Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book One
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Published Date: 5 May 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

I received this book through NetGalley from Bloomsbury Publishing (UK & ANZ) for review.

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
(summary from Goodreads)

A Court of Thorns and Roses is everything - magical, thrilling, action-packed, romantic to the point of swooning...can I have the second book already? Please?

I will say straight out that after eagerly awaiting this book for months, then finally reading Throne of Glass recently and being less than impressed, I'd lowered my expectations of A Court of Thorns and Roses. I needn't have done so. This is exactly what I wanted, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Maas's novel sinks its claws into you and doesn't let go. The human and faerie realms are each fascinating, with a history I kept wanting to learn more of. The world building is superb. From the quiet isolation of the woods, to the desolation of the human world, to the strange opulence of the faerie realm, Maas's words paint the perfect picture to play on your imagination. Every moment of A Court of Thorns and Roses builds the tension until I found myself on the edge of my seat, desperate to know what will happen, and ready for it to happen right-NOW-oh-my-god-I-cannot-handle-the-suspense-any-longer!! Plus a little of "end this bitch already!"... just so you know. As a fairy tale retelling A Court of Thorns and Roses is spot on. It's easy to recognise the similarities to Beauty and the Beast, while there's also more than enough originality to make the story separate and unique. Not all retellings are winners, but Maas's is. Give this lady a blue ribbon! 

Feyre is a well-written and relatable MC. She does nothing for herself, and this altruism is endearing. Especially in light of her sisters' attitudes. I like her sheer determination - at times it borders on pigheadedness, but for the most part it keeps Feyre strong. There's a softness to Feyre that awes me, and that is often mistaken for weakness, more fool them. From page one you're rooting for Feyre. Tamlin, in much the same way, is impacting. His beast form is terrifying, but his clumsy wooing instantly charms. His loyalty, his loneliness, and his neck biting had me quickly swooning. Yes, neck biting. There needs to be more of this in the books I read. Feyre and Tamlin's relationship builds exquisitely. As the tension mounts throughout the novel, so too do the sparks fly between these two. Plus there's a level of cute to their missteps. Communication - it's a thing they need to learn. Their romance is both lustful and meaningful, and I'll do anything for more. The same can be said for the other characters of A Court of Thorns and Roses. The wanting more, I mean. Oh, okay, and maybe some of the lusting. Mostly in the case of Lucien. I love a handsome man who is cocky but soft as marshmallow on the inside. Lucien's quick wit always had me grinning, and his backstory is heartrending. Alis is lovely and supportive, and again, has a touching backstory. There's such history to this story and it's characters that has you yearning for more. Rhysand is charming and dangerous, and I can't decide if I want more or less of him! I do know I'm intrigued by both him and the Night Court, so I'm anticipating the next novel in the series. But also dreading it, just a little, because I'm not willing to endure a love triangle. So please, please, let there be no messing with Feyre and Tamlin. I love where they are and I want to see it develop further. Sure, bring on the complications, but make them more substantial than a love triangle. Am I right?

A Court of Thorns and Roses is definitely a recommended read. If you like fantasy, fairy tale retellings, action, romance, magic, this is the book you shouldn't miss. Snatch it up and devour it! 


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Waiting on Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It spotlights soon to be released books that can't come quick enough!

I absolutely need...

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published Date: 20 October 2015
Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.
(summary from Goodreads)

Everything about this has me wanting to yell "gimme!" The blurb, the authors, the style - yes to it all!

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who Know How to Kiss

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme started over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they have a specific topic for a top ten list. Link up, visit some new blogs and add to your ever growing TBR list! This week's topic is:

Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who Know How To Kiss!
  • Daemon from Obsidian - He sizzles. No more explanation needed.
  • Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door - That kiss. Holding Lola up against the wall. Just. Gimme more.
  • Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses - All kisses should start with a bite on the neck.
  • Juliette from Shatter Me - I always remember her using her kiss to escape Warner. I've never continued this series though because it was obvious where the romance was headed and I'm still not sure that appeals to me.
  • Josh from Isla and the Happily Ever After - Steamy kiss after steamy kiss. Anyone have a fan? It's feeling a little warm in here, no?
  • Dimitri from Vampire Academy - The chemistry between him and Rose is so hot I'm surprised the pages of my book didn't catch fire!
  • Romeo from Romeo and Juliet - Sweet words to go with the sweet kisses.
  • Hermione from Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows - A girl who knows when enough is enough and throws her whole body into it to prove it!
  • Dante from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe -  It's not so much the technique as the playfulness. I fell in love it was just so cute.
  • Every character ever in any Nicholas Sparks novel - Yeah, this one's a bit of a cop-out because I'm struggling to think of just one more individual character...but it's also the truth, so it counts. Hands on faces, in the rain, up against hard surfaces - Sparks has it all. It's cliched and perfect. 
So what do you think? Any you agree with? Any I've missed that you think should absolutely be included? Please share your Top Ten Tuesday List so I can check it out.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Title: Incarnate
Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: Newsoul, Book One
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Published Date: 2 January 2013
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?


Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.
(summary from Goodreads)

Meadows has created something wholly new and refreshing, full of mythology and romance that is enthralling. 

It's hard to state that something is completely new in YA, considering just how much of it there is. But that's how I feel about Incarnate - that it's new, not quite like anything else I've read before. The world Meadows has created, the mythology to it, is amazing. Though it's made up of elements that are familiar - reincarnation, faith, fantastical creatures - Meadows has crafted something unique. I like the mix of old and new throughout Incarnate. The mythical creatures and old fashioned ceremonies with the technological advances, for example. The world building, from descriptions of Range and Heart, to the living building, to the action of the battles with the sylph and dragons, is imaginative. The premise of the exact same million souls reincarnating again and again over thousands of years with the knowledge of their past lives is intriguing. It's the question of how this came to be their way of life, and then of how Ana, a completely new soul, came into existence that moves the story. The revelations Meadows provides into the truths of these is captivating. I absolutely want to continue this series!

My most favourite thing about Incarnate is Sam and the romance between him and Ana. Ana herself is annoying in her naivete at times, but I wonder if that's not on purpose, considering she's surrounded by characters who have lived an innumerable number of lives. I like Ana's strength. Let's face it, many of these characters have not evolved much in the way of openmindedness, despite having nothing but time, so Ana's determination is great. Sam is nice and good, someone who appreciates Ana's new soul, who is unselfish, and his interactions with Ana and their growing romance is cute and touching. The characters of Incarnate fuel a lot of the emotion of the novel. Sarit is funny, Li terrible, Menehem creepy. And Janan inspires all sorts of questions! Each brings something to the story to keep the tension rollercoasting.

A great start to a series, Incarnate is a captivating and original read. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series. 


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Review: What Remains by Helene Dunbar

Title: What Remains
Author: Helene Dunbar
Publisher: Flux
Published Date: 8 May 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository

I received this title through NetGalley from Flux for review.

In less than a second...
... two of the things Cal Ryan cares most about--a promising baseball career and Lizzie, one of his best friends--are gone forever.

In the hours that follow...
...Cal's damaged heart is replaced. But his life will never be the same.

Everyone expects him to pick up the pieces and move on.

But Lizzie is gone, and all that remains for Cal is an overwhelming sense that her death was his fault. And a voice in his head that just...won't...stop.

Cal thought he and his friends could overcome any obstacle. But grief might be the one exception.

And that might take a lifetime to accept...
(summary from Goodreads)

What Remains is a sad and thoughtful novel, but one that ultimately feels incomplete. 

What Remains plays on your emotions. Right from the beginning you know where the story is headed, but you're still not prepared for it. Getting to know Cal, Lizzie and Spencer is fun and their bond is beautiful. It makes facing Lizzie's inevitable death all the more harder. Dunbar has crafted three interesting, unique, and well-rounded characters that are so different, and yet fit together in a way that is truly special. She portrays the kind of friendship anyone would hope for - one that is true, deep, and lasting. Even after death. The transplant aspect, especially the idea of cellular memories - that transplant recipients take on the memories, likes and dislikes, emotions, mannerisms, of their donors - make What Remains all the more interesting. This lies at the center of What Remains, and the turmoil Cal goes through trying to deal with his guilt, the trauma of the accident and transplant, and figuring out what's him and what's Lizzie is gut wrenching. You really feel for Cal the whole way through the novel. Dunbar has a way of describing his grief, his fears, his panic so that it feels real - has your heart pounding as if you yourself are suffering too. The romance between Cal and Ally offers a lighter tone that I enjoyed. There's a cuteness to their having liked each other all along but were both too afraid to speak to the other. Ally's understanding of what Cal's going through and her acceptance is beautiful too. Their relationship, as well as the solid friendship between Cal and Spencer, gives What Remains a real hope that is inspiring. 

The downside to What Remains is that I was unsatisfied with the ending. It felt incomplete and rushed to me. I liked where Cal was at emotionally. His relationship with Ally, his friendship with Spencer, the support he had from his parents, all felt solid. He'd come far to accept what had happened and that Lizzie was, for the most part, gone. I could've been happy with that ending. Yet it felt to me as if in the middle of the book Dunbar was building to more. Cal's sessions with his therapist seemed to be leading to revelations about his relationship with Lizzie - that it wasn't as perfect as he made out. That there was a darkness to it, what with the lengths Cal and Spencer were willing to go to keep Lizzie happy and safe. With everything Lizzie had gone through that made sense, but these tidbits had me honestly disliking Lizzie; thinking that she wasn't as true a friend to Cal as he was to her. But while Dunbar seemed to allude to this, it never developed further, as if she lost momentum with the storyline and so just ended it. I kept waiting for more to come from these revelations, and so when nothing did, I ended the novel feeling dissatisfied, without a true sense of closure. This is what has stuck with me. It's what I think of now when I think back to What Remains.

A story of friendship, What Remains is beautiful and emotional. The transplant aspect is thought-provoking and adds to the turmoil. However, I'm unable to get past the feeling that the last half of the story is rushed and incomplete. It just needed that little bit more.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (47)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Share all of the bookish goodies you got during the week!

It's a miracle! I didn't buy any books again this week. I'm surprised I'm not showing signs of withdrawal yet...but maybe it's because I still got some goodies this week.


Rogue prize pack, including poster, sneak peek, Cobalt dragon egg necklace & Cobalt character card. Many thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia!


If You're Lucky by Yvonne Prinz

Last weekend I mentioned attending the Gold Coast Supanova Pop Culture Expo, and I had a blast. Cons are always so much fun - I just love meeting the celebrities attending, checking out all of the awesome stuff to buy at the booths, and seeing some amazing cosplays! I also spent a day at SeaWorld ooohing and aahing over the dolphins, seals, polar bears, penguins, sharks and turtles! One of the King Penguins recently had a chick...throughout the day I could only see it's fluffy backside as it was curled up under it's mother but even that was just too cute!

I hope you've had a great week and received a lot of bookish stuff. Share the link to your own Stacking the Shelves so I can take a look at what you got. Happy reading!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Feature & Follow Friday: Blog Title

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel over at Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. This is a chance to get to know fellow book bloggers and have them meet you. Be sure to pop over and meet this week's featured bloggers!
How did you come up with your blog title and address? Does it have a special meaning for you? 

Pinker Than Fiction is not a name I came up with myself, unfortunately. I'm just not that clever. My pal, Candy, who is that clever and awesome, gave it to me along with another couple of ideas. I'd been brainstorming a new blog title with no luck, and Candy had also named the podcast I do with her husband, so I turned to her for help. I'm glad I did. I love it. As soon as I read Pinker Than Fiction, I knew it was the one. It is special to me - because Candy came up with it, and because it has allowed me to go wild with my love of pink and whimsy in designing my blog!

How about you? How did you decide what to call your blog and does it have a deeper meaning?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waiting on For The Record by Charlotte Huang

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine. It spotlights soon to be released books that can't come quick enough!

The book that grabbed my attention this week is...

For the Record by Charlotte Huang

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published Date: 10 November 2015
Pre-Order: Amazon | The Book Depository

Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like . . . until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything.

Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen hearthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated.

Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule . . . Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?
(summary from Goodreads)

I read that this is Almost Famous as a YA, so yes please! What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten All Time Favourite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme started over at The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they have a specific topic for a top ten list. Link up, visit some new blogs and add to your ever growing TBR list! This week's topic is:

Top Ten All Time Favourite Authors

 Sarah Dessen JK Rowling Nicholas Sparks Maggie Stiefvater David Levithan
Stephanie Perkins Jane Austen John Marsden William Shakespeare Stephanie Laurens

Phew, that was harder than I expected. 10 doesn't seem like such a huge number...until Tuesday and I have to come up with this list!

What authors made your list? Do we have any of the same? 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass, Book One
Publishers: Bloomsbury Children's
Published Date: 2 August 2012
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
(summary from Goodreads)

Throne of Glass is a fairly good start to a YA fantasy series, full of magic and creepy villains...but maybe a little too much romantic and girlish whimsy.

I’m going to start by stating that I was slightly disappointed with Throne of Glass. While I liked it well enough, it wasn’t everything I’d hoped it would be. Most of that falls on Celaena to be honest. An imprisoned assassin, one the deadliest – that gives me all sorts of expectations. Celaena did not meet them. Instead I got a girl more interested in how she looked, what she was wearing, what the Prince and Captain of the Guard thought of her, and about being invited to balls. Not quite what I imagined looking at that awesome cover. I may not have had as big a problem with this if it wasn’t so much the focus of the book. I accept that Celaena is a teenager after all, thrust into the life of an assassin. I even feel for her. But as it stands, it’s kind of tedious and detracts from the better storyline – the battle to be champion and the evil murdering the contestants one by one. This is what I wanted to read, but I found it mostly glossed over and rushed through. The murders are mentioned in passing and only a couple of the tests are detailed. When they are the focus of the story though, wow. They act as glimpses into everything Throne of Glass could have been and that the rest of the series may well be. I hope! It’s proof that Celaena can be the strong, wickedly kick ass assassin I originally expected too. Maybe. How long it took her to realise who was actually murdering the contestants does give me reservations!!

Maas has the potential for some fantastic world building and an enthralling plot. The tidbits – too few though they are – regarding Celaena’s past, the King’s vicious plans, the magic of the Wyrd, the meaning behind Elena’s appearances, and the descriptions of Adarlan, Endovier, Eyllwe and such, promise an exciting and compelling fantasy series. It really is too bad they aren’t further developed throughout the novel so that we jump right into the good stuff. I did expect that Throne of Glass be simply a starting point though, considering it’s the first in a six book series, so I’m probably being more lenient than I might usually be, honestly.  I’m also keen to learn more about Maas’s characters.  Nehemia and Chaol especially, as I instantly liked them for the smart and quietly snarky characters they are. Dorian and his intensely creepy father are sure to be interesting too. Right now, I’m not a big fan of Dorian. The relationship between him and Celaena didn’t sit well with me. It felt too easy considering who they are. I love all the interactions between Chaol and Celaena however, as they’re more authentic and believable. Plus they had me grinning, which is always a plus! I want more of them, but I admit to being worried. A lot can happen in six books! 

I’ll be continuing this series to see where Maas goes with it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it becomes a solid fantasy with a more tolerable and grown up Celaena. 


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts

Title: Zac & Mia
Author: A.J. Betts
Publisher: Text Publishing
Published Date: 24 July 2013
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

"When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics."

So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.

Winner of the 2012 Australian Text Prize.
(summary from Goodreads)

Zac & Mia is a story of friendship and survival with a sharp and fast paced narrative.

Betts offers a slightly different take on the two teenagers with cancer falling in love trend which is refreshing. The novel spans both Zac and Mia's treatment of cancer and their trying to live their lives post cancer. Two vastly different characters from dissimilar backgrounds and families they have opposing views of their illnesses and how to go back to life outside the hospital. Split into three parts, the novel alternates points of views. First Zac, then Zac and Mia, and finally Mia. The way they get to know each other through knocks on their shared hospital wall and messages through Facebook is cute and amusing. Though they never officially meet in the hospital, Mia later, struggling with life post cancer, coincidentally runs into Zac and trusts him and his family when she feels she has no one else to turn to. Zac's family is sweet and funny, and one of my favourite things about Zac & Mia. I felt for Mia's mother, mostly estranged from her daughter and appreciated their growing closer and learning to understand each other. Zac & Mia is an authentic portrayal of teens and family, as well as of the struggles to survive cancer, and it's a touching story.

But here's the thing - I seriously disliked Mia. I found her selfish and childish, with such a negative and irritating attitude. This is hard, because here's a girl with cancer and I can't stand her! I do feel for her situation, absolutely. But I just could not get past the whole 'woe is me, I'll never be beautiful again and no boy will ever love me' spiel she had going on. I could understand that being part of her attitude, but with everything happening, that is all Mia thinks. In comparison, Zac is lovely, with a positive outlook and real strength. Even when he's depressed and practically given up, there's heart to Zac. That's just not the case with Mia. I did enjoy Zac and Mia's relationship though, and could see how it helped Mia to be a better, stronger person. I'd appreciate anything to help me like Mia more. Unfortunately, as Mia narrates half the novel, it does affect the overall enjoyment of this book.

Betts has written a witty and sensitive novel. If only I could love and relate to both characters, I might've rated Zac & Mia higher. 


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (46)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Share all of the bookish goodies you got during the week!

Well, that's depressing. No new books this week. Though I am also kind of happy that I didn't spend money this week. Buying books is my worst addiction. But I love it! I'm sure some of you understand what I mean!

This weekend I'm at the Gold Coast Supanova Pop Culture Expo! Fun! I just love cons. I'll be meeting these awesome people:

I am a nerd and so very proud of it. I'm as obsessed with TV and movies as I am books, so cons like these are a sort of heaven for me! 

Unfortunately there aren't any authors I'm keen to meet this time around, but maybe next time. I'm sure I'll find some books to buy from the bookseller booths though, so check back for next week's Stacking the Shelves!

Did you get any great books this week? And hey, seeing as I'm at a con, is there any actor or author or celebrity of some kind that you'd love to meet?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Feature & Follow Friday: Spending $100,000

Feature & Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel over at Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. This is a chance to get to know fellow book bloggers and have them meet you. Be sure to pop over and meet this week's featured bloggers!

Here is €/£/$100,000. Buy something. Anything at all! What would be the first thing you choose and why?

First, let me just say - woohoo! Thanks for the money! I'd have to get that out of my system. What I'd buy is easy. Plane tickets. Back to the US to visit Universal Studios in Florida (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, yay!), New Orleans, Hawaii and Alaska. Then to the UK to see more of England (the Harry Potter Studio Tour, of course!) and to travel Ireland and Scotland. While I'm so close I'd have to see more of Europe - back to France and Italy, then Czech Republic (Prague, please!), Switzerland, Netherlands, Greece, Germany and Spain. I'd also love to visit Egypt and go on safari in South Africa. While I'm in that part of the world, you know? I'd love to just travel, everywhere and anywhere. Wherever strikes my fancy!

I actually recently found out that I'm going to Japan next year. I am so excited! I've been hoping to go but it depended on a few things, and now it's happening. It's slow going, but I do hope to see the world someday.

So how would you spend €/£/$100,000?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: The Winter People by Rebekah L. Purdy

Title: The Winter People
Author: Rebekah L. Purdy
Series: The Winter People, Book One
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Published Date: 2 September 2014
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia

An engrossing, complex, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore or Maggie Stiefvater, set in a wholly unique world.

Salome Montgomery fears winter—the cold, the snow, the ice, but most of all, the frozen pond she fell through as a child. Haunted by the voices and images of the strange beings that pulled her to safety, she hasn't forgotten their warning to "stay away." For eleven years, she has avoided the winter woods, the pond, and the darkness that lurks nearby. But when failing health takes her grandparents to Arizona, she is left in charge of maintaining their estate. This includes the "special gifts" that must be left at the back of the property.

Salome discovers she’s a key player in a world she’s tried for years to avoid. At the center of this world is the strange and beautiful Nevin, who she finds trespassing on her family’s property. Cursed with dark secrets and knowledge of the creatures in the woods, his interactions with Salome take her life in a new direction. A direction where she'll have to decide between her longtime crush Colton, who could cure her fear of winter. Or Nevin who, along with an appointed bodyguard, Gareth, protects her from the darkness that swirls in the snowy backdrop. An evil that, given the chance, will kill her.
(summary from Goodreads)

The Winter People suffers from stereotypical characters and a cliched, predictable plot. 

I wanted to love The Winter People for the cover alone. So pretty. And that summary above, especially the first sentence! Unfortunately from early on it was obvious this isn't the book for me. While The Winter People had the kind of premise that entices me, it never developed beyond the generic. Engrossing and complex this book is not. Everything is too easy and too predictable. Salome is frustrating. First she accepts the weird instructions of her Grandmother without question, then she just as easily ignores them. There's no thought involved. Salome is the epitome of the boring damsel in distress. Not to mention entirely oblivious. Add in three - three! - love interests and you've completely lost me. Especially considering Salome is drawn to each much too quickly. If you want a developing romance, The Winter People is not the book to choose. I was not invested in either Nevin, Colton or Gareth, and their relationships with Salome. Each are stereotypically mysterious, charming and good looking - that is, lacking any depth. I persevered with the story as I'm not the type to leave a book unfinished, and I had hoped that the lurking evil and ensuing fight for Salome's life would shake things up, but it's as disappointing as the rest of the book. Ah, the power of scorned love. 

Overall The Winter People is a slow read with dull characters and action. I do at least like the cover though!