Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Wrap Up

You didn't read that title wrong I am actually doing a wrap up! October has been a busy month for me, finished my first year of university which is pretty exciting, I have moved back home and if you have seen the news New South Wales has been on fire, including one near me. But also it has been a great month for books! Lots and lots of books!

Review copies:

  • Touch the Dark by Karen Chance (Cassie Palmer #1)
  • Claimed by Shadow by Karen Chance (Cassie Palmer #2)
  • United We Spy by Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls #6)
  • Antigoddess by Kendra Blake
Thanks Penguin Australia and Date a Book!

  • Covert Assignment by Missy Marciassa
  • The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry
  • Waiting on the Sidelines by Ginger Scott
  • Finding Home by Lauren K. McKellar
  • Going Long by Ginger Scott
Thanks netgalley!

  • Embrace the Night by Karen Chance (Cassie Palmer #3)
  • Curse the Dawn by Karen Chance (Cassie Palmer #4)
  • Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance (Cassie Palmer #5)
  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth (Divergent #3)
Bought e-books:
  • Carter Reed by Tijan
  • Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover
  • Piece of Cake by Kate Forster
  • Every Breath by Ellie Marney
  • Killing Rachel by Anne Cassidy
  • Wildlife by Fiona Wood
  • Apollyon by Jennifer J. Armentrout
  • Requiem by Lauren Oliver
  • Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley 
  • The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington 
  • The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
  • Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
  • Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard
  • Every Day by David Levithan
  • Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan 
  • Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay
  • Drake Academy: Lost Spirits by Gabriella Poole
  • Hate is such a Strong Word by Sarah Ayoub
  • When you were mine by Rebecca Serle
  • By the time you read this, I'll be dead by Julie Anne Peters
  • Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti
  • Dead Silent by Kimberly Derting
So that is my epically awesome haul this month! Next month shall have lots of goodies with Empover by Jessica Shirvington out and The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead! Just naming a couple!

So what did you get this week/month? Link me in the comments!

Keely xx

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Things I love about YA

After procrastinating a lot during my final exams for the year, I read a lot. I found out that my library now has e-books! Which was a bad thing because I had five exams and they were maths, statistics, chemistry, biomechanics and sports psychology (psychology hates me guys). So I came to thinking that I would tell you why I love YA!

Gives you ideas on what you want to do in life:

In year 9 I did work education and I had work experience, I learnt from that week that I hated teaching. I found the Gracie Faltrain series by Cath Crowley and feel in love with the series. The series is about soccer, boys and everything that a teenager has to face in the final years of school. From the final book Gracie Faltrain Gets It Right (Finally) Crowley mentione

d that Gracie might want to do Sports Management, which is something that I thought would be interesting since I love sport. So, from searching the web for degrees that related to Sports Management,I found the degree that I am doing right now: Exercise Physiology. Books can not only help you understand what others go through but help you learn things about yourself, like I did by finding a degree that I would like to do.

Gives you perspective on things that you don't normally think about:

Last year I read Speechless by Hannah Harrington and it literally left me speechless. It covers the topics of bullying, the consequences of saying something that didn't need to be spoken about, homophobia and what true friendships are like. Every high school kid goes through either being bullied at least once or even bullying others it's a fact, but when things turn for the worst like beatings or even suicide makes it a real problem. In Australia we don't have a huge problem with people being homophobic unlike in the U.S, in Year 11 & 12 we had a least 20 people in the school who were either gay/lesbian/bi and no one cared, which I think is a great thing that Australia is moving towards. 

On the subject of bullying, when I read speechless I was also reading Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett. This book also deals with the problems that are faced in high school, especially bullying. I think that these two books should really be read by all high school students because it teaches an important lesson about bullying and cyber-bullying.

Takes you to a whole new world:

Fantasy, Paranormal or whatever, these books can take you to your imagination side. While I haven't been reading many of these lately, only to finish off series that I have already started, I do enjoy some of what fantasy and paranormal books have to offer. I enjoyed the Wings series by Aprilynne Pike, Fallen series by Lauren Kate, Hush Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and more recently the Elementals series by Brigid Kemmerer. All these books give you a new world to look at weather it is magic or vampires, fairies or angels it takes you back to your childhood and imagination of what fairytales could be real.

Travelling through a book:

I love travelling and having only left Australia once, I can't wait to do it again. One trip made me want to see the world. I am sucker for contemporary novels not set in America or Australia, so of course I love Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, Just One Day by Gayle Forman, Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill and The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams. I think that it is great that these books take you places that you haven't been before and lets you learn new things about these places. 

Books by Australian authors and set in Australia:

I am loving that there are more Australian novels in YA! I love Cath Crowley's books, The First Third by Will Kostakis, On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Steal my Sunshine by Emily Gale, Finding Home by Lauren McKellar and Wildfire by Fiona Wood. I'm glad to see more Aussie novels getting out there and by Aussie authors too!

So that is some things that I love about YA! Let me know what you love about YA in the comments!

Keely xx

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review Time #48

Wildfire by Fiona Wood

Life? It’s simple: be true to yourself.
The tricky part is finding out exactly who you are…

In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened.
A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard.
And I kissed Ben Capaldi. 

Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

Enter Lou from Six Impossible Things – the reluctant new girl for this term in the great outdoors. Fragile behind an implacable mask, she is grieving a death that occurred almost a year ago. Despite herself, Lou becomes intrigued by the unfolding drama between her housemates Sibylla and Holly, and has to decide whether to end her self-imposed detachment and join the fray. 

And as Sibylla confronts a tangle of betrayal, she needs to renegotiate everything she thought she knew about surviving in the wild.

A story about first love, friendship and NOT fitting in.

I absolutely adored this book and I was able to connect with the main girl Sibylla a.k.a Sib. Who wouldn't want a term away from school to be in the outdoors? Okay your still learning and doing school work but you get to do so many fun outdoor adventures! For Sib it all started with a billboard and getting kissed by the hottest/most popular guy in school, Ben Capaldi. Sib's life essentially changed overnight before going away on the wilderness camp and throughout the term she really found out who her friends were. 

Lou is the new girl at the school and is trying to move on from the past, while I haven't read Six Impossible Things I certainly am looking forward to reading it now with Lou appearing in it. Lou lost her boyfriend is a car accident is trying to come to terms of it without her other friends who are in France on exchange, their way of trying to move on. You couldn't help but love Lou while she struggled with all the emotions that she has in her mind she finds peace with Michael who is Sib's best friend, a running addict (he has a good reason) and might possibly be a genius. I loved the scenes between Lou and Michael because it was pure friendship dealing with the process of moving on and loving someone who only loves you as a friend.

Holly is Sib's other best friend whom from the get go I didn't like she remind me too much of someone who in high school was exactly like her. The way that she pressures Sib into a relationship with Ben isn't something that a true friend would do and then becoming best friends with him, telling Ben things that Sib doesn't want to do or talk about. This isn't a friendship but sadly that is the reality of high school, people use you to get what they want not caring if they hurt your feelings along the way.

Sib doesn't know what to do with Ben, she has never had a boyfriend before and he was her first kiss. I'm sure every teenage girl on the planet knows these feelings and then the pressure of sex on top of that relate able for everyone. The way the whole story is told allows you to connect with the characters, if you've been a teenager you should be able to connect with this book!

Wildfire is an amazing book that once you start you cannot put down! With stories of love, betrayal and friendship Wildfire is a book that everyone must read!

Rating: 5/5

Keely xx

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review Time #47

Covert Assignment by Missy Marciassa

Covert Assignment is a New Adult, Coming of Age Novel with a strong romantic element. Elle is ready for graduation and full-fledged adulthood: no more living like the leftover of her parent’s divorce. She’s about to graduate with her degree in Information Science (the 21st century term for Library Science) and has a ten-year plan as well-designed as any model for analyzing metadata: earn her JD/MBA, enjoy a couple of years as a single professional, then marry her college sweetheart, Adam, and start her own family. 

Yet Elle feels like she returned to an alternate universe her final semester. There are pictures of Adam with a classmate who must be surgically enhanced, but he insists he wants Elle. CIA recruiters show up on campus, and they aren’t just interested in recruiting Elle for future employment: turns out she’s already working for them since they’re funding her thesis. Hot operative Preston Raddick is tasked to work with her. Preston isn’t just hot: he’s hot for Elle, but is he offering happy ever after or happy for right now? A fling with Preston could be the beginning of a new life plan, which is exciting and scary, especially with espionage thrown in. Elle needs a predictive model to tell her which decisions have the greater likelihood for happiness…

Covert Assignment is about the unexpected turns life can take when making “adult” decisions.

If you follow me on twitter you should know that I love Covert Affairs and from previous posts on the blog you should know that I love the Gallagher Girls series. So naturally when I saw Covert Assignment I wanted it. Bad. 

Elle has done everything by herself since she has been to college, after her parents divorce and not fitting in with either families she is doing her career for herself despite what her father wants her to do. Elle's boyfriend Adam cheated on her whilst she was at home for winter break, wanting to see what happens she stays with him because two years is a lot to throw away after one mistake right? But then comes along CIA covert operative Preston, hot, older and he likes Elle. 

The way that the CIA approaches Elle is such a plausible way for someone to be approached. With the CIA funding her research, she sees that sometimes everything is planned out, bumps come along and new opportunities arise: your future isn't always planned. With Elle getting metadata from the game Sub Rosa and Preston using the data they are finding terrorists who are hiding their activities in the game.  

The great thing about Covert Assignment is that it is unpredictable with the aspects of the CIA, the romance isn't instant and Elle still waits to see where her relationship goes with Adam, even though he did cheat on her. Preston is a great influence on Elle, as he allows her to develop and help her understand that her future isn't set in stone, she doesn't have to follow in her father's footsteps. Elle's family was a piece of work and what they put her though I can understand why she wants to please them. 

The romance between Elle and Preston is funny when you understand the computer terms (thank you HSC IPT you weren't pointless after all!) and the way that he wants to help her is admirable. There is danger, it wouldn't be a spy book without it but with the CIA and FBI all over Elle shouldn't have much to worry about, you'd think. 

Covert Assignment is for those who love Covert Affairs and the Gallagher Girls series. It is a different spin on the New Adult genre and a must read for everyone!

Thanks netgalley for the review copy!

Rating: 5/5

Keely xx

Friday, October 25, 2013

Review Time #46 Mini Review

Touch the Dark by Karen Chance
This is a long overdue review! Since finishing university last week I have had to pack up my room and move back home, deal with bushfires 500m from my house, hunt for jobs and proceed to unpack everything from my dorm room. So yea, I have been busy. But I am now on holidays for four months (awesome I know) so more posts shall be coming!

Cassandra Palmer can see the future and communicate with spirits—talents that make her attractive to the dead and the undead. The ghosts of the dead aren’t usually dangerous; they just like to talk…a lot.

The undead are another matter.

Like any sensible girl, Cassie tries to avoid vampires. But when the bloodsucking mafioso she escaped three years ago finds Cassie again with vengeance on his mind, she’s forced to turn to the vampire Senate for protection.

The undead senators won’t help her for nothing, and Cassie finds herself working with one of their most powerful members, a dangerously seductive master vampire—and the price he demands may be more than Cassie is willing to pay....

Touch the Dark is the first book in the Cassie Palmer series and is a great foundation to what we can expect in the coming books. While I think the book only was a total of four or five days, a lot of important things happen. Cassie is a clairvoyant meaning she can see ghosts and do all sorts of cool stuff like see the future/past/go back in time. She has been trying to hid from Tony, a vampire who has been looking after her since she was a child. 

From the start there is action, action throughout the whole book even when they are trying to stand around and talk things out because someone wants to keep trying to kill Cassie. Tomas is Cassie's room mate has his own secrets, at the start I really liked Tomas but some things that happened later on in the book made me think maybe he isn't the character who I thought he was. Mircea what can I say, he is just Vampire hotness or well that is pretty how he is described. He is Tony's master (each vampire has a master who is level 1) and he is fascinated by Cassie, epically since she is older now then she was when they first met.

We learn that Cassie doesn't want to be controlled which is what everyone is wanting from her. This causes her to run away, do things with powers she never new she had and is becoming something that she never knew existed. Travelling through time to stop dangerous people from changing with the past which will evidently change the present. Whilst this is all going on Cassie is trying to find out what happened to her parents all those years ago and where exactly are their ghosts?

Touch of Dark is a great foundation novel for the Cassie Palmer series which I cannot wait to finish! Touch of Dark is for you if you like Urban Fantasy books, vampires and jumping between the future, present and past.

Thanks Penguin Australia for the review copy!

Rating: 4/5

Keely xx

Monday, October 21, 2013

Review Time #45

Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard

At the beginning of his junior year at a boys' boarding school, 16-year-old Alex is devastated when he fails to save a drowning friend. When questioned, Alex and his friend Glenn, who was also at the river, begin weaving their web of lies. Plagued by guilt, Alex takes refuge in the library, telling his tale in a journal he hides behind Moby-Dick. Caught in the web with Alex and Glenn is their English teacher, Miss Dovecott, fresh out of Princeton, who suspects there's more to what happened at the river when she perceives guilt in Alex's writing for class. She also sees poetic talent in Alex, which she encourages. As Alex responds to her attention, he discovers his true voice, one that goes against the boarding school bravado that Glenn embraces. When Glenn becomes convinced that Miss Dovecott is out to get them, Alex must choose between them.

I recently found out my library now has e-books so of course I went got some, Paper Covers Rock was one of them. I have been trying to find this book for a while and it was well worth the searching.

Paper Covers Rock is a journal of 16-year-old Alex who is struggling with the death of his best friend. Alex feels responsible for the death of Tomas who hit his head on a submerged rock after jumping from a rock, diving instead of jumping like everyone else. Drinking Vodka and swimming is never going to end well, and this time someone lost their life because of it. All Alex can think of is his last words to Tomas being Paper Scissors Rock, Paper Covers Rock, with him being the first one to jump. The lies that Alex goes along with his friend Glenn end up turning this whole situation in something much worse. When they let Clay take the fall for the drinking  when Tomas died by blackmailing him about being gay that is when the web of lies start to place.

Struggling with his grief and guilt, Alex's guilt seeps into his writing in English leading Miss Dovecott to believe that something else happened down at the river the day Tomas died. Alex has been excelling at English, with poetry and writing being an outlet for his guilt. They studied the poet Emily Dickinson, which I also did so I actually knew what they were talking about when it came to Dickinson and her poems. The honour essay written by Alex is the first clue that he is hiding something more.

The structure of the book reminds of a book I read in HSC English called The Fifth Gate there is no middle, it is full of the past on what happened that day combined with everything that has been happening in the present. While I was a fan of the book I read in English, this time around the structure was perfect for this book allowing you to get taken into the novel wanting to know what else happened that day.

The characterisation of Alex allowed you to connect with him and understand what he was going through, even if it hadn't happened to you before. Alex struggled with keeping the "The Plan" that Glenn called, making sure that Miss Dovecott didn't know what had happened before she got the rock the day Tomas died. He struggled for his crush on Miss Dovecott which made him feel even worse when he went along with "The Plan". Alex continues to be confused by what Tomas told him before he died about Glenn and Clay being together in the shower and what homosexuality meant during that era and at an all boys boarding school.

A beautifully written story about a boy struggling with his best friends death, feelings and understanding the sexuality of his friends.

Rating: 4.5/5

Keely xx

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Hi everyone! I am less than TWO WEEKS away from finishing my first year of university! I love uni way more than high school: less drama and more fun... although the fun might be because I am living on campus, in a college having a great time. While I get to go back home and see all my family again, I will miss college a lot because I live with my friends, I only have to walk to another block, walk up some stairs and which is a lot easier than driving up to Tweed Heads, heading west towards Tamworth or down to Melbourne. Yea we are from everywhere. But heading back home also means finding a job for 4 months to help cover the cost of uni and living away from home.

Since because my exams start in less than a week (next Tuesday) I will be studying because the only classes I have for the rest of the week is Chemistry which is one hour each day... pointless. Also I have five exams to study for, not four like I would if I did pass my maths exam... two marks and I have to resit the exam, thankfully not the uni. Which also means no blogging from me until my PSYCH/Arts unit for my degree is over (I hate psychology)! 

But the one good thing that will happen after my last exam is a road trip to the coast! Even if I am going home two days later because Coffs Harbour is only two and a but hours away, perfect reason to go on a day trip. 

Keely xx