Cover Reveal: Sacrifice by Jennifer Quintenz

Thursday, 30 January 2014
"Sacrifice" (Daughters of Lilith: Book 3) by Jennifer Quintenz
Just when Braedyn Murphy thought she understood the danger descending on Puerto Escondido, a new threat arrives. A cult devoted to Lilith has taken up residence in the little town, and when Cassie gets tangled up in its intrigue, Braedyn realizes she might have to chose between protecting her friends and stopping Lilith from reclaiming this earth.
With her duties to the Guard wearing on her, Braedyn turns to Lucas for solace. Together they wonder if now is the time to claim their one night together—knowing that one night is all they may ever have.
Darker forces have their own plans for Braedyn and the Guard. Braedyn knew this fight could be brutal—but how much can one girl be asked to sacrifice in order to save the world?
Man, oh man do I love this book cover! It's gorgeous! I love the facial expression of the model, the way she's holding the sword (doesn't she look kick-ass?!), the way her hair looks like it's being blown back by the wind... I'm surprised at myself - I usually don't like cover models on books! Not to mention how intriguing and unique the actual series sounds!
For fans of Braedyn Murphy, the wait is almost over. “Sacrifice,” the third book in the Daughters of Lilith series, will be released on January 31, 2014.
"Before you even start this review, put down anything you are doing and go read Thrall. It's AMAZING! BREATHTAKING! Engaging and smart, Thrall leaves you speechless!" - Savannah, Books With Bite
"The writing style is so smooth, yet gripping. Add some good characters, well-paced story and you have something that I like. No, not like. Love... No surprise that “Thrall” gets full five stars and the highest recommendations I can give." - Linda, The Fantasy Librarian
"How do I even begin to put all the crazy, gushy, ramblings in my brain about this book onto paper?!? Where to even begin?....This book is a MUST read!" - Hooked In A Book review on Amazon
"If you like gutsy fantasy of the urban variety this should definitely be on your 'must read' list. Don't let the YA label put you off either, like all the best YA fiction, this can be enjoyed by adults as well. I give it an unreserved 5 stars." - Tahlia, Awesome Indies
"This is one of those books that I have been looking forward to since June of last year... I loved this book and I'm so happy I finally got to read it. I recommend the entire series for the fully developed characters, the impressive mythology, and the fight scenes. I am dreading waiting for the next book." - David, David Reviews
"Great reading. LOVE IT. Jennifer Quintenz is a special writer who can be very riveting... Spent several sleepless nights in a crazy rush to see how it ends. Can't wait for the next books." - Terri, review on Amazon
Jennifer Quintenz is an award-winning film and television writer, author, and graphic novelist. She has written for Twentieth Television, Intrepid Pictures, and Archaia Studios Press. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son. You can find her on her author's website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Review: TEN

Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Edition: Balzer+Bray Paperback
Released: 18th September 2012
Series: No, standalone
Pages: 294 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get. Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

TEN by Gretchen McNeil is in no way a perfect read, but if you're looking for something to creep you out whilst you're all snuggled up under your warm covers listening to a storm rage outside, you should read this book. It can certainly send a chill down your spine.

This book is very plot-driven. The mystery outshines the characters. I didn't mind this though, I really didn't feel much of anything toward any of the characters. Meg is a decent enough narrator and I liked her enough to continue reading from her perspective, but there was nothing special about her that made me love her. She proved to be smart - much smarter than I would have been in that type of situation! - and brave. I didn't like Minnie much, though. She was way too self-absorbed and whiny - never focusing on any problems that didn't revolve around her, as well as being cowardly. Of course I would have been terrified if people were being murdered, but I would have, at least, tried to put on a brave face. I attempted to feel sympathetic towards her but, after a while, I couldn't be bothered trying.

I also didn't feel much towards T.J. I didn't share the same attraction to him that Meg did but, at the same time, I wasn't really bothered by him. After it dawned on me he was the best we'd be getting, I managed to retain myself enough to just accept him and his clich├ęd premise. *ahem* Maybe I should point out the things I did like about the book before this becomes too much of a negative review. In pullet point form? Me think so.

  • As I've already said, it is a very plot driven book. The mystery is ever so slightly addicting, you need to know who's behind the murders. It's like the murder detective shows you watch on TV - you can't flick the channel until you know the culprit.
  • The storyline of TEN really is like a teen's scary movie. I could play the entire storyline out in my head in movie form. If not already, then I can totally see this becoming a movie. I'd go see it.
  • I really couldn't see the twists coming. Hard as I tried - and I tried, a lot - I couldn't put two and two together.

Not the best book in the world, but I do say pick it up if you're in the mood for something different and creepy - something you won't be too picky about. I think everyone should try at least one creepy book in their lifetime! WARNING: Maybe avoid reading it when you're alone. In a country house. That already creaks and moans and has flickering lights.

