Sunday, 26 January 2014

New Year New Adult! Dangerous to Know and Love by Jane Harvey-Berrick.

Silence is only skin deep.
Nineteen year old Daniel Colton is the guy all the girls want to date, and the man all the guys want to be. Moody, with an explosive temper, closed off and sullen, he’s also beautiful, tatted in delicious ways, with a pierced eyebrow and spiky black hair. It’s rumoured he has piercings in other places, too. Is he really mad, bad and dangerous to know?
Daniel lives with his older brother, Zef, and their home is party central. You want drugs, a good time, liquor, no questions asked? Colton’s is the place to go.
When Daniel and good girl Lisanne Maclaine have to work together on an assignment, Lisanne finds there’s a lot more to the college’s bad boy than his reputation. He’s intelligent and funny and good company. And then she discovers his secret, why he’s so closed off to everyone, and determined to keep people at arms’ length. But being his secret-keeper is harder than she ever dreamed.
What I loved:
Daniel- I loved Daniel's character. He had an sort what unfair background but I liked how he hard he worked. I liked his relationship with his brother Zef. They were so different and the relationship was a bit dysfunctional however it grew as Daniel began to understand some of the burdens Zef felt and as Zef learnt to be Daniel be himself a bit more and make new friends etc. More than anything I really enjoyed the journey that Daniel went on, he learnt to accept who he was, take advice and help from others and to let people in.
Daniel's Secret- I loved this! Such a great and unique issue* to tackle in New Adult contemporary fiction. I found the way it was explained and explored informative and realistic. I loved the progression throughout the book and how Lisanne encouraged him to share his secret with his new friends, their non fazed reactions were realistic and showed Daniel that he could be accepted. It was heart breaking to see how much h's secret had slowly taken away his ability to engage with his passions, such a genuine expression of what many people face. I really enjoyed how Daniel started to accepted himself and make his own decisions relating to his secret calmly using facts and his ambitions to guide him. Once again an issue that needs more attention in fiction and an informed portrayal.
Side Characters- I really enjoyed all the well written side characters! Lisanne's parents were obviously a bit wary of Daniel to begin with, especially with how they first met him! I liked how her mother tried to take a more levelled view of their relationship and held the peace between them all. Lisanne's Dad spent a lot of the book at odds with Lisanne but I admired how he helped Daniel without a second thought and he did eventually accept their relationship! I loved the bromance between Daniel and Harry, Lisanne's brother. Their slightly awkward discussions about girls etc. were fun to read and it showed Daniel as a positive role model. Pops was the most accepting of Daniel and I enjoyed their bonding over Daniel's motorbike. Daniel's family just consisted of Zef. Zef was an interesting character, he could be intensely unlikeable at times but I found myself drawn to him as he had taken on so much so young and he was trying to create a better life for Daniel. I think he ended up in the best place for him to start over and focus on his own life. Lisanne's roommate Kirsty was the complete opposite of Lisanne. Kirsty was loud, fun and very confident, I loved how protective of Lisanne she was and how suspicious she was of Daniel, for good reason! I enjoyed how she stood up for Daniel at the station though, it showed how loyal and fair she could be. Her boyfriend, Vin and his friends were a great group of guys. I loved how Vin was great at judging people such as Shawna and Daniel, he made a great effort at including Daniel even more so after learning about his secret! I could go on and on about the side cast but those were my favourites!

What I didn't love as much:
Swearing- I'm not overly fussy about swearing in books so I was surprised by how much the language in this book bothered me! It just seemed unnecessary at times.


I really enjoyed the unique elements of this book and the fantastic side cast!
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Much Love!
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*P.S I used the words 'issue' and 'secret' in an effort not to spoil the book for others!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Unraveled by Jen Frederick.

Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Gray Phillips is at a crossroads in his life: stay in the Marine Corps or get out and learn to be a civilian? He’s got forty-five days of leave to make up his mind but the people in his life aren’t making the decision any easier. His dad wants him to get out; his grandfather wants him to stay in. And his growing feelings for Sam Anderson are wreaking havoc with his heart…and his mind. He believes relationships get ruined when a Marine goes on deployment. So now he’s got an even harder decision to make: take a chance on Sam or leave love behind and give his all to the Marines.
Twenty-two year old Samantha Anderson lost her husband to an IED in Afghanistan just two months after their vows. Two years later, Sam is full of regrets—that she didn’t move with her husband to Alaska; that she allowed her friends to drift away; that she hasn’t taken many chances in life. Now, she’s met Gray and taking a risk on this Marine could be her one opportunity to feel alive and in love again. But how can she risk her heart on another military man who could share the same tragic fate as her husband?
When I first heard Unravelled was about Gray and Sam I was disappointed as I was hoping for Finn's story! However I loved how different Unravelled is when compared to Undeclared and Unspoken. Sam and Gray aren't students and have much more complicated lives. I really liked Samantha, she came across as a loyal caring woman. I admired how she had taken responsibility for Anderson family, even if they did need to move forward with their lives too, she helped them grieve and kept Will's memory alive. The portrayal of her grief over Will was realistic an, especially how much she tried to resist romanticising their life together and see it for what it was. I loved how her relationship with Gray did not diminish her marriage and relationship to Will. I enjoyed reading how she slowly started to let go of Will and any guilt she had and to move forward with her own dreams and ambitions. Gray was another great male lead, I loved that he was a military man and how much of his life and personality was invested in the military. Gray's previous relationships had made him overly standoffish towards serious relationships so it was great to Sam and him slowly grow closer despite this. 
I really enjoyed how Gray went out of his way to take Sam on adventurous dates which helped her grow in confidence. Although I think this book has put me off of sky diving for life!
Once again the side cast was brilliant! It was great to see the Woodlands boys from Gray's more outside view. Bo, Noah and Gray had a great camaraderie between them from their service together and Bo and Noah seemed to completely understand Gray, at times better than he did himself! I especially enjoyed Bo's tough love advice! There was a lot of hints and intriguing references regarding Finn which I imagine were to set the scene for the next book! Adam also got more attention in this book as he was connected to the bar where Sam worked, which again gave more information and background to his character. I also loved Eve and Randy, Sam's best friend and her boyfriend, their advice and decoding of Gray's behaviour and texting was hilarious and occasionally right! 
For the first time in ages, I had to look up an American term. Rappelling which turned out to be abseiling!
 I absolutely loved the ending! Gray and Sam had figured out their life plans and grown during the book, as well as the side cast also moving forward with their lives.


I really enjoyed Sam and Gray's slow burning relationship, the Woodlands cast as always and how different the story was to the rest of the series.

Have you the Woodlands series?
Much Love!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Finding It by Cora Carmack.

Kelsey Summers is looking for love in all the wrong places.
Spending a few months travelling around Europe - with no parents, no responsibilities and a no limit credit card - Kelsey's having the time of her life.
But when she completely embarrasses herself in front of the hottest guy she's ever seen, she soon realises there's more to life than the next party.
What she doesn't realise is that although she's on a journey to find herself, she will end up finding The One...

I knew I'd enjoy Kelsey's story throughout the series she has been the 'wild' one out of group so I was a expecting an exciting book! I was worried to begin with because sometimes European settings fall flat or overtake the story but I really loved the setting in Finding It.
The journeying aspect was very realistic and fed into the plot perfectly. I loved the Budapest night of Baths, I have to experience that for myself! The romantic portrayal of Italy was brilliant and again went with the plot. I actually found that the destinations and journeys complimented the plot at all the right times.
I enjoyed Kelsey, she was bold and brassy. She had a surprisingly deep and complex background which was slowly revealed and explained so much about her character. I loved how she grew into herself and as a person. I really respected how she travelled solo although at times she was completely reckless and needed to keep in contact better. 
I found Jackson such a mysterious character. The way he kept poping up wherever Kelsey was initially seem quite odd but he was so enigmatic and charming that it wasn't as weird as it could of been! I loved how he slowly warmed up to Kelsey and saw through her brassy exterior, especially his reactions to how bold she could be. I did find his secretive behaviour annoying at times though!
The ending for me was the best part as Kelsey had really grew as a person and become responsible and independent. She was no longer needlessly reckless and had started working on her familial relationships. The only bad part of this book was the lack of Cade! I was expecting an update at least!

