Friday, 27 February 2015

(ARC) Book Review (444): Better Than Perfect - Melissa Kantor

Better Than Perfect

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Better Than Perfect is a contemporary novel about a girl Juliet Newman who has what she believes is the perfect life, when her Dad ups and leaves her Mom isn't coping well at all, and life as she knew it is changing in ways she never expected.

Juliet and her boyfriend Jason both have their futures mapped out including attending Harvard together, but Juliet is coming to realise that all that she's strived so hard to achieve may not be what she really wants after all, especially after meeting Declan and his siblings who have their own band which Juliet ends up helping out with by singing lead vocals, the attraction is pretty hard to ignore and they both have a lapse of judgement a couple of times, I'm not a fan of reading books with cheating, especially when it's the main character, so as much as I would have liked Juliet and Declan as a couple I couldn't get over how wrong it was.

Better Than Perfect was an alright book for me, I absolutely adored Maybe One Day last year so I was really excited to receive an ARC of this book, but I was left disappointed it was a book that I wasn't really in a rush to get through and I was a bit underwhelmed.

I still want to read whatever else Melissa releases as I do enjoy her writing.

I give this 3.5/5 stars.

 I was born in New York City in 1970. And even though teachers never care about this, I'll give you my sign--Capricorn.
When I was in seventh grade, I told people I was going to be a writer. Then in college I got interested in other things, and after I graduated I started teaching, which I love. But ideas for stories kept popping into my head. One was an image of two girls walking down Montague Street (that’s the main drag in Brooklyn Heights) during their lunch period. They were best friends, only one of the girls was cooler and prettier and more successful with boys than the other one. They were talking about a party they’d been invited to, trying to decide if they wanted to go or not. Finally I decided I had to know what happened to them. Those girls became Jan and Rebecca, and their story is Confessions of a Not It Girl.

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

(ARC) Book Review (443): The Last Time We Say Goodbye - Cynthia Hand

The Last Time We Say Goodbye

Publication: 10th February 2015
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 400
Genre: Contemporary
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Buy It:  Amazon • Barnes & Noble
There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.
My Thoughts.
It's not very often that I read a book that has me in tears countless times throughout the story, I was so  emotionally invested that I lost count of the amount of times that I had to put the book down because it was just so sad and I couldn't stop the tears from falling without taking a break to calm down.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a devastatingly sad story, heartbreaking and hard to read without thinking about how you would handle it if it happened to you.

After her brother Ty kills himself, Lex is finding it hard to cope, she has broken up with her boyfriend and closed herself off from her friends, and just seems to be going through the motions, same as her Mom who isn't dealing with it at all, her therapist gets her to start writing her thoughts and feelings down, and it's through this that we see how much Lex is hurting, we also get to read about memories of Ty throughout his life, up to the day he ended it.

Even now that I've finished reading this book, just thinking about it has me tearing up, it made such an impact, the fact that we discover in the acknowledgements that Cynthia's own brother committed suicide when he was seventeen helps you to understand how she was able to make this story as devastating as it was from her own personal experience.

I love Cynthia's books, I'm a huge fan of her Unearthly series, and I was excited when I received a copy to review, I flew through it it's a beautifully written story that will stay with me for a long time to come.

You'll definitely need the tissues for this one,I can't praise this book enough.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Cynthia HandCynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of the Unearthly series with HarperTeen: UNEARTHLY, HALLOWED, RADIANT (an enovella) and BOUNDLESS. Currently she lives in southern California with her husband and two small children. She teaches courses in creative writing at Pepperdine University. Her next book, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, will be released in February 2015.

Monday, 23 February 2015

(ARC) Book Review (442): When Reason Breaks - Cindy L. Rodriguez

When Reason Breaks

Publication: 10th February 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's 
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown.

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls grappling with demons beyond their control.
My Thoughts.
When Reason Breaks is a heartbreaking novel about two girls who are each harboring feelings of pain and depression, but the face they show to the outside world is markedly different.

So much so for one girl who believes the only way to handle it is to end her life and put herself out of her misery, and this is how the book begins, we see a girl as she's lying close to death, will someone arrive in time or will it be too late?

What's interesting about this book is the way it's set up with the story going back in time leading up to the opening scene, we also never get told at the start who this girl is, but we know it's one of two girls, Emily a very smart student, the daughter of the town's council chairman who has to be on her best behaviour for her Father's public image and Elizabeth a goth girl with a serious attitude problem.

Throughout this story these two girls will connect, their lives will be changed and they may just get the help they need.

This was an amazing story, emotional and at times uplifting, featuring a sensitive subject that will get you thinking.

I really enjoyed Cindy's writing and I'll be sure to keep an eye out for whatever she releases next.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Cindy'Facebook Goodreads Twitter | Website |

Hi! I’m Cindy L. Rodriguez, the author of WHEN REASON BREAKS, a young adult novel that released 2/10/15 with Bloomsbury. I am represented by Laura Langlie. I teach middle school reading and college-level composition. I'm a big fan of the three Cs: coconut, coffee, and chocolate. I live in Connecticut with my daughter and rescue mutt.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

(ARC) Book Review (441): I Remember You - Cathleen Davitt Bell

I Remember You

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It's always great when I come across a book that tugs at the heart strings and makes such an emotional impact, that hours later I'm still thinking about it.

I really enjoy any story that has a past/future intertwining, when it's written so well like this book was, it also helps when the characters are extremely likeable and easy for the reader to connect to and hence you find yourself emotionally vested.

Lucas is a high school star hockey player, Juliet is a straight A student, so when Lucas admits to Juliet that he has memories of the two of them together Juliet thinks he has a few screws loose, but when events that he has described start to occur, Juliet comes to the realisation that he's telling the truth and that Lucas' future self is somehow sending memories to his seventeen year old past self.

I shed quite a few tears throughout this book, it's a sad story in a way.

I really liked Cathleen's writing and I hope to read her other published works at some point.

I adored this book and I can't praise it enough.

I give this 5/5 stars.

I was born in Princeton, NJ in 1971 and lived there until I was twelve, when we moved with my mom moved to West Hartford, CT.
My dad and mom had been divorced when I was two, and my dad lived in Williamstown, MA. I spent summers and school vacations with him.
I went to college in New York, at Barnard, and stayed in New York after I graduated. I worked as a newspaper reporter for three months, as a salesperson for a multimedia publisher for three years, and as a market researcher, and finally a copywriter.
I’m married and have two awesome kids ages two and five. I lived in Manhattan for sixteen years, but now am in Brooklyn, living downstairs from my sister and her family. I have two dogs named Oscar and Oprah. My favorite food is pizza and, strangely, in my thirties, I’ve developed a great love for playing catch. Slipping is my first book.

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Saturday, 21 February 2015

(ARC) Book Review (440): A Ghostly Undertaking (Ghostly Southern Mysteries #1) - Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Undertaking (Ghostly Southern Mysteries #1)

Publication: 24th February 2015
Publisher: Harper Collins/Witness Impulse
Pages: 288
Genre: Mystery
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It:  AmazonBarnes & Noble
A funeral, a ghost, a murder…it’s all in a day’s work for Emma Lee Raines…

Bopped on the head from a falling plastic Santa, local undertaker Emma Lee Raines is told she’s suffering from “funeral trauma.” It’s trauma all right, because the not so dearly departed keep talking to her. Take Ruthie Sue Payne--innkeeper, gossip queen, and arch-nemesis of Emma Lee’s granny—she’s adamant that she didn’t just fall down those stairs. She was pushed.

Ruthie has no idea who wanted her pushing up daisies. All she knows is that she can’t cross over until the matter is laid to eternal rest. In the land of the living, Emma Lee’s high-school crush, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, isn’t ready to rule out foul play. Granny Raines, the widow of Ruthie’s ex-husband and co-owner of the Sleepy Hollow Inn, is the prime suspect. Now Emma Lee is stuck playing detective or risk being haunted forever.
My Thoughts.
The first in an all new series, A Ghostly Undertaking is what I'd call a cozy mystery, a genre which I've been meaning to get around to reading at some point, and this book finally gave me the chance to and I really loved it.

The concept and synopsis is what drew me in initially, I loved the idea of murders being investigated by a funeral director and the ghost of the murder victim, Emma Lee has been different ever since she was hit on the head by a plastic Santa, now she can see the spirit of Ruthie Sue Payne the local town gossip who claims she was murdered, Emma Lee spends her spare time finding clues to the killer, all the while trying to prove her Granny who is the main suspect is innocent.

With a potential romance on the horizon with the local Sheriff, there is plenty to keep you entertained.

This book was so enjoyable to read, so enjoyable in fact that I read it in just one sitting, I just couldn't  seem to put it down, I look forward to continuing on with the next book and the series as a whole.

Tonya is a new author to me and I want to at some point read all the other books she's released.

I recommend this to anyone who loves a good mystery with a paranormal aspect.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Tonya has written over 15 novels and 4 novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor, and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, three teenage boys, two very spoiled schnauzers and one ex-stray cats in northern Kentucky and grew up in Nicholasville. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full time but can be found at all of her guys high school games with a pencil and paper in hand.
Become a member of Tonya’s STREET TEAM! It’s a gathering place of readers who love Tonya Kappes novels and Tonya gives away prizes! To sign up for Tonya’s STREET TEAM, newsletter, view book trailer, and upcoming news, check out Tonya’s website,

Friday, 20 February 2015

Feature And Follow Friday.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

 Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy.

This weeks Question:
Do you like fantasy or realistic books? via The Realm of Books

This is a hard one because I love them both, but if I had to choose I'd go with realistic books.

(ARC) Book Review (439): The Sin Eater's Daughter (The Sin Eater's Daughter #1) - Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater's Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1)

Publication: 24th February 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 320
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon Barnes & Noble
Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?
My Thoughts.
I had heard so many good things about this book, so when I received a copy for review I was extremely happy.

From the utterly gorgeous cover to the fantastic story within that will captivate and enchant you, this is one book you'll find hard to put down.

Twylla is the Daunon Embodied (executioner) of her kingdom, working for the Queen she kills the people charged with treason, but the reason why she is so feared is because she kills with just her touch, which means she leads a lonely existence with no friends and no one wanting to get too close to her just in case.

When she gains a new guard Leif, she finds herself attracted to him and he to her, but when Twylla's betrothed who happens to be the Prince comes back to the kingdom after a couple of years away, things you could say become complicated.

With deceit and betrayal around every corner, two big twists especially the one at the end of the book which will definitely shock you and leave you in disbelief, this story will get the adrenaline pumping.

I'm quite excited for the next book, I can't wait to see what happens next.

I give this 5/5 stars.

About Melinda:
Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian. The Sin Eater’s Daughter is her first novel, and will be published by Scholastic in 2015. She is represented by the amazing Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White.
She tweets. A lot.