Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Series: Elusion, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website (Gabel) Website (Klam)

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.

I’d often wondered how cool it would be to have a device that conjures up a simulation and would place you in it... well there goes that dream! I’m too freaked out now by what could possibly happen if such a thing is invented. Elusion was a unique concept, and I really enjoyed reading about this new world. I must admit that I haven’t read any books by Gabel or Klam before, but their collaboration is amazing.

However, what I didn’t enjoy about the book was it’s love triangle. I felt it was too messy, I didn’t take a particular liking to either Patrick or Josh, so basically I didn’t really care too much about who she ends up with. Hopefully it becomes a lot tighter in the second book, Etherworld, and I’m looking forward to the romantic development in particular. While I did like Regan’s character, I felt like she was kind of... two-dimensional. Don’t get me wrong: her character’s emotions are spot-on, especially concerning her father, but she doesn’t stick out in any particular way.

I also thought that the world-building could have been a little better. There are barely any explanations or background information about how the world came to be like this, and why Elusion was created and how far into the future this was set in. Hopefully (as the main plot has been established) the sequel will provide more information because sometimes I was left a little clueless about what’s going on, or had to skim over bits trying to grasp what’s going on.

Elusion, despite my few issues with it, had an original concept and fantastic ending that left me hungry for more. A fast-paced and entrancing read, I’m eagerly anticipating more from Gabel and Klam.

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Megan from HarperCollins International for sending a copy for review! ▪ ▪ 

If you like this, try...

  • Matched by Ally Condie Goodreads
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis Goodreads

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Waiting on Wednesday – Week 129

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 Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Paige

**WARNING: contains spoilers from book 1, Dorothy Must Die**
In this dark, high-octane sequel to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die, Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to kill Dorothy and free Oz.

To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die....

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn't wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?

March 30, 2015 ● Goodreads

I'd only recently read and reviewed Dorothy Must Die (review HERE), and I’m absolutely desperate to get my hands on this one. I mean, Paige has created such a dark and twisted Oz... I LOVE IT. Need to also get my hands on the prequels and novellas... I also heard that this was optioned for TV. Can’t wait to see what they do with it :D

What are you waiting on?

Fall TV Lineup

It’s that time of year again: 


There are SO many shows that are returning that I’ll be watching for sure, so I can’t wait to get started. Sure, it’ll be kinda difficult with, y’know, university and everything, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to get through this.


Not too many dramas... which in some ways is a good thing because 40 minutes sometimes can be too long :P I can’t wait to find out what’s gonna happen in Revenge since everything’s flipped around now, and Once Upon a Time with the new Frozen story arc (which I’m not too happy about but I can kinda deal with it). Reign looks really interesting, especially the whole Mary and Francis story line. Should be good!  Downton Abbey Season 5 premieres in the UK in September but it won’t be available in the US until January. ARGH. Hopefully there’ll be some way of watching it...

UPDATE: Watched Downton Abbey already and it’s brilliant. Loving this season to the MAX. Even more exciting news– George Clooney will be on the show :D


A LOT more comedies for sure.

The Mindy Project: Probably THE funniest show on TV that I watch. Amazing humour, and hopefully it pulls through because 13 EPISODES IN THIS UPCOMING SEASON IS NOT ENOUGH. UPDATE: Season 3 has already started and wowieee what a first episode. A lot revealed, and a whole lot more laughs.

New Girl: While I’ve had some meh moments with this show, especially during season 2, I’ve come to really enjoy it. Love that Coach is now COMPLETELY with the show and there’ll be more hilarity that follows up from where last season left off. UPDATE: Season 4 has started and WOW it’s already super funny. Loving what the gang is up to!

Awkward.: Technically, not another season starting up. Season 4 just took a ridiculously long break and now it’s back! So much drama, so much humour, and so much awkward.

Faking It: Season 2! Season 1 was pretty short and while it was kind of so-so, I’m looking forward to what this new season will reveal.

The Goldbergs: Season 2 pulled through! YAY! I’ve come to seriously love this show. It’s like Modern Family meets the 80’s. Amazing. And Beverly Goldberg is probably the funniest mom on TV. FO. SHO.

The Middle (Not Pictured): I practically binge-watched all five seasons this past year, and I’ve come to love the Heck family. So many funny moments and I’m glad that it got renewed because I can’t wait to see what happens.

Modern Family: Season 6! WOOHOOO. I’ve been watching this show since season 3 was out (so like, eons ago) and so glad that everyone’s back for another round. Heard some interesting plot lines and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Also another hilarious comedy that I absolutely ADORE. It’s got a great amount of physical humour as well, so that’s always good. Great that a cop show can actually be funny.

Mom (Not Pictured): While I was kinda feeling meh about the first season, because I mean, it was kinda like a show you would think would get cancelled, but I think I’m gonna keep watching this one.

About a Boy: Another ridiculously short first season and so I’m glad season 2 will bring about more laughs and more “awwww” moments.

The Millers: I kinda felt the same way about this one as I did with Mom, except this one actually got a whole lot funnier. Looking forward to seeing what Carol gets up to and how the rest of the family has to deal with her “motherly” actions.

New Shows

A lot more dramas than comedies, but these are the ones that really stood out for me– so hopefully, I’ll be giving these a chance.

Red Band Society: I’m seriously in love with this one. Thanks to iTunes, I got the pilot for free and already freaking out about it. New dramedy that I’m totally falling for!

Madam Secretary: A political drama and I like Téa Leoni so I’m interested to see what happens with this one. Again, another free pilot courtesy of iTunes.

Gotham: Um, the beginnings of Batman’s villains?! Too good to turn down.

Scorpion: I’m still not too sure what this one is about, but it’s got good reviews and I believe it’s about hacking and stuff, so it should be amazing.

How to Get Away with Murder: This one has TONS of hype already. I love Viola Davies, and the trailer looks AMAZE-BALLS.

Black-ish: I loved the main actor in the Scary Movie series and so this was too good to pass up. Again, courtesy of iTunes for the free episode.

A to Z: I only know the actress from How I Met Your Mother and the guy I believe was on some episodes of The Mindy Project. Sounds like a cute romantic TV show and heard some great things about it, so fingers crossed!

Cristela: I don’t think this one comes out for a while, but from watching the trailer, it sounds really funny! It’s a 50/50 chance that it might get cancelled or renewed, but let’s hope for the best.

Forever: Likewise with Scorpion, I really don’t know much about what this is about. Something about immortality I’m guessing and the guy’s a doctor. I think. Oh well, free ep from iTunes once more!

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So there you have it folks! I’m super excited to get into these 15 returning shows and 9 new ones :D I have no idea about new shows, because it seems like I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment, but who knows! We’ll see *wink wink*.

Let me know in the comments what shows you’re watching that are either new, returning, or old and you just wanted to watch it now!

**All images are from Ben Dodson’s iTunes Artwork Finder

Remember Me Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Remember Me by Romily Bernard

Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Find Me, Book 2
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
Buy: Amazon ● The Book Depository (Hardback / Paperback) ● B&NiTunesKobo

Read my review of Find Me HERE.

In the sequel to Find Me, Wick Tate, sarcastic teen hacker, is back and once again dealing with criminals and corrupt cops…and a brooding new love interest. Will Wick persevere when some secrets refuse to stay hidden?

Wick had thought her troubles were over.

But she should’ve known better.

Not only is she embroiled in a new murder case, which starts with a body with “Remember Me” carved into it and doesn’t stop there, but she also discovers new evidence surrounding her mother’s suicide…which leads her right back to her imprisoned deadbeat dad. And she has to deal with her flirty new hacker friend, Milo, sniffing around—which her boyfriend, Griff, isn’t too happy about.

The pressure might be too much as secrets—including Wick’s own—climb to the surface.

I loved Find Me, so when I found out there was going to be a sequel (or two) I nearly screamed with joy. The first book in this series was fast-paced and super creepy, and I was totally looking forward to more with the second instalment. Remember Me was fantastic; it lived up to my expectations and soared even further. Never mind that I read the first book around a year ago– the details are still so clear in my head, and let me tell you: that never happens. I’m a sucker for shocks and twists in a story, and this series definitely has them.

This novel introduces something that’s usually a turn-off when done wrong: a love triangle. Honestly, they don’t bother me if it’s excellently executed but sometimes it just works. Luckily, in this case, it was so good. Like honestly, I love Griff, but holy moly there’s something about a smokin’ hot bad boy. I was so torn between Griff and Milo, and I know there’s going to be a whole show-down in the final book, so I’m ecstatic to see who she’ll actually end up. I liked how the events of Find Me has changed the family dynamic. I won’t say too much because that would kinda give away what’s happened in the first book, but it’s really interesting to see how it’s changed Wicket and Lily.

Like with the first book, I did not see the ending coming. I had no idea it would be the person it turned out to be, but wowie. Definitely a huge-ass twist that will knock your socks off. A lot more spy-like action happens in this book which is also really cool, but generally the different events that occur all come together and creates one mind-blowing conclusion that had my mouth wide open in disbelief.

I found myself reading Remember Me non-stop– it’s a gripping sequel that lives up to it’s predecessor and I’m desperate to get my hands on the next in series. Romily Bernard weaves together a thrilling story that only gets better with every word. I can’t wait for Trust Me!

If you like this, try...

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I graduated from Georgia State University with a Literature degree. Since then, I’ve worked as a riding instructor, cell phone salesgirl, personal assistant, groom, exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service rep. 

So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed.

Website ● Goodreads ● Twitter ● Facebook ● Pinterest ● YouTube

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Giveaway time!

Enter to win...

Win (1) of (2) Signed paperbacks of Find Me + Remember Me by Romily Bernard

US Only
Enter via the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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To follow the rest of the tour click on the banner at the top of the post or on the button below!

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Thank you so much to FFBC Blog Tours for having me along!

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Release Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: Dorothy Must Die, Book 1
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.

I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I've been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

There was a ton of hype for this book around the time it came out, particularly because the Wicked Witch of the West appeared on the TV show, Once Upon a Time. I wanted to read this one anyway because I’m a HUGE fan of the movie with Judy Garland (“Over the Rainbow” is my jam), and I have read The Wizard of Oz, even though I didn’t continue on with the series and I read the book like a bajillion years ago. Dorothy Must Die did not disappoint– I was really taken by the dark retelling of the classic and found myself enjoying the changes made to familiar characters and the world of Oz.

Okay, so at first, I’ll admit, I hated Amy. She seemed spineless and constantly whined about her life. Yes– she doesn’t seem to have the best life. But seriously, does she need to complain about it all the time? Anyway, thankfully all the whining went down later on in the book and there was some major character change. I must also admit, while I do love the sweet and innocent version of the character, Dorothy was amazing. Horrifying, yes, but what a character. I seriously enjoyed her pigheadedness and general dictator-like stance, so you've got to hand it to her: she knows how to be evil.

I’m really considering reading the rest of the books in the series as well as a re-read of The Wizard of Oz because there are so many characters that apparently exist in the classic that I totally could not remember in this retelling. It would be cool to compare how they are in the original versus how they’re presented in this novel. I’m also looking forward to reading the prequel (or should I say prequels) to this series, No Place Like Oz and The Witch Must Burn. I’m definitely interested to see how Dorothy came back to Oz, as I’d mentioned she’s such an intriguing character in this novel, and how she becomes this tyrannical ruler.

Playfully imagined and wickedly enthralling, Dorothy Must Die was a spiced up return to the yellow brick road and the Emerald City, complete with the original cast like you’ve never – and I repeat, never – seen them before and new characters that must face this brave new Oz. Danielle Paige’s debut is addictive and I can’t wait for more!

If you like this, try...

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Waiting on Wednesday – Week 128

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:
Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez

Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.

She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.

She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.

October 7, 2014 ● Goodreads

I swear: I just do this meme so I can look at pretty covers. *ehem* Anyway, I loved Jessica Martinez’s Virtuosity (read my review here) and I seriously can’t wait to start this one. Sounds original and thrilling, no?

What are you waiting on?

Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

Release Date: February 18, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Series: Mind Games, Book 2
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed – thanks Richa (City of Books)!
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Read my review of Mind Games HERE.

Annie and Fia are ready to fight back.

The sisters have been manipulated and controlled by the Keane Foundation for years, trapped in a never ending battle for survival. Now they have found allies who can help them truly escape. After faking her own death, Annie has joined a group that is plotting to destroy the Foundation. And Fia is working with James Keane to bring his father down from the inside.

But Annie's visions of the future can't show her who to trust in the present. And though James is Fia's first love, Fia knows he's hiding something. The sisters can rely only on each other - but that may not be enough to save them.

I’ve learned from the past: if you see a Kiersten White book, READ IT IMMEDIATELY. I am so in love with her writing style. It’s got a twisted sense of humour, the kind that you giggle at despite it being horrifying and bloody, or so absurdly unrealistic that it just works. Of course after reading Mind Games I’ve been DYING to read the sequel, but I only got to reading Perfect Lies recently. After leaving this lying on my shelf for so long – and this isn’t even my book (sorry Richa!) – I decided to finish this duology, once and for all. Okay, maybe not once and for all, but you know what I mean.

I think my experience with reading this one was slightly hindered due to the fact that it’s been around a year since I’d read the first part of this two-book series. Yeah, so names, places, groups, etc. were totally unrecognizable for me because I had no idea who was who, how the last book left off, and who was on who’s side. It took a little re-reading of my review, other people’s reviews and guessing while reading to get a grasp on previous events and where exactly this book picks up.

This time round, I liked Annie’s story more than Fia’s. While Mind Games was more centered around Fia, I enjoyed how we got to see more of Annie and how as reader’s we learn more about her character as well. BONUS: there is also some romance that develops! Fia’s story though was just really confusing. I liked the addition of “Pixie”’s character, but my confusion mainly had to do with the fact about the time that the story takes place. IT JUMPS AROUND SO MUCH. In the first book I could take it but with this one I was left dazed, wondering what was going on. As for the love triangle that kind of developed in Mind Games– yeah, that’s gone. Adam barely makes an appearance during the book, which is strange since I remember him having quite a big role in the previous book.

Perfect Lies was a fast read, jam-packed with action, swoon-worthy guys and an ending I did not see coming. While I’m sad to say goodbye to this series, I’m definitely looking forward to more hilarity from Kiersten White. Can’t wait to start Illusions of Fate!

If you like this, try...

Shipwreck Island by S.A. Bodeen

Shipwreck Island by S.A. Bodeen

Release Date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Series: Shipwreck Island, Book 1
Rated: MG 11+
Format: eGalley
Source: NetGalley
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

Sarah Robinson is deeply troubled in the wake of her dad’s second marriage. She now has to deal with a new stepmom and two stepbrothers, Marco, who is her age, and Nacho, who’s younger. Even though they’ve all moved from Texas to California to start life as a new, blended family, none of the kids seem remotely happy about it.

Sarah’s dad and stepmom then decide to take the whole family on a special vacation in order to break the ice and have everyone get to know one another. They’ll fly to Tahiti, charter a boat, and go sailing for a few days. It’ll be an adventure, right? 

Wrong. Dead wrong.

I had the pleasure of meeting S.A. Bodeen during ALA 2013 (very, very briefly – her book signing line was HUGE), and I really enjoyed her novel, The Raft. I was really taken by the cover illustration when I first found this book on NetGalley. Like any sane person, I am a sucker for amazing covers and I knew that I had to get my hands on this book. Shipwreck Island was a really short read, and while I don’t read that many middle grade books anymore, I still found myself intrigued by the story and left wanting more.

At first, Sarah’s character annoyed me intensely. I mean, she acts all bratty and unfriendly when her new stepmom and stepbrothers move in. However, when I think about it, if I was in Sarah’s shoes, I would TOTALLY act the same way. Sure, I mean after her mom died six years ago, her dad does deserve some happiness, but I know I would be unwilling to move on as well. So, I totally see where she’s coming from. I thought Nacho’s character was adorable, and Marco... well, let’s hope I get around to liking his character more in the next book. Ahab is adorable – and reminds me of my own dog – and I liked John and Yvonna. Great set of characters and I liked the tension that grew between them (particularly with the children), but I also enjoyed how they stuck together during tough situations.

The island – which they call Shipwreck Island (hence the book title) – that they end up stranded on is an interesting setting. Things start to get a little weird, but I’m glad. It reminds me so much of the books I used to read when I was younger and I’m yearning for that adventure-type novel again, where everything is unrealistic and in no way could happen in real life, but you wish it could happen.

I was a little confused by the ending because it cut off so abruptly that I thought the eGalley was wrong or something, but I hope that this continues into multiple books because I’ll be sure to read them. Shipwreck Island was a fun start to what looks like a promising series which middle grade readers will love immensely. Can’t wait to find out what happens next!

If you like this, try...

You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed – thanks Richa (City of Books)!
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads Website

For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life.

The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There'd be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.

Now sixteen, Justine doesn't feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.

But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what's on film. They've all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else's eyes.

Smart, fresh, and frequently funny, You Look Different in Real Life is a piercing novel about life in an age where the lines between what's personal and what's public aren't always clear.

It’s sad to say that I’ve had this book on my shelf for WAY too long. I borrowed this from one of my best friends and fellow book blogger, Richa (City of Books) – I’m so sorry for keeping this too long! – and unfortunately because there was never a good time, I kept putting off reading it. I HAVE SO MANY REGRETS. This book was amazing. Nay, it was awesome. You Look Different in Real Life had the right amount of humour, emotional trauma and a unique concept that really made this stand out from other contemporaries. 

First of all, the storyline: so original! I mean, contemporaries about movies and TV shows have been done, but something like this, a documentary series that follows five children every five years is pretty amazing. Plus, I don’t think I’ve read anything, other than Secrets of My Hollywood Life, that deals with someone who’s been part of the film business for a while. There was such a good range of characters and such diversity of events that occur throughout the novel, so much that there wasn’t a dry part of the novel for me at least. I would have thought that being followed around with a camera crew would have it’s perks, but after reading this novel, I can definitely see the problems that arise and the consequences that it creates.

Speaking of characters, I loved ALL of them. Seriously. I enjoyed Justine’s humour and personal conflict as she comes to terms with who she is and who she wants to be. I adored Felix’s outgoing personality and the little twist that comes up later on in the novel– his story definitely gets interesting. Nate at first seemed a little cold, but I totally warmed up to his character as he and Justine interact more. Kiera was the only one who I thought was really distant from the four, but her story definitely dominates most of the story and is the undercurrent to the plot. Rory I couldn’t help but feel bad for. However, I also liked that she was okay with being different and accepted herself. I even liked Leslie’s character, because even though she was kind of went Effie-Trinket all over the five kids, like The Hunger Games character she truly cares for the kids.

There is a teeny bit of romance between two of the characters – not gonna mention which two – and while I think it was fine, it didn’t make much sense to me. They haven’t talked for a very long time, and because they suddenly start to open up to each other, that means that they fall in love? Maybe I missed something, but this was the only part that was slightly off-putting. However, the relationships that form between all five of the children is so real– Castle has certainly done an amazing job portraying it!

You Look Different in Real Life was an honest portrayal of what goes on behind the camera lens, and I loved how real and sincere it was. I couldn’t put this one down for a second! Jennifer Castle is an author that will appeal to fans of Sarah Dessen's and Elizabeth Scott’s novels, and is a fresh voice in YA that I can’t WAIT to hear more from.

If you like this, try...

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Waiting on Wednesday – Week 127

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:
Polaris by Mindee Arnett

**WARNING: may contain spoilers from Avalon**
Following the events of Avalon, Jeth Seagrave and his crew are on the run. Jeth is desperate to find the resources and funding he needs to rescue his mother from an ITA’s research lab and leave this whole galaxy behind for a new life somewhere else. But the ITA is just as desperate, and soon Jeth finds himself pursued by a mysterious figure hell-bent on capturing Jeth and his crew—dead or alive. In a last-ditch effort to save everyone he holds dear, Jeth enters into a bargain with the last person he ever thought he'd see again: Dax Shepherd, the galaxy’s newest and most fearsome crime lord. And he’s not the only one: upon arriving back at Peltraz spaceport for the first time since he witnessed the death of his old employer, Jeth discovers Dax has a new partner: Jeth’s mother, Marian.

This shocking turn of events is only the first in another breathless, action-packed sci-fi adventure rife with danger, love, and betrayal, as Jeth has to once again ask himself how much he’s willing to invest in a morally bankrupt galaxy in the hopes of saving those he cares for.

January 20, 2015 ● Goodreads

I think this one definitely prompts a re-read of Avalon! I really enjoyed the first book in this duology, but I am utterly useless when it comes to remembering events in books that I’d read a while ago. Anyway, I know that I definitely enjoyed the first book so I can’t wait!

What are you waiting on?

Don’t Touch Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

Don’t Touch by Rachel M. Wilson

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: eGalley
Source: Edelweiss
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A powerful story of a girl who is afraid to touch another person’s skin, until the boy auditioning for Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.

Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.

Caddie can’t stop thinking that if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, her parents might get back together... which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin.

It seems harmless at first, but Caddie’s obsession soon threatens her ambitions as an actress. She desperately wants to play Ophelia in her school’s production of Hamlet. But that would mean touching Peter, who’s auditioning for the title role—and kissing him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn't sure she's brave enough to let herself fall.

Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson, this debut novel from Rachel M. Wilson is a moving story of a talented girl who's fighting an increasingly severe anxiety disorder, and the friends and family who stand by her.

To be honest when I first saw the cover I thought this was going to be a paranormal. Probably something along the lines of a girl who can’t touch people because things will happen to them– kind of a Shatter Me-esque vibe. However, when I finally read the premise, I realised that no, it was actually a contemporary and sounded a lot more like Kissing Doorknobs (a book I haven’t read yet but is also about a severe anxiety disorder). I enjoyed Don’t Touch immensely. I’m a theatre geek, love Hamlet and the amazing combination of a serious issue with more than a few instances that were absolutely hilarious, I was completely taken by this book.

While I didn’t exactly get why on earth Caddie wouldn’t let anyone touch her on a rational level, obviously that attributes to the fact that I don’t have any experience whatsoever with anxiety disorder nor do I know anyone with it. It was really an interesting experience to read about though. Especially since Caddie’s character is really passionate about theatre, the lack of physical contact she has with anyone is astounding and becomes quite the focal point for the story. Of course, I fell in love with Peter. How could I not? While I was kind of feeling iffy about Mandy’s character and commitment to friendship with Caddie, Peter was a constant figure throughout Caddie’s struggle despite him not knowing what’s going on. I loved the chemistry they both had, on and off stage, and it’s quite the roller coaster of emotions that this relationship goes through for sure.

I liked how Hamlet was interweaved into the novel. How much the characters reflect the character’s they play in the book (haha! A play within a book... interesting parallel, no?). How much Ophelia there is in Caddie and how much both characters reflect one another is a fascinating aspect you see developing in the book. The intertextuality, from the Acts to the constant repetition of lines from Hamlet to the image of Ophelia falling– beautifully done.

Don’t Touch was gorgeously enthralling. The horrifying reality of how one girl’s problems threaten to take over her life was a wake-up call, and in the end left me feeling numb and struck by how out of control a disorder can become. A powerful debut, Wilson is an author to look out for.

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Rachel M. Wilson is the author of the contemporary YA, DON'T TOUCH, forthcoming from HarperTeen, Sep. 2, 2014. 

She graduated from Northwestern University and holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Rachel grew up in Birmingham, AL, and she currently writes, acts, and teaches in Chicago, IL.

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Giveaway time!

Enter to win...

Win (1) signed hardback of Don't Touch + Caddie's evening gloves

Enter via the Rafflecopter below

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Click on the tour banner at the top of the post or on the button below to follow the rest of the tour!

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Thank you so much to FFBC Blog Tours for having me along on the tour!