Review: Teacup by Rebecca Young

TeacupTeacup by Rebecca Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

AAAAAAH! I LURVE the illustrator who created the stunning masterpieces for ‘Teacup’!!!!!!!
I love Matt Ottley’s style and the way he is able to capture the meaning and power behind words and fill his drawings with this depth and emotion that continues to left me astounded!
‘Teacup’ is a wonderful picture book that filled me with sadness and understanding yet also managed to blossom hope and empathy within my chest. It was – and will continue to be – a very memorable book for me.
What I loved about it was the strength and beauty in every page! And I am very much in love with the ending. I would highly recommend to anybody who has little time on their hands but wishes to enrich their day and put a smile on their face!
Congratulations to Rebecca Young on publishing an unforgettable picture book not only for children, but for young adults, too!

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Review: Suri’s Wall by Lucy Estella

Suri's WallSuri’s Wall by Lucy Estella
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘Suri’s Wall’ is my first picture book in a LONG time! I have honestly forgotten how good they were! How moving and engaging some are!
This is a fun fact about this picture book: It’s YOUNG ADULT!! Did you guys hear that! I, for one, never knew they existed! And I never knew that there could be picture books for an audience older than children!
*quietly squealing with excitement*
What I absolutely loved about ‘Suri’s Wall’ was the drawings… I honestly only picked this book up because the front cover looked so gorgeous! There was definitely a touching element which made itself quickly known that I also very enjoyed. I loved it!
Congratulations to Lucy Estella on publishing a beautifully illustrated picture book for young adults!

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Review: The Healer (The Witch Hunter, #0.5) by Virginia Boecker

The Healer (The Witch Hunter, #0.5)The Healer by Virginia Boecker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To be brutally honest, ‘The Healer’ was probably my most favourite piece in the whole series. The other novels may have been well written and had their plot well structured, but really, that’s all they were. Average.
This novella on the other hand managed to evoke a deeper and much more intense response to the novels. I really would have been more excited about ‘The Witch Hunter’ if I read it.
Reading from John’s perspective made the entire novella so much better than I expected for it to be. There was something intriguing and very sexy about John throughout the whole duology and I loved learning more about his past and his life.
Congratulations to Virginia Boecker on publishing a lovely prequel in ‘The Witch Hunter’ series!

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Review: Even the Score (Tall, Dark and Texan, #1) by Kate Meader

Even The Score (Tall, Dark, and Texan, #1)Even The Score by Kate Meader
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Even the Score’ was just fantastic! I am completely and absolutely in love with this short read! It’s not a full length novel (more of a novella, really, at 200 pages) but sure gets your blood rushing, heart pumping and emotions spiriting out of control! For those in search of a short, emotion-filled, sexy read, I couldn’t recommend this any higher!
I am seriously, down-to-earth and on-cloud-nine in love with the romance reads published by Entangled Publishing! They publish such sweet and romantic or hot and sexy reads that I could abso-FREAKING-loutely NOT give each novel I’ve read so far a FIVE star! There is something wonderfully enchanting about their publications that I cannot resist!
This novel was spectacularly written! Such great story-telling and elegantly simple language that I cannot describe how much I loved this read! The Kate Meader has captured my heart, soul and mind with her touching and heartfelt first novella in the ‘Tall, Dark and Texan’ series! Each word was full of emotion and meaning. Reading this novella was like diving head first into the sizzling romance between Hunter and Tess!
And BOY was there romance passionate and intense! Whew! I loved, loved, loved their chemistry together! It was beyond explosive as made for quite the steamy read!
But what made it best was the authentic problems that the characters had to encounter and prove victorious over. Their romance was unbelievably challenging but made the whole reading experience so much the better because it brought around this whole BUCKETLOAD of deep emotions that basically permeated the entire novella.
I cannot recommend this novella enough and must commend the author on her spectacular first volume in the new series!
Congratulations to Kate Meader on publishing a sexy, romantic and completely authentic read! I can’t wait for book two!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Taking the Score (Tall, Dark and Texan, #2) by Kate Meader

Taking the Score (Tall, Dark, and Texan, #2)Taking the Score by Kate Meader

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Taking the Score’ is the second, steamy, EPIC read in the novella series, ‘Tall, Dark and Texan’! I loved this second volume because of the sexy-as-hell male lead, Brody (otherwise known as Broderick Kane III), and the touching and heartfelt trials and troublesome past of Emma Strickland.
The characters were so amazing! As I mentioned before, Brody was an amazing male lead because of the characteristics he possessed. He was strong and compassionate, giving and kind, protective and loyal despite all the hardships he experienced at the hands of his closest. Emma, on the other hand, was such an enigma and learning more about her was incredibly fascinating! We readers know her in the previous instalment as this prim and proper personal assistant to Brody with impeccable organisational skills and a steady, hard, work ethic. But as we delve deeper into her past she becomes more fascinating…I absolutely loved the character development!
The chemistry found in this novella was beyond crazy! I so admired the obstacles these two had to overcome to get to where they are now! Brody’s and Emma’s relationship was fascinating to watch plant and grow. Their entire interactions held so much raw POTENTIAL that tearing my eyes away from the page was near impossible.
The writing was incredible as always! Such professionalism and quality! It made the story so much better!
The pace was well set and never kept me bored! The plot was also so well structured! There was nothing that I could pick on about this book. Except for a few typos, which I hardly noticed. Weirdly, they made the reading experience sort of…endearing…
Congratulations to Kate Meader on publishing the second volume in the ‘Tall, Dark and Texan’ series! Can’t wait for the third!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: One Week to Score (Tall, Dark and Texan, #3) by Kate Meader

One Week to Score (Tall, Dark, and Texan, #3)One Week to Score by Kate Meader

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘One Week to Score’ was fabulous, brother’s baby sister and brother’s best-friend, beach romance! I really liked this read, not only because it was uplifting and NOT overly depressing, but because it worked. And there wasn’t a lot of those stereotypical or cliche scenarios and problems which usually appear (and ruin) a good romance read.
What I continue to love about this series is that the men are LEGITIMATE men. In the first novella, the guy was a bit of an Alpha, but the next two novellas where a lot more realistic. Sure, the guys were still manly, but they weren’t overly dominating. They weren’t oppressive and all alpha, if you get what I mean.
What I also continue to like about this series is their shortness. They were fun and easy and quick to read. There wasn’t anything that made me feel bored for their short length, and I would highly recommend these novella series to those who are going on a vacation or feel the need for something light and quick.
I don’t think I enjoyed this instalment as much as the second. Brody’s and Emma’s novella is and will always remain my favourite. I just connected with those two a lot faster and stronger than with Flynn and Olivia.
There was a good plot, despite my favouritism of the couples, and a very good, steady pace which revealed plenty whilst still keeping me intrigued.
A lot of the scenes were hot and sexy, so maybe keep these novellas away from prying eyes!😉
This leads me to chemistry. I felt like Olivia and Flynn worked in that part, but I wasn’t sure whether they were the best suited? They seemed to care deeply about each other but I had some wariness as to whether they would work long-term.
I couldn’t spot any typos or mistakes in my ARC copy of the novella. I loved how neat everything was!
Congratulations to Kate Meader on publishing the final instalment in ‘The Tall, Dark and Texan’ series!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Lucky Strikes by Louis Bayard

Lucky StrikesLucky Strikes by Louis Bayard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Pan Macmillan Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Lucky Strikes’ is a MAJOR tear-jerker, heart-wrencher and laugh-maker! Once you open this book and commit yourself to reading…be prepare for crying, laughing and an aching heart.
I must admit I was a bit reluctant to pick up ‘Lucky Strikes’. I wasn’t sure what to expect of it and I believe that is what scared me the most and made me wary. The blurb didn’t give away too much and since I’ve lately been on a FANTASTIC book reading streak where every novel I’ve finished I’ve loved, I really didn’t want this novel to spoil that streak.
To make a long story short: It didn’t….
It actually made it BETTER…
My advice to any person who wants to read this book or is about to is stick to it. ‘Lucky Strikes’ requires a small level of commitment to its first third of the book, I’d say. Once you get past that first introductory part, the story really picks up and you realise that it has grown on you so quietly and steadily that you don’t realise just how much you are enjoying it and how much you DON’T want to put it down.
‘Lucky Strikes’ snuck up on me and stole my heart.
My first noting about the book was the way it was written: First person narrative from big sister’s Amelia’s point of view. Now, since the novel was set in Depression Era Virginia, USA, the book had a southern-twang to accent it. Amelia spoke and told the story in her Western accent and it definitely had some charm to it. The novel reminded me a lot of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ due to the Western accent. I literally read the entire novel with the silly accent!
The good thing about it is it set the place and time SO incredibly well! And as you read from the beginning to finish you noticed all these little changes. At first the atmosphere was dark, hopeless and grieving. Hard. But then the hobo rolled up and things started to change. Opportunities arose; hope sprung. I loved it.
The characters were simply amazing. I cannot describe how much I loved each and every one of them! (Except, of course, the bad ones.) Amelia with her wittiness, strength and maturity; Earle with his boyish genius, sensitivity and attitude; Janey, the sweet baby sister with her silliness, bouts of wisdom and caring personality. They became my family throughout the course of the book and I couldn’t make myself leave them at the end. Let’s say the end was a love-hate sort of one.
Talking about family, ‘Lucky Strikes’ explored it in depth. It explored the different types of family out there and how sometimes families fall apart but you can learn to make others family, too. Family doesn’t always have to be your siblings and parents, it could also be others who you let into your life and learn to love.
To my absolute surprise the entire novel was actually one whole, big… You know? I won’t tell you! Go pick it up. You’ll be in for a BIG surprise. One that I loved so much but one that left me with so many questions and a tumbling mind.
Congratulations to Louis Bayard on publishing a powerful, historical novel that has captured my heart!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Burning by Danielle Rollins

BurningBurning by Danielle Rollins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Bloomsbury Publishing Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Burning’… Hmm… How to describe it? At first it seemed just like any other novel about a girl locked away in juvenile prison where things were about to get real nasty, real quick, probably scare the BEJEEBIES out of me, and leave me forever grumpy, depressed and add one more reason to my long list of why I don’t read crimes/thrillers. Yep! It was definitely not a happy start for me with this novel.
But let me tell you why it changed my mind and how I learned to love it.
The beginning was certainly unappealing. I kept picking it up, putting it down, and then leaving it to go do something else. Why? Because I was so certain I knew what to expect from the story and because it made me want to run away from it as far as possible. I was NOT in the mood for a random, demented girl who – to be very harsh/frank/a little cruel/judgemental – was stupid and idiotic enough to land herself in prison because she couldn’t control herself for whatever reasons and excuses she made which I haven’t discovered yet.
And I certainly didn’t want to hate this novel at first, but STRONGLY dislike it, I did.
After labouring through the first initial pages, the novel started to change in my eyes. I didn’t feel so far away from the main character, Angela, and I started to understand the life she led before landing herself in juvie. She transformed from yet another teenage statistic to a real, breathing person. She had a bad family: her dad left her, her mother hated her, but she had a younger brother whom she loved very much, and I could FINALLY, FINALLY connect myself to her.
There’s definitely a bit of sci-fi in this! Fire-wielding little children who grew up and were dubbed pyretics? Guys, you’re in for a treat.
I felt the conclusion was justified, but I certainly wasn’t happy with it! I wanted to know what would happen next and most importantly why the author decided to close the novel in such an abrupt way! I wasn’t happy with all the deaths and sorrow that happened. There was too much creepiness and fear for me. I was angry and raging but also grieving and sad.
So, okay… Once I calmed down a little, I realised how great this novel was…and admitted to myself that I liked it a LOT!
And that creepy little girl Jessica who made such a fearful, turmoil-filled entrance in the start? Well…you’ll have to read the novel to find out.
*laughs evilly*
Congratulations to Danielle Rollins on publishing a fantastic YA debut?!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family, #1) by Tiffany Schmidt

Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family, #1)Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Bloomsbury Publishing Australia in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Hold Me Like a Breath’ is a BLOODY, BLOODY, BLOODY SPECTACULAR novel! It was everything and anything that I could have hoped for and a bit more. It was an incredibly heart-wrenching read for me and I loved it to bits and pieces because of it!
Crime novels are always fun for me. As long as they are the type that:
1. Are not specifically of the crime-thriller genre.
2. And are solely YA
I know. I’m very specific that way.
‘Hold Me Like a Breath’ started off quite ordinarily. Everything that happened during the first half of the novel was something I wasn’t too surprised about. Frankly, it was just a tiny bit stereotypical and cliche. For example, Penny falls for her brother’s best friend. Surprise, surprise!
Penny is constantly cooped up and coddled by her family. She is fragile little butterfly who lives an extremely comfortable life with her loving parents who own and run an illegal organisation who helps people – or at least those who can pay for that help.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed that half. But I must admit my favourite part of the novel was the second half. There is a big plot twist in the complication which I didn’t CERTAINLY didn’t expect. There was this whole major turnabout from the first half and life for Penny got a LOT more exciting.
I felt the characters were well made but they certainly had that sort of FAIRYTALE feel to them. The series names was a dead giveaway. The whole novel actually felt like a fairy-tale of sorts with its gentle, romantic atmosphere.
There was lots of mystery in the second half which I were quite fun for me to uncover. Secrets and lies, disguises and truths. There was one character who I knew who he/she really was before the author actually revealed it. I’m still not sure whether I’m happy or disgruntled with it.
Whilst the story did feel almost fairy-tale like, it also held some important elements of truth. I loved the rush of reality I felt every now and again. It was like a breath of fresh wind. Honestly, the best way for me to describe this novel is it’s a fairy-tale retelling of Rapunzel with a dash of contemporary reality and crime acts galore.
If you’ve loved Ally Carter’s ‘Gallagher Girls’ or ‘The Heist Society’ then I would strongly recommend this novel to you!
Congratulations to Tiffany Schmidt on publishing the first novel in the ‘Once Upon a Crime Family’ series! Can’t wait to lay my greedy hands on the sequel!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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Review: Rising Tides by Katy Haye

Rising TidesRising Tides by Katy Haye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC kindly provided by Katy Haye in exchange for an honest review.

Review

‘Rising Tides’ is a FANTASTIC read for those keen on exploring a dystopian/post-apocalyptic world full of science-fiction that makes you gasp! And make me gasp it did!
I really shouldn’t be comparing this novel to any other out there but it certainly did include some themes and ideas which I thought would resonate quite nicely with readers of Ally Condie’s ‘Atlantia’. Both novels have that deep and quite aura and atmosphere about them. They both explore cities in the ocean, though ‘Atlantia’ focuses on life beneath the ocean whilst ‘Rising Tides’ is about great, big cities afloat.
I also got the feeling that mermaids was yet another subtle similarity between both novels.
In ‘Rising Tides’ the surviving humans after extreme global climate change have managed to survive in City because of the genius invention of Libby Marchmont’s father. He created the Nautilus device which allows humans to breathe underwater and thereby scavenge whatever supplies they can from the remnants of our civilisation. They reminded me a lot of mermaids. (Or mermen if you want to be gender specific because only young men are allowed to undergo the operation and dive the depths.)
‘Atlantia’ focuses on life in glass domes beneath the ocean but I remember vaguely that there was some presence of mermaids. I believe this is what makes these reads so similar and well suited for those who have read either.
The writing was BEYOND spectacular. The author created a marvellous world rich in facts, fiction and emotion that made the reading experience not only wonderful but absolutely NECESSARY! The editor who’s worked on this novel must have also been a great one as I couldn’t sense or see any of the mistakes that indie or self-pubbed that authors make.
I was also in absolute cover lust with this novel. When the book arrived on my doorstep, I did not expect it would be so beautiful! Seriously, people! The front cover might be a bit boring and black but the BACK is just WOW! There’s this ocean on the back which looks absolutely fantastic and I believe it perfectly captures the essence of the novel! Personally, I think the girl hidden in the letters is a bit much, and if the letters filled the entire cover from end to end, it would be much better. More attention drawing, I think.
There was a great plot and story! I especially loved the short story which the author included at the end! It was absolutely amazing and I loved how it revealed what I wanted to know, but in such a way that it made me eager for a potential sequel!
Katy Haye, PLEASE WRITE A SEQUEL!
The world-building was great. There was a place for everything and a depth to the history of the City that made every page a worthwhile time spent. I especially enjoyed the sort of 17th till 18th century etiquette and mannerisms which the characters inhibited.
There wasn’t one typo I could spot in my ARC and I am so grateful! It made reading a pleasure! The font was a bit small for my taste and the width of the novel a bit skinny, but I think that’s just me being picky. (Although a larger font, more space between lines and a wider book would have made me happier.)
Congratulations to Katy Haye in publishing a fantastic read worthy of being published by the best houses out there! Can’t wait for a potential sequel!

Rating Plan
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!

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