31 August 2015

Book Review: The Elite (The Selection, #2) by Kiera Cass

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Format: Paperback
Publishers: Harper Collins
Published: 23rd April 2013
Pages: 326
Genre: YA, Romance, Dystopian
Main Characters: America, Maxon, Aspen
Date Read: 20th August - 29th August 2015

Rating Given:
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Synopsis:The Selection gets fierce as rivals stake their claim on the prince. Six girls, one life-changing prize...America Singer will leave her pre-destined life for a world of glamour and luxury, if she wins...But surviving The Selection is tough. Rivals are battling to become Prince Maxon's bride as the threat of rebel violence just beyond the palace walls escalates into war. Only six girls are left and sworn friendships are tested to breaking point. America's feelings for Maxon grow stronger, but she suspects darker mysteries in his royal past. With ex-lover Aspen waiting for her in the shadows, where do her loyalties truly lie?

I have been putting this one off for a while now as I wasn't a huge fan of the first one but I thought I would give it a go, and to be honest I'm still not a huge fan...

I do like this cover with that dress it looks stunningly luxurious. The colours are also what makes this a gorgeous cover. The only thing I don't like about this cover is the expression on the girl as she looks so mardy which I kind of get but it still lets down the cover.

When I first started The Elite I did think it was going to be better than the first one as I was really into the story, however, for me the more I read the more everything wound me up. The things that really got me annoyed was the love triangle, which I don't usually mind love triangles but this one just didn't feel realistic. America would go back and forward with who she loved but it seemed she would only go with one when the other one annoyed her. I did like the rebels as it added something more to the story but even that felt like it was rushed and not explained well. The ending did pick up for me to the point that has me wanting to read the next one which was why I gave The Elite 3 stars otherwise it could have been a lot less but because of the beginning and the ending I couldn't give it any less.

It was mainly the characters that put me off this book as they all annoyed me apart from Marlee as she seemed the nicest and most genuine character. America in the beginning I thought was so much more likeable than in the first book, however, the way she acted was nothing more than a spoilt brat. She was such a hypocrite as it was all right for her not to know who she wanted but god forbid Maxon liked someone else. Maxon really annoyed me in this book as he acted like America but I could understand his actions (even if I didn't approve). Aspen wasn't really in this as much as the other characters so it was hard to like him or dislike him.

Overall I was not able to enjoy this book all the way through but I liked it enough in the end to warrant a read of the next book.

28 August 2015

Book Review: Never Never by Brianna Shrum

(Click image to take you to Goodreads)

Format: Kindle
Publishers: Spencer Hill Press
Published: 22nd September 2015
Pages: 368
Genre: YA, Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy
Main Characters: James Hook
Date Read: 20th August - 26th August 2015

Rating Given:
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James Hook is a child who only wants to grow up.
When he meets Peter Pan, a boy who loves to pretend and is intent on never becoming a man, James decides he could try being a child—at least briefly. James joins Peter Pan on a holiday to Neverland, a place of adventure created by children’s dreams, but Neverland is not for the faint of heart. Soon James finds himself longing for home, determined that he is destined to be a man. But Peter refuses to take him back, leaving James trapped in a world just beyond the one he loves. A world where children are to never grow up.
But grow up he does. 
And thus begins the epic adventure of a Lost Boy and a Pirate.
This story isn’t about Peter Pan; it’s about the boy whose life he stole. It’s about a man in a world that hates men. It’s about the feared Captain James Hook and his passionate quest to kill the Pan, an impossible feat in a magical land where everyone loves Peter Pan.
Except one.

 I received a review copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I adore his cover it's so eye catching and very apt for this book and I must admit that it was the cover that drew me in first. I love the colours used in this cover with the hint of red and green which works well for the story as well.

I was so excited about getting my hands on this book as not only was the cover stunning but also it was a Peter Pan retelling which I love retellings but I felt so disappointed in the story. When I first started it I thought it was going to be a really good book but the further I went into the story the more it dragged. I felt a little confused with whether this was supposed to be a young adult or an adult book as the beginning was very child like but then when Hook grew it had a lot of adult themes yet an underlining of young adult. I do like this particular take on Peter Pan with Pan being the bad guy, I think it is very easy to think of him as evil when you think back to the original and then add on what Pan did to Hook wasn't good. I also like that it was how James Hook became Captain Hook as well as aligning the story with the story of Peter Pan that we all know and love. There was a bit of a romance in the story which I feel that it fell a bit flat as I just didn't believe in either of their intentions. I really didn't like the ending as we all know how Peter Pan ends and there's no difference there but I felt sad that, that was how it all ended plus I felt it was a little rushed.

I'm not too sure about most of the characters I guess my favourite would have to be Hook but he still wasn't a character that I loved all the way through. I felt so sorry for Hook and everything that Pan had done to him but even with everything Pan had done I didn't understand the depth of his hatred. Peter Pan wasn't a nice character at all he was so arrogant and annoying. I did like some of the Lost Boys as they where sweet enough but easily led by Peter Pan. I also liked some of the pirates as they would always try and help Hook do the right thing even when he didn't always listen. I didn't like Tiger Lilly as she kept leading Hook on and a bit of a hypocrite.

Overall this book was a bit of a let down but there was moments when I did enjoy it, it just wasn't enough for me to enjoy it.

27 August 2015

Cover Reveal - The Other Side of Gravity by Shelly Crane

 Title: The Other Side of Gravity
Author: Shelly Crane
Series: The Oxygen Series, Book One
Genre: Sci-Fi
Cover Reveal Date: August 27th
Release Date: TBA

Goodreads Link: http://bit.ly/1NTsnHw

My name is Maxton and I’m a trader.

I live on a soulless planet where gravity, oxygen, and everything else are sold to the highest bidder on the black market. People are sold on the black market, too. You have to work really hard not to become one of those people. Pay your taxes, keep your friends and family close, and more than anything else—don’t get caught by the Militia. But all the rules changed for me the day I found her.

My name is Sophelia and I’m a stowaway.
I’ve been a slave for almost as long as I can remember. Waiting for the one day, one second, for my proprietor to turn his head so I could run and never look back. Now I'm on the run. And on a planet where no one is on your side and people would turn you in for a good meal or a piece of a silver, being on the run on Landu is the last place you want to be. Until he found me.

I won't survive without him.

I can't breathe without her.

Shelly is a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author from a small town in Georgia and loves everything about the south. She is wife to a fantastical husband and stay-at-home mom to two boisterous and mischievous boys who keep her on her toes. She hoards paperbacks, devours sweet tea, searches year-round for candy corn, and loves to spend time with her family and friends, go out to eat at new restaurants, site-see in the new areas they travel to, listen to music, and, of course, loves to read, but doesn't have much time to these days with all the characters filling her head begging to come out. She is author to over twenty books and counting!

Her own books happen by accident and she revels in the writing and imagination process. She doesn’t go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately, even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born.

Book Tag: Disney Book Tag

I saw this Book Tag post over on K-Books and loved it so I thought I would also give it a go.

The Reading Pile has taken inspiration from the vloging Book Tag community over to the blogging world. Like her I'm not actually going to tag anyone but you're more than welcome to give it a try like I have just head over to her page and leave a link in her comments or in mine as I'm nosey and love to know what everyone else has done.

Over at The Reading Pile she has done the posts every Thursday and has already done a few so I thought I would go through the ones she has already done and do the ones I like the look of.

My Book Tag post this week is Disney:

1. The Little Mermaid - A character who is out of their element (A "fish out of water")
Evelyn from Lick by Kylie Scott - Evelyn was your average 21 year old after a night spent celebrating her 21st birthday wakes up the next day married to a rock star. I would definitely say Evelyn was a fish out of water in the world of celebrity.

2. Cinderella - A character who goes through a major transformation.
Sydney Sage - Bloodlines by Richelle Mead: Sydney is like a completely new character from how she was in Vampire Academy to the last in the Bloodlines series.

3. Snow White - A book with an eclectic cast of characters.
Intertwined by Gena Showalter - This character has so many different paranormal creatures thrown into this book that I can't think of mythological being that isn't in it.

4. Sleeping Beauty - A book that put you to sleep.
Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck - I really wanted to love this book as that cover was stunning and the concept sounded intriguing but when I was reading it I was so bored that I found myself nodding off a couple of times.

5. The Lion King - A character that had something traumatic happen to them in childhood.
Kellan Kyle - Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens: Kellan's childhood was definitely traumatic and by the hands of his own parents which for me makes it all the more traumatic.

6. Beauty and the Beast - A beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by, but found the story to be beautiful.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - I'm not a fan of big books as a 400 page book is huge. So when I was first reading the Harry Potter series they seemed to get bigger and bigger and at 870 pages long for this one I was very nervous to read it but I needn't have been as it was a stunning book just like the whole series was.

7. Aladdin - A character who gets their wish granted, for better or worse.
Miranda from The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees - Miranda want to be Juliet in her school play and to get her wish she does a spell to get her way, but not everything goes to plan...

8. Mulan - A character who pretends to be someone or something they are not.
Scarlet from Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen - I don't think I'm giving anything when I say this (as it's in the blurb) but Scarlet is known as Will Scarlet for most of the book when really he is a she.

9. Toy Story - A book with characters you wish would come to life.
The Mortal Instruments/The Infernal Devices - This one was so hard because every book that I adore I wan the characters to be real. In the end I went for both of these series as technically they are from the same world and I would love for them to all be real especially Jace and Will.

10. Disney Descendants - Your favourite villain or a morally ambiguous character.
Owen from The Accidental Assassin - Owen is an assassin who kills for a living even if he only kills evil people I still can't hate him.

26 August 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's this week's book I can't wait for...

The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1) by C.J. Redwine
Expected Publication: 23rd February 2016

Synopsis:Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.
In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.
But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

This sounds amazing I'm looking forward to reading this one even if I haven't read any of her previous books as of yet this one sounds like a good one to start with.

What are you waiting on? 

25 August 2015

Book Review: The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1) by J.A. Redmerski

(Click image to take you to Goodreads)

Format: Kindle
Publishers: Indie
Published: 13th November 2012
Pages: 423
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance, 
Main Characters: Camryn, Andrew
Date Read: 12th August - 19th  August 2015

Rating Given:
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Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.
Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.
With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.
But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

I've had this waiting me for ages and I have only just gotten around to reading it, I just wish I had loved it as much as everyone else to do.

This is the most apt model for character that I have seen in a long while as this could have been a photograph from the road trip that Camryn and Andrew took. I love the colours as it is also fitting for the story as there is a lot of darkness in the beginning and the end.

I absolutely hated the beginning of this book so much so I was very tempted to dnf it but I don't like to do that so I kept with it and I'm glad I did as it did get so much better. What I didn't like in the beginning was how uninvolved I was in the story of even the characters. Once it did get better I found myself enjoying the ride (no pun intended) to the point I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I enjoyed the growing relationship between Camryn and Andrew as even though it all happened within weeks it felt a lot slower than that. They had great chemistry as well as a good friendship which was surprising when they where strangers when they first met. As well as relationships and self discovery there was also some very serious issues tackled which would have been good if they actually talked about the issues instead of brushing everything under the carpet. I was seriously thinking about giving this book 4 or even 4.5 stars as I did really start to love this book but then the ending happened (which I'm not going into as I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it) and had to knock the rating down again.

I have mixed feelings about most of the characters in this book apart from Camryn's friend I hated how she treated Camryn but she did redeem himself a little at the end but not enough for me to actually like her. Camryn had her moments when she was annoying but apart from that I liked her she just needed to let loose a little and when she did she was a funny character. I loved Andrew and it wasn't until he came on the scene that I got into the book. He did annoy me at times but in the end I understood where he was coming from.

