Wednesday 30 April 2014

WoW #9: Dirty Angels

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

If you've read The Artists Trilogy by Karina Halle, one of the characters should be very familiar... This is Javier Bernal's book! Yes, yes, I might be Team Camden, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a book starring Javier!

Dirty Angels by Karina Halle

Expected publication: May 2014

Genres: Contemporary; New Adult/Adult; Dark;

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Dirty Angels by Karina Halle

For Luisa Chavez, a twenty-three year old former beauty queen, a better life has always been just out of her reach. Sure, she’s had men at her feet since she was a young teenager but she’s never had the one thing she’s craved – security. Having grown up in near poverty, her waitressing job in Cabo San Lucas can barely let her take care of herself, let alone her ailing parents. Every day is another unwanted advance, every day is a struggle to survive.

When Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel, takes an interest in her, Luisa is presented with an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up. She’ll become Salvador’s wife and exchange her freedom and body for a life of riches – riches she can bestow upon her deserving parents. But Luisa quickly finds out that even the finest wines and jewels can’t undo the ugliness in her marriage, nor the never-ending violence that threatens her every move.

Soon, Luisa is looking for an escape, a way out of the carefully controlled life she’s leading. She finally gets her wish in the worst way possible.

As it is, being the wife of Salvador makes her an ideal target for rival cartels and there’s one particular man who needs Luisa as part of his cartel’s expansion. One particular man whose quest for power has destroyed lives, slit throats and gotten him out of an American prison. One particular man who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.

That man is Javier Bernal. And he wants Luisa. He wants to take her, keep her, ruin her.

Unless she ruins him first.

***WARNING*** This book deals with drug cartels and as such it contains a lot of sex and violence and some violent sex. It can get pretty ugly, pretty dark and pretty crazy. There is drug use, abuse, a bit of torture and dubious consent. The hero is not a hero and the villains...well, they're even worse. If this sort of thing bothers you, please do not read. This ain't no cupcake farting unicorn kind of book.***

***While this is a spin-off of The Artists Trilogy, prior knowledge of the books is not needed. DIRTY ANGELS is the first in a trilogy, however each book can standalone and follows or introduces different characters***

-- As seen on Goodreads

Leave a link to your WoW post, I'd love to see what you chose this week.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Bout of Books 10

Bout of Books

Hi guys! I'm going to take part in the Bout of Books read-a-thon in May. This is my first read-a-thon, and I'm really looking forward to it. As of today, I *should* be almost-completely free that week, so it's perfect timing to get a lot of reading done!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I usually average 2 - 2.5 books a week. Realistically, I'd like to read at least 3 books, but my goal would be 4 books. I might revise this closer to the time, maybe add a couple of novella's to the list as well. Closer to the start date I'll have a better idea of which books I'm going to choose to read.

If you've already signed up, let me know and maybe we can do the support and motivation thing to help each other get through the week. As I'm a complete newbie to read-a-thons I have no idea what to expect, so any advice is appreciated! Happy reading =)


Here is a link to my official goals post: Bout of Books 10 -- Goals.

Review: Betrayed by Carly Fall

Betrayed by Carly Fall Book cover image.

Title: Betrayed
Author: Carly Fall
Series: Angels of Affection, #1
Format: eBook, Received for review.
My rating: 3 / 5

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After police officer Jeff Waters’ wife leaves him, a darkness descends over him, causing anger and hate to to rage within. His self-control is tested both on and off the job, putting his life, as well as the lives of others, in jeopardy.

Liam and Adela, two former Angels of Death, have been reluctantly transformed into Angels of Affection – those angels who help humans fall in love – to assist in the war against the hate taking over Earth and the self-destructive nature of humans.

Their first assignment: helping Jeff Waters find love and saving him from the darkness threatening to overtake him.

-- As seen on Goodreads

* I received this book from the author via Rabid PR in exchange for an honest opinion and review. Thank you for considering me! *

Betrayed follows the story of two Angels of Death who are partnered together and re-assigned as Angels of Affection to help bring more love into the world. I went into the book thinking along the lines of the Grim Reaper being changed into Cupid. It’s not exactly like that, but the essence is kind of the same.

The story starts off following an Australian guy, Adam, when he was human and we witness his death and transformation into an Angel of Death. As he was pretty much a man-whore in life, he has to atone for his transgressions before he can take his place in the Fringe, the outer circle of heaven, for eternity. There are three levels to the Angel hierarchy; Angels of Innocence, Tolerance and Sin. Adam is cast as an Angel of Tolerance, delivering recently departed souls to the Fringe.

Hate is slowly taking over the human world, and the creator decides to step in. The decision is made to re-assign some of the Angels into Angels of Affection to help counter the spread of hate with love. Liam is one of those chosen and he is partnered with Adela, an Angel of Tolerance he met early on in his afterlife.

I liked the book. Did it blow me away? Not really. Was it entertaining? It kind of was! There were some things I liked about it, and quite a bit I was a little unsure of. There isn’t anything really unexpected. I didn’t find anything mind-blowingly unique, but it was a nice interpretation of angels in general. It leans more toward the traditional thinking on angels, and combining the Angels of Death with the role and duties of the Grim Reaper.

I mainly use my feelings, emotions and my reactions to rate books, in particular the characters. The more I feel for the characters, the more I connect. The more I connect, the more I like the book, and it accumulates on from there. If I feel what they feel, and I react – positive or negative, doesn’t matter – as long as I feel, I’m happy.

I liked the characters, but I didn’t really feel anything toward them. It’s the brain versus the heart thing – my brain says I like them, but my heart feels nothing. How can I make up my mind whether I genuinely like the characters when I feel neutral at this stage?

I have a few gripes with the style of writing. I dislike constant repetitiveness. Throughout the story, we are informed of the same things quite often, and it’s unnecessary and a little annoying. Also for my tastes, there was a bit too much internal monologue. We have entire chapters where the character is backtracking over what happened to them in their past internally. I love detail and a good backstory, and there is plenty of it in Betrayed, but in the end it became a bit too much. Some knowledge is wonderful and great to receive, but there is a fine line before it becomes annoying when you read the same thing worded differently three or four times.

I feel like I’m only focusing on the negative! I liked the story overall, I really did. I was entertained, but I have to be honest about the things that didn’t work for me too. I liked that we weren’t plunged straight into the story. We were given the chance to get to know the history of characters, in particular Liam, before he became an angel, and the build-up before both he and Adela became Angels of Affection.

The ending was a little abrupt. It took a long time to reach the conclusion, and once we reached it, poof, it was over. Everything is wrapped up from this story, there is nothing left hanging. The final few chapters are geared toward a sequel, so you know the characters will be back to continue the series. I’m looking forward to reading Forgiven, and hopefully I’ll get to know Liam and Adela a bit more, and make up my mind on them as characters.

Monday 28 April 2014

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire set to Music, Part 2.

Note: As Catching Fire is Book Two in a Trilogy, this post may contain spoilers for the first book in the series, The Hunger Games.

I have tried to be as vague as I can be as I don't want to spoil the series for anyone, hence, the little warning ;)

Music Monday is a weekly book meme created by Athena @ Total Book Geek. Everyone can join in, check out all the information here.

Last Monday, I chose two songs that reminded me of The Hunger Games, and this week I'm choosing two more songs, this time for Catching Fire.

The beginning of Catching Fire focuses on Katniss returning home from the games. She has changed, the Games haunt her and she has to fit into her new role as Victor. She doesn’t realise that her and Peeta’s actions have been the spark to fuel a rebellion in some of the districts. This is the beginning of Katniss being unwillingly cast into the role of the Mockingjay: the symbol for the rebellion.

My first song is Fell on Black Days by Soundgarden. I think it reflects on Katniss and her character and how she has changed. President Snow and the Victory Tour had a major impact on Katniss early on, as she is living in fear of President Snow’s retaliation on her family. She is trapped on the Victory Tour doing Snow’s bidding, trying to squash a rebellion. The seriousness of the situation sinks in, and she realises she has little choice. With the Quarter Quell in the future, some peoples fates are already sealed: "Whatsoever I've feared has / Come to life / Whatsoever I've fought off / Became my life". I think the lyrics of this song reflect this.

