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Tuesday 20 August 2013

Ink by Amanda Sun Review


by Amanda Sun

Published: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Paperback
Pages: 326
Source: Netgalley & Giveaway Win

Buy It Now: Book Depository | Amazon

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

Royal Commentary

Ink by Amanda Sun was actually quite a disappointing read for me. It wasn't terrible, the writing wasn't bad, but the story was just plain disappointing. The story had amazing potential but alas Ink just fell flat for me. I didn't enjoy it as much as others, but it could have also been because of my high expectations. 

Katie Greene has recently moved to her Aunty's home in Japan when her Mother passed away. In a strange land, with no friends and no knowledge of the language…can life get any worse for teenager Katie Greene? Tomo is the school's Kendo team star, local unobtainable bad boy with attitude but an artist behind the scenes. Something tragic and scary stopped him from drawing in public. Can Katie break through Tomo's barriers? 

After reading the above paragraph can we all guess where this story is going? If you can't, then you mustn't have read YA novels lately because this seems to be the recipe that Authors are following lately. An outcasted good girl, and the local bad boy and then their forbidden love. I'm really baffled that Amanda Sun went the route that she did with this story. The surrounding elements behind Ink is just brilliant, and so I'm not quite sure why Amanda Sun wrote the story how she did. The strong elements of set in Japan, moving sketches that come to life and become dangerous with Japanese mythology thrown into the mix, how can you seriously go wrong, but Amanda took the elements she created and then went back to the normal recipe of YA novels, so despite having interesting and original elements, the story of Ink went back to just being another YA book with unoriginal story lines and characters. 

However, I still liked some parts of Ink, most especially Amanda Sun's description of Japanese life, explaining the connections to Japanese mythology, although I had wished she had touched on this a bit more, and she may very well do in the sequel. Amanda Sun's knowledge of Japan and the lifestyle in Japan is astounding and I really enjoyed getting lost in the surrounding that she created. 

Ink by Amanda Sun is a well loved idea, but the story itself and the characters fell disappointingly flat for me. I was looking forward to reading Ink and maybe my high expectation was to blame for my disappointment but after reading the book description, what I expected from Ink is totally what I didn't get out of it, not even close. However, Amanda's writing is good, beautiful even, but the plot line was just bland considering the elements she had to work with, she could have done so much more with this story. I will still be picking up the novella and sequel, just to give this series another chance, because like I said, I love the idea behind this novel, and I am hoping that the execution and story itself gets better.

Sunday 18 August 2013

Steel Lily by Megan Curd Blog Tour {Giveaway}

Welcome to my tour stop for

Steel Lily by Megan Curd

Please click on the event banner above for tour schedule

Megan Curd, Author of Steel Lily is with us today as she gives us an insight into her life and to also tell us 5 Things About Steel Lily that we didn't know. Don't forget to enter the fantastic giveaway at the end of this post. 

About The Author

Megan Curd

Megan Curd is a graduate of Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. While having always enjoyed reading any books she could get her hands on, Megan didn’t begin writing until a friend encouraged her to do so while in college. 

When not writing, Megan enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves to snowboard and travel to new places, and doesn’t turn down the opportunity to play xBox with her brother and friends when it presents itself. Megan currently resides in Stanton, Kentucky with her husband, son, and Great Dane named Dozer.

Five Things About Megan Curd

1.) I collect Starbucks mugs. Like…a lot of them. :) I collect what's called the Global Icon Series, which is the mug that has a city, state, or country on the mug and features something from that area. Each one has a special story about how I got it or traded for it, and I drink out of a different one each night I write. I have over 100 different ones, and my husband is getting a bit terrified. He might have valid reason for concern, haha!

2.) I snowboard. I learned how to snowboard while in college, and I absolutely love it! I love the winter, and I'm hoping to get my son on a snowboard this season if we can find a place near us in Kentucky.

3.) I speak Spanish. Well…kind of. I'm dangerous. I spent about six months in South America over the course of a year during college and loved it. Being immersed in the culture, I learned the language…and learned the words "left," "right," and "that road!" while lost in a cab in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Those are amazing words to know, people. That, and "where's the bathroom?" Really…that's all you need to know. :) 

4.) I have a Great Dane named Dozer. We got him under the pretense that my son needed a pet…but my husband knows it was really me who wanted the dog. I just used my son as an excuse. :) He's six months old and is what they call a fawnequin - white with fawn-colored spots. He's my buddy.

5.) I LOVE the Green Bay Packers. Our entire family loves the Packers. We all have jerseys and we've taught our son to cheer, "Go, Pack, Go!" He's ready for this season. :) 

5 Things You Don't Know About Steel Lily

1.) Steel Lily was brainstormed over Christmas while reading a LOT of books. I had been reading a lot of Cassandra Clare and Suzanne Collins, and loved the imagery they provided in their books. I thought about what I could do to create a world as vivid as what they do in their books, and I really tried to channel what I'd learned from reading. Another author I love learning from is J.K. Rowling. All three of them are masters of the craft, and I hope I can learn to be even a a quarter as effective at portraying my characters and worlds as they are. 

2.) Steel Lily is the first in at a trilogy. There's always room for more, but there will definitely be three books in this series. 

3.) My fellow author and friend helped me name the series. My friend and fellow writer, Hope Collier, helped me name the series. I told her I wanted to keep using metals (book two is titled Iron Pendulum), and we brainstormed. She thought of the Periodic series, and I loved it. :) 

4.) My cover designer is a genius. Okay, maybe you knew that. But seriously, Regina Wamba of Mae I Design is phenomenal, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with for Iron Pendulum! 

5.) Steel Lily's first draft took three months. But then it was a good year before it was completely perfect (well…I'm sure I could find more to tweak…but it's as good as I think I can get it! I hope you think so too!)

About The Book

Steel Lily 

by Megan Curd

Series: The Periodic Series #1
Genre: Dystopian
Published: August 12, 2013

AVERY PIKE is a commodity. No, more than a commodity. Her existence is guarded at all costs. 

She’s a water Elementalist, the strongest of her dwindling kind. She creates steam to provide energy to fuel Dome Three: the only thing standing between humanity and an earth ravaged by World War III. No steam, no Dome. No Dome, no life. 

Or so she thinks. 

That is, until a mysterious man offers her a way out of having to donate steam. A way to escape the corrupt government of Dome Three. While the offer seems too good to be true, Avery is intrigued. 

But when she arrives to her new home, she realizes the grass isn’t any less dead on this side of the fence. Instead, the lies are just hidden better. 

...Which means digging deeper. 

When Avery enlists the help of her friends to uncover the truth, it may make her wonder if she was better off being a government tool than searching for freedom. 

Some secrets are better left concealed, but humankind was never meant to live in a cage. And when you can control the most sought after resource, you can learn to control anything...including the fate of your world.


I was moving double time to keep up with his long strides. He seemed so sure of himself, so in control of his destiny, even in this place, where he claimed we were imprisoned. I didn’t have a shred of doubt that what Jaxon wanted, Jaxon got. He owned his life. I so desperately wanted to own mine as well. Could he help me take control of it, or would he cause it to crash around my feet? For some reason, it felt like either option would be exhilarating if he were involved. 

Exhilarating and dangerous. 

The back of his shirt was soaked. The small “v” of muscles at the base of his spine flexed as he craned his neck to make sure I was still behind him. Why did that give me butterflies? 

He turned and smiled. “Are you even listening to me? You’re way past your ogling allotment.” 

“I’m not ogling you.” 

“Trust me, I’ve experienced enough ogling to know it when I see it. If you’d prefer to ogle in peace, I’ll turn around again. There have been contests where my ass took first place in squeezability.”

“You must have been the only person in the running.” 

He grinned mischievously. “And the only one to vote, but a win is still a win, right?”

~ Giveaway ~

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This event is presented to you by 

Saturday 17 August 2013

Sunday Post #6

Sunday Post is a weekly feature hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Reviewer. It's main purpose is similar to that of a Sunday newspaper; recap of the week gone by, additions to your library and what is going on in the book blogging community.

Addition to my Library 

Squeal! I finally got my PERSONALISED SIGNED box set of The Infernal Devices trilogy box set, this is one time when I'm pleased with myself for holding out and not purchasing the single books. 

Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting and Poison by Cochran are both ARC's.

Broken Wings was won in a giveaway.

For Review





Blog Recap


Banish by Nicola Marsh
Tragic by JA Huss
The Heiresses by Allison Rushby {Giveaway}
Date with the Dead by Chris Myers
Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross
School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins

Blog Tours

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton 
Pretty When She Destroys by Rhiannon Frater {Book 1 Review & Author Interview}
Dawn of Apocalypse by ESP {Author Interview}
Canary by Rachele Alpine {Guest Post ~ Inspiration for Canary}
Witchling by Ari Harper {Author Interview}


Around The Blogosphere 

Bout of Books

Here's my participation link for Bout of Books 8.0. To sign up click on the button above.

Authors Are Rockstars

Authors Are Rockstars is a month long event. Each hosting blog has chosen one Author to host. Check out the blog listing and the Authors they are hosting by clicking on the button above. It's a fantastic event and you get to learn so much more about your favourite Authors or you may even find a new Author to be a fan of. 

Something Strange & Deadly Read-along/Book Club Read is being co-hosted by Author, Susan Dennard and Epic Reads. Click on the button above to be directed to Susan's Book Club Intro Post or click here to view Epic Reads Discussions. 

So if you haven't read Something Strange & Deadly, or would like to re-read it before reading A Darkness Strange & Lovely, this is the perfect time and opportunity to read-along with your fellow bloggers and online readers. 

Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Last but certainly not least, the creator of The Sunday Post, Kimba the Caffeinated Reviewer is having her 2 year Blogoversary. Show your thanks by hopping over there to greet her a Happy Blogoversary and whilst your there enter the fantastic giveaway she's got happening to celebrate this memorable event!

Friday 16 August 2013

Friday Hop ~ Book Blogger Hop and Feature & Follow Friday

Were you a born bookworm or somebody got you into the habit of reading?

Born a bookworm! My Mother read to me when I was a child. I still own my very first book, a hardcover A4 book of nursery rhymes, scribble and all done by yours truly. Then as a child my nose was always stuck in a book, I didn't go anywhere without one, this pretty much continued throughout my childhood till I got to high school. From high school through to my early 20s I still read but my reading reduced quite substantially for me anyway. 

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read

The Rules:-
  • You MUST follow BOTH hosts Rachel @ Parajunkee and Alison @ Alison Can Read
  • You MUST follow BOTH Featured Blogs of the week (linked below)
  • Do your own Feature & Follow Friday post answering the question of the week and link to it at the bottom of this post 
  • Follow and comment on other participants Feature & Follow Friday posts! 

No Reverse by Marion Croslydon Review {Tour & Giveaway}

Welcome to my stop for 

No Reverse by Marion Croslydon

Please visit the remaining stops, tour schedule can be found by clicking on the event banner above

About The Book

No Reverse

by Marion Croslydon

Release Date: August 12, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary

A girl who needs to undo the past. 

A boy who wants to forget it. 

In love, there’s no way back. 

At high school in Steep Hill, Kansas, Cassie O’Malley and Josh MacBride were the poster couple for quarterback/cheerleader romance until they starred in their own tale of teen pregnancy. No need to say: their shotgun wedding was low-key. But when there was no baby anymore, they went their separate ways.  Five years later, Josh has breezed through Georgetown and is about to finish his post-grad degree at Oxford University. He is set to join a lobbying group on Capitol Hill, owned by his new fiancée’s father. For Josh, the sky is now the limit… only he must first take care of a tiny legal matter: technically, he’s still married to the girl who broke his heart. 

Meanwhile, Cassie has been waiting tables in Steep Hill to pay for her sick grandmother’s care. On the day of the old lady’s funeral, Cassie is served with two sets of papers. Josh is asking for a divorce. Her heart squeezes, but, well, he moved on a long time ago. But the second envelope shakes Cassie to the core. So, for the first time, she leaves Kansas and heads to good ol’ England. 

There, Cassie finds that Josh has not just “moved on,” he’s freakin’ engaged to some blue-blooded heiress. The feelings Cassie had buried deep rush back to her. But no matter if he keeps thrusting the divorce papers under her nose, she needs him to save the only person she loves more than Josh, more than life itself…

Royal Commentary by Paperback Princess

No Reverse is a story of unconditional love and sacrifices. Marion Croslydon told this story in a brilliant way, alternating point of views between the two main characters, and also alternating the timelines from past to present, it takes an excellent writer to be able to do this without confusing the readers. No Reverse is a thought provoking tale, that makes it's readers question what they would do in such a situation. This is an emotional roller coaster ride novel, so definitely not for the faint hearted, prepare to feel!

I absolutely adored this book and it was a fast paced story that I devoured quite obligingly within a few sittings. This is not the type of book I normally read but the drama and the spice within this novel was really a very engaging read, I think I'll definitely be picking more New Adult Contemporary Romance from now on, if they are anything like No Reverse.

What I loved about No Reverse is the realistic situation in this story, it could have happened to anyone, and this is where it provokes the readers to think, "what would I do if I had been in that situation?" It's really quite a hard answer and seeing the characters as they made choices, whether it was the right or wrong ones really made the readers invested in the story. You cheer for a happy ending for all involved. 

The main characters all had their faults and this added to the realism of the situation, which is definitely what I love about the novel, it read like a true life event, as if it had happened to yourself personally. Marion also writes the novel so well that the emotions that the characters felt jumps off the pages at it's readers and it makes you feel the way they are feeling. This book really makes the readers very involved emotionally. 

No Reverse is immersed in drama, and the characters are likeable but real, the emotions are felt through it's pages, and it's definitely not ones for the faint hearted who wants to be detached from the story they read. This book will include you and drag you into it's arms, you will be holding your breath as if each decision taken involves you, it's a thought provoking and very involving book.

About The Author

Marion Croslydon

Marion’s parents are terribly disappointed with her… 

They wanted her to have a serious job, providing financial stability and social standing. For years, she really tried to make them happy; she studied hard, got into top schools, graduated with honors and found a high-achieving job. 

But deep down, Marion was miserable. She never wanted to be a top executive, brokering deals in New York, London or Tokyo. Marion wanted to be… a ROMANCE WRITER. She wanted to spend her days in that good ol’ tracksuit of hers, in front of her laptop, popping down Oreos like there was no tomorrow. She wanted to fall in love with a different man each time she wrote the first line of a new book (while being happily married to the most handsome man in Great Britain). 

That’s exactly what Marion does these days, and it makes her incredibly happy. She loves to share these happy vibes, talk book crush, fictional boyfriends and sexual chemistry with like-minded people. And because she spends most of her days on her own deep inside her writing cave, you are welcome to come and say “hello” from time to time. Just to make sure she doesn’t sink into insanity. 

Her friends, family and arch-enemies (there are quite a few) will be forever grateful for your help.

~ Giveaway ~ 

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This event is presented to you by 

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Interview with Ari Harper Author of Witchling (Book 1 Curse of Kin)

Welcome to my tour stop for

Witchling by Ari Harper

Please visit the other stops, tour schedule can be found by clicking on the event banner above

Today please welcome Author of Witchling, Ari Harper with us, as she answers a few questions regarding herself and her debuting novel, Witchling. Thanks Ari for taking the time out to chat with me, and looking forward to reading Witchling! Don't forget to also grab your hint for the Tour Scavenger Hunt.

About The Author

Ari Harper

Ari Harper never wanted to grow up. To offset the limitations of aging ungracefully, she created her own set of unique worlds where she can be and do whatever she wants. 

Gods, witches and demons surround Ari while she spins her magic, doing mainly what they tell her to do. Given a chance, she prefers to work amongst chaos, which is good because she is constantly surrounded by children, all clamoring for attention. Some of them end up in her stories, some of them even get to die grisly deaths or be cast away to another realm.

~ Author Interview ~ 

What made you base Witchling in Ireland?

For me, Ireland is a land of witches and fairies, dragons and gods. It was the perfect place to set the book.

With so many paranormal books around in the YA genre especially, what made you write about witches instead of other paranormal creatures?

I never choose my stories, they choose me. Initially I ignored this one but after two years I gave in and started writing it. Now I can concentrate on other paranormal creatures and beings.

Being a descendant from a long line of witches and all things curses, Witchling sounds very exciting, what research did you have to do for this novel?

I have a huge library of books and they came in handy when it came to looking for spells. All those used in the book are original spells I found in my research, many of them hundreds of years old.

Was Witchling always going to be a series or was it initially a standalone novel made into a series?

Right from the start I knew Witchling was going to be more than one book. there are four in total.

What can we expect from book 2?

In book two, Changling, we find out more about Sully and where he fits into the scheme of things. There is more to him than meets the eye.

Is there any upcoming projects that you can tell us about?

I'm still writing the final book in the series but have another series with paranormal species almost ready to submit to my editor.

3 Trivial Things about Witchling that no one else knows about...
  1. I originally set Witchling in America. It just didn't work for me so I moved it to Ireland. 
  2. I cried my eyes out writing book three Treason. My critique partner was devastated at what I had done. I can say no more. 
  3. Writing book four is hard for me because I don't want the story to end, that is why I'm putting it off although it has passed the planning stage.

About The Book


by Ari Harper

Series: Curse of Kin #1
Publication Date: November 29, 2012
Publisher: Lycaon/Breathless Press

Nera is a normal teenage girl living in Ireland-or so she thought. Her world is forever changed when she discovers that she is descended from a long line of witches. To her horror she finds she is the one that is supposed to stop the curse that has taken the life of every girl before her. As if that isn't enough, she must learn to use magic and her trainer is a man named Bones. He is the son of Mari, Queen of the Witches, and a god. It is Bones that has been entrusted to teach her the skills she needs to stay alive, which wouldn't be so bad if he didn't have an uncanny knack for pushing her buttons. Can Nera learn what she needs while staying immune to the charms of the man that gets under her skin at every opportunity?

Scavenger Hunt Hint #3

What convinced Nera she must do the tasks ahead? 

~ Giveaway ~ 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This event is presented to you by 
Itching For Books

Tuesday 13 August 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #22 ~ Books Set in Europe

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke & The Bookish

I absolutely love, love, love Paris and Venice and so I decided to do a setting in Europe. I was thinking of beach settings but I'm sure we've recently done a similar topic not that long ago, since it's currently Summer in the US. 

Top Ten Favourite (YA) Books Set in Europe


1. Luxe by Anna Godbersen

2. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

3. The Girl with the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

4. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling


5. Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz 

6. Venom by Fiona Paul


7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Czech Republic

8. Daughters of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor


9. Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

All Around Europe

10. Heist Society by Ally Carter

Next week @ Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier

Sunday 11 August 2013

A-Z Survey

Jaime from The Perpetual Page-Turner has created a wonderful weekend activity, the A-Z Survey, and has invited all Bloggers that would like to also participate to do so and leave their link in her comments section. Click on the banner above to read Jaime's A-Z survey post, and if you'd like to participate do a post like I've done below and Jaime's done on her blog, and leave a link in Jaime's A-Z Survey post in the comments box so we can all visit your blogs too! 

Author You've Read The Most Books From

Thanks to Jaime I was able to use the Goodreads "Most Read Authors" link, and according to Goodreads my most read Author is Charlaine Harris! Goodreads doesn't have all my read books but I have try to keep it as up to date as I could, but since I have no way to guess any other way I'm going with what Goodreads says.

Addition to Original answer:- was reading through another A-Z Survey and was reminded of my Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley High Days, so theoretically my most read Authors would probably be Francine Pascal with Carolyn Keene a close second. 

Best Sequel Ever 

Currently Reading

Drink of choice while reading

Coke - I know this is terrible but this is the only thing I drink...I know disgusting right?

E-Reader or Physical Book

While I'm starting to love my Nook and ebooks my preference is still Physical Book.

Fictional Character you probably would have dated in High School

When I'm reading my YA novels I don't really think of the leading man as a potential boyfriend because I feel too old LOL so I always think of them as "kids", but my latest swoon is Jordan from Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross

Glad you gave this book a chance

Hidden Gem Book

Residue by Laury Falter

Addition to original answer: I was reminded of Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink by another blogger, I know I mentioned it below in the "S" question, but I really should add it to "Hidden Gem" too. 

Important Moment in your reading life

Two memorable moments in my reading life, once when I read the Harry Potter Series and then again when I read the Twilight series, both these series got me out of a reading slump which lasted for a few years. I loved reading as a child all through the start of High School but when I left school I didn't read as much...until I read these series', Harry Potter started me back to reading a little bit more, then Twilight got me back to reading heaps more about 4 years later, so for 4 years in between reading the two series I was reading minimal but still reading, which was better than not at all. 

Just Finished 

Kind of Books you won't read 

I'm quite open to all genres, but I tend to not be able to read too much of a Religious novel, and whilst I'm open to reading Erotica, but haven't as yet, I probably wouldn't review it on my blog since I mostly target Young Adult novels, so I don't want under 18s to see such content. 

Longest Book You've Read

I don't know if it's the longest book I've ever read but it certainly felt like it; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson which according to Goodreads has editions of up to 644 pages. I can't recall how many pages my edition was though. 

I've since read Jaime's post and she showed a way where I can find my longest book read that's listed on Goodreads, and the longest book it's listing is Thirst 1 by Christopher Pike, but since this is made up of 2-3 books in one I'll disregard that and go with the second choice which is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak at 584 pages.

Major Book Hangover Because of

I don't really understand what this question is, but from what I think it is, I'd have to say The Twilight Series. 

Number of Bookcases You Own

2 Large sized bookshelves and 2 slimline bookshelves

One Book You've Read Multiple Times

I'm going to exclude books that are part of a series as I tend to re-read series books each time a new book is released eg. if book 4 is released I will re-read books 1-3 prior to reading the newly released book 4, it's just the way I do things.

So the one book that isn't a series that I've read more than once is The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

Preferred Place To Read

Anywhere relaxing and quiet but I most especially love anywhere by the water eg. next to the beach on a hammock is my ideal place. 

Quote that Inspires You/Gives you all the Feels From a Book You've Read

I couldn't think of any, so I went to a book that I highlighted a lot of quotes from, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell: 
"Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something."

Reading Regret

Not reading more than I can! There's so many books in my ever growing TBR pile that I wish I had more time to just read, read and read some more! 

Series You Started And Need To Finish

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz, Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink I can go on and on LOL.

Three of Your All Time Favourite Books

Unapologetic Fangirl For

Very Excited For This Release More Than All Others

Requiem by Maggie Stiefvater (Books of Faerie #3)

Worst Bookish Habit

I'm terrible with late returns of library book and eating chocolate whilst reading!

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book

Read, Remember, Recommend; Reader's Journal 

Your Latest Book Purchase

Zzz-Snatcher Book (last book that kept you up WAY late) 

School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins Review

School Spirits

by Rachel Hawkins

Series: School Spirits #1
Published: May 14, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Netgalley

Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy's mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who's always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

Rachel Hawkins' delightful spin-off brings the same wit and charm as the New York Times best-selling Hex Hall series. Get ready for more magic, mystery and romance!

Royal Commentary by Paperback Princess 

The Brannicks are descendants from generations and generations of monster hunters, but when Isolde (Izzy) Brannick is nearly drained at a routine vampire vanquishing, Momma Brannick comes to the rescue and puts Izzy in easy ghost hunting duties. Izzy must now go undercover as a normal teen to investigate the ghost activities in a local high school.

School Spirits is like all other Rachel Hawkin stories; ight, funny and certainly entertaining with strong and loveable characters. Izzy is the main character in School Spirits, she's defiant, sarcastic, witty, but she's also strong, respectful of her mother and despite the shell she portrays of strength, after all, she is one of the last standing Brannick woman, she also has feelings of vulnerability like most teens.

The whole researching method for seeing how "normal teens" lived was through watching teen reality drama on DVD, this was absolutely hilarious and I really liked the way that Hawkins interweaved it through Izzy's life, referencing it when relevant. Little things like this is what makes me like Hawkins books. Whilst many may not think this is a relevant point in the story, the originality of the method is what wins points for me.

I absolutely loved the PMS…yes you read right, the Paranormal Management Society. Consisting of Romy, Anderson and Dex, they're the official paranormal investigators at the school. Izzy originally joins their club to investigate the ghost sightings that the PMS was also investigating albeit unsuccessfully with their online-bought "ghost" machines and detectors. Oh my…I just fell in love with this foursome. The interactions and the friendships that bloomed from this group was sweet and genuine and I couldn't help but want to be part of their club, just for the friendship alone. The interaction, dialogue and chemistry between the foursome was definitely a huge highlight for School Spirits. School Spirits is more a character driven novel and whilst the plot had predictable elements, the ending still came as a surprise.

School Spirits is a light, enjoyable and entertaining read. All Rachel Hawkins fan won't be disappointed and whilst this is a spin-off the Hex Hall series, reading the latter series is not a pre-requisite.

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the Publishers free in exchange for an honest review. No monetary incentive was given for a positive review. 

Saturday 10 August 2013

Canary by Rachele Alpine Guest Post Tour {Giveaway}

Welcome to my tour stop for

Canary by Rachele Alpine

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Please welcome Author, Rachele Alpine to Paperback Princess as she tells us what her inspiration is for Canary.

About The Author

Rachele Alpine

Rachele Alpine is a lover of sushi, fake mustaches, and Michael Jackson. One of her first jobs was at a library, but it didn’t last long, because all she did was hide in the third-floor stacks and read. Now she’s a little more careful about when and where she indulges her reading habit. By day she’s a high school English teacher, and by night she writes with the companionship of the world’s cutest dog, Radley, a big cup of coffee, and a full bag of gummy peaches. Rachele lives with her husband in Cleveland, Ohio, but dreams of moving back to Boston, the city she fell in love with while attending graduate school there.  

The Inspiration for Canary

by Rachele Alpine 

CANARY grew from a project I did in college. It was for an education class, and we had to research a topic that high school students may face. I chose sexual assault. However, instead of presenting our information in a traditional research paper, we wrote multi-genre papers. These consisted of sharing our information through a mixture of poems, stories, and artwork. One of the poems I wrote really spoke to me, and I kept going back to it every once in awhile. 

Fast-forward to a few years later, and I became very aware of how our culture was athlete obsessed. Some major controversies involving both professional and college athletes were all over the news, and it got me thinking about the special privileges that athletes got. I began to think about this type of athlete worship in high school and what might happen if it went too far. The poem I had written in college still stuck with me, and I started to create a story around the piece and our celebrity-like treatment of athletes. CANARY was born out of these two ideas and the poem that first sparked everything is included in the book.

About The Book


by Rachele Alpine

Published: August 1, 2013
Publisher: Medallion Press
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Buy It Now: Book Depository | Amazon

Staying quiet will destroy her, but speaking up will destroy everyone.

Kate Franklin’s life changes for the better when her dad lands a job at Beacon Prep, an elite private school with one of the best basketball teams in the state. She begins to date a player on the team and quickly gets caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, learning that there are perks to being an athlete.

But those perks also come with a price. Another player takes his power too far and Kate is assaulted at a party. Although she knows she should speak out, her dad’s vehemently against it and so, like a canary sent into a mine to test toxicity levels and protect miners, Kate alone breathes the poisonous secrets to protect her dad and the team. The world that Kate was once welcomed into is now her worst enemy, and she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.

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