Overall, it was hard to get into but once I did it was very addicting but then the end then let it down. I will love to read more from this author I just hope the beginnings of those are better than this one.

20 August 2015

Book Review: Sentinel (Covenant, #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

May contain spoilers from previous books in the series.
(Click image to take you to Goodreads)

Format: Paperback
Publishers: Spencer Hill Press
Published: 2nd November 2013
Pages: 297
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance,
Main Characters: Alex, Aiden, Seth
Date Read: 6th August - 18th August 2015

Rating Given:
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Synopsis:It's a beautiful day for a war.
As the mortal world slowly slips into chaos of the godly kind, Alexandria Andros must overcome a stunning defeat that has left her shaken and in doubt of their ability to end this war once and for all.
And with all the obstacles between Alex and her happily-ever-after with the swoonworthy Aiden St. Delphi, they must now trust a deadly foe as they travel deep into the Underworld to release one of the most dangerous gods of all time.
In the stunning, action-packed climax to the bestselling Covenant series, Alex must face a terrible choice: the destruction of everything and everyone she holds dear… or the end of herself.

I've had this sat on my shelf for a while now but I've kept putting it off as it's the last one, I thought I would read it now so I can get on to the spin off series sooner rather than later.

I have loved all of the covers in this series and my main reason was the colours used yet this one is my favourite but I think that is more down to the fact I love black and white. I love the simplicity of this cover and I think if there was any more on the cover like the others in this series it wouldn't have worked half as well. I find the cover very much symbolic and works well with the story.

When I first started I found it very hard to get into with me forgetting what happened in the previous books not helping. I also felt it dragged a bit as well in the beginning but just before halfway it started to really pick up pace with so much happening I had to keep reading just to see what happened next. There was a few twists and turns that happened that I just wasn't expecting especially that ending. Obviously I loved the relationship between Alex and Aiden as they are so cute together even if they don't always agree. I also liked seeing the relationship between Alex and Seth but my favourite would be the relationship between Aiden and Seth as they both wind each other up adding much needed humour to the book. I'm in two minds about the ending as it was a great ending but I didn't feel like it was completely finished Apollo even says to some of them that your story isn't over. Yes I know there is a spin off but this is Seth's book not Alex's but maybe she will appear giving her story a bit more closure.

Like the ending I am also in two minds about the characters well apart from Aiden as I loved him just as much as in the other books he is such a selfless character even if he doesn't realise it. Alex changed a lot through out this book as well as the series but there is a reason behind her behaviour in the beginning of this book. I loved seeing Seth back to his 'charming' self but I could never truly trust his motivations but in the end he did an amazing thing that's hard not to forgive him. I loved seeing more from the Apollo he has to be one of my favourite characters along with Aiden and Deacon.

Overall once I got over the beginning I really started to get into it. I'm sad to see it come to an end even if I wasn't truly happy with the ending.

19 August 2015

Waiting on Wednesday - Making a Play by Victoria Denault

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here's this week's book I can't wait for...

Making a Play (Hometown Players, #2) by Victoria Denault
Expected Publication: 8th September 2015

Synopsis:He'll do whatever it takes to win—on and off the ice. 
Luc Richard is the hottest player in the NHL—and it has nothing to do with hockey. His racy relationship with his supermodel ex set the tabloids on fire but nearly put his career on ice. To avoid being traded, Luc agrees to take a break from the spotlight—and from women—and spend the off-season at home in Silver Bay, Maine. It's the perfect plan... until he reconnects with Rose. 
Rose Caplan is tired of being shy, sweet, and safe. She's ready for passion, romance—and Luc. Having loved him longer than she can remember, she's finally ready to prove she's not the same innocent little girl he once knew. Off the ice Luc doesn't do games, but this new Rose makes him feel like playing a little dirty. If he's really got a shot at her heart then he's not just playing to win. He's playing for keeps.

I loved the first book in the Hometown Players series, One More Shot so now I'm very excited about book two.

What are you waiting on?