Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan review

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Published by Allen & Unwin in 2007
Genres: young adult, romance, contemporary
Pages: 183
Goodreads

Nick: “I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?”

Norah: I answer his question by putting my hand around his neck and pulling his face down to mine.

Nick’s just seen the girl who dumped him walk in… with a new guy. What else can he do but ask the strange girl next to him to be his new girlfriend for the next five minutes?

Norah would do anything to avoid conversation with the not-friend girl who dumped Nick… and to get over the Evil Ex whom Norah never really dumped. What else can she do but answer Nick’s question by making out with him?

With one electric, unexpected kiss, the five-minute couple of Nick and Norah set off on an uncharted adventure called the “first date” that will turn into an infinite night of falling in and out (and in and out and maybe in and maybe out) of love. Theirs is a first date of music, laughter, heartache, confusion, passion, taxi driver wisdom, and a jacket named Salvatore. And of course, a killer soundtrack.

As Nick and Norah wonder through the middle-of-the-night mystic maze of Manhattan, they share the kind of night you never want to end, where every minute counts and every moment flickers between love and disaster.

REVIEW

I’m discovering that David Levithan can be a bit of a hit or miss for me, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, as well as The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, are two of my all time favourite books. But I didn’t so much as enjoy Will Grayson Will Grayson and unfortunately the same can be said for Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist follows two teens as they go on a night long date, told in the dual perspectives of Nick and Norah. I found the majority of the book to be internal thoughts, similar to a monologue style, where the character aimlessly goes off on a random tangent. I couldn’t connect to Nick and Norah in the slightest, and I felt that the few short hours we spent with them wasn’t enough to delve into them as characters. I didn’t dislike Nick or Norah, but they definitely weren’t memorable. One great aspect of this novel is the diversity, there are characters with different sexualities and religion and it’s treated as if it’s normalised.

Music plays a crucial part in this book, as Nick is in a band and Norah’s father is a record producer. Both hold music close to their hearts and throughout the night they watch bands perform and dance wildly in clubs. Nick and Norah use music as a way to connect to one another, as it’s something they share in common.

Overall, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist just wasn’t the book for me. But despite this, I am still planning on reading Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List, How They Met, Two Boy’s Kissing and Every Day.

★1/2

The Friday 56 (3)

 

Purity by Jackson Pearce review

Purity by Jackson Pearce
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on Apri; 24, 2012
Genres: young adult, contemporary
Pages: 218
Goodreads

A novel about love, loss, and sex — but not necessarily in that order.

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby’s father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives — in other words, no “bad behavior,” no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.
Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision — to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

REVIEW

Purity is a short light read that sheds some light onto some more serious topics such as father-daughter relationships, sex and religion. Definitely a book that you can sit down and finish in one sitting!

The protagonist, Shelby, is a likeable character. She does her best to abide by her mother’s dying wishes and her dad’s rules and she never goes as far as to break them. Shelby is outgoing and lives her lives her life to the fullest, she even has a huge bucket-list that she’s been slowly making her way through with the help of her friends Jonas and Ruby. Jonas and Ruby were great friends, they were supportive of Shelby and understood how she had to live her life by her mum’s promises and her dad’s rules. They never pressure her into doing something that’s unreasonable and they always have Shelby’s best interest in mind. However, I felt like I couldn’t fully connect with the characters, this maybe because the book was so short. The only thing I still can’t wrap my head around is Shelby’s race to have sex before she vows to her dad that she’ll live a pure life. I partially understand where her reasoning comes from, but I think she ends up being a bit rash, doing whatever she can just to get the deed done. I didn’t necessarily agree with Shelby’s mindset or her actions, but she learnt some valuable lessons on the way.

Although Shelby is on a quest to finally have sex, there is little romance in this book whatsoever, I would say maybe only 1%. I didn’t exactly realise this while I was reading the book, and I feel like this book doesn’t require romance to get its point across.

The plot wasn’t the major point of the novel, instead, it focused more on Shelby’s character development and the lessons that she learnt. Contrasting the lighthearted feel of this book were some more serious topics including sex, father-daughter relationships, religion, promises, death, purity. Throughout the novel, Shelby questions her faith and her relationship with God, not understanding why he took her mother away from her. Shelby’s relationship with her own father develops profoundly, and she begins to understand that he just wants the best for her and that he wants to learn what Shelby truly wants in her life, instead of forcing things upon her. However, in saying this, I felt like Pearce just skimmed the surface of these topics, and she could’ve delved deeper in her exploration.

Overall, Purity is both a fluffy and serious-toned novel, and despite its short length is able to address some relevant issues.

★★

The Friday 56 (3)

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a meme created by Marcia of To Be Continued, you can find the dedicated blog here.

So again last week I found a whole bunch of books for really cheap so I couldn’t resist buying them!

Physical Books

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

Inside Out by Maria V. Synder

Keep Your Head Down.

Don’t Get Noticed.

Or Else.

