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Thursday 28 November 2013

Review: Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally + Top Ten Book Boys!

Author:  Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count: 304 pages, Paperback
Date Published: December 3rd 2013
Find it on Goodreads: Racing Savannah
Source: Received for review for tour in exchange of honest opinion

 They’re from two different worlds.
He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.
With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

 Kenneally has wowed me once again with her ability to write a fast-paced and heart-warming contemporary novel that is unique, but still familiar. I love diving into the world of the Hundred Oaks series, revisiting old characters and of course, encountering the new main characters, as well. Plus, this book's sport was horses. Growing up, I loved horses and riding was one of the best feelings in the world for me, however that love got pushed to the side as I grew older and I haven't ridden in a few years now. That being said, it was nice to read a book so immersed in the world of horses... I don't know much of the technical side of it, especially with the terminology, but I still loved reading about these people who are so involved in the horse world.

 Racing Savannah was a witty and realistic story that touched on the subject of the division of social classes, which I found very interesting. I've always been a sucker for those "from two different worlds" romances, so I was excited about seeing how Kenneally would play this one out. I loved Savannah as the main character. Her development throughout the story was great and I adored her humour and drive, along with her love for animals. I have such a deep appreciation for the fact that Kenneally creates these female characters who are realistic and are completely kick-ass, even if they don't feel like it at some times. Savannah's strength and determination made her an incredibly intriguing character to read about and I loved being inside her head. 

It was so nice to dive back into a contemporary world that I was a bit familiar with, as lately I've been reading some heavier, classic books and so this book was a really nice break on my mind. I applaud Kenneally for another successful book about a strong and independent girl who deals with more than just boy problems... But of course, there was definitely a boy. ;) I loved this book and would absolutely recommend to any previous fans of Kenneally and any fans of contemporary who have not yet read her!

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.


Thanks so much for having me here to talk about my top ten favorite guys in YA!  I did this last year, but I decided to do it again to see if my list has changed (I’m fickle, I guess. Sue me). And it has changed: I added Trent, Jack, and Braden below.

Please tell me who your favorite guys are in the comments. This list is no particular order. I wouldn’t want to hurt any of these guys’ feelings! J

  1.    Jonah from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: Jonah is a real guy. Broken but strong, and very loyal. Also, he is yummy.
  2. Po from Graceling by Kristin Cashore: Funny, sweet, loyal, and he’s a badass warrior prince? Sign me up!
  3. Trent from A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers: I thought he was hot. Yeah, he was the step-brother, but don’t we all have our faults? ;)
  4. Jack from Smooth-Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas: A manly-man who hunts and boats, but also loves women and babies.
  5. Braden from On Dublin Street: Such a smart-ass jerk… who I couldn’t help but fall for.
  6. Grayson from Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols: He’s a pilot who wears aviator sunglasses and a straw cowboy hat. That is all.
  7.  Conner from Not that Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian: I love how soft spoken, honest, and generous he is. I also like that he kisses the main character for the first time in the girl’s bathroom at school. That takes guts!
  8. Wes from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen: Wes is the sweetest guy ever. I like how he’s one of those artists who makes cool pieces out of stuff he finds at yard sales and junkyards. I’ve always wanted to be that kind of artist, but alas, I am not as cool as Wes.
  9.  Jordan from Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt: Jordan is another real guy with crazy hormones and an attitude, but he’s funny and loyal and super sexy.
  10.  Brigan from Fire by Kristin Cashore: I’m not sure Brigan qualifies as a “guy.” He’s a man! 

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Thursday 7 November 2013

Review: Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky

Author:  Daria Snadowsky
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 227 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: January 8th 2013
Find it on Goodreads: Anatomy of a Single Girl
Source: Received for review from author in exchange of honest opinion

With Judy Blume-like honesty and insight, this sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend is about life after first love--romance, sex, friendship, family, and the ups and downs of life as a single girl.

After everything that happened—my first boyfriend, my first time, my first breakup—jumping back into the dating game seemed like the least healthy thing I could do. It’s not that I didn’t want to fall in love again, since that’s about the best feeling ever. But as a busy college premed still raw from heartbreak, which is the worst feeling ever, I figured I’d lie low for a while. Of course, as soon as I stopped looking for someone, an impossibly amazing—and devastatingly cute—guy came along, and I learned that having a new boyfriend is the quickest way to recover from losing your old one. 

The moment we got together, all my preconceptions about romance and sex were turned upside down. I discovered physical and emotional firsts I never knew existed. I learned to let go of my past by living in the present. It was thrilling. It was hot. It was just what the doctor ordered.

But I couldn’t avoid my future forever. 

In Daria Snadowsky’s daring follow-up to Anatomy of a Boyfriend, eighteen-year-old Dominique explores the relationship between love and lust, and the friendships that see us through.

Sexy and entertaining as ever, this sequel to Anatomy of a Boyfriend reinforced my love and appreciation for authors like Snadowsky who aren't afraid to push the limits a little bit on the seemingly tight knit constraints of YA literature.

Once again I'm impressed by the way Snadowsky is able to present the fact that sex exists in a teenagers life,  without writing a book in the erotica genre. Her Anatomy novels revolve around the relationships and their development, as well as how those relationships affect the characters in the novel. Dominique is an entertaining main character and I loved watching her grow and learn more and more...

I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone who's read the first one, as well as anyone who enjoys books that are honest and aren't afraid of 'touchy' subjects.

Happy reading!

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.This week's topic  is: Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On

Leave me a link to your Top Ten Tuesday list and I'll check it out!

Happy reading!

Monday 4 November 2013

Review: Asunder by Jodi Meadows

Author:  Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Page Count: 406 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: January 29th 2013
Find it on Goodreads: Asunder
Source: This book was a surprise gift from my mum! Thanks mum!

DARKSOULS Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.
SHADOWS Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
LOVE Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.
In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy

Asunder by Jodi Meadows, ladies and gentlemen, is an awesome, nay, an incredible sequel. I've been in a terrible reading slump lately, as well as having the horrid writer's block. For a while now, this book has been the only one on my mind. It's the only book I wanted to read; everything else turned me off for some reason. I expressed this frustration to my mum and the next day she surprised me by taking me to Chapters and telling me to go find Asunder.... I won't lie, I almost cried when I found it. 

Nothing has been inspiring me lately. Absolutely nothing. But for some reason, I couldn't get this book off of my mind. It was just... constantly there. So after saying thank you multiple times, we got in the car and I started reading. It took me almost a week to finish, but it. was. amazing.

Jodi Meadows' writing style astonishes me. She has a flair for words that I love, keeping me entranced the entire way through the novel. Ana's story is absolutely one of the most original concepts I've ever read. The world Jodi created is wondrous and sad and there are so many meaningful lessons and thoughts that are embedded in her words that made me think for a long time after I closed the book.  I constantly wish that schools would take modern YA literature more seriously, because I think to read a series like New Soul in school would bring up so many interesting discussions and different opinions.

Ana's struggle with her ability to love as a new soul and her dilemmas with Sam made my heart ache so much that it hurts just thinking about it. Ana is such a complex character, so strong and kick-ass, but at the same time, she's still flawed and I appreciate that Meadows was able to create a character that wasn't perfect. I think authors sometimes forget that their characters are people we as the readers may want to relate to and then make them indestructible and perfect, however Meadows created characters that, while they lived in a separate world than ours, it was easy to understand them and even empathize with them. 

I was also very impressed with the world building, as Ana and Sam learned long-hidden secrets about the city of Heart and the rest of Range. There was a lot more about the sylph, who I must say are pretty scary creatures, and we learned a lot about why the people of Heart reincarnate. It was so neat, learning more and more about this fascinating world. 

Asunder was an absolutely incredible sequel to an already incredible first novel. I don't know if it was better than Incarnate, but I believe it to be just as good. I'd highly, highly recommend this series of fantasy books to anyone who is open to a new world and new ideas. 

Happy reading!

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