Stacking the Shelves #93

Hi everyone! We hope that everyone has had a great week! Stacking the Shelves is what we have added to our bookshelves in couple of weeks. Melissa hasn’t added anything to her shelves this week, so this week it will only be what new books I have added to my ever-growing TBR pile :) I have to apologise for the lack of movement around here at Book Nerd Reviews. My life has been really hectic the last 6 weeks with work, which includes being away from home and internet access, and then I got sick – life is horrible like that sometimes.

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!



Review: A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) – Claudia Gray

Release Date: November 4th 2014
Published By: Harper Teen
Pages: 368
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

Review: Marguerite Caine’s parents are ground-breaking physicists who have intended a small device called the Firebird. Small it may be, but the Firebird is a huge deal – it allows travel between dimensions. But Marguerite’s father has been murdered and her parents researched destroyed, ruining everything that her parents have worked towards, and Marguerite’s life.

And the person who destroyed everything – Paul Markov, her parents’ assistant. After murdering Marguerite’s father, Paul stole the only functioning Firebird and transported himself into an alternate universe before he could face any punishment to his crimes.

Marguerite only has one hope of following Paul and bringing him to justice, her parents other assistant Theo. Together they start jumping through alternate universes to avenge her father’s death.

But Marguerite finds out that the truth may be more complicated than she believed.

In their effort to track down Paul, Marguerite and Theo travel through many different dimensions and we get to see many alternate universes via the Firebird. The Firebired allows travellers to move between alternate dimensions, but they can only enter a dimension in which they already exist. The reason for this is that the traveller will temporarily jump into the body of their alternate self, and when they leave, their self of that universe will return to that body. Although a little confused, there seems to be no ill side-effects to the person whose body was taken over.  The way the Firebirds worked and the explanation of alternate universes was explained well, with just enough information to unsure you didn’t have too many questions but you also weren’t left feeling like you just read a scientific paper. It was a nice blend of information and mystery.

The thing I loved most about A Thousand Pieces of You was definitely the various settings. As Marguerite and Theo chase after Paul, they jump into multiple alternate universes – some close to the life that Marguerite and Theo know, and some very, very different. But all utterly realistic. Claudia has done a fantastic job creating these alternate universes, which include everything from historical Russia, an underwater environment, a familiar but more futuristic London. I loved all the settings, and the adventures, that we travelled through thanks to the Firebird.

Marguerite’s determination to track down her father’s killer was admirable, and along the way she also found and started to understand different aspects of herself, often in the most obscure places. She certainly is on an emotional journey and I respect her desire to be an individual, but yet not so headstrong that she cannot learn more about herself. And although she counstantly found herself pretending to be another version of herself, she remained true to herself. She didn’t get lost in an alternate Marguerite’s world, even when at times it could have been easy too, and she could have had everything she wanted by doing this. She remembered her true self, while remaining conscious of the other versions of herself – not wanting to violate her alternate dimension self more than she already had by taking over their body. She is a very complex character, and while I can’t say I could really connect to her, I found her extremely interesting.

But I did find Marguerite a little impulsive and also indecisive. I know that is in a contradiction, but depending on the circumstance, she jumped from one extreme to another. She is however resilient and tough, and her feelings toward her family cannot be denied (although it does get a little confusing when all she wants is to see her father again, but also wanting to return to mother – but grief is involved, so I can understand her conflicting feelings regarding this). I also found her feelings towards the two leading men, Theo and Paul, a little frustrating. So yes, there is somewhat of a love-triangle going on, but it wasn’t really that didn’t thrill me, it was the fact that her feelings for both boys kind of switched between the two quite easily, and even then, I wasn’t really feeling it. The girl jumped around like a yo-yo with her feelings for these boys. And let’s add in the confusing factor that at some point, we see an alternate version of one of these boys, and therefore there is another character in the mix, although not really. I know, that sounds confusing, I am sorry!. I can’t say I really have a favourite out of the boys, and there is a reason for this, but I cannot say why without giving away a rather important part of the storyline.

However, I actually liked the dimension between Theo and Paul, although tense at the beginning, as time goes by you get to see more of their relationship before the death of Marguerite’s father. I quite liked both of these boys for different reasons, and never fear, they aren’t in the story just to create a love-triangle, they both have very important roles to play in the story.

