The Boo Hag by David Morgan

Monday, 30 April 2012
Author: David Morgan
Edition: Self-Published Paperback
Published: March 28th 2012
Pages: 327
Rating: 3/5

Lenny Petrakas is worried about her skin. Not the way you're thinking. Not like that at all. While most people spend time concerned about dirt and elasticity, temperature and moisture, Lenny has a more pressing problem. Something is after her. Something evil that won't stop until it has peeled every last inch of skin from the teen's body. And then, it may end her misery quickly, or it may dump her body in the woods. Let infection and dehydration run its course.
Lenny is just your normal sixteen-year-old girl. Was. Was just your normal sixteen-year-old girl. Quiet and polite. Petite. Introspective, but not to the point of isolation. Loyal? Fiercely so. Outstanding? Noteworthy? Different? No, no, and no. Or so she thought. What started as an eerie feeling, a certainty that someone had been in her room while she slept, has spiraled into something far worse. Something was in her room. Something that finds her highly different, extremely noteworthy, and intensely outstanding.
Game over? Wrong. Lenny's a fighter, and she isn't about to lie down and take what's coming to her. Enlisting the help of her best friend, a not-so-secret admirer, the hottest guy in school, one odious cheerleader, and a paranormalist teacher, Lenny is facing her fears head on, in a battle she knows can only end in death.

When I first heard of this book I was definetly intrigued. It sounded different (and scarier!) than any other book I had ever read and I really wanted to give it a shot. In some ways I'm glad I did!

Straight away from page one we are swooped up into the story... and the eeriness of it all: As she walked to her bedroom door, a tinge of fear sent chills tiptoeing up her spine. You can only imagine how even that little sentence intrigued me to read on. Overall, I quite enjoyed the storyline and was always on edge when the "the boo hag" made an appearance. She was definetly creepy! However, even though the story was creepy, it wasn't scary. It was also really refreshing reading a third person narritive. It would switch between all the feelings, thoughts and actions of the different characters.

The main character, Lenny was definetly strong to be able to hold it together! Brave too. She didn't want any of her friends in danger and she always hinted at how she would sacrafice herself for them if it ever came to that (but best friend Anna would never let her). The relationship between Lenny and Anna was definetly sweet. However, Brian (referred to in the blurb as the hottest guy in school) really annoyed me! I hated how he sucked up to Katie (the odious cheerleader) constantly. He came across really needy whenever he was around her! Definetly not a good love interest for Anna! I just hope he turns his act around and sees sense!

Unfortunetly I also found a couple faults. ONE) I got really confused at some bits. There were quite a few typos, editing mistakes and some things that just didn't make any sense. For instance, near the end when Anna was on the phone to Brian she kept saying "me and Anna" instead of me and Lenny. TWO) I felt that there were too many no-purpose, should-have-been-edited-out bits. For example, the day Lenny and Brian were going to find Anna, Katie was introduced and said she wanted to come with them or she'd tell the football coach that Brian was missing school. They agreed and so she got into the car only to say that she wasn't coming because Lenny was giving her abuse. Then she got back out of the car and walked back to the school doors. Brian then shouted her back. She came back. They all left. I'm not sure if any of the others who have read this book would agree with me but I just found that some parts weren't necessary.

Overall, The Boo Hag had a unique and intriguing storyline with strong characters and an eerie theme to it. For all you wary of the paranormal genre, I would declare it safe - it's not terrifying. Even though I found that some parts were really confusing and pointless I would still recommend this to readers who like the look of the synopsis and enjoy a creepy thriller! And, ahhhhh the ending! What is Brian and Mr Brown's secret?

I would like to send a big thank-you out to the author for sending me a copy of this book to review! :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Feature and Follow Friday #1

Friday, 27 April 2012
Feature & Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. Every week there is a featured blog and a fun question.
Woo, it's my first ever FF! ^_^

Qu: Have you had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then "broke up" with later on in either the series or a stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her.

A: Hmmm... what a hard question for my first post! I'd probably have to go with either Cole out of Everneath {Brodi Ashton} or Xander from Matched {Ally Condie}. For Cole, I have to admit it was more the concept of loving him I had. I'm usually drawn to the bad boys in books but I just didn't warm to Cole at all! Definetly Team Jack! In Matched I preferred Xander over Ky but then in Crossed I switched for Ky. However, Xander is still a great character and I might change my mind in the next book!

If you follow, I'll be sure to follow back (leave a link in the comments to your own FF post too)! :D

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Book News: Book Launced Into SPACE!

Monday, 23 April 2012
Ohmycuppycakes! There was a book in outer space people!
On the 20th April Nikolas and Co: The Merman and The Moon Forgotten was launched into space by the author, Kevin McGill!
As some of you may already know (or not in my case, hehe) near space starts at 65,000 feet... and guess what? This book managed to reach nearly 100,000 feet while attached to a 600g helium balloon! Watch the video below to see it's journey!

