PTA Live!

 

Tonight I was lucky enough to attend the Penguin Teen Australia Live event being held at Black Cat Books in Paddington. 

PTA Live

Felicity from PTA is one of those fantastically passionate people and I enjoyed hearing all the things she had to say (most especially those Fiery Heart quotes! If I wasn’t already anxiously anticipating the fourth Bloodline book – I would be now!). I loved the message of it being okay (more than okay) to love YA fiction even when your teen years are a little way behind you. 

I learned a lot – I didn’t know that they were making On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta into a movie – and found so many incredible sounding books coming out later this year to add to my ever-growing to-read list. 

We got a sneak peek at the new PTA website and I got to meet some fantastic bloggers that I’ve long admired. I have to admit I felt pretty important when whYAnot had a mention on the bloggers slide (although next to all those gorgeous other blogs it has made me more aware than ever that I need to create a proper image and brand for this blog. It’s coming soon!)

Bloggers

 

It is a really incredible thing to be able to discuss books with people who are as passionate about them as I am. The talk about Vampire Academy: Blood Sister, the Bloodlines series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, John Green – I could go on. The First Third by Will Kostakis and The Cinderella Moment by Jennifer Kloester (I’m pretty thrilled that it’s going to be the pink cover that I voted for) are definitely going to be book I know I’ll buy when they’re released later this year. 

There was some swag (The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is sitting on my coffee table in front of me wishing that I didn’t have an assignment to work on later tonight) and I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Rachel Caine’s Fall of Night (Morganville Vampires #14) which was nice.  And I bought a copy of John Green & David Levithan’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson! 

If you ever get the chance to go to a PTA Live event – I strongly recommend it. I had such a great time! Not even getting lost on the way there and spending over 90 minutes in traffic would take away from the experience. Great people talking about incredible sounding books and movies. Sounds kind of perfect, right?

One last thing before I stop fangirling and get knee-deep in text books – Black Cat Books is a gorgeous little bookstore. If you find yourself in the area – check it out! 

 

 

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Book Review: True by Erin McCarthy

Title: True
Author: Erin McCarthy
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, New Adult 
Publisher: Intermix (an imprint of Penguin) 
Publication Date: 7th May 2013
Pages: 238
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads): When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…

My Review:

For book smart Rory watching TV shows about human anatomy is her idea of the perfect Saturday night. But her two room-mates and closest friends think Rory needs a social life . This explains how Rory finds herself on the sofa contemplating losing her virginity to a guy she doesn’t even know and doesn’t particularly like. Things go from bad to worse and Rory finds herself being rescued by a shirtless. He may be sleeping with one of her room-mates but within weeks Rory finds there’s more to the surprisingly deep tattooed bad boy than she ever would have suspected.

On the surface this novel seems to be rather similar to many of the New Adult books I’ve read in the past year. But True is different. The characters have a lot of depth. The plot has twists and turns. And I found myself falling in love with the characters and the story with every page I read.

Rory is logical and analytical – two things that I absolutely loved about her. She doesn’t (or at least she tries not to) let her emotions get the best of her. When things don’t add up she goes back and reconsiders the facts before jumping to conclusions. Tyler is shockingly sweet. His heart is exceptionally big – with him always trying to do the right thing by everyone no matter what the consequences will be for himself. His relationships with his brothers and Rory are lovely to read.

The supporting characters are all fun and flawed in their own ways. I’m excited to see that a book about one of Rory’s room-mates is going to be written that will include Rory and Tyler moments.

If you’ve tried New Adult fiction and not liked the over emotional, angsty drama – I’d give True a try before giving up on the genre. This is still a little angsty but these characters make sense together and the journey to the destination is worthwhile.

 

Thanks to NetGalley and Intermix for the digital ARC.

Amazon / Barnes and Noble 


Guest Post: Wide Awake by Shelly Crane

YANR_BlogTour_WA

Author Shelly Crane has stopped by with a guest post for the Wide Awake Blog Tour!

Top 10

1) Favorite food? Alfredo

2) Favorite color? Teal

3) Favorite place? A beach house

4) Favorite music genre? Rock!

