Monday, August 29, 2011

Blood Magic

Review Time! Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton is a 2011 YA Debut, I’ve kept an eye on this one since December last year when I went Debutante hunting for my event. Witchcraft isn’t something I usually read (unless it’s Harry Potter) but Blood Magic sounded so intriguing! Thanks to Random House for the ARC!

(Goodreads) For Nick Pardee and Silla Kennicot, the cemetery is the center of everything.

Nick is a city boy angry at being forced to move back to the nowhere town of Yaleylah, Missouri where he grew up. He can’t help remembering his mom and the blood magic she practiced – memories he’s tried for five years to escape. Silla, though, doesn’t want to forget; her parents’ apparent murder-suicide left her numb and needing answers. When a book of magic spells in her dad’s handwriting appears on her doorstep, she sees her chance to unravel the mystery of their deaths.

Together they plunge into the world of dark magic, but when a hundred-year-old blood witch comes hunting for the bones of Silla’s parents and the spell book, Nick and Silla will have to let go of everything they believe about who they are, the nature of life and death, and the deadly secrets that hide in blood
 The Short Story? – A fresh take on witchcraft! Original and captivating, fans of all things paranormal will love this debut! A dark and enticing plot, a protagonist with a haunted past and a romance that’s like no other. A thrilling novel with a brilliant narrative voice, a fantastic debut!

The Long Story? – To be honest, my final thought about the book is still a jumble. You should definitely read it because it’s a really great book but for me I felt as if it didn’t meet my expectations. There was all this hype about the book and so when I read it, it’s was brilliant but I was kind of expecting more. I think I’m just over thinking it because this was a fantastic debut!

My main problem was the plot. I felt all the suspense and mystery was excellent but the action was all bunched into the last 50 pages of the book and for a book with 400 pages, I felt that there should have been a little more evenly spread. Perhaps two big heart-pounding moments instead of one. It was well-written and a fantastic flow though and the final showdown was amazing, grip-the-edge-of-the-seat-amazing. I also like how Gratton has worked all this mystery, suspense and secrets into the novel, they acted has little hooks that didn’t let you go! I stayed up past my bedtime (not that I “really” have one) to finish this novel, the ending is really is brilliant! If not for anything else, you should definitely read this book because it’s got an ending that will rock your world! :P Also the romance is to die for, Silla and Nick are probably one of the cutest couples I’ve met this year. Small town, girl who took a turn for the worse, new guy in town, loves her for who she is and not who she used to be. Filled with sizzling kisses, romance junkies will approve!

The characterization is great. Gratton has written the novel so that the story alternates between being told from Silla’s perspective to Nick’s perspective, therefore by the end of the novel we know both of them pretty well. I especially liked Silla’s character, she was a great protagonist – her and Nick both were – but there was depth to her. She wasn’t what readers wanted her to be, she was flawed and she wasn’t afraid to admit that she’s torn by the grief of her parent’s death. She was strong and kind and I really loved her character. Nick was hilarious, he was such a boy! Sarcastic, proud and lots of attitude but you just got to love the boy, he really was just so funny! He also had this sweet and kind nature that came out when he was with Silla and I liked that, he was someone who didn’t have to put on a show for his girlfriend because he wanted to be himself with her. Reese, Silla’s brother was also a fantastic character, the novel probably wouldn’t have been the same without him and I’m sad he didn’t’ get a happy ending!

In a nutshell – Blood Magic is really something. It’s interesting, it’s engrossing and it’s got a fantastic romance. The characters are great, I loved both Silla and Nick. Gratton has a very unique YA voice and she writes brilliantly in a male’s perspective (so good that I think she should write more books from a guy’s perspective). Again, the action was great, I just wished that it wasn’t all bunched together at the end, although if it was spread out over the course of the book, it probably wouldn’t have had the same effect. For lovers of the supernatural, Blood Magic is one that you would want to check out!

Rating – 4/5

Badass Bookie xx

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Secrets and Shadows

Review time! Secrets and Shadows is the sequel to 13 to Life by Shannon Delany which was one of my favourite 2010 YA debuts! It's a werewolf tale and one of the best ones ( in my opinion!) I'm totally excited to read and review the sequel, thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s suspected. With Jess’s realization that the Rusakovas’ mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group’s choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite long enough to free their mother and people who Jess always just took to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more.

The Short Story? - What a killer ending! I can't wait to read the next book! Secrets revealed, new threats and dangers and another chapter of an epic romance! Great tension, lots of drama and a fantastic plot! Plenty of character development and well written! I loved Secrets and Shadows! This is a sequel you must read!

The Long Story? - Secrets and Shadows was great but I still think that 13 to Life was better, it just seemed that after all the hype of waiting for the sequel it somewhat fell short. Don't get me wrong, it was a total page-turner and I loved it, great detail and fantastic romance BUT it was more or less the same stuff.

The plot was interesting and while there was many developments, the storyline is going around in circles, CIA, mafia, curse, CIA, mafia, curse I was hoping to see some new context, another twist to the story perhaps. I liked the drama though, Delany bought in the Romeo and Juliet affect, Pietr wanted to keep Jessie safe but staying away from her, Jessie was heart broken and turned to Darren for comfort so two people in love but can't be together, lot's of romantic tension and sizzling moments! Nevertheless lots of development among the same old things, we're getting a whole lot closer to what I think is "the end" :)

Lots of character development in this installment! The characters have definitely matured even if they do make some stupid mistakes like keeping away from each other when they're clearly in love. I always thought that I was more of a Team Pietr but I think I'm switching teams to Team Max, I just can't get enough of this cool kid! He's such a player but he's got this contagious personality that you just can't resist, I've fallen prey to this big bad wolf :P ( pun intended). Jessie is growing a little wiser with every chapter and I like her persistent nature, the fact that she's hurt but she hasn't given up all together on Pietr. Catherine is as cute as ever, I wish she was my BFFL ;P Pietr...what can I say, he's a sweetie and I can't wait to see what happens between him and Jessie in Bargains and Betrayals!