I loved Kelsey's journey figuratively and literally.
Much Love!

Friday, 10 January 2014

That One Summer, Series Review!


The Boys of Summer
It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.
Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.
To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.
How did she let her friends talk her into working?
After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.
All with the one boy she has never been able to forget.
It will be a summer she will always remember.
An Endless Summer
Sean looked out over the lake, squinting against the sunlight. He turned to me, his expression sobering as his eyes flicked over my face in a silent study.
“Come on Amy, I saved you once, I’ll save you again.”
I met his stare unflinchingly. “I don’t need saving.”
A wicked grin formed slowly. “Don’t you?”
After a rebellious summer night that almost claimed her life, Amy Henderson – the Onslow publican’s only daughter – is sent away to suffer a fate far worse than any other punishment:
Boarding School.
Three years on, a now nineteen-year-old Amy returns to Onslow for the summer. What once was a cauldron of activity with live bands, hot meals and cold beers, the Onslow Hotel now lies dark, deserted and depressing. All fond childhood memories of loitering on the hotel stairs and eavesdropping on customers’ colourful conversations are in the distant past.
How had her dad let it come to this?
With the new threat of putting the Onslow up for sale, Amy reluctantly turns to a local tradesman for help: Sean Murphy, the very same Onslow boy who saved her life all those years ago. With his help and that of some old friends, the task is clear: spend the summer building the hotel back up to its former glory or lose it for good.
In an endless summer, Amy soon realises that sometimes in order to save your future, you have to face your past, even if it’s in the form of a smug, gorgeous Onslow boy.
That One Summer
Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …
He sure could kiss.
As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.
So that can only mean one thing: road trip!
No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.
She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?
After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.
Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.
Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.
Overall Thoughts!
Setting-  I'm always on the look out for different settings especially Australia so I was thrilled to find a whole series! As I'm British the slang made much more sense to me than American slang and I loved that it was a summery Christmas read! Onslow was quaint and I enjoyed the lake setting. The Onslow Hotel was a fantastic base for the series and the characters. I loved how it evolved throughout the series as a workplace, a home and a business. I did however enjoy the road trip aspect of That One Summer as it gave the chance to experience more of Australia!
Characters- I loved almost the whole cast of characters especially their progression throughout the series. Tess, Ellie and Adam, who feature prominently in The Boys of Summer, are such a tight knit fun group of friends. I liked their chemistry and friendship . I loved revisiting their friendship, Tess and Toby's relationship and Adam and Ellie's obvious chemistry through in later books through different perspectives and over time.  Ellie and Adam are particular favourites of mine. Ellie seems to be quite a misunderstood character, other characters are always mistaking her actions or making assumptions about her. I love her energy and friendly personality. Adam is also such a fun light hearted character. I was sad he didn't feature as much as I'd anticipate in the first book but his later appearances show how perspective and thoughtful he is. I'm intrigued as to what he did in the army and looking forward to Ellie and Adam realising what a great couple they could be!
The Onslow Boys themselves were an interesting group! I loved how light hearted and witty they all were, with the exception of Chris. Stan was such a sweet guy, I loved his evolution throughout the series. Chris was very serious but it was great seeing him through different perspectives and finally in That One Summer seeing a fun relaxed side. Sean was my favourite Onslow boy, he was so witty and caring I loved how he helped Amy out in Endless Summer without any expectations. Amy and Tammy were a good duo, they were complete opposites! I liked how after a few years apart their perspectives of each other were equally as complimentary! 
Timeline- I really loved the time between the books. The first two had quite a large gap which was perfect for things to change and evolve however the ending of the second book left you with immediate questions so the gap was much shorter. I also enjoyed that the series takes place in the 1990s, it makes the books stand out and there is much less technology!
Plot-  I really enjoyed and loved how each book wasn't solely focussed on the main relationship. The characters developed and grew, the book's explored their friendships, families and education as well as updating all the Onslow news. Each book felt completely different plot and main character wise, this made the series well rounded, interesting and compelling.
The Boys of Summer
I always find the first book in a series involves a lot of scene setting and the characters of The Boys of Summer were much younger. I did love the camaraderie between Tess, Ellie and Adam and how Tess grew in confidence and self esteem throughout the summer. I loved the scene with Tess and Adam curtailing any romantic developments.
I found The Boys of Summer full of sweet moments and fun scenes!
An Endless Summer
Amy had seemed so bratty in The Boys of Summer so I was looking forward to finding out more about her. I loved her determination to bring the Onslow back to it's former glory. Sean had grown even more witty especially around Amy and the slow development of their relationship was well written. I loved how all the 'old' gang came back to help out and I'm looking forward to reading more about what they got up to! I think out of all the protagonists so far Amy grew the most as a person and found her direction.
That One Summer
If I'm honest I wasn't too sold on the idea of Tammy and Chris but this book changed my mind! Tammy was a completely different person to the persona Amy had given her and I found her very layered. Chris was still bossy and hard to read but he was visibly warmer to Tammy. I think they went perfectly together.  I did find Tammy's inability to read social situations e.g Ellie and Toby and Chris's feelings equally endearing and frustrating. The setting of a road trip and camping added a different dimension to this instalment which made a nice change. That One Summer had different feel to the others, possibly because Tammy was much more timid and on the outside, I loved the relationship between her and Chris and the 1999 setting.

I can't believe I left this series for so long! I cannot wait to catch up with all the  characters and finally get Ellie and Adam's story!

Which is your favourite?
Much Love!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally.

They’re from two different worlds.
He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.
With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

After finally reading Catching Jordan I was eager to read more of the Hundred Oaks series.

What I loved:
Theme- I like to think of each Hundred Oaks book as having a theme e.g.. American Football, Baseball etc. I loved the focus on Horses and racing. I enjoyed learning about the more background side of things and the technical part. I loved Savannah and Jack bonding over horses and jockeying, especially training Star.
Series links- I always love when previous characters crop up and you get to see them through different perspectives. I especially liked how Savannah viewed Vanessa as rich, showing how much Vanessa's family had changed from earlier books! I loved the wedding which brought back a lot of older characters. It was great to see siblings and catch glimpses of other protagonists.
Savannah- I really liked Savannah. She came across as a very committed and hardworking girl. Despite the lack of encouragement or real attention from her father she was ambitious and financial clever especially when it came to pursuing work for herself. I loved how easily she connected with animals especially Star. I did find her extremely overly judgemental of status and money to the extent that she was actually far worse than the people she perceived as snobby. I loved seeing her confidence grow and become more trusting.
Side cast- I always love a well crafted side cast! Rory was a great character, he was so welcoming and friendly towards Savannah. I loved the connection to Stealing Parker and seeing more of that story. I really liked Rory with Vanessa, definitely hoping to see more of them! It was great to revisit Vanessa and see how vibrant and friendly she was. I loved reading about her and how she brought out a less serious side of Savannah. Colton was another fun addition to the group, I found him witty and funny especially with Kelsey. I even liked Kelsey despite her relationship with Savannah, I think there is a lot to learn about her. I liked Jack, not as much as Will (favourite), but I found him fun, fair and determined. I think sometimes he was a bit guarded however I loved how supportive he could be of Savannah. Jack's parents were great! They were fair and very good employers, they seemed more worried about how people thought they treated their staff than worrying about status.

What I didn't love as much:
Savannah's Dad- Initially I thought he was alright but as the book progressed he seemed to be very demanding of Savannah and lacked any ambition for himself or Savannah. He seemed to drag Savannah down! He did begin to recognise that Savannah needed to make her own life towards the end.

I loved Savannah, the horse riding aspects and the brilliant side cast!

Looking forward to more of Hundred Oaks!
Which is your favourite so far?
Much Love!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Bout of Books 9.0

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team.
What better way to start a new year than with a readathon! Slightly last minute sign up but I'm in!


  • To read 5 books. (At least one 'real' book!)
  • To participate in at least one mini challenge
  • To comment on other blogs  

Good Luck!
Much Love!


Thursday, 2 January 2014

Challenges 2014!

New Year! New Challenges!
I love challenges and I'm hoping to be more conservative with my aims and complete more this year!
 Hosted by Elyssa at Books and Iced Coffee
Objective: To read more Young Adult books!
Aim: 15!
Hosted by Evie of Bookish
Objective: To give equal attention to older books on my book shelves!
Aim: A Friendly Hug-11-20 books! Hopefully will do better than my 2013 challenge! I've already made a Goodreads shelf!
Bunheads by Sophie Flack.
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.
Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee.
Crossed by Ally Condie.

hosted by Bonnie of Bookish Ardour
Objective: To restart my love affair with dystopia!
Aim: Contagion= 15 books!
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Crossed by Ally Condie
Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi.
The One by Kiera Cass.

Objective: To go back and reread some of my favourites!
Aim: Re-Reading Pro= 5-9 books.
Matched by Ally Condie
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.

hosted by Emily of Falling for YA,
Objective: Inspired by NetGalley November! To encourage me to keep my Feedback rating up!
Aim: Silver=25 books
Just One Year by Gayle Forman.
Another Little Piece of my Heart by Tracey Martin.
Anything to Have You by Paige Harbison.
It Felt Like a Kiss by Sarra Manning.

hosted by The Book Vixen,
Objective: I set myself the goal of a 100 books last year which I beat so this year my aim is do better again!
Aim: I'm on Fire= 16 more (140!)

hosted by b00k r3vi3ws
Objective: To make sure I give new to me authors a chance! I did well with this one last year so hopefully I will find lots of new authors this year too!
Aim: Lover= 26-50 New Authors
Michelle Hodkin
Jay Kristoff
 hosted by Swoony Boys Podcast and Fic Fare.  

Objective: To make sure I keep reading 'real' books! I often find myself reading more e-books as they are easier to multitask with!
Aim:Real Book Snob= 21-30 'real' books.
The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater
Crossed by Ally Condie

I will be updating on my progress on my Challenge page and doing update posts every 3 months!

What challenges have you signed up for this year?
Much Love!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

2013: A Review!

I cannot believe 2013 is over! Overall a good year especially for blogging and reading! 
2013 in Numbers
Total posts= 175
Books read= 124
Reviews Posted= 58
Discussions= 4
What I read!
What I reviewed!
What I Discussed!
Film before Book!
Reviewing Middle books
What is New Adult?
New Rating!
Who I Interviewed!
Favourite Posts!
My Favourite Posts!~ All of New Adult Week! I really enjoyed organising my first feature week and Lettie Loves Films! I liked focussing on something other than books!
Best Blogging Month~ August!
Most Popular Reviews~ Festive Mini Reviews!
Most Popular Post~ Monday Round Up!

What I achieved!

Social Networking- I did get better with Twitter and Goodreads but I want to keep improving!

Blog Design- Not much progress here- I made my own post headers and added some buttons but that was all. Although I did learn more about html in posts though!

Posts- My goal was to average 16 posts a month- I just missed out by averaging 15!

Books- Success! I read 124!

Continuity- I said I wanted still be blogging in 2014 and I am!
What I hope to achieve in 2014 (blog wise!)
  • Social Media. I still feel I need to connect better with authors and bloggers using Twitter and possibly Goodreads.
  • Diversity~ A consistent theme in my monthly goals is more post diversity!Reviews are important but I often notice on other blogs that people prefer to comment on discussions or features so I want to focus on post diversity to keep my blog relevant and interesting!
  • Blog Design- Again I want to work on this! I'm hoping to change my background and blog header before the year is over!
  • Posts. I'm sticking to a goal of average 16 posts a month as that work out at 4 a week which feels realistic.
  • Books. I'm aiming higher then last year- 200!
Happy New Year!
What do you hope to achieve this year?
Much Love!