Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Breakfast with the Bookie: There is No 'Me' in Community

Breakfast with the Bookie is a irregular feature here at Badass Bookie. 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: There is No 'Me' in Community

I haven't written a Breakfast with the Bookie post in a long time but I haven't felt the need to write a rant or discussion until now! This week I want to talk about reputation, actions and how they affect the blogging community. With the recent burst of new plagiarism claims, I just want to talk about how one person's actions can cause repercussions for the whole community.

The blogging community is really fragile, it the grand scheme of the publishing industry, we are a very small and quite insignificant part. I'm sure we make somewhat of a footprint in publicity, media and sales but we are in position to cause masses of drama and in turn give publishers a reason to say no to book bloggers. With sites like Goodreads and online bookshops allowing customers and users to post reviews, publishers could easily give up working with bloggers.

The foundation of anything in life is honesty and plagiarism is anything but honest. However I'm not here to lecture anyone about why plagiarism is bad and why you shouldn't do it ( like smoking and drugs!). I'm here to talk about how one action affects everyone. I like to think of this community as quite a close knit family and when something happens in the community, everyone is bound to find out. Everyone including publishers.

So when something like a plagiarism claim pops up out of no where, it's quite embarrassing not only for the plagiarist but for everyone. Book blogging is a hobby but when you add an industry like publishing into the equation, it's a professional hobby. Essentially your actions affect all bloggers because we are a community.

The last thing anyone wants is to hear someone say" Oh did you hear about the plagiarism in the blogging community? That's so pathetic, they must be a community of plagiarists." Of course this could apply to anything - the way you behave at book conferences, your actions against another blogger, author or publisher or some other drama that I forgot to mention.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that next time you're going to do something that's not "right" please think not only of yourself but the whole community. We have your back so please don't stab us in the back by doing something like plagiarising or biting librarians at conferences or calling people names. Keep it professional people.

I would like to know what everyone else's thoughts are on dramas that affect the whole community, what do you guys think is the most professional way to deal with a drama llama and just what everyone thinks community means. Let's discuss!

PS -  Matt Bomer is a sexual beast.

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Level 2

Review Time! Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans is a 2013 YA Debut and it's my first debutante review of the year! If you want to check out my feature with Lenore Appelhans check out the 2013 Debutante Event - HERE. I'm so excited to bring you my review of Level 2 and I'm sure quite a few of you are looking forward to reading this one as well! You can purchase a copy of Level 2 from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld. Thanks to Allen and Unwin for the review copy!

(Goodreads) I pause to look around the hive - all the podlike chambers are lit up as the drones shoot up on memories ... I've wanted to get out of here before, but now the tight quarters start to choke me. There has to be more to death than this.'

Felicia Ward is dead. Trapped in a stark white afterlife limbo, she spends endless days replaying memories, of her family, friends, boyfriend ... and of the guy who broke her heart. The guy who has just broken into Level 2 to find her.

Felicia learns that a rebellion is brewing, and it seems she is the key. Suspended between heaven and earth, she must make a choice. Between two worlds, two lives and two loves.

The Short Story? - Overall an enjoyable read with an unique and futuristic take on limbo. Appelhans' debut is definitely a refreshing addition to the YA science fiction genre. A plot that combines elements of both contemporary and science fiction, Appelhans has given the afterlife a new edge. Interesting characters, an original premise and fantastic writing, Level 2 is a great read to start off this year's YA debuts!

The Long Story? - Like I said, overall it was an enjoyable read, I feel like Appelhans had the right idea but it wasn't very well executed. Don't get me wrong, Level 2 was a fantastic book but it was a very hard book to follow. Details about Level 2 as a place was very vague and details about our protagonist Felicia was very vague. I think it was intentional on the author's part to string the readers along and slowly reveal information but because this was partly science fiction, it made reading the book very hard to get into as I couldn't understand what was going on. On top of that the story lacked a build up, it was a very abrupt story, one moment Felicia was living her afterlife through her memories and the next, she's the key to a rebellion? I would still be sitting on the fence, a little skeptic, about the book if it wasn't for the ending. The ending was phenomenal I feel like it's okay to forgive all the flaws of the novel just because the ending was so epic! It was honestly a blur of action, intense drama and sweet romance. Beautifully orchestrated so that the finale peaked and then gradually declined into a sweet ending, this is truly one of the best endings to a book I've read!

The characterisation was okay although I expect to see major character development in Level 3. Felicia was a difficult character to get a read on as she came off as someone who didn't even know what she wanted. She was confused and in turn I, as a reader, was confused. There were times where I felt Felicia was being ungrateful and whiny which aren't attractive traits in a protagonist but I came to understand her bitterness although Felicia really brought the whole thing on herself. Julian, I feel sorry for Julian more than anything. Felicia is a difficult girl and if I was Julian I would have left her to deal with her own issues a long time ago however somehow Julian puts up with her and even loves her even when all Felicia talks about is how he ruined her life and how she's in love with Neil (see? ungrateful). Neil, I honestly do not see the appeal in Neil, he was a nice guy but that was it. I really hope to see some good character development in Level 3, I think Appelhans has established a good base for all characters and now she just needs to develop them a little further.

I've never been the biggest fan of afterlife novels so Level 2 wasn't really down my alley however I very much enjoyed it and thought the ending was truly brilliant.  I'm sure the series can only go uphill from here and that Appelhans has something phenomenal planned to follow up on that ending. Solid characters, good plot and strong narrative voice, Level 2 is an enjoyable start to a unique and exciting new YA series!

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

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Evolution of Mara Dyer

Review Time! The Evolution of Mara Dyer is the eagerly anticipated sequel to YA author, Michelle Hodkin's 2011 debut The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. I was so excited to read The Evolution of Mara Dyer, I absolutely loved The Evolution of Mara Dyer ( you can read my review HERE). You can purchase your own copy of The Evolution of Mara Dyer from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld. Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Mara Dyer knows she isn't crazy. She knows that she can kill with her mind, and that Noah can heal with his. Mara also knows that somehow, Jude is not a hallucination. He is alive. Unfortunately, convincing her family and doctors that she's not unstable and doesn't need to be hospitalised isn't easy. The only person who actually believes her is Noah. But being with Noah is dangerous and Mara is in constant fear that she might hurt him. She needs to learn how to control her power, and fast! Together, Mara and Noah must try and figure out exactly how Jude survived when the asylum collapsed, and how he knows so much about her strange ability...before anyone else ends up dead!

The Short Story? - Just as I thought the series couldn't get any better Hodkin pulls a wildcard and WRITES THIS! Fast-paced and overloaded with twist and turns to leave you shocked and at the edge of your seats, The Evolution of Mara Dyer is 500 pages of action and mystery filled goodness all wrapped up in a pretty cover. Brilliant plot, phenomenal and heart stopping ending, fantastic characters and beautifully written, Hodkin I salute you for the epicness that is The Evolution of Mara Dyer!

The Long Story? - The first thing I thought upon finishing The Evolution of Mara Dyer was - what did I just read? And my second thought was - DID THAT JUST HAPPEN? I can't even find the words to describe how shocking the ending of the novel was, Hodkin dropped not one but TWO bombshells and I don't know how to survive the wait to book 3. Exciting and completely unpredictable, The Evolution of Mara Dyer completely exceeded my (high) expectations for it. While I loved every moment of reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer, just like in Book 1, I was incredibly confused in parts of the book. I find that this is usually the case with books that aren't quite paranormal but there are supernatural elements to it. I felt that the book was so complex that the plot just left me behind. It's really one of those books that you have to be in the right set of mind to read and it took me a while to figure that out but once I did, I JUST COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. Absolutely amazing, Hodkin truly outdid herself with this spectacular plot line, I can't wait to see what she has planned for us for Book 3!

Characterisation. Two words - Noah Shaw. Can we please just have a minute of silence and recognise how perfect Noah Shaw is? Physically and otherwise. This boy is the reason why girls have high expectations of guys and then realise that BOYS LIKE NOAH SHAW DON'T EXIST and grow really depressed. He's so charming and witty yet at the same time, he's such a considerate and caring person. He loves Mara and every small gesture of love made me swoon a little. The ending broke my heart and I refuse to believe that it happened (deliberately being vague. YOU MAD?) because if it did what's the point of the story carrying on? Mara. I have so much sympathy for this girl. She's truly a great protagonist and I felt a really strong emotional connection to her. I could feel her frustration and helplessness as the people around her refuse to believe her and think she's crazy and I'm just glad that she has Noah there to support her. It's a beautiful romance that they have.

I'm sure all you cool people out there have already read this series and if you haven't - you're not cool. This is seriously one of the most intelligent and unpredictable series' I've ever read in the YA genre, Hodkin is a brilliant writer and I have no doubt that whatever she puts on paper will turn into a bestseller. I can't wait to continue with Noah and Mara's adventures (hopefully!) in the next book. The Evolution of Mara Dyer is a MUST READ!

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Review Time! Legend by Marie Lu is a 2011 YA Debut which makes it - quite old. I hadn't had much luck with this book with two copies getting lost in the mail until I finally got my hands on a copy! Legend has been picked up by Hollywood and will be made into film! YAY LET US CONQUER HOLLYWOOD TOGETHER. You can purchase a copy of Legend from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld.

(Goodreads) What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

The Short Story? - I really enjoyed this book! I did have a few minor problems with the novel but overall I can definitely see the appeal of Legend to the YA market! Lu is a brilliant writer and Legend is a stand out among the dystopian genre with it's intense action and beautiful romance. Loved the alternating perspective and great world building. Highly recommended to fans of edgy YA dystopian! Expect a cat and mouse game with an expected twist!

The Long Story? - I don't know why but I got the impression upon picking up the book that I wasn't going to enjoy it, luckily I was wrong and I *did* enjoy it. There were aspects of Legend that seemed a little generic and predictable but on the whole it was a refreshingly original addition to the dystopian genre. I liked the cat and mouse aspect of the novel and I liked the bombshells Lu dropped right at the end. I didn't start off loving the story, it was a little slow and I just didn't see badass aspect of the novel I was expecting but as the novel progressed I saw a lot more action. Legend actually ended up being one of those books that I found very hard to put down! The romance was very well executed as well and more importantly - NO LOVE TRIANGLE. I also loved the world building, I've always had a fascination with the military and to combine that with a futuristic society and a criminal on the wrong side of the law - Lu really did put a lot of thought into the plot. Definitely not a waste of time, I can't wait to read Prodigy!

Initially I didn't know what to make of June, she was so distant and unemotional that it was hard to "get" her as a character. However at the same time it reflected quite well the theme of a controlling society. She wasn't allowed to let her emotions get in the way of serving the republic. As the novel progressed June did become more approachable and when Day came into the picture I *really* started to like her. I also loved the prodigy aspect of June, some people might argue that perfection is boring but June isn't perfect and being a prodigy only made her a unique and extraordinary. While I did end up loving June it was really Day that made the novel for me. His fierce love for his family and his devotion to doing whatever was possible to help them is deeply moving. However it was Day's older brother John who stole my heart. OMG this gorgeous boy stole me heart and then broke it with his sacrifice for Day, that loyalty between the brothers is a true bromance! Great characterisation on Lu's part!

If you don't mind a little bit of a wait at the start of the novel, Legend is one to pick up. Filled with intense action, romance, betrayal and secret agendas - the futuristic world of the republic is more twisted than words can describe. Fantastic characters and beautifully written, June and Day are definitely up to something and I can't wait to find out what in the sequel! Two thumbs up for Legend!

What's it worth? - Hand Over The Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Gathering Dark

Review Time! The Gathering Dark (also known as Shadow and Bone) by Leigh Bardugo is a 2012 YA Debut published by Hachette Australia back in July 2012. This was one of the last books I read in 2012 and I TOTALLY REGRET not picking it up sooner! You can purchase a copy of The Gathering Dark from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld. Thanks to Hachette for the review copy!

(Goodreads) The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.

Alina, a pale, lonely orphan, discovers a unique power that thrusts her into the lavish world of the kingdom’s magical elite—the Grisha. Could she be the key to unravelling the dark fabric of the Shadow Fold and setting Ravka free?

The Darkling, a creature of seductive charm and terrifying power, leader of the Grisha. If Alina is to fulfil her destiny, she must discover how to unlock her gift and face up to her dangerous attraction to him.

But what of Mal, Alina’s childhood best friend? As Alina contemplates her dazzling new future, why can’t she ever quite forget him?

Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance.

The Short Story? - Guys. Listen. Listen carefully. THIS IS THE BEST BOOK I READ IN 2012. I can't tell you how in LOVE I am with the characters, the plot, the premise and the writing. Bardugo has written a stunner of a debut, with everything from a beautifully intricate premise, a dark and exciting plot and a dangerous love story waiting to happen. The Gathering Dark completely took me by surprise, I can't find any faults of this debut! I think it's safe to say Bardugo is a literary genius.

The Long Story? - I have a theory that good books leave you feeling satisfied while GREAT books leave you feeling depressed because a) you can never relive the experience of the first read and b) THE WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL. The Gathering Dark left me feeling so depressed I think I might need therapy. There aren't enough words in the english language to describe how beautifully written this debut is. Bardugo, a newcomer to the YA genre has quickly become one of my favourite writers. The perfect blend of romance, adventure and fantasy, The Gathering Dark is everything I seek for in a novel! Fast-paced, unique and brilliantly planned, the plot was so different and refreshing that I completely devoured the whole book! Also the world of the Grishas was inspired by russian history and I found that SO FASCINATING. Be prepared to pull an all nighter because for a novel as sensational as The Gathering Dark, you can't expect anything less! Favourite debut of 2012! Favourite BOOK of 2012 ( well along with The Fault in Our Stars!)

The characterisation was phenomenal. I found that I could easily connect with Alina, for a fantasy novel she was a surprisingly realistic character. Orphaned at a young age Alina is just your average girl, not overly pretty or talented until she discovers that she's a Grisha. Thrown into a world of luxury, Alina undergoes a journey of personal development. Quite simply, I ADORED Alina as a protagonist! If I had to pick "something" to dislike, it would be the love triangle. I really didn't think it was necessary, Bardugo had something magical (haha punz!) going on between Alina and the Darkling. Something dark, dangerous and calling for trouble - SOMETHING REFRESHING and then there was Mai. WHY? I think Mai is great as a character but why can't he just BE the best friend instead of one side of the triangle? WHY? However I can see the appeal of the love triangle, I know many readers would prefer to see Mai and Alina together but not me. NO. Darkling and Alina forever

I don't want to be pushy but you MUST read this book! Even if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea, IT IS YOUR CUP OF TEA. The Gathering Dark is one of those novels that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages and genres. There is something in here for everyone. It's not hard to find a book that does something right but it's incredibly rare to find a book that's done EVERYTHING right ( except for Mai but that might be *right* for some people)! I'm not kidding when I say this is my favourite debut of 2012. Bardugo, you have truly outdone yourself!


Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Golden Lily

Review Time! The Golden Lily is the second book in the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead which is a spin-off series from her bestsellingVampire Academy series ( which I LOVE). I know a lot of you have already read this but I thought it would be better to read this closer to the release of Indigo Spell which comes out next month! You can purchase a copy from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld. Thanks to Penguin for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

The Short Story? - It ain't no Vampire Academy but it's getting there! I'm finding myself to overcome my disapproval for Sydrian and actually starting to well, like them together! The plot could have done with a little more action but I feel like it was a solid book and it definitely contributed to the series as a whole. Loved the character development and as always, Mead's writing is like liquid gold! Definitely not a waste of time and I can't wait to see where Sydney and her gang are headed to next!

The Long Story? - A little bit of a back story, I am strongly against the idea of Sydney and Adrian. I feel like the fact that Adrian is moving on is disrespectful to the idea of him and Rose together, it kinda cheapens the previous romance - THE romance that I was pining for and I don't like that. After reading The Golden Lily I feel like I understand the chemistry between Sydney and Adrian a little better which means I not as against them together, I guess I AM warming up to this romance! In terms of the plot for this novel, it definitely wasn't as strong as Bloodlines, in parts I even found it a little boring. Quite slow and there wasn't even a body count! I respect that Mead probably wrote The Golden Lily is as a stepping stone between Bloodlines and The Indigo Spell and it was more of a characterisation book and that was probably a good idea in terms of me warming up to Sydrian but doesn't do much for the plot itself. That said, things do happen in the book that might shock but I just found it s tad bit predictable. Like I said, it ain't no Vampire Academy but it's getting there!

I feel like the focal point of The Golden Lily rests in it's character development category which was something that I really enjoyed. I loved the experience of growing closer to the characters but also getting a feel of the chemistry between Sydney and Adrian which I found a little lacking in Bloodlines. I was never a big fan of Sydney, she was the type of girl I would avoid, she just worries too much and she's so organised and beyond her years! She's kinda a socially awkward bean. However I did grow to admire her in this novel and the small changes in her really make a huge differences. She's a little more chilled now which makes her a little more human! Adrian is Adrian and if you know me, you know I love Adrian to BITS. He's just charming and the complete opposite of Sydney but somehow together they work. Also its' more of a blooming romance at the moment, they're not "official" but it's plainly obvious that they're SOOOOO into each other! Loved the Dimtri cameos and everyone else was brilliant too!

I wanted to keep this review a little vague because it's not a first in the series and I don't want to ruin it for anyone of you who are looking to read Bloodlines and The Golden Lily. In a nutshell, I was looking for a little more in the plot department but I got everything I wanted from the characterisation department so it wasn't too bad! On top of that I can see an epic romance in the making and being one of my favourite authors of all time I'm sure Mead has something spectacular planned for us all for The Indigo Spell!

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie

Monday, January 14, 2013


Review Time! Torn is the second novel from 2011 YA debut author Cat Clarke! Her debut, Entangled (Review) was one of my favourite debuts of 2011 and I can't tell you how excited I was to read Torn! I was lucky enough to receive an ARC unfortunately I didn't get around to reading it till the end of 2012! You can purchase a copy of Torn from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld. Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Four girls. One dead body. A whole lot of guilt.

Alice King isn’t expecting the holiday of a lifetime when she sets off with her classmates on a trip to the Scottish wilderness, but she’s not exactly prepared for an experience beyond her darkest nightmares…

Alice and her best friend Cass are stuck in a cabin with Polly, the social outcast, and Rae, the moody emo-girl. Then there’s Tara – queen of mean. Powerful, beautiful and cruel, she likes nothing better than putting people down.

Cass decides it’s time to teach Tara a lesson she’ll never forget. And so begins a series of events that will change the lives of these girls forever...

The Short Story? - There were aspects of Torn that I really enjoyed but other aspects that I found lacking. I didn't love this one as much as I thought I would yet there was something about Torn that made it very easy to read and slip into. Eerily captivaitng, Torn is a novel about a girl who killed her best friend, dealing with dirty secrets and overwhelming guilt and self redemption. Clarke's Torn is a poignant novel about regret, friendship and the secrets that destroy. A killer work of mystery thriller, this one is for fans of disturbing realistic fiction.

The Long Story? - This book is right down my alley except it wasn't. I thought I was going to love this book and I would have if something more happened in the novel. I found it a little repetitive and that kind of put me off and the ending was a little bit of an anticlimax, I feel like in this case, an epilogue was essential. However if we moved past the repetition and anticlimax, the novel wasn't all that bad. Some disturbing part of me loves realistic fiction about girls who commit murders and friends with secret agendas. The murdering part of the story itself was fantastic, I loved it, it was a complete page turner and the unravelling after the act was committed was brilliant too. There was a "Lady Macbeth effect" happening -  hallucination and suicides from the guilt, the internal struggle between the truth and self preservation, the balance between right and wrong. The plot itself was fantastic, I just wished the repetition wasn't there, it would just made the book that much better!

The characterisation was pretty good. I felt that Clarke has thought it through and she has a character playing every possible role. Someone who is manipulative, someone to master the plan, someone whose guilt destroys her and someone who is fighting with herself to do the right thing. Alice, out protagonist is simply a victim in this story, someone who didn't want anything to do with an accidental murder but has live with the guilt because she was unfortunately roped into it because of the best friend card. The readers got to see in depth her internal struggle and I have so much sympathy for her. Cass and Polly weren't very likeable characters and I think that was the point, to make them into antagonists. Conniving school girls who are trying to hide the terrible truth about what happened to Tara. I also feel sorry for Rae who like Alice was a victim in this whole incident but whose guilt got the better of her. As for the romance, it was very bittersweet but it obviously wasn't going to become anything.

Ultimately, Torn is a novel about a prank gone wrong and the deadly consequences of one mistake. It's a novel about guilt and unravelling. I often wonder what the novel would have turned out like if the girls had just told someone about the accident instead of hiding it. I think Clarke has written a great novel that could have been better with some adjustments and improvements. Great characterisation and beautifully written, I haven't lost faith in Clarke and I'm sure whatever she has planned for us next will be phenomenal!

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

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Stealing Parker

Review Time! Stealing Parker is the companion novel to Miranda Kenneally's debut, Catching Jordan (Review) which I LOVE! I was lucky enough to have Miranda on the blog not only as a 2012 Debutante but also to host her Stealing Parker release giveaway! I'm so excited to bring you my review of Stealing Parker because it's absolutely AMAZING! You can purchase a copy of the book from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld Thanks to Miranda for sending me a copy of Stealing Parker to read and enjoy!

(Goodreads) Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

The Short Story? - Fans of Catching Jordan will definitely get a kick out of this! All the romance and frothiness of Catching Jordan with brand new characters and cameos of the old! Kenneally has truly outdone herself with this phenomenal companion novel to one of the best written YA contemporaries of 2012! Brilliant characters with depth and history, a bittersweet journey to love and self acceptance and exploration of topics that are usually left untouched in YA! Kenneally's Stealing Parker is a powerful novel with a brilliant romance!

The Long Story? - The thing I love most about Kenneally's novels is that they never turn out the way you expect them to. NEVER. They're unpredictable and exciting to read, they teach morals in a fun way through girls who like sport and boys who are too perfect to be real. They teach that good things ( good boys) could be by your side all along but you were too caught up in your own problems to see and more then that they teach girls to be themselves. This is definitely getting too deep but it's true, Kenneally's novels aren't just frothy and fluffy and swoony, they deal with real issues too. I loved that Stealing Parker explored homosexuality, slut shaming, isolation and neglect, all issues that affect many of us. They're not pretty issues to explore especially in a genre like YA but Kenneally has managed to do it in a way that's fun but meaningful at the same time. It's not a dark piece of contemporary fiction and the romance and chemistry are all there. Kenneally has a knack for writing YA that you all must check out!

I felt an instant connection to Parker, in terms of protagonists I felt closer to Parker than I did to Jordan ( which I thought was impossible but here we are!). Parker deals with so much throughout the novel and she puts up with so much. From the moment her mom came out as a lesbian, Parker's life has started to unravel. She's like the perfect poster child for "Good Girl Gone Bad". She had to deal with slut shaming and the loss of respect from others and to come out on top from all that, it's truly something. Parker just seemed like a very authentic character. I also loved how Kenneally's novels promote friendship between genders, it shows that you can be friends with boys without having to become something more. I liked having a character like Drew play the best friend, he was someone you could depend on and I liked how nerdy and cute he was! Corndog (Will) was an unexpected turn of events but he was a boy after my own heart with his caring nature and humour, definitely someone Parker should be with!

As you can see, I'm nothing but high praise for Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally. Everything from the punny titles to the last page was brilliant. Kenneally has quickly become one of my favourite YA contemporary writers and I look forward to reading more of her books. Cute, frothy and fun but deep, powerful and bittersweet at the same time, Stealing Parker deals with social problems in a way that everybody can relate to. A job well done, two thumbs up for Kenneally!

What's it Worth? - Break Out the Piggybank

Badass Bookie xx

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Under the Never Sky

Review Time! 2012 debut author Veronica Rossi was a debutante on Badass Bookie last year and as you know with all my debutantes, I try to read their books! Under the Never Sky was one that was always on the bookshelf but I just never got around to reading it  - till now! Published by Pier 9 initially, it seems that Hachette has taken over Australia rights! You can purchase a copy of Under the Never Sky from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld. Thanks to Pier 9 for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

The Short Story? - My biggest regret is not reading this book until the end of 2012! One of my favourite debuts of the year, Rossi's Under the Never Sky is a fast-paced adventure of self discovery, action, romance and sacrifice. Brilliant characters, Aria and Perry and Roar (!!!) were absolutely fantastic, in this case the characters really do make or break the novel! Beautifully written, I can't wait to read the sequel! Remarkable debut from Rossi!

The Long Story? - I know this is one of those books that everyone either loves or hates and I'm proud to stand with the lovers on the right! I've read through reviews of Under the Never Sky from both lovers and haters and found aspects that I agree and disagree with. Upon starting the book I had a couple of issues with the world-building, the first few chapters were quite confusing as I just couldn't get a grasp on the concept of this world. It was a little bit of a struggle getting into the story because of this but as I read on, the world-builing became more clear and it just went uphill from there! I'm an avid fan of the adventure novels and I'm so glad Under the Never Sky was just some whimsy novel about a rebellion, there is depth in the plot. I'm honestly highly impressed with Rossi's debut, it was the right mixture of action, adventure, romance and a little bit of kick-assing as well! :)

Characterisation is definitely one of the most important aspects of a book, if you can't connect with a character, it's highly unlikely that you'll enjoy reading the book. I'm so glad that I connected with Aria almost immediately. She's a brilliant character, very down to earth and likeable. There is something about Aria that seems almost gentle and I can totally see why Perry is head over heels in love with her! Speaking of Perry - I absolutely LOVE Perry, there is something wild and dangerous about him and I can't get enough! Brilliant character with a complex personality and internal struggle - definitely the best kind of character! I also feel like it goes without saying that I MUST mention Roar. I'm a sucker for charming characters and I feel Roar can charm anything out of anyone! On top of that he's fiercely loyal and a badass too!

I'm MOST impressed with Rossi's Under the Never Sky, if negative reviews are weighing down your opinion on the book - please don't be worried! It's actually SO SO SO brilliant! Love Rossi's prose and the character's voices, love the plot and love the characters in general! Under the Never Sky was an unputdownable debut that differs from any other dystopian novel I've read! I can't wait to read Through the Ever Night! :)

What's it Worth? - Break Out the Piggybank

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Farm

Review time! Okay you guys have NO idea how big my review pile is right now, I am at least 20 books behind and I'm making my way through at snail pace. The Farm by Emily McKay is YA debut novel ( or at least that's what Goodreads tell me). It was one of those books just popped out of no where, not much hype, it was just THERE and it was GOOD. You can purchase a copy of The Farm from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld Thanks to Penguin for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...

The Short Story? - If you liked Julie Kagawa's The Immortal Rules, I highly recommend The Farm by Emily Mckay. While the books are very different, the world building shows similarities. Set in a post apocalyptic world over run by blood-sucking vampire hybrids, this is a story of survival, saving the world and family love ( and other types of love too). Fast-paced, edgy and dangerous, if you like your heroes in pairs and completely down to earth, The Farm is just the book for you!

The Long Story? - I went into this novel not knowing what to expect, it arrived on my doorstep one morning and I picked it up, read it and was completely blown away! It's a fairly long book and there was a little bit of a wait for the story to pick up but once it picked up, IT REALLY PICKED UP. McKay's debut is almost like a post apocalyptic road trip WITHOUT the music and WITH the blood sucking vampire hybrids waiting to kill you every night. The Farm is different, edgy, gritty and more than anything it's exciting. Survivor on the road with a body count, vampires and an unlikely bunch of teens ( and there much older vampire protector/dude that's just there). McKay's The Farm is absolutely spectacular!

Another aspect of the novel I loved beside the whole road trip from hell aspect was the characterisation. McKay has not only explored a supernatural aspect with her debut but she also touches base on many issues like autism and teenage pregnancy. The Farm is told from multiple POVs. Lily who is essentially the protagonist is a brilliant character. I strongly admire her love for her autistic sister Mel, it's really tough especially for an 18 year old girl yet Lily knows all about love, sacrifice and perseverance. I also really enjoyed the parts of the novel written from Mel's perspective because they didn't really make sense, the whole thing was in riddles yet some how it fitted with the atmosphere of the novel perfectly. Carter who is Lily's love interest in the novel also got his own chapters and I loved how we can see a relationship from both parties, it just makes it more authentic and interesting. Overall McKay truly outdid herself with the characterisation!

The Farm is a hauntingly beautiful story to match an equally as beautiful cover. A phenomenal debut from McKay I can't wait to see what she has install for us next. Definitely pick this one up because aside from the totally awesome roadtrippy plot, the characterisation and writing is completely and utterly amazing. I don't regret reading this one at all! Two thumbs up for post apocalyptic vampires that don't sparkle!

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, January 6, 2013

In My Mailbox #60 ( December Book Haul)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren where we share all the books that we've gotten in the past week. However here on Badass Bookie, the blogger is too lazy to do it every week therefore she does it once a month (more or less!) SO today I bring you my December Book Haul!

December was also Christmas and my birthday and normally I don't get books for either because I have SO many and I would prefer to get money for clothes or clothes in general but this year I got a few! Anyhow, onto the haul!

For Review -

Venom by Fiona Paul
The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams (X2)
Gates of Paradise by Melissa de la Cruz
Far Rockaway by Charlie Fletcher
Dragon Frontier by Dan Abnett
The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Burned by Sara Shepard
Indigo Awakening by Jordan Dane
Level Two by Lenore Appelhans
Rebel Heart by Moira Young
ARC Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil

( Thanks to Bloomsbury, Harper Collins, Hachette, Penguin, Hachette Children's, Simon and Schuster, Harlequin Teen, Allen and Unwin and Hardie Grant Egmont)

Gifted - 

Auracle by Gina Rosati 
The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines
Partial by Dan Wells
Dreamless by Josephine Angelini

( Thanks to Gina Rosati and MY TWO FRIENDS)

Swapped -

Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines
ARC Black City by Elizabeth Richards
ARC White Lines by Jennifer Banash
ARC Earth Girl by Janet Edwards 
Betrayal by Lee Nichols

( Thanks to Becca @ Reading Wishes and Brodie @ Eleusinian Mysteries who smells really bad and is prolly the worst big sister EVA but I still have to thank her because she let me advance swappie her so technically she gifted them to me)

And that's all folks! Comment to let me know which ones to read first and make sure to link me to your IMM posts!

Badass Bookie xx

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Scent of Magic

Review time! Scent of Magic is the sequel to Maria V. Snyder's new YA Fantasy series called Healers. You can find my review of the first book, Touch of Magic - HERE. This is one of the best fantasy series I've read and I'm so excited to share this review with you guys because this book is AWESOME. You can purchase a copy of Scent of Magic from Fishpond | The Nile | Booktopia | Bookworld Thanks to Harlequin for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Hunted, Killed—Survived?

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again

The Short Story? - What the hell did I just read? I don't know whether to love or hate Snyder right now after that KILLER of an ending. What a fantastic job! Scent of Magic was everything I had imagined it to be and so much more. Drama, adventure, romance and sacrifice, if anyone knows how to write an epic fantasy it's Maria V. Snyder. Beautifully written, amazing characterisation and a phenomenal plot, highly recommended to everyone. If you haven't read this series, you don't know what you're missing out.

The Long Story? - I honestly can not pick my favourite out of book one and two if my life depended on it. Usually with series one book is always better than the other but not with this series. Synder is such a brilliant writer - I can't pick. If you think things have settled down since the events in Touch of Magic, you are SO WRONG. Things have only heated up and OMG THE FEELS. The plot had me dying every two pages and the cliff hanger at the end of EVERY CHAPTER - not COOL, I could have gone into cardiac arrest. So intense, dramatic and adventurous, Scent of Magic was brilliant. If you like fantasy novels with strong heroines and an epic love story, I highly recommend reading this series! SO GOOD!

Speaking of strong heroines, Avry of Kazan - you are one badass girl! Probably one of my favourite characters to have encountered in YA fiction ( read: anything I've ever read because YA is the only genre I read), there is something about Avry that makes her very likeable. She's so selfless, kind hearted and independent, she's practically the poster child for what protagonists in YA fiction SHOULD be like. Kerrick - even typing his name gives me shivers. He is just perfection! Smart, protective, handsome and A PRINCE! Not to mention when the two of them are together, the chemistry is absolutely combustive! One of my favourite couples of YA fiction, Avry and Kerrick's romance gives love a whole new definition!

All in all, there is nothing else I can say except this series is a MUST READ. I'm not selling a book here, I'm just recommending from the bottom of my heart! One of the best series' I've ever read, Snyder is a brilliant author with a compelling narrative voice and a knack for writing YA fantasy. Scent of Magic does not disappoint and I look forward to reading the highly anticipated book #3 to see where Avry's adventures lead her next!

What's it Worth? - Break Out the Piggybank

Badass Bookie xx