Lastly Delany writes beautifully, I would think this is one of the reasons I love her novels. She's got a great "teen" voice and reading her novels are an adventure in itself! I was hanging onto each word, captivated by the strong narrative voice and the fantastic flow of her words! Delany is definitely one of the few others who really get right "into" her characters. Jessie is clearly portrayed and that's what makes this a great series, the writing really brings out the best of the novel!

Well, famous last words? You won't be disappointed! 13 to Life was great, Secrets and Shadows was great and I'm sure Bargains and Betrayals will be great ( see a trend)! Fantastic tension, lots of drama for the drama junkies. An epic romance that's filled with passionate kisses and sizzling chemistry and a cliff-hanger ending that's completely captivated me! Love the paranormal? You won't regret this series!

Rating - 4/5

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hunting Lila

Review Time! Hunting Lila written by Sarah Alderson is a 2011 YA Debut. I hadn’t heard anything about this one before it arrived unexpected on my doorstep, I’ve seen the cover floating around here and there but I never took the initiative to Google the blurb ;) Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the review copy!

(Goodreads) 17-year-old Lila has two secrets she's prepared to take to the grave. The first is that she can move things just by looking at them. The second is that she's been in love with her brother's best friend, Alex, since forever. Or thereabouts.After a mugging on the streets of South London goes horribly wrong and exposes her unique ability, Lila decides to run to the only people she can trust - her brother and Alex. They live in Southern California where they work for a secret organisation called The Unit, and Lila discovers that the two of them are hunting down the men who murdered her mother five years before. And that they've found them. Trying to uncover the truth of why her mother was killed, and the real remit of The Unit, Lila becomes a pawn in a dangerous game. Struggling to keep her secrets in a world where nothing and no one is quite as they seem, Lila quickly realises that she is not alone - there are others out there just like her - people with special powers -and her mother's killer is one of them...

The Short Story? – Absolutely amazing! Hunting Lila is not only one of my favourite debuts of the year but one of my favourite books all time! I love it! Exciting, engrossing and action-packed, Hunting Lila is supernatural thriller that’s mind-blowing! Fantastic characters, edgy and original plot and a refreshing YA voice! This one’s a must read!

The Long Story? – I honestly had no idea about the novel before it turned up on my doorstep, I had no knowledge about the book besides the fact that the cover is rather striking. It’s wasn’t until I read the Media Release did the first seeds of interest plant themselves in my head. ‘With X-men-style talents, hot action and even hotter boys’ …see how good it sounds!

The plot was amazing! It’s original, fast-paced, action-packed and intriguing! It’s starts of a little slowly but it soon picks up before turning into a grip-the-edge-of-chair non-stop action filled storyline! There’s even a high speed chase (every good book needs a high speed chase right?) Add in some awesome fight scenes, some dirty secrets, supernatural powers and hot, sexy boys and you have… Hunting Lila! For fans of I Am Number Four, Superheroes and action-packed novels with a great romance Hunting Lila is a must-read!

I think this is one of the few novels I have read where the ratio of male leads outnumber the female leads. So the main protagonist is a girl, her name is Lila and she’s got special powers. I always get these confused but she’s either Telekinetic (I think it’s this one) or Telepathic. The whole novel is based around this superhuman ability of hers and how it leads her to escape to California where she find her brother and the love her life (and my life) Alex. Alex is everything, he’s hot, sexy, kind, considerate, smart, protective and ticks all the other requirements for perfect boyfriend material. I’m only highlighting two of the many great characters in the novel. It’s really a fabulous cast!

Sarah Alderson writes brilliant books for teens – fact. Sarah Alderson needs to finish the sequel to Hunting Lila ASAP – opinion. Alderson is a talented writer with a unique style and a strong YA voice. Her words are powerful and her writing is comfortable to read. The novel is a good length and what more can I say? I just want to gush on about how good it is!!!

Hunting Lila is a refreshingly original debut filled with superpowers, hot boys, non-stop action and a high speed car chase (sorta)! Well written, exciting, captivating and absolutely fantastic! I can’t wait to read the sequel to this astonishing debut! It’s a keeper :)

Rating – 5/5

Badass Bookie xx

Shift by Em Bailey

Review Time! Shift by Em Bailey is an Aussie ( *squeal*) YA 2011 Debut! I'm so excited to review this because I don't think many of you know about this book right? Well, just a heads up - it's amazing! Shift is released next month and thanks so much to Hardi Grant for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Olive Corbett is definitely NOT crazy.

Not anymore. These days she takes her meds like a good girl, hangs out with her best friend Ami, and stays the hell away from the toxic girls she used to be friends with.

She doesn’t need a boyfriend. Especially not a lifesaver-type with a nice smile. And she doesn’t need the drama of that creepy new girl Miranda, who has somehow latched on to Olive's ex-best friend.

Yet from a distance, Olive can see there's something sinister about the new friendship. Something almost... parasitic. Maybe the wild rumours ARE true. Maybe Miranda is a killer...

But who would believe Olive? She does have a habit of letting her imagination run away with her...

The Short Story? - A mind-blowing debut! Seriously, my own level of enjoyment took me by surprise but this is seriously one heck of a good book! A psychological thriller that will haunt you long after the last page! For lovers of all things mystery and suspense! Excellent plot, fantastic characters and well-written. Edgy and original, Shift by Em Bailey is one of my favourite debuts of the year!

The Long Story? - This took me completely by surprise. It's one of those hidden treasures that I left on the shelf for too long, should have read this ages ago! I was surprised to find that I actually really, really, enjoyed this novel! Would definitely recommend everyone to check it out! Mind-blowing!

I loved the plot, loved it so so so much. It was exciting, edgy, original and had this dark appeal to it. I'm not a huge fan of psychological thrillers although I have read a few good ones but Shift was amazing. A novel filled with mystery, suspense and a touch of paranormal. A novel that will haunt your thoughts long after the last page, mind-bending story line! I don't know how Bailey comes up with all this stuff but it's pure genius! I was hooked onto every word and couldn't get enough. A captivating novel about friendship, betrayal, deception, loss and grief.

The characters were great! Fantastic characterisation! Olive is a nut case, she's mentally troubled but she's kind, witty and quirky. Miranda, is slightly disturbing, a real mystery. No one really knows who she is but she's popular, beautiful and just not quite normal. Bailey's developed her characters perfectly and portrayed them so that they all have captivating personalities! While the plot was brilliant without these characters to keep it going, I would have lost interest. The character's were essential, they're all well developed yet they hold this air of secrecy and mystery. They all have their dirty secrets that don't want to be found. Very intriguing cast!

Bailey's writing was another highlight of the novel. I look forward to reading more of Bailey's work as she sure can write! Her words flow nicely together, it's a comfortable pace and the language is easy to understand. Her narrative voice is strong and enticing, I was hanging onto every word! Very, very well-written, this is one of those rare novel where the plot, the characters and the writing are all excellent! Definitely one not to be missed!

Shift is a psychological thriller that's both engrossing and chilling. A novel where the line between reality and fantasy is blurred and readers are kept guessing. Mind-bending plot that's highly original and intriguing characters that give 'air of mystery' a whole new definition. Wonderfully written, exciting, edgy, dark and filled with mystery and suspense. Shift is a remarkable debut!

Rating - 5/5

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jessie Loves NYC

Review Time! I spent the last 10 minutes wondering what's the best way to write "Loves" because on the cover it's like "<3" but I can't do it like that in the title so I changed it! Jessie Loves NYC is the second novel of YA author, Keris Stainton! Thanks so much to Hachette for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Jessie's just arrived in New York, hoping to forget about her awful ex.

New Yorker Finn is in love with his best friend's girlfriend.

They might be perfect together, but in a city of eight million people, will they ever find each other?

The Short Story? - Very cute, sweet and fluffy! This is just one of those books that's meant to be read for entertainment! The plot is simple, cute and funny. The characters are adorable and the writing is comfortable! A very quick read that's meant to be a OSR ( One Sitting Read), perfect for a quiet night in, well written, great flow and it's one to be enjoyed by all!

The Long Story? - You know those books that are so cliched and predictable, you roll your eyes yet you read it and secretly ( or not so secretly) find yourself enjoying it anyway? Well, Jessie Loves NYC was one of those books! It's an accidental great read! The cover is really, really catchy as well!

The plot was ...predictable but cute. From the moment I read the blurb I knew what the ending would be, in fact read the description provided in this review and you can work it out too. However this was one of those books where the ending wasn't the most important thing. It was the journey to the end that was significant. It was the coincidences that keep bringing Finn and Jessie together, it was the personal demons each character had, it was the cute yet bittersweet relationships throughout the book. What's not to love right? Not to mention that it's set in....NEW YORK CITY!!!

The characters were absolutely adorable! Jessie was going through heartbreak, spending the summer in a foreign city, battling it out with her mum yet she's one of those character's who is kind-hearted and hard not to love! Finn was adorable, he's cute...I'm not so sure about hot appeal but definitely swoon-worthy and A+ in the boyfriend category! Supporting characters were great although Jessie's parents are borderline weird ( one's gay and one's a cougar...I love the diversity!) Great characterisation!

Stainton's got a very comfortable writing style! It's suits the novel, both are cute, fluffy and light. Very entertaining and very teen! The language is easy to comprehend and it's a pretty short novel only around 250 pages and the font is pretty big, it can easily be read by book lovers of all ages! Written in third person yet emotions can still be bought out in the novel! Well-written indeed!

So how should I sum it up? Read Jessie Loves NYC! One for readers of all ages to enjoy, it's the novel to read for a girl's night in! Funny, sweet and cute, Jessie Loves NYC is a novel about hardship, finding yourself ...and fate. Well written, great characters and a plot that's super cute! Entertaining, exciting and set in New York City, cancel your Friday night plans because this one is worth a night in!

Rating - 4/5

Badass Bookie xx

Friday, August 19, 2011

Debut of Month - All About The Near Witch + Giveaway ( Int'l)

Okay this was meant to be posted yesterday but Blogger backfired on so so so sorry!!!!
Book Profile

Debut - The Near Witch
Author - Victoria Schwab
Genre - Fairytale
Release Date - August 2nd 2011
Available - The Book Depository

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

The Insider's Scoop

The origin of The Near Witch...

This book was born out of two sentences dreamed up six months apart.

I was a college student, taking a variety of poetry and short fiction classes in addition to my required ones, and because I was a bit over-scheduled, I would try to do my creative writing work walking to and from class.

One day I was power-walking to school, and thought up the line, "There are no strangers in the town of Near." I liked it, its oddness, but I was in poetry and couldn't really use it, so I put it aside.

Six months later, I was sitting at the desk in my senior apartment, and a different line popped into my head: "The wind on the moors is a tricky thing." I immediately remembered that first line, and knew that the two went together. When I paired them up, I was left with questions. What was Near? Where was it? Why kind of place would have such a name? And no strangers? And what did that mean, about the wind?

The questions got tangled, weedlike, and just like weeds, they spread until the story, and answering those questions, became all I could think about.

My first book, a lovely, but bad thing, had been on submission for seven months, and hadn't sold, so I sat down in the coffee shop at the corner of campus every night from 9pm to 11pm, and wrote. I had to check out of senior studio (I was a Communication Design major) to do it, and go straight back after, but over the course of that spring, The Near Witch took shape. By graduation it was done. By late summer, it was sold.


Okay Lovlies! Victoria ( our super awesome debutante) has kindly offered ONE (1) Finished Copy of The Near Witch to one lucky reader! It's open to anyone who lives anywhere that Book Depository ships. Please leave a comment on this post or Victoria's first post as it's compulsory. Please read the rules of entry below -

Rules of Entry -

- Must Leave a Comment on this post or HERE
- Open to Everyone who lives where Book Depository Ships
- Must be 13
- Must fill out this FORM
- Ends 9/9 2011

Badass Bookie xx

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Debut of the Month - All About Victoria Schwab

Debutante Profile

Name - Victoria Schwab
Debut - The Near Witch
Genre - Fairytale
Website - HERE
Blog - HERE
Twitter - HERE

I am the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, I have been known to say "tom-ah-toes", "like", and "y'all".

I love fairy tales, and folklore, and books that make me wonder if the world is really as it seems. I love writing about doors, and places between, and the cracks where reality slips into something darker, stranger, and invariably more interesting.

I grew up on the west coast, but went to high school in the south, an all girls' prep school complete with plaid skirts I used to doodle on during math. I went to Washington University in St. Louis, where I changed course SIX times (and would have done it a seventh time, but my family and advisors said you couldn't switch majors in your last semester).

Job-wise, I have been a clerk in a department store, where I met a very nice Erotica writer while re-hanging bras. I have been an assistant caterer and a personal chef. Because of this, I bake some mean chocolate chip cookies, can plate hors d'oeuvres, and know how to make twirling napkin towers. I was a dog daycare attendant for a few summers, and have the scars to prove it. In college, I worked in a bookstore, where I never made ANY money because I spent every check feeding my book-buying habit.

And now, I am an author. That's still really fun to say, and I feel like I need to fact-check myself just to make sure it's true.

Dream Debutante Dress-

Notes from a YA Debutante

I am inspired by art in every form, by movies and paintings and poetry and fiction, and by the mundane world, and the moments when the line between them goes a bit blurry. But here are a few of my favorite sources of inspiration.

Neil Gaiman, whose oddness is wonderful and whose worlds are always a little tipped.

Andy Goldsworthy, an incredible environmentalist artist.

Laini Taylor, who does such lovely things with words.


Mirah and Florence and the Machine, who bring such beautiful strangeness to their music, and seem so often to be writing for my stories.

Duy Huynh, a magical realist painter who never fails to open my imagination.

Film trailers. love the taste, the tease. I more often envision my work as a trailer than as a film, picking out key moment to string together in quick, curiosity-inducing fashion.

Narwhals, because they are proof that this world still has a little magic in it


Okay, not going to lie, that's one of the prettiest debutante dresses I have seen! I love the fairytale element :) I'm a sucker for fairytales myself.... :P I'm obsessed with film trailers as well! I spent so much time on Youtube it's not funny! Neil Gaiman is absolutely brilliant as well! Lovelies, don't you love Victoria already? If you do stay turned for tomorrow when the second half of her feature is posted!!!
Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Debut of the Month - All About Epic Fail + Giveaway

Book Profile

Debut - Epic Fail
Author - Claire LaZebnik
Genre - Contemporary
Release Date - 2nd August 2011

Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

The Insider's Scoop

One of my favorite movies of all time is Amy Heckerling's CLUELESS, which is a modernization of Jane Austen's EMMA, but such a brilliant, subtle, and approachable adaptation that you don't need to have read a word of Austen to appreciate it. I felt like no one had done that yet with PRIDE AND PREJUDICE--turned it into a fun high school romance. I'd been wanting to break into the YA market, so I figured I'd try my hand at it, see if I could get it to work.

It was instantly clear to me that I had to solve one very thorny problem before I could move ahead: we just don't have the same kind of class distinctions in the U.S. today that they had back in Austen's era in England. And without those distinctions, the Darcy character goes from being understandably proud to just being an unpleasant jerk. How could I successfully bring some kind of believable class system into a 21st century high school?

I fretted over this for a while--and then it came to me: we may not have lords and ladies and "the landed gentry" and all that, but we Americans love our celebrities. We worship and fawn on them and scheme to get closer to them. It was a true ah-ha! moment. Mr. Darcy became Derek Edwards, son of not one but TWO Hollywood movie stars, and suddenly his wariness toward other people made a lot of sense. Since I live on the westside of LA, I actually walk by a bunch of celebrity houses all the time. I've literally seen paparazzi camped out on the street and let me tell you: that kind of stalking would make anyone shut down and only trust people he'd known all his life.

So I had my Mr. Darcy. After that, everything else fell into place. I tried to think of a new way for the girls to be continually embarrassed by their mother, and I think I found something pretty good for that too, but I'm not going to spoil the surprise here. And of course I had to update the story to include texting, loud parties, worries about college, and teachers who think they're too cool for school. But some things didn't have to be updated: sisters will always drive you crazy AND be more loyal to you than everyone else. And sometimes love sneaks in where you least expect it. I didn't have to change any of that.

Anyway, one very cute cover design later . . . and EPIC FAIL was a book.


Claire has kindly offered (5) FIVE finished paperback copies of Epic Fail to you lucky winners! Unfortunately this giveaway is only open to US residents! ( So sorry! Interntional giveaway in two days!) Commenting is required because comments make me and Claire and everyone happy! :) Please read rules of entry below :)

Rules of Entry -

- Must Comment on at least ONE post
- Must be 13 or Older
- Must fill out this FORM
- Ends 8th of September 2011

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, August 15, 2011

Debut of the Month - All About Claire LaZebnik

Debutante Profile

Name - Claire LaZebnik
Debut - Epic Fail
Genre - Contemporary
Website - HERE
Facebook - HERE
Twitter -  HERE

I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts and went to college about twenty minutes from home. I didn't think I'd ever settle down anywhere else. Somehow, though, I just kept moving farther and farther away and one day I realized I'd been living in Los Angeles for pretty much an eternity. I'm not sure when I knew I was never going to end up back on the east coast . . . maybe somewhere around the time my fourth child said, "Mommy? What's a down jacket?" Turns out I was raising me a bunch of California kids.

Anyway, after I moved to LA, I spent some time writing for magazines like VOGUE and COSMOPOLITAN. Back then people used to say skeptically, "YOU write for fashion magazines? YOU?" I rarely put on make-up and I wear old jeans and t-shirts every day--always have, always will, or at least I will until I can't get the jeans on anymore and have to switch to those stretchy old-lady pants. Anyway, I faked the fashion stuff for a while but then I started having kids and couldn't stop so I gave up on the magazine track. Several years later, I found myself with four kids and an itch to write. I scratched the itch, got my first novel published and haven't looked back. Well, maybe I've looked back, but only in a happy, nostalgic, where-did-the-time go? kind of way . . .

Dream Debutante Dress - This picture from the LA Times of a dress by Prabal Gurung has been hanging over my desk for MONTHS now as inspiration, since all my novels have a strong romance element in them--and what's more romantic than a gorgeous red off-the-shoulder dress that looks like it's already been for a quick roll in the hay?  I wish I had a reason to wear this.  And looked like her when I did.

Notes from a YA Debutante

10 facts about me that most people don't know:

1. At 5' 2 1/2", I am the TALLEST one of the four sisters in my family. Growing up, I honestly thought I was amazonian. It took me years to realize I'm actually short. And now three of my four kids are taller than me--hooray!

2. EPIC FAIL is my first YA novel, but it's my 5th novel and 7th published book (I co-authored two books on autism). My 6th novel comes out in less than a month.

3. I love to bake more than pretty much anything else. During the cool winter months, I probably bake every day. My kids like brownies the best, but I love cakes, especially peanut butter pound cake. Nothing wrong with chocolate chip cookies either.

4. One of my sons has an autoimmune disease called Celiac Disease and can't eat any gluten, which is found in regular flour, so I have to bake with gluten-free flours, like rice, tapioca, and cornstarch. It adds an interesting challenge to baking.

5. My daughter also has an autoimmune disease. Hers is called Addison's and it means her adrenal glands don't function. Some scholars believe that Jane Austen (who wrote PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, which EPIC FAIL is loosely based on) died from Addison's Disease, but no one's sure. Fortunately, it's now treatable.

6. My husband is a TV writer who's been working on the animated show THE SIMPSONS for the last several years, which makes him the coolest dad at school, as far as my kids are concerned.

7. I went off to college when I was 16 and graduated when I was 20. I thought that meant I'd always be younger than everyone else I know, but that turned out not to be true.

8. I like to knit but I rarely finish anything. Except scarves. I've finished scarves. I have a beautiful half-made sweater sitting next to my bed that I started to make for my husband something like eight years ago. It'll be really great when I finish it. Too bad I won't ever finish it.

9. I'm a total slug. You want to make me happy? Plunk me down on a sofa surrounded by my entire family, put a bag of pretzel M&Ms in front of us and TOP CHEF or PROJECT RUNWAY on the TV. Bliss.

10. My daughter thinks that the funniest thing that ever happened in our family was when I stepped into a hot tub, lost my footing, and fell face first into the water in front of everyone. She still laughs hysterically whenever she thinks about it. I don't quite see the humor in it myself.


Annnnnnnd that's a wrap for today! Thanks so much for the fantastic post Claire! I love, love, love your dress, the red is just amazing! Project Runway is a great show so I don't think that makes you a slug :) My dad owns a tourism business so he goes to theme parks for a living which make him coolest dad in like, second grade :P I love your ten things about you and can't wait to read more! Lovelies, come back tomorrow for the second half of Claire's feature and an EPIC (pun intended) giveaway!

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In My Mailbox #32

Morning Lovelies! I'm in the midst of a massive house clean-up so this is going to be a rush, rush, rush! Anyway In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren! Basically we share the bookish contents of our maibox! This is a three week edition!

For Review -

Fury by Elizabeth Miles
Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
ARC Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
Faerie Winter by Janni Lee Simner
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
ARC Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Wolf Blood by N.M. Browne

(Thanks to Murdoch, Simon and Schuster, Random House, Allen and Unwin and Bloomsbury)

Gifted/ Won/ Swap -

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger ( 2 copies! One ARC and One Finished, Swap? Email me or something)
ARC of Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers
Hourglass by Mira McEntire
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

( Thanks to Lillie, Amelia, Jess, Haley and Lisa)

That's a wrap! What's in your Mailbox?

Badass Bookie xx

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bright Young Things

Review Time! Anna Godberson is the author of The Luxe ( Gossip Girl in the 1800's) and Bright Young Things is the first book in her second series which is set in the Jazz Age :) The two series are completely unrelated, the second book Beautiful Days comes out next month! Thanks to Penguin for the copy!

( Goodreads) The year is 1929. New York is ruled by the Bright Young Things: flappers and socialites seeking thrills and chasing dreams in the anything-goes era of the Roaring Twenties.

Letty Larkspur and Cordelia Grey escaped their small Midwestern town for New York's glittering metropolis. All Letty wants is to see her name in lights, but she quickly discovers Manhattan is filled with pretty girls who will do anything to be a star…

Cordelia is searching for the father she's never known, a man as infamous for his wild parties as he is for his shadowy schemes. Overnight, she enters a world more thrilling and glamorous than she ever could have imagined—and more dangerous. It's a life anyone would kill for . . . and someone will.

The only person Cordelia can trust is Astrid Donal, a flapper who seems to have it all: money, looks, and the love of Cordelia's brother, Charlie. But Astrid's perfect veneer hides a score of family secrets.
The Short Story? - I loved Bright Young Things! The excitement, the era, the girls and the glam! Everything about Bright Young Things screams "READ ME". Fantastic characters, a scandalous plot and beautifully written! Handsome young men, ambitious young girls, all the glam of the 20's and one epic swoon-worthy masterpiece! Historical fiction is totally awesome!

The Long Story? - To be completely honest, I wasn't the biggest fan of The Luxe series. It was good but after a while it got really boring. I think it was partly because putting aside ball gowns and parties, the 1800's was a little stifling and boring. I was a little hesitant about starting Bright Young Things in fear of not liking it but now I regret keeping it on the shelf for so long!

The main difference I find when I compare The Luxe to Bright Young Things is that the plot was so much more exciting! It could be because the Jazz Age was exciting and glamorous or that it's simply better written but I was hanging onto every word from the start to the finish! Exciting, unpredictable, delicious scandals and dirty secrets! This is so cliched but " It's like Gossip Girl in the 1920's" beautiful rich girls, handsome young men, dirty secrets, ambitious dreams and lots and lots of twist and turns! Addicting and beautiful, Bright Young Things kept me up way past my bed time!

The characterisation was fantastic! One thing I love about Godberson's books is that there are more than one protagonist and that the story alternates between the characters. It's like reading different stories but somehow they're all connected! I have to say that my favourite character in the novel was Cordelia. Her segment of the novel made me flip forward to find the next chunk! She's funny, flirtatious, beautiful and a great friend! Letty was great but I found her annoying more often than not, she was naive and had a massive ego. She was such a meanie to Cordelia and in the end she still came to rely on her. Astrid the last of our trio was what I dubbed as the "wild child". Naive New Yorker, she took Cordelia under her wing and she's really a great friend.  Thom, was an excellent contribution to the novel, I loved him at the start but at the end I (kinda) hated him, what he did ( or what I thought he did was unforgivable. Every character had unique qualities and they were all very well developed!

Lastly, Godberson's a fantastic writer. She definitely knows how to tell a good story! Well-written and excellently planned out. Lots of research clearly went into the novel unless of course, Godberson turns out to be a vampire who actually lived through the Jazz Age. Great use of language and excellent use of third person perspective! I look forward to reading more of Godberson's work!

Bright Young Things is a wonderful work of historical fiction. Pure entertainment, exciting, addictive and glamorous! This one is for all the girls out there! Not a reader? Doesn't matter, everyone got to love Bright Young Things! Handsome young men, dirty secrets, delicious scandals and bright young things, what's not to love? This one is a keeper!

Rating - 5/5

Badass Bookie xx

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Summer and the City

Review Time! Candace Bushnell is the critically acclaimed author of Sex and the City. Last year she published her first YA novel, The Carrie Diaries, a prequel to The Sex and the City. The Summer and the City is the sequel to The Carrie Diaries. Thanks to Harpercollins for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream.

This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country "sparrow"—as Samantha Jones dubs her—to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

The Short Story? – The sequel to New York Times #1 Bestseller did not disappoint! A vibrant summer adventure of hardship, sex, friendship and everything in between. Carrie takes us on an epic journey through New York. Great characters, fantastic plot and a brilliant ending. The Summer and the City is a girl’s best friend!

The Long Story? – I admit I’ve never actually read Sex and the City but I’ve watched the TV show and seen the movies and I love it! Honestly, I’m still not quite convinces that The Summer and the City is written for a YA crowd. It’s really mature and would have been written for an olden YA crowd. Chick Lit readers would love this or YA contemporary readers!

I liked the plot of The Summer and the City better than The Carrie Diaries. With The Carries Diaries I felt that the plot lacked a sense of adventure. It wasn’t thrilling and rather mundane, growing up in the 80’s- boring. Growing up in the 80’s, spending the summer in New York, dreams, ambition, friendships and sex? Much more interesting! The Summer and the City is a cross between Chick Lit and YA Coming-to-Age. First sex, strong friendships, chasing dreams and ambition mixed with the hardships of being a woman, Chick Lit for the YA crowd! It’s written for an older YA audience and it’s really rather realistic. Unlike other YA fictions which contain some level of “fiction”, Bushnell doesn’t downplay anything, bittersweet relationships, the ugly side of friendships and the insecurity of not reaching your dreams. It’s all very refreshing!

The characterization was another one of the strong points of the novel. Again, the characters were very real and they were easy to connect to. Carrie was a likeable character, she was annoying at times and stubborn and yes, she has a huge ego but the best characters always have flaws and Carrie was a brilliant and entertaining protagonist. Samantha and Miranda are great supporting characters and they’re definitely great friends. I think that by the end of the novel, Carrie had matured a lot, she’s discovered the truths of the world and I think that I (kind of) matured along with her. I put myself in Carrie’s shoes throughout the novel and this is one summer adventure that stays with you long after you finish reading!

Bushnell has a writing style like no other. The Summer and the City is quite a comfortable read but Bushnell unique writing style does take some time to get used to. Her choice of language is richer than other YA novels, the words and sentence structure are more sophisticated and it’s written for an older crowd. It probably won’t be as enjoyable for a younger YA reader! Great novel, a solid read and Carrie’s got a very strong narrative voice!

The Summer and the City is not to disappoint. Fantastic sequel to The Carrie Diaries. A novel that every girl should read because it’s about everything. Life, dreams, friendship, sex, romance and the City! Fantastic plot, well-written and great characters. Mature, realistic and brilliant, The Summer and the City is one unforgettable novel!

Rating – 5/5

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance

Review Time! Jenna and Jonah’s Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin was released earlier this year. I’m a sucker for books that alternate between male and female protagonists so I just had to check the book out! Thanks to Bloomsbury for the review copy!

(Goodread) Fans of romance don't need to look any further than the fauxmance brewing between teen idols Charlie Tracker and Fielding Withers-known on their hit TV show as Jenna and Jonah, next-door neighbors flush with the excitement of first love. But it's their off-screen relationship that has helped cement their fame, as passionate fans follow their every PDA. They grace the covers of magazines week after week. Their fan club has chapters all over the country. The only problem is their off-screen romance is one big publicity stunt, and Charlie and Fielding can't stand to be in the same room. Still, it's a great gig, so even when the cameras stop rolling, the show must go on, and on, and on. . . . Until the pesky paparazzi blow their cover, and Charlie and Fielding must disappear to weather the media storm. It's not until they're far off the grid of the Hollywood circuit that they realize that there's more to each of them than shiny hair and a winning smile

The Short Story? – Fun and fluffy, one of the cutest romance novels I’ve read this year! Told from alternating perspectives of Jenna and Jonah, this novel is fantastic! What’s not to love about teen celebrities and romance? A total sweetheart, this one is for fans of Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

The Long Story? – It was love at first sight. Or first read. Hi, I’m Lisa and I’m a romance junkie, my drug of choice is cute, funny, fluffy YA romance novels. I’m a self-confessed addict to Jenna and Jonah’s Fauxmance and I hope Franklin and Halpin write a second book because I just can’t get enough. Totally awesome novel!

The plot was really too cute. It’s a little clichéd but it was meant to be that way, it wasn’t a case where the authors tried too hard and accidently turned the book into one big cliché but more like it was deliberately meant to be predictable. This is really one of those novels where the plot surrounds the romance instead of the other way around. It had a nice flow to it and where the book lacked in adventure (sorry no quest or life-saving moments) it made up in originality. I liked how the novel is based around these two co-stars who hate each other but have to put on a Fauxmance. There’s drama and it’s just how I would imagine Hollywood to be. Again, I repeat myself it’s very cute and it’s one for all to enjoy!

The characterization was my favourite thing. I loved Jenna (aka Charlie) and Jonah (aka Fielding aka Aaron), they both amazing characters who are wonderfully portrayed and developed. It might be a co-author thing but the personalities of our protagonists really stood-out, they were so real and unique. It was (kind of) a “finding-yourself” novel and the changes in our protagonists were really distinctive in the end. Lots of development throughout the novel and they’re both just so hard not to love. Funny, sarcastic and cute.

The writing was really good. Franklin and Halpin have different writing styles that are very distinctive as they alternate between Jenna and Jonah. They’re very different but somehow they fit together rather nicely, it flows instead of being disjointed. It’s a very cute read only about 200 pages and it’s definitely easy and comfortable enough that you could finish it in one sitting!

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record but I repeat myself for the gazillionth time, it’s really too cute to miss! If you love romance, drama and YA then what are you doing reading this review??? You should be heading to The Book Depository and buying yourself a copy! Funny, fluffy and fantastic, one of the cutest romances I have read this year! Well-written, original and amazing. Round of applause for Franklin and Halpin!

Rating – 5/5

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, August 8, 2011

Desires of the Dead

Review Time! I had this review schedule all written out but then my plans changed and now I’m stuck with a massive review pile again. Anyway, Desires of the Dead is the second book in the Body Finder’s series by Kimberly Derting. Thanks to Hachette for the review copy!

(Goodreads)  Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger

The Short Story? – Another brilliant YA murder mystery! Engrossing, heart-pounding and full of suspense. Unpredictable, mysterious and maybe just a tad scary :) Fantastic plot, great characters and a captivating narrative voice. An exciting thriller that will leave you covered in goose bumps.

The Long Story? – I did the unforgiveable. I peeked at the ending before I got there, it’s a sin and I promise to go to confession but I have a love/hate relationship with mysteries. I love the suspense and dark secrets but I hate not knowing what it is. I like to be “in” the know ;)

The first thing that appealed to me about this series was the genre. I’m not sure whether it’s because authors don’t think we can handle murder mysteries or what but murder mysteries are extremely rare in YA. I love the suspense and the dark secrets and shadows lurking around waiting to be revealed. The heart-pounding tension that’s both engrossing and exciting. The captivating lure of solving the mystery that’s just out of reach. I love it all! I sit on the edge of my seat and hang onto every word. After The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead, I’ve come to the conclusion that Violet lives in a pretty morbid town, apparently this is where all the serial killers hang out. However it’s so interesting! Nice flow, well-written and a great ending!

As the 2nd book in the series, I’m already pretty familiar with the characters but there is still plenty of development in this novel. We examine our protagonists in depth, Violet who is brave, sweet and stubborn is also insecure. We can see the insecurity a lot clearer in this novel, I think it’s hard for her to trust people and all these flaws are bared for us to see in this novel. Jay, is an absolutely sweetie and we really get to see how much he loves Violet in this novel and how protective he is of her. I love the romantic drama between the two! The introduction of new characters – especially Rafe makes the novel a whole lot more exciting. I’m very, very curious about Rafe, I think he might be the third part of a love triangle but… I might be wrong ;)

Derting has written this novel in third person which fits with the novel since it’s a pretty all-knowing novel. We get a peek into everyone’s head including the “bad guys”. It’s a very strong and compelling narrative voice, I found it was very hard to put the book down once you start it. The series of events just flow so nicely you don’t want to disturb the flow ;) Greta use of language and excellent sentence structure, I look forward other works by Derting.

In a nutshell, The Desires of the Dead is everything you need in a book. Romance, suspense, chuck in a few serial killers and heart-attack worthy moments and you get great Friday night Entertainment! Ditch the horror movie, murder mystery thrillers are the new thing! Fantastic, original and very, very engrossing, this is definitely one you should be checking out!

Rating – 5/5

Badass Bookie xx

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Review Time! I've been so slack with my reviews lately that it's shocking, I currently have five books ( four now) to review and Demonglass has been on the pile for at least a month now! I'm so lazy!!! Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins is the second book in the Hex Hall series which is brilliant! Anyway...

(Goodreads)Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

The Short Story? - I loved it. If you liked Hex Hall, you're going to love Demonglass! This is definitely one of those series where the books get better as the story progresses! Fantastic romance, great characters and a captivating plot. Funny and quirky, one of my favourite reads of the year :)

The Long Story? - Since I'm reviewing this novel just because, you have to take my word that this is a seriously awesome series! The novels are just the right amount of romance, humour and adventure! It's one of those books that you just can't hate! I liked Demonglass even more than I loved Hex Hall, I think it had something to do with the fact that there was more romance ( I think there might be a love triangle developing) and also the the story was set in England which is always a bonus add that to the list of hot boys and funky creatures that go bump in the night and you have Demonglass! Lots of action and adventure, enjoyable from start to finish and very cute. Killer ending, I really can't wait to see where the story goes in Spellbound but Demonglass was too awesome to describe!

Characterisation was brilliant! Sophie is one of my favourite characters all time! She's funny, sarcastic, charming and brave. Easy to connect to and it's a instant friendship, she's the kind of girl you'll want to be friends with! Archer our love interest is a man of mystery and is also fluent in sarcasm. Sexy, charming and he has the whole bad boy shebang down pact! Cal, our other "potential" love interest is shy, really hot and a sweetie which really makes it hard for me to chose one guy to side with but I do have a feeling that Cal's going to be the underdog :( which makes me want to scream ' I'm Team Cal and don't you dare give up on Soph!!!' Minor characters really add to the story, we have our mean girls and our villains as well as our best friends. Great cast!

I really love Hawkins writing style. It's rather unique and very comfortable to read. Sophie have a very strong narrative voice and it's really "teen". Hawkins got the teenage talking style downpact, I recently read Clarity and like Kim Harrington, Hawkins has the attitude and sarcasm just perfect. I have hidden suspicions that these authors are really vampires who are stuck during adolescents ( just saying...)

Overall, Demonglass was enjoyable, it bigger and better than Hex Hall which was awesome. Great plot, fantastic characterisation and very strong narrative voice. Compelling and engrossing, it's definitely a series worth checking out, one of my favourite sequels of the year, I can't wait to read Spell Bound after that killer ending!

