Sunday, January 31, 2016

February & March 2016 ARC Giveaway - 4 winners



I'm kicking-off my first giveaway in 2016 today and am very excited for you to win and read these four beauties pictured above! They are ARCs I got at Frankfurt Book Fair last year and the copy of Holly Bourne's newest release was sent to me by Usborne. The giveaway is international and ends on February 23rd (my birthday). There will be 4 winners, just tell me which ARC you'd like to win in the widget. Good luck!


Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands.
Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there's nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can't wait to escape from. 
Destined to wind up "wed or dead," Amani’s counting on her sharpshooting skills to get her out of Dustwalk. When she meets Jin, a mysterious and devastatingly handsome foreigner, in a shooting contest, she figures he’s the perfect escape route. But in all her years spent dreaming of leaving home, she never imagined she'd gallop away on a mythical horse, fleeing the murderous Sultan's army, with a fugitive who's wanted for treason. And she'd never have predicted she'd fall in love with him...or that he'd help her unlock the powerful truth of who she really is. 



Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

I was brave
She was reckless
We were trouble
 Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. As Suzanne’s past is revealed and her present begins to unravel, Caddy begins to see how much fun a little trouble can be. But the course of both friendship and recovery is rougher than either girl realises, and Caddy is about to learn that downward spirals have a momentum of their own.



Summerlost by Ally Condie

It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar. 



How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne

All Amber wants is a little bit of love. Her mum has never been the caring type, even before she moved to California, got remarried and had a personality transplant. But Amber's hoping that spending the summer with her can change all that.
And then there's prom king Kyle, the guy all the girls want. Can he really be interested in anti-cheerleader Amber? Even with best friends Evie and Lottie's advice, there's no escaping the fact: love is hard.



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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Book Review: Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner


Title: Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pulishing Date: December 1st 2015
Length: 432 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, sci-fi, romance, friendship, space travel, war
Source: Bought

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.


Summary by Goodreads 






THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT was one of my most anticipated books to be released in 2015. It's been a long wait until I could finally start the third book in the STARBOUND trilogy but it was so worth it! In each instalment Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner introduced us to a new pair of protagonists who were always very likely to fall in love. And THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT is no different. We have the pleasure to meet Sofia, a real con artist, and Gideon, the universe`s most skilled hacker. Their first meeting is just as explosive and heated as Lilac and Tarver and Jubilee and Flynn's first encounters in the previous books. What a dynamic jump into the story!

What I loved most about THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT is that we get to meet our two other favourite STARBOUND couples again. Lilac and Tarver have been there from the very beginning of the story and they are there when it all comes to an end. Just like Jubilee and Flynn, who are at the side of their best friends when the final battle decends upon them. Sofia and Gideon are the perfect addition to this group of friends. They fit together so naturally you can't but adore them.
   Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner write the best characters anyway! Their writing in general is so vivid and strong I can't help getting sucked into their stories again and again... and again.

So much has happened since THESE BROKEN STARS and I couldn't be happier about THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT finally uniting the stories of our six beloved STARBOUND protagonists. The conspiracy dots are connecting to constellations and the story is striving towards a finale like a super nova. In the end THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT is a brilliant and very fulfilling conclusion to the STARBOUND series, solving the mystery of the whispers we encountered in the first book and inducing the big showdown of our friends against the power-hungry Roderick LaRoux.

THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT has so much to offer. We get to explore the planet of Corinth, which creates a rich and diverse background to our story. There is this very sweet love story between Sofia and Gideon and the friendship between all of our STARBOUND heroes. In addition lots of hacking business, chases and battles are upping the thrill factor to maximum.
   The stories of THESE BROKEN STARS, THIS SHATTERED WORLD and THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT connect to one big and brilliant reading experience. And the last book in the STARBOUND series really ends on a beautiful and hopeful message. Thank you Amie and Meagan!






5/5 ***** THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT - A stellar, quick-witted and very beautiful conclusion to my favourite space trilogy! 

With the STARBOUND trilogy Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner created a marvellous reading experience for every fan of...well, words. Yes, THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT and its companions are that good! I'm in love with every fibre of Amie and Meagan's STARBOUND universe!







"I slide my other hand past the hacker's lap, toward the door controls, the movement quick but smooth. The driver's going to get over his confusion and outrage at some point, and I need to get the door open so we can bolt. I'm about to palm the scanner when the boy's lips curve under mine  – he's smiling, grinning – and it's the only warning I get before he's parting his lips and taking full advantage of my ploy by trying to stick his tongue down my throat. 
Asshole." – p. 32








THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT you might enjoy AVALON by Mindee Arnett, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis and  GLITCH by Heather Anastasiu.







* Read THIS NIGHT SO DARK, the prequel to THIS SHATTERED WORLD.

* Click here to read an excerpt of THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT!

* For more information about Amie and Meagan visit www.meaganspooner.com and www.amiekaufman.com.




Monday, January 4, 2016

Books Read in 2015

Happy New Year 2016!
I'm wishing us all many wonderful reads, joy and happiness for this new year. Let's make it a good one together! 

In 2015 I didn't read as many books as I might have wanted. Still, I'd call it a year with great experiences, travels and even a few five-star reads. I read 66 books in total. Eight of them were debut novels. I finished six book series and started four new series. My reading goal for 2016 is to read at least 75 books and read all of my top ten most anticipated books. Below is a list of the books I read in 2015. What books were on your reading list of 2015?


January


Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan 4/5 stars
The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher 4/5 stars
Heat of the Moment by Lauren Barnholdt 3/5 stars 
Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel 4/5 stars
Lies I Told by Michelle Zink 2,5/5 stars
Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay 4,5/5 stars JANUARY FAVOURITE
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand 4/5 stars



February 


After Hours by Claire Kennedy 2/5 stars
Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor 4/5 stars
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard 5/5 stars FEBRUARY FAVOURITE




March


The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill 3,5/5 stars
Invincible by Amy Reed 2/5 stars 
The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski 4/5 stars MARCH FAVOURITE



April


Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca 2,5/5 stars
Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally 4/5 stars 
The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan 2,5/5 stars 
I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios 5/5 stars APRIL FAVOURITE




May


Unleashed by Sophie Jordan 4/5 stars
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord 4/5 stars
Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson 3/5 stars
The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West 5/5 stars MAY FAVOURITE
Paper Towns by John Green 3/5 stars
Until the Beginning by Amy Plum 4/5 stars
The Two of Us by Any Jones 3,5/5 stars



 
June


Dumplin' by Julie Murphy 3/5 stars
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler 4/5 stars
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han 3,5/5 stars
Get Dirty by Gretchen McNeil 3/5 stars
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith 4/5 stars
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead 4/5 stars
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead 4/5 stars
The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead 4/5 stars
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead 4/5 stars
Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead 5/5 stars JUNE FAVOURITE



July


The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead 3,5/5 stars 
Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham 3,5/5 stars
When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney 3/5 stars
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen 4/5 stars
The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher 2/5 stars
#scandal by Sarah Ockler 3/5 stars 
Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer 3,5/ stars
Light of Day by Allison van Diepen 2,5/5 stars
Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger 4/5 stars JULY FAVOURITE



August


Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller 4/5 stars
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff 4/5 stars
Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch 4/5 stars AUGUST FAVOURITE




September


Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown 3,5/5 stars SEPTEMBER FAVOURITE
The Replaced by Kimberly Derting 3/5 stars



October 


Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins 5/5 stars OCTOBER FAVOURITE
The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick 3,5/5 stars
The White Rose by Amy Ewing 4/5 stars 
The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan 3/5 stars
Future Perfect by Jen Larsen 2/5 stars
The Sun in Her Eyes by Paige Toon 3/5 stars
Infinite in Between by Carolyn Mackler 3/5 stars



November


The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black, Cassandra Clare 3/5 stars
Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie 4/5 stars
Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray 5/5 stars NOVEMBER FAVOURITE
Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales 3/5 stars
The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens 3/5 stars
Brooklyn Girls: Angie by Gemma Burgess 4/5 stars
Brooklyn Girls: Coco by Gemma Burgess 4/5 stars
Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella 3/5 stars



December  


The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella 3/5 stars
Nine Uses for an Ex-Boyfriend by Sarra Manning 3/5 stars
Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner 5/5 stars DECEMBER FAVOURITE

Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Most Anticipated Books of 2016

I'm already in love with the new year of 2016! Can you imagine why? I'm so excited for all the new releases 2016 promises to bring to my shelves. So here's a list of my most anticipated books of 2016. What do you think?

#10

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.
Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check.Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)
But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing - if everything's planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?
 
Doesn't Morgan Matson's new 2016 release sound like a fabulous summer read? Love the cover!
 
 

#9

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins

Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.
 
I'm really not a fan of short stories but I can't wait to read these twelve summery love stories. Just have a look at the list of authors contributing to SUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS.
 
 

#8

Gemina (The Illuminae Files # 2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

The first ILLUMINAE FILES book was a real adventure. I'm very curious if the second book in Amie and Jay's series is just as creative and imaginative as the first.













#7

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?
While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

P.S. I LIKE YOU sounds like another cute YA contemporary romance by Kasie West. Love her books!



#6

Defending Taylor (Hundred Oaks #7) by Miranda Kenneally

Taylor’s always felt pressure to be perfect. That’s what happens when you are a senator’s daughter. So when she’s kicked out of private school for covering for her boyfriend’s not-so-legal behavior, she is devastated.
Things go from bad to worse as she joins what used to be her rival soccer team at Hundred Oaks High. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. But Ezra has secrets of his own. Will Taylor repeat past mistakes, or can she score a fresh start?
 
Miranda Kenneally writes the most wonderful YA contemporary romances. So far I've fallen in love with all of her charming and funny characters and am a great fan of Miranda's sports-themed books!



#5

Frost Like Night (Snow Like Ashes #3) by Sara Raasch

This is the last book in Sara Raasch's SNOW LIKE ASHES trilogy and how couldn't I be excited to find out how Meira and Mather can defeat evil and find peace together.











#4

The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game #1) by Evelyn Skye

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

Just wow! THE CROWN'S GAME sounds like a powerful debut novel with all its magic, deadly games and romantic twists.



#3

Glass Sword (Red Queen #2) by Victoria Aveyard

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

♥ I read RED QUEEN early in 2015 and was impressed by Victoria Aveyard's stunning debut novel. I met Victoria in Frankfurt this year and she was so lovely. Hope GLASS SWORD will be just as good as RED QUEEN.



#2

Untitled (Firebird #3) by Claudia Gray

The first two books in the FIREBIRD series, A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU and TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU, were my favourite books of 2014 and 2015. So it's a given that book number three, which has yet to be titled, is on my list of most anticipated books for the year of 2016. I really need to find out how Marguerite and Paul's story finds its happy end.








#1

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Los Angeles. It’s been five years since the events of the Mortal Instruments when Nephilim stood poised on the brink of oblivion and Shadowhunter Emma Carstairs lost her parents. After the blood and violence she witnessed as a child, Emma has dedicated her life to to discovering exactly what it was that killed her parents and getting her revenge.
Raised in the Los Angeles Institute with the Blackthorn family, Emma is paired as a parabatai with her best friend, Julian Blackthorn. A series of murders in the city catch her attention — they seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of her parents. Could the murderer be the same person? And her attention isn’t the only one caught: someone has been murdering Downworlders as well. The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn to his home. The catch: they have only two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim.
The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race against time to catch the killers, even as they begin to suspect the involvement of those closest to them. At the same time, Emma is falling in love with the one person in the world she’s absolutely forbidden by Shadowhunter Law to love. Set against the glittering backdrop of present-day Los Angeles, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches from the warlock-run nightclubs of the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica.
 
The Shadowhunter books by Cassandra Clare belong to my favourites and the love story of Emma and Julian sounds so good! Can't wait to finally read LADY MIDNIGHT!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best Reads of 2015

As we've got only one day left in 2015, I thought it was a good time to share my favourite books of 2015 with you. This past year I read many books that got only average ratings. Of course there were a few books that really impressed me, too. In January I shared my most anticipated books of 2015 and when I checked that list again now I found three matches with my top ten list here. My number one most anticipated book of 2015 became my favourite read of 2015, too. I love this! So here are my top ten reads of 2015. Feel free to share your favourite reads in the comments!

#10

Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.
Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.
But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.
As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.



#9

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.
The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.
Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.



#8

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
 
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.
Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.
For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .
Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.



#7

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.This afternoon, her planet was invaded.
The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
 
 
 
#6

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell.
Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron sees this find as an opportunity—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira fears the danger the chasm poses—the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?
Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Januari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats?
As the web of power and deception weaves tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter, but for the world.



#5

Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay

One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.
And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?
 
 
 
#4

Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins

Bad boy Kaidan Rowe has never wanted for anything—money, popularity, musical talent…hot girls—but seducing them is part of his duty as a Nephilim, slave to the demon Dukes. As the son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan has learned his father’s ways, becoming a master of passion, a manipulator of chemistry. Disobeying his father would mean certain death. Thankfully for Kaidan, he’s good at his job. And he enjoys it.
Until he meets Anna Whitt—sweet, smart, feisty, and inexplicably good—the one girl seemingly immune to his charms. The daughter of a guardian angel and a fallen one, she has a certain power over him, one that makes him wish for more than he could ever deserve.
Determined to save all the Neph from their dark lives as the influencers of sin, Anna joins forces with Kaidan to overcome the demons’ oppressive ways. In the light of her affections, Kaidan must undergo his toughest test of all, a battle of the heart.



#3

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart ...



#2

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.
Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.
Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.
When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.



#1

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Ten thousand worlds. Ten thousand enemies. One love.

Marguerite Caine has done the impossible, traveling to alternate dimensions with the Firebird—the brilliant invention of her parents, her boyfriend, Paul, and their friend Theo. But she has also caught the attention of enemies willing to kidnap, blackmail, and even kill to use the Firebird for themselves.
When Paul’s soul is splintered into four pieces—pieces that are trapped within Pauls in other dimensions—Marguerite will do anything, and travel anywhere, to save him. But the price of his safe return is steep. If she doesn’t sabotage her parents in multiple universes, Paul will be lost forever.
Unwilling to sacrifice her family, Marguerite enlists the brilliant Theo to help. The two forge a plan to save Paul and the Firebird, but succeeding means outsmarting a genius and risking not only their lives but also the lives of their counterparts in every other dimension.
Their mission takes them to the most dangerous universes yet: a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each leap brings Marguerite closer to saving Paul—but her journey reveals dark truths that lead her to doubt the one constant she’s found between worlds: their love for each other.
  


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Book Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


Title: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Publishing Date: October 22nd 2015
Length: 608 pages
Keywords: YA, sci-fi, thriller, conspiracy, space travel, romance
Source: Publisher

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.


Summary by Goodreads






In the beginning there is destruction. Kady and Ezra are on the run while their planet is bombed and invaded by two duelling mega-corporations. They need to evacuate and make it on one of the space ships that are fleeing their enemies. But will they make it out alive in the end? That's what you'll have to find out by reading the Illuminae files, all analysed and supplied by the Illuminae Group. They share about six hundred pages of visual, audio and written data collected from battle carrier Alexander and science vessel Hypathia where the action of ILLUMINAE takes place.

So Kady and Ezra are the two protagonists whose story we get to follow in ILLUMINAE. We learn that Kady just broke up with Ezra and now they are thrown into this horrifying scenario where their entire planet is destroyed. No time to be vindictive. In order to survive Kady and Ezra have to find a way to beat the enemy together. You can imagine that this scenario was pretty intriguing. In the face of death, new hardships and more catastrophes on board almost constantly dare them to get back together and admit their true feelings for each other. Even though they never even narrate one chapter of the book themselves, we still learn more about the development of their relationship through the hacked files.

So what are those files? Videos by surveillance cameras, military documents, chat communications, interviews, emails, diary entries and other forms of data. The collection is splendid!
   When I first dove into the Illuminae files I didn't really know how to read them best. I'm used to personal narrations that bring a reader close to the character's thoughts and emotions. So I was concerned I wouldn't care about Kady and Ezra as much as maybe other characters. And actually it took me some time to get used to the documentary and informative narration of ILLUMINAE but after about one hundred pages I was deeply immersed in the story. Just give yourself a little time to acclimate to the new style of narration.

Never have I read a book where its page design was as important to the story as in ILLUMINAE. It keeps up the authentic character of storytelling and offers a completely new and riveting reading experience. A few basic page designs run throughout the entire story, like chats, military reports, audio files. But there are countless pages that got their very own special design with great love to detail. I bow to the art department for supplying ILLUMINAE with its own authentic style that makes up a huge part of the stunning reading experience Amie and Jay's novel offers to readers.

Part of the narrating scheme reminded me of chapters from THESE BROKEN STARS, where a military investigation is under way, too. I have never read anything like ILLUMINAE and now I'm more than curious about its sequel, if it's told in the same manner as the first book and if there will be more hints or parallels to Amie's THESE BROKEN STARS series. 

As to the story's course of action, that is one gigantic struggle for survival. Imagine bad things happening to Kady, Ezra and an entire planet's population. Then prepare again for the worst! There are epic space battles, explosions, conspiracies, hacking attacks and a dangerous artificial intelligence that overtakes an entire ship. Further you can add a deadly plague that turns humans into brutal zombies and ILLUMINAE into a slasher and horror story. That one was literally a killer move of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. This book is definitely not for the faint-hearted, but for the thrill seekers! Thought you booked a romantic cruise on a space liner? With ILLUMINAE you'll receive the gore galore adventure!
   Constant countdown alerts until "the end" and updated numbers on the current death toll (yep, these are totally justified) make the reading experience even more nerve-racking and dramatic.

With about 600 pages ILLUMINAE is a pretty big book. So I suggest you reserve a weekend to enjoy Kady and Ezra's unique space adventure to the fullest!






4/5 **** ILLUMINAE - Simply mind-blowing!  Best book design award 2015 goes to ILLUMINAE!

Conspiracies, space chases, gigantic explosions, terrifying enemies, sly artificial intelligence, emotional losses and a subtle yet sublime love story. Sci-fi, horror, thriller, romance, ILLUMINAE has it all. This book is the full package, a space adventure promising to blow your mind. I can guarantee you haven't read anything like it before!







"I only know one thing for sure. Whatever they don't want me to see, that's where I'm digging. I need to be where the secrets are.
 I'm more interested in ensuring I have a future than they think." – p. 124







ILLUMINAE you might enjoy THESE BROKEN STARS by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, A THOUSAND OF YOU by Claudia Gray and ALL OUR YESTERDAYS by Cristin Terrill. Only the first title is set in space like ILLUMINAE but they all have one thing in common: thrilling adventures, mean conspiracies and stunning romances.








* Have you read THESE BROKEN STARS?

* Click here to read an excerpt of ILLUMINAE.

* For more information about Amie visit www.amiekaufman.com. And here's Jay's website www.misterkristoff.wordpress.com

* Thanks to Oneworld Publications for sending me a copy of ILLUMINAE for review!