Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #3: The Raven Boys and The Lost Prince

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.
Release Date: September 18th, 2012

From Goodreads:
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”
It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.
Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

Have I mentioned my love for all things Maggie Stiefvater? I lurrve her Wolves of Mercy Falls series. It's true. I like to take long, moonlit walks with that trilogy. In my opinion, Maggie Stiefvater is one of the best YA writers, like, ever, so naturally as soon as I heard about this one, I was super excited (and that's probably an understatement). I adore the cover and the synopsis and I'm JUST SO DAMN EXCITED.

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa.
Release Date: October 23rd, 2012

From Goodreads: That is Ethan Chase's unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he's dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister's world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth 

I can't even explain how excited I am for this one. I think this gif kind of covers my thoughts on it.

Review: Shadows by Paula Weston

Shadows (The Rephaim #1) by Paula Weston.
Release Date: July 2nd, 2012
Page count: 388
Publisher: Text Publishing
Format: Paperback
Who I'd Recommend it To: Fans of well-written Angel books. (Angelfall, Unearthly, Daughter of Smoke and Bone.)
Rating: ★★★★ 1/2

Synopsis from GoodreadsIt’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.

And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be
found in the shadows of her nightmares.

Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?

Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series, is a standout paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Stephenie Meyer.



With an exceptionally high rating on Goodreads, I had high expectations for this book. And to learn that it was by an Australian author made me even more excited to read it. Thankfully, I was not disappointed by this one bit. From the very first page, I knew I'd adore this book. The writing is fantastic and pulls you in right away, and the constant suspense and questions that you just need to know the answers to keeps you turning the pages. Many things set this apart from other books about Angels, but the main thing that totally sets it apart is wonderful Australian setting. It was a very refreshing change to see a paranormal novel set in Australia, and it definitely added to the story.

I loved the characters in this one, and the fact that they were quite older than normal characters in YA fiction was great. Gaby is an extremely likable, realistic main character. She's tough, smart, funny and also very relatable. You definitely feel for her situation. Rafe, who reminds me a lot of Raffe (Heh. Such similar names.) from Susan Ee's Angelfall, can be a major A-hole sometimes, but you know deep down that he's not so bad. I liked how Gaby's and Rafe's relationship developed throughout the novel, and I'm seriously so excited to read more about their past in the next installment. Also, their relationship didn't randomly become the centre of the novel, which seems to be a recurring thing in YA fiction lately. So, yay for that. The supporting characters were equally as fun, and I cared about them as much as I cared about the main characters. One thing I loved about the characters was that they weren't such stereotypical Aussie characters (Well, except the Butler Brothers, of course. Those boys are your typical rednecks.). There wasn't a "G'day" in sight. WOO.

The plot was extremely fast-paced, and I was able to devour this one in about one or two days. There was constant twists and turns and some things I definitely did not see coming. I liked all the different creatures shown in the novel, which was another thing that sets this book apart from other Angel novels. The 'hellions' sounded pretty damn frightening, to say the least. 

The only thing that particularly annoyed me was the abrupt ending. (But maybe that was just me not wanting it to end at all...) Honestly, I could go on and on about how much I liked this book. I'm so glad I picked it up. Fantastic debut from Paula Weston!

In short: Read. This. Book. Seriously, you will not be disappointed! Eagerly anticipating the sequel!

Book2Movie News! Luke and Madame Dorothea Cast In Mortal Instruments!

I doubt there's anything better than coming home to see Mortal Instruments movie news! Attention, Mortal Instruments Fandom, as two more actors have been cast! And here they are:

Aidan Turner has been cast as Luke. 

Now, I've gotta admit, this is not at all how I pictured Luke. I pictured him more as that guy from Gilmore Girls (I can't remember what his name was.. The one that worked at that cafe thing?) - a middle-aged guy with his hair starting to go grey. But hey, I'm all for this casting choice, because this guy is pretty damn gorgeous-looking. And apparently he is super talented. You may know him from Being Human, and he is also in the upcoming movie, The Hobbit. If you wanna check out more of what he has been in, find his list of films and other projects here.

And here is our lovely Madame Dorothea. She is being played by CCH Pounder.

This actress may look familiar as she's been on loads of shows including The X-files, ER and The West Wing. She definitely seems to fit the part and I'm glad that the people behind the movie seem to be keeping all the smaller roles from the book in the movie (fingers crossed for Raphael!). Find more about what she's been in here. 

