Saturday, August 30, 2014

Behind The Pages #8 - Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Welcome to my new Behind The Pages post! You can find last month's post of this feature, with Katie McGarry and Crash Into You, here. Today I'm sharing two annotated pages from Adi Alsaid's debut novel LET'S GET LOST. 

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!


Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There's HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth— sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.

Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, then studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in class, he mostly read fiction and continuously failed to fill out crossword puzzles, so it's no surprise that after graduating, he did not go into business world but rather packed up his apartment into his car and escaped to the California coastline to become a writer. He's now back in his hometown, where he writes, coaches high school and elementary basketball, and has perfected the art of making every dish he eats or cooks as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he's lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas, and Monterey, California. A tingly feeling in his feet tells him more places will eventually be added to the list. Let's Get Lost is his YA debut. (Author bio found on Goodreads)


Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Adi: "Let's Get Lost is told through five different perspectives, four strangers tied together by a mysterious girl named Leila. From section to section, before each character meets the enigmatic road tripper, I'm introducing readers to a whole new character, in a completely different situation as the section before. Below, I've pointed out some of the changes that happened along the drafts. I've also included a few background notes and the reasons certain bits were cut."



You should really listen to this song when you read Bree's scene. Awesome pick, Adi!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Review: Written in the Stars by Ali Harris

Title: Written in the Stars
Author: Ali Harris
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publishing Date: June 5th 2014
Length: 450 pages
Keywords: Adult, romance, chick lit, alternate future, London
Source: Publisher

Bea Bishop is horrible at making decisions. Forget big life ones, even everyday choices seem to paralyse her. She's learned to live with this because experience has taught her that it doesn't matter what you do, no one has the power to control destiny. Anyone who believes they can is a fool.
But as her wedding day approaches, her years of indecision are weighing heavily on her, and she can't help but wonder, 'What if, what if, what if….'
What if she hadn't upped sticks and moved to London? What if she hadn't grabbed the first job that came along and settled down with the first guy who showed an interest? But all of her questions are silenced when she slips while walking down the aisle and is knocked unconscious. In this split second her life splits into two: in one existence, Bea flees back down the aisle and out of the church. In the other she glides blissfully towards her intended.
But which story will lead to her happily ever after?

Summary by Goodreads

Knowing WRITTEN IN THE STARS would explore two different future scenarios, I was sure I wanted to make Ali Harris' new book one of my summer reads this year. And I didn't have to wait long until the present line of action slipped into the two possible future scenarios. It's Bea's wedding day and she is a beautiful bride, happy with her life. Or is she...happy? When her teenage love Kieran shows up in church, Bea slips and everything goes black. It's at this point that something changes and her life parts into two alternate strings of possibilities.

One path would be her walking down the aisle to marry her intended Adam. What would their life as newly weds be like? But what if she decided to be the runaway bride and find out that not Adam is her perfect match but Kieran? It's about the past and the future. The two men in her life. Adam or Kieran. The one who left Bea for eight years when he promised to be back in one. And the one who promised to spent the rest of his life with her and never left. In the big picture Bea's story is about who she belongs with. 
   Depending on her choice at the altar, every other aspect of her life is under the influence of fate. Bea's job, her friends, her love life, the past of her family and her missing her dad are all factors of importance. Mentions of tragic events in Bea's past made me so deperately want to find out what happened back then to Bea and Kieran. Maybe you think judging from the tone the story was told, you might know which path Bea picks or which guy she'd end up with, but you don't. I was surprised at how her story ended. 

Sometimes when the perspectives changed from one chapter to the next, it was a bit tricky to differentiate between the two and there was an initial confusion. Am I reading about Bea Hudson (married to Adam) now or Bea Bishop (still single and figuring out her relationship to Kieran)? But Ali Harris did her best to give us hints in form of social media status updates in the beginning of every chapter. Really liked that contemporary social media detail to Ali's new book. 

As mentioned before, Bea's past and her relationship to her father is one key element factoring into her decision in front of the altar. Usually, I'm very into stories with strong focus on familiar bonds, but I just couldn't stand the parts of the story that had to do with Bea's father. Of course there was meaning behind his disappearance when she was only a child, but the whole explanation and his letters to younger Bea in between chapters were just too tedious and absolutely annoying.

Readers fluent in the language of flowers will be delighted that Bea has a green thumb. Ali Harris has a thriving imagination and I was amazed about all the floral metaphors she could think of. I'm really into gardening and was delighted by Bea's passion for everything green. I especially enjoyed the garden planning projects Bea described, like her very own relaxing rooftop garden in London. Bea's new drive in her career life is purely motivational for every reader, too.

4/5 **** WRITTEN IN THE STARS -  An invigorating and cosmic new chick lit novel that promises a warm and flowery reading experience.

WRITTEN IN THE STARS is the first book by Ali Harris that I read. She's become an author I don't want to miss a single future book of. In the acknowledgements Ali Harris tells us that writing her new book was so hard. As it is a story that works with many parallels and alternate outcomes of even small decisions. It's a very complex book and a story that shows how much thought and creativity went into plotting WRITTEN IN THE STARS. 

"I'm not sure what is happening or where I am, but I feel like I can see the ghostly white shapes of my future and my past grappling with each other in some ethereal fight. One is on my shoulder, like an angel, desperately pulling me forward. The other is dragging me back. Two loves, two possible lives but which one is mine? Which path am I meant to take? I can't decide. I drop my head back against  the tiles and begin to see stars. Then there's just black." p. 14-15

WRITTEN IN THE STARS you might enjoy THE TIME OF MY LIFE by Cecelia Ahern about Lucy who has a date with her own life. CHASING HARRY WINSTON by Lauren Weisberger is the story of three girls who want to change one thing in their lives in one year, relationship status included. And WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW? by Claudia Carroll is about newly weds Annie and Dan and how their life changes with marriage.

* Have you read THE FIRST LAST KISS?

* Click here for an excerpt of WRITTEN IN THE STARS.

* Check out Ali Harris' advice for writers.

* For more information about Ali and her books visit

* Thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for sending me a copy of WRITTEN IN THE STARS for review!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Review: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Publishing Date: July 1st 2014
Length: 357 pages
Keywords: YA, romance, paranormal, werewolves, music, Los Angeles
Source: Bought

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

Summary by Goodreads

The thing about SINNER is that you can't start this book expecting perfect characters who engage in uncomplicated conversations and who get in situations that unmistakably lead to a happy ending.
   There's so much about this novel that isn't conventional that you just have to bow to Maggie Stiefvater for being the writer that she is. Mostly she just lets her characters live their complicated and strange lives. Sometimes though, in exactly the right moments and in between cookie breaks, Maggie decides to nudge them in the right direction. The direction towards every reader's heart that is.
   Also, Maggie Stiefvater writes atmosphere and scenery like few others. If she needed it for her story she'd just rip the hot concrete out of L.A. and put it into her novel to function as a racing track for Cole and his favourite Mustang. This novel practically smells like L.A.

SINNER didn't at all feel like the previous three books in the SHIVER trilogy. Set in L.A., it is hot and there are no woods. This is city life with its masses of anonymous people searching for fame and fortune. SINNER works as a standalone. Nevertheless, I'd recommend reading SHIVER, LINGER and FOREVER first. Cole and Isabel share a past that is quite important for their story. Or at least their story feels way more substantial and meaningful if you know about what happened before.
   Fans of the THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS series will be happy to hear what Grace and Sam have been up to.

SINNER wasn't as much about the wolves as the SHIVER trilogy, and more about Cole's new life in L.A. and Isabel trying to find her place in life, too.
   A big part of the story is dedicated to the show buisness, how Cole is producing a new album or making up lyrics in his head. And for that he's required to play his part in a reality TV show. The Cole St. Clair show is on. I wasn't opposed to the idea of a reality TV show being backdrop for our story, and seeing how Maggie made it a part of Cole's story, it worked for me. It was all about fully embracing the L.A. lifestyle. The acquaintances and friends Cole makes, bring another edge of non-conformity to the story. Refreshing and laugh-out-loud funny dialogues are guaranteed!

Cole and Isabel are both messy, slightly broken characters with enormously fragmented pasts. In their imperfection they find happiness and they somehow fit together even with their sharp edges.
  They both have quick tempers and are hurt easily, so there will be many bumps in the road to their happy ending. It wasn't as dark in Cole's head as before though and I was positively surprised at how much he wanted his relationship with Isabel to work. 
   With exactly the right amount of shirtless Cole and passionate kisses in non-camera-equipped shower stalls, Maggie Stiefvater brings back my favourite couple from her SHIVER trilogy and gives them a second chance at finding a way to each other.

5/5 ***** SINNER - If you loved Cole St. Clair in THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS series you are probably going to propose to him after you've read SINNER!

After years of longing, hoping and wishing, Maggie Stiefvater presented her loyal readers with the ending for Cole and Isabel's story they have literally been waiting for since FOREVER. You can look forward to a few weeks in Los Angeles with your favourite rock star and dive into the glamorous world of music and reality TV. Cole and Isabel's reckless, messy and passionate love story invites readers to devour SINNER in record reading time.

"I can't change the way I'm made. I'm a performer, a singer, a werewolf, a sinner.
Just because I'm singing it for a crowd doesn't make it untrue.
If we make it through this alive, I'm going to tell you the truth of why. And this time you had better believe me.
I came back for you, Isabel."  p. 2

SINNER you might enjoy the THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS series and find out more about Cole and Isabel's lives before they meet again in Los Angeles.

* Have you started Maggie Stiefvater's THE RAVEN BOYS yet?

* Click here for an excerpt of SINNER.

* You can watch the SINNER book trailer here.

* Want to meet Maggie? Check out her event schedule.

* For more information about Maggie and her books visit

Sunday, August 10, 2014

4 Year Blogoversary Celebration


Happy Birthday!
Today on August 10th 2014 Miss Page-Turner's City of Books turns 4! I can't believe how much has happened since I first started blogging. My pile of unread books has never been as big as right now. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Just think about all the reading adventures still ahead. I can never resist a book recommendation from a book blogger whose opinion I value and book taste I trust. 
Thank you to everyone who has supported me and my blog over the years, commented on reviews and read interviews. I can't imagine a life without books and without the book talk on the blog and on Twitter. There are so many people around the world I've 'met' through book blogging and who I'd love to finally meet in person. But for now I can only hand out virtual birthday cake to everyone who comes to celebrate. And because there is always looking ahead and wishing to many more years of happy blogging and reading to all of us, I want to invite you to enter my giveaway for a pre-order of one of these 2014 releases.


Enter the rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a  paperback copy of one of these books.

Atlantia by Ally Condie
The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle
 Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
 Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan
Talon by Julie Kagawa
 The Young Elites by Marie Lu
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* You enter for a chance to win one of the books pictured above
* INTERNATIONAL (please check if The Book Depository ships to your country)
* The giveaway starts on August 10th and will end on September 7th
* Enter the rafflecopter form!
* Good luck :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me by Laura Tait & Jimmy Rice

Title: The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me
Author: Laura Tait & Jimmy Rice
Publisher: Corgi
Publishing Date: July 3rd 2014
Length: 320 pages
Keywords: Adult, romance, chick lit, friendship, London
Source: Publisher

Everyone remembers their first love.
Holly has learnt that life isn't about seizing the moment. She might have harboured dreams about travelling the world as a teenager, but she let go of those - just as she let go of Alex.

But what if the feelings never really went away?
Alex wants to make every moment of his new job count. It's a fresh start in a new city, and he knows that moving to London has nothing to do with Holly. Well, probably.

How do you know if it was meant to be. or never meant to happen at all? 

Summary by Goodreads

In THE BEST THING THAT NEVER HAPPENED TO ME Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice explore what everyone and especially every curious and devoted reader is wondering about. The what-ifs and could-have-beens in life. How could Holly and Alex's story turned out differently if Alex would've just listened to Holly declaring her feelings for him before they both left for college. Now after about 10 years not seeing each other they meet again. This is the start of a great second chance at friendship. And maybe even more?

Switching between chapters told from Holly and Alex's point of view and scenes set in 1999 and 2010, Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice are telling the story of two teens who have grown into two adults that have shared history and now meet again in London. So many of my favourite chick lit stories are set in London where anything is possible after all. 
Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice's writing fit together smoothly. It never felt like there were any inconsistencies due to the two authors working on the same story. They wrote their joined story with refreshing humour, wit and candor.

Alex and Holly are or have been in different relationships since the time they went to school together. Holly is with Richard now and she's happy. Isn't she? Alex is dating in London. So what's there not to be happy about? There is just as much about Alex and Holly's other romantic relationships as their own, so be prepared to wait some time for an update on their relationship status.
It was great to see that the old familiarity was still there between Alex and Holly and their old friendship rekindled pretty fast. But there were also new things to learn about the other, some that brought them even closer together than before. In the end I really enjoyed both sides of Alex and Holly's relationship, their romantic and friendly moments. Now are Alex and Holly best friends who are destined to be lovers or lovers who are better off friends? It will take us quite some time to find out in THE BEST THING THAT NEVER HAPPENED TO ME. 

I'm sure readers who enjoyed ONE DAY by David Nicholls will find a like in THE BEST THING THAT NEVER HAPPENED TO ME because of its honesty and its many facets in the relationship between a teenage girl and boy growing up to meet ten years later in London with more than one possible outcome.

4/5 **** THE BEST THING THAT NEVER HAPPENED TO ME - A funny and hopeful read to brighten your day!

Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice find just the right balance between Alex and Holly's 1999 and 2010 chapters to build a believable and well-founded friendship that sure has the potential to grow into a more affectionate and romantic bond. Laura and Jimmy are a British author duo not be missed. I'm really looking forward to find out what their next novel will be all about.

"'Hello, you massive, sad, old cat lady.'
As far as 'Happy birthdays' go, it's not THE friendliest I've ever had. It's Jemma saying it, though, and if I took offence at every offensive thing she said I'd constantly look like the dude on the bridge in The Scream painting." p.28

THE BEST THING THAT NEVER HAPPENED TO ME you might enjoy ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell, ONE PERFECT SUMMER by Paige Toon and ONE DAY by David Nicholls.

* "We have to submit our second novel to one week today. Laura's chapters are annoyingly much funnier than mine JR" - Twitter update by Laura and Jimmy on August 4th 2014.

* Click here for an excerpt of THE BEST THING THAT NEVER HAPPENED TO ME.

*For more information about Laura, Jimmy and their books follow them on Twitter.

* Thanks to Corgi for sending me a copy of THE BEST THING THAT NEVER HAPPENED TO ME for review!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Book Review: On the Fence by Kasie West

Title: On the Fence
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: July 1st 2014
Length: 304 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, friendship, tomboy
Source: Publisher

She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

 Summary by Goodreads

Charlie lives with her three brothers and her dad. Her life is dominated by sports and all-male topics, so no wonder she's grown up being a tomboy. The five of them were such a great team and always supported each other that I couldn't but want to be a part of their family. Charlie and her brothers can be goofy, dare each other to do the most hilarious, disgusting or reckless things, but they can be serious, too, when necessary. Charlie lost her mother when she was very young and her feelings about that and how it has always influenced the direction her life has taken, are an important part of who she is and who she can still grow up to be.

This summer is about the person Charlie wants to be and the person she needs others to see. Missing a mother, Charlie has never been into makeup or shopping like other girls her age. When she decides to get a job in a hip boutique, her constantly being confronted with girly clothes and makeup and the possiblity of actual girlfriends, finally give her the confidence to discover a more feminine side of herself. Besides that she's running a lot and is very good at sports, too, so every reader should find something to like about this story or find a piece he or she can identify with. It was fun to see Charlie's transformation and I wish I could've been there for her along the way, holding her hand and telling her that a little lipstick wouldn't ruin the boys' respect for her. 

Charlie and Braden have been friends for quite some time now. He's been kind of like a brother to her. So you can imagine the emotional distress any romantic feelings for him would cause Charlie. Things are shifting between Braden and Charlie, feelings changing over time. And of course it takes her more than a few chapters to realize what the change in their relationship is all about. 
A relationship starting off as a new or even deeper friendship always has a different dynamic to the whole way the story gets under way. So the realization of Charlie and Braden's romance is kind of slow and, surprisingly, I was fine with that. The advertised Fence Chats tough weren't everything I had imagined them to be. They could've been even more emotional, intimate and frequent, so that they would've been a more significant determinator of how the entire story would develop and so I could remember them as more of a highlight to the story.

Braden is Charlie's neighbour, too. So this is the story of the girl who falls for her neighbour/friend/quasi family member/substitute brother. There's a lot factoring into the building of their relationship. I'm a fan of those kind of relationships that grow out of familiarity, knowing another person and his or her flaws and best qualities before developing stronger feelings. Charlie and Braden were just too cute to be true.

Kasie West made sure fans of her YA contemporary debut were reunited with some of their beloved THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US characters. I'm really hoping Kasie continues to connect her YA contemporary books with each other so that we'll never lose contact with our ON THE FENCE characters either. Would be so happy to catch up with Braden, Charlie and her brothers sometime, for they have become characters who are very dear to me.

4,5/5 ****/* ON THE FENCE - Friendship is the new romance! And this is your #1 feel-good summer read in 2014!

THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US didn't really work for me but ON THE FENCE threw me off my feet. It revived the Kasie West fangirl feelings I felt when I read her fantasy novel PIVOT POINT in 2013. Kasie West's star on her way to one of the most popular YA contemporary authors is rising fast.

'I laughed.
Braden let out a large yawn. "Okay. I better get to bed or you're going to school me in soccer tomorrow."
I smiled. Considering how crappy I felt when I came outside, I was surprised at how my insides seemed to soar. "Make sure you wear the right shoes."
"Always."' p.73

ON THE FENCE you might enjoy MY LIFE NEXT DOOR by Huntley Fitzpatrick, LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR by Stephanie Perkins and CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally. Three stories that are about falling for the boy next door and/or your best friend, with CATCHING JORDAN also exploring how a girl can also be football star.

* THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US is Kasie West's YA contemporary debut novel. You should read it if you liked ON THE FENCE.

* Kasie's next book, THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, comes out May 2015.

* Click here for an excerpt of ON THE FENCE.

* Want to meet Kasie West? Check out her summer tour dates.

* For more information about Kasie and her books visit

* Thanks to Harper Collins International for the review copy of ON THE FENCE!