Ads 468x60px

Monday, September 30, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Madness Underneath
Author: Maureen Johnson
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: February 26 2013
Publishing House: Putnam Juvenile
ISBN: 9780399256615
Source of Copy: Fully Booked


After her near-fatal run-in with the Jack the Ripper copycat, Rory Deveaux has been living in Bristol under the close watch of her parents. So when her therapist suddenly suggests she return to Wexford, Rory jumps at the chance to get back to her friends.

But Rory's brush with the Ripper touched her more than she thought possible: she's become a human terminus, with the power to eliminate ghosts on contact. She soon finds out that the Shades - the city's secret ghost-fighting police - are responsible for her return. The Ripper may be gone but now there is a string of new inexplicable deaths threatening London. Rory has evidence that the deaths are no coincidence. Something much more sinister is going on, and now she must convince the squad to listen to her before it's too late.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


After suffering the aftermath of her ghostly encounter in the first book, Rory's back at home seeing a therapist and watching as her mom and dad tip toe carefully around her. But is that really what Rory wants? Even she doesn't know. So when her therapist suggests she head back to London, Rory agrees at the chance to get back to school, her friends and maybe, hopefully her life.

Truthfully, I wasn't that much a fan of the first book and I'm not exactly sure what possessed me to pick this one up. I'm glad I did though because I found myself actually liking Rory, she's spunky, funny and a whole lot lost. I like her character better in the second book; she's not as annoying.

Rory gets into a little trouble in this book, what with her new powers  - mainly being a human terminus - and the odd influx of ghosts around the city plus the increase in strange and sudden deaths. She's betting that something big is going on and she has to find a way to convince Stephen and his secret ghost fighting squad to believe her. 

What I did find lacking was Rory's lack of interaction with her friends. I mean yeah I get that she just dropped in in the middle of a school year but shouldn't there have been at least some meaningful interaction? I was never a fan of Rory and Jeremy's relationship and I still am not. But there are some interesting developments in this book that I was hoping for but never really expected would happen and this makes me a very, very happy girl. And as much as I'd like to give you guys hints and stuff, I won't because that would spoil the whole surprise.

In the second installment of the Shades of London series, Rory gets into more shenanigans, gets kicked out of school, fights a few ghosts and loses one person she holds dear. That's not all of it though, she finds herself ensconced within a strange cult of people who see ghosts like her and has to find a way to stop them and their dastardly deeds because they're clearly crazy and someone's got to do something about it.

Do I suggest you pick this one up? Yes, yes and yes. It's a totally fun read and is sure to entertain. 




Wednesday, September 25, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Elegy by Amanda Hocking

Title: Elegy
Author: Amanda Hocking
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Publishing House: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 9781250005670
Source of Copy: Purchased from National Bookstore

An ancient curse robbed Gemma Fisher of everything that matters most - her friends, her family, and the guy she loves. But now that she's found the scroll that binds the curse, she finally has a chance to get her old life back. She just needs to destroy the scroll and she'll become human again - but it's not as easy as she hoped. Protected by ancient magic, the scroll seems utterly indestructible. Making matters worse, Penn has grown even more obsessed with stealing Daniel for herself... and she's about to succeed.

Gemma's frantic search leads her to someone who might be able to help: the mysterious immortal who cursed Penn and her sisters thousands of years ago. As Gemma and her friends unravel the tragic history of the curse, they plunge deeper into a world of shocking secrets and twisted vendettas - and it'll take all their courage, love, and the power of their friendship just to survive. Gemma has so much to fight for and she's never wanted anything more, but will it be enough to stop her enemies.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Elegy is the final installment to the Watersong series. You can check out the review for  the previous books by clicking on the titles: Wake, Lullaby, and Tidal.

When one of the Sirens becomes Gemma's ally, she stands more of a fighting chance to revert back to her original human state. Penn, the cruelest of the Sirens, keeps a watchful eye on Gemma, and the only thing keeping her from killing Gemma is the deal she struck with Daniel, Harper's boyfriend. Time is ticking for Gemma because the only way to get rid of the Sirens once and for all is to break the curse before anyone else gets roped in a game of life and death.