Just a heads-up, y'know. Past experience and whatnot... ;P


Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

There's always that one author...

Sunday, 26 January 2014
Whose books, no matter how many times you read them, never fail to whisk you completely into their world. And no, I'm not talking about that feeling you get with every book - where you feel like you're on an adventure with the characters and riding right alongside them. I'm talking about those books where you are completely and utterly enthralled. You are in the book. It's your world. And, for those few precious hours you're there, you don't take into account your real surroundings, your mind is completely in the world painted on the pages and you feel such a loss when the last word has been read.

For me, these books have always been Eva Ibbotson's. Her books connected to me on an unbelievable scale since the first time I read them as a child and, even though I haven't reread one in a while, the sheer thought of them puts me in a happier mood. Fills me with a feeling of magic and possibility. Never has a writing style captivated me more and been able to pull me into the pages as much as Ibbotson's and to her, I will always be grateful. She created worlds that were, and still are, my fantasy and managed to reach out and find the part of me who wanted to believe in a world without limits and adventures around every corner and, to a child especially, believing in something as magical as that really was the greatest gift of all. There will always be a special place in my heart for Eva Ibbotson and her books, and that will never change.

Think of the book Inkheart - or, to those who haven't read it, the film. Just as Mo can bring a story, quite literally, to life, so can Ibbotson. But instead of bringing characters into the real world, she can write me into the pages - I am no longer a person who is reading a book, I am the book. A critical part of the storyline. It was, and still is, incredibly hard for me to resurface from the worlds she creates in her books, they connect to something in me that I cannot explain. Something fragile, childlike and magical.

Which books are these, I hear you ask? Well, the stories I hold so close to my heart are:

The Dragonfly Pool, Journey to the River Sea and The Star of Kazan
Each world is incredible. Each story, a masterpiece. I do not think I can express my love for these books or the author behind them more. Even the covers just reach out and tug on something childlike and vulnerable inside you - they are so beautiful. Quick sidenote before I go: Journey to the River Sea is the reason I want to go to the Amazon rainforest one day, The Dragonfly Pool the reason I love boarding school stories so much and I'm pretty sure you can guess from the cover of The Star of Kazan where else I wouldn't mind exploring. :)
What about you? Have you read any of Ibbotson's books? If so, did you enjoy them? Or even understand where I'm coming from? If not, what books connect to you like no others?
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: For some reason, it's extremely nerve-wracking for me posting this... These books are a part of me - my being - and I don't know if anyone else feels the same way about any books like I do with these! :3

The Book Blogger TMI Tag!

Friday, 24 January 2014
Yes, I'm finally getting around to doing this. *fist pumps into the air* I believe this tag was created by the lovely Amber over at The Mile Long Bookshelf - huge thanks go out to Zoe from Bookhi and Hawwa from It Was Lovely Reading You for tagging me.

How old are you?
I'm 16. Trust me, it's not as spectacular as it's made out to be in movies. >.>

What book are you reading?
I've got a few going on at the moment which is unlike me but they are The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1984 by George Orwell and I just started Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff last night.

What are you wearing?
I'm very stylish today. Plaid pink, green, purple and blue pyjama bottoms and a dark blue vest top - yup, I'm still in my sleeping attire 'cause I am THAT lazy.

Most recently I'd have to say Mary and Francis from the TV show, Reign. I am completely OBSESSED with that show at the moment - you need to all watch it! Summary: It revolves around Mary Queen of Scots when she was a teenager! xD

Blogger or Wordpress?
Why blogger, of course.

Going outside being active or staying in and reading a book?
I've actually been going out more often than I've been reading lately so I'll have to pick both. Sorry, I couldn't imagine giving one of them up.

What is the last book you read?
Ten by Gretchen McNeil. 'Twas good.

What is the book you're going to read next?
I don't really schedule what books I'm going to read... I just go with my mood and see what turns up. :)

eBooks - yes or no?
Hmmm... Depends what mood I'm in. :/

Where do you prefer to read?
Weird as it is, at a table. Or in my bed.

Who is the last person you tweeted?
Kezia from Chapteriosity - we were complaining about exams. Casual stuff, y'know.

Who's blog did you look at last?
Zoe's Bookhi but I usually have tabs up of all the blogs in my blog list... ;P

Who is your favourite blogger?
No way can I answer this. I love way too many bloggers.
Who is your favourite booktuber?
I can't narrow it down to just one. I love Christine from polandbananasBOOKS, Sasha from abookutopia, Heather from Bookables, Lucy from thebumblingbibliophile and Amber from The Mile Long Bookshelf. :)

What do you do when someone tells you reading is boring?

