Monday, 30 June 2014

Stacking the Shelves: June

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! I thought I'd been really frugal this month book wise but it turns out I was quite the opposite.

Borrowed Shelf! 
 Tribute by Ellen Renner~ This gorgeous cover just caught my eye!
Actual Shelf!

 Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt~ I preordered this awhile ago and it turned up a month early.
The Elite by Kiera Cass~ I needed to complete my series after buying...
The One by Kiera Cass~ It took awhile for The One to show up in a local bookshop but I'm loving it so far!
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas~ I'm looking forward to reading Celaena's background.
Virtual Shelf!

 Nova and Quinton: No Regrets by Jessica Sorensen~ I need to finish off Nova and Quinton's story!
Hothouse Flower by Krista and Becca Ritchie~ I feel Ryke and Daisy's book is going to be wild!
NetGalley Shelf!
 Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West~ Sounds like a great New Adult book.
The Possibility of Us by Lisa Burstein~ I enjoyed The Next Forever so I requested this one.
This Summer by Katlyn Duncan~ Perfect Summer read!
Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch~ I'm intrigued by the premise.
Mirror X by Karri Thompson~ A Sci-fiesque dystopia.
One Two Three by Elodie Nowodazkij~ I just liked the blurb.
What joined your shelves in June?
Much Love!

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Challenge Update 2!

Halfway there!
I keep my challenges tab updated with all the books I've read for each challenge etc. However 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: 8
Update: Over halfway there and doubled from last time! This one is going better as a lot of YA books got released recently.

Aim: 5-9
Status: 1

Update: Thinking of counting books for this one that I constantly go back to and have reread most of, but not counting them on my yearly total?

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

Update: No change... Still hopeful for this challenge though!

hosted by Bonnie of Bookish Ardour
Aim: 15
Status: 2

Update: Still slow progress. I've got a number of series instalments to read on my bookshelf but I may have been too ambitious with my target.

Aim: 25
Status: 11
Update: Almost halfway! I've got quite a few approved books to catch up on!

hosted by b00k r3vi3ws
Aim: 26-50
Status: 12
Update: Another almost 50%! I love seeing how many new authors I've discovered this year.

 hosted by Swoony Boys Podcast and Fic Fare
Aim: 21Status: 4
 Slowly plodding through this one, I've got big plans for the summer with real books!
Let me know how your challenges are going!
Much Love!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

June Mini Reviews!

Four Years Later by Monica Murphy
Over. That about sums up everything in my life. Suspended from my college football team and forced to cut back my hours at The District bar because of my crappy grades, I can’t keep turning to my sister, Fable, and her pro-football playing husband, Drew, to bail me out. I just can’t seem to find my own way. Weed and sex are irresistible temptations—and it’s messed up that I secretly hand over money to our junkie mom. A tutor is the last thing I want right now—until I get a look at her.
 Chelsea is not my type at all. She’s smart and totally shy. I’m pretty sure she’s even a virgin. But when she gives me the once over with those piercing blue eyes, I’m really over. But in a different way. I won’t deny her ass is killer, but it’s her brain and the way she seems to crave love—like no one’s ever given her any—that make me want her more than any girl I’ve ever met. But what would someone as seemingly together as her ever see in a screwed up guy like me?

I liked Owen as a side character in the other books so I was looking forward to seeing Owen as a main character. I wasn't disappointed, slightly too much swearing but it was in character! Owen was more complex than I had imagined especially his relationship with his mother. It was great to catch up with Drew and Fable and to see them from a completely different view of them and their past. I loved Chelsea and Owen together, they were such a well suited couple. Chelsea needed to learn to relax and Own needed to focus so they worked well! Chelsea was less confident than Jen and Fable, the other female leads, which made this book more unique and added depth to her character. I loved the side cast again! Wade was still entertaining and a great friend. I loved his practical advice and how well he knew Owen. I definitely could of read more on Kari! Four Years Later is a great addition to the series, I just wish the ending could have been a bit longer!

More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs.
Music major Maddie Taylor just finished her junior year of college and has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, yet every night she practices guitar and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition. Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation – and that he’s just as big a geek as she is. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single they’re forced to keep their relationship secret. As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.
I adored The Voice format of the competition, The Voice is a more adaptable format I've seen in a book as it remained focussed on the band. I liked the mentors, no idea if they are based on the actual mentors as I've never seen the US version. I loved the band dynamic, Kyle was just lovely, Hector's moodiness was fun and Jared was just a Rock star. The characters were so diverse and fun. I liked how easier Maddie was accepted into their band and they had such a great musical philosophy.Maddie herself was very realistic and witty, as she grew closer to the band I enjoyed the rapport she had with each member. Julia and Carla were great as supportive cheerleader friends to Maddie. Dan was a great mentor- made you think what goes on behind the scenes!
However the ending felt rushed with a few questions left unanswered. I will be keeping Elizabeth Briggs are my radar though!
I enjoyed these two- they were light and easy to read!
Have you read either of these authors?

Monday, 23 June 2014

Pawn by Aimee Carter

Are you more than the number on the back of your neck?
For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister’s niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There’s only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered. The same one that got her killed…and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that’s not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she’s only beginning to understand.

