Saturday, 29 October 2016

{Review} Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

31201539Posted by Donna
Release Date: July 28th, 2016
Finished Date: October 17th, 2016
Publishers: Simon & Schuster UK  
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 294
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
For fans of The Hunger Games

A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it's exhilarating--Vee and Ian's fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they're directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they're playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?

Debut author Jeanne Ryan delivers an un-putdownable suspense thriller.

The Review: If I’m honest I hadn’t heard about Nerve until it arrived on through my letterbox one morning and by then the movie was just about to release, so I was definitely intrigued at that point to read this book. I’m always looking for new books that are compared to some of my favourite books and with being compared to The Hunger Games then yes, I’m reading it.

Nerve is a book about an anonymous game of dares which are broadcast live online. You can either be a player or a watcher and people from all around the world take part in dares which if they complete, they win prizes. Vee who is tired of being labelled as boring by her best friend decides to sign up to be a player and there is she teamed up with Ian. As first the dares are embarrassing but pretty simple but then they suddenly take a dangerous turn. Will Vee be able to complete the ultimate dare and win?

I have to say I’m a little disappointed. This book for wasn’t at all what I was expecting. It was very young and had where I was expecting a dangerous and thrilling read, I guess you could say I feel a little underwhelmed by it. I was definitely expecting the dares to be better than they were – they vary from singing to asking a guy to buy you a coffee, ask a stranger for a condom and participate in a five-minute interview. These were not good dares. I think I was just expecting something a bit darker, although admittedly towards the end it does pick up but still my overal feeling was a bit meh.

I did like Vee but I wish she would stop comparing herself to her best friend so often. If anything I liked Vee more than Sydney. Now I did like Ian – of course I would. 

Overall, Nerve didn’t really hit all the right spots for me but I’ll probably still watch the movie as I can compare the two. 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

{Release Day Post + INT Giveaway} The Bound (Ascension #2) by K.A. Linde

26047687The Bound (The Ascension #2) 
by K.A. Linde
Release Date: October 25th, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US 
Author Website: K.A Linde
 
Cyrene Strohm is a Queen’s Affiliate, a high-ranking official of the court of Byern, with power and privilege to spare. But she’s also a keeper of dangerous secrets: like the fact that she holds the heart of the King, and that she possesses magic in a world where magic no longer exists.

Determined to discover what this means and how to use her newfound abilities, Cyrene sets off for the distant land of Eleysia. An island nation where Affiliates are strictly forbidden from entering.

But the journey is perilous, and the destination may mean utter ruin, as Cyrene comes to learn that everything she’s been told her whole life – about her court, her homeland, and even herself—are bound in a beautiful lie.


5 Fun Facts about The Ascension Series by K.A. Linde.

1. The idea for the Ascension series came when I was reading a non-fiction book called Sex with Kings by Eleanor Herman. I was reading about a French mistress in the 17th century who was beautiful, intelligent, a strategist, an advisor, linguist, etc. She was so much more than her beauty, and she helped the King rule. That was when I decided I wanted to write about a world where women were highly valued for their intelligence and achievements. Thus the Affiliate program came about.

2. Two maps are included in The Bound that I actually drew myself. One shows the entire world of Emporia and the other is a country level map of Eleysia.

3. There are three characters in The Bound that are based off of people I know in real life. Ahlvie was inspired by a college friend of mine who was always wild and adventurous and knew how to have a good time. Matilde and Vera are based off of two sisters I lived with when I worked on the presidential campaign in 2012.

4. The prologue was actually the last chapter that I wrote. As with The Affiliate, I wrote the entire book before deciding whose point of view I wanted to open the book with. The prologues in these books set the stage for a major point that comes back full circle by the end. Sometimes it helps to see the entire thing before realizing who will be speaking.


5. There is an epic love story in this book! When the romance begins, I always envision the scene from Sleeping Beauty where the prince and Aurora are singing Once Upon A Dream. So that is the song I listened to on repeat while I wrote their romance.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio of K.A Linde. 

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding series and the All That Glitters series as well as seven additional novels. She grew up as a military brat traveling the United States and even landing for a brief stint in Australia. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia. An avid traveler, reader, and bargain hunter, K.A. currently live in Lubbock, TX, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.        

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

{Blog Tour} Gemina (Book 2: The Illuminae Files) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

29364863Posted by Donna
Release Date: October 13th, 2016
Finished Date: October 9th, 2016
Publishers: Rock the Boat 
Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Source: For Review
Format: ARC
Pages: 672
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.” 

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

The Review: Gemina is the highly awaited sequel to Amie Kaufman’s & Jay Kristoff’s YA sci-fi series The Illuminae Files and for me Gemina was so much better than Illuminae. I loved Illuminae but I loved Gemina even more so, well done Amie & Jay! 

At the end of Illuminae we see the survivors of the Hypatia heading towards the people on Jump Station Heimdall. They will be with them within a matter of days and of course they will be telling them know about the Kerenza invasion. Now Gemina starts right after Illuminae ends and shows us what is happening at the space station through a new set of characters. Both Gemina’s and Illuminae’s stories are tangled all up together because ultimately they all have the same enemy and if they want to defeat them then they’re going to need to work together. 

I know some people aren’t fan of when each book is about new set of characters but I really love it and Gemina was definitely better for it. Even though Kady & Ezra’s stories aren’t over they are involved in Hanna and Nik’s so even though we’ve come to love them we still get to see them but, it’s just through Hanna and Nik’s eyes. 

Now Hanna and Nik are great character and I really did love getting to know them. They’re both strong characters with different backgrounds but somehow they just work together. The banter from their conversations was simply hilarious at times. As a reader I felt like I was their listening to their conversations and it was so much fun. Their stories are completely different especially with the dangers that surround them on the space station that their stories aren’t dull for one minute. I found their story more intense and felt it had a lot more action and generally just felt like a stronger story. Maybe that’s because Illuminae was the opening story and now with Gemina the story is much more developed. Also Ella was a great secondary character. She’s so much fun and brings so many laugh-out-loud moments but it wasn’t all LOL moments and there was some pretty intense and sad scenes that left me in shreds while reading. And there is one MAJOR character from Illuminae that for some reason I was very happy to see in Gemina – I’ll say no more! 

The end of the story is left on a cliffhanger – sorry people – but although there is some conclusion to some parts of the story, the major ones unfortunately are left waiting until the release of final book in the series. I don’t know about you but I’m excited to see what comes next. I’m looking forward to getting to know the new characters. 

In all, for me Gemina was a much stronger book and definitely my favourite out of the two books so far. 

Thank you to Rock the Boat for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

{Feature Post} Bookworm Candles & Crafts

                               
Today I have a very special feature post for you and I'm excited to share it with you. It's going to feature a newly opened UK bookish merchandise company. 

Who else like myself wants all the bookish merchandise from candles to bookmarks to well anything we can get our hands on? I know you all do! But being in the UK where a lot of the sellers are from another countries has its downside because shipping costs are so expensive, but I’ve recently discovered a new company who are UK based and that means us UK’ers can finally get more involved with the bookish merchandise.

And this company is: Bookworm Candles & Crafts which is a UK based store created by owner Danielle Robinson where she brings to life all your favourite bookish scents through handmade candles, melts, soaps, jewellery, badges and bookmarks.

Danielle kindly agreed to visit the blog today and tell you all about her amazing bookish products which she has for sale on her Etsy store. She’s also here today to show you her newest addition to her store and for all you Sarah J Maas fans, you might want to keep reading. And so I’m going to ask her a selection of questions that I hope you will all enjoy and give you the opportunity to get more familiar with her work and products so here we go.

Q1: Hi Danielle, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to start making handmade items for book lovers like ourselves? 
What inspired me to start this venture initially wasn't actually books, well I guess it was a little. I've worked in the perfumery industry for nearly 20 years and was doing a course in London and was traveling two hours so it gave me the chance to read, at the time I was re-reading Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas for the hundredth time! I went into my course with my head full of the story and we had to smell over 200 raw fragrance ingredients and I smelt pine wood and thought so this is what Rowan would smell like! And it kind of went from there. I've always been artsy and did jewellery design at college. I also did a course on creating natural body products and soaps and an aromatherapy course, so combining all these elements and of course my book obsession bookworm candles and crafts was born. 

Q2: How long has your store been open? 
My store has only been opened since July this year so we are still very new. 

Q3: What’s your favourite product to make? 
Oh gosh I love making them all. I would probably say our soaps though. I love creating the bases and adding in all the things that make the soap beautiful like our Gryffindor soap. We have added in coconut and Argan oil and poppy seed so using our soaps are a pleasure. 

Q4: Can you recommend a first time customer an item to purchase?
I would recommend our candle tins. They are slightly cheaper so for a first time purchase they are great, and they are super cute too. 

Q5: Are there any benefits for customers who purchase homemade items rather than store bought items?
I think it's essential, but I may be a bit bias. My few is when you buy handmade you are buying something individual and you are supporting a small, possibly local, business too. Take our character candle jars, each piece is handmade from the painted lid and artwork to the charm and the crochet band and book button. All our scents are chosen by me and put together individually too.

Q6: Are all your products from your favourite books? 
Yes they are and I've got so many too, I love Sarah J Maas, Suzanne Collins, Cassandra Clare and of course JK Rowling just to mention a few. 

Q7: Do you take custom requests from customers? 
 Yes we are happy to take custom orders, obviously it would be our interpretation of character, location or event. 

Q8: Can you tell us about your newest addition to your store? 
Oh our newest product is fab and so much fun it's a selection of mini candles tins, like a pick a mix! Basically it's a choice between a individual tin, 3 tins and 6 tins in a certain book and you can pick and choose from characters, locations and events. So for instance, we have a selection in A Court of Mist and Fury and there are 18 scents you can choose from so, you can pick just 1 tin or 3 tins or 6 tins. Or you could be really daring and let us pick them for you and surprise you. 

Q9: Can you give us a clue to what other products might be coming our way soon? 
We have so much in the pipeline and I'm so excited, we have more characters coming from different books. We are also expending our body line with a few new products and our badges are growing all the time.

That's amazing! Thank you for stopping by today Danielle. And you guys aren't already won but I know you are, but still just take a peak at Danielle's Etsy store (link below). She had so many amazing products to offer and her new A Court of Mist and Fury tins start from as little as £3.00! So go and show your support to a this UK seller. 

💗Free Worldwide Shipping for the month of October when you spend over £35.00💗

Bookworm Candles & Crafts Contact details: 
Etsy Store: www.bookwormcandlescraft.etsy.com
Instagram: Bookwormcandles 

Friday, 7 October 2016

{Review} Ruined by Amy Tintera

26074185Posted by Donna
Release Date: May 3rd, 2016
Finished Date: September 29th, 2016
Publishers: HarperTeen
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: ARC
Pages: 368
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US / The Book Depo 
 
A revenge that will consume her. A love that will ruin her.

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake. 

The Review: This is the second book I’ve read by author Amy Tintera, the first being her YA sci-fi book Rebooted and now YA fantasy book Ruined. I actually preferred Ruined more because it’s a fantasy book and I just can’t get enough of fantasy series. It also helps that Ruined was one of them books that you just can’t help like. It’s an easy read, fast-paced and very intriguing. I could easily have read this in one or two sittings if I didn’t have work commitments. 

The story is about Emelina Flores who has watched family, friends and community killed by a neighbouring kingdom all because Emelina’s people have magic and the other kingdoms see them as a threat. To some extent that is true but most of the Ruined are looking for a peaceful life, however now there is only a small number left and on the run. Em’s sister – the next ruler of the Ruined has been captured by the Kingdom of Lera and Em is determined to get her back no matter the cost – even if that means marrying the Prince of Lera while pretending to be someone else. But one thing Em wasn’t expecting from the prince is his kindness and willingness to see that not all the Ruined are bad people. Soon Em’s feelings start clouding her actions but her plans are already set in place and it’s too late to change what’s to come. 

I really liked Ruined. It’s a good introduction to a series that I believe will get stronger and stronger. I did felt a time the story lagged in parts but I kept going because I was interested in the characters enough to carry. And I’m glad I did carry on. The story was full of suspense and very enjoyable and I’m definitely interested in reading more about the series with the release of the next book.

The romance between Em and Cas is predictable and at times I found myself rolling my eyes but still I couldn’t help but love it. It’s a sweet romance. With them being from two different kingdoms it’s hard to predict what will happen but of course I’m rooting for a happy ending for them. 

In all, Ruined was an enjoyable book and I’ll look forward to reading more when the sequel Avenged is released. 

Thank you to HarperTeen for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.