Awesome or what?! Well I'm not quite finished yet...
I've also been informed that one lucky winner can win a Kindle Fire and a copy of this air-born book if they can guess correctly how far away it landed from the launch site! Click HERE to enter!

"A long time ago in a world not so far away…"
Senior stagecoach driver Yeri Willrow thought he was performing a simple drive and drop for his mysterious passengers, until they are attacked by foul-breath red-eyed creatures. He soon learns that his passengers are a family of automaton-legged merfolk, and he is their only hope. Yeri suddenly finds himself tasked with saving the merfolk or they will fall to the peril of the creature most foul.

"Sometime in the near future…"
Nick lives in a time when one can zip from country to country in mach-speed hovercars, extend their life indefinitely through cerebral downloads, and have every whim taken care of by their ever faithful nannydrone.Nick hates it. Aside from the refugee camps, overpopulation, and unchecked consumerism filling every city across the globe, Nick just doesn’t belong.

That is when he hears the voice of a woman: “The Rones lie about their true intent. They enter the city of Huron at the peril of us all.”

Shortly after, his slightly crazed grandfather reveals to him:
“All you’ve ever heard about the Moon is a lie, my dear Nikolas. He was not always a mere satellite, a ghost wandering the stars. In an age before our own, Moon was our twin, and in him bore the whole of magical life. The cradle of this magical civilization was a fantastic metropolis filled with fire-breathing winged lions, volcano-born nymphs, automaton-legged mermaids, and so much magic you can smell it. We called this city Huron, and you, Nikolas, are her steward.”

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

Sunday, 22 April 2012
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Edition: HarperVoyager Paperback
First Published: February 16th 2012
Pages: 341
Notes: The Chemical Garden Trilogy #2
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis contains spoilers for first book but review is spoiler free.

Running away from her forced polygamous marriage leads 17-year-old Rhine Ellery straight into a trap: a twisted carnival whose ringmistress desires the beautiful and unusual Rhine as her star attraction. But with Gabriel - her lover and fellow escapee - Rhine remains determined to reach Manhattan, find her twin brother, Rowan, and start a life far from the gilded prisons that have confined her.
The road to freedom is long and perilous - and in a world where women only live to age 20 and men die at 25 - time is very precious. And worse still, Rhine's sinister father-in-law, Vaughn, is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion... by any means necessary.

Before I had even opened this book I had high expectations. I loved the prequel, Wither, and was hoping to find Fever just as enjoyable. Unfortunetly, even though I still liked the book, it just didn't do it for me.

There were quite a few storylines in this book so definetly something worth reading about in every chapter. It did, however, feel like something was missing - but I'm not quite sure what. It didn't affect my view on it too much but there could of been more... of something.

At times throughout the book it did get a little slow. Not super slow, but attention-flickering slow. The one thing that kept me reading (and was also my favourite part of the whole book) was DeStefano's writing style. Her words work together so easily and are just descriptive enough to keep the reader reading but not so much as to think they're reading a descriptive essay. She has an almost old-fashioned but modern quality to her writing. I doubt that makes any sense but if you have read this or are planning to read this then you will understand what I mean.

The characters were also likeable. The main character Rhine I could empathise with. She had just enough determination and vulnerability to make her perfect for this type of story. Her love for her brother, Rowan, really shines through in this book and you can't help but admire the strengths she goes to, to try and find him. Rhine's love interest Gabriel appeared much stronger in this book than he did in Wither so I warmed up to him and liked him better than before. There were also some great supporting characters. Brave, little Maddie and mysterious, secretive Silas to name a few.

Overall, Fever just wasn't what I was hoping for. It was still likeable enough with great characters and a brilliant writing style but at times it was too slow and seemed to be missing that little spark. I would still recommend reading this series. The ending for Fever definetly has me wanting to read the next book - it could go in any direction!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: No IMM today. :)

Discussion Post: Which Hogwarts House?

Thursday, 19 April 2012
Thanks to all the great feedback I got from my last discussion post I've decided to do something similar, but this time, instead of the Divergent Factions, it's going to be the Hogwart's Houses out of the Harry Potter books!
All you have to do is pretend you are the beloved Sorting Hat and sort yourself into a house! I am suspecting everyone has read, or at least know a little about the Harry Potter books (if not, you need to pick them up, they are amazing)! If you're not too sure though that's fine too, just read on!

GRYFFINDOR values bravery, daring, nerve, and chivalry.

MORE INFO: Its emblematic animal is the lion and its colours are scarlet and gold. Minerva McGonagall is the most recent Head of Gryffindor. Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington aka Nearly Headless Nick is the house ghost. The founder of the house is Godric Gryffindor. Gryffindor corresponds to the element of Fire. The common room is located in one of the highest towers at Hogwarts, the entrance is situated on the seventh floor in the east wing of the castle and is guarded by a portrait of The Fat Lady. She permits entrance if given the correct password which is changed numerous times throughout the school year.

HUFFLEPUFF values hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play rather than a particular aptitude in its members.

MORE INFO: Its emblematic animal is the badger, and Black and Yellow are its colours. Pomona Sprout was the Head of Hufflepuff during 1991 - 1998, Sprout left the post of Head of Hufflepuff and Herbology Professor sometime before 2017 and her successor for the position of Head of Hufflepuff is currently unknown. The Fat Friar is its ghost. Hufflepuff corresponds roughly to the element of earth. The Hufflepuff Dormitories and common room are located somewhere in the basement, near the castle's kitchens. It can be accessed through a barrel with a secret way to get it open and is described as being a cosy and welcoming place with yellow hangings, fat armchairs, and underground tunnels that lead to the dormitories, which have perfectly round doors, similar to barrel tops.

RAVENCLAW values intelligence, knowledge, and wit.

MORE INFO: Its emblematic animal is the eagle, and its colours are blue and bronze. The Ravenclaw Head of House in the 1990s was Filius Flitwick. The ghost of Ravenclaw is the Grey Lady, who was the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, the house's founder. Ravenclaw corresponds roughly to the element of air. The Ravenclaw common room and dormitories are located in a tower on the west side of the castle. Ravenclaw students must answer a riddle as opposed to giving a password to enter their dormitories.

SLYTHERIN house values ambition, cunning and resourcefulness.

MORE INFO: Its emblematic animal is the serpent, and its colours are emerald green and silver. Professor Horace Slughorn was the Head of Slytherin during the 1997–1998 school year, replacing Severus Snape, who as well, replaced Slughorn when he retired for the first time several years ago. The Bloody Baron is the house ghost. Slytherin corresponds roughly to the element of water. The Slytherin Dormitories and common room are reached through a bare stone wall in the Dungeons. The Slytherin common room lies beneath the Black Lake. It is a long, low underground room under the Black Lake with rough stone walls and silver lamps hanging from the ceiling.

**I do not own images or any of the info. Full credits to here and here.**

I've decided that this is a good time to post this since the long-awaited Pottermore is finally opened up to everyone! I've already been assigned my house and it is... drumroll... RAVENCLAW! I'm not quite sure why, I don't think of myself as that knowledgeable or witty... but that is what the quiz decided and I like Ravenclaw anyway, so it's all good!

Which house do you think you would most fit into? Do you have Pottermore? What house are you in there? Does your Pottermore house differ from what you think you would actually be in if the Sorting Hat was to choose?

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Taste by Kate Evangelista - Book Trailer and Excerpt Reveal

Monday, 16 April 2012
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

Awesome, huh? Well that's not just all I've got for you, click HERE to read an excerpt of Taste - it's amazing!

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses increative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Author's Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Publisher's Press Page

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Click HERE for another Taste-y surprise... ;)

In My Mailbox {12}

Sunday, 15 April 2012
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where readers can spotlight the books they have received over the past week.

For Review:
The Boo Hag by David Morgan - This book sounds like one scary, paranormal read. Eeeek! Big thank you to the author for sending me a copy!

Raising Demons (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins - Yay, I finally got my hands on Hex Hall's sequel! I really enjoyed book one so I am very excited to read this one!

Switched by Amanda Hocking - This one looks really good! I've been reading great things about it on a few blogs so I couldn't resist picking up a copy. That's what Easter money is for though, hehe! ;)

As always, link up and I'll stop by as soon as I can!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Saturday, 14 April 2012
Author: Brodi Ashton
Edition: Simon Pulse Paperback
First Published: 24th January 2012
Pages: 370
Notes: Everneath #1
Rating: 4/5

Six months ago, Nikki Beckett vanished into an underworld known as the Everneath.
Now she's returned to her old life for another six months before the Everneath comes to claim her... this time forever. Nikki longs to spend this precious time reconnecting with the people she left behind - her family, her friends and, most importantly, her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything.
But there's just one problem: Cole, the smouldering immortal who enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki home, convinced that she is the key to claiming the throne of the Underworld. Cole wants to bing Nikki back to the Everneath, but this time as his queen.
Now Nikki only has six months for goodbyes she can't find the words for, six months to make the hardest decision of her life, six months to find redemption, if it exists...

Let me just start by saying Everneath was one unique and enjoyable read. I'd had this book on my wishlist for quite sometime and when I finally spotted a copy, what can a poor reader girl like myself do but to buy it? Even though this book wasn't absolutely flawless or anything I still really enjoyed it... and of course the gorgeous cover!

I know next to nothing about greek mythology (who needs to research when we've got all these books?) and even though at times I'm sure knowing about it could have given me a deeper understanding, it still was quite easy to understand. I believe that it is a modern retelling of the Persephone myth, and since I have read a couple of books now based around this certain myth I actually know a little about it - yay! Nevertheless, feel free to drop a comment if you have anything you feel I should know!

The first page is very intriguing and you immediately want to know what's going on. The storyline overall is pretty impressive. I quite liked how every now and again it would give us an event that happened before Nikki went to the Everneath because it builds up to the reason of why she went and we also get to see how all her relationships with her friends and family had been like. The only thing I found wierd in this book - it's not really a negative point... hence why I used wierd, hehe - is how Nikki starts up knitting when she escapes the Everneath... she even knits at school, is it just me that finds this strange? I think she takes up knitting because it gives her something to do to take her mind of everything but to me I just found it... strange. After a while I did get used to it though so it wasn't anything major.

The main character, Nikki, is very well developed. You can believe what she is feeling and you understand her. Over the course of the novel you can see how her courage builds up and you can't help but pity her because she has no choice but to leave her world to go to Everneath... or does she?

Straight off, even just by reading the blurb, I thought I'd like Cole way more than Jack because, as some of you will already know, I usually favour the bad boys. But this just wasn't the case in this book. I am most definetly Team Jack (well for now... we never know what the sequel will bring!) because I just didn't warm to Cole at all. Jack is sweet and Cole is sour. And I am all for the sweet this time!

Overall, Everneath was a great read with a very unusual storyline, relatable characters and was well paced throughout. The only thing I'm upset about is that I'm going to have to wait until 2013 for Everbound! One entire year until I meet Jack again, wah!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Starters by Lissa Price

Thursday, 12 April 2012
Author: Lissa Price
Edition: Doubleday Paperback
Released: April 5th 2012
Pages: 336
Notes: Starters #1
Rating: 4/5

Callie and her little brother are on the run, living as squatters, fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. But with the Body Bank, comes a promise of much-needed cash, and with it, hope. And then despair...

The Bank allows teenagers to rent out their bodies to those who want to be young again. But Callie's renter intends to do more than party in her body. She intends to murder...

This book is unique. Definetly one of a kind. I was really excited about reading it and I'm glad to report back that it is definetly worth a read! Apart from the refreshing storyline, there were also great sub-plots, unexpected twists and some great characters.

First off, the storyline! Unique, refreshing, mysterious and just rather enjoyable. I liked how the whole Body Bank incident was played out, it was quite believable - in a dystopian world of course, hehe. The sub-plot of the little love triangle (and the twists involved) was a good touch too.

I must say that the romance in this book was a little baffling - but in a good baffling way if that makes sense. I liked both boys (Blake and Michael), but considering the whole twist near the end... well I can't really say who I like better since I don't really know much about either of them.

The main character, Callie was a great heroine. She was brave, determined and strong. The bond she had with her little brother was sweet and admirable. She wanted to protect him. As far as the villain goes, he was definetly very... villain-y. Despicable and secretive... not one to cross! If I was Callie and had to face him, I don't know what I'd do! Another great character was Sara. She is definetly very brave and what she done for Callie was so... well, brave!

Do you know that feeling where you can't really think of much to write for a review? Well this is one of those times. I don't know why, but I just can't think of what to say about this book! It was definetly a great read, and everyone should definetly give it a go! I can't wait for the release of Enders, coming out Winter 2012!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Across The Universe by Beth Revis

Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Author: Beth Revis
Edition: Razorbill, March 3rd 2011
Pages: 398
Notes: Across The Universe #1
Rating: 4/5

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Across The Universe was a great read with a fantastic and unique storyline, some great characters and an on-your-toes mystery. What's not to love?

The one thing I don't get is why the blurb portrays the main focus as romance, when really, it's not even that big a deal in the book. Sure, there are moments, but not nearly as much as the synopsis lead me to think. Let us just say that the romance wasn't out of this world (enjoy the pun? no? awkward). However, everything else was top notch so it sort-of cancelled that out. I just think the blurb needs a little makeover.

I really did love the mystery and all. It was so refreshing and unique! I mean, it's a killer on a spaceship - SPACESHIP! I loved how the author managed to hint who the culprit was the whole way through the book and even though I guessed it to be him/her at one point, I always changed my mind. The twists near the end were just so... woah. Ahh, I need to get the next book right now!

As previously mentioned, the characters were great! There were alternate chapters between Amy and Elder, and I loved how we saw through both of their perspectives and opinions. Amy is fiery and brave, and you can tell how much her family means to her because of how she tries to protect them. Elder is also brave as well as strong and I loved watch his character progress throughout the book. My favourite character was Amy one minute and Eldest the next so it's safe to say that, yeah, I like both of them! I also enjoyed Harley's character, his story was just so sad, and I empathised with him.

I don't think I really need to state how much I loved the setting. I think I stressed it enough when I put it in cap locks, hehe. Even though reading about the spaceship was pretty cool, I think I'd feel like Amy if I was in her situation. I would feel trapped and I'd hate to think of no real countyside around me!

Overall I really enjoyed Across The Universe with it's great setting, characters, mystey, storyline and very well tied-up twists! I definetly am going to try and get my hands on the sequel, A Million Suns because it sounds just as fantastic! If you haven't read this book then you are seriously missing out on one of dystopian's finest and unique novels!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Witch Hunt Blog Tour Stop: Interview with Author, K.C. Blake

Tuesday, 10 April 2012
Hello everyone! Today I've got the lovely author, K.C. Blake on the blog for a Witch Hunt blog tour interview! Enjoy!

First off, can you tell us a little about your books?
In the Witch-Game Series, teen witches use their powers to play games at school, games that lead them down a dark and dangerous path. The first book Crushed follows the Noah sisters as they use magical dust to enchant boys at school and make them do whatever they ask. Kristen puts the spell on the wrong boy and almost dies the same day.

The second book, Witch Hunt (released in April 2012) is about a teen reporter. Starr Hughes has her nose in everyone’s business. When she hears the most popular kids at school are about to play a secretive game, she knows she has to get the story, especially since she’s in love with the group’s leader, Dylan. Soon she discovers that witches are real and they need her help because someone is using the game to take their memories, their powers, and perhaps even their lives.

Where do you tend to write, any necessities you need while writing?
I have a desk in the corner of my living room. To me, music is a necessity. It helps me to block out distractions, get in the right mood, and see the characters clearly. The right music leads to some interesting daydreams. Usually I can sit back and watch the characters interact. Then I write the scene.

Which of your characters would you pick to join you if you were stuck on a desert island, why?
That’s easy. I would pick Dylan because he has powers and can zap us off the island. Or, if I wasn’t in a hurry to leave, he could make food--or whatever else we need--to appear. There are other witches in Witch Hunt, but they would be annoying. Dylan is cute and funny, and I think I might enjoy being stuck on an island with him.

If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
I would want the power of suggestion like the dude on Supernatural had in that one episode. He asked Dean for his car, the car he loves more than life, and Dean let him have it. The guy would walk down the street and ask a man for coffee. The man would give him the coffee. Having that power would make life a lot easier. “You want to read Witch Hunt. Read my book.” LOL.

If you could live in any fictional place out of a book, where would you go?
This is a hard question. Narnia would be cool. Who wouldn’t love a talking lion? The places in the Mortal Instrument Series are awesome. And if Jace put in an appearance... bonus! Or maybe I would want to go to Forks and see vampires that sparkle.

Any ideas for future novels?
Way ahead of you. I am already working on the first book in a hunter series, Bait. Then I have the third book in the Rule Series to rewrite and a book called Dragon’s Breath to edit before releasing. It will be a long time before I run out of stories to write.

Quick Fire Questions:

Favourite animal? White Tiger.
Dystopian or Historical? Dystopian.
Favourite colour? Blood red.
Hardback or Paperback? Paperback.

Amazon | Goodreads | Author's Blog

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

Seizure by Kathy Reichs

Monday, 9 April 2012
Author: Kathy Reichs
Edition: Young Arrow, 18th October 2012
Notes: Book #2, Use of mild language
Pages: 491
Source: Trade with Beth
Rating: 4.5

Ever since Tory Brennan and her friends rescued Cooper, a kidnapped wolf pup with a rare strain of canine parvovirus, they've turned from regular kids into a crime-solving pack. But now the very place that brought them together - the Loggerhead Island Research Institute - is out of funding and will have to shut down. That is, unless the Virals can figure out a way to save it.

So when Tory learns of an old Charleston legend about a famous she-pirate, Anne Bonney, whose fortune was never found, she can't believe her luck - buried treasure is exactly what she needs to save the Institute on Loggerhead! Trouble is, she and her friends aren't the only ones looking for it. And this time, the Virals' special powers may not be enough to dig them out of trouble...

Eeep! I just love this series! Reichs has such a skillful writing style, it is incredible! Filled with action, adventure, mystery and suspense, Seizure has you hooked from the start and longing for more long after the final page is turned!

I mean isn't the blurb just enough to draw someone in? Pirate treasure, people! I just loved the whole concept of a treasure hunt that I was giddy with excitement! The mystery and suspense factor was played out very well and I was swooped up into all the action and the danger! How many times was I on the edge of my seat? Plenty!

Probably the most enjoyable thing about the entire book (for me anyway) was the characters. I just loved them all! Tory, Ben, Hi, Shelton and even little Coop were all brilliant. All of them have very different and distinctive personalities and without one of them then I think this book would have been missing that spark! There's Tory who is so strong and brave, Shelton who's a techno-geek, Hi with his sarcasm and hilarious come-backs and Ben with his fiery temper and overall boy-like attitude. They are all just so easy to relate too - Tory especially since it is told through her point of view - and even with their super powered senses (aka. superpowers) they still portrayed that air of being normal teens. Oh, and are they all super smart? Check!

