Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Cover Reveal and Promo - Defects

Defects - The Reverian Series (Book One):

In the happy, clean community of Austin Valley, everything appears to be perfect. Seventeen-year-old Em Fuller, however, fears something is askew. Em is one of the new generation of Dream Travelers. For some reason, the gods have not seen fit to gift all of them with their expected special abilities.

Em is a Defect—one of the unfortunate Dream Travelers not gifted with a psychic power. Desperate to do whatever it takes to earn her gift, she endures painful daily injections along with commands from her overbearing, loveless father. One of the few bright spots in her life is the return of a friend she had thought dead—but with his return comes the knowledge of a shocking, unforgivable truth. The society Em thought was protecting her has actually been betraying her, but she has no idea how to break away from its authority without hurting everyone she loves.

Preorder here: http://amzn.to/1Rj1p1Q
Website: www.sarahnoffke.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialsarahnoffke?ref=hl
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9830676.Sarah_Noffke


HTML: Ebook - Defects book 1 in the series

Monday, 20 July 2015

Book Review - The Heir

Title: The Heir
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection (Book 4)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 7 May 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0007580224

Synopsis
Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she'd put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess's life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can't escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn't expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn's heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn't as impossible as she's always thought.
 


My Review
The Selection series has become one of my all time favourites, and I was so excited when I saw that there was a new one out. i thought that it was just going to be a trilogy so was so pleased to have more. This book is set quite a few years in the future, Maxon and America are King and Queen with grown up children. Eadlyn, their daughter and first born is next in line for the throne but not entirely sure she wants it, but when trouble starts she agrees to follow her parents plan and start her own Selection process, never believing it could ever work.
I love Eadlyn as a character and she is the perfect mix of America's fiery passion and perseverance and Maxon's sense of duty and witty humour. She is instantly likeable but still has moments where you want to tell her to be less self-obsessed. She can be annoying, but still in a way that makes you realise she is human and i couldn't help but route for her.
I never imagined a Selection with male candidates but it works very well, and gave the series a refreshing feel. It's amazing how different the dynamics are but still so addictive and brilliant. Just like the original Selection, I couldn't decide who i wanted to win Eadlyn's heart and I'm still not sure even now. I think there are about 3 men I would say are good choices but all for very different reasons, and I can't wait for the next book to find out which one Eadlyn picks - if any!
Kiera Cass writes in a way that just sweeps you off your feet and into the pages of her books and I just can't get enough!

My Rating
     

Book Review - Jane Eyre

Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Publisher: Chivers Audio Books; Unabridged edition
Release Date: May 2000
ISBN-13: 978-0754053415

Synopsis
Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte's innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.


My Review
This is a very famous book, of course it is, it's had numerous tv shows and films based on it and everyone talks about it at some point, but I had never read it nor had I any intention to. However I always have a book on CD to listen to in my car and I had just finished one and my next choice had not yet arrived so my colleague pulled this off the library shelves and suggested I give it a go. I wasn't at all convinced but decided it was better than nothing so I agreed.
I was quite hesitant for a while and not sure but soon (about halfway through the first disc) I felt myself become more interested and before long I wanted to know what would happen to poor little Jane. I had to keep listening, she had captured my imagination and a bit of my heart and I had to know how it all turned out. 
I found Jane to be very matter of fact but she also had a good witty sense of humour and could give as good as she got with a quick word or quip. I found myself lost in her story. 
I think listening to it served me very well as the language is of course very old fashioned and having someone speak it aloud to me made it easier to understand, I may have given up if I was reading it myself, but the narrator did a fabulous job and kept me hooked. 
It was lovely to see Jane grow up and become a very confident if not sometimes foolish young lady. Mr Rochester was a bit of a mystery to me at first, I couldn't decide if i liked him or not but soon found myself hoping that they would find a way to work together. 
I can see why this book is so popular and has lasted over time, I really enjoyed it and am actually really glad I 'read' it. It's a wonderful, heart-warming story that will stand any test of time.

My Rating
     

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Book Promo - Puppet

Puppet by Pauline C. Harris

Penelope never dreamed she’d become a superhuman experiment masquerading as a puppet. She never dreamed everything would be taken from her; even her ability to lie. Nor did she ever dream that she would become something so unreal. Penelope lives in a world of advanced technology. Marionettes have advanced in the form of robots; lifelike creations remote controlled to perform super human tasks. When Penelope makes a deal with Jed, a marionette-obsessed scientist, she doesn’t fully realize what she’s getting herself into. In order for Jed to take her away from the orphanage she lives in, she must first agree to undergo his experiments and tests, ultimately creating something no one ever dreamed possible; the first living marionette. As Jed shows off his scientific creation to the world, concerns arise surrounding Penelope’s abilities and what she’s capable of doing. Ordered to somehow lessen her abilities, Jed makes a desperate attempt to change Penelope to make her more human, more vulnerable. After Penelope lies to the officials about her past, Jed makes sure it’s the last one she’ll ever utter. The truth is now the only thing she is capable of telling. As Penelope struggles with her past, her disturbingly new present, and her uncertain future, she is thrust into a magically twisted world of mayhem in search of the one thing she wants, but knows she can never have. The chance to be just a girl again. To be normal. To be real.

Author Info
Pauline C. Harris is the author of middle grade and young adult science fiction novels and published her first book at the age of fourteen. She's currently working toward a degree in English. Other than writing, her time is consumed mainly by reading, playing the violin, watching old black and white movies, and trying to survive her college classes.

Links

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Book Promo - Don't Ever Change

Synopsis

After graduation, Eva Kramer’s classmates wrote things like “stay cool” and “don’t ever change” in her yearbook—but Eva’s planning to do the exact opposite. Before heading off to college, Eva is determined to spend the summer shaking things up a bit. See Eva wants to be an Author, but she’s just now realized that she can’t write what she knows because, in reality, she hasn’t really begun to live yet.

But revisions are never as easy as they seem. Eva has to be prepared to try new things (like working as a camp counselor without any prior experience). She has to be okay with letting go (like when her new/first boyfriend leaves town to go on tour with his band). She can’t be afraid to let her story go in unexpected directions (like falling for someone else, someone she always thought of as a rival). And by the end of her summer, Eva will have to decide for herself how she’ll want the story to end.


Author Bio
M. Beth Bloom is a musician, video artist, and writer.  Her fiction has appeared in StoryQuarterly and Dave Egger's Best American Non-Required Reading series.  She is also the author of Drain You.  M. Beth lives in Los Angeles. 

links to amazon and to harper teen:



Playlist 
center of gravity - yo la tengo
you’re the good things - modest mouse
hello rain - the softies
here’s where the story ends - the sundays
kid in candy - the spinanes
cybele’s reverie - stereolab
the book lovers - broadcast
coffee and tv - blur
hypocrite - lush
breathe your name - sixpence none the richer

