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Posts tagged ‘Romance’

Catching Fire – Movie Trailer

Well here is the official trailer. Hope the movie is good, it looks good, and there is so much potential in the source material.

Scarlet in the Snow

I received my copy from the publisher.

scarlet-in-the-snow

By: Sophie Masson

Natasha and her family have fallen on hard times, they aren’t living in the manner her sisters want to be. With her mother doing what she can to provide Natasha steps out to help. Then she gets caught in a blizzard, just when she thinks she is out of options she stumbles across a mansion. It’s a strange place, beautiful and mysterious, with no-one seemingly around. However when she reaches out to touch a perfect flower her life is changed forever.

The master of the house is caught in a spell but that doesn’t stop him demanding vengeance for her act. She comes to see she may be the one to break this spell, to uncover the mystery, but before she can everything changes again. If she is to have a chance at the love she thinks she could have then she has to outsmart a powerful sorcerer and get to the bottom of Beast’s unknown history.

A wonderful take on a couple of Russian fairytales, obviously one of which is Beauty and the Beast. Natasha is a generous, brave character. She has an inner strength that enables her to face the problems her family have and the terrifying situation she finds herself in. She is smart and determined, thinking her way through the obstacles in front of her.

The world Masson has created is wondrous, enchanting, it simply sweeps you up into itself. It’s a white, icy landscape, cold in so many ways, the perfect juxtaposition to the warmth of the story at it’s heart. If you love fairytales, romance, engaging characters and a bit of mystery thrown in for good measure, then give this a shot.

Actually if you just want to be swept away somewhere else for a few hours then pick this up, I read it in one sitting, staying up late into the night to finish it.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Random House Australia

Published: 1st May 2013

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Romance, Fairytale

ISBN 13: 9781742758152

Purchase: use the Booktopia link on the side of the page

Scarlet in the Snow – Author Speaks About

I’ve just read this book and will post my review shortly but thought I’d add this for something a little different.

Acid

I received this copy from the publisher.

9780552566148

By: Emma Pass

Jenna Strong is in a maximum security jail, locked away for life because ACID – the most brutal police force in history, say she murdered her parents. Jenna works hard to stay alive. It comes as a huge surprise to her when she is broken out of the facility. She doesn’t know what is going on but she knows these people who did this want something from her. She is given a new identity, a new life but things don’t exactly go according to plan and Jenna finds herself on the run with Max. On the run things go from bad to worse and Jenna struggles to see a way out. She is determined no to let anyone get the better of her though.

This is a great story but one I can’t say too much about or it gives too much away. Suffice to say if you like dystopian fiction and strong female characters then give this a look. Jenna is a headstrong girl, determined to survive. She feels responsible for the consequences of her actions, and even the actions others take on her behalf. The journey she goes on is rough, full of ups and downs, twists and turns. It is engaging, dark and gritty.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Corgi Children’s

Published: 25 April 2013

Format: Paperback 448 pages

Categories: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Romance, Mystery

ISBN 13: 9780552566148

Girl Defective

I received my copy from the publisher.

9780330426176

By: Simmone Howell

Skylark lives above her dad’s record store with her dad and brother Gully. They each have their own problems. Dad is an alcoholic, Gully has social difficulties, including the fact he cannot go out without wearing a pig snout over his face. Sky looks fairly normal on the surface but a little scratching and it’s clear she has more than enough of her own problems. She is still struggling with the abandonment of her mother, having to be the responsible one and having to get a handle on her bubbling hormones. She just wants to break out a little, she wants to be a bit more like Nancy, who seems to have control of her life. There’s a girl, a boy, a girl who had gone missing and some life changing events.

Sky is a bit of an outsider, her best friend is older and doesn’t go to school, her mother doesn’t have much interest in her outside a brief call for her birthday. Sky has feelings for Nancy but they are complicated, particularly when Luke comes along. She loves her brother but it’s hard to be the one mostly responsible for him. Sky is struggling to find her own way, to find who she really is so she can be true to herself.

The other characters frame Sky’s story. Nancy appears happy on the surface but underneath is something much darker. Gully adds some humour even as his defects are central to his actions, you feel sadness for his situation but there is joy in the way he copes. Luke brings a quiet determination to the story, he is a little lost but knows what he is looking for.

This is a story about family, about disfunction and about survival. This story shows us that though times can be terrible, can be hard to handle that there is a way through them. It is possible for a family to stick together an come out the other side. If you like books that are grounded solidly in reality and don’t shy away from tough topics like disfunction and teenage uncertainty then I’m sure you’ll like this one.

Publisher: Pan Australia

Published: 01 March 2013

Format: Paperback 312 pages

RRP: $16.99 Aus

Categories: Fiction, Family, Teenagers

ISBN 13: 9780330426176

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

Portraits of Celina

I received my copy from the publisher.9781922077479By: Sue Whiting

After the death of her father Bayley finds herself living in an old family home in the country that has been deserted for years. It was a move she isn’t happy about, neither is her older sister. The house has a history though. Celina O’Malley, a distant relative was 16 when she disappeared forty years ago. Now Bayley is sleeping in her room, wearing her old clothes and disturbingly, starting to hear her voice.

Bayley thinks she might just be loosing it but she can’t get away from Celina. Just what does Celina want? Bayley is driven to find out. As things get stranger and stranger, Bayley’s behaviour threatens a new relationship and she starts to wonder just who will suffer because Celina won’t leave her alone.

Bayley is the heart of this story. She has been her family’s strength but in the process it has left her fragile and it is this fragility that is drawn to Celina’s story. The overarching narrative of a family struggling to come to terms with a loss is painful and it is so easy to identify with Bayley’s anguish. She drives the story along, and you are helpless to pull away from either the modern tale or the forty year old one. Her family provide the colour, the layers to the story as it all spirals out of control. Oliver, the boy next door, gives the story much needed lightness and hope.

This is a ghost story, a revenge story, even a love story. It is dark, enthralling and compelling. Well worth a read.

Recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 April 2013

Format: Paperback 352 pages

Categories: Ghost Story, Mystery

ISBN 13: 9781922077479

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

OMG! Is This Actually My Life?

I received my copy from the publisher.9781406340013By: Rae Earl

Hattie Moore is 13 almost 14. She doesn’t get along with her mum, her step dad is okay but he’s not her real dad, her brother is a pain in her butt and her Gran is always doing totally embarrassing things. As if that wasn’t enough, Hattie has no idea who her real dad is and she is determined to find him this year. That’s not her only goal for the year, she also is desperate to become a Hotness Goddess because she needs to get one up on her mortal enemy, known only as Miss Gorgeous Knickers. The guy at the coffee shop is really hot and Hattie sets her eyes on him. It is a good thing she has friends Weirdo Jen and Dimple to help or this could be a really bad year. With goals like that what could possible go wrong?

This book is pure silliness. Hattie is kind of like the train wreck you can’t turn away from. She is selfish and shallow and those traits don’t really endear her, you hope for her to grow as the story progresses but she really doesn’t. Her friends Dimple and Weirdo Jen have more depth, are far more interesting. Gran is light relief in a book that is all pretty light and the boy next door subplot is incredibly obvious. The mother/daughter relationship is also fairly two dimensional, and as such very unsatisfying, though that may be due to the fact the book is written in diary style, so it is very subjective.

I get girls of this age are interested in relationships but Hattie’s obsession with being ‘hot’ and ‘hot’ boys is only made worse by her lamenting that her life is so tragic because she (at 13) has not ‘snogged a man or felt man-bum’. This could be the story of any popular/ish teenage girl and if that is the sort of thing you like then this is definitely the book for you and I’m sure you will love it.

I think it’s probably suited it to younger YA readers.

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Published: 07 February 2013

Format: Paperback 272 pages

Categories: Romance, Friendship, Family

ISBN 13: 9781406340013

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

Shadow and Bone

I received my copy from the publisher9781780621418By: Leigh Bardugo

Book 1 of the Grisha Trilogy

Alina and Mal are orphans. She is pale, seemingly insignificant and grows to be a mapmaker. He is talented, charming and popular and grows to be a gifted tracker. He is her only real friend. One day he is threatened and her power is unleashed, throwing her unwillingly into a world she never dreamed she would be a part of, The Grisha – the kingdom’s magical elite. Her rare power sets her apart even from them though and she is a prize in a competition she doesn’t understand. Alina has to study magic and learn to master her ability all whilst trying to understand the powerful machinations going on around her.

Alina is an interesting character. She hides who she is, and is mostly content with her anonymity. She doesn’t want the attention that her sudden rise brings. She struggles to master the ability she hid for so long. At heart she is quite timid but draws strength from her mission and from Mal. Mal is a sold presence, he keeps Alina connected to reality. The Darkling is a bad guy on every level, he is sly, conniving and manipulative, you wonder how someone can be drawn to him as Alina is. Power is seductive though and Bardugo depicts this well.

The world building is well detailed from the colours and grandness of the Palace to the darkness and menace of the Fold. This story has a grand plot with power and it’s corrupting ability at it’s core. As Alina is drawn to that which frightens her it will be interesting to see where Bardugo takes these characters.

Publisher: Indigo (an imprint of Orion Children’s) 

Published: 05 June 2012

Format: Paperback 320 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Magic

ISBN 13: 9781780621418

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Drowning Instinct

I recieved this copy from the publisher

9781780870434

By: Isla J Bick

Jenna Lord is damaged. She has been in a psych ward, she’s seen councillors and now she has to start at a new school because her father thinks it’s best. Jenna just wants to get through. She doesn’t want to get into any trouble. There is enough trouble in her life, home is terrible, her father isn’t there mostly and her mother is a workaholic/alcoholic. No-one really has time for Jenna. No-one that is until her teacher shows interest. He offers her friendship, he offers her love.

We start this story in a hospital. We don’t know how Jenna got there. Then the narrative jumps back to where Jenna says it all began. One by one Jenna’s secrets are then revealed as she tells her tale to a recording device given to her by a detective. The style feels natural, the moments when Jenna addresses the detective directly in no way takes you out of the story.

This is a thought provoking book, with some interesting notes in the back. It touches at dark places, on many levels and is likely to stay with you for a while after you have finished reading it.

Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc

Published: 28 February 2013

Format: Paperback 368 pages

Categories: Romance, School Stories

ISBN 13: 9781780870434

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

Freia Lockhart’s Summer of Awful

I got my copy from the publisher.

9781921977800

By: Aimee Said

Freia has plans for summer that include hanging with her friends and spending quality time with her boyfriend. Then her parents share some devastating news and her dream summer looks as though it will be anything but. While her home life is in upheaval Freia feels she can’t tell anyone what is  really going on. To make things worse her boyfriend has gone away and Freia thinks maybe he doesn’t want to be around her anymore. Added to the problem Freia’s grandmother has come to stay and this only ups the tension at home. Tension that is added to by her brother’s argumentative behaviour.

Freia is a thoroughly believable and nuanced character. She is not perfect and because of that it makes it easier to identify with her.  She feels out of her depth in the situation she finds herself in and so much is out of her control. The people around her, her family and friends, blend well together, all playing their own parts which sometimes overlap. This is a story about self discovery, friendship and overcoming the curveballs that life can throw your way.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 February 2013

Format: Paperback

Categories: Growing up, Friendship, Sickness

ISBN 13: 9781921977800

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

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