Karachi, You’re Killing Me! by Saba Imtiaz

Originally posted on Pen Against Paper:

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In a city where gun shots and bomb blasts are a norm, individuals find themselves navigating life as if its ‘all in a day’s work’. Such is Imtiaz’s character Ayesha who lives the life of a journalist covering shootouts, rallies and surviving bandits all the while traveling all over in a rickshaw.

The book gives a fresh look into the life of those living in Pakistan’s Metropolis and the city deemed ‘most dangerous’. Here the sex is casual and the booze flow easy, even if Ayesha never has enough money to buy her cigarettes, pay her bootlegger or her taxi driver because her editor keeps putting off her salary.

Imtiaz, who herself lives the life of a journalist speaks in a tone so true to the characters that one knows instantly what it’s like to be part of a profession that clearly isn’t safe. Yet, as we watch Ayesha navigate…

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Interview: Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz

Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.

She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

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What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Fear. Sometimes rage. I find that to truly focus I need to feel panic, and then suddenly everything in my manuscript becomes clear. I work best under duress, which is something my editors have learned and they’re quite good at instilling fear in me. J I appreciate that! I also work well with many distractions, I think it’s because I had a day job for nine years and had to write my books in the middle of doing my real work.

 

Describe your book in 5 words

Post-apocalyptic. Zombie. Dragon. Pirate. Fantasy.

 

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

The first, definitely.

 

Best writing tip you ever received?

To introduce the love interest in the first 30 pages, not that specifically but learning that there was CRAFTING involved in writing a novel, not just voice.

What one young adult novel you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

Harry Potter. Because! I don’t think I have to explain.

 

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1. I was a child model.

2. My favorite One Direction guy was Harry, but now it is Louis.

3. I have a Maltese named Mimi. She is not named for Mimi Force, our kid named her.

4. I learned to drive at 34.

5. I like savory treats better than sweet.

 

Where’s your favorite place to write?

In a cubicle, surrounded by softly ringing phones and people murmuring. Sadly this is no longer possible for me.

 

What are you working on now?

My new series THE RING AND THE CROWN coming next spring from Disney-Hyperion.

 

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

YA Fantasy and Paranormal. My favorite genre to read is “literary” fiction, but I would have to say I really enjoy bestsellers just as much, I like popular fiction, no matter what genre, I like to read what a lot of people are reading and take the pulse of the culture. But for my own taste, I love smart angry women writers like Lionel Shriver and Kate Christensen. Also cookbook memoirs.

 

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

When we’ve sold it!

Interview: Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie released in theaters on February 14, 2013.

Kami is also the author of Unbreakable, the first book her paranormal solo series, THE LEGION (coming October 1, 2013.

Kami grew up outside of Washington DC, wore lots of black, and spent hours writing poetry in spiral notebooks. As a girl with Southern roots, she has always been fascinated by the paranormal and believes in lots of things “normal” people don’t. She’s very superstitious and would never sleep in a room with the number “13″ on the door. When she is not writing, Kami can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke.

Kami has an MA in education, and taught in the Washington DC area until she moved to Los Angeles, where she was a teacher & Reading Specialist for 14 years. In addition to teaching, Kami was a professional artist and led fantasy book groups for children and teens. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, daughter, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

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What one thing do you need to have when you write?

I need three things: my laptop, my headphones, and Diet Coke.

Describe your book in 5 words

Paranormal. Ghost-hunting. Intense. Romance. Secret Societies.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1. I don’t know how to ride a bike. 2. I used to be an artist (a painter). 3. I won’t fly without my huge charm necklace that I believe will keep the plane from crashing. 4. I believe in ghosts. 5. Every time I write a book, I worry that everyone will hate it.

What are you working on now?

I am working on the second book in the Legion Series, the sequel to Unbreakable. Like Unbreakable, the sequel is very intense and has plenty of paranormal elements. But I think it’s even more romantic and surprising than the first book.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

My favorite genre to write is definitely urban fantasy/paranormal romance. I love to read paranormal, but I am also a huge fan of horror, crime fiction, high fantasy, and science fiction.

Interview: Veronica Rossi

Veronica Rossi

Veronica Rossi graduated from UCLA and studied fi ne art at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She began writing fiction for teens and received first-place awards in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and SouthWest Writers annual contests before completing Under the Never Sky , the first book in her Under the Never Sky…

 

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What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

Yeah, those. And all the ones in between!

Best writing tip you ever received?

$5. Just kidding. Um… tip… I think it’s probably to allow yourself to suck when writing early drafts. It takes away a lot of the fear of generating good material. It’s not easy to be creative when you’re judging your work.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

1. In the past year, I discovered a deep love of Brussel sprouts

2. I talk to myself. Heck. Sometimes I argue with myself.

3. I’m arguing with myself about including that last point at this very moment.

4. My favorite animals are elephants.

5. Dresses with pockets make me happy.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

I usually work in my home office, but I love working in hotel rooms. No distractions!

What are you working on now?

Something I’m very excited about! Can’t divulge any details yet, but it’s an idea I’ve been mulling over for years.

Interview: Ransom Riggs

Ransom Riggs

I grew up in Florida, went to Kenyon College in Ohio, then film school at USC in LA, where I still live. I write books and screenplays, blog daily for mentalfloss.com, and make short films.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is my first novel. I’m really excited about it — it was challenging and rewarding and I hope people like it. If you read that and like the found photographs in it, you might be interested in a book comprised entirely of found photographs that I have coming out January 2012 from HarperCollins. It’s called Talking Pictures. You can find sneak peeks by doing a search for “mental floss talking pictures” (I included a number of images in blogs there) and I made a kinda-sorta book trailer for it, which is on my youtube page: youtube.com/ransriggs.

Also, watch out for a Miss Peregrine book trailer, which I’m working on right now! I get to go to Belgium and film inside creepy abandoned chateaus, which I’m *really* looking forward to.

 

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What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Silence. My noise-cancelling headphones have become almost essential.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

The first. I rewrite and rewrite it a million times. The last comes easy.

Tell us 5 random facts about yourself.

I’m six foot four. I lived on a working farm until I was five. I used to know how to cook Indian food but now I’ve forgotten. I love documentaries. One day I will conquer the moon.

What are you working on now?

A novel for Little, Brown the plot of which is SECRET! (Sort of, for now. But I’m really excited about it.)

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

Oh, definitely YA to write in. I read everything, lots of YA, lots of adult, nonfiction of all sorts. I even read poetry when I’m feeling ambitious. I think it’s crucial to have lots of different influences. If you only read in the genre you write in, your writing will sound like everything else that’s already out there.

Interview: Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell writes books.

Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline).

Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park and Fangirl).

But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.

She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

 

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What one thing do you need to have when you write?

Lip balm.

Describe your book in 5 words.

FANGIRL

Earnest, snowy, swoony, minty, bookish.

What is the hardest line to write- the first or the last?

THE FIRST! The whole first page is a nightmare. I want people to just skip it. And I always end u rewriting it.

Best writing tip you ever received?

“Just finish your book.”

What one young adult novel do you wish you had when you were a teen? Why?

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt. I think it would have made me feel less alone.

Where’s your favorite place to write?

At coffeeshops. In giant overstuffed chairs.

What are you working on now?

I’m revising my adult novel, Landline, which comes out in spring 2014, and playing with a romantic/political/tragicomic fantasy.

What is your favorite genre to write in? To Read?

I write mostly contemporary. I read mostly fantasy.

At what point in the development of an idea do you know that it will become a full-length novel?

All of my ideas are full-length novels. I have a hard time narrowing my scope.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Of Infinite moments and Burnt kettles

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Stephen Chbosky weaves a beautifully poignant story that keeps the reader (me) hooked on till the very last page, line, sentence, full stop. I was so engrossed that I completely forgot leaving the water to boil and by the time I realised this and ran to the kitchen, the kettle was officially black. Mom kind of had a fit (kind of being an understatement).

Having heard so much about this book left me wondering just what everyone found so compelling that they couldn’t sleep for days and I wanted to experience every emotion that they felt too. But as always fate intervened and somehow I only got to read the book 3 days ago. Why did I wait this long?!

This story is absolutely undoubtedly the most beautiful story I have ever read. The book is laced with messages and facts of life that anyone finishing school would find immensely helpful. Scratch that. People still living high school would find very helpful.

Charlie had this raw, innocent voice that you heard in your head every time you read his letters. And every scene played out perfectly. But the best thing is, everything fit in place. You know, how sometimes you feel like a scene was forced in order to get to the climax well, there was nothing of this sort in the book. In fact everything flowed smoothly.

Guess what, you immediately fall in love with Charlie. Not in the ‘OMG I have a crush on him!’ But more in the I want to hug him and tell him that he’s the best friend I’ve always wanted. And that he’s special. Much like Sam and Bill did.

“I am both happy and sad at the same time, and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”

The book had a voice that the reader could instantly recognize as their own. Every insecurity, happy and sad moment that Charlie went through seemed almost like a chapter from my own book. Those moments of ‘infinite’ that he described were all the things I could relate to. When you seem to forget about the world around you and the problems in your life because for that moment everything seems okay. Everything is infinite.

“Enjoy it. Because it’s happening.”

I won’t really dwell on what exactly the story is about because at this moment everyone more or less knows it, probably from the movie or word of mouth. But it is definitely coming-of-age.

This book was like a good cup of tea. When you take the first sip and realise that everything is just about right and you sigh knowing that it had to be the best cup of tea you had in a really long time. And the taste just sort of stays with you. Yeah, that’s what this book was for me.

I wish I knew Charlie in high school.

This is by far my favorite quote:

“It’s much easier to not know things sometimes. Things change and friends leave. And life doesn’t stop for anybody. I wanted to laugh. Or maybe get mad. Or maybe shrug at how strange everybody was, especially me. I think the idea is that every person has to live for his or her own life and then make the choice to share it with other people. You can’t just sit there and put everybody’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things. I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to be who I really am. And I’m going to figure out what that is. And we could all sit around and wonder and feel bad about each other and blame a lot of people for what they did or didn’t do or what they didn’t know. I don’t know. I guess there could always be someone to blame. It’s just different. Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think that the only perspective is to really be there. Because it’s okay to feel things. I was really there. And that was enough to make me feel infinite. I feel infinite.”

5 Reviews: The Elemental Series by Brigid Kemmerer (Mini reviews)

Elemental (Elemental #0.5)

Elemental (Elemental, #0.5)

Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they are more than you dream.
As an air Elemental, 17-year-old Emily Morgan doesn’t have much power. That’s okay—she knows what happens to kids who do.

Like Michael Merrick. He’s an earth Elemental, one with enough power to level cities. Which makes him sexy. Dangerous. And completely off limits. At least according to Emily’s family.

But her summer job puts her in close contact with Michael, and neither of them can help the attraction they feel. When forces of nature like theirs collide, one misstep could get someone killed. Because Emily’s family doesn’t just want her to stay away from him.

They want him dead.

My Review:

I thought it best to start from the very beginning. And even though this novella came after the first book, i still found myself starting from this.

Elemental gives us a background idea of what the book is going to be about. Hell, what the series is going to be about. Michael is the older brother of the Merrick clan and we come to understand the hardships he faces because of his powers. The book ends by just giving us an idea of what more can possibly come. And sort of come to accept Michael’s character.

I wanted to read more about him. Honestly, i was quite smitten.

Book #5 is Michael’s book!

Storm (Elemental #1)

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys all the ones she doesn’t want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. 

Storm (Elemental, #1)
Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.

My Review:

LOVED it! I really do think that the Elemental series is a great fun read. Just to relax and lounge around. It gets your mind of life and diverted onto the Merrick brothers. Chris was no exception.

The story switched between Becca and Chris, giving us differing points of view and sometimes i really did feel like smacking Becca on the head for some stupid decisions she was making coughHuntercough. But the way Chris was overprotective of Becca and his dialogue was just amazing. *sigh*

Fearless (Elemental #1.5)

Fearless (Elemental, #1.5)

Being a force of nature doesn’ t keep you safe.Hunter Garrity is used to watching his back. The kids at school sense something different about him. And they re right.

Hunter has powers that have nothing to do with how hard he can throw a punch.

Maybe that s what Clare Kasten is picking up. She s shy, quiet, and intense, but she s sought him out. There s no telling what she wants from him.

But Hunter knows enough to sense a secret when it s close. And getting close to Clare is a danger he s ready to face.

My Review:

I don’t like Hunter. There, I said it. I didn’t like him from the very first appearance that he made in Storm. Something was off about him from the very beginning. Not to mention he was interfering with Becca and Chris. Seriously, that was when i started to really dislike him.

So, i must admit, as i read this book…i was a bit biased. Sorry. And quickly finished through this novella. BUT i do want to know just why he does what he does. I mean, we sort of know but still. A little more insight would be nice. Plus, wherever he is so are the Merrick boys. So, why wouldn’t i want to read more about them?

Spirit (Elemental #3) is Hunter’s book! Who knows, maybe i start liking him?

Spark (Elemental #2)

Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally. Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Gabriel has always had his 

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brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it. And no one seems to believe him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Because Layne has a few secrets of her own…

My Review:

Woah! Gabriel was just as hot as his element. And his love interest was just perfect for him. He was fiery and just a pleasure to read. I had so much fun with this book and Kemmerer did an amazing job with it.

I found myself reading it into the wee hours of the night and couldn’t bring myself to sleep until i was completely finished with it.

Gabriel really cares about his family, so don’t let his hard exterior fool you. Hunter, however on the other hand, i still didn’t understand his motives in this one. He just seemed too pushy for some reason.

Breathless (Elemental #2.5)

Breathless (Elemental, #2.5)

Too many secrets. Not enough time.

Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.

But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.

His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.

He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.

My Review:

Honestly, that was quite a shocker!

Having finished Spark, i wanted to immediately read Breathless and when i found it on Netgalley i immediately requested it. What i didn’t imagine was that Nick would turn out to be gay. I was actually hoping for some insight into the difficult relationship he might be having with Quinn. Hahaha i just didn’t see that one coming. Kemmerer really gave us quite a surprise or maybe just me because i clearly didn’t read the signs. Were there any signs? But, whatever rocks your boat Nick. :) Now what i want to see is what happens when his brothers find out.

Siege (Elemental #4) is officially Nick’s book!

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

 

The Fault in Our Stars

Title: The Fault in Our Stars

Author: John Green
Genre(s): contemporary fiction/romance; young adult
Source: hardcover – bought

My Rating X infinity

Synopsis (goodreads):

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now. 

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault. 

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My Review:

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

Okay.

I got to The Fault in Our Stars after a long time. Mainly because it was sold out for the longest time and then once i bought it, i got side tracked with everything else. Before even starting this book i had heard the most amazing things about it and read loads of rave reviews which sort of made up my mind to not read it, because i was afraid it would not live up to the standards set. But then i read it. Half of it. I couldn’t find myself to continue because i had already guessed the ending and well i was so emotionally attached to the characters that i just didn’t want my suspicions to be proven right. 2 weeks later when i prepared myself to finish it…it was over in a day. Because i could not put the book down.

Readers beware. Those of you who haven’t read the book have no idea what you’re missing. BUT when you do get down to reading it keep a box of tissues with you. The water works just don’t stop. My mother found me crying when i was reading and she asked me what was wrong. I told her and she just rolled her eyes and left the room. I plan to make sure she too reads the book. I just couldn’t stop crying. Everything brought me to tears and no book has been able to that to me. EVER.

“That’s the thing about pain…it demands to be felt.”

Green couldn’t have summed it up better even if he tried. “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

Hazel and Augustus had this chemistry that i can’t quite seem to describe. Green did an amazing job portraying it! It was so real. Both characters just  fit together perfectly, that you were rooting for them from the very beginning. It came so easily to them, almost like breathing. And while the ending was sad and tragic. It was just the right amount of breathtaking and heartbreaking all wrapped in a box, tied up with a string. ‘The one legged virgin’ totally stole my heart.

I wish i could meet John Green and tell him what a masterpiece he has written. Just amazing!

“Waiting On” Wednesday #46

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Earthbound

Earthbound
Love, fate, and power collide in this new series by #1 New York Timesbestselling author Aprilynne Pike!

Tavia Michaels is the sole survivor of the plane crash that killed her parents. When she starts to see strange visions of a boy she’s never spoken with in real life, she begins to suspect that there’s much about her past that she isn’t being told. Tavia will soon to discover that she’s an Earthbound—someone with the ability to create matter out of nothing—and that she alone holds the key to stopping the Reduciata, an evil society that manipulates global events for its own shadowy purposes. Tavia will ultimately have to make a choice: to come into her powers and save the world from the evil Reduciata or to choose free will and a love of her own.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike has created a heart-stopping romance built on a love triangle like you’ve never seen before and filled with epic stakes and a centuries-long conspiracy. Give it to fans of Nightshade and Fallen.

Expected publication: July 30th 2013 by Razorbill

Review: A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Title: A Song for Julia

A Song for Julia

Publisher:  Cincinnatus Press
Source: ebook – tour
Genre(s): contemporary fiction/romance; new adult

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Everyone should have something to rebel against.

Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.

Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father’s career and dominating her family’s life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she’s haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy. 

When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.

My Review:

My second ‘new adult’ book and i have to say my run with this genre is going good!

There are certain books that you read and when they finish you can’t stop thinking about them for a good few weeks. Well, this is one of them. Emotional gripping, heart warming and just outright amazing!

I love how all new adult books have an underlying issue that make the premise for the book and the show true character development. Charles Sheehan-Miles really did an awesome job with this book. I literally couldn’t stop reading this book even though i had an insane amount of tests to give the next day. I was very much reading well into the night. His writing was so poetic and engrossing. It had this raw emotional feel to it that just gripped at your heart strings, tugged and screamed, “I will never let you go!”

Characters ranged from all aspects and they were such a joy to read. And all of them developed and grew which is very hard to find in most books. The love story was beautiful. So simple but not cliched at all. I mean you didn’t feel like, “Okay, i’ve read this before somewhere.”

And then it got me thinking – how do these things happen in the first place?

A MUST READ!

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1)

Title: Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis
Publisher:  Razorbill
Source: paperback – bought
Genre(s): romance; young adult; science fiction; dystopian

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. 

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

 

My Review:

Before the book was going to come out, the first thing, i must confess, that caught my eye was the cover. And then the synopsis. Although, i didn’t get to the book till much later into the year.

Having read nothing but rave reviews of the book by other bloggers i went against my apprehension about it being a sci-fi book even though i very much knew that it was not my cup of tea when it came to reading. The fact that it was a dystopian may have also played a part. So, i went and bought the book.

Across the Universe is told from the point of view of both Amy and Elder. I like the dual aspect. Nothing wrong in that. The story opens with Amy being frozen along with her parents, only to be woken well into the future. After that i started to lose focus.

While the book was very well written from what i can tell, i lost all interest in it. Perhaps i got confused. Scratch that, i was very much confused which led me to be frustrated. We get to feel what Amy goes through the first few chapters while she’s frozen and i have to sya i felt pretty claustrophobic while reading that. Suffocated almost and that is something that i really liked. I mean, Revis made me feel what Amy was possibly feeling and i just think much praise should be given to authors who can evoke feelings in the readers like that. Elder on the other hand i was sort of short-tempered-ish with. Somehow i didn’t like him very much. While Amy was someone i could relate to, for instance i would probably react the same way she did all throughout the book, Elder was just someone’s whose chapters i literally flicked through. And i hate doing that when i read a book.

I also think there was too much detail. But perhaps that’s what makes a sci-fi book. Somehow i just felt overwhelmed because it was just going over my head and i couldn’t make sense of it.

Review: Riptide by Lindsey Scheibe

Title: RiptideRiptide

Author: Lindsey Scheibe
 
Publisher: Flux
 
Source: Netgalley
 
Genre(s): contemporary fiction/romance; young adult; sports
 

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Grace has one summer to prove she’s good enough.

For Grace Parker, surfing is all about the ride and the moment. Everything else disappears. She can forget that her best friend, Ford Watson, has a crush on her that she can’t reciprocate. She can forget how badly she wants to get a surf scholarship to UC San Diego. She can forget the pressure of her parents’ impossibly high expectations.

When Ford enters Grace into a surf competition—the only way she can impress the UCSD surfing scouts—she has one summer to train and prepare. Will she gain everything she’s ever wanted or lose the only things that ever mattered?

My Review:

Surf to your heart’s content. Chase your dreams.

Grace Parker needs to prove to herself, her family and the coach at UC San Diego that she’s good enough. 

