Monday, 30 March 2015

REVIEW - The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Thank you to Hachette Children's Books for providing me with a copy in exchange 
for an honest review

I'm gonna be honest here about what attracted me to this book, it wasn't the shiny high school kids on the cover or the fact it sounded like it would be a good read, no it was the title, The DUFF.  

You see I am a DUFF not at D.U.F.F. of the title, it is my surname so of course I was curious to find out what a book with my last name plastered all over and inside it would be about!

The D.U.F.F. or designated ugly fat friend of the title is Bianca a seventeen year old high school student who one night discovers she is a D.U.F.F. from the hottest guy in school Wesley.  It does bother her a little bit, her two friends are both kind, gorgeous and lusted after by Wesley but as far as she is concerned he is an ass, she hates his guts.

But he is everywhere Bianca goes and when they meet it just reminds her that she is undesirable, in fact he coins her new nickname Duffy.  She has bigger problems than Wesley, her parents are never in the same place at the same time, her mother is travelling on the west coast and her father who is a recovering alcoholic is one disaster from being back on the bottle.

Her worst fears are confirmed when she finds out her mother has filed for divorce, her father hits the bottle and Bianca tries to blot out everything bad and she does the one thing she never thought she would do, she throws herself at her arch-nemesis Wesley, what starts off as a kiss progresses to something more and before long their relationship starts to change.  They frequently meet up and her relationship with her friends suffers for it.

But she believes he is just there for the moment to blot out her home life and she has her eyes set on a another boy at school.  She knows Wesley can have any girl and does have them frequently so she isn't concerned about his feelings.

An incident one night changes their relationship permanently and Bianca finds herself distant from her friends and her family.  The one person who is there for her is Wesley, the one person in the world she detests the most. 

The D.U.F.F. is a great read, it is filled with well thought out characters who bring so much life to the pages with their wit and wisdom!  Bianca and Wesley, well you can see where they are heading a mile off, it is predictable but it is an amazing ride as you join them both in, and I know it sounds cliched, a voyage of self discovery, see totally cliched!

There are a few books in this series, Hamilton High and I'm looking forward to reading them too plus not forgetting this book has been made in to a film which is out next month!


Friday, 27 March 2015

BLOG TOUR - Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold **GIVEAWAY**

Welcome to my blog tour stop for Kate Triumph by Shari Arnold
Read more below including my review and the chance to win an Amazon giftcard and a signed copy of the book!

Normal is so overrated. At least that's what seventeen-year-old Kate Triumph tells herself everyday. But the truth is she lives in constant fear that someone will discover how not normal she really is. With her startling speed and her unusual ability to heal, Kate believes she's something of a freak. 

Then Andrew Shore arrives. 

He claims he's her father, sticks around for a few days and leaves her a plane ticket. “Come to Mercer Island,” he says. “Give me a chance to get to know you.” Soon Kate is floundering in a world of new: new address, new car, new high school and, of course, new father. Not to mention Zack, her intriguing new neighbor, who makes her want to abandon her steadfast rule of never allowing anyone to get too close. But when she discovers someone is trying to kill her, life for Kate gets a bit more complicated. And a lot less normal.

Kate Triumph is different, she is not like her classmates, she is not even like her mother.  Every day she tries to hide the fact she can run extremely fast, like amazingly fast plus she can heal too.

She knows she is different and together with her mother she tries to keep her ability hidden from the world but her world is shook to the core when her mother is killed, thinking her father was also dead she is shocked when Andrew Shore turns up willing to make amends with her and invites her to live with him on Mercer Island.

Torn between the life she knew and the life she could have she takes the chance and heads to the island.  It is of course a culture shock, starting again at a new school, meeting new people and getting to know her father but that is the least of her worries, something is not right, she fees that someone is following her and one day receives an anonymous letter telling her to be on guard.

Who is after her? Do they want her dead or alive?

Kate Triumph is a great read, besides Kate there are lot of other characters that we meet including the mysterious Jonah.  It has a great mix of superhero, teen angst, suspense and romance plus a grumpy cat!

Thanks to Me, Myshelf and I for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review
Amazon US || Barnes & Noble || Smashwords || Goodreads || Amazon UK

Shari Arnold grew up in California and Utah but now resides in Connecticut, with her husband and two kids, where she finds it difficult to trust a beach without waves. She writes Young Adult fiction because it's her favorite. And occasionally she takes photographs.

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

1 Winner will get a $20.00 Amazon Gift CVard + A Signed Paperback of Kate Triumph!
Must be 13 + To Enter. 
Open to US only. 

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Friday, 20 March 2015

REVIEW: The Storm by Virginia Bergin

Thank you to Pan MacMillan for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review

The End of the World was just the beginning

Last year I read a very enjoyable book called The Rain, the end of the world had arrived, no zombies or bombs, just water.  To be exact it was rain, rain falling from the sky with a bacteria in it that attacks the human body and attack it did, it did not discriminate killing young and old alike but it didn't kill Ruby our teenage heroine who lost her family, friends and some pets during her story in The Rain, how has life been for her since we last saw her still trying to find her dad?

The Storm shows Ruby has not changed, she is still a typical teen, still alone but she seems to have a dark shadow across her and we get a better glimpse at how she has been living.  One thing she is still enjoying is her driving and at the beginning of the book she totals a Ferrari but she seems to be cracking up a little, too much time spent by herself is showing, she would settle for her "friend" Darius Spratt.

She doesn't get Darius she gets her friend Saskia instead and when she brings her back to her house you get an extremely vivid idea of how Ruby has been living, buckets of pee, rubbish all over the shop, did I mention she has cut hair (could she be going crazy like Britney?), she has just let everything get literally on top of her, could the arrival of Saskia help her escape the low she has been having?

Ruby and Saskia end up (via a nasty accident) back at the army camp and this is when the story changes but I don't want to give you any spoilers so this is where I'll stop telling you about the plot and just give you a gentle hint of what happens next.

At the camp Ruby meets an old friend and also discovers that the camp harbours some horrific secrets plus she learns more about herself not in the deep and meaningful way but in the.......nope not gonna tell you.  Plus will she find her dad?

The Storm is a great read, you need to remember when reading it is that Ruby is only 15, she is selfish, she does what she thinks is best which is not always the right thing to do but she has a heart of gold and this may come across as being immature but that is exactly what she is however considering all she goes through she manages to survive.

Virginia has once again given me an enjoyable read, will there be more from Ruby? I can't answer that but there was one character (new in this book) whose disappearance is very obvious at the end of the book, I'd like to find out what has happened to them.

A great read, 5 out of 5

Virginia Bergin learned to roller-skate with the children of eminent physicists.
She grew up in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, in a house tied to her father’s job. Her parents, the children of Irish and Polish immigrants – and one Englishwoman – had moved from Liverpool to the south of England in search of work.
Virginia studied psychology but ruined her own career when, dabbling in fine art at Central St Martins, she re-discovered creative writing. Since then she has written poetry, short stories, film and TV scripts and a play that almost got produced – but didn’t.
In between and alongside more jobs than you’ve had hot dinners, she has worked as a writer on TV, eLearning and corporate projects and has 22 broadcast and non-broadcast TV credits, from children’s favourite Big Cat Diary Family Histories (BBC) to the award-winning series Africa (Tigress Productions for National Geographic). Most recently, she has been working in online education, creating interactive courses for The Open University.
She currently lives on a council estate in Bristol and has taken to feeding the birds.


BLOG TOUR - Gentle Chains by Nazarea Andrews **GIVEAWAY**

Welcome to my blog tour stop for Gentle Chains by Nazarea Andrews, read my review and why not enter the giveaway where you can win a beautiful necklace and other awesome swag!

When slavers steal Juhan and his twin sister Chosi from their home planet of psychics, their only comfort is in the fact that they’re together. When they are separated at auction, Juhan swears to find his sister, no matter the cost.

Juhan is bought by the spoiled daughter of a political scion. Caught in her glittering world of intrigue and politics, Juhan is startled to find Sadi playing a long game to change intergalactic politics and Juhan is merely a pawn in her game. But as his vow and Sadi's lies takes them across galaxies, he begins to wonder if his young owner is more than an arrogant rich girl. And he has to consider the cost of his promise—especially when people they both care for begin to die.

A galaxy away, Chosi is sold into blood sport. With her psychic ability, she earns a precarious position of value within the gladiator school, training the draken—wild creatures of smoke and fire—for the arena. In the midst of that hell, she forges a friendship with the slave Jemes and the draken she cares for. But when her defiance comes with devastating results, Chosi contemplates suicide as an escape from her chains. Yet, she can't forget the brother who promised to find her, and even as she welcomes the risk of death, she clings to that promise. 

Spun across space and exotic worlds, Juhan and Chosi try to find each other, and home in a stunning story about the lengths love will take you. 

So I have really enjoyed Nazarea's zombie series The World Without End and really looked forward to having a perusal of her latest release Gentle Chains.

Nazarea has a real talent at building worlds that are enjoyable to read about and also a world that you can fully immerse yourself in, Gentle Chains was about to head off planet to literally new worlds far far away!

Juhan and Chosi are twins, naturally very close they share more than just genetics, they share a psychic ability but they closeness is about to be broken, they are kidnapped from their home by slavers.

Finding themselves a long way from home they are about to find themselves alone, sold in to slavery separately, each twin finding themselves on a dangerous and different path but each with the same goal to find each other and escape their lives as slaves.

Gentle Chains is a great read, in it you visit strange new worlds plus you meet great well written characters you really get behind and you really feel what they feel.

Awarded 4 out of 5

Thank you to InkSlinger PR for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review

Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.

Author Links:

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Thursday, 19 March 2015

BLITZ: Two For Thursday - The Gabriel Stone Series by Shannon Duffy **GIVEAWAY**

Hello and welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!
Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!
This week, #T4T presents to you:
Gabriel Stone and the Divinity of Valta (Gabriel Stone #1)
Gabriel Stone and the Wrath of the Solarians (Gabriel Stone #2)
by Shannon Duffy
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Gabriel Stone is a twelve-year-old boy still reeling from the unsolved disappearance of his mother. With a dad who’s hard to relate to, and mounting pressures at school, Gabriel lets off steam by hiking in the place where his mother was last seen. There, Gabe and friends find a crystal that proves not only beautiful, but magical beyond their wildest dreams. Only, magic and beauty come with a price: in order to return home, they must save the dying world of Valta.
add to goodreads
Available for Purchase:
amazon B&N
Amazon UK
What Readers are Saying:
“Gabriel Stone and the Divinity of Valta is a fun-filled adventure filled with talking monkeys, flying tigers, magical powers, and three best friends who are smart, funny, loyal, and above all, authentic.”Rachel Harris, New York Times bestselling author.
 “…this is a book that triggers the love for reading books.”Alexander – Book Reviewer
“A truly magical and entertaining read!” Lauren Hammond  – Author

Gabriel Stone is back from Valta, but the adventure is just beginning! His friend Tahlita is trapped in Willow Creek with no memory of Valta. Gabe, Piper, and Brent are determined to reunite Tahlita with her father. Yet even as they do, Prince Oliver arrives asking for their help. Menacing forces known as the Solarians have kidnapped the Empress and Princess and are threatening the lives of humans everywhere. Along with talking tracker monkey, Finley, the friends battle vampire mermaids and a living, blood-filled lake in their quest to save the Empress and Princess. Even with cool new powers, Gabe discovers their strongest weapon is their friendship as they battle the Solarians and rescue a cursed white witch—who may be the only one who can save Valta.
add to goodreads
Available for Purchase:
amazon B&N
Amazon UK

What Readers are Saying:
“Reading this book brought me back to a time when magic and zero worries filled my life.”Reviewer from A Leisure Moment

Shannon Duffy
Shannon Duffy grew up on the beautiful east coast of Canada, and now lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and son, Gabriel. She’s mom to one boy, and several pets. Shannon loves writing, reading, working out, soccer, and the sport of champions: shopping.
Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Complete the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!


Sunday, 15 March 2015

REVIEW - The In-Betweener by Ann Christy

Purchased from

So just to make sure there is no confusion this is about the world gone to hell in a hand-basket not four awkward teenage boys from the south of England (do you get the Inbetweeners in North American my over the pond readers?) anyway I digress I am a huge fan of Ann's writing, she always creates (or improves upon in the case of Silo 49) amazing worlds so I was looking forward to seeing what this was about.

Well it zombies but not as I have ever seen before, we are introduced to a world in total disarray, the human race is split in to three very different groups, humans, the walking dead and the in-betweeners who look human but are most certainly not.

What has turned the world on its axis?, Nanites, created as the saviour of mankind, curing major illnesses and keeping the population healthy but it has gone horribly wrong.  The nanites keep the dead animated and the near dead going, what is left of the human population has gone in to hiding.

Emily is holed up in a warehouse surrounded by a large fence, she is safe, she has routine and she has no plans to leave her compound.  She has seen her mother "die" and the world around her fall apart, for now she has everything she needs, she has the skills to take out any dead that come too near but unbeknownst to her she is being watched.

An in-betweener arrives at her gates with a note attached to him, he communicates barely but he gets across that he needs her, but will Emily go with him, how does he know she is there, can she trust him as he could potentially rip her to pieces?  

Yes she does go with him but I won't say what happens as that would be a SPOILER people but I will say that there are some distressing scenes, lots of blood and a hell of a lot of a good story!  This is the first book in a series (yay!) and it is so refreshing to read about zombies that haven't been created by a killer virus that surfaced somewhere is Asia or in a lab at some science facility so kudos to Ann for creating something new.

Look out for my review of book 2 Forever Between and want to know more about Ann read my interview with her from last year or have a perusal at my reviews of her other awesome books

Awarded 5 out of 5


Saturday, 14 March 2015

BLOG TOUR - Empty Cup by Suzanne Costigan **GIVEAWAY**

Welcome to my blog tour stop for Suzanne Costigan's Empty Cup

Read all about it below including my review and there is a giveaway to win copies of the book too!

Title: Empty Cup
Publication date: November 3, 2014
Publisher: Rebelight Publishing Inc.
Author: Suzanne Costigan
Mom’s new boyfriend is creepy.
On the night of her seventeenth birthday, Raven finds out he isn’t just creepy, he’s dangerous. He leaves Raven broken and bleeding, but Mom blames her for what happened. She kicks Raven out of the house with nothing but a blanket to protect her from a frigid winter night.
 As Raven struggles with the aftermath of the ultimate betrayal, she seeks solace in her imagination and a teacher who seems to understand her situation. She ultimately discovers that her world won’t change if she relies upon someone else to do it. Real change begins within.
 “…Sure to prompt reflection and provocative discussions on important issues.”
-Allan Stratton, author of Leslie’s Journal
 “Not an easy story, but an important one. Compelling, powerful, and engaging.”
-Eric Walters, author of Power Play.


For some this will be a hard book to read, it covers a difficult subject, abuse.

Raven lives with her mother, they do not have much love for one another and Raven certainly does not have any love for her mum's partner Trevor.

He gives her the creeps and he will have the same effect upon you, Suzanne has done a good job of creating a menacing aura around him, he watches Raven, he touches her when he shouldn't, he comes in to her room when he shouldn't, one night he comes in to her room and doesn't leave until he gets what he wants, what he shouldn't take.

Raven's mum is horrified, not for her daughter, by her daughter, why has Raven seduced her boyfriend?  She won't listen to reason, she ignores her bruised and battered daughter and does the worst thing possible, she throws her out on to the street with nothing.

Empty Cup follows Raven's journey as she copes with her demons and tries to lay them to rest, will she be able to find peace after such a traumatic time?

As I said this can be quite brutal in parts, the scenes before Raven is thrown out of her house are very close to the bone but Suzanne has done a very good job, she has created a young character who despite having gone through many things still continues with her life, yes she does make a few wrong choices but she tries to distance herself from what happened.

My only downside was the fact that this is written from the POV of a seventeen year old and she can come across as a little childish but that is probably my 36 year old self struggling to cope with the way teens act which is nothing like it was back in my day (aaargh I'm old!!)

A good read, awarded 4 out of 5

Thank you to Chapter by Chapter for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review

Suzanne Costigan is a child welfare advocate, supporting high risk children in her home, and an active member of the Winnipeg writing community. Empty Cup is her first novel.
Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

Winner will be drawn March 27, 2015
·        Two (2) winners will received a physical copy of Empty Cup by Suzanne Costigan (US/Canada)
·        Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Empty Cup by Suzanne Costigan (INT)

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