I’m Trella. I’m a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I’ve got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution.

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, she’s certain her days are numbered. Then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the boy she left behind. Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials love can endure.

 

 

 

 

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

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.

My name is Ethan Chase.
And I may not live to see my
eighteenth birthday.

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

Blood sings to blood, Froi . . .
Those born last will make the first . . .
For Charyn will be barren no more.
 

Three years after the curse on Lumatere was lifted, Froi has found his home… Or so he believes…

Fiercely loyal to the Queen and Finnikin, Froi has been trained roughly and lovingly by the Guard sworn to protect the royal family, and has learned to control his quick temper. But when he is sent on a secretive mission to the kingdom of Charyn, nothing could have prepared him for what he finds. Here he encounters a damaged people who are not who they seem, and must unravel both the dark bonds of kinship and the mysteries of a half-mad Princess.

And in this barren and mysterious place, he will discover that there is a song sleeping in his blood, and though Froi would rather not, the time has come to listen.

Gripping and intense, complex and richly imagined, Froi of the Exiles is a dazzling sequel to Finnikin of the Rock, from the internationally best-selling and multi-award-winning author of Looking for AlibrandiSaving FrancescaOn the Jellicoe Road and The Piper’s Son.

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

If only they’d said no

What if they hadn’t gone? That’s the question Clementine can’t stop asking herself. It was just an ordinary backyard barbeque on a Sunday afternoon. They didn’t know their hosts that well. They were friends of friends. They could so easily have said no.

But she and her husband Sam said yes, and now they can never change what they did and didn’t do that beautiful winter’s day.

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One yapping dog. It’s a normal weekend in the suburbs. What could possibly go wrong?

Once again Liane Moriarty uses her unique, razor-sharp observational skills to sift through the emerging fault lines of seemingly happy families.

It was just an ordinary Sunday afternoon…

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

A magnificent epic of love, war and Russia from the international bestselling author of TULLY and ROAD TO PARADISE Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose palaces and avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg. Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. The routine of their hard impoverished life is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanov family, for Leningrad and particularly for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On that fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young man named Alexander. The family suffers as Hitler’s army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn inexorably to each other, but theirs is a love that could tear Tatiana’s family apart, and at its heart lies a secret that could mean death to anyone who hears it. Confronted on the one hand by Hitler’s vast war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Clara Gardner knew that as a part angel she would one day have to fulfill her purpose, rescuing Christian from a forest fire…what she never considered was what might happen if she were to fail.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend Tucker, Clara must deal with the repercussions of what happened the day of the fire as the two boys vie for her heart. And, as she is drawn further into the world of angels and part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain after a shocking revelation, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning…

Boundless by Cynthia Hand

The past few years held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner ever could have anticipated. Yet through the dizzying high of first love to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she could no longer deny was that she was never meant to have a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seemed like the best option, so she’s headed back to California—and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfil her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must choose her fate once and for all.

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

Can true love be FORGOTTEN?

As the only Scion who can descend into the Underworld, Helen Hamilton has been given a nearly impossible task. By night she wanders through Hades, trying to stop the endless cycle of revenge that has cursed her family. By day she struggles to overcome the fatigue that is rapidly eroding her sanity. Without Lucas by her side, Helen is not sure she has the strength to go on.

Just as Helen is pushed to her breaking point, a mysterious new Scion comes to her rescue. Funny and brave, Orion shields her from the dangers of the Underworld. But time is running out – a ruthless foe plots against them, and the Furies’ cry for blood is growing louder.

As the ancient Greek world collides with the mortal one, Helen’s sheltered life on Nantucket descends into chaos. But the hardest task of all will be forgetting Lucas Delos.

Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding as an unforgettable love triangle emerges and the eternal cycle of revenge intensifies. Eagerly awaited, this sequel to the internationally bestselling STARCROSSED delivers a gritty, action-packed love story that exceeds all expectations.

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

The third installment in the all-new series from the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater!

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs. The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

 

 

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

 

 

Touch of Power by Maria V. Synder

The price of peace may well be her life…

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading teh plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogue who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader – an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own – is unequivocal in his demands; Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince, the leader of a campaign against her people.

As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for.

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Aria has struggled to build a life for herself outside Reverie. It hasn’t been easy adjusting to life in the wilderness but that struggle has been worth it with Perry by her side.

But Perry has other challenges. His people are looking to him for answers. Answers about what happened to his nephew and what’s happening to their world. And they don’t trust the priviledged Aria, one of the enemy, in their midst.

Soon he’ll be forced to chose between the tribe that looks to him for leadership and the girl that looks to him for love.

 

Bright Young Things by Anna Godberson

The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: Flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York’s glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star….

Cordelia is searching for the father she’s never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined — and more dangerous. It’s a life anyone would kill for…and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is ­Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia’s brother, Charlie. But Astrid’s perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.

Across the vast lawns of Long Island, in the ­illicit speakeasies of Manhattan, and on the blindingly lit stages of Broadway, the three girls’ fortunes will rise and fall — together and apart. From the New York Times bestselling author of THE LUXE comes an epic new series set in the dizzying last summer of the Jazz Age.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

NEMESIS (n)

1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She prides herself on being loved by everyone at work – except for imposing, impeccably attired Joshua Templeman.
Trapped in a shared office, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game, The Mirror Game, The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything – especially when a huge promotion is on offer.
If Lucy wins, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she questioning herself? Maybe she doesn’t hate him. And just maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game . . .

Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins

It’s time.

Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.

The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds  

Smart. Responsible. That’s seventeen-year-old Breanna’s role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully’s line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas “Razor” Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don’t belong. But when he learns she’s being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it’s time to step outside the rules.

And so they make a pact: he’ll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she’ll help him seek answers to the mystery that’s haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they’re both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they’re going from here.

A Long Way Home by Katie McGarry

Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Naomi ♥ Ely

And she’s kinda in love with him.

Ely ♥ Naomi

But he prefers to be in love with boys.

Naomi and Ely have been inseparable since childhood—partially because they’ve grown up across the hall from each other in the same Manhattan apartment building, and also because they’re best friends. Soul mates. Or are they? Just to be safe, they’ve created a NO KISS LIST—their list of people who are absolutely off-kissing-limits for both of them. The NO KISS LIST protects their friendship and esnures that nothing will rock the foundation of Naomi and Ely: the institution.

Until Ely kisses Naomi’s boyfriend. And a fateful piece of gum in the wrong place at the wrong time changes everything.

Soon a rift of universal proportions threatens to destroy their friendship, and it remains to be seen whether Naomi and Ely can find their way toward new soul-mate prospects… and back to one another.

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story about love of all kinds, one that reminds us that any great friendship can be as confusing, treacherous, inspiring, and wonderful as any great romance.

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

New York Times  bestselling author David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS.

While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

How They Met by David Levithan

Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a confection from David Levithan that is sure to have fans of Boy Meets Boy eager to devour it. Here are 18 stories, all about love, all kinds of love. From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down.

What is love? With this original story collection, David Levithan proves that love is a many splendored thing, a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing.

 

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

The Friday 56 (3)

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody review

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody
Published by Harlequin on July 24, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, young adult
Pages: 384
Goodreads

A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

I was kindly sent an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

REVIEW

Daughter of the Burning City is an alluring mystery set in the heart of an ever-burning travelling festival. Complete with distinctive one-of-a-kind characters and plot twists that will hit you when you’re least suspecting, this book will take you on a trip through the unimaginable.

The setting of the Gomorrah festival was both enticing and devilish, with its bewitching performance acts set amongst the provocative sex workers and corrupt criminals. This unique setting was one of the books strong points, conjuring an entrancing atmosphere to go alongside the murder mystery. However, going into this book I was anticipating a more wicked and sinister carnival feel to what this book ended up providing.

The wacky but wonderful characters that we are introduced to in Daughter of the Burning City are remarkably bizarre, each with their distinctive abilities and quirks. There were charm-workers, fortune-workers, poison-works and an entire variety of different magical abilities. The protagonist, Sorina, is exceptionally unique with her ability to create physical illusions, she also lacked eyes though she could see perfectly fine. The uniqueness of the characters was an aspect I relished, it was continually fascinating meeting new people with extraordinary capabilities. Sorina was a loveable character, she cared about her family of illusions so profoundly, when they started being murdered one by one she was determined to seek out the perpetrator. Although she is sixteen, Sorina was very mature and acted like a mother to her illusions, despite some of them being older than her. The characters are also diverse, with Sorina being attracted to both women and men and Nicoleta preferring women.

Luca was a charming character, and he definitely won me over with his confidence and charisma. He was an intriguing character, as it seemed there was constantly more to discover about him which supplied an air of mystery to him. Sorina and Luca’s relationship was sweet and endearing, it wasn’t merely physical attraction but their relationship was formed from getting to appreciate each other on a deeper level. Luca even says “I guess I don’t just look at someone and think…attraction […] it takes, I don’t know… I have to care about the person first.”

Being a murder mystery, the plot was suspenseful with two significant plot twists toward the end. We are constantly trying to unravel the mystery at hand, questioning everything. How can the illusions be killed? Who killed the illusions? Are the murders aimed to be a personal attack against Sorina? I had a few theories as to what I thought was occurring, but I was nowhere close to the truth! So when the plot twists were revealed I was completely shocked!

 

Amanda Foody’s writing complemented the story well, it didn’t interfere with the narrative, nor did it take away from it. I didn’t really notice anything significant regarding the writing because I felt that I blended seamlessly with the story.

Conclusively, Daughter of the Burning City is a solid debut set in a mystical festival consisting of striking characters and an astonishing mystery that is gradually unravelled piece by piece. Although I could say I was wanting a little bit more from this book, just a touch more wicked and whimsical, I still recommend it!

★★★

The Friday 56 (3)

BookTubeAThon 2017 TBR

This year I have decided to participate in the BookTubeAThon, I’ve never partaken in a readathon before, but I thought the BookTubeAThon would be the perfect way to start! All the books I have picked are under 300 pages, that way I can hopefully finish a book a day.

The reading challenges:

  1.  Read a book with a person on the cover.
  2.  Read a hyped book.
  3. Finish a book in one day.
  4. Read about a character that is very different from you.
  5. Finish a book completely outdoors.
  6. Read a book you bought because of the cover.
  7. Read seven books.

 

TBR:

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Challenge 1

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Challenges 1, 3 and 4

Fia and Annie are as close as two sisters can be. They look out for each other. Protect each other. And most importantly, they keep each other’s secrets, even the most dangerous ones: Annie is blind, but can see visions of the future; Fia was born with flawless intuition—her first impulse is always exactly right.

When the sisters are offered a place at an elite boarding school, Fia realizes that something is wrong . . . but she doesn’t grasp just how wrong. The Keane Institute is no ordinary school, and Fia is soon used for everything from picking stocks to planting bombs. If she tries to refuse, they threaten her with Annie’s life.

Now Fia’s falling in love with a boy who has dark secrets of his own. And with his help, she’s ready to fight back. They stole her past. They control her present. But she won’t let them take her future.

A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

Challenges 5 and 6

In this intimate memoir of life beyond the camera, Connor Franta shares the lessons he has learned on his journey from small-town boy to Internet sensation so far.

Here, Connor offers a look at his Midwestern upbringing as one of four children in the home and one of five in the classroom; his struggles with identity, body image, and sexuality in his teen years; and his decision to finally pursue his creative and artistic passions in his early twenties, setting up his thrilling career as a YouTube personality, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and tastemaker.

Exploring his past with insight and humor, his present with humility, and his future with hope, Connor reveals his private struggles while providing heartfelt words of wisdom for young adults. His words will resonate with anyone coming of age in the digital era, but at the core is a timeless message for people of all ages: don’t be afraid to be yourself and to go after what you truly want.

This full-color collection includes photography and childhood clippings provided by Connor and is a must-have for anyone inspired by his journey.

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

Challenges 2 and 3

basis, n.

There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it―you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.

Purity by Jackson Pearce

Challenge 3

A novel about love, loss, and sex — but not necessarily in that order.

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby’s father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives — in other words, no “bad behavior,” no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision — to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

Challenges 3 and 4

Fourteen-year-old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on the girl next door.

His life is a mess, but for now he’s narrowed it down to just six impossible things…

 

 

 

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Naomi ♥ Ely

And she’s kinda in love with him.

Ely ♥ Naomi

But he prefers to be in love with boys.

Naomi and Ely have been inseparable since childhood—partially because they’ve grown up across the hall from each other in the same Manhattan apartment building, and also because they’re best friends. Soul mates. Or are they? Just to be safe, they’ve created a NO KISS LIST—their list of people who are absolutely off-kissing-limits for both of them. The NO KISS LIST protects their friendship and esnures that nothing will rock the foundation of Naomi and Ely: the institution.

Until Ely kisses Naomi’s boyfriend. And a fateful piece of gum in the wrong place at the wrong time changes everything.

Soon a rift of universal proportions threatens to destroy their friendship, and it remains to be seen whether Naomi and Ely can find their way toward new soul-mate prospects… and back to one another.

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story about love of all kinds, one that reminds us that any great friendship can be as confusing, treacherous, inspiring, and wonderful as any great romance.

 

Are you participating in the BookTubeAThon? What books are you planning on reading?

The Friday 56 (3)

 

 

How I Write Book Reviews: guest post with Namitha @ Teen Memoir

Hey, everyone! I’m Namitha over @teenmemoir and today I’m going to be doing a guest post on Katie’s blog all about How I Write Book Reviews. Click here to check out Katie’s post on how she bookstagrams! She seriously posts the best pictures and I’m in love with her Instagram feed! Working with Katie was honestly so much fun and I hope to collab with her more in the future!

Tips/Things to Remember

Have an outline: Before you start writing, have an idea of what exactly you want to say in your review. Think and organize your thoughts. For example; Make a list of the things you liked/hated most in the book. Ask yourself questions like “What stood out to me the most?” or “What could have been better?” Then, try to group them under categories such as plot, characters, writing, pros, cons, etc. Next, outline your review. Do you want it to be a long write up? Do you want it to be in bullets? What do you want to say in each paragraph/category? Basically, find an outline that works best for you. I’ll be talking about my outline further ahead of this post.

Avoid summarizing: By this, I don’t mean you shouldn’t include a summary at all. Sometimes providing a summary of the novel can be beneficial to the readers. It can help in understanding the theme of the novel in a much better way. However, some reviewers tend to include a lengthy account of the events that happened in the novel and I really don’t see the point in that. The whole point of a book review is to make the reader read/not read the book, so why break the whole story down for them?