Lindsey Scheibe weaves a tale about Grace’s hardships in terms of her family and how she comes to understand her feelings for her best friend Ford, who has wanted no one but her ever since he met her.

Every chapter starts off with a quote or a meaning of a surf term, which helped me a lot. Because, truth be told you sort of get confused with all the surfing if you have no idea before hand. Also it’s told from the point of view of both Ford and Grace.

This debut novel focuses on family ideals and coming out strong in terms of believing in yourself and your dreams. Bonus: it focused on domestic violence and I think that gave a real edge to the story.

I had fun reading the book! Summer read? YUP! Literally. But, you could read it any other time.

Review: Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Love StoryTitle: Love Story

Author: Jennifer Echols
Genre(s): contemporary fiction/romance; new adult

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

She’s writing about him. he’s writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines.. 

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions–it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

My Review:

Wait, just a minute! What?! It’s over. Wow!

Can i just say that i love Jennifer Echols for writing this story. It was just the right amount of everything – angst, love, sexy and then everything else!
I absolutely could not stop reading and within a span of hours it was finished – and it’s well into the night, i have school tomorrow, and my brain wasn’t going to shut up unless i wrote this review.

Erin writes from her fantasies, from a longing crush that achieved nothing from. But she doesn’t expect is for her to crush to walk into her creative writing class and read it all. Thus, unfolds a series of stories that are both of their lives and their writing about each other. Feelings bubble to the surface and secrets start falling over.

Echols weaved this amazingly funny and entertaining story whereby i was just waiting for the two characters to hook up. I wanted to be in that creative writing class with them. New York played through my mind as i imagined the places and how i know i too would have been excited at the sight of Simon&Schuster, HarperCollins and other such publishing houses.

Something that i really found beyond sexy (spoiler): When Hunter barges into the class waving Erin’s recent story ‘Obedience’ all angry and shouts at her. Imagined it! LOVED IT! (When you read the story, or if you’ve already read it then you know the reason why Hunter is so upset.)

“Waiting On” Wednesday #44

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Towering

 
Towering
 
At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.

Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her. 

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now. 

A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Alex Flinn knows her fairy tales, and Towering is her most mind-bending interpretation yet. Dark and mysterious, this reimagining of Rapunzel will have readers on the edge of their seats wondering where Alex will take them next!

 
Expected publication: May 14th 2013 by HarperTeen (first published April 24th 2013)

 

 

Review: Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher

The Obsidian MirrorTitle: Obsidian Mirror

Expected publication: October 4th 2012
Genre(s): young-adult
Source: uncorrected proof

My Rating

Synopsis (goodreads):

Jake’s father disappears while working on mysterious experiments with the obsessive, reclusive Oberon Venn. Jake is convinced Venn has murdered him. But the truth he finds at the snow-bound Wintercombe Abbey is far stranger … The experiments concerned a black mirror, which is a portal to both the past and the future. Venn is not alone in wanting to use its powers. Strangers begin gathering in and around Venn’s estate: Sarah – a runaway, who appears out of nowhere and is clearly not what she says, Maskelyne – who claims the mirror was stolen from him in some past century. There are others, a product of the mirror’s power to twist time. And a tribe of elemental beings surround this isolated estate, fey, cold, untrustworthy, and filled with hate for humans. But of them all, Jake is hell-bent on using the mirror to get to the truth. Whatever the cost, he must learn what really happened to his father.

My Review:

Adventure. Time travel. Faeries.

In three words, that would be the premise of the novel.

Granted I wanted to read Incarceron for the longest of time, still haven’t, but when the opportunity presented itself i couldn’t pass it up. Obsidian Mirror was everything i had never read and i was intrigued.

Jake’s father goes missing while trying to do a secret project, time travel. And Jake is convinced that the person funding his education, his father’s best friend Venn, is behind it. So, starts a series of mysteries and accidental time travels. It’s everything rolled into one.

While there were parts where the scene dragged on for a bit, the book as a whole kept me hooked. I wanted to see something play out between Sarah and Jake (the silly romantic that resides within me and wants something to look forward to in a book) nothing of the sort happened. Although there seemed to be a hint to in at the very end. And i mean VERY end.

Although i don’t quite agree that it is young adult. Maybe on the border of young adult but still teetering in middle grade.

All in all a fun read!