Friday, November 28, 2014

The Body Electric by Beth Revis Giveaway

You know you want to win this! A limited signed paperback copy of THE BODY ELECTRIC by Beth Revis. Good luck!

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?

Summary by Goodreads 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* The giveaway starts on November 28th  and will end on December 15th
* Enter the rafflecopter form!
* Good luck :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Review: The Body Electric by Beth Revis

Title: The Body Electric
Author: Beth Revis
Publisher: Scripturient Books
Publishing Date: October 6th 2014
Length: 482 pages
Keywords: YA, science fiction, dystopia, romance, friendship, artificial intelligence
Source: Author

The future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?

Summary by Goodreads 

Everyone who's read my review of SHADES OF EARTH, the last book in the ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy, knows I'm a huge fan of all three books in Beth Revis' debut series. Since the end of SHADES OF EARTH I have been craving a sequel to Amy and Elder's story and wanting to know how life on earth looked like after so many years spent on the Godspeed. In THE BODY ELECTRIC Beth Revis gave us the chance to learn more about what happened to our planet after Amy left it in ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. You can imagine how ecstatic I was when Beth asked me to review her newest book. I admire her for writing this story and for deciding to publish it on her own!

THE BODY ELECTRIC is set some time in the 2300s and comes along as part sci-fi, part dystopia. You'll definitely recognize a few details and elements from the AtU trilogy, the Godspeed and its story is a legend now. I loved that!

As much as I was looking forward to get to know Ella and Jack and the world they are living in, I was beginning to notice that some components of the story weren't quite working for me. If you know how brilliantly Beth Revis' previous books are written you'll notice that this story still could've used some fine-tuning and polishing. This is a problem due to lack of thorough editing. All chapters are pretty short, spanning only a few pages, which I appreciate in a book. 

Beth's narration in THE BODY ELECTRIC often provides very vivid images and gory details. I certainly wouldn't describe these bloody details as YA inappropriate, but definitely not very appealing for a reader like me who had been looking forward to a more romantic story. I had expected the major part of the story to revolve around Ella and Jack and their romance. I didn't need the entire focus to be on it, but I would've wished for more intimacy and emotional attachment between the two. Because the moments they had were great!

Furthermore, I wasn't entirely comfortable with the character cast Beth Revis chose for her THE BODY ELECTRIC because I was convinced it wasn't as rich and varied as it could have been to provide the background for a thrilling and riveting story. In addition, dystopian Malta, only confused me more than it worked toward an exotic choice of a setting. But I can also imagine that many readers will find the dystopian city of New Venice interesting to explore. Bonus points for the map of New Venice on the first pages of the book. 
Also there sure will be many fans of the discourse between humans and robots. The mind and feelings of a living, breathing individual versus those of a machine, technically constructed and programmed.

Whereas the overall picture of THE BODY ELECTRIC didn't ultimately made me see this book as a perfect companion novel to Beth's previous books, I noticed that her eye for detail and technical innovations was as sharp as ever. She has the writing magic to conjure a stunning future world!  

3/5 *** THE BODY ELECTRIC - A slightly flawed harmony between character cast, setting and editing work make for an average YA sci-fi read. Yet, many readers will find it thought-provoking and visionary!

This story is a possible treat for many ACROSS THE UNIVERSE fans. But notice that you don't have to have read Beth's previous trilogy to enjoy Ella and Jack's story. I can honestly say that even if I didn't enjoy THE BODY ELECTRIC quite as much as I had hoped I would,  I would always support Beth Revis' writing and encourage readers (especially those who are new to the genre and are hesitant about picking up a sci-fi story) to read her books!

"I push the button.
The reverie chair hums with life. I have a moment to see the sparkle of the nanobots mixed with the green puff of reverie drug, and then I blink, and then
My body explodes with pain." p. 29

THE BODY ELECTRIC by Beth Revis you will enjoy her ACROSS THE UNIVERSE trilogy, too. I loved it so much and have recommended it to many friends and readers already.

* Read LOVE IS A CHOICE and dive into Beth's dystopian writing.

* Click here to read an excerpt of THE BODY ELECTRIC!

* Read Beth Revis' short story THE TURNING TEST for free.

* For more information about Beth and her books visit

* A big thank you to Beth Revis for sending me a copy of THE BODY ELECTRIC for review!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Review: This Book Just Ate My Dog! by Richard Byrne

Title: This Book Just Ate My Dog!
Author: Richard Byrne
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pulishing Date: September 2014
Length: 32 pages
Keywords: Picture Book
Source: Publisher - Thank you OUP!

When her dog disappears into the gutter of the book, Bella calls for help. But when the helpers disappear too, Bella realizes it will take more than a tug on the leash to put things right.

Today is a premiere as this is my first picture book review. When I spotted THIS BOOK JUST ATE MY DOG! on the new releases list this autumn I found its cover cute and the title really catchy. It is funny and makes kids question how this is even possible. A dog-eating book. This is definitely something they haven't heard of before and that's what gets them interested in the story in the first place. 

I have to pass up on giving this book a rating because I can't compare it to any other book I have reviewed on this blog so far. But I can tell you that this book is definitely worth a read. The font is bright orange and the pictures are drawn with much love for detail.
Richard Byrne convinces with a cheeky story that is imaginative and engages kids with a few easy tricks and a clever dialogue. Most important: Kids will love THIS BOOK JUST ATE MY DOG!. It is playful and interactive and will elicit a few giggles for sure.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Book Review: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne

Title: The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Publishing Date: August 1st 2014
Length: 464 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, friendship, transformation
Source: Publisher

Apparently I'm boring. A nobody. But that's all about to change. Because I am starting a project. Here. Now. For myself. And if you want to come along for the ride then you're very welcome.

Bree is a loser, a wannabe author who hides behind words. Most of the time she hates her life, her school, her never-there parents. So she writes.

But when she’s told she needs to start living a life worth writing about, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting is born. Six steps on how to be interesting. Six steps that will see her infiltrate the popular set, fall in love with someone forbidden and make the biggest mistake of her life.

Summary by Goodreads

First impression: Unique story approach and a protagonist worth getting to know better. Holly Bourne introduces us to Bree, a quiet girl who is very intelligent and withdrawn. Soon she's going to change radically. In the beginning she has a fantastic relationship with her best friend Holdo. They watch movies together and hang out. They have a very trusting and intimate friendship that makes both their lives so much brighter. It is a friendship that I recognized as something very important for Bree's story. One that could've worked against the mean girl streak she's developing at some point. Unfortunately, Holly Bourne allowed Bree to completely neglect the great support I saw in their friendship and ditch Holdo for her fake new life.

Second glance: I can honestly say that I didn't like Bree anymore once she was caught in her plan to become popular at all costs. And all for the cause of her own curious social research for her writing. Her goal is to seduce Hugo and become friends with his girlfriend and their clique in order to observe their life and analyse their ways of being interesting and popular. I hated that everythigng was kind of an experiment for her and that she didn't really want to change her life the way she did because she wanted to live it that way. It all felt kind of fake and I couldn't but cringe at the sure future outcome and the unfairness towards the people she was deceiving.

What could've saved Bree's story for me wasn't present. A romance that I could enjoy and get lost in. In all her confusion and revenge I was hoping for Bree to find a person who would be so good for her that she could finally accept herself. Her relationship to her teacher is an prominent part of the story in order to distinguish and show readers the difference between fake and real Bree. But sadly I'm no big fan of reading about student teacher romances. Don't you find them kind of irritating, too?

Still, sometimes I even found myself engaging in Bree's transformation and hoped for the popular kids to actually like her so that she could establish an honest and kind friendship with them. Her manifesto changes the relationship to her parents as well and especially the bond between mother and daughter. The family part of Bree's story was probably my favourite because it was the one most real and emotional.
Holly Bourne's writing was skillful and that's why I'll definitely read her debut novel SOULMATES soon.

3/5 *** THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING - A very delicate thought experiment for every reader!

THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING explores the depths of a teenager's feelings of failure and unacceptance. How important is popularity and success for a young adult? And how much is someone willing to sacrifice of what's been good in his or her life if they can get something supposedly better? Would you be willing to hurt the people you love in order to reach that goal?

"But successful people - like, the really-made-it ones - stay quiet until it's finished. Bree didn't do failure, not well anyway. Therefore she was keeping quiet until she knew for sure that her plan was foolproof." p. 68


* Have you read SOULMATES? This is Holly Bourne's debut.


* For more information about Holly Bourne and her books visit

* Thanks to Usborne Publishing for sending me a copy of THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING for review!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Book Review: It Had to Be You by Ellie Adams

Title: It Had to Be You
Author: Ellie Adams
Publisher: Corgi
Publishing Date: August 28th 2014
Length: 448 pages
Keywords: Adult, chick lit, romance, friendship, break-up, PR, London
Source: Publisher

The worst break-up ever . . .

Lizzy Spellman has been dumped. On her birthday. In front of all her friends. By the man she thought was the one. Someone even filmed it, so now she's a YouTube hit too.

. . . Could be the best thing that has ever happened to her

When she thinks things can't get any worse, she meets the rudest and most cynical man in the world, and finds a new reason for living. To prove him wrong.

Love does exist, and she's going to find it . . .

Summary by Goodreads

Lizzy Spellman is one of the funniest chick lit girls I've had the pleasure to accompany on her disastrous journey to happiness. We clicked on the first page when Lizzy is in this aweful costume and is called on stage to sing karaoke in front of a horde of wedding guests and get dumped by her boyfriend. And then a YouTube video of the whole scene goes viral. What a terribly awkward start to the story! Of course I was instantly hooked and couldn't wait to find out what else Ellie Adams had planned for her heroine.

Lizzy and Elliot are not your typical adorable chick lit couple. He's a grump. She is disappointed in men after being dumped in front of a huge crowd. The two are pretty different characters. Elliot is always disapproving and hesitant at letting people into his life, whereas Lizzy is bubbly and outgoing. You think Lizzy can break his shell?

IT HAD TO BE YOU is like a quick-witted and  modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. He seems so rude and unapproachable at first and Lizzy is instantly convinced that he's stuck up. Still, between misunderstandings and confusions a solid and beautiful friendship develops between the two. Their friendship makes up a good part of the story until they finally get a chance to test their romantic feelings for each other. Which was a welcome change to the love stories that feel too intense too fast. I could really use a sequel to the story so that I can find out what happens next in Lizzy and Elliot's love story.
Friendship in general is a brilliant aspect of this book. Poppet and Nic are Lizzy's best friends. And they are such fun friends who made the story a much more enjoyable read. As much as you want a happy ending for Lizzy, you want it for her friends, too.

Like many others of my favourite chick lit books IT HAD TO BE YOU is set in London. This very urban and colorful setting holds so many possiblities. One of them is Lizzy working in PR. And the PR work was hilarious. Usually, I'm not very into reading so much about what characters are doing at work every day, but Lizzy's job experiences really gave the book an uplifting and warm spirit. Lizzy's work scenes were probably my favourite part of her story. I couldn't count how often I texted a friend to share the hilarious jokes. They are too good not to be shared!

4,5/5 ****/* IT HAD TO BE YOU - This has to be it, your next chick lit read! 

Lizzy Spellman is a character you want to meet. She's funny. She's lively. And I could relate to her really well. Lizzy's awkward and hilarious situations, and secondary characters with actual,  outstanding personalities make IT HAD TO BE YOU an especially memorable read.  I read  Ellie Adams' new book in one sitting while on vacation. 

"On the night of the 30th Birthday Party of Doom, Lizzy Spellman learnt three things.
Number one: Camera phones are the worst invention in the history of womankind.
Number two: She was never going to get another boyfriend again. After drinking herself to death on Kumala white whine, her body would lie undiscovered for weeks until the semi-hot postman with the Three Lions tattoo on his calf noticed the bad smell, or someone realized that she hadn't been on Facebook for a while.
Number three: It's bloody murder going for a wee in a Henry VIII costume." p.7

IT HAD TO BE YOU you might enjoy YOU HAD ME AT HELLO by Mhairi McFarlane, IT FELT LIKE A KISS by Sarra Manning and CHASING DAISY by Paige Toon. Three stories about girls finding Mr. Right even if they havn't been looking for him in the first place.

* Ellie Adams also writes as Jo Carnegie. Read more about her 2013 release PARTY GAMES here.

* Click here to read  an excerpt of IT HAD TO BE YOU.

* Want to read an interview with Jo Carnegie? You can find it here.

* For more information about Ellie Adams and her books visit

* Thanks to Corgi for sending me a proof copy of IT HAD TO BE YOU for review!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

This is something you've got to check out! Today I'm helping to reveal the cover for Jennifer Salvato Doktorski's new YA contemporary, out March 2015. Jen is one of my favourite authors and I'm so happy for her that THE SUMMER AFTER YOU AND ME got such a beautiful cover. I love it! What do you think? 

Here is the summary to go with it:

Sunbathing, surfing, eating funnel cake on the boardwalk—Lucy loves living on the Jersey Shore. For her, it's not just the perfect summer escape, it is home. And as a local girl, she knows not to get attached to the tourists. They breeze in over Memorial Day weekend, crowding the shore and stealing moonlit kisses, only to pack up their beach umbrellas and empty promises on Labor Day. Lucy wants more from love than a fleeting romance, even if that means keeping her distance from her summertime neighbor and crush, Connor.

Then Superstorm Sandy tears apart her barrier island, briefly bringing together a local girl like herself and a vacationer like Connor. Except nothing is the same in the wake of the storm. And day after day, week after week, Lucy is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart and broken home. Now with Memorial Day approaching and Connor returning, will it be a summer of fresh starts or second chances?

Where to find Jen Doktorski and her books: | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Huge Pre-Order Giveaway - Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

I've got a very special post for you today! Kimberley Griffiths Little is giving away a ton of fabulous goodies to you wonderful readers. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.

Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter.


* You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to

* Fill out the rafflecopter below

* US/Canada Only

* Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014

* Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
* Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)

* If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.



1. NEWLY RELEASED Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet with 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB -- choose your color! (Black, Magenta, White, Citron, or Cobalt)
3. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White
4. Satin Belly Dance Skirt
5. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf
6. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
7. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
8. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
9. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
10. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
11. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)


2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)


1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)

Good luck!

Preorder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.

Follow Kimberley:
About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at

Share your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Behind The Pages #9 - Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Welcome to my new Behind The Pages post! You can find last month's post of this feature, with Adi Alsaid and Let's Get Lost, here. Today I'm sharing pages Mary Elizabeth Summer annotated from her debut novel TRUST ME, I'M LYING. Have you read it yet?

What is Behind The Pages all about? I asked some of my favourite authors and a bunch of promising 2014 debut authors to annotate a scene, page or more of one of their books. I see the feature as a chance to show readers what's behind a page. Authors can share their favourite writing memories, the music that influenced a certain scene or anything else that comes to their mind. We might get hints to what the characters were thinking and feeling that exact moment or other fun details about their story. Hope you enjoy Behind The Pages as much as I do. I'm intending this feature to be a monthly post here on the blog.

Thanks to all the incredible authors who took the time to annotate a page or scene for us, your comments are always so insightful and fun to read. When readers can't get enough of a book and its characters it only shows how much the author's work means to them, to us. Thank you!


Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

Mary Elizabeth Summer is an instructional designer, a mom, a champion of the serial comma, and a pie junkie. Oh, and she sometimes writes books about teenage delinquents saving the day. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her daughter, her partner, and her evil overlor–er, cat. TRUST ME, I'M LYING, a YA mystery, will be released by Delacorte in Fall 2014. (Author bio found on Follow Mary Elizabeth on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.  


Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer 


Snap Shots
Here are a few pictures Mary Elizabeth Summer took of the actual racetrack she went to for "research" purposes. 




Mary Elizabeth Summer has mentioned a few songs in her annotations that are her characters' theme songs. 'Ain't No Rest For the Wicked' by Cage The Elephant is one of Julep's songs. I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Review: The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Title: The Iron Trial (Magisterium #1)
Author: Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Doubleday Children's Books
Publishing Date: September 11th 2014
Length: 320 pages
Keywords: MG, friendship, magic school, elements
Source: Publisher

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

Summary by Goodreads

Callum, our protagonist, is such a kind and lovely boy. He is also a lonely boy. That is, until his life changes radically when he is accepted into the Magisterium, the one place on earth he's always wanted to avoid at all costs. 
   He has a disability and has been an outsider all his life. So even if he didn't want to attend the new school, this opportunity means a new start for him. It's his chance to make new friends and prove the world that he can be good at something, maybe even the best. 
   The character of Callum is a character who represents all the kids who are struggeling with a disability themselves. He shows that many things are possible when you believe in yourself. Call will encourage many readers to be as brave as he is.

Together with his new friends Aaron and Tamara, Call introduces readers to a new generation of magic apprentices at the Magisterium. THE IRON TRIAL kind of reminded me of the Harry Potter world. Yet Cassandra Clare and Holly Black's book has so many bewitching peculiarities that are solely Magisterium-made that you can't but think of it as its own magical world. I'm sure many readers will enjoy this new and different brand of magic. 

The three kids are only getting to know the Magisterium and its rules. As part of their apprenticeship Callum and his friends are presented with little tasks and small missions to develop their magic skills.  They are mostly harmless missions, so the story comes along less adventurous than expected. It is a very innocent kind of magic the kids are practicing. And they are learning to control the elements with the help of their mentors.
   Despite the big author bonus and the friendship story that works great I am not fully content with the rather slow pace of the story. The introductory part was longer than necessary and it was a while until I felt at home in the Magisterium.

This Middle Grade read is suitable for younger readers. The friendship part of the story is very important. Cassandra and Holly go into detail how such a strong bond of friendship between Callum, Tamara and Aaron develops over time and how trials are mastered together. I really like this wizard trio!

3,5/5 ***/* THE IRON TRIAL - Readers all over the world will fall in love with Callum's story of bravery, magic and friendship!  
Two beloved authors of mine teamed up to write a new magic school series, and now that I know there will be five books in this series I am an even happier reader. Clare and Black's writing is rich in detail and very strong in creating lovely atmospheric background settings to every chapter. I would recommend THE IRON TRIAL to younger readers but older fans of magic schools will definitely get their money's worth, too.

"As he bent closer, he realized they were words - words his wife had carved into the cave ice with the last of her dying strength.
As he read them, he felt them like three hard blows to the stomach. 

THE IRON TRIAL you might enjoy HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL by Soman Chainani and THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan. These are YA and MG reads with a good portion of magic.

* Check out the German cover for THE IRON TRIAL. 

* THE COPPER GAUNTLET, the second book in this series comes out 2015.

* Click here to watch the THE IRON TRIAL book trailer.

* Here's an excerpt of THE IRON TRIAL for you to read.

* For more information about the authors and their books visit and

* Thanks to Random House UK for sending me a proof copy of THE IRON TRIAL for review!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Book Review: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Title: Get Even (Don't Get Mad #1)
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: September 16th 2014
Length: 320 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, thriller, mystery, romance, friendship, bullying
Source: Edelweiss

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

Summary by Goodreads

Kitty, Margot, Bree and Olivia couldn't be more different. Olivia is the theater girl, Kitty the sporty type, Margot the tech pro and Bree is the daughter of a Senator. They are in the same high school and know how hard trying to be oneself can be. It is not friendship that connects them, but something bigger, something stronger. Revenge and justice.
   The four girls formed the group DGM in order to protect other students who have become victims to bullying and oppression. Together they have to withstand an accusation of murder themselves and find out who killed bully Ronny. This constellation kind of reminded me of Pretty Little Liars. But in comparison GET EVEN would make a much better Tv show since Gretchen McNeil's girls are  stronger, smarter and more independent than Aria and her friends.

While GET EVEN is about proving the girls' innocence, Gretchen McNeil throws in hints, clues and evidence that make you suspicious of all four girls in some way, too. Very sneaky!
   The story switches back and forth between all four girls and their perspectives. Bree was by far my favourite person to follow around with her best friend John and her growing feelings for him. Friendship becoming romance, yes, I really liked that and the way Bree started to realize her true feelings at some point. The other girls have interesting romances and friendship stories, too.

I am so glad that Gretchen McNeil decided to bring out the girls' story as a duology, with the first book releasing in September 2014 and the second in summer 2015. This way there was much writing space to form a believable story background, and especially with a murder investigation going on. Gretchen considered love stories for each girl and one big part of GET EVEN is about the possibility of them becoming friends in the end despite the big differences between the girls.
   It was hard to put the book aside when it ended and now wait a few months until I can pick up its sequel. Hope that it starts right where the first ended. There are still a few questions and problems to solve so I'm looking forward to the second book.

4/5 **** GET EVEN - Gretchen McNeil's best book so far!

The words "dying for the sequel" really fit in the case of GET EVEN. Bree and John's relationship is by far my favourite and the way things ended for them was so mean. It's been a long time since I read something so suspenseful and with so much teen drama. I can't wait for GET DIRTY!

"Bree rolled her eyes. Most days John's geeky instance that there was a Star Wars quote for every occasion was relatively entertaining, but today is was about as welcome as a raging case of the herps." p.2

GET EVEN you might enjoy PRETTY LITTLE LIARS by Sara Shepard, THE DOLLS by Kiki Sullivan and DANGEROUS GIRLS by Abigail Haas. There's lots of girl drama and murderous plotting going on in these three books. Perfect for fans of Gretchen McNeil's newest book.

* Have you read TEN by Gretchen McNeil? 

* GET DIRTY, the sequel to GET EVEN is scheduled to release June 2015. 

* Click here to read an excerpt of GET EVEN.

* For more information about Gretchen and her books visit