Plus I have a little obsession with Chris Cornell and I love his voice, so there is that too!

Sunday 27 April 2014

Review: Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine book cover

Title: Glass Houses
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 3.5 / 5

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From the author of the popular Weather Warden series comes the debut of an exciting new series set in Morganville, Texas, where you would be well advised to avoid being out after dark.

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood. Will she be able to face the town's terror or will she drown like everyone else?

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

I noticed some not so favourable reviews for Glass Houses, and after my little disaster with Carrier of the Mark a few weeks back, my expectations were quite low. I’m so relieved to say I was pleasantly surprised. I could poke holes in a few things, but you know what, I enjoyed the story enough to overlook them. I don’t want an overly formulistic version of our reality superimposed over a paranormal backdrop. It is fiction after all! Leave reality at the door… or the first page.

I’m a bit confused about which age-genre Glass Houses best falls into – Young Adult or New Adult. We have a sixteen year old protagonist, so that gets the YA vote. But the book is set in college, and the other characters are all eighteen-plus. That gets the NA vote. It was first released in 2006, so that was a long time before the NA genre came into being… so I guess it gets the overall YA vote?

By now, I think this quote could be infamous:

"What normal girl loved physics? Abnormal ones. Ones who were not ever going to be hot. And face it, being hot? That was what life was all about."

It crops up very quickly in the first chapter. I knew about it going into the book, and I did have a moment of hesitation when I read it. I wasn’t sure the book was going to be worth it. Tone can be a hard thing to accurately interpret in the written word. After I continued on with the story, I discovered Claire is a very wry and sarcastic character, and I began putting a snarky, almost bitter tone to some of her words, and it worked for me. I mean, if I read that sentence out loud a few times, and change my tone I get completely different interpretations. Hindsight it a wonderful thing and I personally think this quote would be so much easier to take if the following words were added:

What normal girl loved physics? Abnormal ones. Ones who were not ever going to be hot. And face it, being hot? According to the Monica Morrell’s of this world, that was what life was all about.

A big positive: Vampires are actually portrayed like vampires, not cuddly bloodsucking bunnies. Also, I’m so glad Glass Houses is pretty much insta-love free. Claire didn’t run into a guy’s arms and declare her undying obsession-love within the first fifty pages (or anywhere in the book for that matter.) So, I tentatively say ‘Success’

I’m not sure how I feel about Claire as our main character and narrator. On one hand I kind of like her. She showed a lot of backbone on some occasions, yet at other times she could be incredibly obtuse. I don’t believe that she is sixteen. How many parents actually would let their sixteen year old daughter go away to college and live in a dorm? I would have had an easier time accepting this if Claire was seventeen. I could make up some excuses and it would be within the realms of possibility. We are told Claire is a budding genius, but she comes across as being shallowly intelligent. She isn’t very good a copping on to basic stuff, and she has little to no street-smarts. I preferred Shane, Eve and Michael over her character. I thought they were more consistent in their personalities and their behaviour.

The ending is depicted as a cliff-hanger, but I honestly didn’t feel it bad. I think I’m becoming immune to them and they no longer affect me too badly, so I guess I’m not really a good judge in this area anymore! I’m definitely curious as to what happens next, and I suppose that was the intended reaction. I won’t rush out to buy the next book, but it’ll be on my ‘will eventually get around to wish list.’ I think this series has at least thirteen or fourteen books? Maybe more? I’m not sure I will manage or have the patience to read them all, but I’m curious enough to consider reading the second one at least.

Overall, I didn’t have too many complaints. It’s a pretty good, solid and entertaining read: Yes, some of it I found improbable, but the characters entertained and engaged my attention enough to let me overlook some of the things that bothered me, and I ended up enjoying the story.

Saturday 26 April 2014

Stacking the Shelves, #4

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Stacking the Shelves: April 13th - 26th 2014

eBooks I Bought:

Throwaway by Heather Huffman

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Via NetGalley:

Between the Lives by Jessica Shirvington

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Looking for Alex by Marian Dillon

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Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump this past month. I’m finding it difficult to focus my mind on anything, not just reading, but it’s the area that’s suffered most. It’s slow progress at best! I usually average around ten to twelve books a month, depending on page count, and I’ve struggled to manage half that this April. I guess my eyes and brain have come to an understanding that I needed a break and they didn’t inform me!

On the Blog:

Just a little round up of some reviews and posts over the past two weeks.

Ratings: Consistency and Inconsistency

The Hunger Games set to Music... sort of.

Review: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Review: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

And just before you go, if anyone is interested, here are a couple of links to giveaways on the blog. Both have free entry’s so you never know, you could be $20 Amazon credit or a paperback of Love, Lex richer! ** Here ends the annoying salesperson voice :D **

Have a great weekend, and happy reading!

Thursday 24 April 2014

Ratings: Consistency and Inconsistency

Ratings. This topic has been on my mind a lot recently, and I really need to get my thoughts down in text. I joined Goodreads on the recommendation of a close friend of mine about a year and a half ago, and it was the first time I began “officially rating” books I suppose you could say. Sure, I had my favourites and those automatically got five stars, and everything else sort of blurred together as the stars decreased. I quickly realised that this was just not going to work in the long term, so I became more conscious of how I rated the books I read.

I’ve always considered myself a character driven reader, and I don’t think that’s changed much. The first thing I usually remember about a book is the characters and whether I connected with them or not. Lately I’ve noticed I’m paying a lot more attention to the world-building side of the books I read. I’d still class myself as a character driven reader, but I’ve become more aware that the books I love have a balance of both these aspects.

Since starting blogging, I’m looking back over books I read a few years ago and I’m questioning myself on my rating system yet again! I'm considering doing some changes to my rating system since my blog is still in the baby stages. It hasn’t left my mind since I posted one of my Top Ten Tuesday’s a couple of weeks ago. The majority of the books I included in that list I’ve given 5 stars to on Goodreads. But for some of those I included, if I read them for the first time today I know I wouldn’t have rated them as highly. Twilight is a good example of this. I think I’d still like it, but it probably would have gotten closer to a 3, maybe 4 stars rating at most.

Twilight isn’t the only book I have this problem with. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire was the first New Adult book I read. I remember gushing about it and saying it’s one of my new all-time favourites. The very next book I chose to read was Easy by Tammara Webber. I thought it was a billion times better, and made Beautiful Disaster look silly! This was the first time a blatant inconsistency in my own rating system was shoved in my face. How can I say just ignore what I wrote a few days ago, I hadn’t a clue what I was talking about?!

And this is what I find so hard about establishing a consistent rating system: each and every book I read changes my expectations for the next one.

I love finding new favourites and trying to get as many people to read them as I can so we can all gush over the awesomeness. The down side, each time my expectations go up, and I realise my ratings are even more inconsistent.

Every year I always reread Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I love it, and I love re-visiting the characters, as well as Longbourn and Pemberley. I never re-rate it. I don’t need to as it’s always a 5 star read. I haven’t reread many other books in the past few years, as new books are catching my eye all the time and the shiny and new will take precedence.

Since I’m considering this topic, it makes me wonder what I would do. What if I ended up hating a book I loved in the past? Does my new view of the book discredit what I thought of it the first time I read it? Or does it show I’ve grown as a reader and my expectations and priorities have changed and nothing more? I have no idea! And this is where I need some help.

Do you or have you ever changed how you evaluate and rate the books you read? And do you think it's OK to change how you rate your books going forward without changing the ratings on books read in the past?

Wednesday 23 April 2014

WoW #8: Torn Away and Sparrow Hill Road

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I've chosen two books, as both of them are set to be released on the same day, and I couldn't choose between them!

Torn Away

Torn Away by Jennifer Brown

Expected publication: May 6th 2014

Genres: Contemporary; Young Adult; Realistic Fiction;

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Born and raised in the Midwest, Jersey Cameron knows all about tornadoes. Or so she thinks. When her town is devastated by a twister, Jersey survives -- but loses her mother, her young sister, and her home. As she struggles to overcome her grief, she's sent to live with her only surviving relatives: first her biological father, then her estranged grandparents.

In an unfamiliar place, Jersey faces a reality she's never considered before -- one in which her mother wasn't perfect, and neither were her grandparents, but they all loved her just the same. Together, they create a new definition of family. And that's something no tornado can touch.

-- As seen on Goodreads

Sparrow Hill Road

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Expected publication: May 6th 2014

Genres: Urban Fantasy; Ghosts; Paranormal;

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Sparrow Hill Road is the first volume in the story of Rose Marshall, who was the first victim of the man called Bobby Cross, although she was far from the last — and unlike most of them, she did not go easy into that good night. Sixty years down the line, she's still kicking ass, taking names, and more than a little bit pissed off about the way that she died.

You want a good little ghost who'll stay where she's put and only haunt the people who deserve it? Go to a sleepover. You want the real story of the American ghostroads? Come and have a word with Rose.

-- As seen on Goodreads

What book can't you wait to read? Leave a link so I can visit =)

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Top Ten Characters that Stole my Heart

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. This week the topic is “Top Ten Characters Who X” and we get to fill in the blank. It can range from characters we hate, those we’d love to meet in real life, characters we love and anything in between. I’ve chosen to go with my Top Ten Characters that Stole my Heart.

Usually a couple is involved in a series, and I find it hard to separate them, especially when I like both characters. Technically, if I include Perry, Aria and Katy in the list, it’s my Top Thirteen characters. With my own personal preferences, I'd fall for the guy, so take it that the guy stole my heart, but their respective girl would be among my closest friends if I knew them in real life.

These are in no particular order.


• Lucas Maxfield
– Easy by Tammara Webber.

Lucas is depicted as a bad boy, but he really is the most mannerly, respectful, polite and considerate “bad-boy” I’ve read about. All this plus intelligence, tats and piercings… and I’m über-happy!

Monday 21 April 2014

The Hunger Games set to Music... sort of.

Music Monday is a weekly book meme created by Athena @ Total Book Geek. Everyone can join in, you just have to do the following:

- Choose a book or a scene from a book.
- Choose a song that fits said book or scene.
- Tell us why you paired them together.
- Don't forget to share the title and author.
- Be careful not to include spoilers!

The Hunger Games by Susan Collins is my favourite Young Adult series from any genre, and in the top three of my all-time favourite series. I'm going to split this into three parts, one post for each of the books in the series.

I found it impossible to choose one song to represent the first book, The Hunger Games. There is just so much going on to limit it to a three or four minute song. I might try to put together a playlist at some stage… we’ll see!

Two of the main things that affect the lives of everyone in Panem are The Capitol, and the yearly Reaping. I chose my two songs based on these two aspects.

Friday 18 April 2014

Feature and Follow Friday, #4

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host has their own Feature Blog and this week it's Pabkins @ Not Yet Read and Kristalyn @ The Sarcastic Palmtree.

The goal is to increase blog followers and to make new friends. If you want to take part, answer the question posted and add your post to the linky, follow the hosts and the featured blogs, and hop from blog to blog leaving a comment to say hello, and follow as many or as few blogs as you like.

This Weeks Question:

Spring Break: Where would be your favourite destination spot if you could join the Spring Break festivities.

Thursday 17 April 2014

Review: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon book cover

Title: Carrier of the Mark
Author: Leigh Fallon
Series: Carrier of the Mark, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 1 / 5

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Their love was meant to be.

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs.

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

Welcome to Twilight: Irish Style.

Before I begin, this will probably end up being a tad rant-infested, but I’ll try to tone it down!

I have made a discovery. The more notes I take when I’m reading; the more I hate the book. I wrote six A4 pages of notes. Front and back… in very small writing. And yeah, I’m one of those people that won’t highlight, write on or desecrate a book in anyway. Congratulations Carrier of the Mark. You unleashed my obsessive side.

I don’t feel like I’ve read a story, I feel like I’ve read a draft of a story. Everything is very convenient and predictable with info-dumping poorly disguised as conversations. The writing style is very simplistic, and I felt like I was skim-reading but I actually read every word. It lacks a lot of basic detail that I feel is needed. I’m not asking for a dense overly descriptive novel here, all I want is some depth and legitimate feelings. There was no spark, no life evident anywhere. Think of the difference between a Lady Gaga concert… and finger puppets. One uses all the senses, the other has its place, but at the end of the day is basic.

If you’ve ever read Twilight, you have the step-by-step timeline of Carrier of the Mark. Not that long ago, I criticised Dead Beautiful for reminding me of Twilight. Dead Beautiful is a unique masterpiece in comparison, as event after event that was depicted in Twilight, also happens here. At least with Dead Beautiful, it had a unique half to it.

Let me give a few examples. We have the eyes meeting over the school yard scene; the guy rescues the girl magically scene; the “I should but I can’t stay away from you” scene; the meeting the family that disapprove scene… should I continue? The only thing missing was a baseball match in an out of the way location, but considering it's set in Cork, it would be a hurling or GAA match. I probably should have stopped reading and gone and re-read Twilight. Chances are I would have enjoyed it better.

In case you don’t know, I’m Irish. I get that some things Irish might be a little confusing to the non-Irish born, but for goodness sake, give readers some bloody credit! I absolutely hated all the explanations of Irishness and the way it’s presented:

For example “[…] the superintendent from the Kinsale Gardaí (the Irish police) […]”

Ok, maybe I have an advantage on all this, with speaking the lingo and knowing what a fada is, but for goodness sake using this example alone, I think Gardaí or even Garda would be pretty easy to guess what the meaning was! I guess I’m not the target audience (understatement of the year!)

To add another negative, insta-love rears its ugly head yet again. Megan and Adam have barely had two conversations, and their first kiss is on page 104. Barely a third of the way into the book, and their futures are set in stone. All over a little peck! I give up. Any affection shown happens too often for it to mean anything. There should be a purpose for everything, not just a “ooh, lets add another smooch here… and here… oh and also here!” approach.

I didn’t connect with any of the characters. Megan is originally from America, and she and her father move to Kinsale in County Cork when her father’s job is transferred. The sun must shine out of Adam’s backside, because he was all I kept reading about. I was sick of hearing how wonderful Adam was, how impossible it would be to live without him, and how she has now found her one true purpose. And this was all before the hundred and fiftieth page!

At one stage, the characters are out sailing and Megan is hit on the head with the boom and she falls in. I don’t think the desired response is me having a “Ha Ha” moment, Nelson style.

And Adam the poor little gosson, just can’t stay away from Megan. Gee, I wonder where I came across something similar before?!

“But I’m not strong enough to stay away. I think our destinies are too closely linked to be diverted to a different course.”

*Snort* Odds are if a guy said that to me I’d be all… See that door? I’m going to walk out it and never come back.

When “trackers” appeared toward the end, that was the ultimate kiss of death and cemented in my mind that this is a Twilight rip-off. I hate, hate, HATE books that resort to copying successful story-lines to get notice, and I can’t think of Carrier of the Mark in any other way than this. It’s exactly like Twilight, it’s actually quite sickening. This is one of those instances that I wish I had paid more attention to the reviews. I went in with an “It can’t be THAT bad” attitude. I can honestly say that yes it is that bad, and I found out the hard way.

Just a few quotes that made me want to rage-quit:

“I felt like we were being pulled together by some unknown force”

– Yeah… it’s called Insta-love!

“I had a whole new purpose – and it all revolved around this boy by my side”

*feels blood pressure rising*

“When a guy is that gorgeous, he could sprout wings and sport a tutu and I’d still have a bit of him”

Wednesday 16 April 2014

WoW #7: The Fearless by Emma Pass

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Fearless by Emma Pass

Expected publication: April 24th 2014

Genres: Young Adult; Science-Fiction; Dystopia

The Fearless has two book covers on Goodreads, one blue, one yellow, and I'm including both images - I personally prefer the blue, but that's probably because blue is one of my favourite colours! But, the yellow does fit the blurb better.

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The Fearless. An army, powered by an incredible new serum that makes each soldier stronger, sharper, faster than their enemies. Intended as a force for good, the serum has a terrible side-effect - anyone who takes it is stripped of all humanity, empathy, love. And as the Fearless sweep through the country, forcing the serum on anyone in their path, society becomes a living nightmare.

Cass remembers the night they passed through her village. Her father was Altered. Her mother died soon after. All Cass has left is her little brother - and when Jori is snatched by the Fearless and taken to their hellish lair, Cass must risk everything to get him back.

What books have made it onto your most anticipated releases list?

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I'd Like To Own

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we list our top ten bookish things that aren't books.

There are are not many bookish things that I want to buy that aren’t books! My materialist side is completely satisfied by owning books, books and more books so this is a pretty hard list for me to make and I only managed eight.

1. A “Go Away, I’m Reading” sign.

Somedays, when you just can't make the world shut-up, this would come in so useful...

2. Kindle Paperwhite.

Technically, it’s an electronic, not a book... so it totally counts!

3. Even more bookshelves.

We already own a few, but I seriously don’t think you can ever have too many bookshelves!

4. A book map.

Seriously, it exists. Have a look!

5. Bookish necklace or bracelet.

Something along these lines:

Link to Rubies and Whimsy Etsy page.

Link to Little Literature Etsy page.

6. A huge poster collage of my favourite bookcovers.

I’ve made collages and mosaics of my favourite bands album covers before, not using the actual covers, just scanned images. I'm only realising now that I really need to do this for my favourite books!

7. And if that doesn't work there is always quotes printed on old paper.

Link to Natura Picta Etsy page.

8. A bookish iPhone cover.

Pretty self explanatory, but so nice! Actually... oooh! I've thought of nine!

9. A collage of my favourite book covers AS an iPhone cover!

*Nods* Yes. I think I'd like this. And ok, maybe my materialistic side does stretch beyond books after all!

What non-book bookish things do you want to own? Leave a link to your TTT so I can visit =)

Sunday 13 April 2014

Stacking the Shelves, #3

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Books I Bought:

Well, technically, I pre-ordered as it's not released yet, but that counts, right?

Love, in English by Karina Halle

Add to Goodreads

Via NetGalley

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin

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Beloved Enemy by Lacy Yager

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eBooks received for Review

Betrayed by Carly Fall

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Forgiven by Carly Fall

Add to Goodreads

Kindle Freebie

Thin White Line by J.A. Templeton

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What books did you add to your shelves this week?

Friday 11 April 2014

Feature and Follow Friday, #3

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. This week the featured blogger is My Thoughts... Literally!

The goal is to increase blog followers and to make new friends. If you want to take part, answer the question posted and add your post to the linky, follow the hosts and the featured blogs, and hop from blog to blog leaving a comment to say hello, and follow as many or as few blogs as you like.

This Weeks Question:

Tell us about a book that you didn’t like and why we shouldn’t read it (as nicely and respectfully as possible)

I’m going to choose a book I just finished yesterday. I haven’t got my thoughts collected just yet, and I’ll try to get a review written up over the weekend. To say I disliked it would be putting it mildly!

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon.

In short, if you’ve ever read Twilight, you have already read Carrier of the Mark minus the sparkly vampires, and set the book in Ireland. The characters grated on my last nerve, the world building was non-existent and I almost rage quit after each chapter. It’s a requirement to be nice… and that’s about as nice as I can be. If I continue I will end up ranting!

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I'm also on twitter if you don't have bloglovin'.

Leave a link back to your blog in the comments so I can come visit :)

Thursday 10 April 2014

That's What HE Said Thursday, #1

That’s What HE Said Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Chapter Break where you share your favorite line from a book boyfriend to his heroine. The quote you choose does not have to be romantic – it can be anything spoken by the book boyfriend. You can find out all the information here.

I don't think its a secret that I love the Experiment in Terror series by Karina Halle, and the two main characters, Perry Palomino and Dex Foray. I was trying to choose between funny Dex and serious Dex, and I ended up going with both! The first was at a rocky moment. I don't want to spoil the series for anyone who hasn't read it by saying anymore.

“I was trying to be a better man, Perry. For you.”

I shifted in my seat. “Dex…”

“And I’ll keep trying,” he quickly said, voice low and somber. “Until I get it right.”

