Review: Mind Games (Mind Games #1 aka Sister Assassin) - Kiersten White

Release Date: February 19th 2013
Published By: HarperTeen
Pages: 237
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

Review: Mind Games (or ‘Sister Assassin’ in the UK/Australia) is a dark, dangerous and edgy story that is filled with deception, calculation and murder. It is different from Kiersten White’s other books, there are no faeries or unicorns, but it does contain the strong characters, intriguing storyline and some of the humour you would expect from her.

It is told from the alternating POV of sisters Sofia “Fia” and Annie and the story jumps back and forth between the past and the present, allowing you to get vital backstory details. Fia and Annie are completely different from each other but have a very complex bond, and their dual narrative shows this perfectly. The dual narrative also emphasises what they would really sacrifice to protect each other.

After the death of their parents in a car crash, and they are sent to an elite school for talented girls, however the school is not all that it makes out to be. It is a school for girls with special talents – Annie, whilst being blind, is also a seer – she can see the future (although her visions are uncontrollable and fractured). Fia is something else entirely – she has perfect instincts, and knows the best course of action for any situation – and her instinct never fails her.

Due to her special abilities, Fia is seen as an asset. And to ensure that Fia continues to do the bidding of the school and its owner (Keane), Annie is being held hostage - so although Fia doesn’t really want to, she must continue to do whatever is required of her; steal, manipulate, predict stocks, and worse.

The school, and Keane, have completely broken Fia. She is disturbed, constantly angry, violent, unpredictable, unhealthy and barely manageable. She hates her life, and she hates herself. The only thing that keeps her connected to the school, and to the world is Annie. Fia has always felt responsible for her older sister, and will do whatever she needs to do to protect her – including giving up her own happiness and sanity… even kill.

Annie seems to be much more stable that her younger sister. She is calmer and more reserved. Although, as the story line progresses, you get to understand that Annie has her own demons, and she too will do anything to protect her sister. Her devotion and her love for her sister is really Annie’s strength. And she is willing to do just as much as Fia is, or more, to protect her sister.

There is the also the beginning of a love triangle for Fia in this book. Enter James and Adam.

James is Fia’s manager, also the son of Keane. Even though everything in Fia screams at her to stay away from him, she cannot help but be drawn to him. He seems to care about Fia – but he is master liar. Does he really care for her, or does he care that she is his father’s prized asset?

And then there is Adam. Adam is the “nice guy” who is connected to this whole world in a way that he may not even understand. He is sweet, kind and full of hope, and not only does Fia like him, but she likes who she could be when she is with him.

Although Mind Games is unlike her other books, Kiersten once again produced some kick-ass female characters, as well as some sharp humour that will at times make you laugh – Fia is extremely entertaining, especially when she is messing with people’s heads. Fia’s brokenness is also wonderfully demonstrated throughout her narrative, but most notably is her habit of constantly repeating things or tapping her leg three times.

Take note of the title of this book: It really does mess with your head. Mind Games may only be being 237 pages, but it is packed with mind-boggling situations and twists. It is a puzzle where you get pieces of past and present, Annie and Fia, love and loath, sacrifice and selfishness, humour and heartbreak, danger and hope. Everyone has different motives, and you have put the pieces together to begin to understand – and even then, it’s quite possible you are wrong – as nothing is safe, not even thoughts.

The ending of this book is truly the beginning of the next book. Fia has changed the game – now it’s her turn to play mind games.


“Their smiles are lies. Most smiles are.”

“Everyone here is insane. I am the insanest of the insane”

“I start at the beginning, mentally screaming every obscenity I can in alphabetical order. Then I start setting them to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”

““I could have kisses like that for the rest of my life. Kisses that don’t know who I am. Kisses that make me feel more and less than what I am.”

“I am the ocean we lived on for two months. I am empty. I am nothing.”

“Thanks for looking at me like… like I could be whole”

Book Trailer:

Tattoos Inspired By Fiction #2 - The Hunger Games

Good evening readers! Welcome to another tattoo filled post. This week we’re looking at tattoos inspired by The Hunger Games. So many variations of the Mockingjay when I was looking for some good ones! I think The Hunger Games is one of those series that is very near and dear to many hearts (I know it is with me), and some fans show their love with ink on their skin!

Stacking the Shelves #45

Good afternoon everyone, I hope you have all had a great week. Kristy and I had a wonderful week in ARC’s from publishers this week. Very spoilt indeed, with upcoming 2014 releases! We were approved for 16 ARC’s from Edelweiss earlier today, so rather than run through them all I am just going to throw up a graphic of what we were approved for and the links and release dates will be underneath if you are interested!

Stacking the Shelves is bought to you by Tynga from Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


In our mailbox this week:

Panic - Lauren Oliver due out March 4th 2014
Pretty Sly (Pretty Crooked #2) - Eliza Ludwig due out March 18th 2014
Fake ID - Lamar Giles due out January 24th 2014
House of Ivy & Sorrow - Natalie Whipple due out April 15th 2014
Her Dark Curiosity (The Madman’s Daughter #2) - Megan Shepherd due out January 28th 2014
Elusion - Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam due out March 18th 2014
Perfect Lies (Mind Games #2) - Kiersten White due out February 18th 2014
All That Glows - Ryan Graudin due out February 11th 2014
No One Else Can Have You - Kathleen Hale due out January 7th 2014
Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge due out January 28th 2014
Uninvited - Sophie Jordan due out January 28th 2014
Great - Sara Benincasa due out April 8th 2014
Faking Normal - Courtney C. Stevens due out February 25th 2014
Maybe One Day - Melissa Kantor due out February 18th 2014
Dear Killer - Katherine Ewell due out April 1st 2014
The Promise of Amazing - Robin Constantine due out December 31st 2013

That is all from us this week, what did you receive in your mailboxes? Let me know - leave your links in the comments section below!


Feral Friday - Movie adaptations of books

It’s Friday! And that means it’s time to go feral. :) And since the upcoming release of ‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ movie is the driving factor for my next read (and Melissa may have an upcoming read due to a movie as well).. we have movies on our mind right now.

This week, we’re talking about movie adaptations of books we love:

Kristy’s say:

I always find a person’s reaction to a book being made into a move interesting – they are either super excited about it, or they are nervous and think “I know it won’t be as good as the book” – but yet still can’t resist watching the movie anyway.

Overall, I like movies based on books – I enjoy seeing the world come life visually, but I think the book is always better than the movie. I think of movies as complimenting a book, rather than the book “coming to life”. You might visualise a character different to those who are cast, the settings might be different than you imagined, or it may have a different feel altogether. Plus, movie adaptions will always add things to enhance the storyline or make it visually appealing, or remove things that affects the flow. And sometimes, these changes happen to be your favourite parts of the book – which can be frustrating. Changes are inevitable, and I don’t mind minor changes, sometimes I even enjoy them – but I do not like major changes, especially to the endings!

There are some movie adaptations I really liked, some I was “meh” about, and others I disliked completely. Some movies that I enjoyed were: Harry Potter (all of them), Warm Bodies, The Hunger Games, The Host (I was surprised by this), The Green Mile and Lord of the Rings. Ones I have been “meh” about are: Twilight (all of them), Beautiful Creatures, Beastly, Eragon and Now is Good (Before I Die).

The one exception to my “I always like the book better” is Perks of Being a Wallflower. I watched the movie before reading the book, and although I enjoyed the movie, I did not enjoy the book at all. I know a lot of people love this book, but I could not connect to it (the characters or the style).

When it comes to movie adaptations, the one thing I don’t really like is making multiple movies out of one book (such as Breaking Dawn, The Hobbit and the upcoming Mockingjay). I personally think it is better to have one longer movie than two separate ones, as two movies can make it seem dragged out. However, if it really is required to have multiple movies to make the visual version better, I am open to the idea.

Melissa’s say:

I don’t know about you guys, but I get really protective of the books I love. The Hunger Games was a classic one for me. That series was seriously so dear to my heart just for the simple fact that I’d never read dystopian until I’d read that, and it gave me something no other book had ever given me before.

So when I heard about the movie franchise, like the other fan girls and boys out there, I counted down the months and days until the release, and I saw it on opening night when it came out here - if for nothing else, I needed to see how they were going to present Panem to me. How were they going to bring this alive on the screen? Personally, I loved that it remained so true to the book (as close as it could be done anyways) and I thought they did a genuinely good job.

Same can be said of the movie Warm Bodies. It might have received some flack in general from people that hadn’t read the book about how silly the storyline was, but for people like me who had read and loved the book, it was PERFECTLY aligned to the storyline itself. I felt they did a really great job of this and bringing the world to life.

Then there’s other movie adaptations of books that I’ve seen and they’ve done a terrible job at representing the works of fiction IMHO.

To be fair, I haven’t read Beautiful Creatures. But I am going to this year at some stage. I did watch the movie though, and I was a little disappointed in how this was actually done. As someone that has not read the book, the plot should be easy to understand and not confusing - and I felt confused as someone that had no background to the book at all. And from several people, I heard that the movie had a different ending to how the book ended too, which I never think is acceptable in movie adaptations.

I feel that anytime an author is directly involved in the production of the movie, that can only be a good thing. Directors have a duty of care to the fans to make sure that the film is presented in a way that is true to the work of fiction (where possible) also. There’s so much riding on making sure that readers of the books aren’t disappointed, and I think now more than ever producers are starting to realise this and keep this in mind when creating films (Especially from what I’ve seen of the Divergent set at the moment).

Overall, if the studios want to keep making movies out of my most loved books, I am keen to see them since I love seeing the interpretation of all these worlds coming to life. But I remain protective of the books I love nonetheless!


So what do you think about a book being made into movies? Is it a good or bad thing? Does it make you love the book more or does it ruin it for you? And does the movie ever live up to the book?


Review: Born Of Illusion (Born Of Illusion #1) - Teri Brown

Release Date: June 11th 2013
Published By: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 373
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


A gifted illusionist, Anna assists her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage shows and seances, easily navigating the underground world of magicians and mentalists in 1920s New York. For Anna, the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini - or so Marguerite claims - handcuffs and sleight-of-hand illusions have never been much of a challenge. The real trick is keeping her own gifts secret from her mother: because while Marguerite’s power may be a sham, Anna possesses a true ability to sense people’s feelings and foretell the future.

But as Anna’s powers intensify, she experiences frightening visions of her mother in peril, which lead her to explore the abilities she’s tried so long to hide. And when a mysterious young man named Cole moves into the flat downstairs, introducing Anna to a society that studies people with gifts like hers, she begins to wonder if there’s more to life than keeping secrets.

As her visions become darker and her powers spin out of her control, Anna is forced to rethink all she’s ever known. Is her mother truly in danger, or are Anna’s visions merely illusions? And could the great Houdini really be her father, or is it just another of Marguerite’s tricks?

Review: Anna Van Housen is the daughter of the famous medium Marguerite Van Housen and apparently the illegitimate daughter of magician Harry Houdini. Anna and Marguerite make a living performing shows where Anna shows off her magic and illusion skills and Marguerite performs a mentalist act. The only difference is, that her mother is nothing more than a sham, and Anna has more skill than she lets on, having psychic powers of her own.

Scared and unsure of what her abilities actually are, Anna meets Cole, who tries to help her understand the extent of what she is able to do, and to help her get these abilities under control. But there’s also another man on the scene when Anna meets charming Owen, who tries to sweep Anna off her feet. Two suitors - Anna has to make a choice.

And then there’s the reoccuring visions that Anna keeps having about her mother in serious trouble, being hurt by someone she can’t identify. Who is coming after her and her mother?

Firstly, won’t lie. The cover of this book pulled me in. I love everything about it. The font, the imagery on the cover, the contrasting colours… I love it all. It’s what drew me in, and I am happy about that because I quite liked this book.

The most notable thing about this is the setting of this book. 1920’s New York. Very much set in the underground world filled with magic, magicians, mentalists, psychics, seances and scammers. I have always had a real soft spot for the 1920s. The days of speakeasys, prohibition and speakeasys combined with the mysterious underworld elements was fantastic. I felt like the world building itself was done really well, and without actually spelling out that we were in the 20s, you just knew. Anna had premonitions of Titanic as a child, and of course she’s been told by her mother that her father is Harry Houdini himself, so it gives us a good idea of the times.

I generally liked the characters, although I had issues with a couple of them. Namely, Marguerite and Owen. I felt Anna’s mother was extremely childish at times with her jealousy over Anna’s talents. And whilst I feel like this was not done in error, but rather by design, I struggled at times with the relationship between her and Anna. I just wanted to reach out and shake Marguerite and put some sense into her. And since I feel this is the way her character is meant to be, then I should probably congratulate Teri Brown for making me feel these things. Owen I struggled with straight away. I felt he was too polished, and sleazy. Again - by design. But I was frustrated early on when Anna couldn’t see what I was seeing.. wake up girl. haha

Overall, I am actually going to say that this book was a little predictable at times - I had figured the punch line of the story out about half way through reading this book, but despite this, I still found myself entertained as it all unfolded. I would have rated this book higher if the actual storyline was a bit more complex and hard to guess. I still rate this 3.5 out of 5 just because there was a lot in this book that I really did like. I am intrigued to know that this is the first book in a series and so I am interested to see what the second book will bring!


“The audience oohs and ahhs in all the right places and my movements get more dramatic as I warm up. Enthralling the audience is the best part, the part I love. I hate when people call magic trickery. What my mother does is trickery. What I do is entertainment.”

“My mother says I’m a show-off, but I prefer to think of myself as a performer.”

“You’re quite good–for a girl.” “Thank you,” I tell him, ignoring the girl remark. If I argued with every male magician who made a snide comment about my gender, I’d never have the time to do magic. I prefer to outperform them on stage, where it really matters.”

“My own anticipation is thrumming in my chest, but I try not to show it. I’ve never told her how much I love performing illusions, even tired old magic tricks. It’s a secret I hold close to my heart, half afraid it’ll be taken away from me if revealed.”

W..W..W.. Wednesdays

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time to tell you what I have been up to for the past week! W..W..W.. Wednesdays is a weekly meme bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.

What are you currently reading?

Melissa - I am half through Born of Illusion by Teri Brown. I am enjoying the historical aspect of this, as it’s set in 1920’s New York. There’s seances and magic involved. So far it’s interesting!

Kristy - Well, I don’t normally read on school nights, but I am currently reading Tormenting Lila by Sarah Alderson. This is a novella for the Lila series.

.. And, if you want to know why I don’t read during the week: I am one of those readers that needs to read from cover to cover with little interuptions. If I read at night, I tend to stay up until all-sorts-of-hours to finish the book. Apparently work doesn’t appreciate the amount or quality of my work after only about 2 hours sleep. Plus, I am extremely cranky with anything less than 8 hours sleep.


What did you recently finish reading?

Melissa - Dare You To by Katie McGarry which was awesome.

Kristy - Banish by Fiona Marsh. I got this as an e-arc from Harlequin Teen. Review coming soon.


What do you think you’ll read next?

Melissa - Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn, Belladonna by Fiona Paul and The Cinderella Moment by Jennifer Kloester.

Kristy - I think I will read City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare. Yes, yes, I know, I am a late comer, but for many reasons, this has been sitting on my to-read shelf for ages. Since the movie is coming out soon (which looks really good), I thought I better get my act together.


What is everyone out there reading at the moment? Share your links below!

Q&A with your bloggers Kristy & Melissa!

We’re taking things back to basics this week and Kristy and I are going to be answering a series of questions about ourselves. So often as bloggers we’re talking about all things bookish that people don’t often get to know the people behind the blog. And we love our readers and wanted to share some things about us with you!

Q&A with Kristy

So tell me about you - where do you live and what do you do?
I live in Tasmania, which I commonly refer to as Antarctica – especially on cold days like today. :) I work in communications and administration – it’s rather mind numbing so I won’t bore you with the details.

How long have you been blogging?
6 weeks today! Yay!

What is one thing that surprised you when you started blogging?
How hard it is to do a spoiler-free review. Especially for books that I loved. All I want to do is say how awesome it is and why, but that often includes spoilers and I don’t want to ruin it.

Why are you such a book nerd?
I love to read to escape. For me there is no better way to relax than getting lost in another world and experience new things and new people/characters.

Who is your favourite author and why are you such a fan?
Laini Taylor. No doubt. Why – I think her ability to build a world is amazing, her writing is lyrical and her characters are complex. Her writing captivates me, and I just love her.

Favourite YA series?
Daughter of Smoke and Bone – not really original considering my favourite author, sorry about that.

How many books do you read each year?
I normally read around 50 as I generally only read on weekends. But I am trying to change that this year and learn to read on school days :)

Physical book or ebook?
Physical. I love actual books.

If you could have any 5 fictional characters over for a dinner party, who would you invite?
1. Brimstone from Daughter of Smoke and Bone - because I love him and there is so much more I want to know about him
2. Holder from Hopeless - so he can make me spaghetti ;)
3. Hermione from Harry Potter - she really is the hero after all
4. Haymitch from The Hunger Games - he cracks me up
5. Luce from Fallen - so I can slap her!

I will say, that there were others I wanted to invite: Karou, Hazael and Suzanna from Daughter of Smoke and Bone; Breckin and Daniel from Hopeless/Losing Hope; Snape, Luna and Neville (and pretty much everyone else, including Hedwig and Buckbeak) from Harry Potter; Evie and Reth from Paranormalcy; and Cinna, Finnick and Snow from The Hunger Games. Sorry guys – next time, I promise!

When you’re not reading, what do you like getting up to?
I love travelling and hanging out with friends – they will always be my first options. Other than that, I also enjoy watching movies, listening to music, anything to do with water (lazing on a beach, snorkelling, jet-skiing) and pretty much anything that’s fun or will make me laugh :)


Q&A with Melissa

So tell me about you - where do you live and what do you do?
I live in a place called Geelong which is in Victoria, Australia. It’s pretty much a working class suburbia but we’re big enough to have our own CBD and nightlife too, plus it’s only an hour away from Melbourne. I like it here. :) When I am not reading and blogging I am usually working. I am a trainer as well as an operations manager in the health insurance industry. Dry job, but amazing people that I work with. I’ve been there for 5 years now.

How long have you been blogging?
I’ve been blogging in general since I was a teenager (back when the internet was just a baby really), but I’ve been book blogging since April 2011 when I started up Book Nerd Reviews and I have loved this experience.

What is one thing that surprised you when you started blogging?
The sheer amount of hours that bloggers put in to this. I knew it was going to be hard work, but it’s almost another job - especially when you’re already working full time! But we do it because we love it.

Why are you such a book nerd?
Books are pure escapism for me - when I am reading a book, I am escaping the stress of real life and having adult responsibilities for a while. I love being taken on a journey and every book has something new and different to offer me. I just really enjoy that.

Who is your favourite author and why are you such a fan?
I have several - John Green, Stephanie Perkins and of course Gayle Forman. Gayle was the only author out of my top 3 that I have actually met, and I’ve never met anyone as sweet. She was just lovely, and I am not going to lie, it’s shifted my bias towards her just because she was great.

Favourite YA series?
The Hunger Games… still my all time fave after all this time.

How many books do you read each year?
At the moment, I am averaging about 90 a year. I’d love to hit 100, but after the debilitating reading slump I hit during May and June, I am not so sure that will happen as I lost all that momentum I had built!

Physical book or ebook?
TORN! I read a LOT of ebooks, and that’s the nature of being a book blogger I guess. We get many ARC’s and publishers are moving towards ebooks more and more. I love reading on my iPad, and I love the portability of it and the fact I can have a whole library in my bag with me. But nothing will ever replace the beauty of a real book. The smell of the pages and the way it looks on my book shelves. Yep. I am a softie.

If you could have any 5 fictional characters over for a dinner party, who would you invite?
Miles (from Looking For Alaska) for the banter and his sense of humour.
Willem (from Just One Day) because I have a mad crush on a guy like him.. and I am dying for answers.
Rhine (from The Chemical Garden Series) because I think she would be fascinating to talk to.
Wade (from Ready Player One) because he’s a gamer like I am, plus his knowledge on all things 80s pop culture would make for an amazing conversation.
Noah (from Pushing The Limits) because that constant pushing girls up against the wall thing that he does is just outright hot. And well yes, do I need another reason? :P

When you’re not reading, what do you like getting up to?

Working. lol And if I am not working, I am usually hanging out with the people I love the most and socialising. I often go to a cafe with a book in hand and headphones up really loud and drink the biggest coffee I can manage. I love doing my own thing and zoning out to be in my own little world from time to time. I also love going to comic stores and buying up, or any stores with any pop culture or retro gear… I am not just a book nerd, but a nerd in life. :P I love gaming too… so the ultimate wind down for me is playing The Last of Us or Dead Island on PS3 right now. I also love travelling. Regular visitors will know I went to the USA last year, and I am planning on going again next year also. I have the travel bug. ;)

Review: School Spirits - Rachel Hawkins

Release Date: May 14th 2013
Published By: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 297
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Izzy Brannick was trained to fight monsters. For centuries, her family has hunted magical creatures. But when Izzy’s older sister vanishes without a trace while on a job, Izzy’s mom decides they need to take a break.

Izzy and her mom move to a new town, but they soon discover it’s not as normal as it appears. A series of hauntings has been plaguing the local high school, and Izzy is determined to prove her worth and investigate. But assuming the guise of an average teenager is easier said than done. For a tough girl who’s always been on her own, it’s strange to suddenly make friends and maybe even have a crush.

Can Izzy trust her new friends to help find the secret behind the hauntings before more people get hurt?

Review: School Spirits is a spin-off of the Hex Hall series. I am normally concerned with spin-offs, as they can either live up to the level set by the original series, or fail miserably… and School Spirits stepped up!

School Spirits is about Isolde “Izzy” Brannick. Izzy has spent her life being raised to follow on with the Brannick tradition – being a fully trained, extremely strong woman who hunts magical creatures – vampires, werewolves, fae etc. She knows no other way other of life, she has always lead a secluded life focused on her training, where the most interaction with other people she has is with her mother and her sister Finley – or and their pet warlock (who is locked in a mirror) Torin.

After Finley disappears, Izzy’s life changes dramatically – and to add to the changes in her life, her latest hunting case involves moving to a small town to investigate a possible haunting at the local high school. So Izzy must now not only has prove to her mother that she is a capable of upholding the Brannick name, but also learn to interact with people… and teenagers at that!

Izzy’s isn’t at Mary Evans High to make friends, or meet boys, she is there for one reason – to find out who/what is haunting the school and rectify the situation. However, that doesn’t mean that things will go according to plan. Izzy makes some new friends when she joins the Paranormal Management Society (yes, that’s PMS), and may even have a crush on a boy, which is whole new experience for her, and she has to face the dilemma of wanting to have friends but yet if she does they will be constant danger due to who she is and what she does.

This is particularly the case for Dex. As quickly as Izzy and Dex become friends, Izzy starts to develop feelings for him. Dex is extremely sweet, funny, quirky, amusing and wears way too much purple (luckily I like purple), but not only does her life put his in danger, so does his asthma, which of course is never handy to have when you are chasing monsters.

Fitting in at a regular high school is a lot tougher than Izzy imagined it would be, and while she is struggling with juggling her secret life and her friends, she must also prove to her mother that she is capable of doing jobs solo – but this particular job isn’t the nice easy ghost capture case that she originally thought. This is one seriously pissed off ghost. But is Izzy able to stop the ghost before more people get hurt – or worse?

Rachel Hawkins always brings a smile to my face, and there are many laugh out loud moments in this book. School Spirits once again brings Rachel’s witty style ensuring a fun read – and yes, you get the kissing you would expect in this book. This was clearly crafted storyline with well-developed characters to ensure that the romance in this book is subtle and realistic. Izzy is another strong female lead, who is funny, sassy, and yet somewhat innocent. Dex is not a typical male lead, nor is he like Archer from the Hex Hall, he is amusing, eccentric and just adorable – I found him to be extremely refreshing.

I think that you could read this book without reading the Hex Hall series – however I would not recommend it as there are spoilers for that series. I enjoyed learning more about the Brannicks, Torin and meeting Dex, but Hex Hall fans, I am sorry to say that there are no cameos from Sophie or Archer. It seems there are no current plans for a sequel to School Spirits, which disappoints me as there are still some (major) unanswered questions and I would love to see more of Izzy’s adventures, see what the future holds for Dex and I also would like to know what happens with some of the breadcrumbs that were placed regarding Torin. Fingers crossed for another School Spirits (or another spin-off) book!


“I thought it was a pretty dorky name, but then, a lot about vampires is dorky”

“I hate crying. The tears, the snot, the red face”

“You are my new hero. Seriously, I might actually be in love with you now. Would it be awkward if we made out?”

“I wondered why it was there were a million books on ghosts and legends and monsters, and nothing useful like, How to Go On a Normal Date Without Looking Like a Total Spaz”

“I also like ladies. And not as in shopping buddies, but in the carnal sense.”

“Everyone at the Waffle Hut is shady. That’s why the go to the Waffle Hut. To.. be shady. And eat waffles. Shadily”

“I don’t know what heaven smells like, but if it doesn’t smell like freshly baked cookies, I will be really disappointed”

Tattoos Inspired By Fiction #1 - Harry Potter

Good morning readers! A while ago we had a regular Sunday feature with all kinds of nail art inspired by fiction… I think I had enough for about a years worth roughly, but like all good things it came to an end when my stash of images ran dry. lol So I was talking with Kristy and I also have a bit of a collection of pics of tattoos inspired by fiction. I am yet to get inked personally (although I have my first tattoo already picked - and yes it is Batman), but I have always loved tattoos and consider them the ultimate sign of fandom, getting something permanently placed on your body. Over the next coming Sunday’s I am going to share with you my favourites based on different books/series/authors each week.

This week, it’s Harry Potter.

Stacking the Shelves #44

Good evening!!! How was everyone’s week been? Kristy and I have both had a pretty big week in terms of books we received or bought, so I have a bit of a bumper edition for you. ;)

Stacking the Shelves is bought to you by Tynga from Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


In Mel’s Mailbox this week:

Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity) - Elizabeth Wein

I received this book for review as an ARC from Netgalley.

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her?



The Cinderella Moment - Jennifer Kloester

I received this book from Penguin Australia - thank you very much. :)

A love of fashion. A couture competition. A once-in-a-lifetime chance . . .

Angel Moncoeur has always wanted to be a fashion designer, but without money or connections, it’s going to be a challenge. When an opportunity to leave her home in New York and head to Paris appears, Angel grabs it – even if it means masquerading as her best friend Lily. That can’t be too hard, can it?

But faking things doesn’t come easy for Angel, so when she falls in love with her very own Prince Charming and he thinks she’s someone else, things start to get complicated.

Angel needs to stop her secrets unravelling if she wants to live happily ever after . . .


Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential #1) - Kara Taylor

I received this as an ARC from Netgalley.

In this breathtaking debut that reads like Gossip Girl crossed with Twin Peaks, a Queen Bee at a blue-blooded New England prep school stumbles into a murder mystery.

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn’t care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.


Tumble & Fall - Alexandra Coutts

I received this copy as an ARC from Netgalley.

A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that’s left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.



The Weight of Souls - Bryony Pearce

I received this as an ARC from Netgalley.

Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…

She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.

But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.

Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him? And what happens if she starts to fall for him?


Batman and Robin, Vol. 1: Born to Kill - Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray

And this one I bought for myself from Popcultcha this week.

As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics-The New 52 event of September 2011, Batman begins battling evil with his son, Damian, at his side, Batman now realizes that the hardest part of the job may be trying to work together As Batman and Robin try to adjust to their new partnership, a figure emerges from Bruce Wayne’s past: His name is NoBody, and he’s not happy that Batman Incorporated is shining a light on his own shadowy war against evil…This volume collects issues 1-8 of “Batman and Robin,” part of the DC Comics-The New 52 event.




In Kristy’s Mailbox this week:

Banish - Nicole Marsh

Kristy received this book for review as an ARC from Netgalley.

Alyssa has one week to destroy her enemy, save her spirit… and save her soul.

After her ex-boyfriend commits suicide and her mum’s alcoholism sparks yet another psychotic episode, seventeen-year-old Alyssa Wood flees her small hometown of Broadwater and heads to New York City to stay with her bohemian aunt — a Wicca High Priestess.

Alyssa revels in the anonymity of a big city and her new life. Her grades climb, she has a new best friend, and a new guy: the sexy geek Ronan — a saxophone player who prefers jazz to pop.

But her newfound peace is soon shattered when she sees a dead body in one of Ronan’s music clips — and she’s the only one who can see it. Worse still, Alyssa recognises the body that has been murdered a week forward!

Alyssa doesn’t believe in the supernatural…despite her family’s Wicca background. So how will she overcome evil when it’s closer than she thinks?


Tormenting Lila (Lila #2.5) - Sarah Alderson

This is Kristy’s purchase of the week!

When Lila and Alex sneak off for a romantic weekend away, Lila’s hoping she’ll finally have a chance to work on Alex’s resolve.

But just as things start heating up news reaches them of a serial killer at loose on the island and it isn’t long before their intimate weekend away is interrupted.

A mind reader, a projector, a protective older brother and a serial killer. One of them is going to find Lila first. She’s hoping it’s the serial killer.


Forsaken - (The Demon Trappers #1) - Jana Oliver

Gifted this week. :D

Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself—and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get—even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart—and her life?


Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings #2) - Jackson Pearce

Another gift Kristy received. I loved this book. :D

As a child, Gretchen’s twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch’s forest threatening to make them disappear, too.

Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They’re invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion.

Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past — until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn’t gone — it’s lurking in the forest, preying on girls every year after Live Oak’s infamous chocolate festival, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is.

Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.


That is all from us this week, what did you receive in your mailboxes? Let me know - leave your links in the comments section below!


Feral Friday - We’re talking about cover flips

Hey everyone! Hope you’re having a great Friday. Not sure about you guys, but at BNR, Kristy and I tend to get a little stir crazy on a Friday and so we’ve decided each week we’re going to share some thoughts on bookish topics each week and of course we welcome discussion in the comments section if you wanna jump in!

This week, we’re talking about gender biased book covers and cover flipping:

Melissa’s say:

Maureen Johnson wrote a tweet in May that grabbed the attention of the Huffington Post calling for an end to gender biased book covers, and I absolutely loved this article because I feel like she hit the nail on the head with this tweet. It’s something that’s been going on for years and years, but I feel like now is the time that publishers out start considering the fact that YA readers are not just females.

I know that an author gets absolutely no say in what their covers end up actually looking like, and I often wonder how they feel about their covers when they see the end result. Some of my most favourite books in the world have covers that appealed to me originally being female, but after reading it, I know that the book would be just as loved as males also, but I feel like the cover of the book would have been off putting for them.

When I attended a talk that Gayle Forman gave last month in June, she was talking about how sad it was that Where She Went, a book she wrote from a male’s perspective (Adam) was to her understanding hardly read by any males at all, due to the fact that the cover had a picture of a young adult female on it. The cover didn’t at all represent the amazing story within its pages, and it’s a shame that so many young males missed out on this book because of a cover that didn’t reach out to them.

If you look at the current cover of Where She Went, against a cover that has been made by a fan as a part of Maureen Johnson’s coverflip project, you can tell immediately which cover a guy is more likely to pick up. And the fan made cover in my opinion is more acurate to the story itself anyway.

I feel like it’s time that publishers really start to think about who the audience is, and not just assume that teenage girls are the target audience each time. Think broad, design covers that suit a broader target range and everyone is happy right?

Kristy’s say:

Do appealing covers sell? Absolutely! But can an asexual cover be appealing? Definitely!

Of course I have picked up a book because it looked appealing to females. Guilty as charged. But who hasn’t?

However, I think a cover should represent the book itself. Different storylines appeal to different people and covers should not dictate what books a person would be interested in – and the answer to that are more gender neutral covers.

I would like to see more collaboration between authors and cover design teams. Authors know their books and generally understand what type of readers it would appeal too, and if it’s not aimed a particular gender then this should be represented in the cover.

Appeal is one issue for gender specific covers, but so is perception. I know many guys who would love some of the books that I have read – however they would not in a pink fit (gee I’m funny) pick one up, much less read it in public. Perception is reality, and they do not want to run into that gorgeous girl they want to ask out while reading a book that has a cover that looks like it is aimed at young girls (no offense to young girls). Or worse – their mates (lots of offense to their mates – you should not be so jjudgmental.

I was recently at the airport where there was a young man reading a YA novel. Across from him were 3 young girls who were giggling at him as he was reading a book that looked targeted at young females. I actually felt sorry for him – would he have laughed at if he was reading a Stephen King book? Game of Thrones? Or even The Hunt, The Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars?

Let’s not put every YA book that’s published in one little box by giving it a gender specific cover. Someone should be able to base their desire to read a book on their interest in the storyline – and if the cover is something that clearly looks like it would not appeal to them, then they may not even pick it up to read the back of it. How many people are missing out on great books because of the cover?

However, we all like pretty covers – so it’s a fine line.


We have some ideas for upcoming topics we want to talk about, but if you have something you want us to discuss in upcoming weeks, let us know in the comments below!


Review: Dare You To (Pushing The Limits #2) - Katie McGarry

Release Date: May 28th 2013
Published By: Harlequin Teen Australia
Pages: 462
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all….

Review: Dare You To is the companion book to Pushing The Limits. Noah and Echo from Pushing The Limits are still in this book, but they take a backwards step as secondary characters and instead, this book focuses on Beth who we met in the first book. Beth is emotionally closed off and angry but we learn the reasons why in Dare You To and we meet her love interest Ryan, who is the all American baseball jock.

Similarly to Pushing The Limits, our characters have major issues in their lives – and upfront I am going to say the themes presented in this book probably aren’t appropriate for young teens. The book is aimed probably at those around 17 and above – with heavy drug themes, domestic violence, and sexual scenes within.

I loved the character development of both Ryan and Beth (but particularly Beth) in this story. She is a damaged and broken girl when we meet her, scarred by a troubling past she’s had with a mother who is drug addicted with an abusive boyfriend in addition, which has meant that Beth has had to grow up quickly to deal with very adult problems. The roles have been reversed with her mother and she is very much the adult in the relationship, constantly on the lookout for her mothers welfare. Beth also has extreme trust issues after being hurt by a guy when she was a little younger, and so by the time Ryan meets Beth, she is closed off, jaded and cynical of anyone that comes into her life.

The endearing thing about Ryan that won me over from the start was his persistence. He was able to see something in Beth that no one else could see and wasn’t about to let her go. Everything about Beth and Ryan as a couple screams incompatible and as a jock, he himself has been stereotyped as someone that shouldn’t be into someone like Beth, but Ryan doesn’t care all that much for what others think – and we see this confidence in him grow more and more as we get through the story. Ryan’s ultimate battle is with his parents, and his fight to be able to live his own life instead of being controlled by his parents constantly.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted contemporary romance, this one is probably too heavy for you – whilst the romance factor is most definitely there, there is a stronger focus on the actual issues I mentioned at the top of the review. Beth’s mother. Her uncle and his wife. Isaiah and his love for her. Ryan’s homosexual brother and him being banished from the family. Ryan dealing with his father’s expectations. There’s a LOT of sub plots within the overall story itself. I felt these themes contributed to the overall story in a positive way though, because we see Ryan and Beth dealing with so many different issues, that we feel as though they’ve been on a true journey by the end of the novel.

I really like this series. This can be read separately to Pushing the Limits, if you’ve not read this yet – however having read both books, I feel you’ll get more out of Dare You To if you have read the first book. There will be a third companion to this series coming out in November this year called Crash Into You which will follow Isaiah (who is a side character in both Pushing The Limits and Dare You To) and a new character Rachel. I’ll definitely be reading this one when it comes out.


“You’re a lot like that bird in the barn. You’re so scared that you’re going to be caged in forever you can’t see the way out. You smack yourself against the wall again and again and again. The door is open, Beth. Stop running in circles and walk out.”

“That must be love: when everything else in the world could implode and you wouldn’t care as long as you had that one person standing beside you.”

“I like you. I. Like. You. I’ll admit you’re annoying. Sometimes you agitate me to the brink of insanity, but you can throw it back at me like no one else. When you laugh, I want to laugh. When you smile, I want to smile. Hell, I want to be the one to make you smile.”

Book Trailer:

W..W..W.. Wednesdays

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time to tell you what I have been up to for the past week! W..W..W.. Wednesdays is a weekly meme bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.

What are you currently reading?

Melissa - I am getting started on Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn.

Kristy - Sadly enough, nothing – (Mel here - Kristy does her reading on the weekend instead of the weekdays). I am re-reading Hopeless after reading Losing Hope (reading is a broad term however)


What did you recently finish reading?

Melissa - Dare You To by Katie McGarry which was awesome. Review of this will be up tomorrow. :)

Kristy -Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover and Mind Games by Kiersten White. The review of Mind Games will be up shortly, and the review of Losing Hope will be up closer to the release date.


What do you think you’ll read next?

Melissa -I fell pretty behind in June reading at the pace of a snail, so I actually have lots to read in July. Not sure what will be next - it’ll definitely be one of the ARC’s I have outstanding though that’s for sure!

Kristy - Banish by Nicola Marsh

What is everyone out there reading at the moment? Share your links below!

July’s International Giveaway

Good evening everyone! We’re back with a new giveaway, for all those of you out there who entered the last one but didn’t win, you now have the chance to win your choice of July’s hottest YA new releases!

In the spirit of traditional Book Nerd Reviews giveaway we will have two winners in July, and this giveaway is open to you anywhere in the world so long as The Book Depository ships out to you.

The winners will be able to choose from one of the following books below each:

Right of Way - Lauren Barnholdt
Belladonna (Secret of the Eternal Rose #2) - Fiona Paul
A Darkness Stange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2) - Susan Dennard
Indelible (The Twixt #1) - Dawn Metalf
Breaking Glass - Lisa Amowitz
Starglass (Starglass #1) - Phoebe North
The Distance Between Us - Kasie West
Camp Boyfriend (Camp Boyfriend #1) - J.K Rock
All Our Pretty Songs - Sarah McCarry
Losing Hope - Colleen Hoover
A Really Awesome Mess - Trish Cook & Brendan Halpin
The Forgotten (The Lux Guardians #1) - Saruuh Kelsey

To enter this giveaway, check out the Rafflecopter widget below. You get one entry for free, and then if you follow Kristy and I you’re able to get even more entries. Obviously the more entries you have, the more chances you have to win! Simple.

This giveaway is running all of July through to the 31st when the two winners will be announced. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nerding Out In July - New Releases

Good evening! Are you guys ready for all the new releases coming out in July?! There’s some great books that I am looking forward to picking up this month.

July 1st

Belladonna (Secret of the Eternal Rose #2) - Fiona Paul

Cassandra Caravello is trying to forget Falco, the wild artist who ran off with her heart, as she grows closer to her strong, steady fiancé, Luca. But Luca seems to have his own secrets. When he′s arrested by soldiers in the middle of the night, Cass′s life is once again thrown into chaos. She must save Luca, and that means finding the Book of the Eternal Rose — the only evidence that will prove he is innocent.

So begins her journey to Florence, a city haunted by whispers of corruption, secret soirees and clandestine meetings of the Order of the Eternal Rose. And home to Falco, who′s working for the Order′s eerily stunning leader, the Belladonna herself.

Can Cass trust her heart to lead her to the truth this time?

Nothing is as it seems in this seductive thriller, where the truth may be the deadliest poison of all..

July 2nd

The Distance Between Us - Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


Camp Boyfriend (Camp Boyfriend #1) - J.K Rock

The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.

They said it couldn’t be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren’s nerves and she can’t wait to return to summer camp where she’s valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she’s broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn’t even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.

But Matt isn’t giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn’t really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she’s more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren’s friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she’s changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?

July 8th

Losing Hope - Colleen Hoover

In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

July 9th

Right of Way - Lauren Barnholdt

Can a road trip repair a romance gone wrong? Find out in this standalone companion to Lauren Barnholdt’s Two-way Street.

Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.

Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…


Breaking Glass - Lisa AmowitzOn the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears. When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he’s not sure whether they’re real or if he’s losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.


July 23rd

A Darkness Stange and Lovely (Something Strange and Deadly #2) - Susan Dennard

Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone.



A Really Awesome Mess - Trish Cook & Brendan Halpin

A hint of Recovery Road, a sample of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and a cut of Juno. A Really Awesome Mess is a laugh-out-loud, gut-wrenching/heart-warming story of two teenagers struggling to find love and themselves.

Two teenagers. Two very bumpy roads taken that lead to Heartland Academy.
Justin was just having fun, but when his dad walked in on him with a girl in a very compromising position, Justin’s summer took a quick turn for the worse. His parents’ divorce put Justin on rocky mental ground, and after a handful of Tylenol lands him in the hospital, he has really hit rock bottom.

Emmy never felt like part of her family. She was adopted from China. Her parents and sister tower over her and look like they came out of a Ralph Lauren catalog- and Emmy definitely doesn’t. After a scandalous photo of Emmy leads to vicious rumors around school, she threatens the boy who started it all on Facebook.

Justin and Emmy arrive at Heartland Academy, a reform school that will force them to deal with their issues, damaged souls with little patience for authority. But along the way they will find a ragtag group of teens who are just as broken, stubborn, and full of sarcasm as themselves. In the end, they might even call each other friends.
A funny, sad, and remarkable story, A Really Awesome Mess is a journey of friendship and self-discovery that teen readers will surely sign up for.


Starglass (Starglass #1) - Phoebe North

Terra has never known anything but life aboard the Asherah, a city-within-a-spaceship that left Earth five hundred years ago in search of refuge. At sixteen, working a job that doesn’t interest her, and living with a grieving father who only notices her when he’s yelling, Terra is sure that there has to be more to life than what she’s got.

But when she inadvertently witnesses the captain’s guard murdering an innocent man, Terra is suddenly thrust into the dark world beneath her ship’s idyllic surface. As she’s drawn into a secret rebellion determined to restore power to the people, Terra discovers that her choices may determine life or death for the people she cares most about. With mere months to go before landing on the long-promised planet, Terra has to make the decision of a lifetime-one that will determine the fate of her people.

July 30th

All Our Pretty Songs - Sarah McCarry

The first book in an exciting YA trilogy, this is the story of two best friends on the verge of a terrifying divide when they begin to encounter a cast of strange and mythical characters.

Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.

The Forgotten (The Lux Guardians #1) - Saruuh Kelsey

Good and goodness will prevail.

Honour and Horatia Frie are twins living in a world of wreck and ruin.

Forgotten London is a dismal place of containment, rationing, and a four-family-per-house regulation. Twenty five years ago the world was set ablaze when solar flares obliterated three quarters of the Earth’s population and wiped out whole continents in one blow. The flares brought with them The Sixteen Strains: agonizing and fatal diseases that plague each of the forty one zones of Forgotten London and the rest of the world. The only places that escaped fatal damage were two countries now known as The Cities – States and Bharat. The rest of the world – The Forgotten Lands – is contained within borders for the people’s protection against even deadlier Strains outside the barrier. But fifteen year old Honour thinks differently. He thinks that they’re kept inside the fence for other, more menacing reasons. He thinks that States are planning to kill them.

Branwell and Bennet Ravel are twins living in a world of danger and secrecy.

In Victorian London, years before the solar flares hit, the Ravels’ world has just been turned upside down. Their father, poisoned by something even genius Branwell can’t determine, has passed away. His dying words were unnerving orders to keep each other safe no matter the cost, and to hide everything he has ever invented. When one of his creations goes missing – a device named The Lux that can generate unlimited energy – the twins are shocked to discover that their very own government has stolen it and, according to their father’s journals, are planning to use it to create unfathomable explosions to destroy their world.

The Ravel twins will have to find and reclaim The Lux if they are to stop their world’s planned destruction, but when they’re transported to an unfamiliar, derelict world, the search for the device will become harder than ever. Honour and Horatia, against all odds, will have to find a way to stop States before the remainder of Earth is eradicated and their world is lost for good, or somehow get every single citizen of Forgotten London outside of the fence.


Indelible (The Twixt #1) - Dawn Metalf

Some things are permanent.


And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future…and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies…