Friday, June 29, 2012

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar

Review Time! The Girl in the Clockwork Collar is the sequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset which was one of my favourite YA books of last year! Kady Cross is an amazing writer of all thing steampunk! If you haven't read the book, you can purchase a copy here - Booktopia | The Nile | Fishpond. Thanks to HarlequinTeen for the review copy!

(Goodreads) In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling - or dangerous. 

Sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne and her "straynge band of mysfits" have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper, hauled off by bounty hunters. But Jasper is in the clutches of a devious former friend demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him...for the life of the girl Jasper loves. 

One false move from Jasper and the strange clockwork collar around Mei's neck tightens. And tightens.

The Short Story? - Kady Cross doesn't disappoint with this eagerly anticipated sequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset! Following Finley and her friend's adventures through the American criminal underworld! Filled with adventure, mystery, betrayal, romance and action, The Girl in the Clockwork Collar was completely unputdownable. For lovers of steampunk and YA, Cross's sophomore novel is one to look out for!

The Long Story? - I really enjoyed The Girl in the Clockwork Collar but I still think The Girl in the Steel Corset was more amazing! In terms of the plot, I think The Girl in the Clockwork Collar lacked the intense action that was noticeable in first book of the series. However, it was still amazing compared to other YA books I've read this year. I very much liked the drama and mystery that Cross has incorporated into the plot along with the betrayal which really shocked me. I also liked the New York setting because the majority of steampunk novels are set in London and it gets a little repetitive over time so it very nice to see a different setting for once. I also really enjoyed all the cool gadgets that Cross came up with for the novel, honestly, I still don't understand half of them but I liked how she's incorporated the steampunk into her novel! Overall, it was an enjoyable plot, especially towards the end when things became really intense! Definitely worth a read!

I felt myself deflate a little when I realised that Jack wasn't going to be making an appearance in The Girl in the Clockwork Collar because TEAM JACK! However even without a peep at Jack's handsome character, the characterisation was fantastic! Finley has definitely developed as a character, she's tougher, more confident and maybe even a little reckless but I really liked that about her. Makes her really badass! Griffin, grudgingly I have to admit, does have a charismatic personality and in the absence of Jack, I've been able to see how sweet he is. Emily was another character that I really grew to like in this novel, very tough little girl! Jasper! My heart goes out to Jasper who suffered so much throughout this novel, he's the biggest sweetheart <3 And Sam's protectiveness over Emily and Griffin is completely adorable. Definitely one of my favourite casts in YA fiction! :)

In a nutshell, I can't think of a better book to read, if you're looking for an unputdownable, completely amazing novel with a little bit of everything for everyone! Great romance, a fierce heroine, a fantastic plot and above all, beautifully written in Cross's signature style! The Girl in the Clockwork Collar is definitely a novel that you should all invest in! Two thumbs up!

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck/ Break Out the Piggybank

Badass Bookie xx

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Review Time! Changeling marks Philippa Gregory's YA Debut. Philippa Gregory is the bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl and couple of other adult historical fictions. Although I haven't read any of her other novels, I was so psyched to start reading Changeling! Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.  
Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.   

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.
The Short Story? - Changeling is one of those books that you either love or hate because it all comes down to - do you like Historical Fiction? As a lover of historical fiction, Changeling was right down my street! A beautiful historical setting, two very interesting protagonist and an alluring plot filled with mystery. Gregory has written a solid debut and I can't not wait to see what she has planned for us next!

The Long Story? - It's a really short book, 250 pages give or take so there aren't really any pages to spare for batting around the bush. I'm thoroughly impressed with Gregory's ability to set the scene, build characters and develop an intriguing in such few pages! The plot came off as very solid, there was mystery, drama and romance. It's weird because Changeling was like a collection of small plots interweaved into a bigger picture. Luca is an inquirer who goes around Italy solving mysteries and serving justice and in Changeling he solves two mysteries and the novel finished with him heading back no the road to solve he's next mystery. Gregory's debut is definitely different and her writing is very rich and detailed. Highly recommend this to lovers of Historical YA fiction :)

