Cover Reveal! Unchosen by Michele Vail

COVER REVEAL!
Today we are revealing the Cover for UNCHOSEN! The second book in The Reaper Diaries series from Michele Vail.

It comes to you in November so stay tuned!

What do you think?



Have you read Undeadly?

Let us know what you thought!

Enter to win 1 of 5 finished copies of WICKED KISS by Michelle Rowen





MY KISS CAN KILL.

I used to be ordinary Samantha Day, but that's changed. Now, after one dark kiss from a dangerous boy, I can steal someone's soul...or their life. If I give in to the constant hunger inside me, I hurt anyone I kiss. If I don't...I hurt myself.

Bishop is the one whose kiss I crave most, but if I kiss him, I'll kill him. Then there's another boy, one I can't hurt. One whose kiss seems to miraculously quell my hunger. They're both part of a team of angels and demons that's joined forces in my city to fight a mysterious rising darkness, an evil that threatens everyone I know and love. I just wonder if I'll be able to help Bishop-or if I'm just another part of the darkness he's sworn to destroy....


NIGHTWATCHERS

When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising... 


Clockwork Princess First Chapter Reveal



Those wonderful people at Simon & Schuster have released the first chapter!

Synopsis of Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Princess

Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it? The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.
Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy



Latest Blogs from our Favourite YA Authors - 27th February 2013




Here's a round up of blogs from our favourite YA authors:
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Is there an author you'd like to see updates from?
Just let us know and we'll add them to our list!
-CB xx

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead


Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead 

Publishers: Razorbill
Published Date:  August 23rd 2011
From: Bought
My rating:
4 out of 5
Synopsis:
Blood doesn't lie...

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway.

But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California.

But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning..
Review:
It took me a few times to get into this book. It's been on my ´to-read' since it came out. Mostly because I wasn't that interested in the Alchemists when they featured in the Vampire Academy series. Sydney Sage was an interesting character in the story but I didn't think she had the charisma to pull off a spin-off series.

Well, I'm happy to say I was wrong. But if you're looking for something that equals Vampire Academy then this isn't it. It doesn't really compare with the series nor hold the intensity of life at Court with Lissa and Rose, and the wheelings and dealings of dhamphirs and moroi. Part of what kept most people addicted to VA was the fiery relationship between Rose Hathaway and Dimitri Belikov and how their love story pans out.

Bloodlines isn't a love story. Sydney Sage becomes more of a detective and caretaker unravelling the secrets of her new life in Palm Springs. What makes this book compelling are the other characters that have been brought over to this series. Eddie, Jill and of course the wonderful Adrian, and if you haven't read Adrians Lost Chapter then read it here!

Back to Bloodlines, after the happenings of Last Sacrifice, Jill, Sydney, Eddie and Adrian are all moved to Palm Springs. Jill needs her education and also needs to stay hidden from the political world of the moroi. She's the only other Dragomir and Lissa's throne depends on her being alive. New characters come into play. Jill starts dating. Sydney wants to keep her Alchemist head on but things start spiralling out of control when moroi girls start dying. Plus a new tattooist in town is giving tattoos to the rich kids who can pay, and the tattoos are spelled to give extra abilities be it strength, speed or popularity. Enter Sydney and her Alchemist knowledge, and Adrian, who has nothing to do all day. Together they start to figure out that something more sinister is at work in Palm Springs and it needs to be stopped.

The ending leads into a interesting cliffhanger that made me immediately want to grab Book 2, The Golden Lily.

Overall, this spin-off has an interesting premise and I was surprised at how much I really liked Sydney. And there is a certain chemistry going on with her and Adrian that will, I'm sure, develop into more. A good start to the series, now lets see if The Golden Lily can hold its own as the sequel!


-CB x



You can reach Richelle Mead here:

Review: Silver (Bandia, #1) by Talia Vance


Silver (Bandia #1) by Talia Vance  

Publishers: Flux Books
Published Date: September 8th 2012
From: NetGalley
My rating:
3.5 out of 5
Synopsis:
"As I step into the room, a silver flash blurs my vision. Before I can take a breath, the world falls away."