I know I've somehow said that Gemma did a lot of growing up in Tidal, but I think her character in Elegy only clinches it. There are things in Elegy which I'm pretty sure that the old Gemma would've been too hesitant of doing, but she's pretty much grown into herself and shows readers that she's done with other people trying to save her, because really, the only one who can get her out of this mess is herself. Sure, Harper is still hellbent on finding a way to save her, but it's really only Gemma who can stop the madness the Sirens, nee Penn, is bent on raising. On that note, I think Harper's friend Marcy kept stealing the spotlight when she was in the scene. I found it a bit hard to commiserate with Gemma and Harper when Marcy kept doling out dry one-liners that had me cracking up, and I so do wish that I could read an extended story or something focusing on her.

While I do appreciate the author trying to tie up the loose ends as this is the last book for the series, I do find some things to be terribly too convenient for Gemma and Harper. Sure, coincidences happen, but I just can't seem to shake it out of my mind that they're almost too lucky to have a lot of access to contacts that I'm sure would be terribly hard to find. Like needle-in-a-haystack hard. With that being said, the plot for this one then runs a bit weaker, even if the end is quite solid.

Despite Elegy being a bit shady on the parts where we find out how to break the curse, I do think that the final book in the series is pretty okay. It won't really keep you up at night, but it won't have you crying into your soup either. (Well, I did a little, because I so badly wanted Daniel to be real. But that's another story.)



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Madman's Daughter
Author: Megan Shepherd
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Publishing House: Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 97680062128027
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London - working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she leans he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward - both of whom she is deeply drawn to - Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into the chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius - and madness - in her own blood.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


It's not hard to fall in immediate lust with The Madman's Daughter. It's got a fantastic sinister-looking cover, and a compelling summary involving experimentation. In fact, I've been coveting this Gothic historical fantasy and science fiction novel for since the last quarter of 2012, and the only reason I've been so delayed with reading it was because the bookstore ran out of hardcovers, and I couldn't bring myself to settle for a paperback. You can probably gauge for yourself how high my expectations were for this one.

When rumors of her father's grim expertise sets the tongues of London a-wagging and the reputation of her family in tatters, Juliet has no qualms about ditching London to find her father as soon as she finds more about his whereabouts. But it seemed that destiny has a different fate in mind for her, because she happens to chance upon one of her father's illustrations - and that could only mean one thing: her father is alive. Juliet thinks that Montgomery's apprehension about her coming to the island is laughable, but it is only because she doesn't know that there is a monster committing terrible and unspeakable crimes on the island. The only question is which is the real monster.

One thing I do like about Juliet is how she's so clinical when it comes to bodies and blood. (Yes, me and my gore, I know.) It's fascinating how she's picked up terms from her dad and how totally nonsensical she is when faced with all these things that women back then would have undoubtedly fainted from. Aside from that however, Juliet's a pretty decent character, which is to say that she isn't the type you would completely empathize with, but you won't be so quick as to want to kill off from the get-go. The girl wants to find her Dad, her last family member - hey, I get it - even if he isn't the affectionate kind. I mean, most of the time, it doesn't even seem like he has any semblance of human feeling. But what I don't get with Juliet is her attraction with Edward on the side. I get why she still has feelings for Montgomery: he was her first crush, and they did spend an awful lot of time together before. But Edward? He's a castaway, and here comes Juliet, already barreling to protect him from who knows what. There are also instances where I did feel that Juliet was a bit slow, but I could kind of understand her difficulties a little.

If there's anything I am utterly in love with in The Madman's Daughter though, it is undoubtedly Shepherd's setting. I could easily immerse myself in the settings she has written out for London and the remote island. I could taste the grit, watch the blood ooze, and envision the lushness of the greenery. I just love it when books have that way of transporting you into a totally different world without difficulty on the reader's part. I do also love how this novel does have horror in it, so in a way, I guess you could say that some of my expectations were met. I actually wanted more drama, more heart-pounding horror, and more evil things that go bump in the night, but The Madman's Daughter is a pretty good shot in the historical fiction x horror category.

While I will find myself putting on my t0-buy list the next installment, Her Dark Curiosity, I don't really see the need for having a second book. Shepherd could wrap this one up and you wouldn't catch me screaming bloody murder. I guess you could say that I am going to be picking up the next book, if only to stave off what appears to be my dark curiosity. If you like Gothic historical fiction with a dash of horror, you might want to try this one. But if you don't mind not having much of romance and are looking into this one because of the lure of horror, you might want to check out Rick Yancey's The Monstrumologist books instead. 