This quote is Dex... being Dex.

“Who is it?" I asked teasingly.

Bigfoot," Dex answered from his room.

"What do you want, Mr Foot?"

"Please, just call me Big."

I snorted. "You wish

"You know.”

Into the Hollow

Perry Palomino has fought her demons – and won – but the battle is far from over. She’s now left broken and on her own, leaving behind her life and family in Portland to focus on giving Dex Foray – and the Experiment in Terror show – a second chance. But their past mistakes continue to tease and test their relationship, as does the wild and desolate terrain of the Canadian Rockies.

The snow-covered peaks and ravenous forests hide an urban legend too unbelievably frightening to be true and the only way the duo has a chance of surviving is if Perry can let in the very man who sent her to hell and back.

-- As seen on Goodreads

What are some of your favourite book boyfriend quotes?

Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner book cover

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Series: The Maze Runner, #1
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 4 / 5

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If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

-- As seen on Goodreads

My Thoughts

Starting this review is tricky. Did I like the book? Yes, I really did. Did it meet my expectations? No. Not even close! This is no way meant to be a criticism of the book. I thought the story was really good. But I have a little issue with what is written on the front cover: “…a must for fans of The Hunger Games”. Even before we get into the story, the comparisons are already beginning.

The Hunger Games is one of my all-time favourite series. You compare any book to THG and that automatically means that my expectations are going through the roof. I do feel like I have to explain why I’m not giving The Maze Runner five stars. The short answer I can give is I just wasn’t as emotionally invested in the characters and the story as I was expecting.

I loved (and still love) the Hunger Games and I love Katniss as a narrator. As a reader, the book captured my attention completely. I was in the story right along with Katniss. I experienced every twist, every emotion stemming from every decision she made and I felt I was right there with her throughout. That doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, it sticks with you and the book ends up being treasured.

Did I have the same experience here? Was I as emotionally invested in Thomas as the narrator? Absolutely not! I experienced everything he went through, and yes I sympathise with him and the other characters, but I didn’t feel that desperation that they had to fight for their lives. I do wonder if the story was written in the first person would I have preferred it… I think I might have.

If I read this book a while ago, maybe when it was first released, I think my reactions would be a lot different. I think it depends on the order you read books in whether you end up enjoying them as much as you hoped to

The idea behind the book is amazing. I have no complaints about the story itself. It’s unique and piques your curiosity. As a reader, we are in a constant state of the unknown. We have no idea what is happening, just as the characters don’t fully understand what has happened. I loved this aspect. I did end up correctly predicting a few of the twists early on and toward the middle of the book unfortunately. The ending on the other hand, was brilliant! I loved it. I was completely surprised, and I love that feeling of “O..M..G!!”

The only thing missing was a bigger connection to the characters. That’s all. And that’s a highly personal thing I think, and it’ll depend on each reader individually. I bonded just as much with some of the secondary characters as I did with the main characters. This tells you just how well the secondary characters were treated, or it tells you something was lacking from the main character… Thomas was a good MC. He was a believable and reliable narrator, but I unfortunately felt a disconnect with him. Teresa is the main, and only, female character for the greater portion of the book. I didn’t feel particularly attached to her one way or the other. We got to know about her but we didn’t get to know her.

The ending definitely made the book for me, especially the epilogue. That was just pure awesomeness! I have a terrible habit of pausing when I read a paperback, just to think about what I read, and I end up flicking the pages of the book, and I end up noticing words… and then I kind of get the gist of the story… Thankfully, I managed to keep myself under control this time, and I didn’t spoil the ending! It’s this ending that has pushed the book into a high 4 star rating. If I connected with Thomas, it would have been an easy 5 stars.

Will I continue with the series? Definitely!

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: After the End by Amy Plum

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

After the End

After the End by Amy Plum

Expected publication: May 6th 2014

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she's trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

-- As seen on Goodreads

This blurb sounds fantastic, it seems like a reverse dystopian/post-apocalyptic. I can't imagine returning home to find out everything you knew was a lie. I can't wait to read it!

What do you think of After the End? What books did you choose for this weeks WoW? Leave a link in the comments, I'd love to see!


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