There are certainly aspects that I would like to see explored more in the sequel, but overall, I really enjoyed A Thousand Pieces of You. Alternate universes, a device to travel between them, and one determined girl, but as Marguerite searches for her father’s killer, will she ultimately discover something far more important?



“I meant it when I said I didn’t believe in love at first sight. It takes time to really, truly fall for someone. Yet I believe in a moment. A moment when you glimpse the truth within someone, and they glimpse the truth within you. In that moment, you don’t belong to yourself any longer, not completely. Part of you belongs to him; part of him belongs to you. After that, you can’t take it back, no matter how much you want to, no matter how hard you try.”

“I fell in love with his unchanging soul.”

“Now I know that grief is a whetstone that sharpens all your love, all your happiest memories, into blades that tear you apart from within.”

“Every form of art is another way of seeing the world. Another perspective, another window. And science – that’s the most spectacular window of all. You can see the entire universe from there.”

“This, I think, is the boundary line of adulthood. Not the crap they claim it is – graduating from high school or losing your virginity or getting your first apartment or whatever. You cross the boundary the first time you’re changed forever. You cross it the first time you know you can never go back.”


Stacking the Shelves #92

Hi everyone! We hope that everyone has had a great week! Stacking the Shelves is what we have added to our bookshelves in couple of weeks. Melissa hasn’t added anything to her shelves this week, so this week it will only be what new books I have added to my ever-growing TBR pile :) I was very spoilt, especially with a huge stack of books arriving from a fellow blogger and friend!

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!



W..W..W.. Wednesdays

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


What are you currently reading?

Kristy - Crash (Twinmaker #2) by Sean Williams (also known as Crashland internationally). I have been working away a lot over the past few weeks and sadly haven’t had that much time to get into a book, but I am hoping to get some time to read this one :)

Melissa - I am currently catching up on Catwoman which has been amazing!


What did you recently finish reading?

Kristy – Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes #1) by Sara RaaschBlack Ice by Becca FitzpatrickAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas and A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1) by Claudia Gray 

Melissa – I have caught up on a few reads recently! Batman issues 24 – 35 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. OMG. AMAZING!!!!! I also caught up on Batman Eternal issues 14 – 29 (I know!), and Wonder Woman issues 12 – 35 by Azzarello and Chiang. I have been super busy!


What do you think you’ll read next?

Kristy - Ummm, to be honest, I am not sure.

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: Talon (Talon #1) – Julie Kagawa

Release Date: October 28th 2014
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 413
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Review: I love dragons, and I think that Talon is a much needed book in YA. Not only because it contains dragons (although that does go a long way), but because Julie Kagawa has created such a unique storyline that includes everything that YA should include – about finding yourself, about being different, about finding your own way.

But let me say this, this book is not about dragons. It contains some dragons sometimes, but it isn’t about them. This book does contain some of the scaled, fire-breathing beasts, but it isn’t about them, And in fact, they scenes that include they physical dragons you expect is limted.

The dragons in this book are not exactly what you expect. They are a sort of shape-shifter. Their true form is a dragon, but they are able to shift into human form. Due to the fact that they were once nearly hunted to extinction, they have adapted a society ‘Talon’ that is filled with rules and restrictions. They have since grown strong by hiding in human form, and have to some level evaded the Order of St. George, a human society who are aware of the dragons existence, and have a goal to eradicate them. Talon’s goal is to provide protection to dragons, to ensure their safe existence continues, however all is not exactly as it seems.

Ember, who at sixteen has been placed in the human world for “assimilation”. Ember wants to enjoy her freedom and be a normal human, until she is assigned her place within Talon. She is looking forward to a summer without rules, without training and without the power of Talon breathing down her neck. She wants to be free, just for a little while. Although she will miss flying in her dragon form, she is looking forward to spending her time at the beach, making friends and being a normal teenager. And just as she starts enjoying a normal life, Ember meets a rogue dragon, Riley, who not only teases her with the possibility of flying, but hints that Talon is not exactly what she thinks it is. By connecting these suggestions with her own observations, she starts to see that the society that she has always trusted is not what it portrays itself to be. Besides this rogue dragon, Ember cannot talk to anyone else about this, even her brother Dante. Even though they are the only siblings in existence, and throughout their whole lives shared a strong bond, Dante will hear nothing of Ember’s suspicions. He is proud to be a part of Talon, to serve them as they best see fit. And along with Ember’s isolation on her views, her inner dragon keeps pushing her towards Riley. He is attractive as a human, but her dragon is certainly trying to push her towards his true form – a kindred spirit; a free, rebellious and knowledgeable dragon.

And of course, there is a love triangle. While Ember’s dragon connects with Riley, her human side is falling for Garret. Garret is a solider of the Order of St. George, and his mission was to come to expose and kill the dragon that has been placed within human society. Although he suspects Ember is the dragon placed for assimilation, there are so many things that makes him question this suspicion. She is kind, she is brave, she is all too human. Everything that Garret has been told dragons are not. Surely this friendly, fierce, sweet girl cannot be a greedy, murderous, unfeeling dragon. But what if she is the dragon? That would mean that everything he has believed, everything he has stood for, is in question.

Whilst I am not normally a fan of love triangles, I really enjoyed this one. The fact that it was not really one girl pining over two boys is what really won me over. It is clear that both Ember’s human side, and her dragon side, are attracted to two completely different boys, and the inner turmoil this creates is intriguing. It is awkward, it is different, and it really is a dilemma. Ember is attracted to both an outcast in the dragon world, and an enemy in the human world.

This is the first Julie Kagawa book that I have read, and I have to say, I am very impressed! Although Talon does have some of the clichés you may expect in YA, it covers them in such a unique way, that the story seems fresh. I loved the fact that there was a complex love triangle, no insta-love and conflicting emotions within this book. I also enjoyed the fact that knowing that Garret was the enemy is not only upfront, but it is a major part of the storyline – with half of the book being told his from his perspective. I loved seeing his from his point of view. The confusion, the uncertainty and the various range of emotions this strong, tough and determined boy goes through.

Filled with conspiracy, secrets, power, determination, domination, fierceness, longing and a sense of people finding themselves and what they want to stand up for, Talon is captivating, interesting and exciting – I could not put it down. Although I would have liked to see a little more of the dragon side of things, due to how this book finished, I am hoping that the dragons get to soar in the next book. I hope the dragons and world-building will expand in future instalment, and although I was expecting more fantasy than paranormal romance, Talon is a great first instalment to what should be a fascinating, action-packed, intriguing and conflicting series.


October in Review

Hi everyone! Wow. It is nearly the end of the year! November already? That is insane!!!

October has been a busy month for us here at Book Nerd Reviews. Melissa, myself and Jocie are all crazy busy at the moment, and that includes me working away from home, so my whole routine has been thrown into chaos, as I normally read and write reviews and posts on the weekend… but for the past few weeks the weekend has been used to just be at home and do the things I missed during the week. So I apologise for the lack of the posts, and sadly this routine will continue for the immediate future, so there won’t be as much going on here for a few weeks.

I was very excited to bring you a part of the Laini Taylor interview here at Book Nerd Reviews. I have posted the rest of my interview with Laini at Australian YA Bloggers and Diva Booknerd. Be sure to check out the links via my interview post. But, more importantly, there is also an international giveaway for two SIGNED copies Daughter of Smoke and Bone running at the moment! This is international, so be sure to enter to win one of these amazing books!

I hope everyone had an excellent October! A lot of great books were released, and the interwebs went crazy over an authors article on how she responded to a negative review. I know that this put a lot of negativity out there in the blogging community, but please remember, that most authors are awesome people! For authors, thank you for your support and kind words! For bloggers, keep true to yourself, and to your followers! And for followers, thank you for being the reason we do what we do!

During November will be running the Daughter of Smoke and Bone giveaway, but I also have another amazing Aussie giveaway coming your way. But for now, here is Book Nerd Reviews’ October recap:



Review: Black Ice – Becca Fitzpatrick

Release Date: October 7th 2014
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 384
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Britt Pfeiffer has never been that adventurous, but that’s about to change. Wanting to impress her ex-boyfriend, Britt convinces best friend, Korbie, to take a trekking trip with her. But when a freak storm leaves the girls stranded they seek shelter in a cabin, where they find two knights in shining armour. Or so they think.

Britt quickly realises that the girls need to get off the mountain, fast. In exchange for her life, she is forced to guide the boys down, and as they set out on a harrowing journey through the cold and snow, Britt realises the only way to escape with her life is to pretend she is on their side. But is gorgeous, sexy Mason an enemy or an ally? Tension mounts, and it’s only a matter of time before things turn deadly . . .

Dark and adrenaline-filled, Black Ice will have you on the edge of your seat right until the final twist

Review: Instead of spending her holidays with her friends in Hawaii, Britt and her best friend Korbie are spending their spring break at Korbie’s parents cabin and hiking through the Grand Teton Mountains in Wyoming. Britt has been planning this trip for months, training for it even, but things take an unexpected turn for Britt when Korbie’s parents insist that Calvin chaperones the girls. That would be okay if Calvin was just Korbie’s older brother, but Calvin is also Britt’s ex-boyfriend. He broke her heart, she still loves him, and now he will be there on their spring break.

After hitting a blizzard on their way up to the cabin, Britt and Korbie find themselves stranded. They go searching for help, and find it in the form of an old log cabin, and two handsome guys. Although one of these sexy guys is clearly hostile, they take refuge in their cabin. Even though one of the guys is making them slightly uncomfortable, they are warm, dry and not outside facing freak blizzard. However, things turn bad when they are both taken hostage by these two guys. They are fugitives and dangerous, and now the girls are fearing for their lives.

Britt convinces the guys that she can get them off the mountain. And using a map that she found in Calvin’s car, and a few smarts, she sets off into the blizzard as their hostage. Britt now has to fight for her life. She knows that girls have been murdered up here, and she knows the only reason she is alive because the guys think that she is their best way off the mountain. She is the middle of a forest with two dangerous men – could they be the men that killed those girls? All Britt knows is that she has to stay alive long enough for Calvin to save her.

I have to say, that Britt, although at times had her moments of genius, also had a lot of moments where I couldn’t stand her. She is a spoilt brat. She has constantly allowed the men in her life, her father, her brother, her ex-boyfriend, to look after her, to protect her. Although she recognises this, which I do give her credit for, it doesn’t excuse the fact that she likes to play the damsel in distress. During the story she does show signs of independence and intelligence, but she constantly fell back to “Calvin will save me” attitude.

Which that leads me to Calvin. Britt is clearly still pining of Calvin. In fact, this trip she planned was to impress Calvin. But as the book goes on, and you get to see some of their relationship via flashbacks, you get to see that Calvin is a douche. Why she was pining over a guy who treated her the way he did, I will never understand. I understand the whole “first love” thing, but seriously, the fact that this character pined over him made me rage. Especially when she is talking about wanting him back, but not until he has “sufficiently suffered”. But even after she is taken hostage, she constantly thinks about Calvin, and how great they were together and how she was waiting for him to come save her (then she could forgive him for everything he had done – yes, she actually said this).

And her childish little games didn’t only extend to Calvin, but also her best friend. She started flirting with a stranger, just to infuriate her friend. Now I am not saying that Korbie was a great friend (she was anything but), but here Britt was whining about the fact that Korbie thought everything was a competition, and yet she was more than happy to play games herself. They kind of had that sibling rivalry thing going on, and while I think that Britt honestly cared about Korbie, these two were not a great match.

But we do some good moments of Britt’s – she can be smart and resourceful when she wants to be. And these are the moments I liked. But they did not override the moments where she made bad decisions, jumped to conclusions, ignored some pretty disturbing facts, pined over her idiotic ex and played the damsel in distress.

Britt’s kidnappers Shaun and Mason are a very different pair. Not only are they different personalities, but Britt also can’t work out the dimension between the two. Shaun is the one who takes charge, but yet, he seems scared of Mason. Mason acts like the lackey, but at times will stand up and make a decision. It is an interesting dynamic, and it confuses Britt constantly. Mason kidnapped her, but at times shows her unusual kindness. He tells her that he will not protect her, but then goes out of his way to do just that. He is also clearly hiding a secret but Britt cannot work out what it is. And the other thing that confuses Britt is that tiny, little inconvenience of starting to fall for Mason. She tries to tell herself at times that it is Stockholm Syndrome, is that it, or is she really falling for the guy holding her hostage?

Overall, I didn’t mind the plot, but I wasn’t surprised by the “twist” either. I had actually worked that out quite early on. Britt as a protagonist was one that I can’t say I loved. She annoyed me more than I liked her, but she did get a little better towards the end (after a major “you idiot” moment).

The book itself was a little slow in parts, but hey, they are tracking through a mountain in a snow storm – there are going to be those moments. The story really picks up at around the three quarter mark. I have to say it was the strong ending that made me like this book. Without giving too much away, I liked the fact that it wasn’t a “the protagonist works out the truth, there is a quick encounter where she confronts him, the bad guy gets caught, the end” type of story. The ending for me was pretty solid even though it took her a while to get there. For me, the ending of the story was certainly the saving grace of this book, I really enjoyed the last part of this journey.

The mountains are a dangerous place, kidnappers, bears, murderers, snow storms, secrets – will Britt make it out alive?



“Go to hell.”
“Sorry, love, but we’re already there.”

“They say that when you’re about to die, your life flashes before your eyes. They never tell you that when you watch someone you once loved dying, hovering between this life and the next, it’s twice as painful, because you’re reliving two lives that traveled one road together.”

“You’re damn right I’m jealous,” he growled. “When I kiss a girl, I like to know she’s thinking about me, not the fool who gave her up.”


SIGNED Daughter of Smoke and Bone Giveaway: International

So anyone who has ever spoken to me knows that I absolutely adore Laini Taylor and the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series is my all-time favourite. So why would I not celebrate this wonderful series, and this magnificent lady? Well, there is no reason. So I am celebrating by giving away 2 signed copies of Daughter of Smoke and Bone!


Australian YA Bloggers Exclusive Interview with Laini Taylor


Laini Taylor visited Australia in September and I was lucky enough to be able to interview this phenomenal author on behalf of the Australian YA Bloggers group. As I adore Laini, I naturally jumped at the chance to chat with my idol about her books and ask the questions that Aussie readers and bloggers submitted (and to fangirl just a little).

The first part of the interview was posted in the Australian YA Bloggers October newsletter, but there was even more to the interview (mainly because I talked Laini’s ear off) that didn’t make it in to the newsletter. So instead of it sitting on my computer for me to re-read over and over again, it was suggested that the rest of the interview should be posted for everyone to enjoy. The first part of the interview can be found at the Australian YA Bloggers website, with more of the interview found at Diva Booknerd and here at Book Nerd Reviews. But that is not all – there will a final part of the interview posted back at the Australian YA Bloggers website, this will be a spoiler edition! So if you have read the series, be sure to read the final part of this interview in November. Better yet, sign up for the newsletter and it will be delivered right to your mailbox!

Below are some of the questions asked in the interview. My section will be focusing on Laini’s writing and her work; past and future titles, as well as her work with her amazingly talented husband Jim Di Bartolo.


Review: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories – Stephanie Perkins

Release Date: October 14th 2014
Published By: St. Martin’s Press (US)/ Macmillan Children’s Books (UK and Aus)
Pages: 320
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

Review: Anthologies are notoriously hard to write reviews for. Do you talk about the book on a whole? Do you do break down of each story? Well, I have decided to do a little of both… I want you to get a feel for the book, but also for each story it contains.



MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME is definitely my favourite anthology. I will admit, that I have never read a multi-author anthology in its entirety. I generally read the stories I am really interested in, and leave the others for a later time (which always slips away). But I was ridiculously excited for this one… just look at the authors it includes: Stephanie Perkins, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White, Rainbow Rowell, Holly Black, David Lethithan, Ally Carter, Jenny Han, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Matt de la Pena. What a line up! I had previously not read all of these authors, but those that I have are amongst my favourites, so I was willing to bet that I would “meet” some wonderful new authors here as well – and I did!

The stories within MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME all share two common themes – love and holidays. But other than that, each story completely and utterly stands as a great story, with great writing, in its own right.

Each story within this anthology is a whole new world, and I was excited to go from one to the next. For me it was like opening presents on Christmas morning, you never knew what you would open next. Some stories are contemporary, some are paranormal, some are clear and concise, some are poetic and poignant, some have humour, some have heart-break, some have swearing, some have sarcasm, some have fear, some have hot kissing scenes. MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME is like a lucky-dip, where every prize is fantastic!