Monday, September 23, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Title: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: February 7 2012
Publishing House: Putnam Juvenile
ISBN: 9780399257452
Source of Copy: National Bookstore


Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship - or an early grave. 

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with six months to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word...especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood - not even from each other.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


It seems like I've been churning out low ratings the past few weeks. Sorry guys, this is another one that I have to give one rainbow to.

Cate Cahill and her sisters are witches but everyone just thinks they're eccentric. It's a good thing when all she wants is to hide the fact that she's a witch from just about...everyone. But chancing upon her mother's diary and the prophecy revealed to her, she's afraid that now there's no chance of keeping her secret secret anymore, not when she and her sisters have been prophesied about since a trio of witch sisters are so rare and all that.

I wanted to like Born Wicked, but one reason I couldn't get into the story were the characters. I couldn't form a connection with Cate and any of her sisters. They were boring. And despite its premise, the book focuses a whole lot on the romance. Where's the magic? The witchery? Cate's sisters weren't very interesting either. Tess, being the youngest and Maura being the middle child. Tess is a talented witch, she came into her powers early and I liked her best of the three sisters. Maura on the other hand irritated me to no end, she's rebellious and constantly dreaming of freedom and I do understand her reasons but she doesn't have to be such a turd to her sister. She's selfish and irritating and I wish she'd, for once, think about the consequences of her actions.

Cate also has two boys to choose from, Paul and Finn, although it's pretty obvious which one she's gonna choose. The romance took up most of the story and I found myself skimming through pages - which I hate doing - because really, their courtship and their interactions were bland at best. Even that closet scene couldn't do anything for me.

What's sad about this is that I was actually okay with the world building and the mood and the writing but the lack of interesting situations that push the story forward just makes it hard to read. The lack of focus on their magic also had me deducting points. Now for those of you who're looking for historical romance with a hint of the paranormal, then maybe you'll enjoy this one better than I did. I, for one, am going to forego this series.



Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Sunday Post #33

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This special post will provide a recap for posts that have been written for the week (September 16 - 22)





Wednesday, September 18, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Origin
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Format Acquired: Paperback
Publication Date: August 27 2013
Publishing House: Entangled Publishing
ISBN: 9781622660759
Source of Copy: Fully Booked


Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he's facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything become sabout finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in the way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don't seem entirely crazy, but the group's goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on? And will they even be together?

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Origin is the fourth book in the Lux Series. In case you haven't read the first three books, you can find reviews for them here. Obsidian (Lux#1) Onyx (Lux #2) and Opal (Lux #3). I suggest that for those who still haven't read the last few books refrain from reading this review but I'll do my best to keep things non-spoilery.

Origin is different from the first three books because now we get to see inside Daemon's head. It features the alternating POVs of Daemon and Katy. While it's an interesting experience, being inside Daemon's head is nothing too exciting. He's like your typical teenage boy except he's an alien, he has powers and he's willing to do some pretty drastic things to get his little kitten back. I'm not surprised really, given the way he's so protective of her.

I will admit to actually liking Katy's character arc because I found her too whiny and too fixated on Daemon in Obsidian. But now? It's obvious that she's matured some and has changed a whole lot. She goes through a lot of excruciating things in this book and I actually find myself rooting for her now. In the past few books I was something of an observer, I had that whole whatever-happens-happens thing going on and I wasn't too invested in the series but now I find myself cheering for Katy. I wanted her to have her happily ever after you know?

A lot more exciting things happen in this book. Katy and Daemon lose a few friends, gain more allies, get betrayed and discover a new race. Not necessarily in that order. A lot of other things happen but I'll just keep my mouth shut about it and can I just take a moment to warn you guys that this book also has a cliffhanger? ANOTHER CLIFFHANGER. Armentrout and her cliffhangers. I wasn't too happy when I read the ending because I thought that it could have ended better but alright. I'll take it.

Obviously I'm looking forward to the next book. With the way this ended?? Yeah. Goodreads says it'll be out 2014 so I've got a while to wait.




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Title: Dark Triumph
Author: Robin LaFevers
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Publishing House: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
ISBN: 9780547628387
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Sybella arrives at the convent's doorstep half mad with grief and despair. Those that serve Death are only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. Naturally skilled in the arts of both death and seduction, Sybella, the convent realizes, is one of their most dangerous weapons.

