Thursday 28 February 2013

Between The Lines by Tammara Webber

For Review: Penguin
Published: 14 February

From Goodreads: When Hollywood It Boy, Reid Alexander, arrives on location to shoot his next movie, his goals are the same as always—film another blockbuster hit and enjoy his celebrity status to the fullest while doing so. His costar is a virtual unknown with whom he had blazing hot chemistry during her auditions. The universe is lining up nicely to grant whatever he wants, as usual, until he’s confronted with unexpected obstacles on location like a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for the first girl to spark his genuine interest in years.

Emma Pierce just got her big break after more than a decade of filming commercials for grape juice, department stores and tampons, and more recently, bit parts in made-for-TV movies. Nailing the lead role in a wide-release film sent her agent, father and stepmother into raptures, and should have done the same for her. The Problem? Emma is experiencing a building desire to be normal, and starring in a silly, modernized adaptation of one of her favorite novels—opposite the very hot Reid Alexander—isn’t going to advance that aspiration.

Graham Douglas doesn’t fear playing the part of a nerdy dimwit; when it comes to choosing film roles, if it pays, he’ll do it. Besides, his friend Brooke Cameron snatched up the role of the bitchy hot girl and could use his help as a buffer, because her ex is the star. Graham has no problem keeping a handle on the situation, until he finds himself attracted to Reid’s costar, Emma, the girl Reid is pursuing full-throttle with his standard arsenal of charm, good looks and arrogance.

Having absolutely adored Easy when I read it last year I had high expectations for this one!  While this has a different feel to Easy, everything I loved about that book is present here too.  I really enjoyed it.  And I really liked the setting.  Being completely obsessed with TV and films this was definitely my kind of story.

The story is narrated by Emma and Reid. Got to love dual narration!  Emma I loved straight away, Reid took a while!  I'm not sure that he completely won me over but there is definitely something there - something intriguing and something promising I think.

The story for me was really Emma's story.  Even Reid's narration seemed to focus more on her - although it does touch on his home life which goes some way in explaining why he is the way he is.  But it felt, to me at least, as if the focus was more on her. 

I loved Graham!  Totally and utterly (and even more at the end!)  I also really liked Brooke - and how first impressions of her are not what she is like at all! Oh and Tadd!  Loved him.  In fact, I loved them all!

I have seriously high hopes for this series.  I can't wait to read the next book (more Graham!) and am looking forward to (I believe) Reid's story in book 3.  And do I spy a book 4 on Goodreads? I hope so!  I think I'm addicted!

Wednesday 27 February 2013

I want to read that...

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

From Goodreads: It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

It sounds great,  doesn't it?  I really can't wait to read this!  It's published soon so that's great:) It's published 7 March (in the UK) and is avaliable now for those (lucky peeps) in the US.

See below for a video of Ruta Sepetys talking about the book.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Infinite Sky by C J Flood

For Review: Simon & Schuster
Published: 14 February 2013

From Goodreads: Iris Dancy’s free-spirited mum has left for Tunisia, her dad’s rarely sober and her brother’s determined to fight anyone with a pair of fists.

When a family of travellers move into the overgrown paddock overnight, her dad looks set to finally lose it. Gypsies are parasites he says, but Iris is intrigued. As her dad plans to evict the travelling family, Iris makes friends with their teenage son. Trick Deran is a bare knuckle boxer who says he’s done with fighting, but is he telling the truth?

When tools go missing from the shed, the travellers are the first suspects. Iris’s brother, Sam, warns her to stay away from Trick; he’s dangerous, but Iris can no longer blindly follow her brother’s advice. He’s got secrets of his own, and she’s not sure he can be trusted himself.

Infinite Sky is a family story about betrayal and loyalty, and love.

I had the feeling when I picked this up it would be good, and I'm pleased I was proved right!

I really enjoyed the way the story was told. I loved Iris' voice - her personality shines through and you really feel everything she feels. I also thought the way we know something bad happens to one of the characters (but not who it was!) from the onset worked well - it added tension to everything that happened. I needed to know who Iris was referring to!

All the characters in this really come alive. It is where the book truly excels. I fell in love with Trick, Iris' brother Sam and her whole family. All the choices that are made, by all the characters,  seems to lead up to what happens in the end. It makes for very interesting (and heartbreaking!) reading.

Really, really good and it has made me very excited to see what C J Flood writes next!

Monday 18 February 2013

Infinite Sky Blog Tour

I am really pleased to be part of the UK blog tour for C J Flood's novel Infinite Sky.  For today's stop we have an exclusive snippet from Trick's point of view...

I do a lot of freewriting to try and work out what the story is when I’m writing. It isn’t always the best prose, but it helps to work out what each character wants, and to find the natural points of conflict between characters. It’s a lot rougher than the stuff that makes it into the novel, but I hope you get the idea of what I am trying to do. Here is a little bit of writing from Trick Delaney’s point of view. Trick is Iris’s friend/love interest in Infinite Sky. He is an Irish Traveller with a history of bare knuckle boxing, but he tells Iris that he is desperate to give this up.

Work with me da’s not so bad. We have a laugh. People like him, he talks a lot, nothing like what he is at home. They call me little Paddy or Paddy’s boy. They reckon we’ve got the same eyes. He’s alright at home at the minute. Ma’s happy.

I like most of the lads at work. We eat our sandwiches together. They’re all older than me, and they read The Star and The Sport and they turn them round to show us the pictures.

Afterwards, me and Da go down the tip to see what people have thrown away. Sometimes he lets me come in the pub with him, gets me half a shandy and we share a bag of beef and onion crisps. He never drinks whiskey in there. Not while I’m there anyway. He knows I’d tell Ma if he did. Even now I’m working with him.

She knows I go out at night sometimes, she hears me leave. I thought she knew, but wasn’t sure, and then the other night she caught me, one hand still on the caravan door.

“You’re a good person, Patrick, aren’t you?” she whispered to me, from the dark of the living room, and I froze where I was, cool air giving me goosepimples.

I turned to her, and nodded, thinking she meant I should stop disobeying me da, take my flip flops off, and come inside, but she checked my eyes then, the way she does, one then the other, searching, and she smiled at me, just a tiny curl of the lips up at each side.

“We brought you up right,” she said, pulling her dressing gown tight around her, and standing up to go to bed. “Didn’t we?”

I jumped out the caravan then, I was so relieved. Still, I shut the door as quietly as ever, even though she knew all about it, and Dad wasn’t back from the pub.

She trusts me, but she doesn’t know about Iris. I’m not sure what she’d say about that. She’s always asking what I get up to, and I want to tell her, but I can’t quite make myself.

I will though. Next time she asks me, I’ll just say it. See what she says.

Tell her she hasn’t anything to worry about.

Thanks C J!

Make sure to check out the rest of the tour - details are below.

Friday 15 February 2013

Cover Wars: The Catastrophic History of You and Me

Previous Covers

New Cover

There have been a few different covers for this book - but I REALLY love the new cover being published!  I love how pretty it is and the font used for the title.  Really catches my eye - more so than the previous covers (which I also like but I much prefer this new one!)

Which reminds me I should really read this!!!

What do you think?

Friday 8 February 2013

Send Me A Sign by Tiffany Schmidt

From Goodreads: Mia is always looking for signs. A sign that she should get serious with her soccer-captain boyfriend. A sign that she’ll get the grades to make it into an Ivy-league school. One sign she didn’t expect to look for was: “Will I survive cancer?” It’s a question her friends would never understand, prompting Mia to keep her illness a secret. The only one who knows is her lifelong best friend, Gyver, who is poised to be so much more. Mia is determined to survive, but when you have so much going your way, there is so much more to lose. From debut author Tiffany Schmidt comes a heart-wrenching and ultimately uplifting story of one girl’s search for signs of life in the face of death.

I had been looking forward to reading this since I saw it recommended on Goodreads by Courtney Summers. I love her books so anything she recommends sounds good to me!

I loved Mia and all her superstitions. The way she looks for signs all the time (to Gyver’s annoyance!)  She's the kind of flawed character I love.  She doesn't always do, or feel the right thing and that makes her much more believable and interesting to read about. I have the feeling some readers may not warm to her but I really did.

I didn’t completely understand why she wanted to keep her illness a secret – I know she was scared of peoples reactions (and I couldn’t help think her mother played a large part in igniting those fears) and I suppose the longer you go without telling the harder it becomes. I imagine it’s easier to pretend it’s not happening if you don’t say it out loud. But I felt she was just alienating herself – when really she needed people around her.

The way her parents dealt with her illness annoyed me slightly as well (especially her mother) but at the same time you know how much they love her – and it’s realistic in the sense that people are going to react and cope in their own ways – not everyone is going to know the best or right way to deal it. I did, however, love Gyver’s mum and how she was with Mia. Gentle, caring and trying to get Mia to see she doesn’t have to face this alone.

Gyver is seriously one of my favourite characters ever! I want one! I loved every scene he was in and missed him when he wasn't around. I was begging the two of them to realise how they felt about each other! Watching their relationship go from how close they were at the beginning of the story to how they were with each other later on was killing me!

I also really liked Ryan and I’m really please the author made him such a likeable character. He was also there for Mia and I think the fact that she lets him in, lets him see her at her worse shows that she does care for him – just not necessarily in the way he (or she) wants. I didn’t feel she was using him – I think she told him enough times how she felt – but at the same time I think perhaps she wanted to feel differently and he sensed that. Plus she really needed someone. Which sounds mean, but how do you let go of someone who’s there for you when you really need them?

I also really liked Meagan – and her storyline – which brings home to Mia what is happening to her. To be honest, I think I much preferred Meagan to Mia’s other friends. While I understand why they react in the way they do I kind of felt they turned it around to be about them when really it should have been about Mia.

I think I must still be having series withdrawal though because even after nearly 400 pages I wasn't ready for this to end. I did loved the ending though – but I could have easily spent another 400 pages with these characters and been happy!

Fabulous characters, a story that is more than just a ‘cancer’ book and one of my favourite male leads. A brilliant debut .

Thursday 7 February 2013

I want to read that...

The Murmurings by Carly Anne West

From Goodreads: A teen girl starts hearing the same voices that drove her sister to commit suicide in this creepy, suspenseful novel.

Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not…

This sounds awesome, right?

It's published (US) in March 2013.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Cover Wars: Fifteen Days Without a Head


The brilliant Fifteen Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins is being published in the US in May (Read it - it's fab!) and I think they have come up with an awesome cover for it.  I really love it and think it captures the feel of the book brilliantly.  I also really like the UK one - they feel similar I think - but I think I prefer the 'realness' of the US cover over the cartoony feel of the UK one. 

What do you think?

Monday 4 February 2013

Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

From Goodreads: From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom & Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school.

Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it's been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn't sure how to admit that he'd rather paint than perform. The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform.

I really loved the sound of this one – it kind of reminded me of the TV series Fame which I was a massive fan of when I was younger. And having enjoyed Elizabeth Eulberg’s previous novels I was sure I was in for a fun read!

In Take a Bow we get four characters points of view: Carter, Sophie, Emme and Ethan. While I hated Sophie pretty much from the start I really enjoyed getting the other points of view.

I really liked Emme straight away – she’s very nice and just learning to stand up for herself. She doesn’t realise just how talented she is but progressively gets more confident as the story goes along. Ethan is awesome – the kind of nice but flawed character I love. He seems very good at messing things up! But I loved the way he is always there for Emme. How the whole band were there for each other – I loved Jack and Ben too!

Carter was also a really interesting character – someone who seems to have it all but actually wants something completely different. It was also refreshing to come across a character that didn’t particularly want fame – or have any delusions about his talent! I really enjoyed his story arch.

My favourite element was the love story and I’m pleased that Emme and Ethan are such good friends. I was a bit disappointed that Emme doesn’t really ‘go there’ in her POV but adored Ethan’s narration when talking about Emme. And of course, I loved the ending!

I really enjoying Elizabeth Eulberg’s writing and look forward to seeing what she writes next.

Saturday 2 February 2013

The Fine Art of Truth Or Dare by Melissa Jensen

From Goodreads: Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?

I was so excited to read this one! The promise of Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss got me practically salivating – I mean how awesome does that sound? But I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with it. There were so many elements I really loved but were a few aspects that just didn’t work for me.

I loved Ella and her journey. Having been ridiculed for a burn scar she sustained when she was younger she has a load of insecurities. So when she starts failing French and is assigned a tutor (who is none other than Alex Bainbridge: her crush!) she doesn’t quite believe he could actually like her – and I enjoyed seeing her trying to come to terms with that. I liked the way he makes her see that it doesn’t matter how other people see her – it’s how she sees herself that counts. I really did love the relationship that develops between those two – it felt genuine and real.

I adored her friends, especially Frankie and his brother (who seemed to steal every scene he was in!) And Sadie has an interesting storyline of her own. And I loved her family and their restaurant – how she helps out there all the time and the whole family dynamic was really great.

However, while I didn’t mind Ella obsession with the artist Edward Willing I found her constant conversations with him just too quirky for my liking. Not only did he just end up sounding like her friend Frankie (which kind of makes sense since she’s really just talking to herself) it just came across as a bit too weird for me and something that didn’t completely gel with the rest of her personality. I also didn’t enjoy the diary/letter snippets from Edward. I tried to like them, I really did – but if I am completely honest they just bored me. If I were to re-read this I would definitely skim over these parts – I’m not sure how much they added to the story. Instead I would have loved more time with Ella and Alex. I felt that I didn’t really get those French lessons I was promised! I wanted to feel more of the tension between them before they got together and have more scenes with them actually together.

So, as I said, there were so many aspects I really loved. I think that’s why I was as disappointed as I was – I could see how this could have been amazing! I did like it enough to buy the authors other novel – Falling in love with English Boys – so I’m interested to see what I think of that one.


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