Thursday, May 31, 2012

Giveaway: Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby

Here's your chance to win a cute contemporary romance and potential summer read. Allison Rushby was kind enough to send me a copy of SHOOTING STARS. I already read and liked it (review coming soon). So now I'm giving away my copy to one lucky winner.

Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

Summary by Goodreads  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* You enter for a chance to win one copy of  SHOOTING STARS.
* The giveaway starts on May 31st and will end on June 30th.
* Good luck :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Teaser: Soul Screamers Volume One by Rachel Vincent

Nash took my free hand in his, and I forgot whatever I'd seen. He pushed my hair back from my right ear. I couldn't understand most of what he whispered to me, but I gradually came to realize that his actual words weren't important. What mattered was his proximity. His breath on my neck. His warmth melting into mine. His scent surrounding me. His voice swirling in my head, insulating me from the scream still ricocheting against my skull. He was calming me with nothing more than his presence, his patience and whispered words of what sounded like a child's rhyme, based on what little I caught.
And it was working. My anxiety gradually faded, and dim, gritty color leaked back into the world. My fingers relaxed around his hand. My lungs expanded fully, and I sucked in a sharp, frigid breath, suddenly freezing as sweat from the club dried on my skin.
The panic was still there, in the shadowed corners of my mind, in the dark spots on the edge of my vision. But I could handle it now. Thanks to Nash.
"You okay?" he asked when I turned my head to face him, the bricks cold and rough against my cheek.
I nodded. And that's when a new horror descended: utter, consuming, inescapable mortification, most awful in its longevity. The panic attack was all but over, but humiliation would last a lifetime.
I'd completely lost it in front of Nash Hudson. My life was over [...]. 

p. 75-76

Monday, May 28, 2012

New Releases: May 28th - June 3rd

 May 29th

Dreamless (Starcrossed #2) by Josephine Angelini
Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti
Angel Eyes (Angel Eyes #1) by Shannon Dittemore

Here are the new releases for the next week. What books are you excited about to get your hands on? I read DREAMLESS (I liked STARCROSSED better) and pre-ordered a copy of KEEP HOLDING ON. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

New Books On My Shelf #52

New Books On My Shelf is the new label for my former In My Mailbox (The Story Siren) posts. I received awesome books this week!! What did you get?

For Review

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson (S&S UK. Currently reading and enjoying it)
One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon (Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for both books)
Adorkable by Sarra Manning (Thank you Atom for sending me a copy. What a great surprise!)


Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (loved it!)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Coveresque feat. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (US vs. Swedish vs.German)

US                                        Swedish                                    German

SHATTER ME was an awesome read! And I'm very happy that I own a hardcover copy of this book, because it is gorgeous. It expresses power and it's so shiny. I like the cover model and the dominance and contrast of the white and greyish-black colors. And the font design is one of my favourites!

Did you notice the counting in the background of the Swedish cover? It's one important element of SHATTER ME. I always enjoy when cover designers decide to give small hints and show a bit of what the story will be like. But I don't like its cover model and colors as much as the US ones.
I think the Swedish title says "Don't touch me". Hope that translation's correct?

The German title means something like "I'm not afraid". The background isn't that bad, but I don't really like the figure in the cover centre since it was already used on the US cover of Leigh Fallon's CARRIER OF THE MARK.

Which do you like best?
Italien & French cover

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Book Review: Changeling (The Order of Darkness #1) by Philippa Gregory

Title: Changeling (The Order of Darkness #1)
Author: Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publishing Date: May 24th 2012
Length: 272 pages
Keywords: YA fiction, historical, romance
Source: Publisher

Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of the first-ever teen series from #1 bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl

Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.   

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.    

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.     

Summary by Goodreads 

Historical romance is a genre I’ve enjoyed reading for quite a while now. You can imagine my elation when I heard that there would be a YA historical fiction book coming out by Simon & Schuster UK. And as I really enjoyed Philippa Gregory’s YA debut, I regret not knowing about her numerous other historical novels before.

The setting of 15th century Italy with its nunnery, various villages and the capital Rome is simply atmospheric. Philippa Gregory’s newest novel is in no way inferior to other adult historical novels. CHANGELING too has the great motives and emotions moving the population of the Middle Ages.

About Luca and Isolde. I can tell you that equally large parts of the story, told by an omniscient narrator, are focused on both of their perspectives. We get their different views on current events and see them in action to further investigate in the scary incidents plaguing the nunnery’s peace. I expected so much to happen between them, the story focusing on a romantic relationship between them, but so far only glimpses of their feelings for each other are revealed. Philippa Gregory left Luca and Isolde’s relationship at a point I so badly wanted to continue, to know what would come next.

Luca appears like the strong investigator empowered by God. Isolde seems to be a fragile young lady, a victim of her lord’s greed. But when it comes to looking into Luca’s past he can suddenly be more vulnerable. And having retribution and honour as incentive Isolde appears to be the ruler she was born to be. I’m waiting for more revelations about both of their pasts in a sequel.

Their companions Freize and Ishraq complement their masters and friends with their abilities to fight and see into the heart of the most frightening creatures out there. There’s a lot of tension between the two of them and their banter and their bluff manners felt amusing and gave the story some spice.

To help the reader navigate through the story, one of the first pages of the book contains a drawn map that allows us to follow their journey. Each new chapter of the book, there are only a few since they mostly stretch over many pages, is illustrated artfully with an image of a new location. Chapters are organised in smaller sections by further illustrative dividers. CHANGELING is illustrated by Fred van Deelen and Sally Taylor.

Evil conspiracies, crazy nuns, terrifying monsters and new questions for investigator Luca keep the story moving through minor stagnations in story flow, especially through the often dialogue-heavy segments of interrogations.

Where other historical novels can reach high page counts between 500 and 1000 pages sometimes, CHANGELING with its 272 pages can be considered a quick bite for connoisseurs of historical romances. A shortcoming resulting from mentioned page count could be seen in less space to develop characters, respectively to put the major events and more relevant incidents in motion.
At the same moment CHANGELING can also mean a good start into the historical direction for YA fans that are looking for a new story that can be consumed in bite-sized parts.
Of course Philippa’s CHANGELING also shouldn’t go unnoticed by her devoted fans and adult readers. They better bring some patience with them, because the story of Luca and Isolde has just begun. Now it’s Philippa’s turn to continue their journey. I will be awaiting the sequel with much anticipation! 

1) of a rich Italian scenery
2) of a sly conspiracy
3) of an efficient and amiable investigator duo
4) of a strong heroine who fights for her rights and honour
5) of an artfully illustrated book

4/5 **** CHANGELING- A historical YA feast that serves its readers with a rich 15th century Italian scenery and prominent characters!

Why aren’t there more historical stories that come together with YA and fiction?
It’s the pull of the conspiracies and new quests sending our group of young heroes on a journey through the landscape of medieval Italy and the skilful way of Philippa Gregory to weave historical fiction that make CHANGELING so appealing, to various audiences no matter the age. 


* Want to read more by Philippa Gregory? Check out her other books!

* Read an excerpt of CHANGELING here

* Click here to watch the book trailer. 

* Visit for further information about Philippa Gregory and her books.

* Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a copy of CHANGELING for review! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Teaser: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

"You know your way from here?" he asked.
"Of course I do," I said, slightly insulted.
Henry just shook his head and smiled, the first real smile I'd seen since meeting him again. "It's not like you have the greatest sense of direction," he said. I opened my mouth to protest this, and he went on, "I just had to help you find your way out of the woods."
He looked at me evenly for a moment, then added, "And it wasn't even the first time." Then he turned and walked away, leaving me to try and figure out what he meant.
A moment later, when he'd passed out of sight, it hit me. The first time we'd met had been in these very same woods. As I walked home, shielding my eyes against the sun, so bright after the darkness of the woods. I realized that I'd been so caught up in thinking about how things with him had ended, I'd almost forgotten how they had begun.

p. 70

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Q&A with Philippa Gregory

CHANGELING by Philippa Gregory is released this week and I think you should all get your hands on a copy soon! Today you can read the Q & A with Philippa Gregory thanks to Simon & Schuster UK. I'm planning to post a giveaway together with my review sometime this week, so be excited for that;)

Dark myths, medieval secrets, intrigue, and romance populate the pages of the first-ever teen series from #1 bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl 

Italy, 1453. Seventeen-year-old Luca Vero is brilliant, gorgeous—and accused of heresy. Cast out of his religious order for using the new science to question old superstitious beliefs, Luca is recruited into a secret sect: The Order of the Dragon, commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to investigate evil and danger in its many forms, and strange occurrences across Europe, in this year—the end of days.

Isolde is a seventeen-year-old girl shut up in a nunnery so she can’t inherit any of her father’s estate. As the nuns walk in their sleep and see strange visions, Isolde is accused of witchcraft—and Luca is sent to investigate her, but finds himself plotting her escape.    

Despite their vows, despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches, and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon.      

Summary by Goodreads

Q & A with Philippa Gregory

How was writing a book for teens different from writing a book for adults? 

I don't think there is any difference for me in terms of the craft of writing. I think that the quality and enjoyment of the novel should be at least equal to a book for adults.

Do you have a favourite character in your new teen series? 

I created the two principal characters of Luca and Isolde and liked them so much, but then I was amazed to find that the servant character of Frieze just jumped off the page. He is funny and full of common sense, wonderful with animals and has a great loving nature. His role just grew through the story as I came to like writing about him more and more. He is very important in book 2, and I think I will end up with a cast of 4 principal characters rather than 2.

When you are writing a multi-book series, do you work from an outline (know all the beats) or do you work toward an ending (know how it all ends)? 

This has been the first series that I have written that is not anchored completely by the historical record, so I have revelled in the freedom of it and have worked on each novel quite independently. I know where the whole series ultimately ends, but I don't know yet how I will get there. It's a truly creative process, I feel as if I am making it up as I go along and loving this.

Why did you set your new teen series in the 15th century? 

The date of 1453 is such a key one - people really believed that it was the end of the world. It is this belief that means that Luca has his job in exploring the "end of days" and also means that there are so many manifestations of the supernatural that people report.

How is it working with fictional characters rather than real historical figures?

It has been a real holiday from the demands of accuracy and research. It has set the novelist in me free for the first time in a long time. I love discovering and researching the historical characters, but to be able to create characters from imagination has been a real treat.

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Releases: May 21st - May 27th

May 22nd

Taken by Storm (Raised by Wolves #3) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Fated (Soul Seekers #1) by Alyson Noël
Dark Kiss (Nightwatchers #1) by Michelle Rowen
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker

Happy Birthday to the new YA releases! I read OF POSEIDON a few weeks ago and really loved the story of Emma and Galen. Hope that you'll get a sequel next year! Did I forget a book being released this week? Please tell me in the comments!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New Books On My Shelf #51

New Books On My Shelf is the new label for my former In My Mailbox (The Story Siren) posts. Another week and time again to display all the books I got.

For Review

Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready (Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK!!)

What did you get in your mailbox? Leave links in the comments. I would love to see what you got!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Book Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Title: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Publishing Date: May 2011
Length: 368 pages
Keywords: YA contemporary romanc, road trip
Source: Won

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew—just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road—diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards—this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

Summary by Goodreads 

So Amy and Roger, the protagonists of Morgan Matson’s debut novel, happen to know each other from childhood. They haven’t seen each other for years and still they get to spend a cross country road trip together. It could be fun to meet an old friend. But to be honest, isn’t that the most awkward position to be put into?
Here starts Amy and Roger’s story, together, as friends, and maybe even more than friends.

The trip’s goal is to transport the family’s car from California to Connecticut. The stops and route are strictly planned by Amy’s mother. But Amy and Roger ditch all the rules and make stops where they want, do what they feel like. And I simply loved to see them break free. People should do that more often, break free and out of their routine.

Both Amy and Roger have a lot of thoughts occupying their minds and emotions weighing down their hearts. There are moments that make you laugh out loud. In other moments you simply grief with them. We also learn some details about their families and friends. Especially Amy’s relationships to her mother and brother are important. There's also a great loss that she has to cope with. 

The whole time you are rooting for Amy and Roger to fall in love. And I admired their personalities so much. The tension between them builds and their growing relationship with the variety of different feelings coming along on their road trip is just so enlightening. Amy and Roger meet many new people who are so much fun, but in the end it are the two of them who help each other find the right way. 

A really cool bonus are playlists and cute drawings and photos of their road trip. How fun that Morgan Matson  went on that road trip herself. I like that she also followed the way her characters take on their road trip. I immediately felt the need to pack a duffle bag, grab my camera and hit the road, too. AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR is a book you should totally read before you plan, or maybe not so consciously, plan to go on a road trip!  

1) we can’t get enough of road trips
2) we can’t live without mix CD’s
3) of overcoming your fears
4) of pretty comical adventures
5) of awesome bonus material like pictures and playlists 

5/5 ***** AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR – Detours have never been so much fun before. Morgan Matson wrote a book packed with LOL-worthy, sweet, adventurous and insightful moments!

A fun detour? Yes! It’s the contrast between doing the thing you are supposed to, following your heart and living the way you feel that makes AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR such a tempting read. This novel gifts you with the spirit of a fabulous road trip.

* Don’t forget to check out Morgan Matson’s second novel SECOND CHANCE SUMMER!

* Read an excerpt of AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR here

* For further information about Morgan and her books visit

Thursday, May 17, 2012

If you liked... [Road Trip Edition]

Do you know that feeling you have after finishing a book that immediately belongs on your favourites shelf? You feel so content and at the same time just want more. I'm always looking for books that are...more. In this case books that have road trips as one of their major elements.

Last year I fell in love with AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR, Morgan Matson's YA debut. And from then on the word road trip was inseparanly linked with my desire to pick up a new YA contemporary romance. Here are two books that you could also enjoy if you liked Amy & Roger.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour


“Roger, he has a chain saw," I hissed. "I am not going to die in Kentucky!” 


“Hey," he said smiling at me pulling off his sunglasses. "Did you get me something good?"
"I think so," I said trying to ignore how hard my heart was beating. Then before I could think about it or analyze or consider what I was doing I leaned over and kissed him.” 


“It was like there was an elephant in the room. An elephant that expected us to have sex.” 


Saving June by Hannah Harrington


“I don't know what I need, or even what I want, from her or from anybody. There's no way to tell her the truth, because the truth is that my heart is broken, and I don't think there's any chance of it being sewn back together. This is permanent. It can't be fixed.”  


“These songs tell me I'm not alone. If you look at it that way, can see you through anything.”  


“So what if he's hot, sometimes. Like every time I look at him. Besides, annoying he may be, but he's had his shining White Knight Moment, what with the whole saving-me-and-my-best-friend-from-a-brawl-and-probable-jail-time thing. Even if I'm no damsel in distress and he's miles away from Prince Charming, such displays of gallantry, combined with his not-bad-okay-actually-pretty-good looks, make my strange lusty feelings completely justified. Practically obligatory, even.” 

In Honor by Jessi Kirby


I opened one eye and turned my head just in time to see Rusty standing behind the driver's door, pulling his jeans down. "What are you doing?" I sat up and looked around, like I shouldn't be seeing him or like someone else might see me see him and know how instantly hot it made my cheeks. Rusty didn't answer. He was bent over, trying to get his foot out of one of his pant legs.
"What are you doing? You are drunk. Gimme the keys."
He finally got the one foot out, then stood on it and pulled his jeans off the other leg. Then he bunched them up and threw them in the backseat, sat down behind the wheel so hard I bounced, and looked at me like I was the ridiculous one. "I'm not drunk. It's hotter than shit, we got a ways to go, and I'm sweatin' balls."


"He'd bring me to this bench, where we could see their headstones, and tell me that looking up at the stars was a way to look right back into the past - back to when our mom tucked us in each night and our dad chased away bad dreams and we all ate biscuits and gravy for breakfast every Sunday.
He'd say it was true because by the time the light from those stars twinkled all the way down to us, it was years and years old. He figured that when we sat side by side watching the night sky stretch endless and sparkling above us, our parents were there with us too, because it was the same light that had shone down on them their whole lives."


" "That is so dirty! You guys were just...dirty...dirty guys."
Rusty grins like I just gave him a compliment. "Not as dirty as Paula Peaches."
Shana walks up to the table before I can think of something clever to say back to him. "You two need another round?" She looks at me. "You doin' okay? Of course I'm okay. Excerpt I've been driving around in a dirty porn-star car. "

What they have in common:  beautiful covers, the main female protagonist having to deal with great loss, the road trip of course, a sweet romace, adventurous tour stops, ace music, memorable acquaintances, hot crushes, fun and all the other crazy things that only happen when you are on the road


More road trip books (that I haven't read yet)

Take Me There by Carolee Dean
Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John
You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith 
Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole

Which road trip book should I read next? free polls 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book Review: Hex Hall, Raising Demons & Spell Bound (Hex Hall #1, #2, #3) by Rachel Hawkins

Title: Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1), Raising Demons (Hex Hall #2), Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Hyperion, Simon & Schuster Children’s
Publishing Date: February 2011, March 2011, March 2012
Length: 352 pages, 359 pages, 336 pages
Keywords: YA fiction, romance, warlocks, witches, vampires, fairies, shape shifters, boarding school
Source: Bought, For Review

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

Hex Hall summary by Goodreads 

HEX HALL, RAISING DEMONS and SPELLBOUND belong to an original series of an imaginative world building, boarding school setting filled with magical beings of all kinds that is definitely worth visiting. The story is stretched out over three novels. Usually I write reviews for every book in a series. As the HEX HALL series felt like one seamless and big adventure to me, because I read them all in one sitting, I can’t but review it as a whole and wholesome good read.

What’s Hex Hall? Hecate Hall is some kind of school to control very capable witches and warlocks. It’s a place of order and restrictions. At the same time a chance for the powerful teenagers to learn more about their powers and get to know other magical beings. Important is that Hecate Hall does not only house witches and warlocks but all kinds of inhabitants of the magic world, like shape shifters, vampires and faeries. Bit by bit more details about these various species are revealed. 

Sophie just wanted to do a small spell to help one of her classmates. Prom evening and a small love spell gone wrong, catapult young witch Sophie Mercer into Hex Hall and seal her fate. After many years of being left in the dark about essential aspects about her family and her past, Sophie finally starts to come behind all the mysteries and secrets that have made her always feel a bit left out.

Hecate Hall means new friends and new chances at love. There’s Sophie’s friend Jenna, who’s also a vampire and main suspect of the various attacks concentrated on Hex Hall students.
Then there's Archer. The moment she steps on Hex Hall grounds, Sophie’s thoughts almost immediately start to circle around this good-looking boy, who always seems to have a witty retort ready for Sophie, but who also seems to understand her better than all the strangers passing her every day in the corridors. The problem: this boy, Archer, is the boyfriend of school beauty Elodie. 
Sophie’s and Archer’s advances and their growing friendship made the whole Hex Hall boarding school setting with its numerous conflicts even more appealing. His character, as other character’s like Jenna, Elodie, Sophie’s mother and father just as another bunch of magical creatures, has several secrets of his own. There’s more to his person that will be revealed during the course of the story. The characters in the HEX HALL series and the story itself might not be exceptionally surprising and mind-blowing, but it was nice to spend time with them nevertheless.

My major point of critique is that HEX HALL has a love triangle in it which just didn’t work for me. I liked both boys, Cal and Archer, but somehow it didn’t feel necessary to test Sophie’s relationships and emotions as there was already so much else going on in the books and there already wasn’t that much romance in it. I would have preferred a stronger accentuation on Archer and Sophie and them being together, working things out, talking more often and a deeper insight into Archer’s thoughts.

In HEX HALL we’ve got a mysterious series of attacks on the kids at Hecate Hall. And from there on the story continues to get more dark magic with RAISING DEMONS featuring literally demonic events and SPELL BOUND culminating in one last gruesome battle against the evil in the world, including mean teachers and demonic creatures from hell.

There are always new alliances to make and old as new enemies to fight which give Sophie the opportunities to grow in character and work on her magical abilities. She goes through a pretty strong change over the course of the three HEX HALL novels just as her past is revealed bit by bit. With Sophie Mercer, Rachel Hawkins, provided us with a lively and funny, very ironic, young heroine, who tells the story from a first person narrator point of view. Rachel’s writing is comfortable and to my joy contains several pop culture references.


1) of cellar duty
2) of a ghostly cute ending
3) of an inseparable quartet against evil
4) of a new boarding school setting
5) of a youthful and fun writing 

4/5 **** HEX HALL series - An entirely new boarding school, a bunch of troubled teen warlocks, witches, vampires, fairies and shape shifters and a demonic force to fight. So magical!

HEX HALL, RAISING DEMONS and SPELL BOUND are all part of an otherworldly boarding school adventure. Dialogues and relationships, like the major love story, might not be that profound and throw-you-of-your-feet surprising, yet there are a bunch of mysteries and secrets about several characters that keep the story going and interesting enough. It was a nice change from all the YA contemporary and dystopian stories I’ve been into a lot lately and a series that can be read in a short amount of time thanks to its easy writing and story flow.

* Want to read more by Rachel Hawkins? Her new book REBEL BELLE comes out in 2013. 


* Read about how Rachel got published here and here

* Visit for further information about Rachel Hawkins and her books.

* Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a copy of SPELL BOUND for review!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teaser: The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

" I remember the hunt from ten years ago. How for months afterwards I didn't dare fall asleep because of the nightmares that would invade my mind: hideous imagines of an imagined Hunt, wet and violent and full of blood. Horrific cries of fear and panic, the sound of flesh ripped and bones crushed puncturing the night stillness. I'd wake up screaming, inconsolable even as my father wrapped his arms protectively around me in a strong hug. He'd tell me everything was all right, that it was just a dream, that it wasn't real; but what he didn't know was that even as he spoke, I'd hear the lingering sounds of my sister's and mother's wretched screams echoing in my ears, spilling out of my nightmares and into the darkness of my all-too-real world. "


Sunday, May 13, 2012

New Books On My Shelf #50

New Books On My Shelf is the new label for my former In My Mailbox posts to differentiate myself from the whole The Story Siren controversy. Here are the books I got this week.


City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare (2nd copy. Read it. Heart Jace)
Insurgent by Veronica Roth (2nd copy. Loved it!)

For Review

White Wedding by Milly Johnson (Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK)

What did you get this week? Please link to your posts in the comments:)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publishing Date: December 2010
Length: 372 pages
Keywords: YA contemporary romance, Paris
Source: Won

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

Summary by Goodreads  

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS was one of those novels that was very popular around its pub date. So although I never had it on my wishlist, I immediately wanted to read it. And the blogosphere was right about the awesomeness of this book! Once I started I was glued to ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS and I wanted to spend all of my spare time with Anna and Etienne, well mostly Etienne.

This novel generated the strong desire to travel to Paris and to saunter its streets. Yep, ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is set in Paris. Heavenly, huh? And because Stephanie Perkins found just the right way of writing, there is a lot of flair and love in the city of lights. After finishing Stephanie’s debut novel I was left melancholic and content at the same time.

Anna is awesome, because she’s so funky and lovely. Etienne is a true treat. He’s the guy every girl dreams about meeting someday. Their romance is awesome, awesome, awesome. Of course there are obstacles to overcome!!

Everything that happens, leads to another event, all of them following and fitting so seamlessly. Just as natural Stephanie Perkins builds the connection between Anna and Etienne, she includes the reader in her wonderful story. It’s written in a fantastic casual way, too. I loved everything about it and totally felt like sighing and swooning all the time.

Imagine you are in a really exclusive bakery with the most delicious cakes and you are supposed to choose one to take home with you. The shelves are stacked, but the only thing you see is this perfect cake. It’s round, has like fifteen different layers of sweet sins and a divine frosting. That would be ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. Don’t hesitate to take it home with you!
So ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is like that grand and super sweet cake. You are supposed to savour it and only consume in small doses. I swallowed Stephanie Perkins fine bakery in one piece and it was so worth the sugar coma (thanks to sweet Etienne St. Clair) I fell into afterwards.

I loved that ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS not only convinces with its super sweet and romantic moments, the extremely awesome setting and story flow, but also with topics and concerns of our characters that add a depth to an already incredible story.

1) of the way to finding home
2) school books are very important
3) of an atmospheric setting
4) it has our next destination set on Point Zéro Paris
5) of the many emails included which make ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS an even more vivid and funny read

5/5 ***** ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS - A Parisian delightfulness, just the right choice for book worms with a sweet tooth searching for a sugary and romantic read!  

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS is that chic and utterly romantic and cute and yet so real and casual love story that probably is one of my most favourite contemporary romance novels. This is a book that every fan of contemporary romances should get his hands on ASAP! 

* Already read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS? Then you shouldn’t miss its companion, LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR

* Read an excerpt of ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS here

* Check out the ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS playlist here

* Read the first bonus scene here

* For further information visit