5) Favorite band/song? Snow Patrol/Chasing Cars

6) Favorite book genre? YA

7) Favorite book? Vampire Academy by Rachelle Mead

8) What inspires you in everyday life, as a person, not an author? My kids. They are pretty darn hilarious. Music.

9) Do you have any animals? Three dogs: Biff, Tiger & Scrappy.

10) What’s next since Wide Awake is done? Smash Into You. It’s a story about a guy who pushes everyone away because his mother was killed by a man who chases him and he doesn’t know why. So, he’s always on the run and never gets involved with anyone. But when he gets in an accident with a girl, that changes when he realizes that the man has started to chase the girl, too. This time when he skips town, he takes her with him and is determined to find out why these people have always plagued him and what they want with him and this new girl, that infuriates him and makes him want to finally, for once, be able to stay.

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Title: Wide Awake

Author: Shelly Crane

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 202

Book Description:

A girl.

A coma.

A life she can’t remember.

When Emma Walker wakes up in the hospital with no knowledge of how she got there, she learns that she’s been in a coma for six months. Strangers show up and claim to be her parents, but she can’t remember them. She can’t remember anyone. Not her friends, not even her boyfriend. Even though she can’t remember, everyone wants her to just pick up where she left off, but what she learns about the ‘old her’ makes her start to wish she’d never woken up. Her boyfriend breaks up with the new girl he’s dating to be with her, her parents want her to start planning for college, her friends want their leader back, and her physical therapist with the hazel eyes keeps his distance to save his position at the hospital.

Will she ever feel like she recognizes the girl in the mirror?

 

Author Links:

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Purchase on Amazon

Purchase on B&N

About Shelly Crane

Shelly Crane

Shelly is a YA author from a small town in Georgia and loves everything about the south. She is wife to a wonderful husband and stay at home mom to two boisterous and mischievous boys who keep her on her toes. They currently reside in everywhere USA as they happily travel all over with her husband’s job. She loves to spend time with her family and friends, go out to eat at new restaurants and site see in the new areas they travel to, listen to music and also LOVES to read.

Her own books happen by accident and she revels in the writing and imagination process. She doesn’t go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately, even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born.

 

Shelly Crane loves Vampire Academy and Snow Patrol? We must be twins… *insert shifty smiley here*.

But seriously – this book sounds fantastic. Like a YA version of the movie, The Vow, with a difference.

What do you think? Feel free to leave me a comment with your thoughts.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: Episodes 21-30 (plus extras)

It’s Friday again so that means that here on whYAnot it’s time for another watch and review for The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!

This week I’m discussion episodes 21 though 30 with some additions. There’s another Q&A as well as the first three Lydia Bennet video diaries.

NOTE: The links below in the episode titles will take you to the video for the episode on the Lizzie Bennet Diaries website so you can watch and join the fun.

Actual printed invitations ON PAPER!

Actual printed invitations ON PAPER!

The Semester is Over and Lizzie and Charlotte can have some time off studying to have some fun! In the first episode we get to see Lizzie and Charlotte exchange some BFF banter and ponder the big issues: The similarities between job interviews and dating; and the question of money vs. morals.

Lydia’s interfering results in Bing Lee holding a party at his place – complete with actual printed invitations on paper – in The Unavoidable Invitation. Lizzie wonders if maybe, just perhaps, she’s slightly over involved in Jane’s love life.

 Lizzie Answers Questions has Lizzie answering questions (big shock, huh?). Ever wondered how Lizzie puts up with crazy Bennet women? Or her feelings on zombies? Are you dying to know the big book on the edge of the shelf on Lizzie’s bookshelves are? All these questions and more answered in this video.

Charlotte as Bing Lee and Lizzie showing off just how well she knows Jane.

Charlotte as Bing Lee and Lizzie showing off just how well she knows Jane.

In One Sister Behind we see that Bing can be used as a verb. It’s the aftermath to Bing’s big party (complete with Swan Ice Sculptures!). Also Charlotte and Lizzie show off their re-enacting skills when they show viewers an interaction between Bing and Jane which didn’t have any witnesses…. estimated to be approximately 90% accurate… or perhaps that’s closer to 50%.

Oh… Jane is Back and Mom isn’t happy. It isn’t that Jane stayed out all night that has her upset but rather that she returned home before eloping. Lizzie and Charlotte talk about their expectations of the upcoming VidCon (a convention for web videos).

VidCon!

VidCon!

For the first time since The Lizzie Bennet Diaries started all those episodes ago, we get to see her outside of her bedroom! Vidcon Interruption also marks the milestone of the first male to appear in an episode of TBD – Ricky aka. Mr Collins.

Ricky aka. Mr Collins

Ricky aka. Mr Collins

Whilst Mrs Bennet may be out of sight – she’s never got matchmaking off her mind. Mom’s Convoluted Plan, admittedly not quite as far-fetched as the green bean gelatine plan, consists of some home renovations causing the Bennet house to be unlivable. This results, conveniently enough, with Bing Lee opening up his home for Jane and Lizzie to inhabit whilst their own house is being remodelled.

Episode 27 Welcomes Everybody to Netherfield! With the vlog entries no longer being taped in Lizzie’s bedroom, Jane takes over for Charlotte as Lizzie’s camera person and sounding board. There are pros and cons of living in Bing’s mansion. And we get to see the oft mentioned but as far unseen Caroline Lee! Lizzie has to face reality when she starts to realize the ramifications if Bing or Darcy ever stumble upon her humble little video blog.

Caroline Lee - Bing's sister

Caroline Lee – Bing’s sister

This episode is probably one of the most anticipated to date – the first on-screen appearance of [Meeting] Bing Lee! Bing and Jane are every bit as cute and adorable and dorky as Lizzie described.

First Official Bing Lee Sighting!

First Official Bing Lee Sighting!

With Lydia being shipped off to live with Cousin Mary for the duration of Mrs Bennet’s home remodel, to keep from dying from Boredom, Lydia decides to chronicle her days using her phone in the first episode of Lydia’s vlog.

Back to Netherfield Lizzie faces an ethical dilemma after posting the video of Bing to be seen by the world without his knowledge (Episode 29: Ethics of Seeing Bing). Caroline weights in. Lizzie overreacts.

Bing is Back!

Bing is Back!

Meanwhile Lydia is thinking About a Boy. Mary seems to be as far from Lydia as a person could get.

Lizzie may have been overjoyed not to have to spend the past few weeks with Lydia and Mrs B but her time as Netherfield isn’t a picnic either – thanks to Darcy. Ticking Clock has Lizzie waiting by the phone for her mother to call informing her the remodel is finally finished! I learned another new word in this episode: Darcy plus Scrutiny equals Darceny. Lizzie shows off her game show hosting skills with help from her new pal, Caroline.

Caroline helps Lizzie explain the concept of "Darceny".

Caroline helps Lizzie explain the concept of “Darceny”.

Lydia shows off her ingenuity in Lydia Bennet: Ep 3 – The Lodger. Mary is worried that someone has broken into their house. True be told, Lydia has rented out the attic to a stranger named John in return for some money for the mall!

I think what I like most about this series is how creative the team are. The plot of the classic novel has managed to be reinterpreted in this modern setting. There are a lot of nods to the past whilst embracing the current technology and vibe.

They are really starting to gear up with a Bing sighting or two, Caroline’s inside knowledge of the Lizzie Diaries and Lydia starting up her own vlog to share the adorbs with the world.

That’s all for this week’s LBD rundown. Check back in next Friday for my thoughts, feelings and all these screen caps that I feel proud to have mastered for episodes 31 though 40.

Thanks 🙂

Why I’m lovin’ Bloglovin’…

One of my blogging resolutions for this year was to read more blogs and be better organized. Enter Bloglovin.

Follow on Bloglovin

Shameless self-promotion: 

What is Bloglovin? 
Much like google reader – Bloglovin allows you to follow blogs and get alerts each time they put up a new post.

There’s even a video to explain (because let’s face it, I’m not so great on the explainin’)

Using a combination of the Bloglovin app, the Google Chrome alert (in the address bar next to the favourite star) and a daily feed email – I’ve been able to keep track of my favourite blogs.

Three reasons why I’m lovin’ bloglovin:
1. It’s very easy to use.
2. The blog you’re following doesn’t need to be registered on bloglovin in order for you to follow it. Blogger, WordPress, selfhosted – you can follow them all in one place!
3. The interface is clear and uncluttered.

I’ve not used Google Reader (and with it closing down that’s hardly likely to change) but I encourage people to check out Bloglovin.

Annddd…

Because I’m talking about following blogs – here are five of my favourite Aussie book blogs….

Australian Bookshelf

Vegan YA Nerds

Speculating on SpecFic

Read In A Single Sitting

Obsession With Books

 

Tuff Girl Legion: Astarte’s Wrath by Trisha Wolfe

Tuff Girl Legion Presents Astarte’s Wrath

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Title: Astarte’s Wrath (Kythan Guardians #0.5) 
Author: Trisha Wolfe
Genre: New Adult, Mythology, Urban Fantasy 
Publisher: self-published
Publication Date: March 2013
Pages: 215
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
A tragic love story.

Two thousand years before Dez Harkly developed her secret powers, Guardian Astarte was vowed to protect by the binds enslaving her to the Egyptian pharaohs. Discover the prophecy that originated from a very different time, and spans generations to link two very different girls.

This is the beginning.

Set against the backdrop of the Battle of Actium, in the city of Alexandria, Star struggles with her guardian duties as her feelings for the newly named pharaoh of Egypt grow deeper. Not only is Caesarion her duty, he’s the son of Cleopatra, and he’s human. All of which makes their love forbidden.

But when a conspiracy linked to Caesar creeps into Alexandria, Star must choose between helping her fellow Kythan free themselves of their servitude, and protecting her charge—the last pharaoh—while Egypt burns around her.

New Adult/Mature YA: sexual content, drinking, drugs, violence, language, death, and other mature content intended for readers 17 and older. Astarte’s Wrath is a companion novel to Destiny’s Fire, but can be read as a standalone novel.

 

Review:

Trisha Wolfe has created such an amazing world inhabited by characters that I love to read about. As a companion novel to Destiny’s Fire, Astarte’s Wrath can be read independently and still pick up on the intricacies of the realm these books are set in.

Astarte (Star) is a Kythian – a race created to be unstoppable defenders of Egypt. In particular to guard and protect the Pharaoh, Xarion who also happens to be Star’s childhood friend. He is new to his position and believes that a man should make his own fate rather than just deal with what the Gods decide. In addition the new responsibility he has messes with the easy friendship he has always shared with Star. With a new race of magical beings on the scene, the threat against the Pharaoh is more real than ever.

I love the mix of Egyptian mythology, action and romance in this book – it’s fun and interesting. There’s always something happening but at the same time it always feels like a natural progression. I was entirely absorbed in the story from the first page until the last.

The characters are fantastic – from Star and Xarion to Phoenix. They’re well-rounded and flawed in the way that I love the characters I read about to be. The romance, the friendships – all of it. Bittersweet but beautiful to the end. The novel kept me hooked and I loved it.

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a well written story with well thought out plot, fantastic characters and a great mythological angle different from what I’ve read before.

And NOW…. here’s a bonus from Trisha! 

Sneak Peek: Bath Scene from Xarion’s POV

Star narrows her eyes at me, her full, bottom lip puckering out the way it does when she’s in serious thought—and though I’m listening to her words, all I want to do is trap that bottom lip between my teeth. Nip it and caress it with my tongue.

“I knew you’d say that,” she says. “And that is precisely why I didn’t want you to know.” She raises her hand from my chest and swipes the wet hair from my forehead. Her body subtly moves against me with this action, and it drives me wild. “A possible retaliation by the guardians is just one more weighted burden on top of the many you already carry. You don’t need the added strain. Let me deal with Candra and the Kythan. They’re my kindred. As long as I’m their equal—in both power and status—I can protect you.”

This woman—the woman I’ve loved my entire life—is my protector. She not only guards against physical threats, but watches over my mental wellbeing. But I cannot allow her to carry all my problems alone anymore. I want to be her guardian, to be the one to comfort her when she’s fearful, and protect her against this world.

