Saturday, September 13, 2014

Review: Remember When (Remember Trilogy #1) by T. Torrest

Published on: January 1st 2013
My Rating: 4 out of 5
From: Net Galley



Years before Trip Wiley could be seen on movie screens all over the world, he could be seen sitting in the desk behind me in my high school English class.

This was back in 1990, and I cite the year only to avoid dumbfounding you when references to big hair or stretch pants are mentioned. Although, come to think of it, I am from New Jersey, which may serve as explanation enough. We were teenagers then, way back in a time before anyone could even dream he’d turn into the Hollywood commodity that he is today.

In case you live under a rock and don't know who Trip Wiley is, just know that these days, he’s the actor found at the top of every casting director’s wish list. He’s incredibly talented and insanely gorgeous, the combination of which has made him very rich, very famous and very desirable.

And not just to casting directors, either.

I can’t confirm any of the gossip from his early years out in Tinseltown, but based on what I knew of his life before he was famous, I can tell you that the idea of Girls-Throwing-Themselves-At-Trip is not a new concept.

I should know. I was one of them.

And my life hasn’t been the same since.


There's something very refreshing about reading a book set in the '90's. If you think about it, it isn't that long ago but boy, how little things have changed. No mobile phones, no internet, no IM's. Talking to someone means you use a landline phone or speak to them in person. And to get to know someone you actually have to have a conversation with no stalking their fb page or following them n twitter.

The '90's wasn't the greatest era for fashion either. Banana clips, MC Hammer trousers and big hair are mentioned among the plethora of memories forgotten.

Layla Warren has lived her whole life in the same area of New Jersey. Most of the kids from school have known her since kindergarten. Known her or know of her. Everyone knows her mother left the family home when she was 12. Everyone hears the stories that followed as to why she left. Layla was left with the knowledge that her mother just didn't love her enough to stay with her, her brother, Bruce and definitely not her father. But the family survived and got on with life.

Excitement spills around the school, especially among the girls when new boy, Trip Wilmington arrives. A kid whose moved around a lot thanks to his fathers hotel business, Layla is excited when she finds out Trip won't be moving away again. He's enticing, incredibly gorgeous and they forge a small but tangible connection on his first day.

For the next few weeks and months Layla and Trip grow together as friends even though Layla may have stronger feelings for him. she's not stupid. He got a girlfriend soon after arriving. Someone who's equally tall, gorgeous and rocks an awesome body, just like Trip. Beautiful people come together like magnets in Layla's eyes and there's no way she can compete so she settles for being friends. But Trip gives out signals that confuse her.

When her friend Lisa finally puts perspective to Layla's apparently transparent crush, Layla decides enough is enough. She's done with being the puppy following something she can't have. And so Trip and Layla fall out. And remember, this is the 90's. They can't make up unless they actually make the effort.

So was Layla right in her thinking that Trip just saw her as a conquest, someone to keep on her toes and ensure she still follows him? Does Trip really think Layla is worth breaking down the barriers to attempt a relationship? Time is running out as graduation and college dreams loom.

And no one and nothing will ever be the same again.

The first book in the Remember Trilogy is an engrossing trip down memory lane of the Senior year variety. Based mainly at school the story brings to light all the emotions, ego's, and reminds us how important it was to be a senior and fall in love with the one guy that everyone else wants.

The romance between Trip and Layla will keep you reading, no matter the time of day or night, wanting to know more. 



You can reach T. Torrest  here:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Review: Uninvited (Uninvited #1) by Sophie Jordan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature.



What's to say about Uninvited? Well, it's a book of two halves. The first half is Davy and her perfect life and how everyone shuns her on hearing the news of her HTS detection. This half tends to be very high school drama-ish, woe is me type of angle. The second half gets very Divergent/Hunger Games-esque. Davy accepts she's a Carrier and has no choice in life any more. The book does end on a cliffhanger also.

Points I liked. Sean was a cool love interest. However he did come over as the stereotypical bad boy. Tattooes, dangerous, capable with his fists. He did annoy me with his constant "I can't always be there to save you, Davy." It would have been cool if he'd taken her into the gym and trained with her therefore proving to him that she could be capable.

I liked Gil. I hope he has a bigger part in the next book. He was the first carrier person who was nice to her and Davy dropped him like a stone to pay more attention to Sean.

But! I did like the softly, softly approach to the romance. Not full on heavy petting but taking it very slowly and calmly.

The writing is very good, the plot is well paced and the story line is good enough. But it could have been better and would have come across better had it not included lots of clich├ęs from typical YA novels.

What I didn't like. The 'kill gene' they're all talking about could have been expanded and verified to us better. I'm still really not sure how this gene came to being discovered. I mean, after thousands of years of civilisation this society think they can end crime and murder because of this one gene?

I also didn't like Davy been too clean and proper to begin with. I would have liked her to at least have one flaw to her porcelain perfect perception.

I thought the whole camp idea was off and a little naff, but that's just me! A little more world building could have been included also.

On the whole though, a book very readable and unputdownable :)


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review: The Offering (The Pledge #3) by Kimberly Derting

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Published December 31st 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry Books


True love—and world war—is at stake in the conclusion to The Pledge trilogy, a dark and romantic blend of dystopia and fantasy.
Charlie, otherwise known as Queen Charlaina of Ludania, has become comfortable as a leader and a ruler. She’s done admirable work to restore Ludania’s broken communications systems with other Queendoms, and she’s mastered the art of ignoring Sabara, the evil former queen whose Essence is alive within Charlie. Or so she thinks.

When the negotiation of a peace agreement with the Queendom of Astonia goes awry, Charlie receives a brutal message that threatens Ludania, and it seems her only option is to sacrifice herself in exchange for Ludanian freedom.

But things aren’t always as they seem. Charlie is walking into a trap—one set by Sabara, who is determined to reclaim the Queendoms at any cost.


It's always sad to reach the end of a great series with wonderful characters. I almost feel like I'm saying goodbye to them. The exceptional writing and story shows what a gifted writer Derting is. Of the three books this one is the weakest. It holds such character development and most of them come out better than before. Sadly Charlie didn't live up to my estimation but that is only because she's still a new queen and understanding what exactly that title means. POV's are from nearly all the characters with Charlie's still being the only 1st person.

While the last two based themselves on saving people or the city, this one is to save Charlie's country of Ludania. From the outset we're launched into the adventure and its sad news in the beginning for Max and Charlie when they receive an unexpected message and gift. From here on in, Charlie is focused on one thing and that's to free Max's brother from Astonia. I applauded her dedication to her friend.

Great advancements in technology are slowly bringing Ludania into the new century. This was a nice twist in an otherwise odd-medieval-modern dystopian land.

Insight into Eden's past when we meet her little brother. There's definitely a feeling of foreboding when the girls reach the workcamps. Charlie realises how hard life really was for the unwanted kids.

At last, Charlie finds a way of getting rid of Sabara.

After Charlie becomes Queen and builds into her role from The Essence, she slips up in this installment. I didn't like the way she thought she could singlehandedly take on Elena. Especially after receiving the message and the parting gift. Other characters including Max built Charlie up to be selfless, determined and brave. But when she takes Eden and Brook on her secret mission she only shows how selfish she's being. Not only does she leave her family vulnerable but also her country.

Not so many twists and turns in this one. The episode with Deirdre seemed almost as a filler.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: The Essence (The Pledge #2) by Kimberly Derting

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published: January 1st 2013 by Margaret K. McElderry


At the luminous conclusion of The Pledge, Charlaina defeated the tyrant Sabara and took her place as Queen of Ludania. But Charlie knows that Sabara has not disappeared: The evil queen’s Essence is fused to Charlie’s psyche, ready to arise at the first sign of weakness.

Charlie is not weak, but she’s being pushed to the brink. In addition to suppressing the ever-present influence of Sabara, she’s busy being queen—and battling a growing resistance determined to return Ludania to its discriminatory caste system. Charlie wants to be the same girl Max loves, who Brook trusts, but she’s Your Majesty now, and she feels torn in two.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages will be the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within


The Essence is every bit as good as The Pledge, if not better. This sequel focuses more on Charlie, or Queen Charlaina as she now is, and her role as ruler of a kingdom. We get inside the heads of more key characters. This is a story of love, espionage, mystery and a little murder too.

Charlie, Brook, Aron, and Max all have POV's in this one although Charlie is the only 1st person. And there's romance and lots of it! *swoon!*

Rather than base the book around keeping Angelina safe, as the Pledge was, the Essence delves into the history behind Sabara and her Essence which now lives inside Charlie. Sometimes this is spooky, sometimes I wondered how Charlie was still sane. She's a tough girl.

Max *swoon!* and Charlie! As a couple they really come out of the pages with this wonderful love affair. There may be a few hiccups on the way, it isn't all plain sailing by any means, but they really do have a beautiful love.

Lots of mystery, a kidnapping, a mysterious assassin, Florence (who's a man), Avonlea who is named by Charlie, and the Scablands. Many new characters to get your teeth into to love or detest. A great backdrop of dystopian nastiness.

The Queens! Got to love them. All so quirky but full of character and frivolity!

Not really much to Con about. Maybe wish it was longer?

Note: The ending all pulls to the next book. Not so much of a cliffhanger, more of a 'and in the next episode...'

View all my Goodreads reviews here

CB Note to readers: This is a new type of review I'm starting aimed to get to the point and exclude waffle. Points are easier to read. If you prefer this than the usual review please let me know!

Monday, March 31, 2014

ARC Review: The Dark World (Dark World #1) by Cara Lynn Shultz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Expected publication: May 27th 2014 by Harlequin Teen


Paige Kelly is used to weird--in fact, she probably corners the market on weird, considering that her best friend, Dottie, has been dead since the 1950s. But when a fire demon attacks Paige in detention, she has to admit that things have gotten out of her league. 

Luckily, the cute new boy in school, Logan Bradley, is a practiced demon slayer-and he isn't fazed by Paige's propensity to chat with the dead. Suddenly, Paige is smack in the middle of a centuries-old battle between warlocks and demons, learning to fight with a magic sword so that she can defend herself. And if she makes one wrong move, she'll be pulled into the Dark World, an alternate version of our world that's overrun by demons-and she might never make it home



Paige sees ghosts. A side affect from a car accident three years ago. She is also the school Pariah and considered a loon and unstable by her school mates who often see her talking to herself. Her best friend is Dottie, a girl who died in the '50's and occupies the 3rd floor bathroom at school.

Logan is the school emo boy who keeps to himself. He only ever talks to Paige when he's asking to borrow a pen.

One day something drastic happens and their worlds collide.

This is a story about Demons and Warlocks.

There is a parallel universe with theirs called Dark World (theirs is Light World to the non-ordinary people)

This book is a character driven romance book which gets very deep and emotional at times, but action packed fighting scenes remind you of the bigger picture.


Paige and Logan are young but their romance isn't forced or 'insta'. Their coming together happens naturally over time. Paige is an amazing character, full of quirks and flaws but a naturally honest person.

Paige has a great relationship with her overbearing parents. Even though they almost keep her swaddled in a safety blanket, Paige is very understanding why they do this.

Logan! Much of this book is dialogue between Logan and Paige. A lot of this book is about fighting demons which Logan does very well. He is a 'dreamboat! (a Dottie-ism)'.

Little twists and turns with the characters i.e. if Dottie isn't nearby Paige and Logan know a demon must be in the vicinity. Very clever author work.


While reading, it's very easy to make comparisons with other demon/warlock/paranormal books.

Parts of the book are slow although the action makes up for it.

Disappointed with the introduction of Ajax and Rego. I almost put the book down fearing a love triangle. Happily it wasn't so. However I was disappointed with the drabness of Rego. I was expecting a little more fire or oomph from him.

This isn't a book packed with descriptions. Sometimes the world building could have done with elaboration.

Note: There is a cliffhanger for the next book.

View all my Goodread reviews

CB Note to readers: This is a new type of review I'm starting aimed to get to the point and exclude waffle. Points are easier to read. If you prefer this than the usual review please let me know!

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