The only thing I wish we saw more of was the romance. There were little hints throughout the book connecting Tory and _ _ _ and I just really hope something happens between them in the next book. Please, Kathy? Pretty please!

At some points I did find it confusing when they all geeked out on me! They are just so smart and at times I just didn't follow, haha. I mean, Tory knows forensic stuff, Shelton is a computer whizz, Hi has knowledge about pratically everything and Ben knows what they talk about so he must be really smart also! They are just so awesome and at multiple times throughout the book I found myself wondering how great they would be to have as friends!

Overall I really enjoyed Seizure with it's action, suspense, mystery and characters. Even though this looks like quite a big, daunting book, you just have to read it! I managed to read it in two sittings (well one of them was until two o'clock in the morning but still...) because I was so hooked and caught up in the story. I definetly can not wait for the next book in the Virals series, Code, coming out sometime this year!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Thanks again for sending this, Beth! =]

In My Mailbox {10+11}

Sunday, 8 April 2012
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren where readers can share what books they received throughout the past week.

Fever by Lauren DeStefano
Starters by Lissa Price
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter (review here)

Across The Universe by Beth Revis

I am really happy about the books I got this week, some of them have been on my wishlist for forever! I really do love Waterstones... I'd also like to give a big shout-out to my friend, Anna for letting me borrow one of her books! Oh, and just so you know, I added in Out of Sight, Out of Time because I forgot to do an IMM last week. Sorry I can't really go into much more detail about each book, I have to go plan an Easter Egg Treasure Hunt!

Happy Easter,
Rachel xoxo

PS: As always, link up and I'll pop over as soon as I can! ;)

Crossed by Ally Condie

Thursday, 5 April 2012
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Razor Bill, Penguin
Released: 1st November 2011
Pages: 367
Notes: Matched #2
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis contains spoilers for those who haven't and hope to read Matched, but review is spoiler free.

Rules Are Different Outside The Society.
Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by the Society to his sure death--only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices every thing to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.

This is going to be one strange review everyone, so I apologise in advance if I confuse and/or bore you! First off I have to say that this was my second attempt at reading Crossed and I'm glad I stuck with it because overall it was quite a good read. It had some loveable characters, a unique storyline and a few twists to keep the attention of the reader.

I feel I owe you an explanation. My first attempt at Crossed was a while back and after only a couple of chapters I decided to put it on hold because I found it a little slow and I just wasn't really enjoying it. But here's the wierd thing. When I read Matched (the first book) almost the same thing happened! I didn't find it that good the first time I read it, but when I read it the second time I really liked it - and for all you wondering why I read Matched a second time, it was because I had just bought Crossed and felt I should re-read it so the plot and story were fresh in mind for going into the sequel. Does that make sense? Has anyone else ever been in a similar situation? I know, strange. Anyway. No use babbling for my whole review.

Just to clear up. Yes, it was a little slow at times but I'm definetly glad I kept reading because overall Crossed was quite good!

The book is split up into two points of view. Cassia and Ky's. I actually settled into this part of things really quickly and enjoyed reading both of their stories and opinions. I can't even pick a favourite because they were both really fun to read! I do warn you now though, Condie likes to leave you on a slight cliffhanger at the end of one chapter and make you wait another one until the other character is finished!

Cassia and Ky were both strong, brave and determined and I really liked that about them. They would fight for what they believed in. However, they weren't the only great characters, there were a few I loved! Strong, straight to the point Indie. Young, brave, talkative Eli. Strong, secretive Vick. They were all brilliant characters and I hope we meet some of them again in the next book!

Just as the synopsis has stated, a little love triangle has formed. It wasn't really that big a deal, just Cassia comparing Xander and Ky in the smallest of ways really. In the first book I preferred Xander but now that I've read from Ky's point of view, I like him a tad more. The next book, I think anyway, shows us Xander's story so I really want to see how that works out... and if I change my mind. I thought that the romance between Ky and Cassia deepened in this book. It felt more serious and meaningful but surprisingly I didn't find it too much. Who's she going to choose - Ky or Xander? We're all just going to have to wait and find out. ;)

Overall I quite liked Crossed. It had great characters, some romance and an enjoyable plot. Even though sometimes it was a little slow it was never unbearable and since we get to see both Ky and Cassia's point of view it makes up for it. I liked it enough (*cough*the second time*cough*) to have it hype me up a little for the sequel, Reached.

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: Sorry if I confused and/or bored you!

Discussion Post: Which Faction Would YOU Choose?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Hey guys! Today I've decided to do something a little different... a discussion post! I've been blogging for over a year now and really feel this is something I ought to start doing way more of, don't you agree?
I've decided that my very first post is going to be based around Divergent! This is a great book and many book bloggers are getting all hyped up for the release of book two, Insurgent, coming out May 1st - including me! So to celebrate I thought I'd ask you a little question;

Which faction would you choose?

Out of all the five factions in Veronica Roth's Divergent series, which faction would you pick in The Choosing Ceremony? Even if you haven't read the books, which faction sounds most like you? Would it be;

ABNEGATION (The Selfless) who...
-- Value selflessness.
-- Blame selfishness for the worlds problems.
-- Discourage any thing done for a persons own enjoyment.
-- Believes guns are used for self-defense, if not violence, and therefore they are self serving.
-- Believe kisses are not meant to be shared in public.
-- Believe gossiping is self-indulgent.
-- View suicide as an act of selfishness because someone who is truly selfless does not think of himself often enough to desire death.
-- Guilt is used as a tool, rather than a weapon against the self. They use it to remind themselves to do better the next time.

AMITY (The Peaceful) who...
-- Blame aggression for problems in the world.
-- They are kind, loving, and free.
-- Always peaceful, always safe.

CANDOR (The Honest) who...
-- Value honesty.
-- See truth as black or white.
-- Blame duplicity for the worlds problems.
-- Believe that politeness is deception in pretty packaging.

DAUNTLESS (The Brave) who...
-- Value Courage
-- Blame cowardice for the worlds problems. They protect the city from threats within and without.
-- Believe that you are far less likely to be scared if they are prepared to defend themselves. This is why they teach about guns, knives, and fighting.
-- Training comes first, technology comes second.
-- Brutality does not violate the rules that Dauntless members live by.
-- Believe that human reason can excuse any evil, that is why it’s so important that they don’t rely on it.
-- Teamwork used to be a priority.

ERUDITE (The Intelligent) who...
-- Blame ignorance for the worlds problems.
-- Blue signifies their faction because they believe that the color releases a calming chemical effect, and that “a calm mind is a clear mind.”
-- Erudite pursued knowledge and ingenuity for the sake of doing good. But it led to a greed for knowledge.
-- Believe that “Knowledge leads to prosperity.”

Or you could even be Factionless...

Please comment below with what faction you would choose and why! =]

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: The facts in italics are the factions beliefs. You can find out even more information about each faction on this website! You can also take a quiz that decides which faction you would most belong in, click here to take it. I got Dauntless, yay!

Giveaway: Win Three PDF Formats of Three Novels by Heather Beck!

Monday, 2 April 2012
This holiday is sure shaping up to be a giveaway haven for all of you! Heather Beck (interview here) is very graciously going to giveaway three of her novels in PDF format to one lucky winner! Great or what?! The three novels up for grabs are:

Where Feelings Go To Die:
While on a working vacation at Black Heart Lake, journalist Ashleigh uncovers a century-old story about a love triangle that turned deadly. Upon coming face-to-face with the vengeful ghosts, she learns the hard way that some feelings just won’t rest in peace. Adding to the danger is the return of Ashleigh’s recently deceased, cheating ex-boyfriend who wants more than just her love. Trapped in a haven for ghosts, her only defence is to find their weakness.

Hot Egyptian Nights:
While on vacation, Hailey falls in love with Egypt’s awe-inspiring beauty, fascinating history and Zade, her sexy tour guide. Hailey’s new relationship is magical until Zade tries to sacrifice her in a hidden pyramid that’s filled with bubbling oil. Hailey’s intense encounter with him the next day reveals that her kidnapper is actually Said, Zade’s twin brother. Since entering an ancient tomb, Said has been cursed by a king who won’t rest until Zade, and everyone Zade loves, is dead. Hailey will do anything to destroy the curse, even if it means betraying Zade.

Sir Tristan's Estate:
Skye, a magazine photographer, is sent to the Sir Tristan Estate to capture the sadness behind the historical landmark. Guided by Tom, an estate worker, she learns about the devastating civil war which tore Tristan’s family apart. However, Skye’s waking nightmares reveal Sir Tristan on a much more personal level...

Terms & Conditions:
-- International since it is PDF formats.
-- Being a follower isn't mandatory.
-- The giveaway closes on Monday 16th April at 8pm.
-- You must fill out the form below.

Good luck to all,
Rachel xoxo

Interview with Author, Heather Beck

Please welcome to the blog today author and screenwriter, Heather Beck! One of her most recently published books is Whispers In The Shadows (which you will find in more detail in the interview). There will also be a giveaway where one of you lucky readers will win PDF formats of three of her stories... but come back later for that!

Hello, can you tell us a little about your newest book, Whispers in The Shadows?
Hi, Booktastic Reviews! Thanks so much for having me on your blog. Whispers In The Shadows is a paranormal romance anthology that contains five stories. It’s part of the Legends Unleashed series. Below is a teaser from each story.

Where Feelings Go To Die
While on a working vacation at Black Heart Lake, journalist Ashleigh uncovers a century-old story about a love triangle that turned deadly. Upon coming face-to-face with the vengeful ghosts, she learns the hard way that some feelings just won’t rest in peace. Adding to the danger is the return of Ashleigh’s recently deceased, cheating ex-boyfriend who wants more than just her love. Trapped in a haven for ghosts, her only defence is to find their weakness.

Hot Egyptian Nights
While on vacation, Hailey falls in love with Egypt’s awe-inspiring beauty, fascinating history and Zade, her sexy tour guide. Hailey’s new relationship is magical until Zade tries to sacrifice her in a hidden pyramid that’s filled with bubbling oil. Hailey’s intense encounter with him the next day reveals that her kidnapper is actually Said, Zade’s twin brother. Since entering an ancient tomb, Said has been cursed by a king who won’t rest until Zade, and everyone Zade loves, is dead. Hailey will do anything to destroy the curse, even if it means betraying Zade.

Rival To Survival
There’s something special about the Dark Forest, and its secret can be found in the magical mushrooms which forever sustain life. Two hundred-year-old Harv will do anything to ensure that his mushroom supply is abundant, even if it means betraying an old friend. Harv’s passion to live forever is intensified when he meets Scarlet – a woman whose passion matches her great beauty. All he has to do now is convince the skeptical Scarlet to embrace his mysterious, dangerous world and, of course, survive in it.

The Truth About Fairy Tales
Lila would do anything to find her prince charming, even if it means using a cheesy internet dating service. Matched with the handsome and courteous Phillip, Lila thinks she’s found a man who is the epitome of perfection. When Phillip is ambushed and taken away by a secret government agency, Lila fights back. What she uncovers is an advanced technological prototype that proves Phillip really is too good to be true.

Lure Of The Merman
A sudden storm strands Bree on the beach, forcing her to take shelter in an old cave. When she falls into a watery hole, she is rescued by the mysterious Sandy who appears from the ocean. Through romantic letters and unusual gifts, Sandy slowly wins Bree’s heart from afar. When she finally sees him at the beach, she boldly kisses him. That’s a big mistake because Sandy is a manipulative merman and Bree’s kiss transferred her legs for his fishtail. As a mermaid, she must navigate a new and dangerous world while preparing for the ultimate showdown with Sandy.

Where did you get your inspiration?
Like all the titles in the Legends Unleashed series,Whispers In The Shadows was created from my love of paranormal romances and fantasy worlds where anything can happen. I strive to write plots that are well-developed, fast-paced and filled with unexpected twists. Whispers In The Shadows features strong, multifaceted female protagonists who transcend the ordinary to find a beautiful life. It’s definitely an escapist series inspired by imagination and boundless possibilities.

Do you need any necessities while writing?
I always use a pen and paper while writing. I rarely ever sit down with my laptop and just type because I find that anything but inspirational. I’d rather be outdoors in a peaceful surrounding, like on the dock at my cottage, at the beach or in my backyard. However, creating stories comes very naturally to me so I believe I could write in most situations.

If you could choose to spend a day with any of your characters, who would it be and why?
I would choose Forrester from my TV series, HarborBoys, because he is undoubtedly flawed but strives very hard to overcome the less than stellar circumstances he was born into. He is strong, both physically and mentally, ruggedly handsome and possesses a rational foresight that aids him when he’s inevitably put into difficult situations. I admire these traits and find Forrester to be an extremely multifaceted and interesting character. Since he is an avid outdoorsman, we would spend the day hiking and fishing.

Do you enjoy anything else apart from writing?
My biggest passion besides writing is the outdoors. I am addicted to the sun, sand and surf and could happily spend forever swimming or just lounging on the beach. I also love hiking and fishing – two activities I’ve done since I was young. Additionally, I love volunteering with non-profit organizations. It’s a huge passion of mine and something I take great pride in. It’s a beautiful thing to make a difference in someone’s life.

Are you working on another book right now? If so can you tell us a little about it?
I am currently working on edits for the remaining books in The Horror Diaries series. The next book, Creatures Of The Night, will be released June 2012. I have started writing Assorted Candies (an anthology of literary romance for teens) as well as two young adult paranormal romance novels entitled Siren and Fairy Dust. Additionally, I will shortly begin work on What Fairy Tales Are Made Of, which will include the last four volumes in the Legends Unleashed series. On the screenwriting side, I have written several short scripts that are scheduled to go into production in 2012. They include Too Sensible For Love – a dark romantic comedy with social commentary running throughout it, Love’s Folly – a romantic comedy that will keep viewers guessing until the end, and Circular – a chilling social commentary about war.


Remember to come back later!

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo