Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 134

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming reads that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
Invaded by Melissa Landers

**WARNING: contains spoilers from Alienated**
The romantic sequel to Alienated takes long-distance relationships to a new level as Cara and Aelyx long for each other from opposite ends of the universe...until a threat to both their worlds reunites them. 

Cara always knew life on planet L’eihr would be an adjustment. With Aelyx, her L’eihr boyfriend, back on Earth, working to mend the broken alliance between their two planets, Cara is left to fend for herself at a new school, surrounded by hostile alien clones. Even the weird dorm pet hates her.


Things look up when Cara is appointed as human representative to a panel preparing for a human colony on L’eihr. A society melding their two cultures is a place where Cara and Aelyx could one day make a life together. But with L’eihr leaders balking at granting even the most basic freedoms, Cara begins to wonder if she could ever be happy on this planet, even with Aelyx by her side.


Meanwhile, on Earth, Aelyx, finds himself thrown into a full-scale PR campaign to improve human-L’eihr relations. Humans don’t know that their very survival depends on this alliance: only Aelyx’s people have the technology to fix the deadly contamination in the global water supply that human governments are hiding. Yet despite their upper hand, the leaders of his world suddenly seem desperate to get humans on their side, and hardly bat an eye at extremists’ multiple attempts on Aelyx’s life.


The Way clearly needs humans’ help . . . but with what? And what will they ask for in return?

February 3, 2015 ● Goodreads

I love, love, LOVE Alienated (review here) and so I was super happy when I’d heard that it was going to have a sequel. The romance is absolutely ace and the story is SO interesting. I can’t wait to find out what will happen next because this one sounds like there’s definitely going to be more drama and more secrets. Pick up Alienated if you haven’t read it– trust me, you’ll love it!

What are you waiting on?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Leigh Bardugo Signing!

I can’t believe it’s already been 2 and a half(ish) months since I came to the US to study at Boston University! Time really flies... it’s only 1 and a half months until I fly back to Singapore for December Break. That being said, it’s amazing how many bookish events go on in Boston! It’s only been a short while and I’ve already had the chance to attend THREE book events. THREE! That’s absolutely crazy. In Singapore, in the four years that I’d lived there, I only attended 2 book signings. It’s sad seeing how there aren’t too many signings/author talks, but nonetheless, I’m glad Boston is FULL of ‘em.

Well, anyway, so this past Monday (3rd November), there was an amazing event: a Leigh Bardugo book signing! EEEEEEEPPPPP!!! I mean, that’s HUGE. I’m so glad Richa @ City of Books saw the event on Facebook and told me about it. We both went together (being besties in real life and blogging-wise and all) and had a ton of fun seeing Leigh talk about her book.

This is the Cambridge Public Library (during the day, the signing was at night). Isn’t it pretty? :D

Leigh’s event poster

and without further ado...

IT’S LEIGH BARDUGO!!

I’m telling you guys– if you have the chance to hear Leigh speak, it’s absolutely amazing. Amazing and HILARIOUS that is. She’s so funny! She started off the signing with her reading from her journal written during her teen years. Leigh was seriously funny back then too. She then transitioned into talking about why she writes YA, because it was always something that she’d wanted to do growing up. Before she took questions, she read an extract from her upcoming novel Six of Crows, the first book in another series set in the Grisha world called The Dreg! I’m guilty though because I’ve only read Shadow and Bone (review here), absolutely loved it, but never got to the second or third book :/ I was so glad there were no real spoilers during the signing – partially because Leigh kept shushing people who were about to spoil the book – but now I have all three books and I can totally get to reading them :)

Leigh reading from her hilarious journal

Leigh’s audience

Luckily there wasn’t too many people– I’ve been to a Christopher Paolini signing in Toronto that made me wait 4 or 5 hours to get the book signed. Thank goodness it only took us 30 minutes tops to get our books signed.

Me (right) and Richa (left)!

There was a little bit of a funny accident at the start of the signing. So Richa and I headed over to the table where they were selling copies of Leigh’s books, and Leigh was hanging around there. Because I totally didn’t recognise her I thought she was waiting in line or waiting to go get a seat or something. So I totally gestured for her to go on ahead of me, and she was like “oh, nope! I’m just gonna hang around here for a while...” and Richa and I went ahead to the book table. I then had an awful thought and hoped that the person wasn’t Leigh, but with my luck of course it was! I felt really stupid, but to be fair, her author photo is really dark and doesn’t really look like her :P

Anyway, so Richa and I waited in line for around 30 minutes (or maybe less) to get books signed and we finally did! I managed to get a picture with the very lovely Leigh. She’s too adorable you guys. When I told her that I hadn’t read book 2 and 3 yet, she was like, “well, you’re actually really smart because now you don’t have to wait!” – she’s seriously too cool guys :D

Me and Leigh!

My copy of Ruin and Rising! 

Signed to me! 
It says on the left “There is no end to our story..." 

Awesome swag that was available at the signing

Well that’s all for now guys. That was a ton of fun to attend!! I still have to write recap posts for Boston Book Fest and the Boston Teen Author Fest, so look out for those :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 133

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
King by Ellen Oh

**WARNING: contains spoilers from Prophecy and Warrior**
Girl warrior, demon slayer, Tiger spirit of the Yellow Eyes—Kira is ready for her final quest. In this thrilling finale to the Prophecy trilogy, fans will get even more of the fierce Kira and her quest to save her kingdom!

All eyes are on her. Kira, once an outcast in her home village of Hansong, is now the only one with the power to save her kingdom. She must save her cousin, the boy fated to be the future king, uncover the third lost treasure, and face innumerable enemies in order to fulfill the famed prophecy.


Kira braves a sea of tigers and battles armies of demons as she musters her inner strength and learns to trust herself, the romantic feelings for Jaewon that are growing within her, and the destiny that must be hers.

December 31, 2014 ● Goodreads

I’ve been waiting for this one since the start of this year after finishing Prophecy (review here) and Warrior (review here). I’m afraid though, that I can’t really remember some details from the previous book(s) so I’m a little hesitant getting into this one without re-reading the first two in the trilogy. Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed this series so far and I’m excited (and sad) to see how it ends!

What are you waiting on?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Cover Reveal: Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius + Giveaway

I’m super excited to be a part of the cover reveal for Dawn Ius’s upcoming book, Anne & Henry! Before I show you all the cover, here’s a little bit about the book:

A love worth losing your head over

ANNE
Wild, brazen, mischievous, bewitching

HENRY
Driven, haunted, charming, magnetic

ANNE & HENRY
Apart they are bound to destroy themselves. Together, they are bound to destroy each other.

HENRY TUDOR’S LIFE HAS BEEN mapped out since the day he was born: student president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father’s. 

But ever since the death of Henry’s brother—perfect, high-achieving Arthur—his family has been twice as demanding. And now Henry’s trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who’s not Tudor-approved.

Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life. 

Anne is wild, brash, and outspoken. She is everything Henry is not allowed to be—or to want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, yet his desire for Anne consumes him. Henry is willing to do anything to be with her. But once he has her, their romance could destroy them both. 

Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, ANNE & HENRY reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.


Without further ado, I give you: THE COVER FOR ANNE & HENRY!

Isn’t it so pretty? Seriously can’t wait for this one you guys...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DAWN IUS is a short-story author, novelist, screenwriter, professional editor, and communications specialist. She is an active member of the International Thriller Writers association, co-founder and senior editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and the author of nine educational graphic novels published by the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. When she’s not slaying fictional monsters, she’s geeking out over fairy tales, Jack Bauer, Halloween, sports cars, and all things that go bump in the night. Dawn lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Jeff, and their giant English Mastiff, Roarke.

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But wait! THERE’S MORE!

A Giveaway!

Enter the Rafflecopter below to enter:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 132

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
The Cage by Megan Shepherd

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments--tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle--and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures and time periods, all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer appears--a handsome young guard named Cassian--they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken they five teenagers to an otherworldly zoo--where the exhibits are humans.

When a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer--though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so…what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

May 26, 2015 ● Goodreads

I’m absolutely in love with The Madman’s Daughter trilogy, and so I was super excited to find out Megan Shepherd was writing a new series! While it isn’t a retelling (or at least doesn’t seem to be one...), which I was really hoping for, it does have a really interesting premise– I can’t wait to find out more about this world. It sounds like something original, and with that cover, there’s no doubt I’ll be hunting for this one.

What are you waiting on?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Diamonds in the Rough by Michelle Madow

Diamonds in the Rough by Michelle Madow

Release Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters, Book 2
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Read my review of The Secret Diamond Sisters HERE.

All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion and turn their lives upside down all over again.

**WARNING: Spoilers from Book 1!**

After finishing The Secret Diamond Sisters I knew I couldn’t WAIT until I got my hands on the next one. I’m so honoured to have been picked to review this book by the author, and absolutely freaked out when I got the copy in the mail, signed to me in all it’s glory. I believe I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll say it again: something about this series has a TV-show quality to it. After Gossip Girl ended, I NEED another show to satisfy my craving for scandal, drama and boys. This is the perfect substitute! While there were somethings I didn’t like in this one, Madow’s second instalment was absolutely packed with amazing interweaving storylines that build up to several shocking moments in the book.

There was definitely a lot more character development compared to the first book, but my opinions on characters haven’t changed. I still don’t like Peyton, I find her too annoying, but she has improved a great deal. She just needs to think about what she does and the consequences of it because it’s basically a record-player playing the same thing over and over again– you would have thought she had learned her lesson the first or second time round! Courtney is still my favourite character. Something about her level-headedness being so refreshing in this family where two of three sisters are infatuated by material objects and throwing themselves at guys. Loved her frustration and tension with Brett, that was done so well in this book. I felt so bad for her as well, because this story builds up to a HUGE moment and how she handles it doesn’t go down too well. Savannah... honestly, she didn’t make a mark for me in this book. Same old story, trying to figure out who to choose between Damien and Nick (who doesn’t make much of an appearance in this book by the way), and literally, the only thing I picked up from her storyline was her singing career moving forward. That’s about it. Madison, on the other hand, got a lot more interesting. There’s so much more to her and I really like her character now. She also has a huge role in this book, with another secret that shakes her whole world (and is definitely going to be a major part in the next book), so I can’t wait to see where it all goes!

What I didn’t like about the book was this: how flashy it was. I mean, the name dropping didn’t bother me in the first book, but this was pushing it a little too far. I mean, a boy band from the UK called One Connection? HELLO? Not to mention boy band members, Perry Myles, Noel and Kayn... sounds a little too familiar doesn’t it? It just seemed kind of weird considering how many times TV shows, such as The Vampire Diaries and Downton Abbey, are mentioned. It wasn’t just the name dropping though. It seemed like with every pop culture reference there had to be a multiple-sentence explanation as to why it was in the book. To be honest, it kind of hindered my reading experience, and while everything else was quite sound, this was the thing I absolutely disliked, and is something that I dislike with any other book as well.

The end of the book is shocking, but it wasn’t so shocking that I felt like I needed the next book. I liked how the author presented the cliffhanger but I found myself feeling underwhelmed by it all. Hopefully the next book will quench my thirst for the amount of secrets sure to be uncovered. Who will end up with who? What on earth is going to happen to the Diamond sisters and will everything ever be normal again? I really like the title of the final book as well, just like the rest of the titles in this series– a great play on words!

Diamonds in the Rough had so much crazy drama and I enjoyed it so much. In this dazzling world of glitz, glamor and money, secrets and betrayal are never far behind. I can’t wait for the next book, Diamonds are Forever, although I’ll be sad to say goodbye to Michelle Madow’s fantastic series.


▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Michelle Meadow for sending me a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

If you like this, try...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 131

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I’m DYING to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge

When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

May 5, 2015 ● Goodreads

I was hoping that there would be another book set in this universe, and thank goodness prayers have been answered. I didn’t think they would be able to top Cruel Beauty’s cover, but they’re seriously done it again. GORGEOUS! I’m hoping this one pops up on Edelweiss soon because it won’t be long before I’ll do absolutely ANYTHING to get my hands on a copy.

What are you waiting on?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: The Lone City, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.


Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

I will say that the cover was the reason I wanted to read The Jewel SO badly. I mean, that dress? The sparkles? A cover that’s slightly reminiscent of The Selection with the mirrors? I was so in to read this one and absolutely desperate to get my hands on it. However, right before starting this book, I had a sudden suspicion that I might not like this book. It sounded like a mix of Megan McCafferty’s Bumped and Kiera Cass’s The Selection, along with an unsettling clichéd dystopian-feel to it. I also read some reviews and some of them... well. Let’s just say they didn’t paint the brightest picture of this book so my expectations sunk despite the gorgeous cover. I was, however, pleasantly surprised when it came to reading this book. The writing flowed so well, and the author really had built up this world beautifully. While there were some problems with the book, I found myself lapping it up huge chunks at a time and immersed myself into the world of The Jewel.

I think the problem with many dystopian novels today is originality. There are so many novels set in the future and sometimes it can be really hard to come up with ideas that standout. I’ve read a ton of dystopian novels that all sounded very similar, and while I overlooked it due to other factors, it can get annoying if it’s too repetitive. The Jewel seemed to be made up of some of these already existing books. For instance, the scene when Violet’s being prepped before she’s going to be presented in the auction, there’s her stylist, Lucien who really supports her and thinks she’s different from the other girls he has prepped in the past. Sound familiar? If you thought of The Hunger Games, you are correct! Round two: the idea of caste systems or rather ranking by the area you live in in the city. Girls competing in an auction (which doesn’t last too long but still). Any guesses? Yeah, I was right when I thought of The Selection. It’s not just the dresses people!

While I did root and empathise (slightly) with our protagonist, Violet sometimes annoyed me. She’s feisty, I’ll tell you that, but sometimes, she does the stupidest things that make you want to hit your head against the wall. The love interest Ash elicited a similar reaction. I don’t think it was something wrong with the characters but rather the idea of insta-love that kind of through me in a loop. Thankfully, it’s only the second half of the book that it starts, so there’s plenty of other things going on that distractedly me from the ridiculousness of how fast they both fall for each other. The Duchess, on the other hand, was an interesting character. I loved the two sides of her: some of the stuff she does in this book is really evil, but suddenly, she’ll reveal a much softer side to her – you never know what she’ll do next.

If you’ve read some of the other reviews of this book, you’ll notice how much everyone freaks out about the end. Um, THEY HAVE GOOD REASON TO. I was completely blown away by the end! Some characters are not who they seem (and I had a sneaking suspicion), and now I’m dying to get my hands on the next book. So much happens and I had to re-read the last lines over and over again because I couldn’t believe what was going on. Excited and a little bit freaked out to see where it picks up again in the sequel.

When I got to the end of Amy Ewing’s debut, I instantly wished I had more to read. The Jewel is a stunning start to the trilogy that had my eyes wide open, scouring the pages as I devoured more and more of this delicious book. Incredible world building and a plot that thickens with every word, I have no doubts that the next instalment will be as spectacular as this one. Can’t wait!

If you like this, try...


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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sorry I’ve been AWOL!

Hey guys!

Sorry I’ve been so... not “here” for the past week. Midterms are coming round which means fewer posts unfortunately :( Will definitely try to have a post up on Thursday or Friday though!

Rabiah

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday – Week 130

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It’s to spotlight upcoming books that I can’t WAIT to get my hands on!

This week’s WoW is:
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

When seventeen-year-old Minnow stumbles out of the woods one winter morning, she is haunted and handless and covered in someone else’s blood. She has just escaped the strict religious commune run by a cruel man named the Prophet. In exchange for freedom, she leaves behind her family, her home, and Jude--an outsider boy who changed everything. 

But the real world isn't the sanctuary Minnow imagined. Soon, she gets arrested and placed in juvenile detention. Now, Minnow is being questioned by an FBI psychiatrist about the night she escaped, the same night the Prophet was burned to death in his own home—a murder Minnow may be responsible for.


A modern retelling of the Grimm fairy tale, "The Handless Maiden," in which the Devil orders a girl's hands cut off, Minnow is the story of a girl growing out of the wreckage of corrupted faith.

June 9, 2015 ● Goodreads

I’ve read most of Grimm’s fairy tales, but I can’t really remember “The Handless Maiden.” Nonetheless, I definitely can’t wait to read this one! The eerie cover and title, a dark retelling– all signs point to that this book will be awesome.

What are you waiting on?