Who is the last author you spoke to?
I *think* it was Hafsah Laziaf on twitter... I was telling her about how I got her book for Christmas. ;3

Who is the last person you texted?
My last text was in a group chat with my friends, I think.

Who is your all-time favourite book character?
*looks pointedly at you with a look of contempt* You really have to ask? Ugh, last time. WILLIAM HERONDALE.

Most of my fave books are USYA so I'm going to have to go with that.

What is your preferred drink whilst reading?
I don't think I drink at all when I read. *shrugs*

If you hated reading, what would you be doing instead?
Watching even MORE movies than I already do.

How many bookshelves/bookcases do you have?
Four tiny shelves, books are piled up every which way on top of each other - it's a mess. I'm *hoping* to get some larger shelves soon when my room gets done up though. :)

If you had the choice to meet all of your favourite book bloggers or all of your favourite authors, which would you pick? You can only pick one.
Don't even have to think about this, book bloggers. I wanna meet my fellow fangirls (and fanboy ;D) so bad! :3

Insta-love- yes or no?
Sometimes it works in a book and I'm not bothered about it but I prefer when a relationship develops and builds up steadily and, when the couple finally gets together, you're just like:

Favourite author?
My most hated question because I just can't choose. :O Veronica Roth ('cause she's the author of my favourite book!), Cassandra Clare ('cause she's the creator of Will...), J.K. Rowling (no explanation needed) and Ally Carter ('cause her spy series is too good)! :)

What is the number-one book on your wishlist?
Probably Idols by Margaret Stohl - the sequel of Icons which I adored! :')

Do you prefer books with female or male protagonists?
Female. For some reason I pretty much despise most male protagonists when I read a book from their POV... I do want to start the Percy Jackson series though - here's hoping I won't hate him!

Which is your favourite book-to-film adaption?
One of the Narnia films probably. The visuals are incredible, the acting is phenomenal and you really do feel like you're in another world when watching one.

What is the last song you listened to?
I was dancing like crazy around the kitchen yesterday but I can't remember what it was I was listening to... It's all a blur. ;P

Which do you enjoy reading more - negative reviews or positive reviews?
I love reading positive reviews where you can practically hear the fangirling squeals, but negative reviews are so interesting and I like hearing other peoples' takes on a book that I, myself, loved.

Who are you going to tag?
Ahhhh! I'm so late in doing this that anyone I tag has probably already done it but:
Catherine from The Book Parade,
Kyra from Blog of a Bookaholic,
Francoise from My Crazy Bookish World,
AND Kayla from The Bookish Owl ;)

You've probably already done it but, if you haven't, you should! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Review: Amber

Wednesday, 1 January 2014
Author: Julie Sykes
Edition: Curious Fox Paperback
Released: 12th September 2013
Series: No, standalone
Pages: 297 approx.
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website | Buy the book!

How do you live by the rules if you don’t know what they are?

Amber’s lost her memory. She doesn’t even know her real name. The only clues to her identity are a beautiful amber necklace and a broken mobile phone. She’s determined to learn the truth about her past life, and the secrets she’s hiding, but how many rules will she break along the way?

In all honesty, I didn't really know what to expect from Amber. The synopsis left a lot to the imagination and I'd never heard or read of the author previously - so, opening it, all I was hoping for was a nice, enjoyable read, and that's exactly what I got.

I believe this is Julie Sykes first novel for older readers and, I've got to say, I hope she delves into the YA genre more. I really enjoyed Amber. After the amount of heavy dystopian books I'd been swimming in, it was a nice change. I adored that it was a standalone - the storyline wasn't majorly complex because there was no need to set up any sub-plots for further books. Of course there was mystery - that's a guarantee when you have a main character with amnesia! - but most is resolved, we aren't left with frustrating loose ends! It was definetly a refreshing read and just what I needed at the time.

I got along well with the main character, Amber. She was neither annoying nor whiny but, rather, intriguing. She's quite the mystery and you are just constantly waiting to see if she'll remember something, anything throughout the course of the novel. I did like her though. She was smart and realistic. As nice as Dan - another prominent character - was, toward the end of the book, I started finding him more and more irritating and, well, getting in the way. I think only people who've read the book will get that last sentence, sorry! ;3

Anyway. To conclude, Amber is the perfect novel for a light, rainy day read. It's not overly complicated and introduces us to a nice bunch of characters that each add a little something to the story. I'm going to round it up to four stars because, though I didn't dislike anything about it, it didn't blow me away. I recommend it to readers who enjoy light mystery and have lately found themselves drowning in heavy, complex books. I applaud Sykes for bringing out her first Young Adult novel and hope she does it again! :)

Huge thanks to Curious Fox for sending me out this book to review!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: The cover is absolutely gorgeous! :O