Friday, October 28, 2011

The Name of the Star

Review Time! Been a little MIA this week mostly due to upcoming exams – after I post this review I’m back to my rock to study, study, and study! The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson is a fairly recent release and I was lucky enough to be sent a copy from HarperCollins Australia (thanks!). Read on for my thoughts…


(Goodreads) The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.


Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.
 
The Short Story? – There is something in this novel for everyone. Something for the romance lovers, something for the mystery lovers, something for the paranormal lovers – it covers such a wide range of genres! Dark, twisted and engrossing, The Name of the Star is an unputdownable page-turner! A plot that will leave you in shivers, a mystery that will do your mind in and a romance that will make you swoon. It’s a keeper!

The Long Story? – I was really excited to read this one but somehow I misinterpreted it. I thought it was going to be a historical fiction that was going to take us back to 1888 where Jack the Ripper first became known. It’s actually set in the 21st century and someone has taken it to themselves to recreate the horrors of 1888. Absolutely spectacular, a little bit twisted but deliciously dark and sinister, it’s not like anything else I’ve read. Johnson has created this intense and dramatic atmosphere that bounds readers to the edge of their seat. A heart-pounding, kickass plot! The concept behind the novel is also very clever! The Name of the Star kept up way past my bedtime, a gripping new paranormal thriller that’s bound to be enjoyed by all!

Aurora – Rory – our protagonist is an American teen studying in England. It wasn’t a like at first read, at the start I actually thought she was a little loud and annoying but I eventually grew to really like her. She’s strong and she’s clearly loyal to her friends. I’m still not quite sure what she physically looks like but she’s a character with an interesting personality and a great sense of humor. Jeremy is the love interest and he’s really sweet but he doesn’t play a big part in the novel like most love attractions, another reason why I really liked this book – it’s a kickass heroine with NO boyfriend sidekick. Some really great secondary characters, one of my favourite would be “New Jack the Ripper” a very interesting (but sick) person ;)

Johnson takes us into the heart of one of History’s biggest murder mystery. A heart-pounding murder mystery with a clever paranormal twist. A heroine that’s both loyal and funny, a plot that’s deliciously dark and a relentless murderer on the loose. The Name of the Star is a sinister YA that will sate your craving for a good book! A spectacular new release that’s for readers of all ages!

Rating – 5/5


Badass Bookie xx

Monday, October 24, 2011

Born at Midnight

Review Time! Just wanted to say a big thank-you to everyone, I just reached 1100 and I 'm so psyched - no seriously I'm so happy! Born at Midnight is a 2011 YA Debut written by C. C. Hunter. This one has been on my radar for months! Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy!

(Goodreads) One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.



Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…


The Short Story? - Fantastic debut! If you're like me, a lover of everything paranormal and in search of a great romance - this one is for you! A very clever and highly entertaining YA novel with a interesting and complex romance. Full of drama, hot guys and tension. Comfortable and easy to read, definitely one worth checking out!

The Long Story? - It has a love triangle, just putting it out there. I'm not a fan and neither are alot of you but take it from a anti-love tranglist, I actually thought this wasn't so bad. Firstly, without the love triangle I don't think the novel would have been as interesting because while there is a bit of action it's more of a easing readers into the ideas of supernatural kind of book. Secondly, it's quite a balanced love triangle. The novel isn't swaying me to one guy or the other which is good because I want to get to know them before I judge! The plot itself was quite steady, nothing really BIG happens. There is no showdown, it's almost like a contemporary, very much of a emotional "finding yourself" plot with a paranormal touch!

I've already mentioned the love-triangle so now I'll introduce you to the people. I quite like the characters, they were entertaining and very funny! Kylie was likable character and a excellent protagonist. She's had all these bad things happen to her and yet she stills strong, even through denial that she is anything but human. Lucas, is your cliched bad boy but he's so sweet ( once you get to know him) that you can't fall in love with him! Derek is the good guy who is always there for Kylie. He's also a sweetie and it's just so hard to chose between the two. They're both so different yet the same :P

For lovers of YA paranormal with a complex and well done romance. Born at Midnight is a remarkable debut that deals with issues teenagers face daily with a paranormal twist. Unput-downable and engrossing, I can't wait to read the sequel. Anther extraordinary debut waiting to be read!

Rating - 5/5

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox #36

Morning Lovlies! Seems like I'm (kind of) a early bird this morning :) :) :) It's not even 9 in the morning yet! Haha! In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Basically we just share the bookish contents of our mailbox! It's a load of fun and a great way to find new books so go participate!

I'm too lazy to do IMM every week so I only participate every second week :)

My Book Hurl for the Last Two Weeks -


For Review -

Exile by Jakob Ejersbo
Equinox by Lara Morgan
Stay with Me by Paul Griffin
Between by Jessica Warman
Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey
ARC Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst
Audition by Stastia Ward Kehoe
Reckoning by Lili. St Crow

( Thanks so Pan Macmillan, Walker Books, Text Publishing, Hardi Grant, Bloomsbury, Allen and Unwin and Penguin! xoxoxoxoxo)

Won -

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
Fateful by Claudia Gray

( Thanks to Lisa ( hehe) <--- My fellow aussie blogger!)

That's all!