I found Pawn very easy to read, and hard to put down! As this book is so complex it's hard to do an in-depth review without revealing any major plot points so I will keep it short and spoiler free!
The plot was engaging; full of twists and turns with everything that Kitty took for granted  to be based on a lie. The 'dystopic' elements were well thought out and explained. The ranking system was clever and controlling, giving everyone the illusion of equality but taking away their freedom. The concept of 'Masking' was intriguing and I think unique. Kitty was a smart and selfless lead, I enjoyed watching her adapt and flourish as Lila Hart. The Harts themselves were a mixed bag. I found Augusta highly controlling, selfish and slightly insane. Daxton was manipulative and cruel whereas Greyson was lovely and obviously perspective. Celia just seemed unhinged which was understandable in that family. From what Kitty learnt Lila seemed to be a clever but secretive member of the family and very popular. I'm looking forward to the development of these characters and  I loved Knox, he was in such a difficult position but really tried to help Kitty out. Benjy intrigued me, I liked what I saw of him but I'm sure there is more to him! Elsewhere was a truly barbaric practice that I fear will be popping up in the next instalment! I cannot wait to read Captive and see how all the characters adapt to the revelations of Pawn!

A great new dystopia series with compelling characters and a complex plot!

(no spoilers!)
  • Kitty is a Hart extra, her eyes seem to be a clue!
  • The rest of the country is less controlled.

Have you read Pawn? Do you have any predictions?
Much Love!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic: My Summer TBR

The Summer TBR Top Ten Tuesday is one of my favourites! This is my third one, here's 2012 and 2013.
The Distance between Us by Kasie West~ This seems like a great summer read!
Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt~ I love Lauren Barnholdt and I'm waiting on my pre-order to arrive.
Take Me On by Katie McGarry~ Big fan of this series, it's a long time resident of my TBRs :)

Summer Releases.
Forever Summer by C.J. Duggan~ Finally Adam and Ellie’s Story!
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover~ Something new from Colleen!
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson~ I have adored both of Morgan's books so I'm looking forward to this!

Series Books. 
Earth Flight by Janet Edwards~ The conclusion of Earth Girl! Will Jarra leave Earth?
The One by Kiera Cass~ Who will America chose??
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas~  Hoping this answers more questions than it asks!

What are you looking forward to reading this summer?
I'm hoping to pack in a lot of reading as I'm starting my teacher training in September!

Much Love!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Cover Love: Upcoming!

As I've been adding sequels to my TBR I have seen some gorgeous covers I just had to share!

Captive by Aimee Carter
I loved Pawn and that had a gorgeous cover so I'm pleased that Captive is just as lovely. I like that it's brighter as well

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Another series with gorgeous covers. This Shattered World shares the outreached linked hands of the couple with These Broken Stars but it is again brighter and the characters are dressed very differently. Looking forward to this book as it seems more of a companion then a sequel.

Tribute by Ellen Renner.
This cover caught my eye in the library as it reminds me of the redesign for The Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce. I look how bold it is and the font.

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas.
I really love the UK covers and how all of them have a white background and then an interpretation of  Celaena surrounded by colour. They look so striking!

What are your favourite covers at the moment?

Much Love!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Blogiversary: Favourite Posts!

My first month of blogging resulted in 10 posts! Mostly Top Ten Tuesdays and reviews! I thought I would showcase a few of my favourites which turned out to be the majority of the ten posts...
My very first review, which I later rated five hearts, is still one of my favourite reviews and it includes a recommendation.
My first meme! I was reading the Hunger Games Trilogy and looking forward to Second Chance Summer and I Heart London.
Another five star review for my first dystopia read!
I love the style of review for this Macbeth retelling.
My first TTT post which happened to be the Summer TBR edition. I have in fact read all the books on my list now!
My travel top ten~ I didn't end up visiting the majority of thee places but they are still high on my visit list!
I really enjoyed looking back at my first blogging month and I think I might do an updated Travel post!

Which post did you like?
Much Love!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: So Far This Year!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish.
This week's topic: Top Ten Books I've Read So Far This Year

I've read some great books already this year so this was a tricky one!

Vain by Fisher Amelie.
Nantucket Red by Leila Howland~ Great follow up!
Fragile Line by Brooklyn Skye.
Rome by Jay Crownover~ Love this series, this one won over Nash for the dramatic climax!
The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen~ Unique addition to the New Adult genre.

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski~ Such unique ad intriguing world building!
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang.
Once We Were by Kat Zhang~ Great middle book!
Slowly We Trust by Chelsea M. Cameron~ I love the Fall and Rise series and this was a another great book.
So Much to Learn by Jessie L. Star~ Technically a reread but it's just been published so I had to download it and read it 'properly'.

What are your favourite books this year?
Much Love!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Second Blogiversary Giveaway!

Celebrating my 2nd Blogiversary with a Giveaway to say thank you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!
Much Love!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Happy 2nd Blogiversary!

 Two Years in Numbers
Books Read= 209 exactly!
Reviews Posted= Over 100.
Total Posts= Over 300!
5 Heart Reviews= 10
Above Average Below Special has been a book blog for two whole years! I can't believe I've made it to two years~ things have been a little slow lately but I'm still in love with book blogging!
Look back at last year's celebrations or check out my very first introductory post to get ready for....

Blogiversary Celebrations
 I'm planning a Blog event with great posts such as:
Favourites Posts~ books, reviews and blogs.
First posts~ first review, first discussion, first meme etc.
Blogging made me read posts.
Discussion: DNF and blogging.
Plus a giveaway which will be posted later today!

If you've been here for the whole two years thank you so much! If you are new thank you for following me! Either way I hope you are as excited for the next two weeks as I am!

Much Love!