I tilt my head and suck in a deep breath. “This is why you won’t be with me.” I want her to admit it. If she finally confesses that our titles and her battle with the right course of action have been the only reasons for her kept affections, then by Gods…help me from laying her out on this tile and taking her—making her mine. I won’t stop.

She nods.

“This is the only reason.” She nods again, and that is all the conformation I need. “Then I refuse to let them keep us apart for one more moment.” I grasp her face between my hands and claim her lips with mine.

Her lips are soft and warm as I achingly coax them into a fevered kiss, unable to hold back my desire for her. I had planned for our first kiss many times, imagined it over and over. The way I would caress her lips slowly and lovingly, conveying my affections. But every emotion I have ever felt for Star rushes to the surface all at once, and I can’t slow. I won’t. I won’t allow her a moment to question our actions, to reconsider us. I’m going to kiss her senseless—kiss the reason right out of her infuriatingly rational head.

Help Trisha and the Tuff Girl Legion get to 50 reviews on Amazon for the full scene release of the “Bath Scene” on Trisha’s blog! You can bookmark the bonus material here!

Bio: Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY’S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), the NA Historical/Supernatural ASTARTE’S WRATH, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. Her NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.

TrishWolfePic

She’s the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies. Check out www.TrishaWolfe.com for more on her books and bonus material. Follow Trisha on Twitter @TrishWolfe and like her Facebook page for updates.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

You can also enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card or bookmarks by entering. Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Book Review: Infinity by Sedona Venez

Title: Infinity (Valkyries: Soaring Raven #1)
Author: Sedona Venez
Genre: New Adult, paranormal romance,
Publisher: self-published
Publication Date: January 2013
Pages: 220
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Infinity discovers a dark secret from her past that rocks everything she knows to be true.

A troubled 22-year-old superstar singer, Infinity has a bad reputation for drugs and hard partying. Now, she is on the road to a comeback with her controversial tour. But everything about doing the concert feels wrong from missing employees, to anonymous threats about ruining her career. She is dealing with a powerful corporation that is determined to kill her and everyone she loves. She is also battling for control of her life and career from a relationship that crossed the fine line between love and obsession. Infinity knows too much, even though she doesn’t realize it. Secrets have been kept and these secrets are powerful enough to destroy her and everyone she loves.

Now she must put her safety and trust in the hands of sexy, tattooed and delicious Torch Channing and Boulder Vigari, hired to keep her from getting killed. Boulder wants to make her his. He won’t stop until he claims her. Torch struggles with his primal need to possess her and his hatred of everything she represents.

Infinity is determined to protect her heart while dealing with the pressure of pulling off another successful tour without spiraling into another mental meltdown.

My Review:

Immortal beings controlling the lives and fates of humans. Add in the idea of true mates and an assortment of crazy and awesome different types of paranormal beings. This book conceptually is one that I could really see my self getting into. However there was something lacking in the execution.

For the first quarter of the novel no action occurs. There’s two different conversations which tell the reader a lot about what’s happening in the world where the Collective (an organization made up of Shifters and Vampires) control the rich and poor alike though a new drug. A pharmaceutical they developed keeps the unfortunate and downtrodden healthy whilst giving the wealthy a pleasant buzz. It’s such a cool idea that Venez has created. But there were times when it was just too much information and not enough action. Other times everything happened so quickly and out of the blue that I felt a little left behind.

Infinity plays the over-indulged pop star exceptionally well however she lacks any real depth. And the fact that every male character in the story wants to be the one to claim her virginity – it felt a little over the top.

This book didn’t feel like a New Adult novel to me – with the copious swearing and sexual references – it felt more like an adult paranormal fantasy novel. I have come to expect some kind of coming of age or at least have the lead to grow emotionally throughout the story in a NA novel but with all the drama in Infinity occurring over a few days and the novel ending on a cliff-hanger – there’s no much room for growth or resolutions of any kind.

There’s a lot of potential in this story and the world in which it’s set but I just couldn’t get into it.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon