Thursday, July 31, 2014

July Wrap Up!

Hey everyone, I am back at uni again for my second trimester and the assignments/prac/the torture of just being a science student its self, are kicking in. So while I have been reading my reviewing has been almost non existent as I start reviews and just don't finish them.

Review Copies:

  • Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Bought (Physical):
  • Disruption by Jessica Shirvington 
  • Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire
  • Sometimes it Lasts by Abbi Glines
  • Four by Veronica Roth 
  • The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
  • Played by Liz Fichera
  • Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson 
  • Fall From India Place by Samantha Young
Bought (E-Books):
  • Actually Love by Melanie Shawn
  • Holding Haley by Jill Sanders
  • Make It Count by Megan Erickson
  • Straddling the Line by Jaci Burton
  • Intercepting Love by L.P Dover
  • The Bradfords series by Erin Nicholas
  • Boomerang by Noelle August 
  • Billionaire Bachelors Club by Monica Murphy 
  • The Dare by Rachel Van Dyken
  • Tamed by Emma Chase
So what did you get this month? Link me below in the comments!

Keely xx

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review Time #63

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends - the Liars - whose friendship turns destructive.

A revolution. An accident. A secret.

Lies upon lies.

True love.

The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense that will leave you reeling.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I just finished We Were Liars and I don't even, can't even, understand what just happened, what to think. When you go into We Were Liars, go in knowing nothing about the book, it makes it so much better!

Part One: Welcome

"Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.
No one is a criminal.
No one is an addict
No one is a failure."

Summer 15 is when everything happened for Cady, Johnny, Gat and Mirren. Gran Tipper has past away before summer 15, grandad Harris is pitting his children against each other for part of his estate. Cady realised that her feelings for Gat is love but he has a girlfriend back in New York. The summer that Cady barely remembers and the summer of the accident.

Summer 16 Cady spends the summer in Europe with her dad. She emails Johnny and Mirren about her summer, but when they don't reply she wonders if her aunts tell them not to because of the migraines from the accident.

Part Two: Vermont

During the year Cady starts writing stories about her family and what happened in summer 15. She also starts giving away her possessions to others and talks her mum and dad out of taking her to Australia and New Zealand for the summer to go to Beachwood Island again.

Part Three: Summer Seventeen 

"I will see Gat soon.
Gat, my Gat, who is not my Gat."

Summer 17 Cady goes back to Beachwood Island, but things are different when she returns. Clairmont house has been completely rebuilt, Bess has moved with Taft, Liberty & Bonnie to Clairmont house with grandad and Mirren, Gat and Johnny are living in Cuddletown house by themselves. Everyone refuses to talk about what happened that summer two years ago to Cady, Grandad is suffering dementia, the aunts are drinking themselves drunk every night, night time walks and nightmares are taking control of the island and Cady has no idea what is going on.

Part Four: Look, a Fire

"I understand our story now."

The relationship between the four liars is strained this summer with Gat pushing Cady away but at times also pulling her towards him. Mirren is tired all the time and refuses to leave the house & Johnny is forgetting things. But then Cady's memories start to return and everything that she knows about the accident is all just a lie, because Cady wasn't ready for the truth then but now she is. 

Part Five: Truth

"My full name is Cadence Sinclair Eastman.
I suffer migraines. I do not suffer fools.
I like a twist of meaning.
I endure."

We Were Liars will leave you wondering what just happened, writing mottos on your hands and take you on a summer journey on what happened that summer 15. The story, writing and need to know what happened will drag you in the story and leaving you refusing that the last word is in fact the last word.

Thankyou Allen and Unwin Australia for the review copy!

Rating: 4.5/5

Keely xx

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review Time #62

Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor

Sky and River have always lived on Island, the only world they’ve ever known. Until the day River spots a boat. Across Ocean, in a place called California, Sky is separated from River and forced to live with a grandmother she’s just met. Here the rules for survival are different. People rely on strange things like cars and cell phones. They keep secrets from one another. And without River, nothing makes sense. Sky yearns for her old life where she was strong and capable, not lost and confused. She must find River so they can return to Island, but the truth behind how they ended up there in the first place will come as the biggest shock of all.

Searching for Sky was beautiful and unique story that draws you into the world that Sky and River have been living for the last 14 years. All Sky and River have known is the island, Sky's mum Petal and River's dad Helmut have been dead for a bit now and fish are becoming scarce. Then on Sky's birthday River spots a boat and River unlike Sky wants to leave the island, to not starve and to back to where they came from, California. 

All Sky and River know is how to survive on the island, California is completely different to what they know. We learn that Helmut was a cult leader and before taking off on a boat that crashed on the island murdered everyone who he didn't think belonged. It was slightly heart-breaking to understand what Sky felt like when she learn't all of this about Helmut when she saw him as a father figure. In California Sky is actually Megan which was her name before the island and she has a grandmother called Alice who takes her in after not knowing if she was alive for the last 14 years. River is called Lucas and since he is 18 he has no one to look after him and everyone hating him because of who his father is.

While Sky is separated from River it is hard for her to understand everything that is going on around her with it all being different than before. Ben is her grandmothers next-door neighbour who is Sky's age and is there for her whilst she starts to learn everything about this world that she is in. Ben was a really great character and was fantastic for Sky to help her learn about the world and friends as well.

The story is written quite simplistic which suits the story as Sky doesn't have a large vocabulary and is learning all these different words and meanings. The secrets that Sky finds out breaks her heart and causes her to start searching for River and intensify's her need to get back to the island. The story is heart-breaking as Sky learn's of what happened before they left and what happens after is like a knock-down on her after learning everything that she has in the short time period which a dangerous lesson for her and River.

Searching for Sky is a beautiful, heart-breaking novel about learning to belong and the journey that it takes. Recommend for everyone!

Thanks Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy!

Rating: 4/5

Keely xx

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Review Time #61

Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan

Bea Hogg is shy but fiery inside. When national dance competition Starwars comes to her school looking for talent, she wants to sign up. It's just a shame her best friend agreed to enter with school super-cow Pearl Harris. Bea will fight back! But when school hottie, Ollie Matthews, who also happens to be Pearl’s boyfriend, decides to enter the competition with Bea, she will have more than a fight on her hands.

This warm, nuanced, hilarious story about friendship, fortitude . . . and dancing is impossible not to fall in love with. Jenny’s voice is fresh and convincing, and she handles both darker and lighter elements of the story with equal panache.

Flirty Dancing reminds me of a series I read back in 2009 when I was in year 9 called A Year in Girl Hell and me being the 14 year old that I was loved the series. Flirty Dancing is a four book series following 4 ex-best friends Bea, Betty, Kat and Pearl which is exactly why it reminded me of A Year in Girl Hell series because it also follows four friends who don't remain so close in their first year of high school.

A national competition called Starwars (think Australia's Got Talent for only teenagers) and Bea wants to dance in it with her best friend Kat. But it being high school and all Kat ends up with Pearl, a girl who Bea used to be best friends with but now hates (seriously don't miss high school). I loved Bea's Nan she was an excellent character and knew how to get Bea out of her comfort zone to get to her to learn swing dancing for the competition. Swing dancing is of course a partner dance which is where Ollie comes in.

Ollie is apparently Pearl's "boyfriend" which is what Bea assumes with the way she hangs around him, which is why dancing with Ollie doesn't sound like the best idea. Ollie was great for Bea he manages to get her to trust him in the most random way and how they are together is quite cute. The competition is how we saw the characters develop and as the stages went on with both the Swing Monkeys (Ollie & Bea) and the Pink Ladies (Kat & Pearls group) ending up on progressing through the competition.

Flirty Dancing is a cute, short read for YA contemporary especially for those in high school. The way Bea stands up to bullies shows readers that bullies don't always have to win and that standing up for yourself gets them to leave you alone. 

Thanks Bloomsbury Australia for the ARC!

Rating: 4/5

Keely xx