I especially loved the diversity of stories within this anthology. There is a lot of religious, sexual-orientation, cultural and racial variation between the stories, and I loved the openness of this. I think that in general (this is a big generalisation) there is limited racial, religious and sexual-orientation diversity in the YA market – and this anthology shows that with openness, honesty and class, these often avoided topics can be written wonderfully.


MIDNIGHTS by Rainbow Rowell

Over many midnights, we meet Mags and Noel. Friends, always there for each other, but never going anywhere.  Sometimes never going anywhere doesn’t mean you don’t leave, and going somewhere doesn’t mean you ever left.

Quote: “I never go anywhere!”



Miranda spends her holidays with her god-mother Elspeth Honeywell and her son Daniel. It is here that she meets a mysterious man named Fenny, a man who is as much on the outer as she is. As the years go by, her feelings for Fenny start to expand as does Daniels feelings for Miranda. Will Miranda reject Daniel, and the only security she has ever had, and risk it all for the mysterious Fenny?

Quote: “We all lose”


ANGELS IN THE SNOW by Matt de la Peña

Shy is in a new city, broke and starving. But he is also proud. Then he meets Haley, the girl who changes more than his lonely holiday. Angels in the Snow is about broken showers and get-to-know-you games, home sickness and finding courage… and one very smart cat!

Quote: “Eating and crying. Crying and eating”



Natty, has a magical life. Being Santa’s daughter is delightful, but also tough. Whether she is naughty or nice, the one thing on Natty’s Christmas wishlist is the one thing that Santa cannot give to her. An elf, Flynn, made of believing and wanting or a human boy made of the real world and possibilities. What is it she really wishes for?

Quote: “Living where I live, it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between magic and make believe”



North, a boy with a great voice and lots of trees, and Marigold, a girl who needs a voice. Upon her journey to get a voice, Marigold finds that a solstice tree and some human tetris superpower may be just what she needs to move forward and find her own voice.

Quote: “Then what’s with all the hoarding, hoarder?”



Connor needs a Santa to help retain his sister’s beliefs for just one more year. So temporary Santa helps out, but during the process temporary Santa finds that he can be both intruding, and at home, at the same time.

Quote: “It’s hard not to feel just a little bit fat when your boyfriend asks you to be Santa Claus”


KRUMPUSLAUF by Holly Black  

Hanna once made a bargain with the universe. Then she made up the perfect boyfriend, Joachim. And then she continued on with her mundane life. But when her perfect party is ruined, magic happens.

Quote: “It was full of overpriced boutiques, overpriced coffee, and Mossley Academy, which was full of overpriced assholes”



Sophie realises she doesn’t fit in, her sarcasm, her financial situation, her religion, her big-cityness. But mating sweaters and reindeers and Russell make her realise that sometimes an imperfect fit can be the perfect fit.

Quote: “Not everyone had their lives figured out by the time they exited the womb”



Vaughn is more than a little mischievous, but he finds that with a little help from a forgiving pastor, and his daughter Gracie, that you can find a way to take it exactly far enough.

Quote: “Put this on your list of things to know: the combination of tinsel, baby angel wings, and manger hay burns like weed at a Miley Cyrus concert”



Maria cannot wait to get out of Christmas – the dead-end town she is living in. The town is filled with miserable people, she works in a payless job at a diner, she feels disconnected from her mother and she doesn’t get along with her mother’s stingy boyfriend. Then Ben arrives in town, with his joy and cooking, his cuteness and the ability to bring happiness to those around him. Can he show Maria that with a little love and magic, Christmas can feel like home?

Quote: “There… was no sarcasm in that statement. I’m confused”



A chance encounter at an airport results in Lydia finding herself in the middle of nowhere. But when you are running, the middle of nowhere is a good place to be. As Ethan and his family show her kindness, Lydia finds that she may want to stop running. But what happens when you can’t outrun your past?

Quote: “If you just want to go away then any ticket will get you there”



Neve wakes on the first day of Advent to find that she is the object of someone’s desire – but she has no desire to be someone’s sweetheart – especially that of this particular person. Desperate, she prays to the forbidden Wisha.

In doing so, something has changed, she has woken the Dreamer. Neve soon finds that she feels the Dreamer’s presence all around her, but can he help her escape her inevitable future at the clutches of the man who wants to marry her.

And, could she love the Dreamer when she sees what he really is?

Quote: “If I spend all my disappointment before breakfast, what will I go on for the rest of the day?”



Giveaway Winners of Pandora Jones: Deception by Barry Jonsberg

Hello everyone! Thanks to the lovely team at Allen & Unwin we hosted an Australian giveaway for five lucky winners for a copy of Pandora Jones: Deception by Barry Jonsberg. The giveaway is now closed, and the winners are announced below!

Synopsis: Pandora and her team are already two members down. The survival of humanity in the post-plague world depends on them. But who can she trust?

It was difficult to know when nightmares ended and the waking world began.

Pan is still struggling to distinguish between her dreams and reality. When she wakes in the Infirmary her mind replays the sight of Nate running along the shoreline and the way his body froze and then flopped after he was shot. But her memories hold more questions than answers and she doesn’t know who to trust.

When she forms an unlikely alliance with Jen to try to make sense of everyone’s haunting similar memories and the conflicting information about The School, she finds herself with unexpected enemies.

Pan and Jen are determined to seek the truth – no matter what rules they must break or how terrible the danger they face. But can they even trust each other?

Intuition. Secrets. Truth. Courage. Action. Survival


Stacking the Shelves #91

Hi everyone! We hope that everyone has had a great week! Stacking the Shelves is what we have added to our bookshelves in past week. Melissa hasn’t added anything to her shelves this week, so this week it will only be what new books I have added to my ever-growing TBR pile :)

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!



Book Tag: The GIF & Book Tag

I’ve been tagged for the GIF & Book tag by the lovely Gina at Behind the Pages and Eugenia at Genie in a Book.

Basically as someone who has only ever used GIFs in a post once, this was bound to be hard for me. And then there is the fact that I hadn’t read a lot of the books (especially those from Gina). Then add to the fact that I had been tagged twice, so I had double the amount :( But I tried, and here it is: (more…)

Review: Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1) – Sara Raasch

Release Date: October 14th 2014
Published By: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 432
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 5 out of 5

Synopsis: A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Review: Meira is one of the last free soldiers of Winter, her kingdom is broken, it’s magic lost.

Sixteen years ago, Spring conquered Winter, broke it’s magic and enslaved all Winterians. Winter has all but been defeated – except for those few that escaped the night that Spring broke down Winter’s defences and defeated the kingdom. Of the 25 people who escaped that night sixteen years ago only eight survive. And they have vowed to save the enslaved Winterians and restore the kingdom to its power.

Meira is one of those who escaped. She was only an infant when Spring defeated Winter, and although she has no memories of Winter herself, only those that have been passed to her by other escapees, she is determined to restore Winter to its former glory. Meira is desperate to help her kingdom rise again, to prove to Sir that she is a worthy soldier (or worthy in general). And her chance arises when she is sent on a mission to find a part of the ancient locket that will help restore Winter’s magic. She risks everything to get to the locket, including her life, but she must prove herself, she must help free her people, she must help restore her kingdom.

This one brave act changes everything. The time has come for Winter to fight. Many lives have already been lost, and to save Winter many more sacrifices need to be made.

I just don’t know how to review Snow Like Ashes. I am actually finding it really hard to articulate how much I enjoyed this book. If you want the short version – I loved it! Go buy it right now! But for the long rambling version… please read on.

The world building in Snow Like Ashes is phenomenal. I know that some people find world building in fantasy books a little daunting, or even too much, but I am one who likes intricate and descriptive world building, and Sara totally nails it. And I don’t say that lightly, I am rather hard on fantasy books, as it can be a fine line between world building and being bogged down, and sometimes it can even be a little too much for me. But Sara expertly and elegantly developed a whole new world, filled with magic, desperation, betrayal, loyalty, secrets, ice and love.

Our main protagonist Meira is a fierce character. She is determined, headstrong, loyal, insecure, assertive, disconnected, sacrificing, devoted and an all-round awesome heroine. She has spent her whole life believing that she is disposable, but she still yearns for acceptance and recognition from the man who raised her, a Winterian General, Sir. He has kept her safe, he has provided for her, but she desperately wants his love and approval.

