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All posts for the month October, 2013

3.5 stars to Ever by Jessa Russo

Published October 29, 2013 by katheryn13

 

Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he’s completely oblivious.

Of course, it doesn’t help that he’s dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.

Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.

Some girls lose their hearts to love.

Some girls lose their minds.

Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.

 

Review:

Ever, your average home-schooled teenager, has a secret and that secret is her best friend Frankie. Frankie died two years ago in a car crash yet he never left. Living in Ever’s house, Frankie’s ghost is a daily reminder that she can never truly have the kind of relationship she wants with her best friend because he’s, well, dead.

Sick of being head over heels in love with her dead best friend, Ever finally shows interest in another guy when a mysterious, handsome stranger moves into the house next door. Toby, the handsome and mysterious stranger, meets and Ever and BAM! Fireworks. Despite the guilt Ever harbours about trying to move on from Frankie, her and Toby hit it off from the get-go.

Excited and dizzy with new love, Ever is willing to overlook Toby’s vagueness of what it is his family does but when Toby’s psychotic bitch of an ex-girlfriend, Ariadne, comes into town determined to do anything to get her man back, all the secrets come to light.
Toby is a soul collector:  a guide who transports lost and stubborn souls into the afterlife. After finding out that Toby used Ever to get close to Frankie, can Ever forgive him? Even if he did really fall in love with her in the process?
Ever is the first book in a trilogy and the ending sets up for the second book very well. The tone, despite the depressing themes of grief and death, was rather light thanks to Ever’s (living) best friend Jessie who was not only the comic relief but also a well rounded character with an interesting sub-plot of her own.
There were enough sub-plots and plot twists to give the reader a break from the heaviness of Ever’s main internal conflict over her feelings towards Toby and Frankie which would have otherwise been tiresome. I think the writer did a good job in finding the balance.
It was a quick, light read and so I would recommend this to anyone in a reading slump looking for something simple and different.
Sophie

4.5 stars to The Liberator (Dante Walker #2) by Victoria Scott

Published October 27, 2013 by katheryn13

Bad boy, meet bad girl.

Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn’t like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.

With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

Will contain spoilers from The Collector.

Review:

Dante’s life – or rather, after life? what do you call someone who’s technically dead but walks the earth? undead? – has been one wild ride lately. Going from a Collector to a Liberator. He’s become closer to Charlie, and has his best friend at his side, Max. Despite Max batting for the other side. Yes, he’s on the side of Hell.

Red, also known as Valery, became a bigger part in this book. And I have to say she grew on me. Then you have Annabelle, who is just as feisty. There are other characters too, and a few characters who  may or may not be old ones.

I won’t say.

Then there’s Aspen. Now, I can’t say I warmed to her quite as well as I’d hoped. And her and Dante’s relationship, however platonic, was confusing for me at first.

There’s plenty of action, tension and romance throughout. But I just felt like there was something small, something I can’t put my finger on, that’s missing, and that’s why I can’t rate this 5 stars. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this. But maybe it’s just me.

I think a part of it might be that Charlie gradually got on my nerves with her attitude that she won’t let anyone do anything for her, mostly when it comes to protecting her. The same for Aspen. I don’t understand their lack of self preservation. Anyway, that was the same with Aspen. The fact that Dante and the others were wanting to protect Charlie and Aspen but the girls were basically wanting to throw themselves into danger instead, just made me like “what? you want to die instead?” >_< Oh well.

If you loved The Collector, you’re bound to love this. Despite my umming and ahhing about stuff, I can’t fault Victoria Scotts ability to suck the reader in and describing something so…intense. Hell was completely unique in that sense. I just…in a weird way, wanted to go there? I know. Sick. But it sounds so intriguing. There are few surprises and a good ending, preparing to make way for The Warrior which is out next year. So yes, go read.

Kat

4.5 stars to Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Published October 17, 2013 by katheryn13

Cas Lowood, armed with his late father’s athame knife, kills ghosts. In Thunder Bay, Anna, forever 16, drips blood on her white dress from throat slit in 1958, and rips apart anyone who enters her house – except Cas. He makes new friends – high school queen Carmel, jock Will, admiring nerd Thomas and Tom’s voodoo grandpa Morfran – to fight this demon.

 

 

 

Review:

This was an interesting story about a guy ghost hunter and Anna, a girl who was murdered 50 years ago, by whom, well, we don’t know. (Okay, so I do. But I’m not telling.)

I liked the fact it wasn’t all glossy and it didn’t shy away from gory detail. But I also didn’t find it scary or nightmarish. I just enjoyed it for what it was. At times my toes curled as Cas described what he’d had to deal with in his line of hunting, and killing.

The plot moved along fairly nicely, not too fast that I felt like I was on a runway about to crash,  but also not too slow. I found myself excited to meet Anna, and when she was introduced, I instantly loved her. She’s feisty, haunted, freaky…just well, a psycho ghost, to be honest. I did find it strange that Cas (short for Cassio) felt an instant connection. But I guess to him he was fascinated, intrigued as to how she became that way and how he could fix her. But, I mean, she’s dead. There’s not much in the way of ‘fixing’ you can do.

Cas had a solemn but quirky personality and liked to work on his own. I felt attached to him. So when other people started to get in his business, or wanted to join him, I wished I could swat them away. I could understand why he didn’t want to be responsible for anyone but himself. It means if anyone got hurt, it would be himself, and he wouldn’t have to deal with the guilt than if it was someone else. But people did get hurt. Well, killed. It wasn’t such a tragedy though, since they were people I didn’t like.

Aside from that, Carmel was a nice enough girl, although rich and bitchy at times, she really wasn’t the epitome of the queen B of high school. She grew on me. But Thomas didn’t. Cas might have softened towards him, but not me. And I found myself wanting him to leave. Ugh. Some characters just don’t get the hint!

I liked the whole witchcraft and voodoo involvement and it added some extra spark to what the main story is about. Although some aspects maybe got on my nerves a bit, I over all enjoyed this and can’t wait to try out Girl of Nightmares.

:)

 

Kat

5 stars to I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Published October 10, 2013 by katheryn13

I’ve lost it. :( 

The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. 

Stay positive!! :)

A couple of glasses of bubbly with the girls and Poppy’s life has gone into meltdown. Not only has she lost her engagement ring, but in the panic that followed, she’s lost her phone too. When she spots an abandoned phone in a bin it seems it was meant to be.Finders Keepers!

Except the phone’s owner, elusive businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back, and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life. Can things get any more tangled?

 

Review:

“Please stand by while the reviewer cries her heart out” Okay so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but OH MY GOD.

Someone could have warned me how much I’d turn to mush after reading this!

I’ve not read Sophie Kinsella books for years, and man, have I missed them?! They’re always so quirky and easy to read, and generally make you want to laugh and awwwwww at the same time.

I fell in love with this book. I’ve Got Your Number is one of those books that’s hip enough for the modern generation, but also wistful and romantic for older folk (although I’m not that old so yeah…). The text messages in this…whose idea was that? It was genius, romantic, funny, sweet. I just….*melts*

Poppy Wyatt is what I would call a fairly common example of the average woman. She’s strong but also has her issues, she’s clumsy, she’s logical, she’s funny, and she’s nice. I mean okay so maybe not a COMMON example. I’m not quite as stupid as she was when she would send off certain emails and then shit hits the fan. Hahaha. I swear, I wish I could have been there to tell her, “NO! STOP IT, POPPY!”

Sam Roxton. WHAT can I say? He started off as a moody, uptight businessman. And he turned out to be one hell of a guy. Dare I say it? Poppy + Sam = OTP! (OKAY cheesiness out of the way. ooh I rhymed.)

I love these books where you, the reader, can feel the connection between two characters BEFORE the characters, themselves, do. It’s like you’re having a birds eye view of this extraordinary encounter and they have no clue what’s about to happen. Literally, NO clue. And at the same time, it was like watching a tv show, or movie. So…clear in my head of who these people were, and what was happening.

There were a lot of adult-y subjects (weddings, political matters, cheating scandals, etc etc) but at the same time, it didn’t seem to take away the fact this is a fun, romantic story about two people, completely different in personalities and lifestyles, who find themselves thrown together through the most ridiculous of situations possible. Who throws a nice phone in a BIN?!  *note to self: cherish phone forever. It may one day hop, skip, and leave you.*

I can’t say much more than that I really really really REALLY loved this book. Sure, certain characters (Willow. Lucinda. And at times, Magnus.) got on my bloody nerves, but that was part of the point. All of the other characters had their own intricate ways of being important, and that’s what I like. Not just standbys that don’t really say anything.

But can I just point out: THE ENDING! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! (no spoilers, though.) I slapped my legs so hard, I’m pretty sure I left hand prints on them. >_<

I don’t know why I left so long to read this, but I am so damned glad I read it and I must, MUST read the other books of Sophie’s I have lying around. This is the kind of Adult Contemporary that is just right for me. No explicit sex, no unnecessary swearing (although there is SOME so be warned if you’re sensitive to bad language) just modern fun, typical girl behaviour, and romance that’ll have you hugging the book (well, I did.) and curling into a ball because you wish that had happened to you. Just saying.

Kat

 

 

 

TWO great cover reveals! A Sara Hantz special!!

Published October 10, 2013 by katheryn13

We at Booknerds are very very pleased to announce two very special cover reveals by the lovely Sara Hantz.

I’m sure you’re all dying to know what these reveals LOOK like, so without further ado…

First up is :

In the Blood

In the Blood releases November 5

For seventeen years Jed Franklin’s life was normal. Then his father was charged with the abuse and murder of four young boys and normal became a nightmare.

His mom’s practically a walking zombie, he’s lost most of his friends, and the press camps out on his lawn. The only things that keep him sane are his little sis; his best friend and dream girl, Summer; and the alcohol he stashes in his room. But after Jed wakes up from a total blackout to discover a local kid has gone missing—a kid he was last seen talking to—he’s forced to face his greatest fear: that he could somehow be responsible.

In a life that’s spiraled out of control, Jed must decide if he chooses his own destiny with Summer by his side or if the violent urges that plagued his father are truly in the blood…

Excerpt

Chapter One

Pedophile: Noun

An adult who is sexually attracted to children.

Scum.

Sleazeball.

Creep.

Loser.

Lowlife.

Asswipe.

Dad.

Chapter Two

Benjamin Franklin. My Dad.

Not that Benjamin Franklin.

That Benjamin Franklin.

Pedophile and murderer.

Freaked out?

Did you even know a bastard like that could lead a regular life?

With a wife and two children. A son and a daughter. No, nor did we. Until it was too late.

Too fucking late.

The numbing shock when he was arrested. The disbelief. The conviction that the police had gotten it wrong. Way wrong. Even in the face of damning evidence, we knew that the truth would come out. That the evidence got switched. That there was a cover up, or something.

Something.

Then the police found locks of hair belonging to each of those dead boys, so well hidden in the little trinket box my dad’s mom gave him on her deathbed.

Then we knew. Really knew.

And that’s when our lives changed.

Forever.

Add In the Blood to your Goodreads shelf.

Up next is:

Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up?

Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? releases May 6, 2014.

Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the centre of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.

Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi’s completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.

But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?

Excerpt

“Abi, for God’s sake, concentrate,” Zak shouts. “Fairies don’t look like elephants when they fly. Legs together, arms graceful, and glide. Please.”

My cheeks are crimson and I want to die. I know he’s the director and has the right to holler, but doesn’t he understand that the louder he is the worse I am? We must have gone over this move fifty times and I still can’t get it. And I know, without even looking, the other guys have lost it with me. It’s easy for them but I’m a kick-boxer, not a freakin’ acrobat.

And now Zak’s saying something to one of the crew. Let’s all guess what it is: get rid of the silly girl. We couldn’t get anyone more incompetent if we tried. In fact a monkey could do better.

Well, he’s right, a monkey could do better. Then again, a monkey wouldn’t need to wear a harness that cuts badly into its thighs so it can fly across the room. We’re doing wire work, the one thing I was looking forward to. Ha. What a laugh that is.

At least we’re not filming yet. This is just the rehearsal or, as they say, ‘prepping’. We’re in one of the studios that’s full of equipment with pulleys and wires. I’ve no idea how it all works, except that it keeps me up in the air. I thought we’d be doing this outside but it seems they film wire work stuff indoors against a big screen, and then edit to make it look like it’s outside by dropping in a background. As Mom would say: “the wonders of modern science”.

What I’m doing is really basic stuff, nothing like the things they did on the Matrix. Which it wouldn’t be, obviously. I remember reading that those actors had months and months of kung fu training even though most of the stunts were done by stunt men.

Right. This is it. I’m going to really concentrate. I will not be beaten. I can do this. It’s not hard.

I’m a graceful fairy, 

I’m a graceful fairy, 

I’m a graceful fairy. 

“Ready,” I call, for the first time feeling confident of success.

The technician holds up his thumb so I know we’re about to go. I take a deep breath, point my toes, bring my legs together and hold out my arms at a forty-five degree angle. So far, so good. I swallow hard as I begin to move.

Yay, I’m doing it. I’m actually doing it. Please let Zak say it’s ok. 

“Hu-fucking-ray,” booms Zak’s voice. “At last, she’s got it.”

I’ve done it. I’ve actually done it. I can do wirework. And even Zak’s sarcastic tone can’t spoil it.

A loud crash, sounding like someone slamming the door, gives me a start and I jerk backwards. My legs splay and I lose all control of my body, until suddenly I’m hanging upside down.

This so isn’t happening to me. My hair flops into my eyes and my arms dangle in mid-air. And let’s not even think about how shallow my breathing is.

Crap.

After what seems like an eternity (which is probably only a few seconds) someone starts a slow handclap. And here’s me thinking it couldn’t get any worse.

I figure it’s Zak and wait for everyone to join in. Except they don’t.

The silence is deafening. Until…

“Look at that crazy bitch. You’re surely not expecting her to be my double.”

Tilly Winters in the flesh. And none too happy to see me!

Add Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up to your Goodreads shelf.

Amazon | B&N

Add Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up to your Goodreads shelf.

About Sara

 

Sara Hantz originally comes from the UK and is one of four children, having three younger brothers. Although she was an avid reader from a very early age, she didn’t get the writing bug until much later in life, though English was always one of her stronger subjects. She’s an avid sun chaser and now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Australia (via 10 years in New Zealand). She writes young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green was published by Flux Books and made the prestigious list ‘New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age’. Sara has a PhD in Education and lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and w hen not writing, working or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV – in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she’d win gold.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Giveaway

 

In celebration of the reveals, Sara is giving away a $50 Amazon giftcard! Use the rafflecopter below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I hope you all plan on checking these books out because they sound great. :)

Kat

3 stars to Breathing Ghosts by Laekan Zea Kemp

Published October 9, 2013 by katheryn13

She is a winding cosmos, bleeding and bursting into night. She is a dream. She is dead.

River has just lost the one thing that matters most to him—Nia—and all she’s left behind is a pile of scribbled love notes detailing their past and a pin-holed map planning out their future. Hopes and dreams confined to one dimension now that she’s gone and River’s too afraid to leave his hometown, crippled by the same anxiety that’s plagued his mother for as long as he can remember.

But after a strange encounter with the only girl he ever loved a week after laying her to rest, River, armed with nothing but her map and his memories, decides to finally leave and never look back. And with the help of a pair of eccentrically named siblings as well as a mutt with three legs, he sets out to do the very thing Nia always knew how to do better than he ever could—live.

From the moonlit beaches off of Florida’s east coast, to the forests of Mississippi, to Bourbon Street, Cadillac Ranch, and the Arizona desert, River is faced with not only Nia’s ghost but his own and he learns that in life there are no accidents, only miracles.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review. 
Review:

“In that moment something shifted […] I couldn’t tell her that she wasn’t just my girlfriend. That she was the tether keeping me strung here.  She was the moon against my tide.  A constant push and pull.  She was my gravity.”

 Breathing Ghosts is the story of River, who’s stuck in a rut. River’s home life is less than ideal. His step-father is an abusive alcoholic and his mother, a once free spirit, has turned hollow and afraid, a shell of her former self thanks to her husband who not only hits her, but her son as well. Crippled by his mothers fear, River is afraid to break the habit of his monotonous life: Work, school, repeat. His only salvation is his girlfriend, Nia.

Nia is a whimsical, artistic character, who encourages River to get out of his life and see the world the way see does. Nia, due to her own less-than-ideal home life, wants to get out of her small home town and have experiences. The good and the bad.

When Nia tradigally dies so suddenly, River’s whole world is turned upside down. After yet another blow up with his step-father and running into trouble with the men his step-father conducts his business with, River flees. Armed with nothing but a backpack stuffed with clothes, stolen money, mementos of his relationship with dead girlfriend and the map she spent hour and hours pouring over, River decides to flee and take Nia up on her proposal for an adventure after all.

Hindsight is a huge theme in Breathing Ghosts as after Nia dies, River replays their conversations and memories in his head and wishes he would’ve taken Nia up on her offer to drop everything and leave instead of letting his fear of change stop him. With an incredibly descriptive narrative, the reader joins River in his hallucinations of Nia, leading the reader to question weather or not she was truly there as River is determined to see her at every stop in the map.

Considering Nia dies within the first few pages, the author did well in continuing to develop their relationship through the use of jumps in time, pre and post Nia’s death, allowing the reader to see how they interacted and give us more insight into Nia’s personality.  Though easy to follow, due to the heavy themes of abusive parents, death and illness it’s a quick but heavy read.

Breathing Ghosts, which started out as a story of a boy chasing the memory/ghost of his recently deceased girlfriend, turned out to be a journey of self discovery and finding ones self which River finally achieved after letting two annoyingly persistent twins, Carter and June, who were on the run from their own terrible home life too, join him in his mission to experience everything Nia wanted to.

The reason I gave this book only three stars is because although River runs away from home, travels to all these “islands of misfit toys” accompanied by Carter and June, it still seems to me like not a lot happens. I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I’m used to reading more plot based stories, action packed books with huge exciting story lines that a story of this scale seems dull to me.

Don’t let my three stars put you off, if you think this story might interests you then go ahead. I thought the writing style was very good, descriptive and enticing in parts, but for me, there was just something lacking.

Sophie

4.5 stars to Love You to Death & High Stakes (The Mediator #1-2) by Meg Cabot

Published October 8, 2013 by katheryn13

Meet Susannah Simon: she’s a typical teenage girl, who just happens to be a ghost-hunter …oh, and she’s also dead-over-heels for Jesse – the sexiest spook ever! But can this girl get her ghost?

In “Love You to Death”, Suze arrives in California and has barely unpacked when her mediator skills are put to the test. A vicious spirit in her new school is hell-bent on making her life a complete nightmare, but Suze is more than ready to kick some serious ghost butt if she has to.

In “High Stakes”, Suze’s new life is looking up – cool friends, pool parties and getting to know Jesse (swoon), but then a desperate spirit asks for her help. Suddenly she’s on the trail of a creepy local businessman, who just might be a vampire. Life just got dead complicated. Again.

 

Review:

I’d picked this up at the airport earlier this year, knowing that I’d enjoyed other Meg Cabot books and thought “hey, why not?”

Now, six months later I actually get around to reading it, and would you believe it? I loved it. I’ve not read a book about mediators before and this was a nice surprise.

The style is very similar to how Abandon series was written so I knew I’d get into it easily. My only complaint, well more a comment if I’m honest, is that Suze’s inner monologue got annoying when she would say something and then put “…, I mean.” As if we couldn’t gather that from the previous sentence. This happened quite a lot and is basically my only nitpick.

So onto the rest: Well, I love love LOVE Jesse. The poor fellow is dead but boy does Susannah paint him in a good light. *sigh* He’s friendly, supportive,  caring, and honourable. Sure, he has a bad attitude at first, and he’s very mysterious, but in a way I can understand that.

Adam, at first, I thought he was going to be the love interest. I know, silly now that I think about it. Although he seems cute. I’m not too sure on Cee Cee, but maybe she’ll grow on me. (Hopefully not like a wart. :P ) Some of the other guy characters just seem rather dim and troubled. I mean, you had Bryce (that name also appears in Awaken, which amused me) who had a lot of issues with his dead ex, and Tad…who just had problems.

I really liked the easy way Suze talked and acted around people. She took no crap from anyone, that’s for sure. Father Dominic got on my nerves a bit, but I guess because he’s a very strong religious person, he’s got his way of working things, and he doesn’t agree with Suze’s manner of mediating. Then in the first book you have Heather who added some action, but then she grated on my nerves, too. This has nothing to do with the writing or anything, but I rather think the characters were supposed to make you want to slap them every which way, y’know?

Doc, Sleepy and Dopey. What a genius way of naming your step-brothers, or any siblings, eh? I didn’t particularly like Dopey, but Sleepy I got used to. In fact, you didn’t really see/hear much of him. Can I just hug Doc? He’s only 12 but as adorable as a science nerd and a teddy bear. I don’t know…It’s an odd combination and I’m pretty sure that sentence makes no sense…

The ghosts were almost as intense and as interesting as the living, which added something new. I found the mystery and small amount of romance was something that kept the story from seeming thin and lifeless (no pun intended).

Meg Cabot has a wonderful way of sucking  you into a story, into the characters lives. The modern lingo and easy style is in-depth enough to add something deep and not seem too flimsy, too one dimensional. I was so sad when Abandon trilogy ended and then going onto this, it just made me love Meg even more. I can’t wait to  read the next books in this series.

Kat