Badass Bookie xx

Friday, October 21, 2011

Beautiful Days

Review time! Beautiful Days is the sequel to Bright Young Things by Anna Godberson, the New York Times bestselling author of The Luxe series. She “specializes” in historical fiction for girls, I love her novels because they’re always glamorous! Thanks to Penguin for the review copy!


(Goodreads) For the bright young things of 1929, the beautiful days seem endless, filled with romance and heartbreak, adventure and intrigue, friendship and rivalry.
After a month in New York, Cordelia Grey and Letty Larkspur are small-town girls no longer. They spend their afternoons with Astrid Donal at the Greys’ lush Long Island estate and their nights in Manhattan’s bustling metropolis. But Letty’s not content to be a mere socialite. She is ready at last to chase her Broadway dreams—no matter the cost.
Cordelia is still reeling from the death of her father at the hands of Thom Hale, the man she thought she loved. Now she is set to honor Darius Grey’s legacy . . . and take her revenge. Promised to Cordelia’s half brother, Astrid is caught up in aworld of dazzling jewels and glittering nights—and the sparkle is blinding. Charlie Grey is a gangster playing a dangerous game; and for Astrid, Cordelia, and Letty, the stakes could be deadly.

The Short Story? – Glamorous and addictive, set in the era of the roaring twenties, Beautiful Days is a highly entertaining historical fiction that’s bound to captivate your hearts. A novel about the ambitious and glamorous lives of three best friends, Beautiful Days is not to disappoint! Gossip Girl set in the glamorous twenties!

The Long Story? – I’m in love with this series! If you have read The Luxe by Godberson you would know that it’s historical fiction about the rich and young. It’s about social classes and the scandals of the beautiful and privileged. Beautiful Days is more or less along the same lines, it’s about the rich and beautiful but it’s got this extra sparkle that only a story set in roaring twenties would have. Glamorous and dazzling, I loved the plot! Filled with exciting and luxuries parties, young love and ambition to be famous. It’s highly entertaining and worth every cent! I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this novel! Fantastic!

The novel is told from the perspectives of three best friends, each with ambition to be someone in the era of glamour. My favourite characters of all would be Cordelia, the heiress to a bootlegging business. She’s filled with confidence, she funny and she’s considerate. More than anything she can support herself and make her own decisions. Her sweetheart Max, a talented pilot is irresistible! Letty would be my least favorite character. I’m a little annoyed at her dependent, self-pitying nature and I honestly don’t know how anyone can stand her! She’s living off Cordelia’s generosity and she wants to be famous yet she’s sitting around waiting! By the end of the novel, she seems to grow confident and she’s (kind of) growing on me so I’ll wait to judge :) Astrid is the poster child for rich and privileged. For her it’s all about flirting, glamorous parties and pretty dresses but she’s also furiously loyal and very kind. These three girls are going to grow on you, great development.

If you love novels about the rich, young and beautiful. If you’re looking for a glamorous novel about expensive dresses, scandals and social classes. If you’re looking for something that will dazzle you, pick up Beautiful Days. Godberson has written her best novel yet, anything goes in the roaring twenties and these three girls are having the time of their lives. Highly entertaining and addictive, it’s a guaranteed good read!

Rating – 6/5


Badass Bookie xx


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Linger

Review Time! Linger is the 2nd book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater. I am perhaps the only person on earth who hasn’t read all three books of the series. I’m slowly making my way around all of Maggie’s books! Thanks so Scholastic for the review copy!


(Goodreads) the longing.


Once Grace and Sam have found each other, they know they must fight to stay together. For Sam, this means a reckoning with his werewolf past. For Grace, it means facing a future that is less and less certain.


the loss.


Into their world comes a new wolf named Cole, whose past is full of hurt and danger. He is wrestling with his own demons, embracing the life of a wolf while denying the ties of being human.


the linger.


For Grace, Sam, and Cole, life is a constant struggle between two forces -- wolf and human -- with love bearing its two sides as well. It is harrowing and euphoric, freeing and entrapping, enticing and alarming. As their world falls apart, love is what lingers. But will it be enough?
 
The Short Story? – A hauntingly beautiful novel of love and loss. A touch of the supernatural entwined with the grief, pain, loss and love of four very powerful characters. A lyrical prose and a captivating plot. Linger is unique and un-putdownable. Maggie Stiefvater has written a moving love story that will hold onto you and never let go.

The Long Story? - I’m a sucker for a great love story. While I usually lean towards the pride and prejudice inspired high school clich├ęs, a true love story filled with loss and pain is not bad either. Linger is definitely not the saddest book I have read but it’s definitely one that carries the atmosphere of a touching tear-jerker. Even the title sounds so sad! I really enjoyed reading Linger, it’s got this almost lyrical quality about it. It’s beautiful and while it’s not the most action-packed novel out there, it’s one that will make a huge impact on the reader. A layered plot filled with grief, loss, pain and love, it’s as much of an emotional journey as it is of a physical journey. Beautiful, it’s one to be enjoyed by all.

I love book written in alternating perspectives and that was one of my favorite’s things about Shiver. Longer was even better, it was told from the perspective of four different characters whose lived all bind together somehow. Stiefvater has developed these complex characters that have very distinct personalities but all share the same hurt underneath their bravado. One of the biggest draws to the characters was the pain that I felt even as an outsider. Sam is probably one of the saddest characters I have ever met, it’s not that his sad but his personality suggest that he is a very lonely person. Grace is a character that I instantly liked. She’s practical and level-headed and while she seems fine on the outside, she’s secretly hurting. Isabel and Cole are both dealing with grief and the broken shards of their life. Through their hurt they came to understand each other. A beautiful characterization filled with depth.

Linger is a great love story that will captivate your hearts. Filled with grief, loss and pain, it’s a story about making the best of the broken lives of four very different teenagers. It’s about a curse that’s torn families and lives apart. It’s about the longing, the loss and linger when your loved ones are taken away and the willingness to do anything to get them back. One that will touch the hearts of all, Linger is a fantastic YA novel that will leave you craving for more.

Rating – 4.5/5


Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Debut of the Month - All About Virtuosity + Giveaway

Book Profile

Name - Virtuosity
Author - Jessica Martinez
Genre - Contemporary
Release Date - 18th of October 2011 ( today!)
Available - The Book Depository

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better?



Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.

Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall...


Insider's Scoop

Author’s Secrets: All About Jeremy


1. Initially, Virtuosity wasn’t really a romance. That evolved in the rewrites—and there were many! Jeremy was always in the story, but in the first version, he was exactly what Carmen’s mother warned her he might be.


2. Jeremy was named after Anne of Green Gables’ oldest son, Jeremy Blythe. He went by Jem in the books, and I may have fallen in love with him at some point.


3. Without getting spoilery, there’s a scene that takes place in Jeremy’s hotel room between Carmen and Jeremy. I went into that scene not knowing what was going to happen. Other surprises in the book were planned from the beginning, but in that moment I was honestly worried about what was going to occur in that room and if they could ever recover from it.


4. Jeremy has a secret love for jazz. In college I had a friend (a violist) who played jazz piano, and it almost made me think of him as more than a friend. Almost.


5. Jeremy looks like a violinist I knew as a teenager. We never had a thing either, but I thought he was pretty cute. It’s been fifteen years and I think that’s the first time I’ve admitted that out loud. Nobody tell him.

~Giveaway~

Jessica has kindly offered ONE (1) Finished Copy of Virtuosity for a US Winner! Sorry to my international readers ( look out for a int'l giveaway later today!) but it was a publisher's request! Remember to leave a meaniful comment on this post or Jessica's first post ( compulsory). Thank-you!



Rules of Entry -

US ONLY
Ends 10th of November
Must leave a meaniful comment on this post or Jessica's first post
Must be 13 years or older
Must fill out this FORM

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sirenz Back In Fashion Cover Reveal Bomb! + Giveaway (Int'l)

The Sirenz Back In Fashion Cover Reveal Bomb is ON! As part of the Sirenz Team, I bring you the cover without further ado... TA DA!!!! *throws confetti*
 
Sirenz Back In Fashion, the sequel to Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman will be hitting the shelves in June 2012—but for now, enjoy the new cover! We’re having a mega-giveaway to celebrate. The Sirenz Back In Fashion cover is debuting simultaneously on SEVEN different blogs. Visit all of us to enter and win prizes—yes, that’s PRIZES as in more than one!
How will the adventures of Meg and Shar continue? Visit these blogs to see if you can figure out what happens next:


http://dfordarlasdefinitereads.blogspot.com/

http://bookchicclub.blogspot.com/

http://speedyreader-allthingsbooks.blogspot.com/

http://www.whatsyourstorybookreviews.com/

http://badassbookie.blogspot.com/ ( YOU ARE HERE!)

http://beasbooknook.blogspot.com/

http://aten-ra.blogspot.com/

Each blogger is giving away a very special charm necklace which symbolizes something from Sirenz Back In Fashion. It could be an important object, or represent a significant place or character… or god! Leave a comment on what you think of the new cover and what you think that particular charm means, along with your email address to enter. You can comment to win on EVERY participating blog! This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL—let’s spread the Sirenz love around the world!

Drawing end dates will be determined by individual bloggers. Once all blogger drawings are complete, another drawing of ALL entries from ALL blogs will take place for a grand prize to be announced at Sirenz Official Website  and/or Natalie's Blog  and Charlotte's Blog.

~Badass Bookie's Giveaway~

As part of the Sirenz Back in Fashion Cover Reveal Team I'll be giving away a Horse Necklace ( shown below) It's INTERNATIONAL and all you need to do to enter is "LEAVE COMMENT telling me what you think of the cover and what you think this necklace represents along with your email address! "Remember each blogger is giving away a different necklace so make sure you stopover at the other blogs too!


Rules of Entry -

- Open Internationally
- Ends October 31st
- Leave a comment answering the question ( above in paragraph) and email address
- Please tweet, sidebar, facebook and spread the word about the cover reveal using hastag #sirenzcover ( not compulsory but it would be great!)

Badass Bookie xx

Debut of the Month - All About Jessica Martinez (Virtuosity)

Debutante Profile

Name - Jessica Martinez
Debut - Virtuosity
Genre - Contemporary
Website - HERE
Blog - HERE
Twitter - HERE

I was born to two music lovers in Calgary, Canada. When I was just three years old, they put a violin under my chin.  Miraculously, it stuck.  I went on to perform as a soloist all over the world, and somehow ended up studying English at Brigham Young University.  Since then have been a high school English teacher, symphony violinist, elementary school teacher, violin teacher, and mother. I currently live in Orlando, Florida with my husband and two children.  My days are spent writing, running, and teaching my children to be music lovers too.  My greatest hope is that some day my siblings will quit harassing me about ruining their childhoods with my violin-ing.

Dream Debutante Dress - Black and white polka dots always make me smile. And the metallic heels? Those too, please. I thought about picking an Oscar-worthy gown, but I do better at cute than glamorous.


Notes from a YA Debutante

Ten Random Things About Me




1. I used to be the worst waitress ever. EVER. At the beginning of one lunch shift, I spilled a tray of eight iced teas all over myself in front of a table of men on a business lunch. Soaked through to my underwear with iced tea, I said, “Aren’t you so glad I’m your server?” Not one of the jerks laughed.


2. I hate scary movies, or being scared in any way, shape, or form. Once (on our honeymoon) my husband jumped out and scared me when I thought I was alone in our hotel room. I burst into tears and then I punched him as hard as I could and then I cried some more. He has not done that since.


3. I’m freakishly double jointed. I can pull my shoulders in and out of their sockets, but don’t ask me to do it—my doctor got pretty mad at me when I told him it’s my best party trick. It is though.


4. I’m not so good with plants or pets or decorating or cleaning. My family likes me anyway though, because I make a mean cheesecake and tell awesome bedtime stories.


5. I’ve lived in the U.S. for fourteen years now, and just when I think I’m thoroughly Americanized, I visit Canada and feel so utterly and completely like myself that it’s hard to make myself go back.


6. I have an unholy love for boots. I need to stop buying them. Or buy more of them? Yeah, buy more, that’s what I meant.


7. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and just stay up because it’s too hard to get back to sleep and too much of a waste of time to just lie there. And when I say sometimes, I mean regularly.


8. I’m second of six children. I think I’m my dad’s favorite and my mom’s least favorite, and my siblings agree. When called on it, my mom vehemently denies it and my dad just laughs. I think we know what that means.


9. I rap. Only two people in the world have ever heard me and I WILL NOT do it for anyone else, probably not even at gunpoint. Both of my audience members think I’m the coolest person on earth, but they are six and four. I give it two years.


10. I have a thing for geeks. Geeks may apply here. Oh wait, I’m married. Never mind.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank-you Jessica for the lovely post! I'll like to see this party trick!!! I'm double jointed at all :( And *confession* I like to rap has well, it's sad but I know every word to Super Bass ( Nicki Minaj is like my idol - going to rap like her one day). I have an unholy love for shoes ( it's in the genes) I think I bought 14 pairs of shoes in the last two month... O_O Anyway Lovlies, see the second half of Jessica's hilarious feature tomorrow!

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Debut of the Month - All About Audition + Giveaway

Book Profile

Name - Audition (Goodreads)
Author - Stasia Ward Kehoe
Genre - Contemporary
Release Date - October 13th 2011
Avaliable - The Book Depository/ The Nile

When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she's deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem's muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she's chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent

The Insider's Scoop

IF THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS IN AUDITION HAD SUPERNATURAL POWERS…


Sometimes I wish I wrote about wizards or girls with other-worldly powers. Ideally, it’d be a snazzy, six-figure-book-deal trilogy that would be made into the kind of 3D movie you have to wear those migraine-inducing glasses to see. Then again, I kind of think my ballerina girls are badasses in their own ways. So, I’m gonna make ‘em into superheroes. Just for you!


Madison – A ballerina with an eye for business, thanks to her executive dad. As much as she loves dancing, she’ll likely grow up to rule boardrooms. She can look right through you and she doesn’t take any crap. Superpower: Laser gaze.








Bonnie – If wars could be won with sheer determination, Bonnie would be head of the United Nations. She’s got serious issues with body image for which she is being treated, but she will win her eating disorder battle if anyone can because she is incredibly pragmatic and can figure out how to get things done. Superpower: Ultimate endurance fighter.






Simone – Has an eye for fun and knows the power of love. Simone isn’t afraid to speak up for herself—or her friends. With her elegant charm she somehow manages to get people to tell her about their romantic woes. Superpower: She carries one of Cupid’s arrows.







Lisette – Nobody realizes what a great advantage intelligence is to the ballerina. Lisette spends extra hours practices in the ballet studio and, unbeknownst to the other girls, almost as many hours reading about great dancers, studying music and, well, doing homework. Her eye for grace, and her appreciation of history help her bring great passion and character to her dancing—she stands above the rest as a dancer from breath to bone. Superpower: photographic memory.





If your friends were superheroes, what would you call them? What colors and special effects would you add to their photographs? It's a lot of fun to think about. In fact, I'm kind of distracted thinking about the awesomeness that are my friends Julie, Janet, and Mo who've been helping me plan my book launch part. Or my cyber-buddies Lisa and Laura, who made my gorgeous book trailer. Or my critique group partners, my theater, dance and literary pals. Fact is, writing is a lonely job but launching a book into the world in these crazy publishing times takes a village. Mine is filled with cupcake-baking, carpool-driving, breakfast-and-gripe-session, proofread-anything-for-you superheroes. Here's hoping yours is, too!

~Giveaway~

Alright Lovelies! Stasia has kindly offered TWO (2) Audition Swag Packs (signed poster; ballerina sticky notes; bookmarks) for ONE (1) US/CAN Winner and (1) AUS Winner! Please make sure you leave a comment on one of Stasia's posts ( compulsory!) and fill out the form below! Thank-you!


Rules of Entry -

Open to US/CAN/AUS
Ends 10th of November
Must leave a comment on one of Stasia's posts!
Must be 13 or older
Must fill out this FORM

Badass Bookie xx

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Debut of the Month - Stasia Ward Kehoe ( Audition)

Debutante Profile


Name - Stasia Ward Kehoe
Debut - Audition
Genre - Contemporary
Website - HERE
Blog - HERE
Twitter - HERE

Stasia Ward Kehoe grew up acting and dancing on stages throughout New England. She has a BA in English from Georgetown University and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has worked as a choreographer and dance teacher, a baker and a bank teller, and is currently and most happily a mom to four fantastic sons!

Dream Debutante Dress - I found this gorgeous lace number at vintageous.com, where it notes that the label reads “Designed in Paris by Lanvin Castillo.”  Cool, huh?



Notes from a YA Debutante...

FIVE THINGS ABOUT ME:

*I’M A COUNTRY GIRL
I was born in a little house on the prairie…just kidding. But I was practically born reading the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder. As a kid, I read them repeatedly, along with novels by Noel Streatfield and Frances Hodgson Burnett. I read Streatfield’s BALLET SHOES so many times I could recite the opening pages. (Actually, I still can!)


*FOREVER ONSTAGE
I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t involved in the arts. I danced ballet, wrote and acted in plays, was an All State soprano in high school, and choreographed for a modern dance troupe in college. Seriously, I was a major Gleek before gleekdom was cool. Or even a word.


PROOF! Our debutante smack bang in the middle holding flowers in Show Choir!
 *COULD BE A VAMPIRE
I grew up with asthma which I think is one of the reasons I gravitated toward ballet and drama—indoor sports away from the pollen, hay and trees that made me wheeze. My landscapes were all interiors—ballet studios with fingerprinted mirrors or the splintery wood surfaces of community theaters. I sometimes call myself a “mole person.” I could spend a week indoors, reading, writing, baking, listening to music…and not miss the sun at all. Maybe I’m not so much a mole as a vampire?

*MY AFFAIR WITH CARS
I dislike driving yet I get some of my best writing inspirations while driving in the car. I’ll be going along and suddenly get this great idea and have to pull over and reach for my ever-present notebook. While I’m grateful for the many stories that I’ve started on the road, I must confess that I sometimes drive to wrong destinations while in my fiction trance. My kids find this very irritating.

*DRIVING RED
Cars are also a motif in Audition, and I included one in my favorite color: red. Sometimes I wonder if my fondness for crimson hues means I am actually a lot bolder than I think I am. I have a red front door, red couches in my living room, and paintings with red elements (red boat; red bicycle red cars) on my walls. I don’t wear much red, though. Perhaps I use up most of my scarlet audacity in my imagination (and maybe on pages of paper).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Debut of the Month is back with an AWESOME October Debutate! Stasia, I can't WAIT to read Audition! I think it's possible that you are a vampire, have you tried walking into the sun? If you sparkle then you have proof! BTW I love red too but purple is my favourite colour! My lovlies! Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the second half of Stasia's feature and an AWESOME giveaway!

Badass Bookie xx

Friday, October 14, 2011

Faerie Winter

Review Time! Faerie Winter is the sequel to Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner. The series is a dystopian dark fantasy which is quite different from everything else I’ve read! If you haven’t read Bones of Faerie seriously think about reading it because it’s so different! Thanks to Random House for the review copy!


(Goodreads) Liza is a summoner. She can draw life to herself, even from beyond the grave. And because magic works both ways, she can drive life away. Months ago, she used her powers to banish her dangerous father and to rescue her mother, lost in dreams, from the ruined land of Faerie.



Born in the wake of the war between humanity and Faerie, Liza lived in a world where green things never slept, where trees sought to root in living flesh and bone. But now the forests have fallen silent. Even the evergreens' branches are bare. Winter crops won't grow, and the threat of starvation looms. And deep in the forest a dark, malevolent will is at work. To face it, Liza will have to find within herself something more powerful than magic alone.



The Short Story? – The highly anticipated sequel to Bones of Faerie does not disappoint! Simner has written yet another seductive dark fantasy set in a dystopian environment! Enticing and dangerous, Faerie Winter is beautifully dark and brilliant! For fans of the supernatural with an exciting new edge, this one is for you!

The Long Story? – One of the things I love about this novel was the setting. The series is set in a dystopian world which is interlaced with magic. Unlike most dystopian societies which are modern rubbles, Simner has created a dystopian society that has travelled back in time to the Middle Ages. Not only has she incorporated dark fantasy into her story. The whole world is shadowed by the dangers of magic, the trees long for blood and the faeries are evil. Beautifully written and well-planned, Simner has written a novel filled with adventure, loss and hope. Very original and highly entertaining. It’s one to be enjoyed by lovers of all things dystopian or paranormal.

It annoys me to no end that the protagonist is called Liza. If only the ‘z’ was an‘s’ then it could have been a story about me!!! :) However it’s impossible to dislike Liza, she’s a very strong heroine. Level-headed, brave, selfless and intelligent. She’s someone to be admired. Matthew, our love interest doesn’t play a huge role in this novel but I love him anyway for always being there for Liza. Karin, the faerie who cares for humans and Kyle the brave little boy who I had grown to love. A wonderful cast of characters, well-developed and filled with personality.

Faerie Winter is like nothing you’ve ever read before. A clever tale about a world that’s falling apart, a race of beings that want to wipe out human population and a girl who has the power to change everything. Beautiful, exciting and dangerous, Faeries Winter is a brilliant companion to Bones of Faerie. To be loved by readers of all ages, if you’re looking for something new, this is a guaranteed good read.

Rating – 4.5/5


Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

He's So Not Worth It

Review Time! He’s So Not Worth it by Kieran Scott is the sequel to She’s So Dead to Us (which is one of my favourite books all time). It’s a “just because” review so I’m reviewing this book for me because it’s so awesome! If you haven’t started this series you need to! It’s a library copy *gasp* I haven’t been to the library in at least six months…


(Goodreads) Ally Ryan, come on down to the Jersey Shore and forget your troubles!



Have you recently been humilated in front of your friends and family at your former best friends birthday party? Was your almost boyfriend partly responsible for that humilation by withholding some vital information about where your estrangerd father is? Did you come home to find said estranged father sitting on your stoop?
Jake Graydon, an exciting opportunity is waiting for you in the service industry!


Are your grades so low your parents have grounded you for the summer? Did you the girl you really like unceremoniously leave you behind? Would you rather eat dirt than see your friends again? Then a job at the local coffee shop is just the ticket! Suprisingly, Ally's father is the new manager so you get to be reminded of her nearly every day. Maybe it's time to start flirting with your best friend's ex or even taking school a bit more seriously. Especially when you finally see Ally and she's hanging around with some loser and it's couldn't be more clear that she is over you.


Have a great summer!


The Short Story? – If Gossip Girl had an offspring and moved to the suburbs, this would be it. All the glamorous lives of the rich and young with more likable characters but just has dramatic lives. You know I can’t resist a good book about “Rich Bitch Bennies” (direct term from the book) but mix it in with a totally cute romance? I was hooked from the first page! Scott doesn’t fail to impress! Loved it!

The Long Story? - I’ve named Scott, Queen of Cliff Hangers. I thought the ending of She’s So Dead to Us was fantastic but the ending of He’s So Not Worth It was a killer. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t like novels about the exciting and glamorous lives of rich, suburban American teens. I love the plot, filled with drama and tension, hot guys and romance – it just can’t get any better! I guess for me what stands out about this series is that it’s so unpredictable and while it’s about the superficial lives of teenagers who have nothing better to do than ruin other people’s lives, it’s for something real about it. The romance has build up and it’s a tough love but it’s SO worth it!

When I said the characters were likeable I meant it! I love Gossip Girl but sometimes the characters do things that completely frustrate you! Not saying I liked every character in this book, I mean I started off “hating” Shannon but she redeems herself in the end! The novel is told from the perspectives of Jake and Ally ( a couple who can’t be more perfect for each other, yet life gets in the way and they can’t be together – not exactly star-crossed) both characters I’ve grown close to. Ally’s really a very likeable character, she’s strong, level-headed and she’s not rich! She’s gone from riches to rags (and she’s going back to riches) but she cares about things other than shopping. Jake is not perfect but after meeting Ally, he’s changed a lot and I admire that he’s willing to change himself so that he can be with Ally. A beautiful couple, I hope they get their chance at a happy ending!

He’s So Not Worth It is the deliciously, scandalous sequel to He’s So Not Worth It – if you haven’t read the series do it! One of my favourite YA sequels of the year, Scott does not disappoint! Beautifully written, well-planned and wonderfully characterized. Scott has written a teen drama that’s bound to captivate your attention! I look forward to the next book in the series!

Rating – 5/5


Badass Bookie xx

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ten Things We Shouldn't Have Done

Review time! Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done is the latest novel by Sarah Mlynowski, author of Bras and Broomsticks and Gimme a Call. I loved her Bras and Broomsticks series so I eagerly anticipated this novel! It’s been on my radar for months and I would like to thank Hachette for sending me a review copy!


(Goodreads) 2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn't have.


If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn't jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe "opportunity" isn't the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: "Lied to Our Parents"). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up "Skipping School" (#3), "Throwing a Crazy Party" (#8), "Buying a Hot Tub" (#4), and, um, "Harboring a Fugitive" (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.


The Short Story? – Mlynowski has written the perfect novel for teens! Everything from growing up to sexuality, Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done is a coming-to-age novel written at its best! A crazy wonderful plot, a real romance and a protagonist that reflects how we all feel sometimes. Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done is a funny new YA!

