Sunday, 29 July 2012

Review of PUSHING THE LIMITS by Katie McGarry

Author: Katie McGarry
Source: Review Copy from MIRAink
Release Date: August 3rd 2012

*I hereby award this book 5 wings!*
(though it deserves far more than the ordinary 'out of 5' rating)

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again"

First of all, I didn't know which cover to put up on this post. I think both are awesome, though I possibly lean more towards the US one personally. But as I am from the UK, I thought I'd put ours up!

This book rocked my socks off and I don't really know what to say about it that would do it any justice. You kinda get this feeling reading it that it could have been you. It could quite easily be you day-dreaming of the hot boy in the hallway of school. It could have been you with the family issues and stuff going on. But could it have been you that's mom did something so bad that you had to have a restraining order put on her? Did your Dad marry the baby-sitter and get her pregnant? Could it have been you? Really....?

Well it all happened to Echo. One day she was a popular girl at high school, the next she became a social pariah. Why? You'll see.....

Echo Emerson really had it all. Luke, the hot boyfriend. The cool friends. She was part of the in-crowd. Everybody knew who she was. At first this was a good thing. A great thing even. But that all changed the day she came back to school after disappearing. That day was going to change her life in more ways than one. 
Everybody whispered behind her back. Grace, the so-called friend no longer spoke to her. Luke and her were no longer together. Everyone in school was calling her a cutter. There was something up with her and nobody wanted to know her anymore. The only person that really truly stuck by her was Lila. She knew that Echo wasn't a cutter. She knew there was more to her scars than that.

But Echo wasn't a cutter. Something had happened and she had ended up in the hospital where she woke up to scars on her arms. So when she went back to school she decided to wear long sleeved tops, gloves, anything that would cover her scars from the world's prying eyes. Whatever had happened to her, she couldn't remember.
The first therapist she saw about her memory loss pushed her so far she snapped and broke. She couldn't remember anything. 

Echo's life right about now couldn't get much worse. Her brother Aires had died in Afghanistan. Her father had married her old baby-sitter and now she was pregnant. There was an injunction out against her birth mother. So she had a step-mother she couldn't stand and a step-brother or sister on it's way into her life. Great. Just how she'd always imagined things would end up. 

When she went back to school, she started seeing another counseller, Mrs Collins. She was more easy going than the previous one. Not so pushy. She didn't push her into remebering or doing anything she wasn't ready for.

It was outside Mrs Collins office one day when she bumped into Noah Hutchins. He was hot but he was just a stoner, smoking weed with his other stoner friends. He wasn't the type to get brilliant grades and care about which college to attend. But Echo, she was excelling in every subject she took. She made better grades than most of her peers, but her father still pushed her harder to achieve better. 
It was because of her grades and the fact that she needed money that she agreed when Mrs Collins asked her to tutor one of her peers. But life threw her a curve ball when it ended up being Noah she had to tutor.
Turns out that he's not all that dumb, the fact that he's a stoner doesn't actually mean that his grades are all that bad. He just needs encouragement to push himself to achieve better standards.

So the lost girl ends up tutoring the bad boy. Needless to say that this bad boy is going to eventually work out as being her love interest. It's just where the story goes from here...? Well that's for you to figure out. I've shared a little bit of what the story is about. Just enough, I believe, to have captured your attention and leave you wanting more.

How did I feel about this story? Well...

I loved the fact that this story was told from two different protagonists POV's. I talked about Echo there, but there's more to the story than what I just told you. The book is split into chapters told from Echo's and Noah's POV's. This is actually probably one of my favourite parts of the book and that is because usually we hear from the protagonist in first person and then the love interest from third person. I liked the fact that Noah got to talk for himself.

What else did I love? Well, I think all my followers should know by now that I am a bit of a fan/ sucker/cheerleader for the bad boy to win the fair maiden's heart and it was no different here. I have to say I hated Luke and his treatment of Echo. I loved Noah from the moment we met him. He might be a stoner, but underneath it all, he's a boy who has been through the foster care system, shunted from home to home after he hit the first foster father. His life has never been good. He's never had anything except his brothers and they were taken into care by a family who only let him have visitation to them. So Noah is bound to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder and I totally understand where he was coming from. 
Anyway, I fell in love with Noah. He is one hell of a guy underneath it all.

I have a bit of a girl-crush on Echo. She's been through the wringer and she's got the scars to prove it, both mentally and physically. But though she is broken, she's still feisty and tough. She knows what she wants and she goes about getting it. 

Overall, this book was about love, loss, betrayal and growing up. I think that Katie McGarry is a wonderful author and she managed to make me feel all of those things right along with Echo and Noah. There were moments when I laughed and moments where I cried. There were also moments when I wanted to rip someone's hair out by the roots (Grace), where I wanted to punch someone in the gut (Luke) where I wanted to slap someone silly (this one was actually someone I won't name, you can just work it out) and I really REALLY wanted to hurt Echo's father and tell her step mother to go to Hell. 
So yes, I would say that Katie McGarry managed to push my buttons and stir up emotions. Job well done!

I thought that the writing was beautiful. Flawless. If there was any author I would aspire to be, it would be Katie McGarry. So right now I am a little bit jealous that she's her and I can't be ;)

Thank you MIRAink for providing me with a copy of this thought-provoking book. Thank you Katie McGarry for 'rocking my socks off' and thank you each and every person who swung by to see what I thought of PUSHING THE LIMITS :)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

THE DOORKNOB SOCIETY by MJ Fletcher - Welcome To My Blog Tour Stop


Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour. I am here to bring you my Review, a Guest Post from the author, an Excerpt of the book and a Giveaway so grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable.

Author: MJ Fletcher
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Publish Date: February 9th 2012

Chloe Masters’s world changes in a heartbeat and all she did was touch a doorknob.
When she was young Chloe’s mother vanished. Wracked by feelings of abandonment and anger she lost herself traveling with her father’s magic act, where illusions were part of
her everyday life. Yet everything changes when they are pursued by a mysterious man in black out to kill her father. Touching a doorknob activates abilities she never knew she
had and she finds herself thrust into a world of ancient societies and secrets.
When her father disappears it is a race against time to find answers before she loses whats left of her family. Now Chloe must choose who to trust, the man who will do anything for
her or the one she can’t stop thinking about.

We stood outside the arched wooden door while Jess texted Nightshade that we were there. The cold night air was starting to take a toll and I wrapped my arms around myself rubbing my sides to keep warm. Slade stepped behind me, placed his hands on the sides of my arms and ran them up and down warming me up until I wanted to melt against him. The door creaked opened, Nightshade stood framed in the archway. He wore jeans with his ever present skeleton key belt buckle. He was shirtless; his chest was not as thick as Slade’s though well-defined with a natural cut of muscles and with a patch of hair running across it. He lifted his hand sliding it through his messed hair. He glanced lazily around to each of us until he rested on me
—or more precisely— Slade’s hands on me and then he shifted his attention to my face and I could have sworn I saw annoyance in his eyes. 
“Jess, you didn’t tell me you were bringing Paladin’s cutest couple.” He laughed and stepped aside waving us in. Slade’s hands tensed on my arms and I grabbed one squeezing it gently and held on to it.
“Sorry, Jimmy.” Jess smiled and stood next to Nightshade after entering
“No problem, beautiful,” he said. His fingers slid across her cheek and she blushed.
He swung the door closed after Edgar, the last one to enter. We followed him up the stairs to a large open room that contained a couple of couches, a small kitchen tucked off to one side, and a breakfast bar and two stools protruding at the end.
“We need some help, Jimmy,” Jess said as he walked to the fridge, pulled it open and pulled out a can of soda. He turned and flipped it in the air toward Eddie who caught it and smiled.
“Thanks, Nightshade.” Eddie popped the top and drank.
“Anyone else? Lovebirds, I could give you two straws.”
“That’s it, Nightshade, one more comment…” Slade headed for him his hand pulled back in a massive fist.
Nightshade laughed and leaned against the kitchen counter and smirked. 
“Anytime you want to try Slade you go right ahead.”
His mocking grin made my blood boil. “This was a mistake.”
“What’s a mistake?” Nightshade asked.
As much as I wanted to leave, I needed Nightshade’s help. I grabbed my phone, clicked the photo of the list of names and slid it across the breakfast bar to him. He picked it up and looked over the list.
“Okay so?”
“The SKG member on the list do you know him?” I stared into his strange colored eyes and waited for an answer, hoping and praying it wouldn’t be some lie to further his own ends.
“I recognize the name.”
“Can you help us find him?” I asked.
“No,” he said not even giving it thought.
“What? Why not?” My frustration leapt but I caught it before it reached my tongue and I spit words at him that I’d regret since I desperately needed his help.
“Jess.” He turned away from me to her. ‘What’s going on? Why are you helping non-guilders?”
“They took…G ran.” As soon as Jess mentioned Gran her control slipped. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she started to tremble.
I moved to comfort her but Nightshade was there before me. He wrapped her in his arms and pulled her against him. She buried her head in his chest and sobbed. He pressed his cheek against hers whispering something in her ear that I couldn’t make out. He stroked her hair as he did, and I watched in amazement at how caring and loving he could be when I had known only his sardonic side.
Nightshade looked directly at me. “Give us a minute.” He then took Jess and they walked out of the room and I heard a door close down the hallway.
“What was that all about?” Slade asked.
“She’s upset. It’s been a rough night,” I said as I slid down on the couch beside Edgar.
“I guess,” Slade said as he sat on the opposite couch. “Though I doubt it hurts that Nightshade’s half naked.” He laughed.
“What are you talking about?” I snapped annoyed at what his humor suggested.
“Didn’t you see the way she looked at him? I think Jess was angling for more than some comfort.” Slade winked.
“She’s just upset.” I got even more annoyed when Slade raised his hands in mock defeat. I didn’t like what he was implying. We’d been through a lot and I doubted Jess was thinking about getting James alone. And it’s not like Nightshade would fall for that anyway, his conniving nature would see right through it.
Time seemed to slow down as we waited. Eddie rested his head back on the couch and was asleep within minutes. Slade was next stretching out on the other couch and drifting off to sleep. I sat alone with my thoughts, growing ever more frustrated that Jess and Nightshade had disappeared on us. I mean seriously, people, we’re running for our lives and she goes off with some guy and why?
Because he’s hot with his shirt off?
After an hour I heard the click of a door and approaching footsteps. Nightshade entered still shirtless, his hair messier than before if that was possible. He looked around the room at the others sleeping and waved his hand for me to follow him. I got up quietly trying not to wake Eddie, who snored and rolled over on his side into a ball on the couch.
We left the room and at the end of the hall he touched a skeleton key on the wall and it fell away revealing a spiral staircase. James headed down; I took a deep breath and followed.
The staircase ended in a massive room filled with various makes and models of cars while several images of skeleton keys hung on the walls. In the middle of the room sat an old-fashioned car. It was deep blue and had red flames on the hood. James was standing by a workbench and grabbed a t-shirt off it and slid it on.
“What’s all this?”
“My garage, it’s quiet down here. We can talk and your friends can rest.”
“Talk about what?” I asked leaning up against the old-fashioned car. Nightshade stepped toward me, reached out and took hold of my arm. I looked down at his hand and back at him, and then he pulled me forward. My breath caught and I didn’t move.
“That’s a classic Hudson Hornet, please don’t lean on it.”
I pushed his hand off me and stepped away. Men and their stupid cars. “Whatever, are you going to help us or not?”
“Jess, told me what’s going on. It seems pretty serious and it’s a damn bold plan, I give you credit for that.” He grinned.
“But?” I knew something was coming, though I didn’t know what.
“I don’t know if I’m willing to stick my neck out for the lot of you.”
“Jess is your friend and so is Edgar?” I reminded, trying the guilt tactic, hoping it might convince him.
“But I can’t stand Slade, and then there’s you.” His half smile taunted me.
“I know you can’t stand me either, I get it.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah, it’s pretty obvious.”
“I hadn’t realized. I should work on controlling my emotions better.”
“Sorry, I’m not a shrinking violet like my cousin. I didn’t come here to weep on your naked chest. I came here because I need help and you’re the only one I could turn too. If I couldn’t work up tears for my lost father or injured grandmother, I doubt I can do it for you. Okay, I’m broken, and you can’t stand me. I get it, alright!” I took a deep breath angry at myself for letting him get under my skin again.
He stared at me with those damn intense eyes. He didn’t say anything just stared, making me feel uncomfortable and stupid. Why do I always seem not to be able to shut up around him?
“Quit staring at me and say something.”
“I’ll help you on one condition.” He didn’t smile or smirk and he didn’t stop staring. It was as though he stared straight inside me and that made me more nervous than if he had worn one of his evil grins.
“Which is?”
“You and I have to go see him alone.”
“He isn’t going to talk to a bunch of people from the different societies. He knows me and he doesn’t really like anyone other than Guilders. It will be safer that way.”
“Jess is a Guilder?” I questioned unsure of going alone with him.
“You and I that’s the deal take it or leave it.”
What choice did I have and so I wouldn’t debate my decision I quickly said. “Fine we go alone.”
He nodded. “You’d better get some sleep. We’ll head there tomorrow.”
I didn’t bother to ask him where, he wouldn’t tell me anyway. I followed him up the stairs and part way down the hallway he stopped, opened a door, entered and waved me in.
“I’ll stay with the guys,” I stammered, though I entered the room.
“I don’t think so, they each have a couch. Take the bed; you’ll have it all to yourself.”
“Oh,” Did I really think he’d been inviting me to sleep with him? “Okay thanks.”
“I’ll be in by Jess.”
He turned and left through another door closing it behind him. I was glad he didn’t look back and see me flush red at his comment.
I wanted to slam the door that opened onto the hall shut but didn’t want to wake the guys so I shut it quietly and turned into the room. I threw myself on the bed and took my frustration out on the pillows punching them several times. So what if James Nightshade and my cousin spent the night together… let them. They deserved each other, they only thought about themselves anyway.
I pulled my hoodie off and slid it into my bag .My hand connected with a small metal object. I took the locket out and turned it over in my hand. When this was all over I was going to need to figure out what it was that I deserved.

My Review:
*I hereby award this book 5 wings!*

Well, where to start? That is the question. This book was incredible and it's hard to think what to say without spilling out a shed-load of spoilers. 

Chloe Masters is the daughter of a magician, or so it would seem. She's used to her father pulling off tricks that look far more simple than they are. She thinks that that's all there is to it. Little does she know how wrong she is and what an impact the truth will have on her life.

Chloe's mother disappeared when she was a young girl. She feels lost and hurt that the mother that she loved would just vanish, so she loses herself in her fathers magic act where illusions are a part of her everyday life. But Chloe's world dramatically changed forever they day she learned of a whole other side to what she had once thought of as merely 'parlour tricks'. 

Upon touching a doorknob, Chloe's once dormant abilities are activated and becomes ensnared in a world of ancient societies, secrets, lies and more magic than she ever knew existed. One thing she knows for sure is that she's no longer the ordinary girl she once claimed to be. 

Whilst Chloe is busy uncovering the truth behind her shocking discovery, her father goes missing. Dismayed by the fact that another parent - the one that she knew she could rely on - has gone missing, Chloe takes it upon herself to try and find him - pulling her new found friends into what is unbeknownst to them, a race against time to find the one man that knows the truth behind the facade the societies have come to believe to be the truth. 

The societies believe that the stories of an ancient artifact gone missing are nothing but myth and legend. It is now up to Chloe and her not-so conventional group of friends to dispel the myth that surrounds them.

As for her new found friends, well, unconventional they may be but they also come to be the best of allies and friends that a girl could wish for.

Let's start with my favourite of the bunch shall we?! His name is James Nightshade. That boy is so handsome. He's also your typical bad-boy. I find myself, like many others, with an addiction to bad-boys. This time is no different. I have a deep and profound love for Nightshade. He is broken and haunted by the past and I defy anyone not to love him as much as I do by the end of the book. 
Nightshade is known to offend and is quick with the jibs and the sardonic smiles. His humour is akin to none other, I love how he wears his sarcasm as a badge of honour. He made me really want to dig deep into his psyche to find out exactly what it is in that past of his that has left him damaged seemingly beyond repair.

Then there's Michael Slade. Oh how I love Slade. Where Nightshade is your bad-boy, Slade is the polar opposite. He's good looking, warm, kind, funny. Most of all he is sensitive to Chloe's wants and needs. Also, to what she doesn't know she needs until he provides it. 
Chloe herself is broken and Slade wants to help fix her. He is patient and tells her that he knows she doesn't want a boyfriend right now but he will wait for her until she is ready. Where Nightshade is infuriating and demanding, Slade is pleasing and easygoing. 

Then there's Chloe. She's one hell of a feisty firecracker of a character. She is definitely one of my favourite protagonists of late. She is self-confessed a broken girl. Maybe that's why her and Nightshade find themselves sparking off each other, they are so alike. It's also the reason why her and Slade get on so well because he is a soothing tonic to her soul, he helps fix her even though she doesn't realise it. 
I admire Chloe for the fact that she laughs in the face of danger and she packs a mean punch. 

There are other characters who I can't really mention right now, much as I would love to - I just know that my mouth would run away with me. 

I know I haven't really told you much about the story itself either, which is usually a part of my reviews. But I really feel like the journey is one you must undertake for yourself. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

I didn't know what to expect when I picked up TDS, but I am sure that it exceeded any pre-determined ideas I might of had.

There is action aplenty and you won't be able to help getting swept along. There are some real uproarious moments, you will be laughing out loud. There were times I was literally holding my sides thinking I would fall apart at the seams.
The secondary characters aren't really all that secondary in this book. MJ Fletcher has managed to write his story so that everyone plays their part and they play it well. 
There's Edgar, oh I love that boy. There's Val, oh how I want to punch her and hug her all at once. Then there's Jess, Mr Miller, Mr Jordan... I won't say who the good guys are, nor point out the baddie in the bunch - they are there for you to find and come to love or loathe for yourself.

I love MJ Fletcher's style of writing. It immediately sucks you in and takes you on a journey of discovery, fun and camarderie - but also of sadness, loss, betrayal and hurt. 
The writing flows beautifully and puts me in mind of others I have read that went on to become best-sellers. 

If you loved the Harry Potter books and were, like me, sad they ended, then this book is for you. It really is a must-read this summer for all. 
There's something for everybody lying behind the covers. There's the bad-boy and the dreamy good-guy. There's the annoying best friend and the 'geeky' boy who's proficient with any and all maps. There are people you want to laugh with and would be proud to call a friend and there are the bad -guys that you really want to smack upside the head and say 'what the hell is wrong with you?' (or is that just me? You might want to do something worse than that to them but I am of the belief that there's good in everyone, you just have to find it). There's also Caleb Darker but I won't tell you where he fits in with it all. 

Thank you to RABT who asked me to be part of this blog tour. I couldn't now imagine not having read this story. 
Thank you more importantly to Marc for writing this incredible adventure that sucked me in for the ride and had not yet let me out - trust me I am chomping at the bit to get The Impossible Engineers. 

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not
necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope that if you came and read this post today, you will also consider picking up a copy of TDS. I was told by Marc that it should be available in paperback in September, but until then:

AMAZON UK  it's only 77p
AMAZON US   it's only $1.19

and for The Impossible Engineers
(for those of you who have read TDS already)

AMAZON UK  it's £1.98
AMAZON US  it's $3.11

Thank you one and all who came to read my review and to enter the giveaway. If you haven't entered, you really should, you wouldn't want to miss out!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Review of THRONE OF GLASS by Sarah J Maas

Author: Sarah J Maas
Source: eARC from Bloomsbury via Net Galley
Publication Date: August 7th 2012

* I hereby award this book 5 wings*


I first heard about this book through the buzz in the blogging community. I looked it up and knew I had to read it. I absolutely adore the cover for this. Both the US and the UK. They both say that the protagonist is going to be a kick-ass and that is definitely the truest thing that can be said.

I have read some awesome books recently and each have deserved there own high ratings. But THRONE OF GLASS is one of those that I wish I could rate through the roof. It deserves every one of it's 5 wings and then some. It has to be the most spectacular book that I have read so far in 2012. 

Celeana Sardothien, an 18 year-old assassin has just spent a year in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes. Prince Dorian offers her freedom from the prison camp, on the one condition that she be his Champion in his father's competition to find a new Royal Assassin. Of course she is free to decline the offer, but she will find herself back in Endovier.

In this competition, she will find herself pitted against thieves, warriors and other assassins from across the Empire. Each of whom are sponsored by a member of the Royal Council. 
If Celeana wins, she will serve as the King's personal assassin for a period of 4 years before being granted her freedom. The problem is, those that she is up against are some tough competition.

Celeana must train each day with the Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall. These sessions are to prepare her physically as well as mentally for the trials ahead. Though she finds them to be physically tough at first, they do serve as a lesson that she must learn, she needs to be able to overcome the brutality of the work involved in the sessions with Chaol in order to be able to overcome her opponents. 

Celeana finds herself bored by the stiff upper crust that is the politics of court life. However, she comes out of her shell more with each passing day when she realises that Prince Dorian is showing an interest in her. He's handsome, sauve, kind, funny... most of all, he is enraptured by this assassin that has found herself catapulted into his life.  Celeana finds herself taken with his attention and it makes court life, training, the competition, that little bit easier to take. The Prince believes in Celeana. Not only as his Champion, but more so when he gets to know the real girl underneath her 'tough as nails' exterior. 

However, flattered though she is by Prince Dorian's affections, it's the Captain of the Guard, Chaol, that seems to know her better. He seems to understand her in a way neither of them are familiar with. There are some tender moments between the two. It's there in the way he looks at her, the way she takes his hand and looks upon him. There's a connection that could be forged, if only the two of them weren't too stubborn to act upon it. 

So it is with Prince Dorian that Celeana comes to have stolen moments of passion. 

I was so frustrated by this, the fact that I could not fathom why Celeana and Chaol couldn't just bite the bullet so to speak and just admit that there was a possibility there.
I am not one for liking love triangles in books. I am known to be an advocate of the underdog or the bad-boy. But in THRONE OF GLASS, I can't help feeling torn between both men. There are good qualities to be found within them both, though the more realistic voice in me says that a long-term relationship could not be had with the Prince. There is just too much standing in their way. Like the fact that Lady Kaltain doesn't like the connection that the two seem to have forged. Lady Kaltain sees the Prince as her own target and she won't stop at anything to break them apart. There's also the fact that she could die within the competition, or the very real prospect of having the King make his feelings known and use his position to tear them apart.

But I found that in spite of these things being true, I couldn't help but fall a little in love with Prince Dorian. There's something so tender and sweet within this man that any woman would be a fool not to fall for him.

I absolutely fell in love with Celeana. She won me over instantaneously. I said I have a thing for the underdog, well that's true of the protagonists, not just the love interests. 
Because Celeana could not tell anyone who she really was, the fact that she had to go by the name of Lillian Gordaina, well it felt as though she really was the underdog - she had to constantly underplay herself and hold back in how much she put into each round - I just couldn't help but back her all the way and hope that she slaughtered the rest of the competition. Though not in the literal sense, as that seemed to be the job of some unseen killer, lurking, waiting to strike the competitors. There was someone or something slowly getting rid of them one by one and it wasn't stopping until it had taken them all down. 

Celeana found herself not only caught up in the competition but also in trying to solve the mystery surrounding the gruesome deaths of her competitors. 

The writing of Sarah J Maas instantly sucks you in and keeps you turning the pages, dying to know what happens next. I felt as though I had been transported to another time and place, sitting on the sidelines cheering Celeana on. I love feisty women who can handle themselves and the competition and she sure wasn't lacking. 
I found myself investing in this story. I sat up until too late at night reading when I really should have been in bed. Then today I sat here for four hours, no breaks taken, trying to finish it off. There were times I should have put the book down but found that I couldn't because I just had to know what was around the next corner.
This book was so much fun, I am so glad that I read it. I am dying to know if there are to be more books, it is definitely something I will need to investigate. 

If you don't go straight and pick this up as soon as it comes out, you are going to miss out, let me tell you.
If you like action packed, drama filled, intense journeys, this this is one I implore you to take. You won't be sorry you did. Trust me. 

Thank you, as always, to Net Galley for providing the eARC and thank you to Bloomsbury for approving me for the Galley.
Thank you Sarah J Maas for creating a world that sucks you in, chews you up and doesn't spit you back out any time soon. I would love for there to be at least one more book. I feel Prince Dorian and Chaol deserve one, not just Celeana. 

Thank you all who came by to read my review. I hope you found yourself adding this book to your already huge TBR piles.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

TYLER FALLS by Lori L. Clark - My Stop On The Blog Tour


Author: Lori L. Clark
Source: Review copy provided by RABT 
Publish Date: May 26th 2012

"By the time seventeen-year-old Tyler Falls meets Emma, his "Thirty-Days-Left-to-Live" plan is already in place -- and falling in love isn't part of that plan.

Tyler has suffered from manic depression for as long as he can remember. Through medication and therapy, he manages to keep his life together. But when his parents are murdered, he decides he's had enough of living as a broken person with a broken life. So, in thirty days, he plans to stick the barrel of his Ruger SP101 into his mouth and pull the trigger.

Emma Perez's brother, Ethan Giovanni, sits in a mental institution for the murder of Dr. and Mrs. Falls. Deemed mentally incompetent and unfit to stand trial, Ethan has one weekly visitor -- Emma. She doesn't deny his guilt, he's her brother and she loves him spite of the fact he's paranoid schizophrenic.

They say when you cross paths with someone more than once, it's fate -- you're destined to meet. Tyler doesn't know Emma is Ethan's sister, and Emma doesn't know Tyler's story either. When Tyler learns who Emma's brother is, the world he's rebuilt around her begins to crumble all over again and it leaves both of them wondering why fate has such a cruel sense of humor"

Chapter 1


My name is Tyler Jacob Falls and I have exactly thirty days to live.
The special school I attend -- not short bus special -- and my shrink Dr. Dynerbaugh
think talking about my problems will be great therapy, part of my healing process. She
wants me to open up and share my thoughts and feelings more. Dr. Dynerbaugh even gave
me a journal to write in, but I don't plan on using it. I've got news for her; there
are more pages in that empty journal than I have days left.
I'm seventeen and live with my aunt and uncle on Loon Island. I've lived here since
April last year. No, my parents didn't get a divorce or kick me out. Dealing with that
would be a piece of cake compared to what really happened.
My parents were murdered -- on Valentine's Day.
That night, when I pulled into the drive after dropping Livi off, (Livi is Olivia
Barnett -- only the hottest chick at Fort Jupiter High School. Yeah, I didn't always
have the big "L" on my forehead like I do now), the front door to our house stood wide
open. It being February in Fort Jupiter with a foot of fresh snow covering the front lawn
, I knew there was no way in hell the front door should be open like that. We had a
running joke in our family about my mom being like the Energy Nazi and she would flip
out about someone's lack of procedure.
My gut told me something was bad wrong so I pulled out my cell phone, just as a
precaution, and inched closer to the front door. When I walked in, that bastard Ethan Gio
vanni was wiping the blood from the knife he'd just slit my parent's throats with. He wor
e a sick, twisted grin on his face. I had about two seconds to dial 911 before he
spotted me.
For someone who just offed two people in cold blood on their living room floor; he
showed no more emotion than if he'd just squashed a freaking cockroach.
He had pure evil in his eyes. It's those eyes that will haunt my dreams every night for
the rest of my remaining life -- when I actually sleep. Giovanni tried to make me victim
number three, and the last thing I remember about that night was the distant echo of
He tried to run, but they caught up with him about three blocks from our house. But befor
e running like the pussy he is, he stabbed me four times. I spent the next six weeks brea
thing through the pain of a punctured lung and took my meals through a tube attached to n
eedle in my arm.
My mom and dad were buried while I lay in a semi-comatose state due to all the drugs
they kept pumped into my body in the ICU at Fort Jupiter Memorial Hospital. When they sai
d I had healed enough to leave the hospital, I went to live with my aunt and uncle --
Nicole and Kyle Falls -- on Loon Island.
There are Three-hundred-forty-two residents on Loon Island -- forty two normal people
and three hundred crazy people.
Those numbers are subject to change, depending on what kind of day I'm having, to fortyone
Normals and three-hundred-one Crazies.
My Aunt Nicole gets on my case for calling the residents of the nuthouse Crazies. I
should probably clarify something. Loon Island was named for the bird and not because
of the lunatics who live here. Oh and the Loon Island Psychiatric Hospital is not the
loony bin or even the insane asylum. I wouldn't want to offend one of the nutcases or
their families by being politically incorrect. (Sarcasm.)
Ethan Giovanni. His face and name are two things that will go out with me when I pull
the trigger. There wasn't a trial because they said he's not competent enough. He's
insane. Gee, ya think?!
How ironic is it that we both live here on Loon Island? He's one of the Crazies I told
you about. He's in the maximum security part of the nuthouse -- supposedly on suicide
watch twenty-four/seven. If you ask me, they should give him a rope and save the tax
payer's money. Some people can't be rehabilitated. I mean what's he going to do? Find
God? Give me a friggin' break. Scum like Ethan Giovanni don't deserve to live.
We're supposed to take the ferry to the mainland today. It's Monday, May 25. Memorial
Day. Aunt Nicole wants to take me to the cemetery where my mom and dad are buried. It
will be a day of firsts for me. The first day I've been off the island in over a year
and the first time I've been to the grave site. Ever. I wonder if they'll bury me next
to them.
Aunt Nicole knocks on my locked door and I tell her I'm coming. Since she knows I keep
the door locked she doesn't bother trying to open it.
It's not that I don't trust my aunt. On second thought... it kind of is. I don't trust
anybody. She works for the hospital sometimes. Her and my uncle both work there. Most of
the Normals on the Island either work at the hospital or live with someone who does.
She's a Criminologist who studies the nature, extent, causes, and control of criminal
behavior in people and in society. I've seen the way she watches me like I'm one of her
patients and I know she's just waiting for me to snap.
My Uncle Kyle's a warden at the big house. Kyle's badass -- for an old man. He's not
old like ancient or anything, just older than me. He works out every day and I know he co
uld kick some serious ass without blinking an eye. I know he'd kick mine in a heartbeat
if I were to cross the line. Oh and just for the record... I'm no scrawny assed wimp.
I've heard people say never trust anyone over thirty. I have a different set of rules
about trust. Don't trust anyone old enough to focus on you with their eyes or
manipulate you with a smile. So, except for newborn babies and really old people, there
aren't too many people able to earn my trust.
I work out in Uncle Kyle's basement gym late at night when no one's around to spy on me.
Now, it's a matter of survival -- in case they lock me up in the nuthouse again and
not because I'm trying to turn some hot chick's head. Dr. Dynerbaugh -- Dr. Dinnerbell as
I like to think of her -- says it's good to exercise at least thirty minutes each day.
It's supposed to help with my depression. She should practice what she preaches. She's
not depressed, she's just fat.

My Review: 

* I hereby award this book 4 wings*

TYLER FALLS is different from the usual books I find myself reading. After all, it's not often you find a book that starts with a boy telling you he wants to commit suicide. 

Since his parents murder, Tyler has been in a state of depression. He's been seeing a psychiatrist, Dr Dynerbaugh. He lives with his Aunt Nicole and Uncle Kyle. There doesn't seem to be much in this life worth living for. He goes from one day to the next in a kind of trance. The tablets that Dr Dynerbaugh prescribes are to stabilise his moods; but that doesn't seem to be enough to stop his thoughts of putting a gun in his mouth in just thirty short days time. 

Emma Perez lives with her Mama, there's just the two of them now since Ethan got locked up in the 'nut house' on Loon Island. Ethan Giovanni is charged with the murder of Mr and Mrs Falls. 
Nothing has been the same since. Mama washed her hands of Ethan, but Emma still sees him as her brother. She can't help but still love him for the brother he used to be. The one that taught her things growing up and was there for her when she needed him. 

Emma gets a job a a cleaner for Dr Dynerbaugh. The house doesn't really seem that untidy but Emma needs the money so she agrees to clean for her a few days of the week.

Tyler continues to attend his appointments with Dr Dynerbaugh, even though he still plans to take his own life. He puts on an appearance for his Aunt and Uncle's sake more than anything.

Emma refers to Tyler as 'Blue Eyes' because when she saw him on the ferry she caught sight of his beautiful eyes. When she sees him at the Doctor's office, she assumes he must be 'unhinged' in some way if he sees a shrink. But she can't help but find him attractive.

When the two cross paths, Tyler tells Emma his name is Jake. He doesn't want her to know that it's him who's known infamously throughout the town as the boy who's parents were murdered. He wants her to get to know him for himself.

The two continue to see each other and Tyler seems to have a purpose in his life again. He thinks less and less about his plan to take his life. But would he feel the same way if he knew that Emma was the sister of the boy who murdered his parents? Would Emma see him in the same way if she knew it was he who had suffered at the hands of her brother?

This is a beautiful, poignant, heart-wrenching story of two people who fall in love without ever really knowing everything about each other. But when it comes down to the facts, will that love survive? Does love really conquer all?

I was sucked into this story from the first page. I just knew I had to see this through and find out what was to become of Tyler and Emma. 
I felt a deep empathy for Tyler, having lost his parents in such tragic circumstances. My gut twisted when I learned that it was Emma's brother's doing. The tragedy that surrounded the two was like a blanket of grief threatening to strangle and suffocate them both unless they could find a way out of it's folds. 
I found myself so tangled up in the story. The way it was written captured my heart so much. I was at times an emotional wreck. It was like being at the pinnacle of a roller coaster and then being dropped into an abyss and feeling my gut lurching from such a sharp drop. 

I won't ruin the ending for you, but suffice to say that I was left smiling. That was something I wasn't sure the end of this book would achieve, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I am so glad that I was asked to be a part of this blog tour, otherwise I may not have come across this book. I would love for there to be another book to follow it, but I feel it was written as a stand-alone....?

Many thanks to RABT for asking me to be part of this tour and to Lori Clarke for touching my heart with this emotional roller coaster of a novel. 

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by
the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in
exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not
necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the
Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Thank you one and all for coming by for my stop on the Blog Tour. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to win!

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