Spoil with care: Again, I don’t mean you shouldn’t incorporate a few spoilers into your review. Just make sure to include a “SPOILER ALERT” or a “SPOILERY DISCUSSION” wherever necessary. Sometimes, though, reviewers accidentally reveal a little too much than intended without realizing that it is a spoiler. Reviewers may think that they are just giving more information, but this can be a little dangerous. While you’re proofreading, I suggest that you ask yourself if you wouldn’t mind knowing this particular information before reading the book. That way, it’ll make you think if you’re spoiling your readers or not.

Make it crisp: I think it’s fair to establish the fact that we, reviewers, think way more about these books than we mention in our reviews. It’s just impossible to fit everything into one review. True story; my book review for The Upside of Unrequited was almost 2 ½ pages long! An important thing that you should remember is to make your review crisp and straight to the point. You need to remember that you are writing this review for others to read and judge and that you need to make it interesting for them. While proofreading, try to put yourself in the shoes of a reader and edit the parts that seem dragged or unnecessary.

Add quotes: This tip may seem needless, but using quotes from the book that you are reviewing can make your review much more interesting! Quotes are pretty much self-explanatory and make the readers know exactly what kind of book it is without giving too much away. Personally, I haven’t used quotes for all of my book reviews, but the difference is pretty evident.
“Good quotes make a good review” Lol.

Be honest: Writing a book review is all about being honest. However, being honest while reviewing an ARC becomes a little difficult. The first ever ARC I reviewed (Paper Hearts) was an okay read for me, but I felt obligated to give a good rating as they were one of the first publishers to approve my request. After a lot of thinking I decided to be honest and straightforward. I thoroughly explained the things that I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy. I ended up giving it 3.5 stars. I believe that you should be grateful for receiving an ARC and thank the publisher, but that shouldn’t stop you from being honest.

Outline

My Outline:

Introductory paragraph: There are certain things that I include in this paragraph: start/finish date, a short gist of what the book is about, things I liked in a nutshell and basically whether I enjoyed the book or not.

Second paragraph/Writing style: While writing about the writing style I mainly keep two things in mind: its descriptiveness and authenticity. Don’t worry! It’s not as complicated as it sounds like! When I talk of descriptiveness I mean how the author described things, what words he/she used, whether his/her writing flew and whether it was hard/easy to imagine what he/she was trying to describe. By authenticity I mean whether the author has described the plot/character in an authentic way. Whether the character’s emotions/thoughts/actions seemed genuine and raw or not.

Third paragraph/Plot: In this paragraph, I talk about how interesting the plot seemed to me. Is it unique? Does it try to make a difference? Is it slow/fast paced? What was the intent of the author when he/she created the plot? Was the plot executed in an efficient manner? These are some of the questions that I explore.

Fourth paragraph/Characters: I usually talk about the protagonists of the novel here. I write about their characteristics and how it contemplated the plot of the novel. I also write about character building and development and whether it was/wasn’t organized throughout the novel.

Concluding paragraph/Overall + Rating: In the last paragraph, I add a few words that describe this novel in whole and rate it. I also explain the reasons for my particular rating. I end the review by mentioning whether I would/wouldn’t recommend this book.

Other bloggers’ outlines:

Nerd in New York

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https://novelersblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/the-girl-at-midnight-book-review-an-action-packed-read/

Distinctive feature(s): I love the way she categorizes her review into plot, characters, writing style and final rating. I also like how she talks about the pros and cons of the plot and organizes her thoughts into bullet points.

Krysti YA and Wine

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https://yaandwine.com/2017/07/17/little-monsters-review-and-pre-order-giveaway/

Distinctive feature(s): The wine pairing is such a cool concept! Basically, she pairs a wine that corresponds to the theme of the particular novel that she reviewed! Sometimes she also includes aesthetics that remind her of the book!

Teacher of YA

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https://teacherofya.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/zodiac-romina-russell-review-and-giveaway/

Distinctive feature(s): Along with the review and rating, Stephanie also mentions whether this book is classroom appropriate and has a separate rating system for that feature! So cool, right?! Along with that, she talks about how age appropriate it is and how this book could be included in the school curriculum.

As you can see, there are a ton of different ways you can review! You can also be creative and add unique things of your own! There’s no one perfect format.

 

Thanks so much for reading guys! Hope you took something out from my post today!

Have a great day!
Bye 
Namitha

Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rosecityreader and The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, be sure to visit their blogs!

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Book beginning:

I peek from behind the tattered velvet curtains at the chattering audience, their mouths full of candied pineapple and kettle corn.

56%:

He grabs my hand and twirls me around quicker than Blister’s top, and I’m spinning too fast to remember to be sad. At one point he dips me so low that my hair brushes the floor. He makes quite the show of waltzing around the dance floor.

 

The Friday 56 (3)

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding review

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
Published in 1996 by Picador
Genres: Women’s fiction, chick lit, fiction
Pages: 310
Goodreads

Meet Bridget Jones—a 30-something Singleton who is certain she would have all the answers if she could:

a. lose 7 pounds
b. stop smoking
c. develop Inner Poise
“123 lbs. (how is it possible to put on 4 pounds in the middle of the night? Could flesh have somehow solidified becoming denser and heavier? Repulsive, horrifying notion), alcohol units 4 (excellent), cigarettes 21 (poor but will give up totally tomorrow), number of correct lottery numbers 2 (better, but nevertheless useless)…”

Bridget Jones’ Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget’s permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.

Over the course of the year, Bridget loses a total of 72 pounds but gains a total of 74. She remains, however, optimistic. Through it all, Bridget will have you helpless with laughter, and — like millions of readers the world round — you’ll find yourself shouting, “Bridget Jones is me!”

REVIEW

I’ll start this by saying that this book just wasn’t for me, to be completely honest with you I would’ve DNF’d this by the 100-page mark if I wasn’t reading this to complete one of the challenges for the 52 Books Around The World reading challenge. I don’t enjoy DNFing books, nor is it pleasant forcing myself to complete a book I really didn’t enjoy reading, so I’m sad to say that I really didn’t enjoy this.

Bridget, and this book in general, heavily annoyed me, it was all quite unappealing. The entirety of this book was just Bridget running around trying to get her mess of a life in order, begging to find a boyfriend, lose weight and fit in. I will admit, there were moments which were slightly hilarious, but there were other moments where I just cringed or was shocked at the complete absurdity of it all. However, I do understand why people enjoy this book, I don’t hate it, it’s just not the book for me.

I also found the writing to be disjointed at times, lacking the word “I”, but this is semi-understandable as it was written in diary format. I found the characters to be quite the opposite of pleasant, I thought they were all bonkers! The only character that I could stand was Mark Darcy. I honestly found this book to be one big joke!

Overall, this book definitely isn’t my cup of tea and I won’t be continuing on with the series. I’m relieved that I’m officially done with it after days of painfully struggling through it, then rushing through the last 200 pages just to reach the end.

★1/2

The Friday 56 (3)

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a meme created by Marcia of To Be Continued, you can find the dedicated blog here.

So I found someone selling a whole bunch of books for a $1 each (some of them were hardbacks!), and obviously, I couldn’t resist! I also won a book giveaway, so I received a copy of The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey! So prepare yourselves for another lengthy Mailbox Monday…

ARC’s Received:

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be dark—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death bringer.

These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up hearing in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.

Physical Books

Burned by Ellen Hopkins

I do know things really began to spin out of control after my first sex dream.

It all started with a dream. Nothing exceptional, just a typical fantasy about a boy, the kind of dream that most teen girls experience. But Pattyn Von Stratten is not like most teen girls. Raised in a religious — yet abusive — family, a simple dream may not be exactly a sin, but it could be the first step toward hell and eternal damnation.

This dream is a first step for Pattyn. But is it to hell or to a better life? For the first time Pattyn starts asking questions. Questions seemingly without answers — about God, a woman’s role, sex, love — mostly love. What is it? Where is it? Will she ever experience it? Is she deserving of it?

It’s with a real boy that Pattyn gets into real trouble. After Pattyn’s father catches her in a compromising position, events spiral out of control until Pattyn ends up suspended from school and sent to live with an aunt she doesn’t know.

Pattyn is supposed to find salvation and redemption during her exile to the wilds of rural Nevada. Yet what she finds instead is love and acceptance. And for the first time she feels worthy of both — until she realizes her old demons will not let her go. Pattyn begins down a path that will lead her to a hell — a hell that may not be the one she learned about in sacrament meetings, but it is hell all the same.

In this riveting and masterful novel told in verse, Ellen Hopkins takes readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride. From the highs of true love to the lows of abuse, Pattyn’s story will have readers engrossed until the very last word.

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

The exhilaratingly seductive new series from the author of the bestselling Starcrossed series

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted…which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily’s life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem – one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily’s identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

Solitaire by Alice Osman

In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

This incredible debut novel by outstanding young author Alice Oseman is perfect for fans of John Green, Rainbow Rowell and all unflinchingly honest writers.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

An Ember in the Ahses by Sabaa Tahir

Laia is a slave.

Elias is a soldier.

Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

In a society where unwanted teens are salvaged for their body parts, three runaways fight the system that would “unwind” them.

Connor’s parents want to be rid of him because he’s a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev’s unwinding has been planned since his birth, as part of his family’s strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together by desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing their lives hang in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthday, they can’t be harmed — but when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away.

In Unwind, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award winner Neal Shusterman challenges readers’ ideas about life — not just where life begins, and where it ends, but what it truly means to be alive.

You by Caroline Kepnes

From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.

Feed by Mira Grant

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop.

The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives—the dark conspiracy behind the infected.

The truth will get out, even if it kills them.

 

 

 

The Dinner by Herman Koch

Paul Lohman and his wife Claire are going out to dinner with Paul’s brother Serge, a charismatic and ambitious politician, and his wife Babette. Paul knows the evening will not be fun. The restaurant will be over-priced and pretentious, the head waiter will bore on about the organically certified free-range this and artisan-fed that, and almost everything about Serge, especially his success, will infuriate Paul.

 

 

 

 

Dragonfly in Amber by Dianna Gabaldon

With her now-classic novel Outlander, Diana Gabaldon introduced two unforgettable characters — Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser—delighting readers with a story of adventure and love that spanned two centuries. Now Gabaldon returns to that extraordinary time and place in this vivid, powerful follow-up to Outlander….

For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones … about a love that transcends the boundaries of time … and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his….

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart … in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising … and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

THE THIRD NOVEL IN THE BESTSELLING OUTLANDER SERIES.

Jamie Fraser is lying on the battlefield of Culloden, where he rises wounded, to face execution or imprisonment. Either prospect pales beside the pain of loss – his wife is gone. Forever.

But sometimes forever is shorter than one thinks. In 1746, Claire Fraser made a perilous journey through time, leaving her young husband to die at Culloden, in order to protect their unborn child. In 1968, Claire has just been struck through the heart, discovering that Jamie Fraser didn’t die in battle.

But where is Jamie now? With the help of her grown daughter, Claire sets out to find the man who was her life – and might be once again.

Captive Prince by C. S Pacat

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomises the worst of the decadent court at Vere. But in the lethal web of Veretian politics, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen is caught up in a dangerous play for the throne, he must form an alliance with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: he must never reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else . . .

Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella?

Emma is like every girl in the world. She has a few little secrets.

Secrets from her mother:
1. I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom to Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben Hur.

…From her boyfriend:
2. I’m a size twelve. Not a size eight, like Connor thinks.
3. I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

…From her colleagues:
4. When Artemis really annoys me, I feed her plant orange juice. (Which is pretty much every day)
5. It was me who jammed the copier that time. In fact, all the times.

…Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world:
6. My G string is hurting me.
7. I faked my Maths GCSE grade on my CV.
8. I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is…

…until she spills them all to a stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger…

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crowned by Evil.
Bound by Duty.
Divided by Love.

Celaena Sardothien, royal assassin, is the King of Adarlan’s deadliest weapon. She must win her freedom through his enemies’ blood – but she cannot bear to kill for the crown. And every death Celaena fakes, every lie she tells, put those she loves at risk.

Torn between her two protectors – a captain and a prince – and battling a dark force far greater than the king, Celaena must decide what she will fight for: her liberty, her heart or the fate of a kingdom…

 

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Consumed by guilt and rage, Celaena can’t bring herself to spill blood for the King of Adarlan. She must fight back…

The Immortal Queen will help her destroy the king – for a price. But as Celaena battles with her darkest memories and her heart breaks for a love that could never last, can she fulfil the bargain and head the almighty court of Terrasen? And who will stand with her?

 

 

 

 

Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan

When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bittersweet. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is that she begins to see things as they really are.

A story about sad endings.
A story about happy beginnings.
A story to make you realise who is special.

 

 

 

 

The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

basis, n.

There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it―you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.

Every Day by David Levithan

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

 

Another Day by David Levithan

Every day is the same for Rhiannon. She has accepted her life, convinced herself that she deserves her distant, temperamental boyfriend, Justin, even established guidelines by which to live: Don’t be too needy. Avoid upsetting him. Never get your hopes up.

Until the morning everything changes. Justin seems to see her, to want to be with her for the first time, and they share a perfect day—a perfect day Justin doesn’t remember the next morning. Confused, depressed, and desperate for another day as great as that one, Rhiannon starts questioning everything. Then, one day, a stranger tells her that the Justin she spent that day with, the one who made her feel like a real person…wasn’t Justin at all.

In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.

Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.

The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

The Dark lake by Sarah Bailey

In a suspense thriller to rival Paula Hawkins and Tana French, a detective with secrets of her own hunts the killer of a woman who was the glamorous star of their high school.

Rose was lit by the sun, her beautiful face giving nothing away. Even back then, she was a mystery that I wanted to solve.

The lead homicide investigator in a rural town, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is deeply unnerved when a high school classmate is found strangled, her body floating in a lake. And not just any classmate, but Rosalind Ryan, whose beauty and inscrutability exerted a magnetic pull on Smithson High School, first during Rosalind’s student years and then again when she returned to teach drama.

As much as Rosalind’s life was a mystery to Gemma when they were students together, her death presents even more of a puzzle. What made Rosalind quit her teaching job in Sydney and return to her hometown? Why did she live in a small, run-down apartment when her father was one of the town’s richest men? And despite her many admirers, did anyone in the town truly know her?

Rosalind’s enigmas frustrate and obsess Gemma, who has her own dangerous secrets—an affair with her colleague and past tragedies that may not stay in the past.

Ebooks

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Divided by time. Ignited by a spark.

Kansas, 2065. Adri has secured a slot as a Colonist—one of the lucky few handpicked to live on Mars. But weeks before launch, she discovers the journal of a girl who lived in her house over a hundred years ago, and is immediately drawn into the mystery surrounding her fate. While Adri knows she must focus on the mission ahead, she becomes captivated by a life that’s been lost in time…and how it might be inextricably tied to her own.

Oklahoma, 1934. Amidst the fear and uncertainty of the Dust Bowl, Catherine fantasizes about her family’s farmhand, and longs for the immortality promised by a professor at a traveling show called the Electric. But as her family’s situation becomes more dire—and the suffocating dust threatens her sister’s life—Catherine must find the courage to sacrifice everything she loves in order to save the one person she loves most.

England, 1919. In the recovery following the First World War, Lenore struggles with her grief for her brother, a fallen British soldier, and plans to sail to America in pursuit of a childhood friend. But even if she makes it that far, will her friend be the person she remembers, and the one who can bring her back to herself?

While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined.

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel

It’s been sixty-five days since the accident that killed Juniper’s sister, and ripped Juniper’s world apart.

Then she finds the love letter: written by Camilla on the day of the accident, addressed mysteriously to “You,” but never sent. Desperate to learn You’s identity and deliver the message, Juniper starts to investigate.

Until she loses something. A card from her Happiness Index: a ritual started by sunny Camie for logging positives each day. It’s what’s been holding Juniper together since her death – but a lost card only widens the hole she left behind. And this particular card contains Juniper’s own dark secret: a memory she can’t let anyone else find out.

The search for You and her card take Juniper to even less expected places, and as she connects with those whose secrets she upturns in the effort, she may just find the means to make peace with her own.

This is a smart, funny, poignant book guaranteed to make you laugh and cry – and maybe even take notes.

The Friday 56 (3)

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you to Emmie @ Tea With Mermaids for nominating me for this award! Be sure to check out her blog because I love it!

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

 

The Questions:

  1. What book do you find yourself re-reading the most?

I don’t re-read books a lot, I just started doing it this year! I’ve re-read the A Court of Thorns and Roses series once and it was the best experience. I know it’s going to be my most re-read series in the future!

2. Is there a book world you would want to live in?

I WANT TO LIVE IN THE NIGHT COURT

3. Do you have a favourite book to movie/tv show adaptation?

I don’t have a favourite, but I did love The Fault In Our Stars, Lion and A Dog’s Purpose

4. What book got you into reading?

Ever since I remember I always enjoyed reading, but the first book I distinctly remember reading and changed by view of reading was The Fault In Our Stars.

5. Would you ever go into book blogging full time? (if you have, tell us what you enjoy/don’t enjoy about it)

Yes, I would!

6. What was the last book you added to your TBR shelf?

A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee!

7. Paperback or Hardcover?

I love them both! But I’d have to say paperback because they’re way cheaper and more comfortable to read/more portable.

8. Do you prefer shopping in a chain bookstore or a small lesser known bookstore?

I don’t really shop in bookstores since here in Australia books are ridiculously priced, I’ve seen paperbacks for $32 *cries*. So I mainly buy books second hand or purchase them online from websites like Book Depository or Booktopia!

9. Are you taking part in the Goodreads reading challenge/goal?

Yes! I set my challenge for 80 books which is the highest I’ve ever set my goal, last year I read 93 books so I thought 80 was a fair number. But somehow I’ve already read 73 books?! So I’m definitely going to complete my goal, and I’ll probably end up raising it to 100.

10. Dog-ear or bookmarks?

Bookmarks! I just can’t  bring myself to dog-ear pages, I like keeping my books in pristine condition.

11. What genre do you gravitate towards?

My favourite genres are contemporary and fantasy, but the majority of my all time favourite books are fantasy! But for some reason this year I’ve been reading heaps of contemporary and barely any fantasy at all because I’m always craving a light, fluffy read!

 

My Questions:

  1. What made you start a book blog? Now that you’re a book blogger, is it different to what you thought it would be?
  2. Do you read eBooks and listen to audiobooks?
  3. Are you participating in any other yearly reading challenges apart from the Goodreads challenge?
  4. Do you participate in readathons?
  5. Where do you purchase the majority of your books?
  6. Do you unhual books?
  7. Do you have a book buying budget/rules for book buying?
  8. How long, on average, does it take for you to finish one book?
  9. Do you underline and mark-up your books?
  10. Do you create TBR’s? If you do, are you good at sticking with them?
  11. What are your favourite blog posts to write?

 

I nominate:

Namitha @ TeenMemoir / Lyndsey @ Lyndsey’s Book Blog / Priyasha @ Books and Co. / Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx

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