Review: Cooper Bartholomew is Dead – Rebecca James

Release Date: October 1st 2014
Published By: Allen & Unwin
Pages: 336
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Cooper Bartholomew’s body is found at the foot of a cliff.

Suicide.

That’s the official finding, that’s what everyone believes.
Cooper’s girlfriend, Libby, has her doubts. They’d been
happy, in love. Why would he take his own life?

As Libby searches for answers, and probes more deeply
into what really happened the day Cooper died, she and
her friends unravel a web of deception and betrayal.
Are those friends – and enemies – what they seem?
Who is hiding a dangerous secret? And will the truth set them all free?

A gripping new novel from the author of Beautiful Malice and Sweet Damage.

Review: This is my first Rebecca James novel, and I have to say, I am impressed! This is a great Aussie thriller, which kept me guessing and entertained all the way until the very end.

Cooper Bartholomew is found dead at the bottom of a cliff. The ruling is suicide. But are things really as they initially seem?

What I loved about this book is the fact that it is told through four different characters, in past and present tense, as well as being told from both first and third person narrative.. I know this may sound daunting, but seriously, this was one of the best aspects of this book. It was superbly written, in fact the transition through the various narratives is flawless. Libby and Cooper’s narrative is first person, which I felt helped us feel connected to these two characters, and understand their relationship much better. Sebastian and Clare’s perspectives were told in third person, which gave us the ability to watch the complexities of these some characters with some distance.

Through “then” perspectives, we get to seen the relationship between Cooper and Libby, Coopers friendship with Sebastian and the strain of Libby being in Cooper’s and Sebastian’s life. You quickly see that Cooper seems to be a happy, confident guy who does not seem to have any suicidal tendancies. Did he really commit suicide? Or was there foul play involved? Libby is determined to find out.

Each character is complex, multi-facated, and each have their own demons and desires. Each character has their own strong distinct voice (which is great considering the perspective changes). There are so many emotions underlying each character and the relationships between the characters are multidimensional.

Going into this story, we know that Cooper died. And while I was unsure if I would like a story where I knew the outcome, I found the story isn’t about the “what” it is about the “how”. And I especially enjoyed the “then” perspectives, as I loved being able to watch Libby and Cooper fall in love. And more heart-breakingly, watch it all fall apart due to his death. The scene of Libby learning of Cooper’s death was superbly written, your heart will ache for this young woman. I felt her pain and confusion, and later I admired her determination to find out what happened to Cooper.

I also found Sebastian and Clare to be very interesting characters. Deep, complex, troubled. Sebastian, Cooper’s best friend, has always been a loyal friend to Cooper, even though they are clearly from different sides of the tracks. Although very different, these two boys bonded at an early age, resulting in them being more like brothers than friends. I think this helps Sebastian deal with this tense and rather detached relationship with his real family. And Clare is extremely troubled, she was bitchy, manipulative, self-involved and destructive, but this is clearly because she is insecure (although that doesn’t make you like her any more). But for all their faults, these two are a part of Cooper’s life.

You will see how Cooper impacted each character’s life, how they loved him, how they needed him, how they grieved for him. Did he really choose to leave them, or is someone hiding a deadly secret? Through the clues along the way in the “then” and “now” perspectives, the puzzle slowly starts to move together and the mystery around his death starts to unravel. Be prepared for a heartfelt and powerful conclusion.

Filled with intrigue, loss, heartbreak, longing, deception, mystery, demise, secrets, expectations and secrets – Cooper Bartholomew is Dead is a captivating psychological thriller.

 

Note: Although it is commonly believed, this book is not technically YA. It is NA. The characters are in university and it does contain drug use, swearing and sex.

 

Quotes:
“And though I’d read the books and seen the movies and talked about and dreamed of it endlessly, I’d never realised that love could be so intense and so magic, so compltely and utterly consuming. I’d never realised that life could be so sweet”

“That’s the thing about people like Cooper. They were so noticeable to us. they loomed so large and bright on our social radars. and yet to them we were barely blips. We knew stuff about them, we talked about them and watched them. We dreamed of being invited to their stupid parties. But they knew nothing about us. Not our names, not even our faces. They were indifferent. They made us feel small and boring. They made us feel invisible”

 

Celebrate our new blog design with an aussie giveaway of Falling Into Place!

Hi everyone! Book Nerd Reviews has recently undergone a makeover, and to celebrate, the wonderful team at Bookworld have offered an amazing prize for a giveaway! They are offering our lucky followers a chance win 1 of 5 (yes 5!) copies of Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang!

Synopsis: On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

 

This is one of the most anticipated books of 2014, and you now have the chance to win a copy! If you don’t win this awesome giveaway, or you want to buy it for yourself, a friend or a family member (or all of the above) now, please remember that you can purchase a copy of Falling Into Place from Bookworld at a discounted price (even more so if you join their VIP Citizenship program).

This giveaway is for Australian residents only, and will be sent directly to the winner from Bookworld.

This giveaway starts now and will run through to 12th October 2014, when a winner will be picked via the Rafflecopter widget below! Everyone gets a free entry and you will get more entries if you share info about the giveaway or follow us. Best of luck! x

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thank you Bookworld for providing this amazing giveaway to help us celebrate Book Nerd Reviews new blog design!

Stacking the Shelves #88

Hi everyone! This week’s Stacking the Shelves is what Melissa and I have added to our bookshelves in past two weeks. I have gone a little crazy over the last couple of weeks, buying signed books while I was in Sydney and Melbourne – plus I picked up some during the Date a Book blogger evening in Sydney. And Melissa picked up some comics while we were shopping together too :) So I apologise for the lengthy post – well, I don’t, but I thought I would say nice and say it :)

Stacking the Shelves is bought to you by Tynga from Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves 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!

 

In Mel’s mailbox:

Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned (Y: The Last Man #1) – Brian K. Vaughan

I bought this one from my local comic book store. :)

“Y” is none other than unemployed escape artist Yorick Brown (his father was a Shakespeare buff), and he’s seemingly the only male human left alive after a mysterious plague kills all Y-chromosome carriers on earth. But why are he and his faithful companion, the often testy male monkey Ampersand, still alive? He sets out to find the answer (and his girlfriend), while running from angry female Republicans (now running the government), Amazon wannabes that include his own sister (seemingly brainwashed), and other threats. The Vertigo team of Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, and Jose Marzan Jr. have given us a great read!

 

Black Ice – Becca Fitzpatrick

I received this from Simon & Schuster Australia :)

Sometimes danger is hard to see… until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there… and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous.

 

Ghostbusters, Volume 2: The Most Magical Place On Earth (Ghostbusters: Ongoing #2) – Erik Burnham

I bought this one in my recent trip to Melbourne.

The smash-hit ongoing series continues in this second story arc Thanks to the contract they signed, the Ghostbusters are temporarily barred by Walter Peck from taking any work (without his express permission) in New York City. The Ghostbusters skirt the edict by taking a job in Schenectady. It’s a simple haunted amusement park upstate – what could possibly go wrong? Plus, a new short story only available in this collection.

Collects issues 5-8.

 

Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

I also bought this in my recent Melbourne visit!

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

 

In Kristy’s mailbox:

Belzhar – Meg Wolitzer

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia for a proof of this book :)

If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be  at home in New Jersey with her sweet British  boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching  old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing  him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance.

 

Black Ice – Becca Fitzpatrick

I also received this from Simon & Schuster Australia :)

Sometimes danger is hard to see… until it’s too late. 

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there… and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target. 

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally? 

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous.

 

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) – Stephanie Perkins

My pre-order of Isla arrived (quicker than I expected – yay!)

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

 

The Intern – Gabrielle Tozer

I have always wanted to get a copy of this book, but I just never got around to grabbing one. But when I found a signed copy while in Sydney, how could I resist? 

Josie Browning dreams of having it all. 

A stellar academic record, an amazing career in journalism – and for her current crush to realise she actually exists. The only problem? Josie can’t get through twenty-four hours without embarrassing her sister Kat or her best friend Angel, let alone herself.

Josie’s luck changes though when she lands an internship at the glossy fashion magazine Sash. A coveted columnist job is up for grabs, but Josie’s got some tough competition in the form of two other interns. Battle lines are drawn and Josie quickly learns that the magazine industry is far from easy, especially under the reign of powerful editor, Rae Swanson. 

From the lows of coffee-fetching and working 10-hour days, to the highs of mingling with celebrities, scoring endless free beauty products (plus falling for her cousin’s seriously gorgeous flatmate James) this is one year Josie will never forget.

Totally fresh and funny, this debut novel from industry insider Gabrielle Tozer reveals just what is behind the seeming glamour and sparkle of the magazine industry.

 

Masquerade – Kylie Fornasier

I was so upset when I found out that Kylie would be doing a Sydney event the week before I got there, as I loved Masquerade… but luckily there were still signed copies left :)

It’s the Carnevale of 1750 and Venice’s ballrooms, theatres, palazzos and squares are filled with delicious gossip, devilish fun and dangerous games. In this glittering masked world, everyone has a secret…

Set in an age of decadence made famous by Casanova, Masquerade uncovers the secrets of seven teens, from the highest aristocrat to the lowest servant – their dreams, desires, loves, loyalties … and betrayals.

 

Razorhurst – Justine Larbalestier

I hadn’t previously purchased this one, as I won it in a competition. However, it never turned up. So I had decided to buy this one next time I was book shopping, and I happened to stumble upon a signed copy of this aswell!

The setting: Razorhurst, 1932. The fragile peace between two competing mob bosses—Gloriana Nelson and Mr Davidson—is crumbling. Loyalties are shifting. Betrayals threaten.

Kelpie knows the dangers of the Sydney streets. Ghosts have kept her alive, steering her to food and safety, but they are also her torment.

Dymphna is Gloriana Nelson’s ‘best girl’, experienced in surviving the criminal world, but she doesn’t know what this day has in store for her.

When Dymphna meets Kelpie over the corpse of Jimmy Palmer, Dymphna’s latest boyfriend, she pronounces herself Kelpie’s new protector. But Dymphna’s life is in danger too, and she needs an ally. And while Jimmy’s ghost wants to help, the dead cannot protect the living

 

Disruption (Disruption #1) – Jessica Shirvington 

Another signed copy :) I know, so many signed copies, but how could I resist this one? It is great, and sooo pretty!

What if a microchip could identify your perfect match?
What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation’s M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loves most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it. 

Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer – heir to the M-Corp empire – has become key to Maggie’s plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin’s involvement destroy everything she’s fought for? 

In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.

 

The Last Shot (The Last Trilogy #2) – Michael Adams

This was a bargain purchase. I have got, but haven’t read the first one as yet – but I will! I love to support Aussie authors :)

 glance at my fellow fugitives in the glow of the fire: black-streaked, white-eyed, faces fearful but fierce. Whoever any of us were a week ago, we’ve now become people we could never have imagined.

After facing the heartbreaking truth in Shadow Valley, Danby is determined to have her revenge on Jack.

With Jack dead, her little brother Evan and hundreds of other Minions will be free of his control. With Jack dead, she and her friend Nathan will be able to revive thousands more from the millions of catatonic Goners.

But what if she’s wrong – about everything?

After Danby confronts Jack on a dying stretch of highway, all of her beliefs are turned inside out. Not only are his feelings for her real, he’s working against the clock to save lives and rebuild society. To Danby’s horror, it’s Nathan who appears to threaten the new order.

With her emotions raging and blood on her hands, Danby has to take a side in a deadly battle that’ll decide the future of the world. And as allies become enemies and foes turn into friends, she’ll have to embrace methods so dark that the price of survival may be her very soul.

 

The Blood Keeper (The Blood Journals #2) – Tessa Gratton

This was another bargain buy. Also another one that I have the first in the series but I have not yet read.

A stunning blend of romance, horror and magic.

For Mab Prowd, the practice of blood magic is as natural as breathing. It’s all she’s ever known. Growing up on an isolated farm with other practitioners may have kept her from making friends her own age, but it has also given her a sense of purpose – she’s protective of the magic, and is able to practice it proudly and happily out in the open with only the crows as her companions. But one morning while Mab is attempting a particularly tricky spell, she encounters Will, a local boy who is trying to exorcise a few personal demons of his own. He experiences Mab’s magic in a way his mind cannot comprehend and is all too happy to end their chance meeting. But soon, secrets that were kept from Mab by earlier generations of blood magicians are revealed, and she and Will are drawn back together, united against a dangerous force looking to break free from the earth and reclaim its own dark power.

 

The Darkest Part of the Forest – Holly Black

I was extremely lucky to get an ARC of this at the Hachette/Date a Book Bloggers Evening in Sydney:) I was so happy when I looked in the goodie bag and found this – they talked about it at the event, and it sounds amazing!

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

 

Found (Mickey Bolitar #3) – Harlan Coben

This was another I got from the Hachette YA bloggers evening. This is the third of a series, so I best read the first two :)

MURDER. MYSTERY. HIGH SCHOOL.

A new Mickey Bolitar novel following on from SHELTER and SECONDS AWAY.

It’s been eight months since Mickey Bolitar witnessed the tragic death of his father.

Eight months of lies, dark secrets and unanswered questions.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Mickey’s sophomore year of high school brings on a whole new set of troubles. Spoon is in hospital, Rachel won’t tell him where he stands, his basketball team-mates hate him . . . and then there’s Ema’s surprise announcement: she has an online boyfriend and he’s vanished.

Whilst searching for Ema’s missing boyfriend(who may not even exist!), Mickey gets roped into helping his nemesis, Troy Taylor, with a big problem.

All the while, Mickey and his friends are pulled deeper into the mysteries surrounding the Abeona Shelter – until the shocking climax, where Mickey finally comes face-to-face with the truth about his father.

 

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1) – Jessica Sorensen

This was another book in the goodie bag from the Hachette YA bloggers evening. This was also one of the highlighted books, it is NA, but it sounds good.

Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.

Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now it’s summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home. 

Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.

Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes. 

(New Adult Contemporary)
*Mature Content** Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.

 

 

That is all from us this week, what did you receive in your mailboxes? Let us know – leave your links in the comments section below!

 

Comic Crossover #7

Hi everyone! Welcome to another Comic Crossover.

What is Comic Crossover you ask?
Comic Crossover is where we take a YA book and compare it to a comic book up close. Comics sometimes get a bad wrap, and so this feature is designed to shine a light on some amazing comic reads.

Sometimes you may not see straight away why I have matched up books and comics the way I have, but rest assured that there is always method to my madness! Sometimes it’s because of the characters alone, the storyline, the genre or another feature about the YA book that I have found that draws parallel to a comic.

For those of you who are new to comics, the titles that I select to talk about are always comics that you can pick straight up off the shelf without knowing anything prior about them and enjoy. So if comics have made you feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable in the past, you don’t need to feel that way about the comics that feature in Comic Crossover.

In all cases, I have read both the YA books and the comics, so if you have any questions you can comment on this post!

This weeks Comic Crossover:
If you enjoyed Cinder by Marissa Meyer, then you might enjoy Fables Volume 1: Legends In Exile by Bill Willingham

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Book Tag: Get To Know Me

I’ve been tagged by the fabulous Kelly at Diva Booknerd to tell you twenty things about myself from the questions below. Not that I keep anything a secret, but I am also not all that exciting, but here goes…

How tall are you?

I’m short. I am 5’4 from memory. But probably just.

 

Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what?

A hidden talent? Ummmm, not that I can think of. I guess it is hiding from me.

 

What’s your biggest blog related pet peeve?

Spoilers. I hate reading a review with spoilers. From a bloggers point of view, my pet peeve is that I don’t have enough time to comment on all the blogs that I stalk.

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W..W..W.. Wednesdays

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time to tell you what we have been up to for the past week.  W..W..W.. Wednesdays is a weekly meme bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.

 

What are you currently reading?

Kristy - Being a school night, I haven’t picked up anything as yet.

Melissa - I have had a really quiet week and haven’t been reading anything either!

 

What did you recently finish reading?

Kristy – Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins. I won’t be reviewing this book, as we have already posted Jocie’s review. I also read Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer and Talon by Julie Kagawa.

Melissa – I finished reading Batman: Streets of Gotham Volume 3  and that was it!!

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Kristy - I have so many to choose from, I am not quite sure. Probably Snow like Ashes by Sara Raasch or Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Melissa – Still on my list is Batgirl: Year One or maybe Gotham Central Volume 1.

 

What is everyone out there reading at the moment, and more importantly is it a good read? Share your links below!

Review: Falling Into Place – Amy Zhang

Release Date: September 9th 2014
Published By: HarperCollins Australia/Greenwillow Books
Pages: 304
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. 

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

 

 

Review: Remember how, about a month back, I reviewed ‘Take Back The Skies,’ and was like, ‘Well, I definitely feel like an underachiever,’ because the author was my age and she’d published something? And not just any something, but a novel-something? Yes? Well, this is another case of that. But, the feeling is even worse because I adore this book.

‘Falling into Place,’ written by (18-year old)Amy Zhang, is the story of Liz Emerson. She is the most popular girl in school, and she has decided to commit suicide. One day after class, she crashes her car, and the next, she’s fighting for life. Told from a non-linear and fascinating perspective, this book absolutely stunned me.

I’ll try and refrain from gushing too much, but I can’t promise you anything.

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Laini Taylor came to Australia! YA Bloggers Event and Melbourne Event Recap

Laini Taylor was recently in Australia – I am sure you have heard all about it. There were copious amounts of tweets, excited Facebook status updates, and afterwards, some amazing blog posts and photos popping up all over the interwebs. And I was not only lucky enough to attend one of her events, but I had to opportunity to interview her and attend an event in Sydney, and then another event in Melbourne.

So here is my experience with this amazing lady!

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Review: Illusions of Fate – Kiersten White

Release Date: September 9th 2014
Published By: HarperTeen
Pages: 288
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.

“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray

Review: Illusions of Fate may well be my favourite Kiersten White book to date. This beautifully written story is captivating, thrilling and intriguing. Coupled with a lush setting, and brilliant characters this is one book not to be missed! (more…)

Top 10 Books That Have Stayed with Us in Some Way

 

We have been tagged by Arra at Style Reader to list 10 books that have stayed with us. We are going to cheat a little and do 5 each (I know, cheating isn’t fair, but we do things as a team).

The rules are you can’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be right and great works of literature.  You don’t have to do a blog post,  you can do this and tag others via social media and you then have to tag 10 other people to do the same.

So, here are our Top 10 Books That Have Stayed with Me in Some Way:

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Review: The Rapunzel Dilemma – Jennifer Kloester

Release Date: August 27th 2014
Published By: Penguin Australia
Pages: 336
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 2 out of 5

Synopsis: Lily’s had a charmed life so far, and now she’s off to London to pursue her dream of becoming a great actor. But life at the London Drama Academy is full of surprises – and for the first time, Lily finds that things don’t always go her way.

It’s not just the other students who are making life difficult. Lily’s got a secret she’s not sure how to handle, but she finds that a room in one of the Academy’s deserted towers makes a perfect refuge. Lily can’t stay locked in the tower forever, though. And when she meets the mysterious Ronan Carver, everything starts to change . . .

A fast-paced modern fairytale and companion novel to The Cinderella Moment, from talented YA author Jennifer Kloester.

 

Review: The Rapunzel Dilemma. A companion novel to The Cinderella Moment, and my first Jennifer Kloester book. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed.

I found the novel to just be ok. There was nothing to really scream home about.

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Giveaway Winner of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Hello everyone! Thanks to the lovely team at Allen & Unwin, we hosted an Australian giveaway for three lucky winners for a copy of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. The giveaway is now closed, and the winners are announced below!

For those of you who missed my review of We Were Liars, you can find it here. We also posted a Q&A with E. Lockhart, where you can find out more about this amazing book!

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Review: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) – Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: September 11th 2014
Published By: Bloomsbury Childrens
Pages: 562
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Review: I love the Throne of Glass series. I really do. But with series’ that I love, the longer they go on, I start to get nervous that they might lose “something”. Maybe it will start to drag out, maybe the character development will lack, maybe the world will start to become a little bland. If you are afraid of the same thing, do not worry – Heir of Fire is an amazing instalment to the Throne of Glass series! This series just keeps on getting better and better, and I am in awe of Sarah J. Maas’ ability to continue to bring even more tension, development, twists, power, pain, fierceness and hope to this amazing series. Heir of Fire does not just “move the story along”, it throws some more pieces into this amazingly detailed and complex storyline, and the world will expand and every character will be tested.

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August in Review

Hi everyone! Is it September already? How did that happen? This year is just flying by! It has been a pretty busy month for both Melissa and myself. I was especially busy at the end of August and the first few days of September (the reason why this recap is a little late). Technically all the exciting stuff has happened for me in September, so you I won’t give you a recap on all the awesomeness that was the first few days of September until the next recap – by then I might be able to process it all as well :)

So, here is our August recap!

 

Book Reviews

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4) – Maggie Stiefvater
We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
Let’s Get Lost – Adi Alsaid

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Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) – Stephanie Perkins

Release Date: August 14 2014 (or, if you’re from Australia, sometime in September)
Published By: Usborne
Pages: 339
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: “The cafe is boiling. The atmosphere is clouded with bittersweet coffee. Three years of desire rip through my body and burst from my lips: “Josh!”

His head jolts up. For a long time, a very long time, he just stares at me.

And then…he blinks. “Isla?”

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

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