Excerpt


7.  CHINESE BOMBS
I meet Michelle and Steph at the Thousand Oaks Mall on the Friday before our last weekend as do-nothing ex-Seniors.  Michelle’s been hired as a personal assistant by some rich woman who makes jewelry in Santa Monica and Steph got a job folding at The Gap.  What I like about Michelle is that she’s tough, and never moody, and what I like about Steph is that she’s sensitive and really pays attention.  I guess I round out the group by being some mixture of both.  I like to think of myself as the glue that holds us together, and I also like to think that if I wasn’t around maybe Michelle and Steph would never really see each other, that’s how much I connect us all.
 Michelle’s trying on a fitted blazer which feels very East Coast, very Boston, so I try one on too.  Someone makes a Sisterhood Of The Traveling Blazers joke and it kind of makes me feel old, like I wish it was the summer before Senior year and not the summer after.  I don’t want to get a job or, rather, I don’t want to have a job, but I do, and can’t stop complaining about it.  What I don’t like about Steph is that she lets everyone complain, on and on, because she thinks it’s therapeutic to just get everything out, even though sometimes it isn’t. 
The three of us are definitely clique-ish though, which has been getting a bad rap lately in movies and books and overall culture.  There’s this backlash against people “wanting to belong,” but the truth is I don’t want to belong in general – I want to belong to these two, and I want them to belong to me.  Courtney says that being too close to people can become toxic, and that you have to watch out for that, especially with high school friends.  She also says I shouldn’t forget to “spread my wings” because in a year I might not even know them – maybe in less than a year.  Which makes this blazer, this iced coffee with soy milk, these receipts for candles and hoop earrings, all feel like ticking bombs, and that gives me an idea for a story: a seventeen year-old girl is visited by two forty-seven year-old women claiming to be the future versions of her two best friends from high school come back to make sure the girl keeps up their friendships so as to change the course of all three of their lives.  This is a good one; Mr. Roush might like it.  I scribble it down on something.
“Anyway,” I say, “Foster will be at camp with me.  So that’s something.”
“Foster, huh,” Michelle says.
“Don’t say his name like that.”
“I like Foster,” Steph says.  “We all think he’s cute.”
“We don’t all think that,” I say.
“What about that guy Elliot?” Michelle says.
“Has he called?” Steph asks.
“He texted.”
“That’s better,” Michelle says.  “It’s like, ‘Hey boys, text me don’t call me, okay?’”
“Calling is committing,” Steph says.
“And Eva doesn’t want to commit.”
“You’re leaving for Boston in like two months anyway.”
“And he’s leaving for tour...”
“There’s also Foster...”
“Guys,” I say, interrupting.  “I’m not the protagonist in some rom-com and you aren’t my pushy, sentimental sidekicks.”
“Hmm,” Michelle says and then Steph says, “Yeah, hmm.”
Later we’re at the food court and since I can’t find anything vegan at Panda Express I just watch Michelle and Steph go wild on some chicken chow mein.  Michelle keeps dangling the noodles in front of me, saying if I want to take a bite she won’t tell anybody.  This is what everyone thinks: that I’m dying for their chicken chow mein but because there’s some noble agenda, some lofty idea to stand behind, I won’t let myself indulge.  They think at home, alone in my room, I’m slamming turkey cheddar sandwiches and they also think I just need a friend, or anyone, to convince me to chill on my principles for a minute so I can enjoy life and a big piece of lasagna.  But what they don’t know is that their egg rolls are time bombs, that they’re ticking, because these could be the last egg rolls Michelle and Steph ever share, and isn’t that a bigger deal than my dietary choice to slowly save the planet?  I tell them all of this, then pound on the food court table and take away their forks so I can hold their hands. 
“You have to stop listening to Courtney so much,” Michelle says.
“Your sister doesn’t know how it is with us,” Steph says.
“Yeah, we’ll be friends for a supremely long time,” Michelle says.
“We’re in no danger of not being friends,” Steph tells me.
“And didn’t someone say something about absence and the fonder heart?”
“And don’t our keychains say something about friends and forever?”
“Guys, are we being naïve?” I ask.
“Of course we’re not being naive,” Michelle says, and then Steph says, “Two of us are eighteen, Eva.”
I force Michelle and Steph to make firm promises for the summer concerning multiple weekly hangouts and lengthy phonecall catch-ups and constant text and email updates.  I don’t know why but I feel a little desperate, and even though I’m not that interested in the daily business of handmade jewelry from Santa Monica or ribbed v-neck tees and tanks, I feel like I need to hold on to this connection or else I’ll be so lonely.  So I promise not to slip if they won’t slip, and I know that I won’t slip because it’s summer camp and, really, after a long day of being stuck with nine nine year-olds all I’ll want to do is bond with my friends before we have to say goodbye in August. 
“You’ll also want time to write though,” Michelle reminds me. 
“And talk to Elliot on the phone,” Steph says.
“And what about Foster?”
“Or some other counselor you might meet that you want to hang out with.”
“Guys!” I say, frustrated.  Then I pick up Steph’s fork and shove a big bite of greasy noodles in my mouth, to show that I can commit and that I will commit, all summer long, until the day I get on the plane for Boston.  I think they’re impressed because they immediately feel bad and hug me and tell me I don’t have to swallow the chow mein. 
So I don’t; I rush to a trashcan and spit it out before it explodes.  
 

Monday, 29 June 2015

Book Review - All That Glitters

Title: All That Glitters
Author: Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl (Book 4)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 26 Feb. 2015
ISBN-13: 978-0007574582

Synopsis
Harriet Manners has high hopes for the new school year: she's a Sixth Former now, and things are going to be different. But with Nat busy falling in love at college and Toby preoccupied with a Top Secret project, Harriet soon discovers that's not necessarily a good thing... 



My Review
I adore the Geek Girl series, they are genuinly funny, light-hearted reads that make me laugh out loud and just feel better about myself. I see so much of myself in Harriet that I have a real connection with her and I can't wait to see what her next misadventure will be.
Harriet is growing up, she's now entering sixth form but it's not all she hoped it would be, suddenly Toby doesn't seem interested and Nat has no time for her anymore with a new boyfriend and Harriet is more lost than ever. Not only that, she misses Nick and is trying to figure out exactly what her life is supposed to be and what she really wants. A lot of teenagers will relate to this because even though very few of us are accidental models, Harriet deals with some real issues - boyfriend trouble, friendships, clicks and groups, school stress, and feeling like you just don't belong. 
I love her quirkiness and really do read this with constant giggles. I will never get enough of this series and hope that I get to meet Holly at the Young Adult book convention this July, and I also hope there will be a lot more from Harriet.

My Rating
  

Book Review - The Selection Stories

Title: The Selection Stories: The Prince and The Guard
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection (novella)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 27 Mar. 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0007587094

Synopsis
Two novellas set in the world of Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series are now available in print for the first time. The Prince and The Guard both offer captivating views into the hearts and minds of the two men fighting to win America Singer's love. This collection also features exclusive bonus content, including a sneak peek at The One, the eagerly anticipated third novel in the Selection series.

Before America arrived at the palace to compete in the Selection, there was another girl in Prince Maxon's life. The Prince opens the week before the Selection begins and follows Maxon through the first day of the competition.


Raised as a Six, Aspen Leger never dreamed that he would find himself living in the palace as a member of the royal guard. In The Guard, readers get an inside look at Aspen's life within the palace walls—and the truth about a guard's world that America will never know.
 


My Review
I love the Selection series and always try to get as much as possible to do with it, so when I saw these two novellas were out I knew I had to read it. I had to wait for it to come back into the library but as soon as I got it, I abandoned everything else I had going on and got straight into this.
The first novella 'The Prince' follows Maxon the week before the Selection starts and gives you an insight into his life and thoughts. I always knew there was more to his persona and this story lets us see it. I really felt for him and the pressure that is put upon him and all the expectations.
The other novella 'The Guard' is told from Aspen's point of view which was refreshing to see the other side of that relationship. Aspen was always a little bit of a mystery to me, I was never quite sure what his angle was and if he was true, but this really changed my mind about him and I found myself with more respect for him. 
They are only short but they offer a real insight into the world and i found it interesting to see America from someone else's point of view not her own. 
This book is perfect for fans of the series and a must read.

My Rating
    

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Book Review - Moriarty

Title: Moriarty
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Series: New Sherlock Holmes (Book 2)
Publisher: Orion
Release Date: 23 Oct. 2014
ISBN-13: 978-1409109471

Synopsis
Sherlock Holmes is dead.

Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind who has risen to take his place.

Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard, a devoted student of Holmes's methods of investigation and deduction, Frederick Chase must forge a path through the darkest corners of the capital to shine light on this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace.


My Review
I love anything Sherlock Holmes and I think Horowitz does an amazing job with the world and characters. I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, how can you have a Sherlock Holmes novel if he is dead? But I went in with hope and soon found myself lost in the pages and coming to like the new pairing of Chase and Jones. They were witty and a little bit foolhardy at times but charming.
Their are a few characters that could be seen as enemies and each one is portrayed in their own dastardly way. I really liked the shy agoraphobic character, he had a real sense of menace and darkness about him. But each one was well written and would make excellent villains.
The book has a lot of little mysteries that you know are leading up to a much bigger one but even so when that bombshell was dropped I did not see it coming! I will not give anything away because that was the highlight of the story for me, it was just so unexpected and really well played out. I was absolutely gobsmacked.
There is just the right mix of adventure, crime and violence, it's just what you would exepct from a Holmes novel and it will keep you turning the pages, saying that, the book did have a few moments that were a bit slow and possible not entirely relevant but overall it was an exciting read and I look forward to more from this series.

My Rating
 

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Book Review - Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Title: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Author: Lewis Carroll
Narrator: David Horovitch
ISBN: 9781407486796  
ASIN: B002SQ73FY
 
Synopsis
Enter the magical world of Wonderland, follow the white rabbit and meet the Queen of Hearts, but don't get caught there!
 
 My Review
I have always been a fan of Alice in Wonderland, mostly from watching the Disney film as a child. I read the book a few years ago and found it strange and very different but still enjoyable, just different from what I expected. We are hosting an Alice event at the library next week to celebrate 150 years since it's original publication so I though it would be a good time to re-read it, but being short of time I picked up the audiobook to listen to in my car. The narrator is fun although Alice's voice is a bit squeaky at times but once you get used to it, you get swept up into the world. 
The book is wacky and fun with some very strange ideas but that is all part of it's charm. And I still love the story as much now as I did as a child.
 
My Rating
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Book Review - The Book Thief

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Black Swan; Film Tie-in edition edition or Random House AudioBooks
Release Date: 29 Dec. 2006 or 30 Jan. 2014 (paperback)
ASIN: B002SQ677Y
ISBN-13: 978-0552779739

Synopsis
HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE
1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier.
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH
It's a small story, about:
a girl
an accordionist
some fanatical Germans
a Jewish fist fighter
and quite a lot of thievery.
ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW - DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES
 


My Review
I have been intrigued by this book for years and always said I would try it, even more so when I saw there was a film coming out (I refuse to watch the movies until I have read the book). It is by no means my usual kind of read, but it has a lot of good reviews and everyone I know who has read it has said it was good, meaningful and emotional. However it stayed on my list a long, long time, so when I saw it in the library on spoken word CD I decided to borrow it. I always have a book to listen to in my car and this filled a gap perfectly. The narrator was brilliant, he had the accent presented perfectly and I found it really easy to listen to. 
Liesel is sent to stay with a foster family as war breaks out across Germany. She goes to live on Himmel Street with Hans and Rosa Hubermann. The book is narrated by death which is very different but also a very interesting angle and he tells Liesel's story of how she got there and how she makes it her home. How she grows up and all that she experiences, from seeing Jews being marched through town and persecuted, making friends, going to school and dealing with the effects of war on her family and friends. As it is narrated by death it also means that we get a wider view of events going on elsewhere in the country during the war and presents a bigger picture. But the main focus is always Liesel and she is such a loveable, excitable and somewhat mischievous character that you can't help but like her. My favourite character was Rudy, he is so cheeky, funny and tries so hard that your heart goes out to him, even when he's naughty. 
I found this book to be very enlightening and interesting and emotional. I laughed in a few places and cried in others. I found myself hoping with all my might that the characters would survive, through the many trials and tribulations, and I'm not going to give away the ending, but I have to say that it moved me to tears. 
This book is beautifully written and full of imagery. The characters are so realisitc you can really picture the little streets, shops and houses and all of them moving around and going about their lives. Like long lost friends. 
I would strongly recommend this book to everyone and even the spoken word version as it will sweep you away in the narrative and you won't want to turn it off. 
I just hope the film is just as good.

My Rating