Rating 5/5

Badass Bookie xx

Friday, August 5, 2011


Review Time! Clarity by Kim Harrington is a 2011 YA Debut, I quite sure that most of you have read it or at least heard of it? I was very excited to receive an ARC from Scholastic and since I just finished it ten minutes ago, my thoughts are still buzzing around my head! Thanks to Scholastic for the copy!

(Goodreads) Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case - but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother - who has supernatural gifts of his own - becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most
 The Short Story? – A thrilling murder mystery! Original, captivating and well-written, Harrington has written a debut like no other. Combining elements of the supernatural with mystery and suspense, Clarity was engrossing, exciting and edgy. A remarkable debut, this one is for fans of The Body Finder!

The Long Story? – The blurb on the back of the ARC didn’t really give much away about the novel, I was under the impression that Clarity was a paranormal romance from the non-spoiler reviews I have read. I was totally of the mark, it’s a thriller/murder mystery something that’s not very YA and the only other series I can think that’s remotely close is The Body Finder.

The plot was different – in a good way. It’s very original and it’s a novel that can be enjoyed by everyone because it’s not quite paranormal but it’s not quite contemporary either, it’s somewhere in the middle and throw in a murder (or murders) and you have a winner! Harrington’s debut is exciting, full of mystery and suspense and it’s a page-turner. It’s one of those books where you’re dragged into the novel, put in the protagonist’s shoes and experiencing the events yourself. You’re driving yourself made wondering who the murderer could be, who the liar is and who’s telling the truth. I was hanging onto every word, flicking the pages faster and barely stopped myself from peeking at the end. Fantastic from start to finish, fast-paced and dangerous!

The characters were really well developed. Clare (Clarity) was a fantastic protagonist. I felt I could connect to her from the very beginning and her personality really makes it hard not to love her. She’s strong, confident, a little sarcastic and funny. She’s got a lot of strength and courage, very well developed and portrayed. Justin, one of our love interest (yes, it’s a love triangle but it’s one of the good love triangles where you’re not constantly annoyed at them) is an absolute sweetie, I admit at the start I wasn’t all that much of a fan (boo hiss for cheaters) but over the course of the novel, he really proved himself worthy and now I swoon a little every time he talks! Gabriel (what an sexy name) is the night to Justin’s day, he’s got the bad boy thing down pact and while I love the bad boys, Justin really stole my heart in this one! Minor characters – Nate, Perry and even Tiffany- were all very unique in their own way and they are all a great bunch of people I would love to meet!

Harrington’s got a fantastic narrative voice. Best thing? She actually sounds like she’s sixteen, this is how teenagers talk and she’s got the attitude in a nutshell! Sarcasm mixed with humor, it’s really one of the best narrative voices I’ve read! It’s not that it’s strong or forceful but it’s so realistic, I felt myself being pulled into the novel! It’s something many authors never perfect but Harrington’s got this one in the bag, talking like a teenager? Check.

Clarity is a remarkable debut like no other! What do get when you cross a little seaside town with three murders that go unexplained? A gripping thriller that leaves you reading way past your bed-time! Exciting, fast-paced and dangerous, Clarity is an epic page-turner!

Rating – 5/5

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Review Time! If you’re looking at the cover and wondering what book is this, this is a review of Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan. The US cover is different (similar to Matched) but the contents are the same :) Thanks to Pan Macmillan for sending me an ARC of the novel!

(Goodreads) What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?
Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

The Short Story? – If Across the Universe by Beth Revis and Wither by Lauren DeStefano had a baby this would be the epic offspring. A thrilling new science fiction that’s going to knock your socks off! Exciting, dark and original. One hell of a page-turner! Strong narrative voice, fantastic characters and a plot that grips onto you and never lets go! A roller-coaster ride!

The Long Story? – Glow is very similar to Across the Universe in many ways. They both set in the future, both on space ships and they both have the same appeal. However at the same time, they’re different (not making sense am I?). I guess what I’m trying to say is that just because you’ve read one doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read the other. I liked Glow better anyway :)

I liked the plot of Glow much better than Across the Universe. The concept is great, it’s much more exciting and unlike Across the Universe, the novel flowed really well. It wasn’t disjointed and it was very clever. Clearly a heap of research was poured into this, unless Amy works for NASA there is no way anyone can have this much knowledge about space travel without countless hours of research. The best thing about the novel was the concept that these kids are trying to save the world. When an attack kills almost all the adults on the ship, it’s up to these kids to keep the ship running because the future (literally) depends on them. It’s also clever for Ryan to separate the girls and boys, it was like two different stories weaved into one epic adventure. These kids are fighting for their lives and the tension and action is so addictive, I was rooted to my seat, unable to move! A fantastic page-turner!

The characterization was really well developed. I can see the start of a love triangle forming and I’m yet to decide which side I’m on because right now, both boys have appeal and flaws. Waverly, our protagonist is someone I admire. In her shoes, I would have just given up but her determination and courage is what kept this book going. She’s really one brave girl. Kieran, our love interest doesn’t have any physical appeal to me :/ however he’s got one of the best personalities I have encountered, he’s got great leadership skills and he’s a great character. Seth who has lots of physical appeal has one of the worst personalities ever (see how I’m torn between the two?) but I can see where he’s coming from and I can see change already in him for the sequel. Minor characters each have their individual appeal but the one thing they share is this courage and determination. One of the best casts I’ve encountered in a long time.

While the plot and the characterization were both really great it was Ryan’s writing that stole the show. One of the best narrative voices I’ve read in a long time. One of the few novels I’ve read that brings raw emotions from the reader. Throughout the novel, my emotions were all over the place, I was angry, sad, happy and annoyed. Glow bought so many emotions out of me and the worst part is that it’s so addictive you can’t even put the book down to calm down!

Glow is an epic and highly original science fiction. Brilliant plot, fantastic characters and one of the best narrative voices I have read in a very long time. The ultimate page-turner, Glow is not to be missed. Thrilling, edgy, dark and addictive one of the best dystopian novels I’ve read this year. For lovers of Across the Universe, this is the next best thing.

Rating – 5/5

Badass Bookie xx