Personally I thought the characterisation let the book down a little. They were really great characters but there were some cases where I though they were too stupid to live. It felt like Gregory deliberating stupidified them to keep the story going. As the novel progressed, this became less frequent until the characters become intelligent cookies, so that was great! Changeling is told from the alternative POVs of Luca and Isolde. Luca and Isolde were good protagonists, I liked how Gregory has given them personalities that fitted with the period of time Changeling was set it. Both characters were level-headed and kind however I think the character l liked the most most was Isolde's best friend - Ishraq. OMG, this girl is totally badass! Educated, too cool and know show to fight! My hero <3 Overall, it was a good cast and I would like to see them all develop in the sequel! :)

All in all, Changeling was a very enjoyable read. Aside from my slight problems with the character at the start, I think Gregory's YA debut is thoroughly enjoyable and definitely very different! If you're fan of historical fiction, Changeling is definitely right down your alleyway! Filled with drama and mystery and the touch of romance, I can't wait to see what the sequels brings! :)

What's it Worth? - Squeeze into the Budget/ Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Review Time! My good friend Jay wrote a book. And last week I read it. IT WAS AWESOME O_O That aside, Stormdancer is a 2012 YA Debut but more than that's IT'S PROUDLY AUSTRALIAN! Jay is absolutely hilarious, so please go visit him at his new snazzy website - Jay Kristoff. You can pre-order the book here - Fishpond | The Nile | The Book Depository. Thanks to Macmillan for the ARC!

(Goodreads) A DYING LAND 

The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever. 


The hunters of Shima's imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger – a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death. 


Yukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her. 

The Short Story? - There are not enough words to describe how extraordinary this debut is. Let's leave it at it's got a "wow-factor"that puts other books of the YA genre to shame! Kristoff is one hell of a talented writer and the more you read, the more you crave. Absolutely beautiful world-building and characterisation. Kristoff refreshingly original debut brings back the good old YA where loyalty and saving the world was more important than kissing boys! Two thumbs up for Stormdancer!

The Long Story? - Upon finishing Stormdancer, two words kept flashing in my head - MIND BLOWN. With such a competitive YA market, he has managed to write a unique novel that appeals both male and female readers! Some of the most beautiful world-building I've ever read, Kristoff's strong narrative voice and excellent use of language has painted a vivid picture of his "japanese steampunk" inspired dystopian society in my head. It's not a world I want to find myself in but it's a world that has been beautifully built. The plot was also a surprise to me because in all honesty, "Aussie Author"  and "Japanese Steampunk" was all I needed to hear - I got a lot more than I bargained for. Stormdancer had a little bit of everything, action, danger, romance, excitement, fear, loss and hope, I don't know how Kristoff did it but there is definitely something in this novel for everyone. Remarkable debut that will definitely appeal to YA readers, you're looking at one of the best 2012 YA Debuts I've read yet :)

More than anything, Stormdancer is about the unlikely friendship between a girl and a griffin and the characterisation focuses very heavily on them both. Yukiko is a badass with enough badass-ness to rival yours truly. A kind heart, a fierce attitude ( she doesn't take nonsense) and some dangerous fighting skills, I couldn't have asked for a better heroine for a novel like this. Buruu completely stole my heart, it doesn't matter that he's not human because he's still the most attractive male in Stormdancer ( not literally, he's one hell of a sexy griffin!). Buruu protectiveness over Yukiko and his loyalty to her is absolutely heart-warming! The companionship betweenYukiko and Buruu completely dominate the novel and it's through this friendship that we see change for the better for them both! Of course, there are actual boys in this novel, a gorgeous one called Hiro and a undeniable sweet one called Kin, I gave a little piece of my heart to both but my love for Buruu over powers everything <3

In a nutshell, writing this review has given me a headache. There is so much I want to say but then this part of me screams "NO. DON'T SPOIL IT" so I leave you with the vague but hopefully persuasive review! Kristoff has written a phenomenal debut that I truly hope all of you get the chance to read. Did I mention beautiful world-building? A badass heroine? A mighty griffin? and lot's of action? Because you'll find them all in Stormdancer!

What's it Worth? - Break Out Your Piggybank ( and pre-order a copy!) 

Badass Bookie xx

Disclaimer: This is a honest review. My opinion wasn't swayed by my friendship with Jay or the 100 million dollars he promised me. For you guys, I turned down money to live a life in poverty. Peace.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Interview with Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan + Giveaway

Hey Everyone! We're spicing things up this week by starting the week with an interview and a giveaway! Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan are the authors of Spoiled and the recently released sequel Messy! These two fashionistas run the Celebrity blog - Go Fug Yourself. It's a honour to have them on the blog so without further ado ....

