Monday, June 30, 2014

REVIEW - LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD by Ava Dellaira


Love Letters to the Dead
by Ava Dellaira
Publisher - Hot Key Books
Release Date - May 1st 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository


It begins as an assignment for English class: write a letter to a dead person - any dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain - he died young, and so did Laurel's sister May - so maybe he'll understand a bit of what Laurel is going through. Soon Laurel is writing letters to lots of dead people - Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart... it's like she can't stop. And she'd certainly never dream of handing them in to her teacher. She writes about what it's like going to a new high school, meeting new friends, falling in love for the first time - and how her family has shattered since May died.

But much as Laurel might find writing the letters cathartic, she can't keep real life out forever. The ghosts of her past won't be contained between the lines of a page, and she will have to come to terms with growing up, the agony of losing a beloved sister, and the realisation that only you can shape your destiny.
I'm not usually seen reading books in either a diary or letter format. For me I'm quite the opposite when the fact you should feel more connected on a interpersonal level but I just don't. I'm disconnected and I don't feel part of the book or the basis of the character's life. However, that aside, Love Letters to the Dead is an inspirational turn of events when the main character records her life through an English Assignment.
“I think a lot of people want to be someone, but we are scared that if we try, we won't be as good as everyone imagines we could be.”
Although, many of us find inspirations in other artists and famous stars, I'm less inclined to feel that way unlike some of my friends. Though, Laurel uses her sister's death to explain to those up in the stars about her own life and how the loss of her sister, May, effects her. I felt that May's death carried a emotional and conscious part of Laurel's almost as if, she was no longer her real self but a shell of grief and guilt that she has never really been able to admit and relieve herself of.

The first letter of the novel starts with, Kurt Cobain... admittedly I've only really knew who Kurt and the band Nirvana was from a friend, which I know is probably an insult on the music industry.
"Dear Kurt Cobain.....I wish you could tell me where you are and why you left. You were my sister May's favourite musician..."
Kurt was certainly a reoccurring guest in Laurel's like she felt more connected with him than any of the other people she would write to. Once she starts to feel connected on a deeper level with Kurt, she decided to communicate with others that would highlight a piece of her life and her soul. She is able to relate some traumatic or beautiful moment between her and her sister to those who were seen fro their talent but not necessarily who they are as people. Personally I felt, that Amelia Earhart and Amy Whinehouse had the most influence with their historic and recent status within the media.

Within her letters, Laurel reveals more about herself than she does about her sister. She is mad at her sister for leaving her, for her mum leaving her and her dad being no more than just her father. She survives through the love of another, Sky, but is too closed to commit to the relationship. She has truth issues, first she has to trust herself in order to survive the loss, grief, guilt and sadness.
Jim, I want people to know me, but if anyone could look inside me, if they saw that everything I feel is not what it's supposed to be, I don'y know what would happen."
Dellaira creates a beautifully written and emotional realistic story of young girl surviving her life through the lives of inspirational people. It made me realise that at the end of the day we are all human and person to be recognised for who we are.  If you want a read completely different and unique from other literature of this genre, then I would recommend it!

Rating - 4

Thursday, June 26, 2014

REVIEW - COME BACK TO ME by Mila Gray

Come Back to Me 
by Mila Gray
Publisher - Pan Macmillan
Release Date - 19th June 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository 

Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend's sister, Jessa - the one girl he can't have.

But Kit's not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa's falling for his irresistible charms.

What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.

When summer's over and it's time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa's finally following her dreams and Kit's discovered there's someone he'd sacrifice everything for.

Jessa's prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they're forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.

A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.
You hear about that the New Adult genre all have similar plotlines and character personas, which in hindsight is certainly not untrue. But sometimes going back to what you know and what you like isn't a bad thing either and that it the problem with certain genres such as contemporaries and new adult titles. However, Gray presents this in a totally refreshing nature.
 “Does he make you see stars?’ he asks in a low voice. ‘Does he call you his north star? Because that’s what you are to me. You’re the reason I made it home.”  
Gray begins her novel on a very crucial and emotional twist in the plotline, leaving you kind of up in the air... but soon goes back to the moment where everything all began... Under the household of soldiers, Jessa has always kept her head and eyes down. Her father presenting a problem for her family, has a tendency to lash out at any given time. After he was relieved from duty he became almost, locked in in himself, making Jessa's life controlled by his demands. When Jessa's brother and his best friend Kit, arrives back from a tour in Afghanistan for the summer, hidden fires between Kit and Jessa explode! Jessa has had a crush on him for years, but dating a marine like Kit would certainly make living at home unbearable. As much as she loves her family, she just want to face her father and let her rule her own life for once and Kit shows her how to live it to the fullest.

Now Kit... if you saw my last post you will definitely know what I mean. Kit is your very swoon-worthy soldier, hard on the outside yet  kind-hearted and gentle on the inside. You will melt every time you see or read him, wonderful, le sigh! However, he could be irrational at times where he would strike first without thinking about the consequences later, or considering other peoples feelings. But for me throughout the book, he told me cared in what he believed in and not necessarily the things around him. Kit has grown up with his father, previously in the marines, his mother died a long time ago. What was a different twist to such a traditional sort of character as his is that he loves to cook. I believe his pastries are his forte, having a soldier built chief also leaves your day-dreaming.
“I'm going to inform her father from a separate state, maybe even from a separate continent. And I'll still be sure to wear a bullet-proof best because that man has connections.” 
Kit has always had eyes for Jessa, regardless of his reputation with girls when you hear it from her brother. But Kit sees the real her and can see the difficulty she lives with at home. Between them, Kit is your very sweet, down to earth and cute boyfriend. He is totally a romantic! Together, they are like gold, precious, rare and shining. Although they only have 6 weeks, their time is truly endless within the arms of each other.

Gray's writing is faultless, between the alternate POVs which I enjoyed immensely, she is able to really capture the raw, emotional passion between all of the character relationships not just between the two MCs. Although there is a love-hate relationship between Jessa and her father, there also lies the humour between herself and her brother, clearly he is over-protective of his little especially when it comes Kit! The humour breaks up the tension and other pressures of the plot line.

Whilst suffering the highs and lows of marine life, this novel is bursting with uncontrollable passions and hot, steamy soldiers, it will make you continuously blush throughout the whole book. Under the pen name of Mila Gray, Sarah Alderson clearly knows how to weave plotlines, genres and characters at her own will, there is no denying that she has started into New Adult with high expectations.

Rating - 5

Sunday, June 22, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Fantasy Cast & Giveaway - COME BACK TO ME by Mila Gray



Hello Everyone! Welcome to my stop of  
Come Back to Me, a New Adult novel by Sarah Alderson, writing as Mila Gray. I can say after reading this book that you will love it. I will be posting my review later this week. If you enjoyed her works of the Lila series and The Sound then you will see a refreshing and different side of this genre of writing.  I'm so excited to share with you an excerpt from this book along with her Fantasy Cast which will make you swoon. (I know I did!) Also stay tuned at the end, where there is a giveaway for gift cards and signed copies at the bottom of the post. So without further ado... I present Come Back to Me...Enjoy! 

Come Back to Me
by Mila Gray
Publisher -  Pan Macmillan
Release Date - 19th June 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend's sister, Jessa - the one girl he can't have.

But Kit's not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa's falling for his irresistible charms.

What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.

When summer's over and it's time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa's finally following her dreams and Kit's discovered there's someone he'd sacrifice everything for.

Jessa's prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they're forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.

A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.

First lets meet the Fantasy Cast based on the two main characters Kit and Jessa...


Marlon Teixeira - he’s a Brazilian model and the reason I chose him is because Kit is half Portuguese and this is exactly how I pictured him (though with shorter hair as Kit’s a Marine). 