But those assassin's skills are little help when the convent returns her to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Sybella would rather face death than be reconciled with all the things she has tried to run away from, from her treacherous and brutal father to the brother whose love proves sickening. After helping a prisoner escape from a fate that is most tragic, Sybella finds herself in a situation that not even the convent has anticipated. But even the coldest hearts must thaw at times, even when the timing is inopportune. 

Dark Triumph is hard to summarize without giving much of the story away, but I do think that it's significantly darker - thus better - than its predecessor, Grave Mercy. Truthfully, Sybella did not really pique my interest in the first book, and I only continued the series because it was quite enjoyable. But Dark Triumph is right up my alley as it does seem to cater to the more mature audience of the YA spectrum.

I really liked Sybella's character. Although cold, damaged, and more broken than she lets on, she is bloodthirsty and deviously cunning. She's also resourceful, and regretfully for her, is not as closed off as she would seem. She does have a heart, but it takes a very special and patient man to chip off all the ice and thorns surrounding it. But what I do appreciate about Dark Triumph is that LaFevers is not so much as creating characters, but as much as drawing out their actual personalities and insecurities. And I do so like LaFevers' hero in this one. Beast, based on his name alone, is hardly a guy anyone would put into their top book boyfriends. He doesn't have gorgeous hair, or a smile that would make anyone swoon. In fact, Sybella cruelly delights in calling him out on his "ugly mug", but Beast actually knows what's up with that, so he and the fair Sybella actually do make a good couple. The fact that he is delighted with her bloodlust only makes me love him more too.

With Dark Triumph sounding great, why then am I shaving off half a rainbow off my rating? While the premise is kept intact, the cast of characters are darkly amusing, and the pacing well-maintained, I do believe that there was something quite lacking that I just couldn't pinpoint. Probably I wanted something deeper for the plot, and I did kind of want Sybella to push Beast away a bit more, not because I am a terrible person or because I take delight in watching lovers in all their passionate anguish, but if only to make me actually internalize how great and fantastic they are together. The potential for eternal fan worship is there after all! 

Dark Triumph has actually made me excited for the next book, Mortal Heart, which is expected to come out in 2014.

Monday, September 16, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Rush by Eve Silver

Title: Rush
Author: Eve Silver
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: June 11 2013
Publishing House: Katherine Tegen Books
ISBN: 9780062192134
Source of Copy: Fully Booked


Miki Jones's carefully controlled life spirals into chaos after she's run down in the street, left broken and bloody. She wakes up fully healed in a place called the lobby - pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game in which she and a team of other teens are sent on mission to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures.

There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Every moment of the game is kill or be killed, and Miki has only the questionable guidance of Jackson Tate, the team's alluring and secretive leader. He evades her questions, hold himself aloof from the others, and claims it's every player for himself. But when he puts himself at risk to watch Miki's back, he leaves her both frustrated and fascinated. Jackson says the game isn't really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival. And the survival o every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn't. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Rush is strange mix of time travel, aliens, romance, teen angst and insta-love with some action - the killing people kind - on the side.

When Miki gets run down on the street, she finds herself waking up in another dimension. She has unwittingly become part of this group of people who save the world in secret by killing aliens called the Drau. While she'd like to think of it as a game, it's not. Not unless you're into games where when you die mid-game, you die in real life. No respawn, no second wind.

I''ll admit to being a gamer and I've been through a few RPGs. Diablo3 being the last one I played. So when I read the premise for this game I was like "Hey this is pretty cool, it's kind of like that Hardcore mode in Diablo3". In case you guys are unfamiliar with it, it's this mode in the game where you basically have to run through the acts without dying because if you do die, well, you stay dead and you can't ever play that character again. Something like that. So obviously I was excited but when I finally got to read the book? I just wanted to curl up in a corner and cry.

Miki is a decent character, she's nothing really special but she managed to not get on my nerves. That is until she gets into a fight with her best friend Chloe because Chloe called dibs on a guy, and that guy is showing interest in Miki. Are you kidding me? If I were in Miki's shoes I'd toss Chloe to the side because you don't need friends who act like little brats. But Miki does the exact opposite, she wants to get back into Chloe's good graces and grovels. I was actually imagining doing a number of violent things to both girls because of their idiocy. 

Rush also features a sort-of love triangle. Jackson and Miki and Luke - Miki's friend who is also part of the team she gets dropped into. Jackson is like your typical YA bad boy love interest. He runs hot and cold, he's caring one minute and the next he's cold and frigid and tells you to shove off. Obviously Miki is drawn to him because aside from being their team leader, he's got secrets and that adds depth to his character. Right. Luke on the other hand is like Jackson's opposite but that's all I have to say on him. I'm not a fan of either boy. Can I also mention that there's a serious case of insta love? This is crazy.

Another thing I didn't like about Rush was the plot and the world building. I mean it's original, but the execution was just...very, very confusing. The info-dumps weren't particularly helpful too. And as I said, this book is a mix of well...aliens, time travel and some other things that make for a very puzzling read. 

I won't deny that Rush has a very interesting and highly original plot and the action scenes were okay to read but I guess it's just not for me. If you're into aliens and books that have a video game feel to it and killing stuff you could always give this one a try. 



Sunday, September 15, 2013

[BLOG TOUR] The Twins on "Thursday": When The World Was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach + Guest Post + Giveaway

"The Twins on Thursday" is reserved for the Twins' joint reviews. It is a special feature of our blog that discusses books that we either both like, dislike, or have mixed feelings about. This is also the day where we post reviews for books (and ARCs/Galleys) that have been sent to us by authors/galley sites/publishing houses. And because we don't believe much in uniformity, we'll be trying to mix things up a bit by adding random stuff in relation to our review (well, mostly for books we purchased anyway).

Title: When The World Was Flat (and we were in love)
Author: Ingrid Jonach
Format Acquired: ARC
Publication Date: 3 September 2013 in the US and Canada, and 5 September 2013 in the UK, as well as worldwide as ebook and audio
Publishing House: Strange Chemistry
ISBN: 9781908844576
Source of Copy: Requested from publisher


When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it's like fireworks - for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and her small Nebraskan town in general.

But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccuring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind - memories of the two of them, together and in love.

When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger - and much more terrifying and beautiful - than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.

(Image, summary and information courtesy of Goodreads and from the author herself)


When Lillie sees Tom, she somehow knows that there's more to him, gorgeousness aside, that she just can't put a finger to. Because when you dream of having a baby with the new transferee, you know that's kind of messed up. But maybe it isn't, because while Tom will reel Lillie in only to push her away later, there is something more than he's letting on. In fact, Tom's secret will definitely change Lillie's perspective on the importance of each choice and decision she's ever made.

Lillie's not a very interesting character and her progression from decent, slightly artistic good girl into this love struck, hormonal and slightly whiny teenager was discomfiting. We didn't get a feel for Tom until the last few pages of the book, because he was just so weird what with all the brooding that he does. We thought that there were too many characters, so the actual story progressed really slow. There's all the drama with Sylv, Lillie's best friend, and a mini side story with another best friend, Jo, and they do kind of detract the reader from Lillie's story. 

The romance is actually both insta-love and not insta-love, and regrettably, we couldn't really elaborate more on that fact without giving much of the story away. While initially hard to swallow at first that these two protagonists were making moony eyes at each other almost all throughout the book, as it turns out, there is a logical explanation for the kind of crazy Tom-obsessed dreams Lillie is having.

The explanations regarding the parallel universes were a bit confusing at times, but it did make the book redeem itself. Yes, there are parallel universes, which made us giddy when that part came out. We love how Jonach has made some pretty interesting answers regarding deja vu, and other seemingly "paranormal" phenomena. But at the same time, the last few chapters were an info dump, a confusing one at that. And while a lot of questions were answered, a lot more were left unresolved.

While this would really be more fitting for hopeless romantics who are diehard believers in the transcendence of love, we would actually recommend this one more for parallel universe enthusiasts. 


Guest Post: Top 5 Book Boyfriends
1. Tom Windsor-Smith from When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by me!
I think it would have been difficult to write a romance novel about a character I was not in love with myself.
Tom is good looking (tick!), ridiculously wealthy (tick!), and a snappy dresser (tick!). Moving past the superficial stuff, we find a boy who is hiding heartbreak behind a cool exterior. He is completely motivated by love – and I find that extremely attractive!

2. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Mr. Darcy) from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. 

Mr. Darcy was actually the inspiration for Tom, so, of course, I absolutely adore him. He is such a pig at the beginning of the book, but I love his journey from snobbery to smitten to soulmate with Elizabeth Bennet.
His failed marriage proposal is heartbreaking, but necessary as he still has a lot to learn about himself before he can marry Elizabeth. I am not sure if I could have held out though if I were Lizzie. I would have said yes before he had even finished telling me how ‘ardently’ he admired and loved me.

3. Jesse Tuck from Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. 

I try not to think too much about Jesse being 104 years old and the object of his affection, Winnie Foster, being only 10.
I adore Jesse for his youthful exuberance and head over heels affection for Winnie. Like his life, his love for her is everlasting and he asks her to also drink from the fountain when he is forced to leave Treegap. But (SPOILER ALERT!), when he returns many years later, he finds her grave and evidence that she lived a long and fulfilling life, leaving him alone in his eternity. Sob! I would have drunk from that fountain in a heartbeat for Jesse!

4. Louis de Pointe du Lac from Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice. 

There is something endearing about the perpetually haunted Louis that I love in Interview with a Vampire. He is constantly thwarted in his attempts to retain his humanity by the selfish Lestat, who I just wish would die already!
Oh – and Brad Pitt in the movie adaptation… Need I say more?

5. Theodore Laurence (Laurie) from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. 

Laurie is an extremely lonely character in Little Women. He embeds himself in the March family through his friendship with Jo and proposes to two of the March girls, finally marrying Amy.
It did disappoint me when he lost his way somewhat before marrying Amy, but he was just so heartbroken by Jo. Darnit Jo! I will still never forgive you for not marrying him!
It breaks my heart when he says to her:
There’ll come a time when you will care for somebody, and you’ll love him tremendously, and live and die for him. I know you will. It’s your way, and I shall have to stand by and see it.

I also adore Christian Bale as Laurie, opposite Winona Ryder as Jo.

Enter below for your chance to win one of two awesome prize packages as part of the Around the World in 80 Days Blog Tour for When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach. 
There will be two winners worldwide. Each prize package includes:
·      a signed copy of When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
·      a pair of silver plated key-shaped earrings in a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) gift box
·      a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) bookmark.

The competition will run until 21 October 2013 and the winners will be announced on this page and via

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: When We Wake by Karen Healey

Title: When We Wake
Author: Karen Healey
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Publishing House: Little, Brown Books for Young Reader
ISBN: 9780316200769
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl living in 2027 - she's happiest when playing the guitar, she's falling in love for the first time, and she's joining her friends to protest the wrongs of the world: environmental collapse, social discrimination, and political injustice.

But on what should have been the best day of Tegan's life, she dies - and wakes up a hundred years later, locked in a government facility with no idea what happened.

The future isn't all she hoped it would be, and when appalling secrets come to light, Tegan must make a choice: Does she keep her head down and survive, or fight for a better world?

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


When an assassination ploy goes wrong, Tegan's life will never be the same. Technically, she should be dead, but since she signed her body to science for when she dies, Tegan wakes up to a totally different reality, after being cryogenically preserved for a hundred years. All Tegan wants is to live her life on her own terms, but no one is having it, because the government - and science - didn't use funds just to save her. They have a bigger plan, and Tegan is only the beginning.

When We Wake actually forces its readers to reflect on present issues. While readers will be momentarily thrust into 2027, it is not hard to imagine that the environment would still continue to be in peril and that racism will still be imminent. But while I do care for the environment, I just don't seem to like it when the book I'm reading practically sermons me about the ongoing environmental decline. While I do like the tech Healey's predicted for 2127, I did find some descriptions to be insufficient. I don't like watered down world-building simply because world-building plays an integral role in crafting a universe where these characters exist.

Tegan's fairly likeable, sure, and she doesn't really go down without a fight, which is something that improves my opinion of her. But all the other characters might as well just fade into the background. I didn't find anyone that Tegan could realistically sympathize with - not even the new romantic interest, Abdi. I'm even chalking up all that attraction to him with the fact that he looks almost exactly like her first boyfriend.

What I do like in this book is the portrayal of the roles of religion and science. Tegan's not so much religious as much as she is spiritual, so I do get to play devil's advocate here and get the chance to weigh opinions and beliefs of both religion and science and try to find for myself that sweet spot I'm parking at. I like the fact that readers can get to reflect on that aspect for a bit.

While When We Wake is a decent attempt at combining together real and relevant issues like racism and religion vs. science, I don't think I will be anticipating the next in the series.