Interview with Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

1) Describe Messy in three words. 

JESSICA: Funny, surprising, heart-warming (hopefully!)

HEATHER: Smart, fun, and well-dressed. I mean, look at that cover. Liz did such a good job again.

2) How did you come up with the storyline for Messy?

JESSICA: We started talking about where we wanted to take Brooke and Molly and their friends next. Brooke definitely would want to go to the next level, professionally, and we realized it was funnier if she did that with Max. Molly would be sort of long-suffering and even-keeled with Brooke (which is good, given that they live together!), but Max and Brooke together was an Odd Couple we couldn't resist.

HEATHER: We also realized that sometimes the fish-out-of-water story isn't as compelling once the fish is back IN the water. It might feel like piling on to keep shoveling misery Molly's way, so after Spoiled, when we left her in a good emotional place, we decided maybe it'd be more fun for us to explore a different kind of outsider. Max is that outsider. She may be in the rich world, but she is not of it -- she holds herself away from it, aggressively, for various psychological and emotional reasons. So what happens when a self-made outsider is thrust into the middle of things? We figured we'd enjoy telling that story.

3) What made you guys decide to write YA fiction? 

JESSICA: Well, we are big READERS of YA fiction, and we always wanted to write it. It felt like a natural extension of the kind of writing we already do. A lot of what we write on GFY is kind of speculative to begin with, so fiction felt like the natural next step.

HEATHER: And it's definitely the right spirit for our personalities, and sensibilities. Plus, young adults are smart. The genre isn't about writing young stories; it's about writing stories about young people. So we wanted to write a book that we would've liked at that age, in part because we realized there doesn't HAVE to be a difference between a book you like at that age and a book you like at our current age.

4) Character you feel you can relate best to? Why?

JESSICA: I relate to Max in a lot of ways, but I also actually really relate to Brooke. She's doesn't suffer fools -- at all.  She doesn't spend a lot of time moping. And she's always got a plan. (I also appreciate her shoe wardrobe.)

HEATHER: Let's see. I WANT to relate to Mavis Moore the most, because she does her own thing and doesn't care whether anyone else thinks it's weird. That's strength right there. But I'm not like that, if I'm being honest, so although I admire her I can't say I relate directly. I love Max -- we toned it down in this book for reasons I can't remember, but her little anagramming tic from Spoiled is totally me. And I love Arugula because she loves words. But in general, probably Molly. I moved a lot growing up, and I'm really familiar with not knowing quite where to start when it comes to being in a new social universe, and trying to figure out whether you deal with the devil in order to feel like you have a friend.

5) Is there a story behind the names of characters? 

JESSICA: A lot of the names just came about through regular old brain-storming. Molly's last name, "Dix," is obviously a wink to Heather's last name being "Cocks" -- a PG-13 wink. And Brick Berlin is somewhat inspired by the former college QB for the University of Miami, Brock Berlin. We always said Brock Berlin was the perfect movie star name -- we said it every time we watched a game he played in. So that was a wink to our college football viewing habits. And, of course, Brooke's friend Jennifer Parker is named after Marty McFly's girlfriend in Back to the Future. Seriously. We love that movie.

HEATHER: We also wanted Arugula to be named after something edible. We knew we wanted to make fun of dopey Hollywood names, but we also loved the idea that a girl named after lettuce would also be the smartest person in the book. We did realize, though, that we have a tendency toward "-y" names: Molly, Teddy, Brady, Danny, Kelly...

Max :)
6) Ar you planning to write any other books outside the series? 

JESSICA: Definitely! We're planning our next book right now, and I think it's going to be set in the universe next door -- well, literally, it will still be THIS universe, but not in the Berlin orbit. Although I suspect the Berlins are alive and well in the world of the new book.

HEATHER: I would be surprised if any new book didn't mention a Brick Berlin blockbuster. But yeah, we're avidly and excitedly planning something new.

Brooke :)
7) Who would play the characters in a movie adaption?

JESSICA: This is one of my favorite questions! I always thought that Ashley Rickards, who is on MTV's Awkward, would be great as Max. And I always see someone like Ashley Benson, who's currently on Pretty Little Liars, as Brooke.

HEATHER: Let's see if we can keep up the Ashley thing. Um... Ashley Judd as Molly's mom Laurel in flashbacks, Ashley Tisdale as Jennifer Parker,  Ashley Olsen as Kelly Berlin (in old flashbacks)... um... Ashley Greene as Brooke's yoga teacher... the girl who played Ashley on ABC Family's Greek as Arugula, and... yeah, I'm out. But we did pretty well there! That's a lot of Ashleys.

Hahahahahaha! Jessica's answer to Q5... :D I can't wait to see what you girls have planned next but without a doubt it would be every bit as awesome as Messy! WHICH is why the awesome people at Allen and Unwin have offered (5) copies of Messy to you readers! Unfortunately this giveaway is open to AUSTRALIAN residents ONLY. Normally I would pitch in and try make it international but I'm too broke at the moment :'( Sorry guys!

Rules of Entry -

- Australian Residents ONLY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In My Mailbox #50

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren where book bloggers share the bookish contents of their mailbox ( or whatever bookish stuff you bought/borrowed this week!). Badass Bookie only participates in IMM every fortnight because she's too lazy to take pictures every week :D Haha! 

Anyhow my hurl -

Sorry for the Blurry Picture :D
For Review -

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen
The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross 
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor ( Paperback Release)
Deadly Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

( Thanks to Hachette, Penguin, HarlequinTeen and Simon and Schuster!)

Gifted -

Legend by Marie Lu
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

(Thanks to my friend who went all the way to Sydney to get me a copy of Legend from PenguinTeen @ Supernova and to Jen @ Little Shelf)

Traded -

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
Sea Glass by Maria V.Snyder
Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder

( Thanks Keely <3)

Got some great books these last two weeks! I'm currently reading The Girl in the Clockwork Collar which is so so so good! Bitterblue might just be my next read :D And then The Golden Lily ( maybe). Dark Kiss and Deadly Hemlock would probably be read next month :D LEGEND! Finally got a copy! Long story short, I had two copies sent to me through post - both disappeared :'( 13 Little Blue Envelopes was a RAK gift from Jen who's an absolute sweetie! And I traded for the entire Storm Glass trilogy - I thought what the hell! 

And that's all! Link me! :D

Badass Bookie xx

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Witch in Winter

Review Time! This one's been sitting on my shelf for a while now and after receiving the sequel for review a couple of weeks ago - I couldn't think of a better time to read A Witch in Winter! I absolutely adore witchy YA reads and if you do too then you should definitely purchase a copy of A Witch in Winter from - The Book Depository | Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia! Thanks to Hachette for the review copy! :)

(Goodreads) Anna Winterson doesn't know she's a witch and would probably mock you for believing in magic, but after moving to the small town of Winter with her father, she learns more than she ever wanted to about power. When Anna meets Seth, she is smitten, but when she enchants him to love her, she unwittingly amplifies a deadly conflict between two witch clans and splits her own heart in two. She wants to love Seth, to let him love her – but if it is her magic that's controlling his passion, then she is as monstrous as the witch clan who are trying to use her amazing powers for their own gain.

The Short Story ? - A delightful read with a fresh take on paranormal romance! A Witch in Winter's small seaside town setting is perfect for the eerily beautiful story that Warburton has written! Fantastic characters including a adorably sweet protagonist and a gorgeous boy with a english accent! A Witch in Winter is definitely not one to be missed if you're a fan for witchcraft, the english scenery and a romance like no other, this one is for you! :)

The Long Story ? - A Witch in Winter is one of those books that you can easily slip into and lose track of time. One of my favourite things about this novel was the setting, the little town of Winter has this memorising quality about it. The way I picture it - it's a tiny town, dark, eerie and quiet. The perfect setting for a witchy paranormal! Another thing I loved was the romance tagline, for Anna and Seth it wasn't love at first sight, it was love at first love potion! I love that Anna accidentally bewitched Seth and how their fake romances eventually turned into a real one! I love the mystery behind Anna's witch heritage. I really enjoyed the majority of the plot but I thought the ending was a little too timid? I would have thought the "final battle" would have been bigger? Perhaps longer? I don't know! Overall, it was still one of the better paranormal reads I've read this year!

The characterisation was well done! Anna is a very done-to-earth and easily likeable girl! She's nice, sweet and funny! Normally I wouldn't buy the whole nice girl and most popular guy ever romance but it kinda works with A Witch in Winter because it all started out as a accidental bewitching! Seth is extremely likeable and not just because he's good-looking and speaks in a english accent but he's love for Anna really comes through as the novel progresses and I thought it was extremely sweet how much in love they are! I also really liked Abe ( who I thought was totally badass) and Emmeline who might be a little socially awkward but is a loyal friend and a great witch!

A Witch in Winter is definitely a novel work checking out! With all the paranormal romances out there featuring vampire this and werewolf that, it's good to go back to basics where magic WAS the paranormal! I'm so lucky to have acquired a copy for the sequel because I can't wait to see what happens next! Beautifully written, great plot, fantastic romance and the town of Winter is just magical! :)

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Breakfast with the Bookie: Don't Judge a Book by a Bad Review

Breakfast with the Bookie is a semi-weekly feature here @ Badass Bookie which is making a reappearance in 2012. Every other Wednesday morning, let's all grab our teas and coffees to gather and discuss and share our opinions! Everyone is welcome to join and make sure you leave a comment to state your opinion. Don't be shy!
This Week's Topic - Don't Judge a Book by a Bad Review

DISCLAIMER: This is probably going to get quite ranty.

It makes me very sad when I see readers and especially book bloggers shun a book without reading it. I am all for an honest review but that's all it is - A REVIEW. It's is not the reviewer's intention to discourage you from reading it, the review only reflects on their own thoughts of a book. You can decide for yourself whether you want to read it or not but you do not have the right to form your opinion based on someone else's opinion.

What annoys me is when people read a bad review and then WITHOUT READING THE BOOK, go onto their own Goodreads profile and write some paragraph about what a crappy book it is. You know someone is going to read the uncalled for paragraph and back away from that book? THAT BOOK YOU HAVEN'T READ?

People who do this - you piss me off.

You have every right to decide whether a book is for you or not, after reading a review (after all, that's what they are for) but you don't have the right to go and write a ranty paragraph about how crap the book is SINCE YOU HAVEN'T READ IT.

There are People Who Write  - " After reading BLAH BLAH's review, I'm never going to read this book because it's a piece of junk that should be burned. Someone should go stone the author so they don't write anymore works of crap. WORST CHARACTERS EVER, this book is like just like [ Insert Title of Bestselling Novel] except it's written by a hobo. Don't read it because like, you'll go broke spending $15 for this crap"

My Reaction to Those People : 

Something Else that Get's on My Nerves - Readers ( and book bloggers) who write a review holding prejudice against the author or controversies that surround the book. When you take upon the role of reviewing a book, you're stepping into a professional position. Therefore please leave bias opinions you've collected by the door when you enter this zone.

A review should reflect directly on the book. Not the author or agent or whatever else you've found to hate upon. Going to use an example - The Selection by Keira Cass.

I'm going to start off by saying Wendy had every right to post her review because her review was fair. She backed everything up with quotes and reasons. What the author and her agent did in response to wasn't great, very unprofessional and I frowned upon that BUT what I frowned UPON MORE was those readers who started posting things like "never going to read this book" and do the whole "I haven't read the book but I'm going to burnnnnn the book with my two cents paragraph".

The author wasn't professional? Huh? AND YOU'RE PROFESSIONAL?

I have a few things to say to different people in response to this -

To Those Who Read the Book and Gave a Honest Review that wasn't Prejudice - Thank-you. You are the professional bunch *High5*

To Those Who Haven't Read the Book and Refuse To - You don't know what you're missing! Not every book is for everyone and for what it's worth - I LOVED THE BOOK.

To Those Who are Intent on Posting Opinions Without Reading it - Shame on You.

To Those Who Loved the Book and Weren't Afraid to Say So - I love you and your backbone.

I don't know what else I can say besides that I hope next time you read a bad review, you think back to this post. And I hope that those of you out there intent on doing the whole "I haven't read the book but I'm going to burnnnnn the book with my two cents paragraph" - DON'T.

It All Comes Down To - 

I just wish some of you would STOP hating or at least STOP TRYING TO GET OTHERS TO HATE. 

*rant pants off*

What's Your Opinion? :)

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Review Time! Messy by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan is the sequel to Spoiled which was a 2011 YA Debut. Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan are the bloggers behind the celebrity blog, Go Fug Yourself. You can read my review of Spoiled - HERE. You can purchase a copy of Messy at - Booktopia | The Nile | Fishpond. Thanks to Allen and Unwin for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Sometimes life gets messy.

After a rocky start in Spoiled, Brooke Berlin and her newly discovered half sister, Molly Dix, have settled into something like sisterly love, but the drama is far from over.

Now that Brooke's caught a taste of fame and her movie star father's attention, she wants to launch a blog that will position her as the ultimate Hollywood insider. But between schoolwork, party-planning committee meetings, and spa treatments, she hardly has the time to write it herself...

Enter Max McCormack, an aspiring author with a terrible after-school job pushing faux meat on the macrobiotic masses of La-La Land. Max reluctantly agrees to play Brooke's ghost-blogger for an impressive salary, and the site takes off, but how long can their lie last? In person, Brooke can't live up to the intellectual wit of, and Max soon begins to resent hiding her genius behind a bandage dress-wearing blonde. Can the girls work together to stay on top, or will the truth come out and ruin everything they've built?
The Short Story? - Get ready for round two of absolute Hollywood hilarity! Cocks and Morgan have done it again, bringing the best of fashion, fame and hollywood glamour together in an epic sequel to Spoiled! Well narrated, fantastic plot and characters that make you laugh - ALOT. Very funny, very cute and cliched in the good way before cliched become a bad thing!

The Long Story? - Messy is perfect for any of you US bloggers looking for a beach read. It's hilarious and it's a novel that isn't meant to be taken seriously.I would call it more of a companion novel than a sequel because while the same characters appear, the plot is definitely continuous. The whole book is a little like a mockery of fame, glamour and Hollywood. It's over the top, exaggerating scandals and fashion passés and the drama queens personalities we associate with famous people. I really enjoyed the plot of the novel, I liked how the authors have incorporated a little of themselves ( the blogging) into the novel. It's very well narrated in third person but that also makes it a little harder to connect with the characters and really dig into the novel. The plot definitely was a win for me.

The characterisation was well-done. We see a lot of character development that wasn't seen in Spoiled. Brooke is definitely a lot nicer and more likeable. She's still got her melodramatic personality but it's Hollywood unless it's over the top right? I liked how Brooke also had a lot of insecurities which made it easier to relate to her. Definitely a very "fun" character. Max, you have to love Max. She is like the ultimate juxtaposition to what you would associate with Hollywood and she's hilarious. She's kind of got the whole typical teenager personalities mixed with a semi-goth wardrobe and a very funny sense of humour. The novel is told in alternative perspectives of Max and Brooke and I think the two main characters complimented each other beautifully.

In a nutshell, Messy is definitely one everyone should check out! I loved every moment of it from the white collar reference to the dancing queen remix. Brooke and Max are fantastic characters that will laugh out loud. Well written, great plot and in case you didn't get the memo already - COMPLETELY HILARIOUS. Two thumbs up for Messy!

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Selection

Review Time! The Selection by Kiera Cass is a 2012 YA Debut. Despite all the controversies and bad review surround this book, I was super excited to read it because I don't believe in judging a book before I read it! And it turned out to be great! You can purchase your copies from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia. Thanks goes to HarperCollins for the review copy! :)

(Goodreads) Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…

It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon's love.

Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.

Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret — one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.
The Short Story? - One of my favourite 2012 YA Debuts I've read this year! I think people shouldn't be so quick to judge because Cass is a brilliant writer with a wonderful imagination. Absolutely amazing plot and fantastic world-building! America Singer is such a memorable character and this is one love triangle that I approve of! A phenomenal debut that hasn't received the justice it deserves, bookie highly recommends it to everyone!

The Long Story? - Children, you must all stop judging a book by a bad review because you don't know what you're missing! The Selection completely blew me away! This is the first book since my reading slump that's made me think "wow-factor". To sum it up "The Selection is one of favourite dystopian reads EVER". I loved the concept of the Selection, the Bachelor meets the Hunger Games sums up the concept pretty well. Cass's dystopian society is very different, while there are lots of rules and regulations, it's definitely less controlling than most of the dystopian worlds I've seen in YA literature. I also liked the concept of a caste system, it definitely makes the story more interesting and gives the romance a nice twist. Which leads me to say, I really like the romance in The Selection, towards the end, a love triangle became undeniable although the signs were there throughout the novel. However this is one love triangle I'm excited about because I'm absolutely torn between the two gores boys although I'm leaning towards Maxon! Really enjoyed it! :)

The characterisation was fantastic! America Singer, despite her name is really down-to-earth and easy to connect with. I liked her level-headed, tough girl, tom boy character! And she's got such a honest and sweet personality, it easy to see why she's got two gorgeous boys all over her! It helps she's pretty too! Aspen is sweet and damn good-looking but I don't think I know him well enough to have a good verdict on his character, he makes rare appearances in the novel but I'm positive he plays a bigger role in the next book! Maxon! TEAM MAXON! What a gorgeous prince! Maxon is probably the nicest royal you'll ever find in a book and he's got great arms (apparently). I'm not going to lie, I really think America should end up with Maxon because Maxon is always there for her even when she didn't want him! Overall, wonderful characterisation that I couldn't have done better myself! :)

In a nutshell, I really wish everyone would rethink their opinions about the novel. The Selection is a phenomenal debut that has taken my breath away! I can not wait to see what Cass has install for us next! Fantastic plot, excellent world-building and wonderful characters - it's so unlike me to be unable to find fault in a novel yet I was happy with every aspect of The Selection! A remarkable debut that won't leave you disappointed!

What's it Worth? - Break Out the Piggybank

Badass Bookie xx

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Debut of the Month - All About Lies Beneath + Giveaway

Book Profile

Name - Lies Beneath (Goodreads)
Author - Anne Greenwood Brown
Genre - Paranormal
Release Date - 12th June 2012
Available - The Book Depository | Fishpond | The Nile

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

The Insider's Scoop

Sometimes it's fun to look behind the curtain to see where a book was before it was a book. They usually don't come out of the chute looking anything like their final version. For example, as I mentioned, my novel was originally titled THE PROMISE, then it became WHAT'S UNDERNEATH, before finally settling on LIES BENEATH. Actually, my husband seriously pushed for it to be called FISH AND CHICKS. (I've kept him around anyway.)

Another change was that my character Maris used to be called Ren. She was Lily's foil. I had to change her name when I was reading another author's book where two major characters were named Ren and Lily! What were the chances??? Oy.

But probably the biggest change was that there was an incarnation of LIES BENEATH written in third person pov, instead of Calder's first person point of view. It started with this Mini Prologue:

On the shores of Lake Superior, just north of Bayfield, Wisconsin, there is a wayside rest with a small cinderblock outhouse, nearly obscured by the underbrush. A message is scrawled on the wall in black permanent marker. People come here to see it. They trace the inscription with their fingers, lay their palms against the wall. They imagine her leaning in as she wrote.

My name is Lily Hancock. I'm telling you this in case you have to identify my body. Tell my parents I'm sorry, but a promise was meant to be kept. Now all I need is luck.

And they wonder if she'll ever be found.

I kind of liked that, but writing the story in third person did not have the same resonance as first person. Here's a glimpse of the moment where Calder meets Mrs. Hancock in an early third-person pov draft:

"Why don't you introduce me to your friend, Lily?" her mother called. She smiled and lifted a hand, coaxing them over to her. As they got closer, Calder suppressed surprise at finding Mrs. Hancock sitting in a wheel chair.

Here is the same moment in Calder's first person point of view:

"How was work, Lily?" Mrs. Hancock called. "Is that Calder, too? Our hero!" She smiled and lifted a hand, coaxing us over to her. As we got closer my pulse raced. I didn't know if it was because Mrs. Hancock was sitting in a wheel chair--Had she been that hurt when fell in the kitchen?--or because there was something about being so close to a mother.  Any mother. Carolyn Hancock's face softened when she looked at me. Or was I imagining that? Was wish fulfillment another symptom of prolonged abstinence? Was I becoming delusional?

Telling the first installment of the LIES BENEATH series from the point of view of cold-blooded merman with guarded speech was a huge risk. How does a reader sympathize with that kind of character? Letting the reader into Calder's mind, showing his most intimate thoughts about love, guilt, and the loss of his family was the only way to make that happen. Hence, the point of view had to change so the reader could watch Calder's evolution from animal to man. I hope you will agree that it was the right decision!


Anne is giving away (2) SIGNED Hardcover Copies of Lies Beneath + Bookmark!

Rule of Entry -

- International 
- Ends 16th of July
- Must be 13 or older
- Optional Entries :
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Badass Bookie xx

Friday, June 15, 2012

Debut of the Month - All About Anne Greenwood Brown ( Lies Beneath)

Debutante Profile

Name - Anne Greenwood Brown
Debut - Lies Beneath
Genre - Paranormal
Website - HERE
Facebook - HERE
Twitter - HERE

I am on an endless quest to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. I've been a chicken farmer, bartender, ski instructor, English teacher, and a lawyer. As of June 2012, I am a Young Adult author. I think this one might stick. I live in Minnesota with my amazingly patient husband and our three above-average children.

Dream Debutante Dress -  Bookie's Note: Not going to lie, this dress so so gorgeous. Saving it incase I ever get married ( sometimes I think I'm too beautiful to settle)

Notes from a YA Debutante


I'm a planner, but there's no way I could have planned my journey to publication. In fact, if I'd tried to plan it, it would have never worked. 

I've been writing my whole life--but just for fun. That's what I'd say, "This is for me; this is for fun." Then I wrote a list titled "Things to Do Before I'm 40." On that list, of course, was "write a novel." I put that list away and did other things.

Then when I was 35 my sister asked how I was doing on my list. Turns out I hadn't crossed anything off. She told me to write. So I wrote a really terrible novel. I knew it was terrible. I didn't need any literary agents to tell me that. It was fun though. So I wrote another one.

While my first novel was historical fiction, the second was contemporary romance. The second was better, but only slightly. Still…it was fun! I joined a writers critique group. I published some short pieces. Then I wrote a Middle Grade novel for my 12 year old son. Wait…what? Now that was REALLY fun! Sometimes you have to play around and try different things. I needed to make mistakes to finally figure out my sweet spot. Turns out, my writing "voice" is better suited for MG/YA novels than it ever was for serious historical fiction.

Then things got weird.

I went to my first writers conference. My plan was to pitch my second novel (a contemporary "adult" novel) to a literary agent and get a lucrative publishing deal! Duh. Apparently I wasn't alone in that plan. I couldn't believe it when I showed up and there were hundreds upon hundreds of hungry-eyed writers clutching manuscripts to their chests. Dang it.

Not to be unduly freaked out by my competition, I went to the first pitch session. Let's just say it did not go well. Things got worse when they announced that the only other agent I signed up to pitch was sick and couldn't come. So on a whim I pitched to an agent named Jacquie Flynn. This second agent (as far as I could tell from Google on my tiny cell phone screen) only represented nonfiction. Still, it couldn't hurt. At least it would be good practice. On a whim, I pitched her my MG novel instead of the adult novel, and she said, "That sounds cute. Send me that." So I did. Then I promptly forgot all about it because--as I said--she only represented nonfiction--she was just being nice.

I went home and started novel #4, this experimental YA novel about murderous mermaids on Lake Superior. At first, I called it THE PROMISE. Four months went by. Then, in August 2010, I was in the drive-thru at Arby's when my phone rang.

"Hi, Anne. This is Jacquie Flynn. I was at a hockey tournament and my son forgot his book at home. He pulled your MG manuscript out of my bag and he read it. He told me to sign you. So I read it, and I think he's right."

My intelligent response was: "Wait? Who is this?"

Flash forward another four months and that MG novel hadn't sold. All the editors said, "I love this but…" But the economy, but it's too quiet, but we already have a similar book on our list. I could have felt defeated, but by that time I'd finished that mermaid book, now titled LIES BENEATH. Jacquie sent LB out on January 24, 2011. Random House/Delacorte bought it one week later in a two-book deal, which I hope will ultimately be three.

So that's my publication story. Like I said, I couldn't have planned it, but I'm glad it all worked out!


Bookie's Note: Mermaid Books <3 This is one YA trend that I'm loving and Anne's debut sounds so absolutely, unbelievably fantastic - I'm going to get a copy once I work myself out of this so called poverty of a teenage life! The power of kids! What a story, maybe one day that MG book will see the light of a Barnes and Nobel store hey? And like you said, everything worked out well! :) We're happy for you!

Badass Bookie xx