Brianna has always felt invisible. People stare right past her, including the one boy she can't resist, Blake Williams. But everything changes at a house party where Brianna's charm bracelet slips off and time stands still. In that one frozen, silver moment, Blake not only sees her, he recognizes something deep inside her she's been hiding even from herself.

Discovering she is descended from Danu, the legendary Bandia of Celtic myth, Brianna finds herself questioning the truth of who she is. And when she accidentally binds her soul to Blake, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable.

But Blake has his own secret, one that could prove deadly for them both.

Bound together by forbidden magic, Brianna and Blake find themselves at the heart of an ancient feud that threatens to destroy their lives and their love.
Review:
I loved the Irish folklore, and the lore of the Milesians, Danu and Killian. The Seventh Sons and Daughters are now out to kill each other and our heroine Brianna is a Seventh daughter, but has a past that is unknown to her apart from stories her Nana told when she was younger.

The characters were great and the story easily weaved them in and out with perfect pace. There's a lot of drama and tension but mostly between Brianna, Blake and Austin (yes, there's a triangle!)

What I wasn't keen on was the heavy narrative between each piece of dialogue. Sometimes I had to skip it to get to the next bit. Sometimes I thought the story lacked depth. But overall it's a good yarn brought into modern day. If you're a fan of books with folklore and history then this is for you!


-CB x




You can reach Talia Vance here:
 

Review: The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark #1) by Shana Abé


The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark #1) by Shana Abé  

Publishers: Random House Publishing Group
Published Date: April 2nd 2013
From: NetGalley
My rating:
3 out of 5
Synopsis:
“With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.”
 
Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.

England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.

Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.
Review:
The first thing I should mention about this book is that its beautifully written. Sometimes I thought the prose was a little over the top, and could have been simplified. But the author does a wonderful job of creating the backdrop for the story, and creating atmosphere.

So to the story. This is a paranormal romance. I haven't come across such a strange mix of creatures before. For our benefit we're weaved into a mythical story of a Drákon girl and a boy who came from the stars. A tad unusual but it did have a refreshed feel to it as I had no preconceptions of characters who could turn animated objects to gold.

There is a love triangle of sorts which again has a little twist in it. The story is told from three angles (four if you count the letters from the mysterious Rue). Overall the love aspect isn't one of indecision. Lora made up her mind from the beginning of who she liked and stuck with it.

The story begins in London at an orphanage, then takes us to Wessex where the rest of the plot unfolds. A prestigious boarding school becomes Lora's home complete with hostile girls and a rich family living nearby. But an unusual alliance is formed when Lora becomes the object of the coveted Armand's affections. His girl in waiting, Chloe, is the step-sister of Lady Sophia. And although Sophia appeared to dislike Lora she soon came to her senses to do anything to spite her sister. In return Lora makes an ally although she never does become any more popular due to her poor background.

The main backdrop of the story is WW1. The main reason Lora goes to Wessex in the first place is to escape the bombings by the German Zeppelins. The war is ever apparent throughout the story and becomes the spin in the final chapters.

The reason I've given this book a lower rating is that there is little tension from the middle towards the ending. No evil enemy to capture or kill, no threats on Loras or Jesse's lives because of discovery of their secret. In fact it all falls a little flat. We also, despite an initial search, never find out how the Drákon characters are related whether through cousins, second cousins, maybe a possible sister. It gets completely forgotten. I half expected some distant relation to pop up and claim Lora for his long lost child, but we got nothing. And the story of Rue all seems pointless as it now bears no meaning to the main story. Except in a possible sequel. At times Jesse's dialogue annoyed me and became too abstract to hold any meaning but I understand that was probably more to allure Lora.

Overall I did like this book and I certainly recommend it. But once I got to the last pages I couldn't help feeling a little underwhelmed.


-CB x





You can reach Shana Abé here:
 
Available from Amazon:

    

Latest Blogs from our Favourite YA Authors - 13th February 2013




Here's a round up of blogs from our favourite YA authors:
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Is there an author you'd like to see updates from?
Just let us know and we'll add them to our list!
-CB xx

Review: Geek Girl by Holly Smale





Geek Girl by Holly Smale  

Publishers: HarperCollins
Published Date:  February 28th 2013
From: NetGalley
My rating:
4 out of 5
Synopsis:
Harriet Manners knows a lot of things. She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a "jiffy" lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn't quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much.

So when she's spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend's dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn't seem to like her any more than the real world did. And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?
Review:

It's so refreshing to read a simple story about a Brit girl. Not too many twists and turns. No overly-exaggerated situations. Just a turn of events that change a girls life forever.

Harriet Manners is our heroine. A little under confident, and a whole lot stressed. But the story of Geek Girl is very simple and I enjoyed her journey from a caterpillar into a butterfly immensely. In very simple ways she learns about gaining her confidence, that it must all come from within. And while she's under the impression everyone hates her, she must learn to put all that aside and not really care what others think. She is who she is and she's a bright, remarkably talented young girl.

The author did a great job with the writing. The pace is quick. The prose is witty, quick and had me laughing. I loved the catwalk disaster, and had a strange respect for Yuka Ito!

Overall, this book will be a hit. I hope it does well worldwide too.


-CB x




You can reach Holly Smale here:
 

Available from Amazon:

    

Review: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth


Struck by Jennifer Bosworth 

Publishers: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Published Date:  May 8th 2012
From: NetGalley
My rating:
2 out of 5
Synopsis:
Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.
Review:

Very disappointed with this one. I was expecting something and read something else entirely. I even had this one as my Waiting on Wednesday last year.

Firstly the main character, Mia, is a lightening addict. In the prologue she introduces us to what happens when she gets struck. She feels the pain, she loses her skin but she heals really quickly. After a horrendous earthquake leaves Los Angeles in ruins, Mia and her family are coping, but barely. At school, she's introduced to the Seekers, an alternative dark version of the white Followers who are led by a self proclaimed Prophet. The two cults face off through most of the book, both trying to get Mia to join them. Both sides know she is a lightening addict, in fact no one else has the skill that she's developed. She's crucial for some final plan.

I didn't expect this book to be mostly about cults, and with the Followers there's so much God talk and a little too much bible quoting. It wasn't until about 85% into the story that Mia actually got her first lightening strike. She has some pretty strong powers but she didn't use them at all until the end.

The love interest, Jeremy, was a dead giveaway. I guessed who he was. When he gives Mia his visions, and then tells her that the outcome isn't definite then why didn't she step up and deal with the Prophet before anything bad happened?

Overall, the writing is very good. The imagery is impressive. I just expected a little more lightening and drama.


-CB x

You can reach Jennifer Bosworth here: 

Review: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) by Leigh Bardugo


Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo  

Publishers: Macmillan Children's Publishing Group
Published Date: June 5th 2012
From: NetGalley
My rating:
4 out of 5
Synopsis:
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.
Review: In the fantasy land of Ravka, that is reminiscent of Old Russia, Alina and her childhood friend Mal are in the army. Alina has found being a mapmaker one of the few things she can do because she enjoys drawing. Mal is good as a tracker. When they were 8 years old they were tested for possible Grisha skills (magic) but both were found to have nothing of value.

But when their lives are threatened crossing the infamous 'Fold' (a swathe of darkness that hampers the land) Alina's power shines out like the sun and pushes the enemy away. From that moment her life changes beyond all measure.

This is a wonderful story, written with such super precision. The world building is easy to understand and no aspect of Alina's adventure drags on for chapter after chapter. The pace is steady and the conclusion is reached with wonderful tension building and leaves us wondering what will happen next.

Alina is a plucky, courageous character, and although I had doubts about Mal in the beginning, he did show his true colours towards the end. The Darkling was charming and came over altogether as a misunderstood leader who wanted the best for his kingdom. But his dark intentions come true near the end. In a way I was sorry it turned that way because I think the pairing of the Darkling and a Sun Summoner (Alina) would have been an interesting twist. I think in the end, when we get the next book, only Alina can save him from himself.

Altogether a great read that will keep you on the edge of your toes!!


-CB x


You can reach Leigh Bardugo here: