Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: One Moment

One MomentTitle: One Moment
Author: Kristina McBride
ISBN: 160684086X

Goodreads Synopsis:

This was supposed to be the best summer of Maggie’s life. Now it’s the one she’d do anything to forget.

Maggie Reynolds remembers hanging out at the gorge with her closest friends after a blowout party the night before. She remembers climbing the trail hand in hand with her perfect boyfriend, Joey. She remembers that last kiss, soft, lingering, and meant to reassure her. So why can’t she remember what happened in the moment before they were supposed to dive? Why was she left cowering at the top of the cliff, while Joey floated in the water below—dead?

As Maggie’s memories return in snatches, nothing seems to make sense. Why was Joey acting so strangely at the party? Where did he go after taking her home? And if Joey was keeping these secrets, what else was he hiding?


 Review:


Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite in regards to when people ask me what I like to read or watch. I would be adamant that I hate watching movies that don’t have a happy ending, yet, ‘A Walk To Remember’ is my favourite movie of all-time. With regards to books, I don’t like reading ones that have you so emotionally involved and easily manipulated by the author, yet my favourite book is ‘Wuthering Heights’.

I actually would have never read this book if I had read the synopsis in advance. A book that starts with the death of a friend is my idea of being emotionally invested, especially when you can see it all through the eyes of the person who lost said friend. I had liked the cover – yes I am a sucker for great covers – and decided to check it out. The first chapter was all normal so I didn’t see anything wrong until she actually wakes up to find Joey dead, that’s when I stop completely, close the book and rush to goodreads synopsis and actually read what it’s about. At first I couldn’t believe it – see? I was so drawn into the book that it was like a horror movie – but then by that point I couldn’t stop, I had to go on.

I like Kristina's description, it's almost like you're there. The details with everywhere they go, the party, the lawn, the alcove, I could just imagine being there alongside the characters. But the details weren't just with the places, also with the feelings, everything Maggie was going through at the time, I felt like I was feeling it too. The guilt, the pain, the anger, the overcoming sense of betrayal. The loss, and how it feels like everything is falling out from underneath her, like her whole world is torn apart, all of it was very engaging.

I've never lost anyone so close, but I get how when they're gone you start remembering only the good stuff, putting that person on a pedestal, but I could tell from the start Joey wasn't such a good guy. It was obvious where things were headed from the start, sure there were parts that I guess were predictable from my end, but I had to switch and see it from Maggie's point of view instead.  I felt so awful for Adam, for some reason I felt more compassion towards him than Maggie, and I absolutely hated Shannon throughout the book.

The ending was ok, though I hoped she'd eventually jump. The whole story was still very sad, it had me riding on an emotional roller-coaster which I normally hate, but I allowed it this time. I cried, got angry, but enjoyed the book nonetheless, and I am very very glad I didn't read the synopsis beforehand.

Rating: 4/5

Ongoing Giveaways # 3

Hey guys! Just thought to update the ongoing giveaways that I think are pretty cool and am indeed a part of:

Bitter Greens @Booklover Reviews



You Can win ReVamped on two blogs:
+



 exciting Giveaway  @ Pen to Paper for reaching 2000 followers

Photobucket





Cloaked 



The Parasol Protectorate, Volume 1The Memory Keeper's DaughterThe Time Traveler's Wife 





 


I just found out about AN AWESOME Giveaway  @ FireStarBooks 

 
 


There's a 'Lies Beneath' giveaway @ Pages from my thoughts



Twined @ The Book Babe






Two awesome giveaways at 'The Teen Book Guru'
Arcs Giveaway && Awesome-tastic Arcs Giveaways

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yLnEUEm-xwQ/T9CdpFw_-TI/AAAAAAAAA3k/taUqyf5FSyc/s1600/IMG_0216.JPG







My friend Sel @ Bookcase to Heaven is hosting an amazing birthday giveaway, be sure to check it out!

 Current Giveaway(s)


Then there's the one I am hosting here:
Against All Odds

From the Review Pile # 3

  From the Review Pile is a meme hosted by Stepping Out of the Page every Thursday.
The aim of this meme is to showcase books that you've received for review (or any book that you own and really want to read/review) but haven't yet got around to reading, in order to give the book some extra publicity



Hey Guys! This week's FTRP is 'Heartbreaker' by Julie Garwood.
It's actually one of my favourite books, especially in the thriller-mystery genre. My favourite character in this book is ironically neither the heroine nor the hero. It's Noah Cleybourne.


Heartbreaker (Buchanan, #1)Title: Heartbreaker
Author: Julie Garwood
ISBN: 1416503811

Goodreads Synopsis:

Bless me father, for I will sin....
In the still shadows of the confessional, a madman tauntingly reveals his plan for a murder he is going to commit, pulling Father Thomas Madden into a twisted game by disclosing his next intended victim: Tom's sister, Laurant. In a frantic race to protect her, Tom calls upon his best friend, elite FBI agent Nick Buchanan, to track the predator who is closing in on Laurant. Now, as an electrifying attraction grows between Laurant and Nick, so does the danger -- and one false move will cost both of them everything that matters. 


Why I own said book?
Well, my sister and I have this horrible habit of buying books in a series, yet never managing to actually buy the first book in that series. My sister had bought the book 'Murder-list' because she loved the blurb and the story seemed fascinating. Little did we know of course that this was the fourth book in the 'Buchunan' series. So I decided to help in remedying this by buying the first book in the series - Heartbreaker - which by the way is completely amazing! You should get to read it at some point. It's also hilarious, I laughed so hard that there were tears at times, Noah Cleybourne is epic. He also helps out Theo Buchunan in book two, makes a phone call to Alec Buchunan in book four and finally  has his own story in book 6.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: Familiar Ties by Naya Nikki & Author Interview


As I mentioned before, I had two ongoing tours this month and I had received the book for this one a long while back. So, FINALLY I get to share with you guys my awesome read! Also, I should point out that this is my first ever Author interview so, again, I hope I am doing it right. Enjoy!



Now onto review:

Title: Familiar Ties
Author: Naya Nikki
ISBN 13: 9780985011567

Goodreads Synopsis:
Max West is a widower raising Phoebe, his four-year-old daughter. Phoebe has to live with the fact that the day she was born is also the day of her mother's death. As her fifth year without her mother approaches, Phoebe finds solace in her godmother, Amy Riley, and her daughter, Grace Crawford, another single parent family.

Amy Riley is a successful fashion designer who spends most of her days raising her four-year-old daughter, Grace, while her wayward boyfriend is travelling the world making the next best film. As the fifth year without her best friend looms she finds comfort in her ex-boyfriend, Max, and his daughter, Phoebe.

These two “broken” families have a tough week to face as the dreaded day approaches. However through their past, present and debatable future will their choices affect the outcome both parents clearly want and are simply denying? Or will Phoebe and Grace lose the only “whole” family they have ever known?


Review:
 
So let's start with the first thing that catches your eye with this book: The cover! I absolutely loved it, even before I knew there was a vacancy in the book tour, the book had fascinated me and made me want to buy it anyway.

The plot was really interesting, the troubles of modern life families and how people cope with it and with loss, though the Anna, Amy and Max love triangle reminded me a bit of 'Sarah's Child' by Linda Howard.

As to the characters, I love how Max and Amy are the perfect parents. Amy being super mom, pulling it all off alongside her career, though are there such parents that think there's no such thing as a bad moment in raising a kid? At some point there must be one. Sure you could love being a parent, but diaper changes and sleep-deprivation, balancing it all, cleaning, I am certain she could have been good at it, but there has to have been some bad moments. Though I like the easygoing relationship they ended up with for the sake of their girls. I got so emotional alongside Max and Amy with their separate crisis and how they helped one another. I really disliked Jack though, but I guess that was the main aim of the story, and I guess it does happen. What I didn't like about Amy was how she attempted to appear so strong, independent and pulling it together, yet still going back to Jack no matter how bad he treated her. There's a heck of a lot of crap Amy could have called him on, but for some reason she never did. It was like he was deliberately obtuse and she doesn't help matters by confronting him. But again some women do that, not to mention maybe she wanted something to work for her daughter's sake?
As to the kids, I loved Phoebe. She was the perfect character in this book, I could just see her as the four/five year old character she was meant to be. She was the most plausible, mistakenly calling the only mother figure she had as mom, it does happen and is a part of the wishful thinking of a child that had lost her mother. Grace on the other hand I did not like. Her character was not plausible at all in my opinion. I can't believe a four year old - no matter how much time she spent with her 'professional' mother would talk or act that way. It was a weird mix between a small child wanting to go home and a mature one that understood the hidden meanings between 'loving' and 'being in love'.


I also disliked how Max and Amy always talked about how the other child reminded them of the other person, it got kind of annoying after a while, since sure, they're close, but they weren't meant to be in love. Yet. I don't get how they could be such close friends after he'd dated her best friend, or how Amy had allowed it or thought it alright to date her best friend - the man she was still in love with. The best friends' relationship alongside the flashbacks got confusing. Who was best friends with who? And who knew who? How? When?


However, ignoring all of that, because YES once you get into the story you can ignore anything you didn't like, you can be angry alongside the characters, happy with them sad with them, frustrated, even laugh. I cried, and got so emotional throughout this book and enjoyed it immensely! I hope you guys get a chance to read it and enjoy it as well!


Rating: 4/5





Author Interview

1)      How about we start off with a small summary on you.

I am a British university student who splits her time between writing, studying, going out and spending time with her parents. Reading and writing have always been a passion of mine so it made sense when I decided to do an English and Creative Writing degree.

2)       If your life was a book, what do you think are the most unforgettable plots?

I think coming to university. I am just finishing my first year and have been reflecting on everything that has happened. University has helped me to grow and become the person I have become. As well I have made the most amazing set of friends I do not think I could ever live without.

3)      When was the first time you had your ‘oh hey, I should be a writer’ moment?

Not sure, as a kid I was always writing short stories, and English was my favorite class. I think after I’d written Familiar Ties for the first time I thought I’d take a chance and send it out and see what response I got and to be honest it just went from there.

4)      Assuming you could travel in time, which era do you think you were born to live in?
Hands down 1930s I love that era! They had the most amazing dresses, so classic and beautiful.

5)      Is there a book you could claim changed your life?
Does Chicken Soup count? I got a copy for my 13th birthday and I take it everywhere with me, it is so touching and I always look to it when I am feeling down and need to smile J

6)      Who was the most author that influenced you?
It is a tie between Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott and Jodi Picoult. I love all of Austen’s books and Little Women is one book I have never gotten bored off, however Jodi Picoult’s novels have changed literature, I think, and I am in awe of her writings.

7)      Name three things you’d consider your gravest weaknesses and three things you’d consider your greatest strengths.

Weaknesses: I trust too easily, I can contradict myself a lot and I can be overly critical.
Strengths: I love making friends, I am determined and I keep my promises

8)      What inspired your book ‘Familiar Ties’?

I am complete sucker for a good romance book so I was happy to write a cute romance novel that went how I wanted it to, so by the end of the book I wasn’t complaining that ‘this should have happened’ or ‘they should have got together.’

9)      How did it feel having your book come to life; seeing it all in print?

It still weird’s me out slightly. I have to get people to pinch me to prove it’s real. But it feels like a dream come true, and I am really happy about it all. I got to work with an amazing team of people who were really helpful and in some cases even read my mind...haha

10)  Were you intimidated by the fact that you’re relatively young whilst launching your writing career as an official author?

Never, two things that have never deterred me in life are age and gender, just because I am a woman and I am a student doesn’t mean I cannot do things that others can. It makes me more determined to get them done and in this case I was adamant I wanted my dream to come true whether it be now or in 10 years time.

11)  Looking back at your book now, are there things you wish you could change?

I try not to look back because I don’t want to feel like I missed things and I want to be happy with how successful the book has been, and I am so grateful for the amazing response. But yes there probably are things I would go back and change because I have matured a lot since writing the book and I feel I could input a lot of that into the book…maybe next time?

12)  Which character from your book do you think you accidentally poured a bit of yourself into?

Amy and a bit of the girls as well. Phoebe’s relationship with Max is identical to mine and my dad’s so in that way she’s got that side of me. Grace’s determination definitely comes from my need to achieve my dreams and complete my goals. Amy’s trust issues come from my past and I know a lot of people have those issues as well and so I put these in to show people that they aren’t alone in this.

13)  If tomorrow you were declared queen, what would be the first thing you’d do?

That is a hard one…I’d probably just proclaim more holidays because you can never have too many of those

14)  What message would you like to relay to your readers regarding your book?

Please read it and give it a chance, I know it looks like your stereotypical romance novel and up to a point it is…but is that always so bad?


Ways readers can reach you:

*Blog

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Waiting on" Wednesday # 4 & Wishlist Wednesday # 1




 

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop hosted @ Pen to Paper where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.





"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted @ Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.





 So this Wednesday I decided to be efficient and add both together because it's the same book! This is my first time with 'Wishlist Wednesday' but it sounds fun, doesn't it? Anyhow, this week's book is:

Title: Lies Beneath
Author:  Anne Greenwood Brown
Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)ISBN: 0385742010
Release Date: June 12th 2012

Goodreads Synopsis:

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.


Why I am waiting for said book?
Well, you read the Synopsis right? Need I say more? The book sounds absolutely fascinating, and I am personally like Lily, I have some sort of fear of the sea, mainly due to sharks though. So I have decided I want to go swimming with sharks at some point, you know where they put you in this underwater cage and lure sharks around? Yeah, I want to do that, because I hate being afraid of things and not facing that.
Anyhow, the book sounds plain awesome and I can't wait to read it!

Teaser Tuesday # 4






Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's choice is one of my all-time favourite books. The main reason being, it was one of the rare books I had at the time - back then I wasn't allowed to buy books, so I'd borrow A LOT from the library and from friends. But also because I am a big fan of the author and the book isn't bad either. I should probably also mention it's a bit eery and that it's not suitable for children? So anyhow, here goes:


Title: Divine Evil
Author : Nora Roberts
ISBN:  0553294903
 Goodreads Synopsis:

Divine EvilA decade ago, sculptor Clare Kimball fled Emmitsboro, Maryland, to take the art world by storm. Now she’s celebrated as the artist of her generation. But no amount of success can eclipse the nightmares that haunt her—or the memories of her father’s suicide. Just as her star is shining brighter than ever, Clare leaves it all behind to face her demons.

Emmitsboro sheriff Cameron Rafferty loved Clare from afar all through high school. Now that she’s back, they form a bond that grows stronger each day—fueled by an attraction that’s been simmering for years. But Clare’s past soon rises up with a vengeance, rocking the town with a sinister murder that is clearly linked to her return. As an investigation gets under way, Clare and Cameron will learn that evil can linger anywhere—even in those you love and trust the most. But it’s a discovery that may come too late to save them.…



 To the actual teaser:

"Did you know graveyard dirt's used in Satanic rites? I looked it up. It's even better if it's from the grave of a child. Nothing else was disturbed in that cemetery. And somebody had hauled the dirt away. Why?"

"Kids on a dare." But his reporter's instincts were humming.

"Maybe. It isn't kids on a dare who clubbed Biff to death. And it wasn't kids on a dare who took a knife to those calves. The hearts were gone, Blair. Whoever did it took the hearts with him."

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hungary





Ok, so I decided since I am not doing well on the review part lately, then I might as well share some more postcards I'd promised to put up. Here are ones I got from my amazing friend DorĂ  from Hungary.

She had also sent me such an amazing card with Hungarian greetings written in it that I'd completely loved!







Due to me being easily influenced by stuff these cards got me really interested in going to Hungary and seeing Budapest. Also, to learn a few words in Hungarian.



There's another last card I'd gotten from Hungary from another friend, I'll try to post it with this soon.

Showcase Sunday # 4



Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky @ Books, Biscuits & Tea. It's a way to share what we all got in our mailboxes this week.


Hello guys! This week has been cool bookwise.

Alright so, let's start:

I joined another book tour and so have two books from there to review (they are books one and two of the same series):

Moa (Moa, #1)The Statue of Ku (Moa Series, #2)
Moa - Tricia Stewart Shiu
Statue of Ku - Tricia Stewart Shiu

 I got 2 free ebooks from Netgalley:

One MomentScars 
One Moment - Kristina McBride
Scars - Cheryl Rainfield

Books I won in contests this week:

Talisman of El (Talisman of El, #1)The Aduramis Chronicles: Destiny of the Wulf

Talisman of El - Alecia Stone
Destiny of the Wulf - Harrison Davies

Now to books I received for review:

Silver KnightThe Secret of Ravelston 

Silver Knight - Caron Rider
The Secret of Ravelston - Sergio Silveira

So what did you guys get this week? Share with me! I'd be happy to look at your SS!