Wednesday, 30 April 2014

How To Say Goodbye by Amber Lin.

Amy has a secret: no one has ever held her hand. She doesn’t even know how to hug. Everybody thinks she’s brilliant, but that’s because school was all she had. Then she meets Dane, a golden-haired surfer whose easy charm and hot touch teach her what she longs to know.
Dane lives for the salty breeze and a sweet wave, because that’s all he has. He’s lived on the streets since he was fourteen. A drifter. Homeless. But Amy changes everything. Smart and accomplished, she’s everything he’s not. He wants to be the sort of man who deserves her.
Except that means facing down his past—and that past might very well swallow them both.
First Impressions!
I loved the cover and title but wasn't sold on the blurb so I was surprised how quickly I was wrapped with How to Say Goodbye.

What I loved:
Amy- I really loved Amy! Despite being clever Amy was clueless in any social situation so it was interesting to see her adjust and try to let go and make friends. I found her relationship with her family complex, especially with her Uncle who seemed to care for her more than she realised. I enjoyed how Dane and her relationship slowly developed and how all their different issues were explored. I think Amy really grew into an independent multi layered character as she started off a bit one dimensional!
Dane- Dane was a much more mysterious and layered character than he initially appeared to be. I loved discovering all the different aspects of his background and lifestyle especially how kind he was to his friends and locals who helped him out. It's hard to adequately described what made Dane such a unique character without spoiling some of his mystery! I did love how he tried his utmost to treat Amy to typical experiences she'd missed out on and how sensible he was.
Different- How To Say Goodbye combined a few New Adult clichés with unique aspects which made for a refreshing and deeper book. I loved that both characters were flawed in their own way and that ultimately they changed or matured for themselves and not for each other. I liked that the book focussed on their lives outside of each other such as their careers, families etc. The dual point of view was necessary to keep the reader in the loop about certain mysteries surrounding the characters and to tease at others. I definitely felt like there was a few unanswered questions surrounding Lizzie and Kurt though....

I really enjoyed the different and unique aspects to this book! Hope to read more from Amber Lin.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out of the rest of the tour here.
Much Love!

Stacking the Shelves: April

What is Stacking The Shelves all about?
Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Welcome to my monthly round up! April's been quite a good month, less rain, lots of holiday and I'm off to Paris on Friday!
I didn't add much to my shelves this month- I've been trying to catch up and keep up with my pre-existing books!

Virtual Shelf!
 Nash by Jay Crownover~ I love the Marked Men series so I preordered this one as soon as possible!
Golden Hour by Steph Campbell and Liz Reinhardt~ I'm looking forward to reading this new series by two of my favourite NA authors.
Tall,Tatted and Tempting by Tammy Falkner~ An Amazon freebie! I think it sounds great going by the blurb!
Review Shelf!

Whisper to Me by Christina Lee~ I like the blurb although I'll be jumping into the middle of a series again!
Blog Tours
All Lined Up by Cora Carmack~ So excited for Cora's new series especially as she's described it as similar to Friday Night Lights! 

A very quiet month!
What joined your shelves in April?
Much Love!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 
Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

I loved the sound of These Broken Stars as soon as I read the blurb! I was thrilled to get approved for it!
First Impressions!
Not sure what to expect. Could it be Titantic esque? Why didn't I make the connection earlier!

What I loved:
Lilac- Lilac started out as quite whiny and selfish, I liked how critical of herself she was as it made it clear that she was the way due to her background. I loved watching her adapt to life after the crash on the planet, she was surprising hard working and stubborn. I enjoyed the relationship between Tarver and Lilac especially as it moved from stubborn silence to witty banter and tender moments. Lilac's expertise with electronics was understandable but surprising especially to  surprised Tarver and showed how layered Lilac's character was. I also loved how she really rose to the occasion when she needed to provide for them. I would love to go into more detail but trying to avoid spoiling! Lilac proved to be a much stronger character than I expected and I enjoyed how she grew and developed and adapted well. I would have loved for more on her family background!
Tarver- Such a great character with an interesting background. I enjoyed hearing all about his family and career. I loved his determination and practicality and especially his constant battle between covering lots of ground and compassion for Lilac's wellbeing. I liked how he was always thoughtful with the way he handled Lilac despite disliking her in the beginning. I found him to be a very straight forward character who at times struggled to cope with the encounters on the planet.
Plot-  It was Titanicesque in as much as a an expensive large ship crashed unexpectedly with a huge loss of life but otherwise completely different and completely different to what I expected. The plot was filled with hints, questions and twists. The brief chapters that took place on the ship made for an interesting beginning laying down the foundations of the society and Tarver and Lilac's lives. I enjoyed the trekking about the planet and how it created plot points and built relationships. The book kept me on the edge of my seat with each twist wondering why, how and what next. Especually one major twist which I had to find out The planet itself was one of the greatest mysteries and twists, it actually reminded me of Lost in that respect. I can't wait to learn more on the world as we only got two polar opposite views. Despite being the first in a series the ending was satisfying and showed the character development and introduced several caracters I'm sure will be popping up soon!

Wonderfully unique plot, brilliant characters and so many surprises! Renewed my love of Sci-Fi!
I cannot wait for more of this world!
Much Love!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Challenge Update 1!

Quarter Challenge check in!
I keep my challenges tab updated with all the books I've read for each challenge etc. but I thought it was a good idea to do an overall update for myself!

 Hosted by Elyssa at Books and Iced Coffee
Aim: 15
Status: 4
Update: I'd got three YA books sat on my bedside table so I think I should do well with this challenge especially as summer usually heralds quite a few YA releases!

Aim: 5-9
Status: 1

Update: I'm great at reading bits of books but not so much whole books- definitely working on this one. I think I will be rereading a few series books before reading the next instalment so hopefully I will get into this challenge!

Hosted by Evie of Bookish
Aim: 11-20
Status: 3

Update: Slowly making progress, I do have quite a few TBR books sat on my shelf that have been there for a while though.....

hosted by Bonnie of Bookish Ardour
Aim: 15
Status: 1

Update: Slow progress again but I'm waiting on a few releases!

Aim: 25
Status: 6
Update: I'm not quite on top of this challenge- I definitely need to calm down with the requesting!

hosted by b00k r3vi3ws
Aim: 26-50
Status: 8
Update: I don't feel like I've read as many new authors as this time last year but I think I've had a slower start to the year so maybe that's why?

 hosted by Swoony Boys Podcast and Fic Fare
Aim: 21Status: 2
 I'm actually really happy with this challenge I feel like I'm making a more conscious effort to read some of the books that have been on my shelf for a while!
 So far I think I'm doing pretty well across the challenge board. I definitely feel like a lot of challenges overlap, for example, a lot of my TBR pile books are real books and I tend to try new authors through NetGalley so hopefully I will do a better job with my challenges this year!
Let me know how your challenges are going!
Much Love!

Monday, 21 April 2014

April Mini Reviews!

Mini reviews for a couple of NetGalley reads leftover from Review Copy Cleanup!
Southbound Surrender
Five days. Fifty square feet. One last shot at love.
Cash Rowland first laid eyes on the tenacious and irresistible Piper Sullivan when they were both seventeen. He falls for her hard and just when he thinks she's doing the same, Piper is torn from his life without warning. She leaves no contact information but only a vague promise of fate. 
Five years later, their paths unexpectedly cross. When he shows up with his eighteen-wheeler unannounced, Cash persuades Piper to head out on the open road to give him one last shot at love. But what should be a routine delivery across six states suddenly becomes an unforgettable journey when they save a woman with a broken past and discover that second chances are only for the lucky ones.
I almost didn't finish this one as I disliked the flashback beginning but I perceived as I did like the male narrative- it made a welcome change in New Adult! Cash was a great narrator, his life outlook was so positive and honest it was easy to get swept up with his impulsive decisions! I loved his witty character and how he got Piper to open up so easily. Piper was a more conflicting character and it took me awhile to warm up to her as she was obviously concealing a lot from Cash which made her behaviour through his narrative seem rude and confused.
I loved the supporting cast of Hudson and Big Dave. They were both such big personalities and had great influence over Cash. Hudson was such a supportive friend especially as a lot of Cash's ideas were out side of the box! Big Dave had interesting perspectives on life and dealing with issues but he was a great father to Cash.
 The whole road trip aspect was interesting and filled with different characters and coincidences which made this book stand out.
I loved the characters and Cash's narrative just not a fan of the beginning!
Saving Quinton by Jessica Sorensen
Nova Reed can't forget him-Quinton Carter, the boy with the honey-brown eyes who made her realize she deserved more than an empty life. His pain was so similar to her own. But Nova has been coming to terms with her past and healing, while Quinton is out there somewhere, sinking deeper. She's determined to find him and help him . . . before it's too late.
Nova has haunted his dreams for nearly a year-but Quinton never thought a sweet, kind person like her would care enough about a person like him. To Quinton, a dark, dangerous life is exactly what he deserves. And Nova has no place in it. But Nova has followed him to Las Vegas, and now he must do whatever it takes to keep her away, to maintain his self-imposed punishment for the unforgivable things he's done. But there's one flaw in his plan: Nova isn't going anywhere . .

I'm a huge fan of Jessica's Secret series so I was thrilled to get approved for Saving Quinton!
Firstly I highly recommend reading this series in order- I very rarely read series out of order and I wish I had read Breaking Nova first as it (obviously) set the foundations for Quinton.
I was expecting a complicated New Adult romance with Jessica's trademark gritty issues but Saving Quinton is a journey to recovery. Nova and Quinton had an obvious connection and chemistry but the story was based more on Nova trying to reach Quinton and help him. I found the portrayal of drug abuse very harrowing and realistic.  The way Quinton and Tristan lived was awful and the way they, especially Tristan, didn't realise and continued to make such risky decisions was realistic but at times hard to understand, Jessica's characterisation was brilliant as usual, making me love the side characters and their stories almost as much as the main story. I liked the dual point of view as it gave an insight into Quinton's downward spiral and how it had all began. I found his backstory full of misplaced guilt and it really explained how he had fall so far and why no one had made the same efforts as Nova had. I found Nova very dedicated and quite naïve. I admired how she stuck with her plan to help Quinton despite all the obstacles and objections. As for the side characters, I liked Lea from the start. I loved that she accompanied Nova to Las Vegas and tried to help her, I was also so intrigued by her life and her issues. Tristan was hard to like but he grew on me, he was an ugly addict but realistic. I look forward to more of his story.  The pacing and issues made Saving Quinton very easy to read and hard to put down! As always I was left with lots of questions but I look forward to more from the Nova series!

Have you read Breaking Nova? Have I spoiled it by skipping ahead to Saving Quinton?
Let me know!
Much Love!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Currently.... Update.

Sorry for the unexpected blogging break- life got crazy and I had a bit of a blogging block. I have been reading lots of blogs and books so I'm hoping to hop straight back with new inspiration,

Currently I am..
Once We Were by Kat Zhang which I am enjoying. On my Nook I'm reading So Much to Learn by Jessie L. Star which I read and loved on Fictionpress ages ago.

Yoga! A friend and I have decided to take up Yoga classes so I'm hoping that all goes well.
Baking! I'm shopping for all my Easter baking essentials to make Simnel cakes and Cornflake cakes.

I'm planning a new blog series about my first genre love, fantasy, as well as doing a challenge update!

What have you been up to?
Looking forward to Easter?
Much Love!

Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr.

Tamar Rosenfeld has been in love with New York Leopards linebacker Abraham Krasner since they were twelve years old. She'd always considered it destiny that they'd end up together…until Abe was drafted and she professed her feelings in a moment of blind excitement. The sting of his rejection was like nothing she'd ever felt before, and it's nothing she'll ever forget.
Older and wiser, Tamar has landed a dream job as a reporter for one of New York's premier athletic websites. Determined to stop being the safe, boring girl she's felt like for most of her life, Tamar makes a list of all the things she wants to do and see in her new city, and Getting Over Abraham is priority number one.
But destiny has finally chosen to interfere. Just as Tamar's decided to move on, Abe's realized she's the only woman for him. When he confides the truth, Tamar has to decide if she can put her crush behind her, or take a chance on the very man who's been holding her back all these years.

Imaginary Lines is the third book in the series but it read fine as a standalone! The plot was definitely a twist on the classic cliché of best friends/unrequited love. Tamar was a much more independent and dedicated character than I had expected. Abraham less oblivious and more persistent! I liked how loyal and passionate he was towards Tamar and he knew her so well it made the quick relationship believable. I loved that all the relationship issues were discussed and dealt with fairly quickly without unnecessary drama. I also enjoyed that Tamar and Abraham were Jewish as it made for a change and meant I got to read about different holidays and traditions. I liked the New York Leopards, the team seemed fun and accepting, I think I would have loved them more if I had read the first two books! I liked Tamar's roommates; they were such an eclectic mix! I loved their Christmas conversation and Dinner party. Often in books were the main characters have just moved their old friends and family play a very minor if any role so I enjoyed the way Imaginary Lines included those characters. It was refreshing to feel like I knew the characters before they moved to New York and their family and friends were so endearing!
Overall Imaginary Lines was a fun cliché with a twist book which was easy to read with an unique Jewish slant.

Easy to read and fun! I'm looking forward to catching up on this series!

Have you read this series? Did I miss a lot by starting on the third book?
Much Love!