Jessa is Lili Simmons - an American actress who is just gorgeous and has the same fresh-faced, sun kissed, slightly innocent look that I pictured when I wrote Jessa. 

 
What do you guys think?! Marlon is like...WOW! Smokin' hot and totally fits Kit's character. and Lili has this determined but innocent look about her which again, reflects Jessa's nature! 

And to see them in the novel here is an excerpt exclusively for you all...

‘Better than school, huh?’ I ask.
‘So much better,’ she says, grinning back at me. ‘I could be stuck in algebra right now.’
‘I’ve a math problem for you,’ I say. ‘We have five more hours left before I have to drop you back home. How many of those hours can we spend kissing?’
Jessa flicks water at me. ‘Maybe four and a half, depending how fast you can paddle us back to the beach.’

Click 'Read More' to continue reading the excerpt, and for your chance to win a signed copies and gift card as part of the Blog Tour...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

ARC REVIEW - ON THE FENCE by Kasie West

On the Fence 
by Kasie West
Publisher - HarperTeen
Release Date - July 1st 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.


“Sometimes we expect more that people are capable of giving at the moment”


On the Fence is a novel built on the basis of long term friendship and the invisible barrier of love that grew between two friends both on the opposite side of the fence. Surrounded by the influence of family and pure delight of entertainment, Miss West is an extraordinary writer to create a refreshing take of a YA contemporary taking on a beautiful moment between two best friends.

Charlotte or Charlie is your average tomboy, surrounded by her three brothers or four including Braden next door and her passion for sport she has been nothing more than a sister or a friend to her fellow team mates and family. With family pranks and brotherly banter, you really can see the open and closeness relationship that they all share. No wonder, the concept of dating and Charlie having any sort of boyfriend would be scary. I think I, myself would be rather intimated by the amount of testosterone fueled teenagers within the household. Haha. Whilst Charlie hasn't spent her time growing up as your normal girly teenager, she led her own life through the influence and inspiration that are her family. She hasn't had the time for boys or the concept of even dating, let alone for the boy next door... Braden Lewis.

On the other side of the fence you have Braden, an only child with a difficult father, he found himself attached like an adoptive part of the Reynolds family but also to Charlie. They have been friends for years and have never left each others side, a bond neither one of them really anticipated. Braden was the sort of character I could really enjoy reading, his perspective of what Charlie is really like, past the tomboyish looks and sporty nature, he saw her, her heart and her soul.

I could really connect with the characters and the sense of their relationship between them. What I felt for both of the characters is was I consider real, given how personal this sort of relationship is to me. I relate to the characters, the way their feelings and love ignited from such powerful connection they have together. This is true love, I find that I believe that the connection grows stronger from the waking moment they met as friends. Kasie for me showed a moral to On the Fence; never change who you are for anyone and I live by that moral to this day!

This sort of story gives that infectious smile til throughout, giggle at the embarrassment that are her brothers, and make your toes curl at certain given moment between Charlie and Braden. This novel give you the feel of a summer fling without the seriousness of reality. Kasie West creates a loveable, cute and fluffy story that will leave you sighing to the very end. While I haven't read any of her other novel like Pivot Point, I do intend to read them very soon.

Rating - 4

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

RELEASE DAY LAUNCH - PERFECT KIND OF TROUBLE by Chelsea Fine





Hi Everyone, Today I bring you the release launch of Chelsea Fine's latest New Adult Contemporary novel Perfect Kind of Trouble. I have read her debut, Best Kind of Broken and I thought it was a simple, enjoyable approach to the NA genre. New Adult is fast becoming a genre that I'm reading more and I can't wait to read this one very soon. So without further ado I present a excerpt of the novel and a brief description of the her latest novel. Enjoy!

