Posts Tagged ‘Megan Spooner’

Netgalley November: Week Four & Challenge Round Up

netgalleynovember3Personal Target: To read and review eight netgalley titles and improve my approved/feedback rating

Number of books read this week: 3

Number of books read for challenge: 10

Netgalley Approved-Feedback: 64.2%

Feedback:
At the start of November I set myself the challenge of reading and reviewing eight of my approved Netgalley titles. My aim was to take charge of my Netgalley TBR pile and improve my Approval-Feedback percentage. My target took a bit of a setback in week two, when, unable to rest the lure of Netgalley I requested, and was subsequently approved for, a further four titles.

I am really please that I managed to read and review ten Netgalley books. The original eight titles and two of the shiny, shiny titles I added during the challenge. Unfortunately I was unable to read and review the other two titles I collected during the challenge. I have started reading The Edge Of Always by J.A. Redmerski and I am looking forward to reviewing Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton In January.

This was a great reading challenge. It feels really good to take control of my digital TBR and I hope that I will maintain my percentage. Now all I need is a challenge to help me put my physical TBR to rights!

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner
these broken starsIt’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.
Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.
Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

As These Broken Stars is not due for publication until December/January, I am planning to wait until later in the month to post my full thoughts, in a Bookish Brits Vlog no less! (Visit here to lear more about Bookish Brits). For now, let me say that this collaboration between two gifted authors, for one of whom this is a debut, had me gripped from the very first page.

With the slow burning romance I adore, strong flawed characters, a futuristic universe, space travel, survival, mystery and blindsiding twists, I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t love about this book.

Verdict: Titanic in space- but better!

These Broken Stars is due for publication on the 10th of December 2013 the US, while us Brits will have to wait until the 23rd of January 2014.

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date:December 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Science Fiction
Age:Young Adult
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: Netgalley November

Doubting Abbey by Samantha Tonge
dounting abbey

Acting purely out of a desire to help her closest friend -and following a Ladette to lady crash course in etiquette and make under- loud, fun loving and immensely likeable Gemma finds herself imitating aristocratic Abbey

While you can’t help but root for Gemma as she attempts to maintain the charade, it is when Gemma is being her down to earth, reality TV loving, “normal” self that the story is the most fun. I couldn’t help but snort with laughter as she repeatedly attempts to give the viewers what they want, a “sexed up” Million Dollar Mansion.

I’m not going to lie. I am a fan of Light, sweet and fluffy “candy floss” books. They are my go to when I am in the need for a predictable, safe, comforting read. After the last few weeks of dystopian devastation and heart crushing contemporary I was in the mood for something fun and light hearted and Doubting Abbey fit the bill perfectly.

Verdict: Doubting Abbey was a predictable but fun and fast romp of a read.

Publisher: Carina UK
Publication Date:November 2013
Format: eARC
Pages:
Genre: Contemporary romance
Age:New Adult
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: Netgalley November, British book

unleashing Mr DarcyUnleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman teetering on the verge of thirty must be in want of a husband.
Not true for Manhattanite Elizabeth Scott. Instead of planning a walk down the aisle, she’s crossing the pond with the only companion she needs; her darling dog, Bliss. Caring for a pack of show dogs in England seems the perfect distraction from the scandal that ruined her teaching career, and her reputation, in New York. What she doesn’t count on is an unstoppable attraction to billionaire dog breeder Donovan Darcy. The London tycoon’s a little bit arrogant, a whole lot sexy, and the chemistry between them is disarming. When passion is finally unleashed, might Elizabeth hope to take home more than a blue ribbon?

It is no secret that I adore Jane Austin. What you might not realise is that far from placing her books on a pedestal, behind a velvet rope and insisting that they can only be admired reverently from afar. I am the kind of Austin fan who loves to consume books, movies and web serialisations, based on her works. When I saw Unleashing Darcy, a contemporary Pride and Prejudice retelling set in the world of dog shows, I couldn’t prevent my huge smile, and I just had to request a review copy.

As a fan of Pride and Prejudice, I can recognise how Wilson has based her novel on the classic- all the important players are there and all the significant events are represented- however Wilson has taken the liberty of shuffling around the timeline to best suit her characters. She has also provided us with Darcy’s point of view. As a result Unleashing Darcy, doesn’t follow the original story line as closely as some other retellings.

Unleashing Darcy was every bit as fun as I had anticipated. One of the things that I loved about this particular retelling is the way Wilson managed to incorporate so many of the classic lines from Pride and Prejudice, very often with no alteration, without interrupting the feel of her very contemporary novel. I couldn’t help but smile every time I recognised a line from the original text.

Verdict: A comforting, smiling inducing read for like minded Austin fans.

Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Publication Date:December 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 368
Genre: Contemporary romance, retelling
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: Netgalley November

Reviewed by Caroline

To learn more about the reading challenge and to sign up visit here

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Netgalley November: Week Three Round Up

netgalleynovember3Personal Target: To read and review eight netgalley titles and improve my approved/feedback rating

Number of books read this week: 2

Running total of books read: 7

Netgalley Approved-Feedback: 58.5 %

Currently Reading: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Feedback: Despite illness (my children’s and my own), last minute vlog filming (once my voice returned) and distraction in the form of John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars and Lisa Desrochers’ A Little Too Much, I am actually on track to fulfil my target of eight books! I have even managed to avoid the lure of Netgalley and have not requested any new titles *raises hand in anticipation of high fives*.

Crossing by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

crossing
He stole her lipstick…and her heart. Twenty-year-old Dani Walker can’t believe her luck when she’s paired up with the gorgeous Liam Garrett as her Acting I scene partner – or when he ends up in her bed. Being a Plain Jane with a mouth on her hasn’t exactly served Dani well in the guy department. In fact, she’s had nothing but one night stands. Still, she lets go of her insecurities and falls for Liam, despite feeling like he’s holding something back. When Dani finally discovers Liam’s secret, she must learn the true meaning of accepting the ones we love for who they are, or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

I don’t think that I am spoiling the book in anyway by talking about Liam’s big secret. One look at the title and the first line of the synopsis and most people are going to realise what forms the tension at the heart of the book. Then they are going to make a decision about wether or not the book is for them. If you find yourself uncomfortable with the subject matter, I really hope that you look beyond your initial nervousness and give Crossing a try.

At its heart Crossing is a well written and moving contemporary romance between a snarky, self deprecating, intelligent, and creative girl and the gorgeous boy who can keep up with her. A boy who just happens to enjoy wearing women’s clothing.

When I walk down the street with my short hair and my “uniform” of jeans and converse, I doubt very much that anyone is speculating on my gender identity, my sexuality or my femininity, In fact I doubt I warrant an initial thought, let alone a second one. A man walking down the street in feminine attire ?… A second glance is probably the best treatment he can expect.The other end of the wedge; discrimination? Ridicule? Suspicion? Fear? Violence?

I have witnessed conversations among intelligent and otherwise open minded individuals, who just cannot understand why someone would choose to dress outside of their perceived gender. Or at least why a man would choose to dress like a woman.I suspect that this has as much to do with the value society places on the feminine as it is to do with nervousness of the unknown.

In Crossing, the author took great pains to divorce Liam’s cross dressing from his sexuality and gender. Liam does not have a transgender identity, he isn’t described as “trying to pass as female” in fact he is in every other incidence portrayed as being very masculine. It is not about sex, or sexual fetishism . Both Liam and Dani are hetrosexual and while the physical side of Dani and Liam’s relationship appears to be stimulated by Liam’s cross dressing, my feeling is that for Liam it was less about the clothes he was wearing and more about Dani accepting him in his entirety. By Liam’s own admission, cross dressing for him is about syle and preference and a desire to wear and enjoy pretty things.

On the one hand you could see these choices as the author simplifying the issue or making it more palatable to a wider audience, either of which I find acceptable. The story is ultimately about love and acceptance and not an exploration of the complicated subject of cross dressing. On my part, I choose to believe that the author was creating a character which conflicts with as many preconceived notions as possible. I applaud Stacey Wallace Benefiel for writing Liam and Dani’s story and bring the subject of cross dressing in to mainstream YA literature.

Verdict: I think that it is safe to say that Crossing is a Marmite read. For my part I love Marmite and I loved this unique contemporary romance.

Publisher:Write Free
Publication Date:May 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 154
Genre: Contemporary romance, Cross dressing
Age: New Adult/Mature YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: Netgalley November

Legacy Of A Dreamer by Allie Jean
Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00074]Chantal Breelan’s past is a mystery, and her future is even more uncertain. She can’t recall why she had been taken from her parents, leaving an empty hole where her childhood should have been. When she
awakens from her nightmares, she’s left with terrible, violent images and believes something may have happened to her that her mind tries to forget. One night at a subway station, Chantal meets a young boy who flees to a dark subway tunnel, and she’s compelled to follow him. But this Rabbit Hole reveals a world
where reality is everything her nightmares have been forewarning.
Mathias is a descendant of an ancient being and beholden to wage an unfathomable war against an primordial evil, spawned by greed and spite. A powerful fighter, he and his brethren of Warriors vow guard the most precious, piercing light against the darkness –the females of their kind. The Warriors’ pledge is to find and protect their sisters and kin. Long have they fought, shedding sweat and blood, hoping that their struggles are not in vain. Yet in his sacrifice and service he may find life’s ultimate reward – a love to surpass all time.

Legacy Of A Dreamer is a difficult book for me to review. I feel as if I have just read two books, or at least the same book by two different authors.

On the one hand I loved the premise of this book. The plot was interesting and engaging and at times the narrative was vivid, atmospheric and deliciously creepy.

On the other hand, the execution of the plot just didn’t work for me. The dialogue felt forced and clunky and as much as I wanted to root for the relationship between the protagonist, Chantal, and her warrior protector, I just didn’t feel it.

Verdict: I’m in two minds about continuing this series. I really want to know what happens next, but I don’t think that the authors writing style is for me.

Publisher: The Writers Coffee Shop
Publication Date: June 2013
Format: eARC
Pages: 179
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Age: YA
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: Netgalley November

Reviewed by Caroline

To learn more about the reading challenge and to sign up visit here

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