Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Review: What Light by Jay Asher




WHAT LIGHT
by Jay Asher
Publisher: Razorbill Books
Format:Hardcover
Release Date:October 18th, 2016
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb's past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that's moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable
     


I was getting extremely impatient waiting for the new Jay Asher book. Am I being a little over the top? No! If you're an avid book reader like I am, and have dived into both Thirteen Reasons Why and The Future of Us, and have adored those two titles to pieces, highly anticipating Jay Asher's latest is completely reasonable. When What Light's cover was first released, as well as the premise, I jumped for joy! I was excited not only for another Jay Asher title, but also one perfectly penned for the holiday season. I was hoping for a new yearly Christmas read, and oh boy did I get it!

In Jay Asher's third novel, comes a holiday coming of age romance that will inevitably tear your heart in two. Following the POV of Sierra, it begins in a Christmas Tree farm in Oregon, a wonderful setting for any young girl to grow up in. Every year the family packs up and moves to California for a brief period of time to set up their Christmas Tree Lot for the season, and there Sierra finds herself constantly living between two vastly different lives. Suddenly she meets Caleb, a guy with a reputation whom still finds himself paying dearly for a mistake he made years ago. When Sierra and Caleb's paths cross, true love blossoms, but can Caleb learn to heal and seek forgiveness for his past?

"Caleb, will you be my date for the winter dance? I won't go with anyone else."
"I would be your date to anything."

It felt so, sooooo good to step back into a well-written world with realistic teen characters in identifiable settings. Perfect for the holiday season, I adored the vast change in setting, traveling from Oregon to California. Sierra was an incredible character. She was sweet, honest, and real to the very core of her being, which is likely why I found her to be such a reliable character throughout the progression of What Light. Caleb, although completely swoon-worthy, had his own pain and issues, and the emotional turmoil he experienced was heartbreaking. It's fair to say I was intensely emotionally attached to Sierra and Caleb's journey together. Their interactions were thoughtful and inspiring.

Overall, I adored What Light by Jay Asher. It was the perfect holiday read, with a touch of realism, romance, all bundled into a truly inspiring story of growing friendships, relationships, and love.



Rating: 
5 / 5 Cupcakes




This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Review: How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You by Tara Eglington




How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You
by Tara Eglington
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Format:Hardcover
Release Date:October 25th, 2016
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
Sweet sixteen and never been kissed . . .

That’s Aurora Skye’s big secret. And the way she wants it to stay. She’s not going to give away her first kiss to just anyone. Busy dodging suitors and matchmaking for her best friends, Aurora (not so) patiently awaits her prince.

But everything changes when Aurora is coerced into a lead role in the school production of Much Ado about Nothing. Which means she’ll have to lock lips with her co-star Hayden Paris—the smart and funny boy next door who also happens to be the bane of her existence, always around to see her at her worst.

Now Aurora is more determined than ever to have her first kiss with the one who’s truly worthy of it. But first she’ll have to figure out just who that person is.

Romantic and funny, Tara Eglington's How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You is a feel-good tale of finding love where you least expect it.
     


How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You by Tara Eglington was a title I had first heard of a couple of years ago. It was the first title in a 2-book series that was highly recommended to me by an avid romance reader, but I regrettably failed to pick up the title due to a endlessly growing TBR pile. When I learned that the first in the series was going to be picked up and re-distributed in North America, I found this to be the most opportune time to finally pick up the title and learn first-hand what all the hype was about.

How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You by Tara Eglington is the first title in the Aurora Skye series. Following the tale of the sixteen year old girl who's never been kissed, How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You tells of a girl with a secret admirer, one who sends beautiful roses and romantic poetry. The identity of said admirer has yet to be discovered, but Aurora is insistent on giving the suave gentlemen her first kiss, that is until she's coerced into taking the lead role in the school's production of Much Ado about Nothing. When she learns of this, she cringes at the fact that her future lock-liping co-star is none other than Hayden Paris, a boy who's been the bane of her existence and has seen her at her absolute worst. Will she finally discover the true identity of her secret admirer before it's too late?

How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You was hilarious, witty, and oh-so well written! I adored this title to pieces, from beginning to end! Tara Eglington certainly has a way with spinning an incredible feel-good tale with humor, romance, and excitement. Aurora and her friends were snarky, funny, and were extremely easy to identify with, and I absolutely adored all the chaos and drama Tara's interesting cast of characters went through. How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You was a perfectly relaxing title that I breezed through quickly, but was eager to immediately re-read again. I can certainly see why the title easily became a reader favourite among the YA community, and I'm positively excited to dive into the second title in the series, How to Convince a Boy to Kiss You.



Rating: 
5 / 5 Cupcakes




This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Review: A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith




A DARKLY BEATING HEART
by Lindsay Smith
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Format:Hardcover
Release Date:October 25th, 2016
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
A time-travel story that alternates between modern day and 19th century Japan as one girl confronts the darkness lurking in her soul.

No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own
     


A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith is a title I wouldn't have discovered if it hadn't been for Raincoast Books. After first reading it's synopsis, I was hooked! I find the YA genre often lacks titles that take place in other parts of the world, featuring unique and diverse characters, so A Darkly Beating Heart's Reiko immediately stuck out for me and I was eager to take a dive into Lindsay Smith's world.

A Darkly Beating Heart's protagonist, Reiko, is flawed. She's angry and often lashes out at those closest to her, and looks for any means necessary to not only hurt herself but those who reach out to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko is moved to a historic Edo-period style village to live with her family in hopes of finding a means to change her perspective on life. There, she begins to find herself slipping through time into the early nineteenth century, into the being of Miyu, a woman who is pent on revenge, but will this cause Reiko to finally face her inner demons, or will it finally push her over the edge?

A Darkly Beating Heart, at first, failed to keep my interest. It was exceptionally disheartening, considering I was especially excited to dive into the title. It took me several tries, and quite a few chapters, to finally set into the grove of not only Reiko's narrative voice, but also her descriptive surroundings. It wasn't until about halfway through A Darkly Beating Heart, that I finally found a period of connection, a period where I couldn't wait to discover what Miyu, or rather Reiko had planned. Furthermore, although I enjoyed Lindsay Smith's writing, and the delicious addition of time travel to the tale, I, unfortunately, felt that something was strongly lacking toward the end of the novel. I strongly felt that the title wrapped up far too quickly in the end, and in that case might have potentially left out quite a bit of potential character development for Reiko.

Despite my issues with A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith, I still found the title to be quite enjoyable. Readers who are interested in reading a unique take on time travel are highly recommended the title.



Rating: 
3.5 / 5 Cupcakes




This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Review: Wrecked by Maria Padian




WRECKED
by Maria Padian
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Format:Hardcover
Release Date:October 4th, 2016
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
Everyone has heard a different version of what happened that night at MacCallum College. Haley was already in bed when her roommate, Jenny, arrived home shell-shocked from the wild Conundrum House party. Richard heard his housemate Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny formally accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard find themselves pushed onto opposite sides of the school’s investigation. But conflicting interests fueling conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible--especially when reputations, relationships, and whole futures are riding on the verdict.
     


When I was approached by Thomas Allen & Son in regards to Wrecked by Maria Padian, I had no idea what to expect. I was told it was a title about campus rape, a title that would be narratively promising and an emotional roller coaster ride, and although I had read and enjoyed Exit, Pursued by a Bear not long before hearing about Wrecked, I wasn't sure how the tale would impact me emotionally. The reaction was fierce!

"Her roommate shakes with silent sobs. Haley just holds on. She doesn’t know how long. When they finally move apart, Haley stays on the bed. Jenny’s face is creased and red-streaked. Her eyelids look raw."

Wrecked by Maria Padian focuses on a rape on campus, but does not follow the narrative of those involved. Interestingly, and in my opinion, "uniquely", it follows the tale of a friend on either side of the equation, giving us a strong outsider perspective, rather than one of the accused or the victim. It focuses on how relationships, perceptions, and so much more can be affected throughout the ordeal. Haley and Richard were incredibly average and relatable characters, and I found them to be the perfect vessels to take us throughout this journey of truth, heartbreak, pain, anguish, and growth.  In addition to being an incredible emotional roller coaster, I found Maria's writing to be quite exceptional! The choice of narrative direction and the choice in perspective was truly unique and added an interesting new spin and direction to the title - I loved it! Readers beware, the title does contain serious triggers for those uncomfortable with reading the subject of rape. However, I strongly feel that Wrecked by Maria Padian is an important title to pick up. In the wake of countless women and men coming forward about campus rape and how it's often swept under the rug, Wrecked is a special title that, I believe, must be read by every young adult. It's one I hope will change everyone's perceptions, and not only on the subject of rape.



Rating: 
5 / 5 Cupcakes




This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Review: The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia



The Lovely Reckless
by Kami Garcia
Publisher: Imprint
Format:Hardcover
Release Date:October 4th, 2016
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?
     


I don't know about you, but if you've never read Kami Garcia, you're certainly missing out on exceptional writing and imagination! Kami Garcia has been one of my favourite YA authors for quite a long time. Having co-written the phenomenal Dangerous Creatures series, as well as being behind books like Unbreakable and Unmarked, I was desperately eager to dive into her latest, The Lovely Reckless.

He keeps his gaze focused on me. 
“There’s no room in my life for what I want.”
“But if there was?”
“I still couldn’t have it.” Marco stares at the ground between us, hands shoved in his pockets. “Some things aren’t meant for guys like me.”

Following the tale of two deliciously addictive characters, The Lovely Reckless tells the story of  Frankie Devereux and Marco Leone. Frankie is a gal with a past that she's desperate to forget. Haunted by the death of her ex-boyfriend, she lives a dangerously reckless life. When her shenanigans land her back under the same roof as her cop father, she is forced to leave all she's known behind for a world of illegal street racing and school brawls. There she meets Marco, a fierce being and the fastest street racer around. Cupcakes, I was a complete sucker for this novel! An irresistible bad boy lead, an identifiable female heroine, promising action, sexy moments, and even drama that could mean life or death for our characters - I was hooked! The Lovely Reckless had all the makings of a swoon-worthy read, and it certainly won me over immediately. Well written and insanely intense, I'm certain I'll be diving into The Lovely Reckless again for another re-read. Younger readers, do be aware that this title is slightly more mature than other titles in the YOUNG ADULT genre. The Lovely Reckless reads more like a NEW ADULT title, so please be wary about picking it up beforehand. Other than that, enjoy the swoon!



Rating: 
5 / 5 Cupcakes




This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Fresh on the Shelf - October 2016 Book Releases + Giveaway

Happy October, Cupcakes!

It's that time of year again! With Halloween right around the corner, we'll be getting plenty of spooky and thrilling reads! Not to mention outside of the reading world we'll have costume parties, haunted houses, and intense horror movie marathons.

What are you eagerly anticipating this month? Planning a thriller read-a-thon? Perhaps you're eager for this month's non-horror themed titles? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below!


October 2016 Book Releases:


The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
Glitter by Aprilynne Pike
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
What Light by Jay Asher
Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz
My Unscripted Life by Lauren Morrill
Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven
Replica by Lauren Oliver


Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan
Nemesis by Anna Banks
The Black Key by Amy Ewing
Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith
When the Moon was Ours by Anne-Marie Mclemore
Beast by Brie Spangler


Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast
Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig
The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
Rose & Thorn by Sarah Prineas
All Laced Up by Erin Fletcher
No Holding Back by Kate Evangelista


GIVEAWAY - International
Giveaway is for one book from the above October 2016 releases to be awarded to one reader. Open to anyone who can receive shipments from The Book Depository. I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged books received. Please fill in entries accordingly for a valid entry. Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy Reading,