So that's all the movie news for today. I'm sure they'll be even more news soon, as they start filming in August. I don't know about anyone else, but I am SO. DAMN. EXCITED. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is set to be in theatres in August, 2013.

Top Ten Tuesday #2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, book bloggers post a top ten list in response to a predetermined prompt. To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday, or see a list of future topics , head on over the The Broke and the Bookish.

July 31: Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours

This is definitely a hard one to do because the characters I tend to read about have pretty crappy lives. I mean, they have to go through some serious stuff, guys (one person I'd never want to be is Katniss Everdeen, for instance.) Anyways, here's my list in no order:

1. Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.
She's a Shadowhunter, she has a whip, she's super bad ass, and her (sorta) boyfriend is Simon. She has some pretty awesome friends, and I'd love to just kick ass for a day.

2. Katy from Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
Okay, well, she doesn't have the best luck. She's nearly been killed, like, two--three times now? But still. She has Daemon. 

3. Cammie from the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter.
She's a spy. 'Nuff said.

4. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
She's a witch, her best friends are Harry and Ron, she goes to Hogwarts and she's super smart. Seriously, who wouldn't want to be her for a day?

5. Caelena from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.
She's a bad ass assassin. Who kicks major ass frequently. 

6. Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan.
She's a Demi-God and the daughter of Athena. She also goes to Camp Half Blood. Freakin' awesome.

7. Tris from Divergent by Veronica Roth
Sure, she's another one who doesn't have the best life, but I'd love to be fearless (well, nearly) for a day.

8. Jasmine from the Deltora Quest series by Emily Rodda.
Ah, how I used to love this series as a kid. I'd love to go on adventures with Leif and Barda.

9. Anna from Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

10. Bella from the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.
So I could punch everyone in the face. Especially Edward. And myself. Repeatedly. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Review: Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell

Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell.
Release Date: October 31st, 2012
Page count: 336 pages
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Format: E-book - advanced copy. (Big thanks to St. Martins Press!!!)
Who I'd Recommend it To: Fans of sci-fi & people who like the show, Falling Skies.
Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads
In a post-apocalyptic world controlled by alien invaders, two teens and a young girl with mysterious powers embark on a dangerous journey. What they find will change everything...

Earth has been conquered. An extraterrestrial race known as The Assembly has abducted the adult population, leaving the planet's youth to fend for themselves. In this treacherous landscape, Holt, a bounty hunter, is transporting his prisoner Mira when they discover Zoey, a young girl with powerful abilities who could be the key to stopping The Assembly. As they make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, the trio must contend with freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and perhaps most perilous of all: Holt and Mira's growing attraction to each other.

Midnight City is the breathtaking first novel in the Conquered Earth series, and a stunning work of imagination from debut author J. Barton Mitchell



As soon as I saw the words "post-apocalyptic" and "aliens" together, I was in! Midnight City is a refreshing young adult novel. It was nothing like I had ever read before. And it was awesome. The world that the author has created is seriously frightening. The gang (Mira, Holt and Zoey) are faced with new danger everywhere they go. The world is just chaos! It only took me a short time to really get into the story and I was sucked into this horrific world completely. It was thrilling, action-packed and full of surprises!

As I said before, I really liked the world the author had set up. It was pretty complex, with all the different factions people were in, and all the different aliens and the artifacts but I eventually got my head around it all. The prose, pacing and plot were all really great. The writing flowed really well, the plot was fast-paced and barely ever slowed down and the plot was just really exciting.

Although it was very much a plot driven novel, the characters were a delight to read about. All were seriously bad ass in their own way. I really liked Holt, Mira and Zoey. Holt and Mira were both strong characters, yet very broken. There was a lot of fantastic character development with these characters and I loved how their relationships slowly grew as well. Zoey was completely adorable and the way she called Holt's Dog Max "the Max" -- so cute! I'm totally excited to see more about her powers in the next book. Still kind of confused about what she can and can't do though. The characters we met along the way were really interesting to read about, as well! I'm really excited to see if some of the supporting characters come back in the next book.

My only gripes would be that sometimes it felt like too much was going on and at first I had trouble picturing everything (maybe that's just my lack of imagination, though..). 

In short: Midnight City is an action packed adventure that sucks you right in. With fantastic characterization, a fast-paced plot and great world building, this book is a real page turner. Awesome on so many levels. Sci-fi fan or not, this book has a little something for everyone!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.
Page count: 310 pages
Publisher: Gollancz
Release Date: July 2009
Format: Paperback
Who I'd Recommend it To: No one.

From Goodreads: In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?



From the one star rating, I guess you can tell that I did not like this book. At allThe main problem I had with this book was the characters. At the beginning of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I was fully on Team Mary. She was rebellious and seemed like the only one with a brain in her village. It just went downhill from there. I've never wanted to reach inside the book and strangle a character more in my life, honestly. I always say I loved flawed characters, but I just could not get myself to like this character at all. She was selfish and utterly infuriating. Instead of actually focusing on the zombie problem, she was all lovey dovey with a guy named Travis (who, might I add, had no personality whatsoever). On almost every page she would go on about how much she loved him, wanted him, etc. She. Was. Obsessed.

Oh, and did I mention there is a love triangle? Oh, the love triangle, how I loathe thee. Both these guys, Harry and Travis (who are brothers, by the way), were both boring as hell. They were flat, one dimensional characters who weren't fleshed out at all. And the fact that most of this book focused on Mary's attraction to Travis and Harry annoyed me to no end. I wanted more zombies, dammit! The romance between Mary and Travis was terrible and I didn't feel a connection at all. It felt forced and unnecessary.

Too many things were left untold. So many questions were left unanswered. This book did not give you enough information and back story at all. The book was quite slow-paced, and the action started to happen around page 120. 

The writing style was the only thing I liked about this book. The writing was beautiful, and I always like books in present tense. Majority of the book was Mary's thoughts, and looking back, there really wasn't a lot of dialogue, which I didn't like.

In short: Too much kissing, not enough zombies. Won't be checking out the sequel.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #2: Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases                                  we're eagerly anticipating. 

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan.
Release Date: September 11th, 2012

From GoodreadsKami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

Gorgeous cover, cool setting and all the reviews for this so far have all said this is an excellent read. I haven't seen one bad review so far.  Sounds so freaking awesome. Can't wait!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol.
Page count: 221 pages
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Format: Paperback
Who I'd Recommend it To: Fans of YA graphic novels!
Rating: 5 stars!

From GoodreadsAnya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part...

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.

Or so she thinks.



Anya's Ghost was everything I'd hoped it be - funny, smart, super creepy and totally adorable at times! One of the best YA graphic novels I've read so far, for sure. I loved it.

Anya's Ghost follows Anya, a Russian girl living in America. She's a wonderful main character, and she develops a lot and learns many important lessons throughout the book. She's smart, snarky, sarcastic, negative about everything, and she's hilarious. Favourite kind of character right there, people. At the beginning of the book, she falls down a well and meets a ghost called Emily, who isn't exactly what she seems. And let me tell you, some stuff involving her is damn freaky. I definitely wouldn't want to be on her bad side, for sure. 

As mentioned before, the novel was completely hilarious throughout. Page 111 had me laughing at loud (I, like, cackled. Like Adele. Weird.). The humor wasn't stupid or anything either; it was incredibly smart. And I lurvved the artwork. Absolutely adored it. Represented the characters and their emotions perfectly.

This book has a lot of things going for it. A likable main character, a great high school setting, excellent dialogue, a great message behind it and a touch of paranormal. I can't point out its faults, because in my opinion, it doesn't have any. If you like YA graphic novels, you'll love this one. And even if you don't like graphic novels or haven't tried them, I definitely recommend this.  It's a very enjoyable, fast read that I'll definitely be picking up again soon. I'm eager to see what Vera Brosgol does next!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar.
Page count: 274 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
Release Date: June 29th 2009
Format: Paperback
Who I'd Recommend it To: Melina Marchetta fans!
Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Synopsis from Goodreads: Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly cafĂ©. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing … and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago at schoolies week.

And then Carly meets Ryan, a local at the break, fresh out of jail. When Ryan learns the truth, Carly has to decide. Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?



I picked this one up from the library thinking it'd just be a light read, but boy, was I wrong. The title 'Raw Blue' reflects this book wonderfully. This story is raw and it's real, as is the prose. I was wow'd by how good Kirsty Eagar's writing was - how she'd described things so perfectly, how the dialogue was filled with such emotion. . .  It's probably even up there with Melina Marchetta's wonderfully writing. After reading this book, I know I'm definitely going to be looking into more Eagar's work.

Raw Blue deals with a lot of tough things a lot of people shy away from reading about. And I warn you, this book is not for the light-hearted. There are many parts that people would find disturbing and may not want to read about, and this book never sugar coats anything. Sometimes I was shocked this is a YA book. 

 I really liked the characters (the ones which you're supposed to like, anyway). They were all well-rounded, complex characters, even the supporting ones. I especially liked Carly. I also really liked some of the supporting, including Adam, Ryan and Hannah. Another thing I loved about this book was the way the author described surfing. I adored the way she talked about it so vividly. And even though I've had some bad experiences with surfing (NEVER AGAIN.),  I guess I know why people love it so much now. 

With all that said, I felt like something was missing with this book - something that would've made me enjoy it more. Maybe it was something to do with the shortness of the novel, or how it ended quite abruptly, but I'll get back to you on that one...

Another thing that bothered me was the sheer bogan-ness of the people in it. Like, I don't know, I've never been to Sydney nor have I ever lived near the beach (and I never will. Ugh), but most Australians don't talk the way people do in this novel. I, for one, never say 'mate'. EVER. I'm just glad no one said 'G'day' in this book. (Just FYI for people who aren't Australian that read this novel - please don't think we all talk like that.)

In short: Raw Blue is a raw, realistic Australian novel with excellent prose and complex characters. Not for the light-hearted, but definitely give this one a go!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Book2Movie News! Mortal Instruments Casting Updates

Just the other day the news broke that the wonderful Robert Sheehan was cast as Simon in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie. And earlier today (well, yesterday for me) Cassandra Clare broke the news on tumblr that we've got our Magnus, Jocelyn and Hodge! And here they are:

Magnus is Godfrey Gao (And wow, is he super good looking or what?!)

Jocelyn is Lena Headey (aka Cersei Lannister!)

Hodge is Jared Harris (Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes:Game of Shadows!)

I'm super happy with all these casting choices! Especially Lena Headey - I love her as an actress. Now the only two main people to cast are Alec and Luke. Looks like casting is really coming along, and with every new name they announce, the more excited about this movie I get. The Mortal InstrumentsCity of Bones will be in theatres August, 2013!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book2Movie News! First look at Emmy Rossum as Ridley in Beautiful Creatures.

Here's the first look at Emmy Rossum as Ridley (Lena Duchanne's Dark Caster cousin) in the Beautiful Creatures movie!

Definitely not what I expected, sure, but the make up, hair and outfit seem very Ridley-ish to me. I'm definitely looking forward to this movie adaption! Beautiful Creatures stars Alice Englert, Alden Ehrenreich, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emma Thompson and even more extremely talented actors! It comes out on the 14th of February 2013, here in Australia! If you want to know more about the book that this movie is based on by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, click here or here. Or if you want to see the rest of the cast list click here

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #1: Onyx and Clockwork Princess

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating. 

Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout.
Release Date: August 14th, 2012
(Find the first two chapters here on Jennifer's blog)

From Goodreads:  Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarre connection. I’ve sworn him off even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But against all common sense, I’m falling for him. Hard.
Our relationship issues aren’t out biggest problem…
The Department of Defense is here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And when a new boy shows up a school with a secret of his own, things get complicated fast. I need to choose between my own instincts and Daemon’s.
But then everything changes…
I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. Daemon’s never going to stop searching until gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?
No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies.

I read the first book in the series, Obsidian, just the other day and devoured it. So great! Loved the characters, the fact that it was totally hilarious - EVERYTHING! So, obviously, I'm super excited for the next installment, Onyx, and the fact that everyone who has read it early has said it's as amazing as the first one, if not more. I can't wait to read more about my fellow book blogger, Katy. And Daemon, of course. 

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.
Release Date:  March 19th 2013

From Goodreads:
Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it’s too late. As Jem’s health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves—even if it means never seeing the other one again?

Sadly, this one's super far away, but I'm still extremely excited about it (and maybe even dreading it a little. please don't hurt my babies Cassandra Clare). I have no doubt that it will tear my heart into little tiny pieces. IIf it's anywhere near as emotional as Clockwork Prince was, I'm sure I'll be sobbing all throughout the book.  I'm way too emotionally invested in this series, as you can see. I'm really excited to see what this book has in store for Tessa, Will, Jem and the rest of the gang. So many questions need to be answered! CAN'T WAIT.

Top Ten Tuesday #1

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday, book bloggers post a top ten list in response to a predetermined prompt. To learn more about Top Ten Tuesday, or see a list of future topics , head on over the The Broke and the Bookish.

June 17th: Top Ten Books for People Who Like X Book (Pick a book and pick 10 read-alikes).

So, I decided to do my Top Ten Tuesday one of my my favourites books, if not my favourite book ever, On The Jellicoe Road, a contemporary YA novel set in Australia. I don't think any synopsis I make up for it gives it the justice it deserves. It's seriously that good. Find it here. 

Top Ten Books for people who like On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

1) If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman.
Read it and weep, seriously.

2) Pushing the Limits by Kate McGarry.
This one isn't quite out yet, but it is amazing. Check out my review for it here. A really wonderful story. 

3) The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
Like Melina Marchetta's books, this book will break your heart. Again, and again, and again. And when you finish, every time someone mentions it you will cry buckets of tears 

4) Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta.
Another one of Marchetta's great novels. Includes broken characters with a whole lot of depth, fabulous writing (as always), great friendships and first loves. Focuses on family.

5) Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols.
Great characters and character development and a unique plot. Great romance. Hot damn.

6) Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.
Follows a girl who relives her last day seven times. A great reflection of high school and the people in it. Loads of great character development. A cute boy. 

7) All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield.
A lesser known novel by another Australian author. It's just really great. You should read it.

8) This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen.
It's a Sarah Dessen book. Need I say more?

9) Looking For Alaska by John Green.
Just read it. Seriously.

10) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
I feel like every person on the planet has read this book already, but still. A beautiful yet haunting novel about a boy's freshman (I think?) year in high school. 

(This list was in no particular order.)

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. 
Page count: 452
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 27th, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Who I'd Recommend it To: Fans of angsty romance, teen psychological thrillers.
Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Synopsis from Goodreads
Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.


Review: (Warning: Slightly spoiler-y stuff)

My thoughts on this book can be summed up with these gifs.

So, yeah. Basically. But let's get on with the proper review, shall we?

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is a psychological thriller. The first one I've read, actually, so I was pretty damn excited. As soon as  I read page one, it had my full attention. At the start of the book, Mara wakes up in a hospital with no idea how she came to be there. She gets told she was in an accident -- one that her friends and boyfriend were killed in. She's the only survivor. Throughout the book, crazy stuff starts to happen (that's the understatement of the year). Mara keeps on seeing her dead friends and hearing them calling her. She hallucinates, then wakes up hours afterward. We barely ever get to know what is a hallucination or not (until afterward), so the whole time you're pretty much like "WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAT IS HAPPENING?With all crazy stuff happening, you really have to concentrate whilst reading this book, or else you're going to miss something important. It was such a cool and super creepy concept, though. The hallucinations were the freakiest thing ever. SO CREEPY. So great.

Now on to the characters. I sorta have a love/hate relationship with our protagonist, Mara. At times, she has a really great attitude. She could be hilarious and snarky, and I felt bad for her situation. But other times, I just wanted to yell at her poor decision making skills and her utter stupidity. There's Noah, the love interest, a bad boy (well, I don't know if you'd call him a bad boy but WHATEVER.) He was pretty great, not gonna lie. And there's a very awesome twist with him at the end! Very unexpected. Me like-y. With that said, I did really like their relationship, but it slowly became the centre of the book, which I didn't really appreciate. I'm all for romance, usually. I love romance, but I didn't think this was a book that needed so much of it. At times, I felt like it kind of got carried away and I wanted to get back to the freaky hallucination stuff.

The supporting characters were great. I loved Mara's brothers, and Jamie. The writing is quite good, the book is very fast-paced, and I adored how the author kept the reader guessing. There were so many 'WTF' moments. It was ridiculous. I never suspected anything. The ending shocked me. I didn't see that one coming whatsoever. AND THAT CLIFFHANGER. OH MY GOD. I might have been staring at the last page for about ten minutes or so, hyperventilating.

Overall:  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is dark, creepy and you never know what's going to happen next. It leaves you on the edge of your seat. A little frustrating at times and there was a bit too much romance, but good nonetheless. You're either gonna love or hate this one. After one hell of a cliffhanger, I'm definitely looking forward to The Evolution of Mara Dyer!