Sunday, March 30, 2014

Review Time #56

Surviving High School by M. Doty

What's the secret to surviving your freshman year of high school?

Emily Kessler thinks she has it all figured out. She eats, sleeps and trains for competitive swimming. All she has to do is keep her grades high and swim times short -- short enough to live up to her sister Sara's. But walking the crowded maze of unfamiliar high school hallways is like diving headfirst into shark-infested waters. Shark #1: Dominique, her biggest competition on the swim team and all-around mean girl. Shark #2: The adorable and popular Ben Kale... Emily can't resist his smile no matter how hard she tries. When the pressure builds to the point where Emily isn't sure she can stay afloat, she begins to question the strict path her life has always followed.
Maybe there is more to life than studying and swimming. Maybe the secret to surviving high school is just to have a little fun.
The hit mobile game Surviving High School comes to life in an original novel about perfection, failure, and following your dreams.

Emily has just started her freshman year and all she wants to do is survive it. After her sister dies tragically in a car accident all of her father's pressures about making it to nationals for swimming double onto Emily. While her father wants her to do nothing but swim, study and swim, Emily wants to have normality in her life. She wants to have a boyfriend, go to parties, dances and do everything that normal teenagers do in High School.

Emily's way to figuring out what she really wanted was what a lot of high school students go through. Even without sport everyone wants to do well, go to university or what ever else they want to that needs good marks from school. Emily and her best friend Kimi going to a high school party is a big thing for them, they want a boyfriend, to be popular like most high school students. While hiding from the one person who was with her sister when she died, Nick, she runs into the school's very popular guys Ben Kale  who can't seem to not look for Emily. Nick and Emily were great influences on each, Emily getting Nick to actually attend class and do well and Nick who helps Emily decide what she really wants to do and that she doesn't always have to follow her fathers plan.

I could really connect with Emily and her story since I went through something similar to Emily. High School in Australia starts at year 7 and I was 11 when I started, from year 5 to year 8 I was competitor in Surf Life Saving and I went to state a few times to represent my club while I did it for fun and wanted to do well, I had a lot of pressure put on me to do so. With this I trained twice a week in the pool straight after school for an hour and a half to two hours. Also at this time I was in high grades for soccer competing in the second highest grade when I played with the boys and the highest when I played girls. It is a lot of pressure to do great, to train hard twice a week, play once a week and stay on top of school work. Since I also had pressure put on me academically I started to burn out when everything starting piling up on me. Like Emily when I started to do them all for fun and not competitively I became better, less stressed and more focused on school.

A great YA novel about coming of age, making the tough decisions and that sometimes high school can be fun. 

Rating: 4.5/5

Keely xx

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's my 2nd Blogoversary!

Hey all! As you can see by the title that it is my 2nd blogoversary! Last year I completely forgot about it, so this year I'm holding a giveaway to show you all how much that I love you guys reading my little 'ol blog here! The last year I have been able to so many great things to do with the bookish community here in Australia, which was amazing!

PTA Live:
In June last year I got to go to PTA Live in Sydney that the fantastic people from Penguin Teen Aus held at Kino! This was my first bookish event ever and I also got to meet a lot of people who I follow and talk to on twitter and meet lots of other amazing people at this event. Because I was at uni and couldn't get down to Sydney for the Abbi Glines event Kim was lovely (and awesome) enough to get me a signed copy of my favourite book While It Lasts!
PTA Live, Signed copy of The First Third and While It Lasts. 
Meeting Jessica Shirvington:
The wonderful people over at Hachette had an afternoon for some lucky bloggers to meet and have afternoon tea with Jessica. This was such a fun event to go to because I got meet Jessica and got to catch up with Jaz & Kim! I lugged all my Violet Eden Chapters books to Sydney to get signed thankfully the train station wasn't too far! 
Me with Jessica, Jaz and Kim! Plus my signed copy of Empower.
VA Fan Event + VA movie:
More recently I was in Sydney for two days straight travelling to and from Newcastle both days because my love of VA is that high! On the Wednesday I got to go to the Fan Event held at Kino where I was super lucky enough to meet both Zoey and Lucy (pretty much the best thing ever to happen!) as well as getting a copy of VA signed by both of them. The next day I got to attend the Sydney Premiere of VA and I got to take my best friend with me! I also got to catch up the Jaz, Pavan, Sunny, Kim and Kerrie who also won tickets to attend!
Me and Laura at the Premiere, Me with Lucy and Zoey!

As you can see I had a fantastic year travelling to Sydney many times for these events and was super lucky to attend all these! Now onto that giveaway that I mentioned before!
Terms and Conditions
1. Must be over the age of 13, if under 18 have parents permission to enter the competition
2. Must be in a country that TBD supplies free shipping too
3. Must reply to the winners email within 48hourss
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keely xx

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What you might like if you enjoyed...

Hey everyone! As you can see by the title it isn't a normal post, I thought I might give out some recommendations today! Yes this is a procrastination post from uni work... I was making a list of upcoming releases so I knew when the books I wanted would be out so I could have them!

If you liked Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins you might like:

My Life Next Door by Huntly Fitzpatrick. I have only just recently read this book but I loved it, the contemporary novel had that lightness & little darker moments like Anna had. While you don't get to travel to Paris & have Etienne you get Jase instead (he is pretty awesome). 

If you liked Amy and Rodger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson you might like:

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Doktorski. I read this only two weeks ago on the train home from Sydney and I absolutely loved it! I am a huge fan of road tripping books which is exactly what both are with some romance in between. The characters are just loveable and the things they do on this road trip are a lot of fun.

If you liked The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting you might like:

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. This book was a cross between Criminal Minds and The Body Finder (well the last two books in the series that is) but none the less having the killer's perspective and not knowing who the killer is makes the mystery has it own craziness to it. 

If you liked The Hundred Oaks series by Miranda Kenneally you might like:

Hooked by Liz Fichera and The Academy series by Monica Seles. What all these books have in common is the sporting theme. I love sports in YA novels and especially females kicking arse in sport because the media doesn't always give the right attention to female athletes. They both also have romance that doesn't overshadow the sporting theme like so many other novels do which I loved (expect in Game On).

If you liked The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter you might like:

Covert Assignment by Missy Marciassa. Now this is only if you don't it being a New Adult book, because that is what it is. I've read the first two books in this series and I absolutely love them (check out previous reviews)! The other book that I would recommend if you don't mind it being an adult book, stressing on the word adult because it is defiantly not YA is The Single Lady Spy by Tessa Brown. This series is awesome, I love it but it is adult! All these books have the spy theme & romance in common and it is great to see the changes in the spying world which each both from a different genre.

If you liked Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas you might like:

The Study Trilogy, The Glass Trilogy and The Healer Trilogy by Maria V. Synder. These books are all fantasy, have some female's kicking & killing people, romance and are really fantastic reads. Synder's books are addictive like Maas's and the world building is really quite amazing making these books great.

Let me know down in the comments if you enjoyed this post, so I know to do some more! Also if you have already read only of these books that I have paired together!

Keely xx

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ignite Me Review #55 + Giveaway!

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world … but that’s not all he wants with her.

My reaction when I received this book: "Mum! Why didn't you tell me this arrived yesterday!?!" Yep Mum hid this from me for a full day...

Now the first chapter almost killed me, yepp... when you read it you will know why. Thanks a lot Warner. However in the start of Ignite Me was fantastic we get to see more of Warner and what he went through as a child, what he is going through and how he isn't what he appears. We finally, FINALLY get to see Juliette grow as a character and FINALLY stands up for herself which was great. 

Now the plan is the same as before: Kill Anderson and this time it is even more personal than before. We get our favourites back Warner, Kenji and Adam which is great and we get to see who these characters really are and have a lot things from the previous books are finally addressed. Now Kenji has always been my favourite I am forever Team Kenji even though I know that isn't going to happen! The chapters and conversations between Juliette and Kenji are some of my favourite in this book and every time Juliette was to Kenji "You need a girlfriend!" I was like this:

Now apart from Kenji, I've always been Team Warner. While I loved the scenes between Juliette & Kenji, I craved the scenes between Juliette and Warner. I absolutely loved them! Chapter 55 is now my favourite chapter of the whole series, it was perfect! Now Adam I wanted to murder you, you were such an arse! When you finally came to your senses you were alight but apart from that I didn't like you in the book.

Ignite Me was an explosive ending to the Juliette Chronicles while the ending seemed rushed & very quick I still loved the book as a whole answering all the questions that I wanted answered! If you haven't read this series I strongly suggest that you do!

Thanks to Allen & Unwin for the review copy!

Rating: 5/5

Now A&U have been super awesome and allowed me to run a giveaway so that one of you lucky Aussie readers can win a copy of Ignite Me!

- Must be an Australian resident 
- Must be over 13 with Adult consent
- Must reply to the winner email in 48 Hours


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keely x