Friday, 31 May 2013

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Summary from Goodreads:
One hour to rewrite the past . . . 

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

It took me a few chapters to really get into this book, but then Myra McEntire had me firmly in her grasp! This was a truly amazing debut novel that I really enjoyed.

The idea of the book had me hooked and I had to keep reading to find out more about the characters and their stories. Emerson "Em" is an irresistible lead character, from her witty comments to her attitude there was nothing I didn't like about her. It would be really hard to not get captivated by her story and I couldn't stop reading. I had to find out everything I could about Em.

In Hourglass we have an amazing love story. There really is a chemistry between them and you, as the reader, will feel every single emotion that Em feels towards her love interest. It's so hard not to love him. He's caring, smart and so many other things. We even get another love interest later on in the book, and let me tell you that he is just as amazing as the first.

Myra has got time travel nailed. It was brilliantly written about, easy to understand and well developed. I haven't read many, or any, books about time travel so it was fun to read something new. It was also a nice break from my usual books that involve vampires, werewolves or, my personal favourite, witches.

Myra McEntire has a wonderful writing style that simply flows off the page and it really helps to get a good image in your head of what's going on. The entire concept of Hourglass was very original.

Also, what an amazing cover! It really blends in with the original story line. The only real problem I had was with Emerson's family. Frankly I thought they were way too lovey-dovey. 

Having said that, I loved this book and cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel Timepiece.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Author Interview: Jennifer Bosworth

Today I have the pleasure of having author of Struck, Jennifer Bosworth!

Q. Struck has such a unique and refreshing idea. How did you come up with it?
A. My philosophy about coming up with ideas for fantastical story elements––like my lightning addict in Struck––is to “steal from the real.” We live in a weird, weird world, and I like to start there. When I first began thinking about STRUCK, I wanted to write about a human lightning rod, so I dug in and researched real life human lightning rods. That was when I discovered a park ranger who held the world record for most lightning strikes survived. He’d been struck by lightning seven times, and survived each and every one. He used to drive around with a bucket of water in the back of his truck in case he was struck, caught on fire, and had to put himself out. People even began to avoid him, because it’s dangerous to be standing next to someone when they’re struck by lightning. But . . . despite the danger to his life, this man remained a park ranger until he died. I had to ask myself, why didn’t he get another job? Something that came with a roof, perhaps. Theories started sparking in my brain, the most interesting idea being that the man liked being struck by lightning. That it made him feel more alive than anything else, like it was the ultimate drug. And at that moment my fictional “lightning addict” was born.

Q. What sort of decisions did you make when creating the main character, Mia?
A. The first thing I knew about Mia was that she was a cynic. She’s the kind of girl who’d believe a scientific explanation for why she’s survived so many lightning strikes over any supernatural or mystical explanation. She’s the quintessential unbeliever, but deep down she wants to believe in something that doesn’t come with a scientific explanation. She’s just afraid of what it would mean if she did.

Q. Were there any aspects of yourself that you put into the story/characters?
A. That whole “cynic” thing I mentioned above . . . that’s me. I’m the ultimate cynic, so I guess you could say Mia is an offshoot of that part of me. When I create a character, I need common ground with them before I can really understand who they are. I call this “finding the way in.” Everything else about Mia beyond her cynicism is all her. That’s the only piece of me I broke off to give to her.

Q. How long did it take you to write all of Struck?
A. From first draft to final draft it took me about two years. At the time when I started the book I wasn’t a plotter, so most of that time was spent revising the mess I’d made.

Q. The cover for Struck is beautiful and eye catching! Who designed it?
A. Thank you! I love the cover, too! It was designed by Andrew Arnold, who has my eternal gratitude for capturing the spirit of the story in such a dramatic and powerful image.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A. Aspiring writers are often told to “write what you know,” or “write the story you’d want to read.” I would say do neither of those. Instead, write the story that only YOU can tell. Many writers get caught up in the imitation phase of learning the craft, and never progress from there. You have to dig deeper, peel away your “fan” self, and write something that brings your unique point of view to the page.

Q. If you could change one thing about Struck what would it be and why?
A. I would make Mia’s brother, Parker, less of a good guy. I have a hard time writing “nice” people. I’d much rather write villains! But I’ll tell you what I wouldn’t change, even though I’ve taken a licking for this from some readers. I would not change the message about religious fanaticism. I want to write stories that make you think about an issue after you’ve closed the book. Maybe you’ll agree with my POV and maybe you won’t. Or maybe you’ll hate what I have to say and take it out on me on Goodreads. But as long as you think about the issue, I’m happy.

Q. Are you working on anything at the minute? If so, what can you tell us about it?
A. My next book, THE KILLING JAR, will be released Fall 2014 from FSG/Macmillan. It’s a kidnapping thriller with a supernatural twist, about a teen girl who’s abducted into a utopian commune, where she discovers shocking truths about her past.

I would like to thank Jennifer for being here! You can find her book on Goodreads
                                                                     Amazon UK

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Review: Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Summary from Goodreads:
Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

When I found this book while making a search for my sister I was enticed by the synopsis. For some reason I find school shootings fascinating. I always wondered if the shooters had any good in them at all. Jennifer Brown shows us that Nick had some good in him. 

Valerie has always seen the good in him. Even after he goes on a shooting spree she stills remembers the good that he did when he was alive. Valerie was a like-able character, most of the time. There was times when I wanted to hug her and other times when I wanted to shake her and tell her that Nick was a bad person. But then I thought, Nick wasn't always a bad person. To Valerie, he was the person she loved and of course she wants to remember all the good times they had together.

When I was reading this I found it almost comical that I hated Valerie's father more than I disliked Nick. I know from reading others reviews  that I am not the only person that dislikes him. He turned out to be more of a bad guy than Nick because he didn't support Valerie when she needed him. 

The sad reality is that school shootings do happen. Jennifer Brown approached the subject with great respect. I, myself feel great respect towards Jennifer and Hate List. I really couldn't believe how good this book was. 

Jennifer Brown has a wonderful and strong writing style that allows us to feel emotions intensely. I found myself crying, uncontrollably towards the end of the book. It was an intense scene towards the end. 

A wonderful, thought-provoking and powerful novel that deals with real life issues in a respectful manner.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Summary from Goodreads:
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

If I Stay was a heart-wrenching and addictive read.I heard so many good things about this book so I had very high expectations for it. Thankfully, they were met!

Early in the book we face a heart break. Gayle Forman knew exactly how to tug on my heart strings with the words she chose and the descriptions she wrote. We really get attached to the characters early on and that attachment lasted through out the book.

Every aspect in the book was perfectly written and every emotional moment was made all the more emotional by strong writing and a writing style that is hard not to connect with. The plot was developed wonderfully and at a believable pace. Nothing felt rushed. It left me wondering how it would end.

I borrowed the sequel to this book, Where She Went, from the library not realizing that it was a sequel so I knew how If I Stay ended. Having said that, I was still very emotional and in awe of the ending and couldn't stop thinking about it long after I had turned the last page.

It took me so long to write my review for this book because I honestly couldn't put into words my thoughts and feelings for it. Honestly, if  you haven't read it then go to the library or bookshop and get it because it is amazing.

An emotional roller-coaster that left me thinking about it long after I'd turned the last page. 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Summary from Goodreads:
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don't kill him first, that is.

This book should come with a warning. It would go like this: WARNING This book is highly addictive so do not read if you have things to do as you will forget about everything except this book. It would probably be shorter but I think you get the idea. 

Obsidian is absolutely brilliant. I honestly cannot praise it enough. Jennifer L. Armentrout did a wonderful job in creating the plot and the characters. As soon as I began reading I was pulled in. I have never read a book that involved aliens and I honestly expected it to be like an episode of the X-Files. It was a wonderful break from werewolves and vampires and witches. 

Jennifer Armentrout is a phenomenal writer. She creates addictive story lines and characters that you can't help but love. She also incorporates wittiness in her characters that is sure to make you laugh. Just don't read it in a public area that's quiet because you will get stared at. 

Obsidian's protagonist is Katy, a blogger (yeah!) who has just moved with her mom to try and get a fresh start after her dad's death years before. Katy was a wonderful lead character that knew exactly how to handle herself, well sometimes. She is quick with comebacks and is rather fiesty. Her interactions with Dee and Daemon were brilliant and entertaining. I loved when the three of them were together as there was never a dull moment. 

Daemon. How does one describe Daemon? In Katy's words: "Beautiful face. Beautiful Body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys." Thank you Katy for putting that in simple terms. I was always waiting for Daemon to say something because you knew it was going to be good. He is deffinately one of my favourite male characters EVER! 

Obsidian's ending left me hungry for more so as soon as I had finished it I quickly went on Amazon and bought the sequel. And so begins the agonizingly long wait for it to arrive!

If you haven't read Obsidian then go, right now, and get it!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Teaser Tuesday (1)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at Should Be Reading where you grab a book, open at two random pages and share something that isn't going to ruin the book! My book this week is Don't Look Back by S.B. Hayes!

He digested this for a moment with a wry smile. "It's a church. The opening hours are flexible. Would you like a moment to yourself?" Page 35

She sighed. "Why bring this up now? The damage has already been done."  Page 300

I have only started reading this one so I don't know what I'm going to think of it. I have mixed feelings! The cover is very haunting! 

Monday, 20 May 2013

Review: Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Summary from Goodreads:

Mallory's life is falling apart. 

Her boyfriend was stabbed. He bled to death in her kitchen. Mallory was the one who stabbed him. But she can't remember what happened that night. She only remembers the fear...

When Mallory's parents send her away to a boarding school, she thinks she can escape the gossip and the threats. But someone, or something, has followed her. There's the hand that touches her shoulder when she's drifting off to sleep. A voice whispering her name. And everyone knows what happened. So when a pupil is found dead, Mallory's name is on their lips. 

Her past can be forgotten but it's never gone. Can Mallory live with that?

Having adored Megan Miranda's debut novel, Fracture, I began reading Hysteria with high expectations. Let me tell you, they were met..and surpassed. I didn't think it would be possible for me to love her second book as much as I loved the first one. But I did.

As soon as I read the first line: My mother hid the knife block. I was intrigued, and then I was hooked! Megan Miranda has a way with opening lines. Fractures first line was wonderful and Hysterias was awesome. 

The mystery that we get a feel for at the beginning continues through out the book. I was completely captivated in finding out more and more about our main character, Mallory. She killed her boyfriend so the tension we feel between her and her parents and those around her is understandable. I loved her and her love interest was awesome! Words cannot describe.

Allow me to introduce you to the love interest. His name is Reid and I love him. There's something about a guy whose name is my favourite past time. Reid was the most wonderful love interest that I could imagine. When he was first introduced I was rather weary of him. I thought he was just another stuck up guy who wanted to take advantage of Mallory. That is not what he was at all. He was sweet and charming and he was good for Mallory. I have only one question "Where can I get a Reid?"

This book had a lot of twist and turns and was constantly shocked by the changes throughout it. There were times when I felt emotional because there were parts that were brilliantly written and powerful. The ending of Hysteria left me hungry for more and i kind if wish that this wasn't a stand alone. But in other ways I'm glad that it was a standalone. 

Hysteria is definitely one of my favourite books of 2013 and I cannot wait to read Megan Miranda's next book.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


Hi there!

My name's Leona. I'm from Ireland and thank you for checking out my blog. I really appreciate it.

I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment! If you have a blog leave me a link and I will follow.

Please do follow me so that you can keep up to date! I will hopefully have a giveaway in summer time (fingers crossed) It may take a little time for me to get into the full swing of things but I'll get there eventually!


Review: Fracture by Megan Miranda

Summary from Goodreads
Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine-despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?
Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

I went into this book with high expectations and they were meet! Okay so, I really don't know what to say about this book except that it is AMAZING!

I started it and was immediately drawn in, the opening line had me hooked immediately; 
 The first time I died, I didn't see God.
 I mean how can you not be hooked after that opening line?
I adore Delaney and Deckers relationship. They've been best friends for ages: inseparable  However, after Delaney is pulled from the lake their relationship is strained. It's understandable of course. Whos relationship wouldn't be strained after you're best friend dies? Decker and Delaney have a complicated relationship.

I felt very sorry for Delaney at times during the book. She survived under water for eleven minutes. You would think that people would be nice to her but some of them can't get over how much she has changed. I wish we could get a bit more of an insight into what she was like before the accident. There were parts that I could really feel Delaneys sadness and I felt the same as here. That's how you know if a book was well written or not.

Okay Troy. How do I describe Troy? I really don't know. The only concrete thing that I can say about Troy is that I didn't like him. But I suppose every book has at least one character you don't like. Its the whole point of writing a book. If you liked every character in the books it would be rather boring.
I was especially hooked the whole way through it to see if Delaney managed to stay alive , or if Troy managed to stay alive.