She is also in love with her best friend Mather. Mather however is the future king of Winter. I believe that Meira believes she is in love with Mather, but I am not convinced. I believe she loves him, but not in love. Mather is the only male around her age she has ever had contact with, he is her best friend, he is loyal, and caring and supportive. Of course she loves him, and without any other reference, she believes she is in love with him. But, she also knows that he is the future king of Winter, and she is a nobody, so no matter what her feelings are towards him, nothing can ever eventuate between them.

Then enters Theron. The other prince (literally). He is sexy, intellegent, and strong. The situation between Meira and Theron is nothing that she would ever have expected, but she does begin to like Theron. He seems interested in her in a way that no one has ever been, he sees her for who she is, and he accepts her. He doesn’t try to make her decisions for her, he doesn’t try to own her and he doesn’t try to control her. He accepts, and appreciates Meira for all that she is. He lets her be herself, and supports her in her decisions – this is something that Meira has always wanted, but has never really experienced.

Meira goes through so much in Snow Like Ashes. And she is determined to prove her worthiness to Winter, to Sir and to Mather. She is determined to prove that her worthiness is not only being born Winterian, but that she capable of fighting to rebuild Winter. But, the fight to prove her worth does not go exactly how she planned. Meira is thrown into a situation, and even I was screaming “MATHER, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??!!!”. And while Meira is left feeling hurt and betrayed, she is also recognises that there are a lot of other Winterians who are in a worse situation than her. So while she is angry and upset about her situation, she acknowledges that life could be worse, but she still feels entitled to feel the way she does (and I agree). She superbly walks the line between being selfish and selfless – just because she has to be a martyr, it doesn’t mean that she has to like it. I respected that.

Snow Like Ashes is not only filled with great characters and exquisite world-building, but also filled with so many mesmerising scenes. The writing style is poignant at just the right moments to create those heartbreaking moments, and vivid enough that you can visualise this terrible but sometimes beautiful world. The story also develops at a fantastic rate (especially for a first fantasy book). I can’t say I was surprised by certain events within the story, but I certainly loved the ride! It was a roller-coaster of events and emotions. The magic element to Snow Like Ashes is well thought out and the war is more complex than first believed.

Some honourable mentions need to go out to 2 things. First, the cover – Oh. My. God. What a gorgeous cover – I cannot wait to get my hands on the physical copy with all its shimmeriness and awesomeness. And the second, the training yard scene! Not that I am a dirty old perv (okay, maybe I am), but it isn’t often in YA you find yourself in a story filled with hot, sweaty, buff guys – and I did appreciate this visual :)

Snow Like Ashes is an astounding first book for this YA fantasy series, and I cannot wait to read the next instalment. And the ending was perfect! I loved where Sara finished this book, to me it was the perfect spot. It closed of enough for me to be happy but it still left me desperately wanting the next book. No cliffhangers, no happily-ever-after – just a perfect balance between conclusion and unresolved. There is so much left to explore in this world – and I cannot wait to explore it all.

Snow Like Ashes is an intricate story of twists, determination, magic, action, political agenda, hunger, justice, sacrifice, courage, danger and destiny.  You need to run out and get this amazing, beautiful, phenomenal book!



“They make decisions; they mold your future. The trick is to find a way to still be you through it all.”

“Someday we will be more than words in the dark.”

“No matter what happens, no matter who turns on me, no matter what pompous swine thinks he has power over me, I am still me. I will always be me.”

“Holding on to some part of your past even if it means also holding on to the pain of never again having it. That pain is less horrible than the pain of forgetting.”

“I know there are things you aren’t telling me. Big things…Sir, I will find out. I only hope your reasoning is good enough for me to forgive you.” 

“Even if I die here, I will die mattering, and that’s what I’ve wanted all along, isnt it? and I will, just within my own set parameters–I will matter in ways beyond my comprehension of the word, because I will matter in whatever way my kingdom needs me most. That, I think, is a truer mark of belonging somewhere–being willing to do anything, everything, that needs to be done, regardless of what I want.”


Giveaway Winners of Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Hello everyone! Thanks to the lovely team at Bookworld, we hosted an Australian giveaway for five lucky winners for a copy of Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang. The giveaway is now closed, and the winners are announced below!

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.