The Long Story? – I think Mlynowski has written every teen’s dream down on paper. A crazy plot that’s sure to bring rounds of laughter. The plot is a little far-fetched but yet at the same things, completely believable. Teenagers are great liars and if we put our minds to it, anything can be done (even the things that shouldn’t be done). While Ten Things We Shouldn’t Have Done, is a very enjoyable novel it also covers more serious problems teens face like neglect and sex. It’s the perfect coming-to-age novel because among all the laughs it talks about the issues that teenagers face every day. A YA contemporary like no other!

I love Mlynowski’s books because not only are her plots crazy and enjoyable but her characters are likeable and funny. There is depth to them and while they’re out-going, they also harbor the same insecurities and problems that have shadowed every one of our lives one time or another. April was a fantastic protagonist. She’s got a out-going personality and she’s just one of those characters that grow on you instantly. I really felt that I could connect with April, she’s funny, sweet and confident. I absolutely adored Vi, she a wonderful friend and without a friend like her in this novel, it wouldn’t have been the same. However I really think it was the boys who stole the show. Dean could possibly the funniest characters I have yet encountered. He was hilarious. Hudson is MINE!!! What a cutie, one to grow on you instantly and he’s a complete sweetheart!

Ten Things We Shouldn’t have Done is a beautiful YA contemporary that will leave in you laughter. Mlynowski does not disappoint, beautifully written and a fantastic plot. This is the ideal coming-to-age novel. A novel about choices, consequences and dealing with everything from neglect to break-up. Funny, cute and captivating, Ten Things We Shouldn’t have Done is a remarkable novel!

Rating – 5/5


Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In My Mailbox #35

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Basically we share the bookish contents of our mailbox with all the other bookworms out there! I participate in IMM every two weeks, awesome book hurl this week! I love my Aussie Publishers, they're totally awesome!!! :)


For Review -

Vicious Little Darlings by Katherine Easer
Velvet by Mary Hooper
After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steve Wedel
Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
Wildwood by Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis
Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
Where There's a Wolf, There's a Way by Lisi Harrison
Pan's Whisper by Sue Lawson
Forbidden by Jana Oliver
Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers
Born at Midnight by C. C. Hunter
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
Emerald by Karen Wallace
Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
Prized by Caragh O'Brien

(Thanks to Bloomsbury, Penguin, Harpercollins, Pan Macmillan, Walker, Simon and Schuster and Hachette!)

That's all!

What's in your IMM? Leave a link!

Badass Bookie xx

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Lost Saint

Review time! The Lost Saint is the sequel to The Dark Divine by Bree Despain. I read The Dark Divine at the start of last year and I almost completely forgot what the novel was about! What I can remember is that it was awesome! Thanks to Hardie Grant for sending me a review copy!

(Goodreads) A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns.



Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot, a newcomer to town. But as the two grow closer, Grace's relationship with Daniel is put in danger - in more ways than one. Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her - not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.


The Short Story? – What a phenomenal sequel! I believe this is one of those series’ that just gets better and better! A completely intoxicating love story, a dark and seductive plot and a brave heroine whose willing to make life and death sacrifices for the one she loves. Despain has written a beautifully, sinister novel that will leave you craving for more!

The Long Story? – I literally couldn’t put this book down! I powered through all 407 pages of it! Completely addictive, I stayed up past midnight trying to finish it (I eventually fell asleep but picked it up first thing). All I can say is that it’s a stunning sequel, I couldn’t think how it could have been more perfect! Werewolves aren’t my favourite “night-bumpy” but I’m seriously considering a change of status. Fantastic plot packed with action and mystery interlaced with a complicated romance! Some of the best romances I’ve read in a long time! Intense, breath-taking and heart-breaking! I can see the start of a love triangle but this is one case where a love triangle is acceptable. Amazing novel!

I’m aware that I’m blabbering but seriously, I didn’t think The Dark Divine was THAT amazing yet The Lost Saint completely blew me away! Not only was the plot brilliant but the characterization is fantastic too! I feel like I’m bonding with Grace, she’s definitely grown more mature and she’s a true heroine. Daniel is…well, I can definitely understand the attraction. He’s good-looking, he’s kind and funny in the brooding way and he’s definitely less annoying than some male leads (I really am NOT a fan of Edward Cullen- I loved the saga but Edward Cullen was bo-ring) but I’m torn between Team Daniel and Team Talbot. Dan has made some pretty stupid mistakes throughout the novel and eventually he redeems himself but Talbot was there for Grace through everything and it’s frustrating that I can’t state my team! Fantastic character development! Despain really has outdone herself!

I think it’s completely worth it for you to read The Dark Divine just so that you can read The Lost Saint. To match their sassy titles (seriously how cool are they?) they’re exciting, dark and seductive. Beautifully written, addictive and intense! A romance that will put Edward and Bella to shame. The Lost Saint is a stunner of a sequel! Step over vampires, these wolves are taking the spotlight!

Rating – 6/5 (LOVED it!)


Badass Bookie xx

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sirenz

Review Time! Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman is a 2011 YA Debut. Following the current trend, it’s another Greek Mythology related debut however it’s got an extra sparkle to it so it’s really one of a kind! Thanks so much to Natalie and Charlotte for sending me a review copy (and the prettiest swag I’ve ever seen).


(Goodreads) Bickering frenemies Meg and Shar are doing some serious damage at a midnight sample sale when the fashionistas find themselves arguing over a pair of shoes-with fatal consequences. One innocent bystander later, the girls are suddenly at the mercy of Hades, Lord of the Underworld himself. To make them atone for what they've done, Hades forces the teens to become special-assignment Sirens, luring to the Underworld an individual whose unholy contract is up.
Finding that delicate balance between their fashion addiction and their new part-time job in the eternal hellfire biz turns out to be harder than Meg and Shar expected, especially when an entire pantheon of Greek deities decides to get involved. Then there's the matter of the fine print in their own contracts...

The Short Story? –You can tell it’s going to be a glamorous read by its Tiffany blue cover! A funny and cute debut that’s bound to make you laugh out loud. Bennardo and Zaman has written a novel like no other! Fantastic characters, beautifully written, well-planned and a plot filled with crazy wonderful things! Fashion is about to get downright dirty.

The Long Story? – I’ve read plenty of YA debuts this year and they were all pretty good but some were just better than others. Sirenz was definitely one of the better debuts I’ve this year. As I mentioned, it’s Greek Mythology with an extra sparkle. Very funny, very cute and very dramatic. Who knew Gods and Goddess’ could be such prima donnas? Well-written, comfortable to read and a glamorous storyline, I read Sirenz cover to cover. One to be enjoyed by readers of all ages, if you’re a fashion fanatic looking for a new read – pick Sirenz, it’s the new “it” book.

Sirenz is told from the alternating perspectives of Shar and Meg – two frenemies. My guess would be that Bennardo wrote through one character and Zaman wrote through another (Charlotte – Shar and Natalie – Meg…maybe? Did I get it right?). I love books that are told from different characters so instant brownie points. What I really loved about the characterization is that Shar and Meg are so different yet they can work past their differences to eliminate a “common enemy”. Both characters are funny, brave, adorable and quirky yet they are so different. It’s almost like Bennardo and Zaman has worked little bits of their own personality into these characters. Well developed and likeable, without Shar and Meg, this debut wouldn’t be the same. Another thing I like about the characterization was the Gods and Goddess’, Bennardo and Zaman decided to ditch the Good Samaritan act and have created these prima donna divine figures. Designer clad (kind of bitchy) Goddess’, sleazy (but badass) Gods – it’s like the creators of the world have swapped personalities with the cast of Gossip Girl. I love it! Very original!

It goes without saying that I strongly recommend that everyone single one of you, go to the nearest book shop (or Book Depo) and buy yourself a copy! It’s a guaranteed good read, very funny and cute, one that contemporary and rom-com lovers will enjoy equally as much has the paranormal crowd. Beautifully written, I look forward to reading more of Bennardo and Zaman’s writing. Sirenz is an original debut that will leave you in laugher!

Rating – 5/5


Badass Bookie xx

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fury

Review Time! Fury by Elizabeth Miles is a 2011 YA Debut. The novel was released last month is Australia and do yourself a favor and get a copy from your nearest bookshelf ASAP! It’s not just a pretty cover… Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the review copy!


(Goodreads) Sometimes sorry isn't enough....



It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...


Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.


On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen.


The Short Story? – A dark and seductive debut that will leave you craving for more! Dangerous, dark and sinister, Miles has written a captivating story about revenge, regret and karma. Fury will leave you sitting on the edge of your seats. A heart-pounding tale filled with the fear of the supernatural, a new twist on Greek Mythology. Fury will grab you by the next and never let you go.

The Long Story? – I was a little confused by the plot, it was fantastic but for such a complex build-up the ending was really, really simple. I thought there would be a little more to the novel but Fury was really just about bad karma. I can see that from the ending that the sequel would be much bigger and dramatic so I’m really looking forward to the second book in this seductive series. Fury was filled with mystery and this dark atmosphere. It was well planned and well written, it had just the right touch of suspense and it was just fantastic. With this debut, the line between reality and the supernatural was blurred. It’s a not a very heavy paranormal - if that makes sense. It’s rather realistic and the Furies just symbolize sweet revenge which is a truth. Definitely a debut that both paranormal and non-paranormal readers will enjoy!

For the characterization, we started with two main characters. Em and Chase – it’s almost like two different stories but their lives overlap slightly. As the novel progresses, their stories slowly become one until near the end when we end up with only one protagonist. It’s rather clever how Miles have portrayed Em and Chase. She has given them this innocence as if they are not fully aware of how serious their sins are. They’re both likeable characters so I really didn’t like to see them on the wrong side of Furies. I honestly thought Em and Chase were going to end up together and battle the Furies as a couple BUT that didn’t happen – the ending was pretty good though! I liked how Miles have worked the Furies in as important characters and not as just “prop”, she has given them personality and physical characteristics so that each girl is her own character – very clever! Overall a very good cast!

For readers who like their novels a little dark and sinister, Fury is not to be missed! A seductive debut filled with beautiful writing and prose. A captivating plot and a unique cast. Fury is deliciously dangerous and a little terrifying. One to keep your eyes out for, Miles has entered the YA community with a bang. Sweet revenge has never looked hotter!

Rating – 5/5


Badass Bookie xx