Love by J.C Reed & Giveaway

27 Jun 2013

Hey guys!!!! So I haven't been blogging much lately- blame Uni!- but since my hectic Uni exams are over now & I get over 1 month of holidays, I'm hoping to catch up on some reviews and blogging in general :) Today, I have a book spotlight for J.C Reed's Mature New Adult/ Adult Contemporary Romance Conquer Your Love, the sequel to Surrender Your Love which was released earlier this year. I'll be sharing an excerpt with you today and there will also be a giveaway for an $100 Amazon Gift Card. (SERIOUSLY YOU SHOULD ALL GO ENTER IT! THINK OF ALL THE BOOKS  YOU CAN PURCHASE!!!<3)

Conquer Your Love
by J.C Reed
Release Date: June 8th 2013

Meeting Jett was like bad luck. Dangerous. Unpredictable. And better avoided. In his game, the stakes are high. But are they worth the risk?
 Brooke Stewart, a realtor in New York, finds forgetting is hard, but forgiving is harder. When the man she trusted, betrayed her, the only way to forget is to move on. Brooke is determined to start a new life, until she meets him again: the green-eyed, sexy as sin, six foot two sex god. The man who played dirty. The man who played her. Sexy, handsome, and arrogant Jett Mayfield knows he has made mistakes. He could have any other woman, and yet it’s Brooke he wants. When second chances collide with secrets and Brooke is threatened by the past, Jett is determined to protect her. She accepts his help unwillingly because she needs him but she wants to play his game on her own terms. And she has no intention to forgive or let him back into her bed. When the man she is supposed to hate is the one she should trust, will he conquer her…or lose her forever?
A woman who can’t forgive. 
A man who has made mistakes. 
Two lives that are about to cross again and more secrets laid bare.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Whoaaaa that was pretty :D You see, I usually avoid books with covers that scream THERE IS SEX IN THIS BOOK because....welllll, I was young and didn't want my innocence corrupted :P Nahhh I'm kidding! I just never had a chance to try adult contemporary romance since I usually only read YA. But this book/ series has received some amazing reviews/ ratings and I'm reallllyyyy looking forward to finding out what happened between Jett and Brooke :) heheeee

Oh and like I said above, GO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! $100 WORTH OF BOOKS FROM AMAZON. AND A COPY OF A BOOK WITH SUCH A HOT BODY ON THE FRONT COVER. You can drool over it every second of the day if you win<3 :)

Review: Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

4 Jun 2013

Spirit (Elemental #3)
by Brigid Kemmerer 
Publisher: Allen & Unwin 
Release Date: May 22nd 2013
Format: Paperback, 294 pages

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He has learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can't seem to afford any allies. 

 He's up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait. 

 Then there's Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She's not hostile. She's bold. Funny. Hot. But she's got an agenda, too. 

 With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down - which means he'll have to find someone he can trust. 


If I remember correctly I was once Hunter Garrity’s biggest anti-fan. He annoyed me in the Storm because he was the other guy in the love triangle who was competing for Becca; and he annoyed me in Spark because well…if memory serves, he was untrustworthy. So basically, I didn’t like Hunter, and I definitely didn’t care for his story.  Though I never once considered not reading Spirit, I was a little apprehensive when I started reading it and for the first few pages I treaded with caution. HOWEVER, (and a hugeeeee however here), I shouldn’t have worried because several pages in, I started LOVING Hunter. (And possibly hating all the other characters in the book…but I’ll go into that later!)

After reading Spark and Spirit, I have one question that I can never get my head around – What is it with these guys always hiding what they’re actually feeling? I mean guys aren’t as expressive as girls (I think??) but seriously, why do they always have to hide the fact that they’re actually concerned for those around them and actually give a crap about the people they love. Why purposely pretend they’re the bad guys and have everyone misunderstand them? It’s exactly because of this that I didn’t like both Gabriel and Hunter. Luckily though, through Hunter’s perspective we got to see a different side of him. I don’t care how untrustworthy he seems to everyone else, I’LL ALWAYS SUPPORT YOU HUNTER<3

I felt so sorry for Hunter throughout the whole book. I can never understand how a mum can treat her child the way Hunter’s mother treated him. I don’t care what her reasons were, her actions were unforgivable. AND HUNTER’S GRANDFATHER NEEDS TO GET BEATEN UP ONE DAY SO HE KNOWS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE. I hated how everyone just automatically assumed the worst of Hunter just because of his piercings and overall appearance. I’ll admit that had I been one of the students from his school, I probably would’ve believed the rumours too, but reading everything from his POV just made me want to scream at the entire school to shut the hell up and stop judging Hunter. At one point, I even started having negative feelings towards Chris and Gabriel since they wouldn’t leave poor Hunter alone, and as for Becca…well…I’ve never really liked her much. As for Kate, the love interest, I definitely didn’t like her. She drove me up the wall with her blatant displays of slutty actions. Yes, that’s exactly how I’d describe her behaviour. I didn’t care for her much and I’m glad I didn’t have to endure her for long.

Spirit is distinctly different from the previous too books. It’s much bolder, more intense and there’s a lot more action. What Storm lacked, Spirit compensated. A little warning though, there’s violence and shooting and there’s no holding back when it comes accomplishing one’s goals. Spirit is an impressive addition to the Elemental series, and I can’t wait for the next book <3 

A massive thank you to Kensington and Allen & Unwin for providing a copy of Spirit for review!

This post is also part of the Spirit Blog Tour hosted by The Midnight Garden. 

For the full schedule, click HERE