Perfect Kind of Trouble (Finding Fate #2)
by Chelsea Fine
Publisher - Forever
Release Date - Today! (17 June 2014)
Buy - Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Sometimes when perfect falls apart, a little trouble fixes everything . . .
Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Turner has lost everything. After spending most of her life taking care of her ailing mother, she just wants to spot a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. So when her late father-a man she barely knew-leaves her an inheritance, she finally breathes a sigh of relief . . . until she learns the inheritance comes with strings. Strings in the form of handsome playboy Daren Ackwood, her father's protégé. To see any of her inheritance, she's forced to team up with him. From his expensive car to those sexy dimples, Kayla's seen his type before. But Daren isn't who he seems to be . . .

Struggling to make amends for his family's mistakes, Daren has a life more Oliver Twist than Richie Rich these days. He's beyond grateful that James Turner included him in his will, but working with Turner's princess of a daughter to fulfill his cryptic last wish is making Daren wonder if being broke is really so bad. Still, she's just as beautiful as she is stubborn, and the more time he spends with Kayla, the less it feels right being without her. Soon Daren and Kayla begin to wonder if maybe the best gift Kayla's dad could have left them . . . was each other.
Still handcuffed together, we carefully maneuver our linked wrists and open the old train door. Inside, the boxcar is completely empty except for a single, folded piece of paper.
I scowl. Will this scavenger hunt for money ever end?
“What do you suppose it is?” Daren nods at the piece of paper in the back of the train car.
“A check for a million dollars?” I say hopefully.
The only way to reach the paper is to climb inside. Which won’t be easy since my chest barely reaches the bottom of the train car and we can’t climb in one at a time because, you know, we’re attached to one another.
I frown. “How do you want to do this?”
Daren scratches his jaw. “I’ll hoist you inside first then I’ll jump in. Come here.” He turns me around to face him and I step into the circle of his arms.....

Click 'Read More' to continue reading the excerpt, and for your chance to win a signed copy of Perfect Kind of Trouble as part of the Release Day Launch...

Monday, June 09, 2014

REVIEW - THE SOUND by Sarah Alderson

The Sound
The Sound
by Sarah Alderson
Publisher - Simon & Schuster UK
Release Date - August 1st 2013
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

When aspiring music journalist Ren Kingston takes a job nannying for a wealthy family on the exclusive island of Nantucket, playground for Boston's elite, she's hoping for a low-key summer reading books and blogging about bands. Boys are firmly off the agenda.

What she doesn't count on is falling in with a bunch of party-loving private school kids who are hiding some dark secrets, falling (possibly) in love with the local bad boy, and falling out with a dangerous serial killer...




This is my first encounter of the written works of Sarah Alderson and I like to say to all those who may have told me to read them sooner that 'I'm Sorry' I didn't but thank you for recommending this author. She has an amazing style of you connecting with the characters and the suspense of the Nannie Murders. Sarah standalone mystery, romantic novel, The Sound is the perfect novel to introduce to a refreshing glimpse of a YA contemporary. 

Ren took an opportunity to nanny a family for the whole summer. She didn't quite realise that she would be in and out of love as well as a perfect victim profile of the Nantucket Nanny Murders. Life in a small town really couldn't be more eventful. Whilst learning to drive on the right side of the road, trying not to be  puked on, on the first day and settle in with her neighbours. Ren grows as a person whilst absent from London and her family, taking on a whole new world prepares for what life can give...and can take. I really enjoyed seeing everything through Ren's eyes, I was particular envious of her courage and passion for more than just her music but her take of America. As a British person myself I would love to travel around particularly America, Sarah's writing truly captured the beautiful sunsets, beaches (not the Sound though) and the life of an american teenager. 

In the first half of the novel, as a reader we see Ren enjoying the american life as a 17- year old after a rough break up with her ex-boyfriend. Whilst in the second part we see a different side of Ren, she has matured and can longer be seen a girl but an adult of the mind and far to focused into the Nanny murders. The mystery and suspense behind the novel reminded me of the stylistic writing of JLA from her novel, Don't Look Back. Sarah utilises the combination of the character relationships with the mystery of the killings to weave together a seamless plot-line.

What's a bit of mystery without a some romance though, and that's how it all really starts. When she meets the town's bad boy, Jesse. Wow he is very hot and swoon-worthy, some or most elements of their relationship is just too perfect. Despite the fact that the town hates him, Ren wants to protect him, to give Jesse the right justice he deserves for being the victim of the town's gossip. Ren clearly didn't want to listen to the town and I found that to be rewarding when she used her own initiative and trusted her feelings that Jesse is more than just a bad boy but a very courageous, protective and passionate man.  I can't remember when I've read a novel with a seriously hot bad boy and Jesse certainly sufficed to say satisfied that element. 

I think as far as contemporary writers go Alderson has created a a very impression with me. I'm already half-way through Come Back to Me and as far as New Adult writing goes, Sarah is very good at going between various genres. I'm looking forward to reading her debut series, Lila


Rating - 4

Monday, June 02, 2014

ARC REVIEW - TAKE ME ON by Katie McGarry

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4)
by Katie McGarry
Publisher - MIRAInk
Release Date - 27th May/June 6th 2014
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honour. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping him fighting for her is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault her family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.
MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM Crash Into You

Like all Katie McGarry lovers of her written work, we all feel in love with Noah and Echo with their first adventures in the Pushing the Limits series. But for me I fell in love with Ryan and Beth's story and now West and Hayley. I was beyond ecstatic to receive this for review, and I didn't take me very long to devour it... One and half days to be exact! Take Me On take on a whole new approach to the series. Whilst others have stumbled into to each other gazing dreamily from a distance, this one begins when one nearly runs over the other, whilst escaping their greatest fears. It's the fears or reality that brought them together. Katie McGarry brings about a new chapter of characters to her series.

Hayley and West both share a rawness of emotion and that's where kick/boxing really defines the both of them within the ring. Hayley is homeless, completely isolated by the thought of providing shelter and money for her whole family, but she sacrificed her life, and her passion to do so. Now when reality combines with sport she freaks and she can't deal with the thought of going back to where she felt human, normal again. Hayley is a fighter by nature and by her name, I really enjoyed seeing a different side of one of Katie's characters, like Ryan from Dare You To she has passion, deliverance, reserved yet on the inside she is completely dying inside and she needs a goal, a prodigy to train, a West!

Unlike West, he is a head-on, emotional and irrational character. He tends to live in the fast lane, but that is a poor pun on the reality of Rachel and her story within this novel. It took me a while to really understand at what point we were within the back story and Rachel's condition. But West's emotional state was exactly like taking a crash towards his heart, he believes that it was his fault for the state of Rachel. West's character was a little disjointed in places but when he collided into Hayley, he started to change for the better. After taking shelter within the roof of his car from his father kicked him out, he saw the reality to love, life and reason and those more pertinent to Hayley's life. A fight for their lives, also tests the strength and skill to fight for each other's love.
"Our worlds didn't just collide; they merged as a paint spilled on the sidewalk and it's like neither one of is will be the right color again."
Whilst the main characters are brilliant themselves, a sense of a family was very much present within the novel on both sides of the story. The guilt that destroyed West's family and those around him comes crashing towards them. How certain family members aren't who they really are and the twisted love that they all have for one another. Hayley's is very much the same, her grandfather who gave up of her after she turned in her belt and passion, her unlce who has rule and reason over her to keep her family off social services and shelters, and her father who has lost all hope of being the man who he once was. Failure is the key to Katie's novels but strength, fight and passion brings them together.

Katie McGarry creates kick-ass of a novel! An addicting storyline creating each blow to be a page-turner! She will never fail to amaze me and the depth to her characters and plotlines. I'm devoted to her series and I can't wait for the next installment to her series, I'm hopefully thinking Abby will be the featured character.

Rating - 5
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