Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Swoon-worthy Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Books That Will Make You Swoon

Thinking about what makes me swoon in a book – it’s when characters have a certain something special about them. So I’m changing it up. My list is going to be books with characters who make me swoon (also – I think I need to stop using the word swoon as it’s making me a little crazy).

So here we go. Here are ten books which I consider to have perfectly swoon-worthy leading men! (Clicking the book title will take you to the book’s page on goodreads.)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Étienne St. Clair)

Anna and the French Kiss

Easy by Tammara Webber (Lucas)


Crash Into You by Katie McGarry (Isaac)

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand (Tucker)

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)

Healer series by Maria V Snyder (Kerrick)

Touch of Power (Healer, #1)

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas (Chaol Westfall)

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (Finn)

All Our Yesterdays

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (Captain Thorne)

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Joe Fontaine)

The Sky Is Everywhere

Vampire Academy series & Bloodlines series both by Richelle Mead (Dimitri & Adrian)

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)

These are the books with characters which make me swoon. Any you liked? Any you hated? Do you have any recommendations for me based on this week’s list? Feel free to leave me a comment. Happy Tuesday! 🙂

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Book Review: Secret by Brigid Kemmerer

Secret (Elemental, #4)

Title: Secret (Elementals #4)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Magic, Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Allen & Unwin (Australia), Kensington Teen (US)
Publication Date: January 2014
Pages: 375
Rating: 4.5 stars

Note: The Australian edition of Secret contains Nick’s novella, Breathless, which introduces the dynamic between Nick and Quinn as well as Adam.

Synopsis (from goodreads):

Nick Merrick is stretched to breaking point. He’s trying to keep his grades sky-high or he won’t get in to college. He’s trying to keep his brother’s business afloat or the Merricks will be out on the street. He’s trying to keep the secret of where he’s going in the evenings from his twin brother Gabriel – or he fears he’ll lose his family. And he’s trying to keep his mind off the hot, self-assured dancer who is his ‘girlfriend’s’ partner.

And then Quinn takes to hanging around his sworn enemy, and an Elemental Guide is counting the hours until he can try again to kill the Merrick brothers. Storms are brewing. On all sides.


My Review:

Nick Merrick has been keeping a secret. He’s been having feelings for his girlfriend’s male dance partner and Quinn is the only one who knows. But Quinn has a secret of her own. Her homelike has been getting worse by the day and she feels like she can’t tell everyone just how bad things are with her mother and older brother. The Guides are getting closer and the threat to the Elemental Merrick brothers is imminent. With Tyler, a local teen who has been torturing the brothers for years, popping up and Nick’s secret growing heavy on him, Nick needs to decide who he can trust before things get out of his control.

I’ve been a fan of this series since I read the first book, Storm, and I get more attached to the Merrick clan with each new instalment. This book focuses on the romantic relationships between Nick and Adam as well as Quinn and Tyler. I do enjoy the romance in this series and it felt like it was going back to the start where more of the focus in the novel was romance and less drama. However I found myself missing some of the action and excitement that the Guides bring. In many ways the prologue felt slightly out-of-place – with a discussion between the Guide which caused Hunter so much pain in Spirit but then not being addressed for the rest of the novel.

Whilst the title of this book doesn’t follow the Elemental aspect of previous books, Secret is a perfectly fitting title. Near all the characters in this novel have secrets that they don’t know how to handle. From Nick’s sexuality to Quinn’s family and the part of himself that Tyler is keeping hidden from the world – the theme of secrets was beautifully reiterated throughout the book. One of the things I liked most about this book was how supportive the majority of characters were when faced with other’s secrets.

Overall I enjoyed this book. This novel was a pleasure to read and with a few surprises that I was not expecting (I can’t wait to see the fallout from the ending).  With the focus being more on romance and relationships as opposed to the Elementals vs. Guides battle, Secret felt like it was laying a lot of ground work for the next book in the series. There’s a lot up in the air (no Air Elemental pun intended!),  I can not wait for Michael’s story, Sacrifice.

 Thanks to Allen & Unwin for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Check out my reviews for the other books in the Elemental series:

Storm (Elementals #1)

Spark (Elementals #2)

Spirit (Elementals #3)

Novellas: Elemental (Elementals #0.5), Fearless (Elementals #1.5), Breathless (Elementals #2.5)

Book Review: How They Met (and Other Stories) by David Levithan

How They Met, and Other Stories

Title: How They Met (and Other Stories)
Author: David Levithan
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Short Stories
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publication Date: January 2014
Pages: 256
Rating: 3.5  stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Eighteen stories, all about love, and about all kinds of love.

From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down.

What is love?

With this original story collection David Levithan proves that love is a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing.

My Review: 

As David Levithan says in his introduction, How They Met (and other stories) is a book of stories about love rather than love stories. Each of the eighteen short stories gives a look into different types of love and relationships. With stories about the first sparks of attraction to tales of heartbreak and parental disapproval – this anthology covers a whole range of emotions and situations.

The stories contained in How We Met feature a variety of types of relationships – from two boys falling in love to a girl being heartbroken when her girlfriend moves on and heterosexual couples and their love stories. With many of the stories, the gender of the narrator is a little ambiguous for the first few pages and I liked the vagueness. Whilst sexuality is a theme in these stories, the unclearness of the narrator made it appear that the issues faced and situations the characters are in a universal (for the most part) regardless of sexual orientation.

For me, the sum is greater than the parts. I enjoyed many of the stories but I think the strength lies in how they fit together as a compilation. The variety is fantastic and yet they all manage to come together and feel like they each belong in the same collection.

Favourite Stories: Starbucks Boy, The Number of People Who Meet on Airplanes, Princes, A Romantic Inclination. 

Favourite Quotes:

“Every two people cause and intersection.
Every person alters the world.” from Intersection

“Sallie and James had both life and the laws of physics working against them. You see, Sallie Brown and James Helprin were good friends.
Which adds a certain friction to our equation.” from A Romantic Inclination

“You have to believe there are kisses and laughs and risks worth taking”


Thanks to Text Publishing for the review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Will Make You Cry!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Books That Will Make You Cry!

I’m not usually a very emotional person. But there are some books that made me tear up and on the odd occasion burst into tears. Extremely embarrassing if it’s when you’re on public transport on the way to work or school…. but those are the books that I’m putting on this week’s list. The books that I couldn’t restrain my emotions even when in very public and oh-so embarrassing places…

I read all of these books before I was a teenager and I remember being devastated by them. I am David was the first book I remember crying in public over. My year 5 teacher read the book aloud to us and it was the saddest thing I ever heard. Anne of Green Gables may not seem that sad but in Anne of the Island… I was holding in tears hoping that Gilbert would be okay! The next book, Goodnight Mister Tom was a book I owned for years before I finally read it. My mother bought it for me but I thought it looked boring but when I finally read it…. definitely a book where I used a few tissues. Little Women is a book that I have read over and over throughout the years but the first time I read it – I wasn’t expecting certain things to happen. There were sad tears in this book but also ones of frustration. I wrote my first fanfiction (before I knew what fanfiction was) rewriting the ending because I wasn’t a fan of how everything went down.

I am David Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3) Goodnight Mister Tom Little Women

These books I’ve read more recently. I won’t be surprised if I see TFiOS on my people’s lists this week. John Green certainly knows how to write a heartbreaking novel. If I Stay was one that I was expecting to be sad… but I wasn’t quite prepared. I held up okay right until the grandfather said his part but after that I couldn’t contain myself. The last Harry Potter was one that made me cry. Not so much for the story but the fact that it was over. The series that I’d been reading and anticipating for so many years and then it was just over… heartbreaking. Hannah Harrington is an author who writes powerful contemporary novels with a bitter-sweet edge. Both Speechless and Saving June both moved me and I recommend them both. I reviewed Bird last week and it definitely belongs on this week’s list – made me tear up a little. And last on my list this week is The Storyteller. I read this one last year and wasn’t expecting to be affected considering I’ve read quite a few Jodi Picoult novels and never got too emotional over them but this one is touching and tragic.

The Fault in Our Stars If I Stay Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) Speechless Saving June Bird The Storyteller

These are the books that made me cry/tear up. There’s a bit of variety here but for possibly the first time ever – it’s mostly contemporary and not another paranormal/dystpian list! Any here that made you cry? Any that you would recommend I read? How about any stories of a book making you show a lot of emotion in public? All stories are welcome! Feel free to leave me a comment. Happy Tuesday to all.

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Graphic Novel Review: Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Frostbite: The Graphic Novel (Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel, #2)

Title: Frostbite (Vampire Academy Graphic Novel #2)
Richelle Mead
Adapted by: Leigh Dragoon
Illustrated by: Emma Vieceli
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult, Vampires, Urban Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: April 2012
Pages: 164
Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
The drama and romance continue in this 144-page full-color graphic novel adaptation of the second Vampire Academy novel, Frostbite, which was overseen by Richelle Mead and features beautiful art by acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli.

When love and jealousy collide on the slopes, winter break turns deadly.

A Strigoi attack puts St. Vladimir’s on high alert, and the Academy whisks its students away on a mandatory holiday ski trip. But the glittering winter landscape and posh Idaho resort only provide the illusion of safety. When three students run away to strike back at the Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. Only this time, Rose—and her heart—are in more danger than she could have imagined.

My Review:

Rose may have saved Lissa’s life in Vampire Academy but there are more threats on the Moroi Princess’ life. With the entire vampire world on guard, the school sends students to a luxury ski resort to try to keep them safe. Whilst St. Vladamir’s might be trying to protect their students it seems that trouble always seems to find Rose and her friends. With fantastic new characters and all the old favourites, Frostbite picks up right where Vampire Academy ended and continues with a lot of action and drama.

I’m not a graphic novel person. I’ve read perhaps one in the past three years. But with the Vampire Academy movies being released soon and the slight withdrawal I seem to go though in between instalments of the Bloodlines series, I couldn’t resist buying a copy of Frostbite last week (and I know I could have bought the first book but I was curious to see an artist’s recreation of Adrian).

Frostbite is the second book in the series but since I’ve read the original books I felt confident that I would be able to follow the graphic novel. And I did. This is a gorgeous visual adaptation of the series I love. There’s a fantastic recap at the start of the book which runs down the different characters that were introduced in the first novel as well as events which took place. If you have read the novel series then you will have no problems picking up this second book in the graphic novel series and there is enough details included that I think even people unfamiliar with Vampire Academy would be able to pick up on what’s going on.

I loved this adaptation. The illustrations are beautiful – and you can tell that the artist is very familiar with the source material. These pictures are fantastically true to the original story! Plot wise – all the important scenes are included. We get to see Rose’s uneasy relationship with her mother, the danger surrounding the Moroi as well as the uneasy political situation with the vampire royalty. Dimitri is around and his slightly inappropriate feelings for Rose are evident in the few pages devoted to it. Lissa and Christian are learning how to use their powers and we get to meet a new enigmatic Spirit user named Adrian (although at times I did get Christian and Adrian confused it was clear via context who was who).

I’m delighted that I decided to check out this graphic novel series. I am absolutely going to go and get the rest of the series that have been released so far. I think this series is a must have for fans of the novels as it gives an extra dimension to the story and characters.


Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld