Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #6: Requiem

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

My pick for this week's WoW is...

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Release date: March 5th 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

Delirium is one of the best dystopian series I've read so far, and I can't wait for Requiem, the final book in the trilogy! I like the fact that it's from both Lena and Hana's POV, because Hana's POV will give us an insight into how the 'cured' live. It will also provide a great contrast to Lena's life in the Wilds, and after that huge cliffhanger at the end of Pandemonium, I NEED this book soon!

Add Requiem on Goodreads here.

Calling All 2013 Authors!

The 2013 (Unnamed) Event

I (Richa @ City of Books) will be co-hosting a 2013 year-long event along with Rabiah @ Confessions of a Readaholic and Riya @ The Teen Book Guru. It's still unnamed, but we're working on an awesome one!

2013 authors - We will feature your 2013 books on our three blogs, through reviews, interviews, guest posts and giveaways. This event will take place throughout the year.
You can fill out a form at the bottom of this post after reading the rules and terms carefully.

Rules and terms of the event

  • Your book must be Young Adult or Middle Grade, with a publishing date in 2013.
  • The books can be debut, standalones, or part of a series.
  • We are currently not accepting self-published books or eBooks of any format, but we may accept eGalleys from NetGalley later on in the year. Formats we accept - ARCs, Galleys, finished copies (hardcover and paperback) and audiobooks. Remember, we live in Singapore so shipping will be international. However, we can share out a copy of the book if you're running low on stock or if shipping costs are too high.
  • If you are releasing two (or more) books in 2013, you will need to fill out the form twice - once for each book. This will help us make the event more organized, and we thank you for the trouble taken!
  • On the form, you may sign up to do on or more of the following: have your book reviewed by all three blogs, be featured on one of the blogs in an interview or guest post, and/or include your book in a special feature post (e.g. cover reveal).
  • This event will begin on January 1, 2013 and will end on December 31, 2013.
If you have any questions, email Rabiah at iliveforreading(at)hotmail(dot)com.


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #4: Top Ten Favourite Kick-Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and it features top ten lists of various topics.

This is definitely my favourite TTT I've done up till now!

1. Alexandria Andros (Covenant) - Alex is one of my favourite heroines ever! She's an awesome fighter, and is in training to be a Sentinel, to fight daimons. She's incredibly strong, both physically and mentally, and also very stubborn.

2. Dru Anderson (Strange Angels) - I love Dru! She's so badass and strong-willed and tough, but at the same time really compassionate. She's also an amazing fighter. Her character grows a lot over the course of the series, and her experiences further strengthen her.

3. Ember Morrow (Nightshade Prequel) - Despite being a woman in the year 1404, Ember's dream is to join the Conatus, where she learns to fight with swords and magic. And she loves it! Ember develops incredible strength over the course of the book. 

4. Arya (Inheritance) - Arya is the princess of the elves in Ellesmera, but she certainly doesn't act like one. She wears pants, and is almost never seen in a dress. She's an amazing warrior, and there are very few people who can defeat her in battle.

5. Janelle Tenner (Unraveling) - Janelle Tenner, I fucking love you. Yes, that is a line from the book. Janelle is badass, smart, and hilarious. She's not afraid to stand up for herself and her friends, and she can definitely kick some ass!

6. Isabelle Lightwood (The Mortal Instruments) - Isabelle is one of my favourite characters in this series. She's a strong and proud Shadowhunter, one of the best. You don't want to mess with her!

7. Tris Prior (Divergent) - Tris doesn't start off as a strong or confident character, but as the novel goes on, she gains a lot of courage and strength. She learns to fight like her life depends on it (and it does), and ends up beating all the other Dauntless initiates.

8. Ismae (His Fair Assassin) - Ismae is a trained assassin, so of course she's very skilled. She's also pretty awesome, with a feisty personality and a heart of gold.

9. Rachel Adams (Defiance) - Rachel is yet another girl who has to hide who she is. She's headstrong, compassionate, and incredibly brave. And of course, skilled in sword-fighting.

10. Calla Tor (Nightshade) - Calla is the head of her werewolf pack. She's strong-willed, stubborn and very loyal - especially to her pack. She has amazing strength and confidence, and is also quite mature. She has huge decisions to make for her pack, and in my opinion she made all the right ones.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Review: Tempting the Player by J. Lynn

Chad Gamble, all-star pitcher for the Nationals, is one of the best players on—and off—the field. And right now, the notorious bad boy wants Bridget Rodgers. But with her lush curves and snappy comebacks, the feisty redhead is the kind of woman a man wants to settle down with…and that’s the last thing Chad needs.

When the paparazzi catch them in a compromising position, Chad’s manager issues an ultimatum: clean up his act or kiss his multi-million dollar contract goodbye. To save his career, his meddling publicist says he'll have to convince everyone Bridget isn’t just his flavor of the week, but his girlfriend.

Being blackmailed into a fake relationship with Chad Gamble isn’t easy, especially when the sizzling physical attraction between them is undeniable. With a month to go on their arranged pretense, it's going to take every ounce of willpower they have not to fall into bed together...or in love.

Ever since reading Tempting the Best Man, I've been dying to read this book, to know Chad's story. I wondered what girl would make him actually settle down. Now, after reading Tempting the Player, I can say that I love Chad and Bridget so very much! They have such amazing chemistry together, right from the beginning. I loved they way they slowly fell in love over the course of the novel.

Chad is a pro baseball player, and he's a player on and off the field. However, he is forced into a fake relationship with Bridget so that the contract with his baseball club doesn't fall through. I loved Chad immediately. He's funny, smart, and of course very hot! He can literally have anyone he wants, anytime he wants. I loved how Bridget made him show his emotional side, and he was so incredibly sweet to her when he got her the dress and the necklace, and when he did other stuff for her too. No, I'm not talking about what you think I am ;)

Bridget was a really likeable character, and I loved how she was so eccentric. She's also nothing like the other women Chad has been with, and I think that was what drew him to her in the first place. I liked that she was different. The fact that Chad went straight to her even though she's not as thin and flawless as the supermodels he's been with, shows that Chad really saw something there. Something that would grow between them and hopefully blossom into something completely new.

And of course that's what happened! Chad and Bridget slowly fell in love, with a lot of hot- no, smoldering scenes between them. Seriously, it showed me exactly why this book isn't meant for younger eyes! The sparks flying between them were white-hot and explosive, but the scenes were fun at the same time. I think I like Chad and Bridget even more than Chase and Maddie, though they're only ahead by a bit. Chad has an easy smile and personality that you can't help but love, and Bridget is just so awesome that you can't help loving her too.

I was incredibly happy to see Chase and Maddie in this novel, and it was great to see that they're still totally infatuated with each other. I'd have loved to read more scenes of the four of them together, double-dating or something.
There was a new character in this book, Miss Alana Gore, whom I did not like at all in the beginning. She blackmails Bridget into agreeing to pretend to go out with Chad, and I didn't like her strict, no-nonsense, nanny-like attitude. I was actually surprised to see something there between her and Chandler, the oldest Gamble brother. I can't wait to see how their relationship comes about in Tempting the Bodyguard! Anyway, though I didn't like her at the start and throughout most of the book, I loved her in the end. Essentially, she was the one who brought Chad and Bridget together permanently, and they probably wouldn't be together if she hadn't done what she'd done. So, Miss Gore, kudos for that.

The ending was simply amazing. And perfect. It was a fit-for-Hollywood kind of ending! Chad is the sweetest guy ever, for all the things he's done for Bridget, and all he's given up for her. Bridget in turn has had to make sacrifices for him, so I was ecstatic when everything turned out great in the end. 

J. Lynn (or Jennifer Armentrout) is an amazing author, and I love every book by her. I can't wait to read the final Gamble Brothers book to get to know Chandler. And of course, I hope to see more of Chad and Bridget in it too! If you haven't yet read this series, start now! It's freaking amazing, I promise you.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review: Advantage Erin by Kris Kreisman

Erin's mom is driving her crazy. Especially about tennis. Erin is good and enjoys the game. But it's not her fault she's not the megastar her mom claims to have been when she was Erin's age. If only there was some way to get Mom to understand...
Spring break arrives, which means a visit to Grandma and Mom's old hometown. Grandma is eccentric, but she's also cool and understands Erin's frustrations. And she can help. By taking Erin on a visit to Mom's old high school. Not Mom's school today. But Mom's school as it was in 1970.
Erin experiences the trip of her lifetime. Back in time, where she struggles to fit in with a bunch of kids who never heard of the Internt or laptops or cell phones. Where she meets some very cool kids. And one not so cool kid named Catherine. Now known as Mom.
Talk turns to tennis, and inevitably the challenge is made and accepted. And they play the tennis match of the century. Erin had repeatedly heard how Mom was undefeated. Now was her time to do something about it. They battle hard until, in unexpected fashion, it's over. But when she returns to the present Erin learns the truth about her Mom. And Mom learns some lessons as well.
Enjoy Erin's thrill ride, her fun, her excitement, her anxiety. And discover how her trip to the past changed her present.

Erin is a typical teenager, rebelling against her mom - particularly about the subject of tennis. However, her whole perspective is changed when she goes back in time to the year 1970, and plays an epic tennis match against her teenage mom.

Advantage Erin is short and sweet, and I liked that. No complicated or messy plot twists, no loose strings left hanging. I loved the characters in this book, especially Erin. She's likeable and easy to relate to, especially for teenagers. She has talent, but she's independent enough that she doesn't want it forced upon her by her mom. 

Another great character is Sonny, a.k.a. Sunshine. He's really into the '60s, and wears brightly coloured and flamboyant clothing. This gains him a lot of teasing and unpopularity, but he doesn't care. He also really likes Erin, since she's the only kid in school who's nice to him. Sonny isn't afraid to show people who he is, and that I feel is really important.

When Erin's grandma takes her back into the past, I was really intrigued to see what the kids were like back then, what they wore, etc. Erin is really confused, but adjusts quite easily. The climax of the book - the tennis match - had me on the edge of my seat. Kris Kreisman writes in a compelling way, and I honestly had no idea who would win.

What I loved most about Advantage Erin were the constant references to music. I enjoy some old music, and was really happy to see them mentioned, either by Sonny or by others. Also, I was ecstatic when I read that Erin loves Avril Lavigne! She's my favourite singer ever, and Erin seemed more real to me after that. Moreover, I've learnt about the Woodstock concert and the Vietnam War in history, so I was interested in reading about that too. I was surprised that no one back in 1970 knew Country Joe and the Fish, because they were definitely mentioned when I was learning about Woodstock. Oh well, I guess they weren't that famous.

I was slightly disappointed in a few parts after Erin comes back from her visit to the past, mostly regarding Sonny. You'll have to read the book to know what I'm talking about! The ending was great, a perfect ending to Advantage Erin. It leaves you thinking about what happens in the future of the book, and I liked that.

Advantage Erin is a fantastic read for a lazy weekend - it's light, it's humourous, it's engaging. Plus, if you're a tennis fan, you'll love it!

Thank you to Kris Kreisman for providing me with a copy to review.

Rating: 3.5/5

Friday, 26 October 2012

Cover Reveal: Blood Bound by Keshia Swaim

Blood Bound is the debut YA novel of Keshia Swaim, and here are the beautiful COVERS! Yes, there are two!

The covers are so beautiful! And here's some exciting news - YOU GUYS get to pick which one is used! That's right, you can vote for your favourite cover!

Voting is open until about a week after the release date of the book, which is September 10 2013.


Here's the official blurb:

 Starting college a year early is hard. Starting fae college and learning to protect the world from the Unseelie is harder.
   Brielle Reed has always been an over-achiever, but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew. Between her crash course in fae politics, struggles to control her new mind-reading ability, training sessions with the demanding Dr. Schwartz, and discoveries about the father who is still a mystery to her, Brielle finds herself longing for a chance at a normal life.
   But she may not get that chance. Or chance at a life at all, for that matter.

Title: Blood Bound
Author: Keshia Swaim
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
ISBN: 978-1-937053-45-1
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Formats: Paper, e-book

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Cover Reveal: Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

I'm so so so excited to reveal the cover of Sweet Peril, the highly-anticipated sequel to Sweet Evil, and the second book in The Sweet Trilogy!

Here it is :D

Isn't it AMAZING?? I love it! Wendy said it totally fits the mood of the book, and I can't wait to read it now!

Here's the official book blurb:

Anna Whitt, daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a claim. She’d been naive about a lot of things. Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

The final book in the trilogy, Sweet Reckoning, is slated for spring/summer 2014.

Sweet Peril is expected to be published on April 30 2013, by HarperTeen.
Add it on Goodreads, and Sweet Evil on Facebook.

You can also pre-order Sweet Peril now!
Barnes & Noble
The Book Depository

You can also add Kaidan Rowe, the (incredibly hot) male lead of the series, on Twitter!

Wendy Higgins was born in Alaska, grew up an Army brat, and lived all over the United States before settling in the Washington, DC area. She attended George Mason University for her undergrad degree in creative writing, and Radford University for her masters in curriculum and instruction. Wendy taught 9th and 12th grade English in a rural school before becoming a mother and author. She now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Peril is her second novel.

Find Wendy on: Twitter | Facebook | Website

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Review: The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

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’d 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 myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

I finished this book literally ten minutes ago, and I couldn't wait to write a review! The Lost Prince reintroduced me to Julie Kagawa's incredible world of Fey, and I loved every second of it. This book does not disappoint! I was slightly hesitant before starting this book because I didn't think it would live up to Ash, Puck and Megan's story. I was proved wrong, and I was delighted!

Ethan's personality was so unexpected. I really didn't see it coming, I was all, where's the cute little boy I read about in The Iron Fey? Ethan's encounters with the Fey have changed him forever, and he's definitely not the innocent little kid he used to be. He's toughened up, and he's afraid of anyone getting too close to him after he lost his sister and then a good friend to the Fey. He acts like a total asshole for pretty much the first half of the book, but I totally understand why. He's a troubled boy, still seething over the fact that his older sister left their family forever to rule in the Nevernever. My heart reached out to him, since I could feel how afraid he was, how helpless he felt, and how much he missed Megan.
Ethan's sarcastic quips made me laugh every time I read them. How can you not love this guy?

I wanted to protect Kenzie, but I couldn’t do that if Leanansidhe turned me into a guitar.
As a card-carrying member of the guy club, I wasn’t going to comment on the floral arrangements.     

Enter Kenzie. I loved her immediately - her vibrant and bubbly personality, and the fact that nothing fazed her. Not even broody Ethan could scare her away. What made me love her even more was her reaction to the existence of fey. She didn't freak out, she took it calmly and was even really excited about it. She was pretty kick-ass throughout the book, and didn't shy away from danger. In fact, she welcomed it. She has an adventurous spirit, and desperately wants to see whatever the world can offer her. Of course, there's a darker reason to all of this, but I won't get into that. It was pretty devastating though! Kenzie is the one who manages to change Ethan, turning him from a brooding, seemingly uncaring boy to someone whom she can love, and who can love her back.
Kenzie and Ethan both need each other, and I feel like they're complete when they're around each other.

I needed this girl; I needed her laughter and fearlessness, the way she kept pushing me, refusing to be intimidated. I’d kept people at arm’s length for so long, scared of what the fey would do to them if I got close, but I couldn’t do that anymore. Not to her.

And now, Keirran. He was amazing! And he reminded me so much of Ash. I loved how shocked Kenzie was when she found out Keirran was Ethan's nephew. It does seem weird when I think about it, the fact that Ethan is Keirran's uncle and yet they're the same age and they hung out with each other. Keirran and Ethan's relationship was fairly reminiscent of Ash and Puck's. Even Puck realized it -

“Ah.” Puck sighed, shaking his head as we headed into the forest. “This brings back memories.” He glanced over his shoulder and grinned. “Don’t they remind you of a pair, ice-boy, from way back when?”                                                         Ash snorted. “Don’t remind me.”

I missed Ash and Puck so much! One of the reasons I was so excited to read this book was that I would get to see how Julie's old characters are doing. They all still seem exactly the same, and I was really happy about that. Megan seems to have toughened up, and I didn't like that she basically tried to imprison Ethan at her palace to keep him safe. Thank goodness Keirran showed up to get him and Kenzie out!
Puck is the same goofy guy he was in The Iron Fey, and his appearance was like that of a celebrity. When the black raven was mentioned, I mentally cheered in my head, since I knew without a doubt that Puck had shown up to save the day!

Julie Kagawa also revisits other characters from The Iron Fey, like Grimalkin, Leanansidhe, Glitch and Razor. I was ecstatic at the appearance of the incredibly awesome cat. It's amazing how little has changed in so many years. Grimalkin is exactly the same, with his vague statements, random disappearances, and his tagline, "I am a cat."
I was also pleasantly surprised to see Razor and Glitch, and even Leanansidhe.

I love the fact that I know what Keirran's future holds, and he's so desperate to find out. He notices something's wrong when Puck is surprised to seem him and Ethan together. And I referred back to Iron's Prophecy, the novella after The Iron Knight, to find this -

Be forewarned, Iron Queen, your brother and your son are on a collision course toward each other, and if they ever meet, the fate of the Nevernever dangles in the balance.
I can't wait to see what happens in the next book! The title itself makes me fear what's going to happen. The Traitor Son doesn't seem like it's going to have a happy ending... Plus, knowing what Kierran is fated to do, some part of me doesn't want to read the next book and find my heart broken. However, I really don't think I can stay away. I devoured The Iron Fey just a few months ago, and I feel so much gratitude towards Julie Kagawa for deciding to write a spin-off series!

If you've read The Iron Fey, go read this book ASAP! Trust me, you won't be disappointed. This book will blow your mind! If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. Julie's writing is amazing, and I was spellbound. If you haven't read The Iron Fey yet, what are you waiting for? Get to it!

Rating: 5/5

Waiting on Wednesday #5: The Collector

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

My pick for this week's WoW is...

The Collector by Victoria Scott

Release date: March 12th 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen

He makes good girls...bad. 

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

There's been so much hype for Victoria Scott's debut YA novel, I'm getting caught up in it too! I'm really looking forward to this book because I have a feeling it's gonna be awesome. How can it not, having a protagonist like Dante Walker? ;)

Add The Collector on Goodreads here.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Review: Devil in Disguise by Heather Huffman

Tenacious reporter Rachel Cooper devotes her life to exposing corruption by shining a light on the darker corners of the world - a career that doesn't leave much room for relationships. Even so, she finds it impossible to stop thinking about her unexpected run-in with Conrad Langston, an old flame that never quite burnt out.

When her mother calls in the middle of the night because her sister is missing and the police are offering little help, Rachel immediately turns to the only person she knows she can always count on - Conrad.

Determined to protect her family, Rachel finds herself embroiled in the frightening and tragic underworld of human trafficking. As her pursuit of justice pulls her deep into the darkness, she recognizes and opportunity to re-evaluate her choices in life and take a new path - even if it means walking through the fires of hell to protect the ones she loves.

ISBN: 978-1935961567
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Date of publish: June 2012
Pages: 204
Format: Ebook

Thank you to Heather Huffman for providing me with a copy to review.

I finished this book in a day, in one go. Okay, I took a break to have lunch but that's beside the point. Devil in Disguise is an amazing adult contemporary, with beautiful writing and an incredibly meaningful concept.

Initially, I was slightly apprehensive about reading this book, since I wasn't sure how heavy it was on the human trafficking part. I was glad to see that Heather doesn't go into the horrific details, and yet she still emphasizing the importance of human trafficking and slavery in our world.

Rachel Cooper is a reporter and America's sweetheart, but isn't on very good terms with her family. However, she does try to get involved in her sister's life. When Julia goes missing, Rachel's mom panics, and Rachel is shocked on hearing the news. She turns to Conrad, her ex-boyfriend whom she still loves. Over the course of the novel, she finds out dark secrets about him and learns a lot more about the human trafficking business.

Rachel is an awesome protagonist, with a strong will and a compassionate heart. She loves her job, and focuses on raising awareness about social issues like human trafficking. Imagine her shock when she is personally affected by this issue. As she says in the novel - 

Like so many others, I shook my head in dismay at the stories circulating the media. I said it was sad. I said it was scary. I never expected it to show up on my back door.

She loves Julia a lot, and would do anything to save her. I love how motivational she is when Julia comes back scarred emotionally as well as physically. This is what she tells Julia - 

“You can’t undo it, but you get to decide if it will make you bitter or if it’ll teach you to love better. Will it break you or forge you into something stronger?”

Rachel is smart and brave, and her courage is really admirable. She's a very likeable person, as you can see from this quote by her boss, Brian.

You have this amazing exuberance that is infectious. And when you smile, you have a way of making everyone in the room, or on the other side of the television screen, feel like it’s just you and them. People adore you, Rachel.
People adore her. And of course, this includes the tall and handsome Conrad Langston, Rachel's old flame. Conrad has had a dark past, but Rachel is willing to overlook that because of his love for her, and his fierce desire to protect her and Julia. I loved Conrad! He was sweet, kind and strong, and he was always there for Rachel. The chemistry between these two characters was incredible. I loved these quotes about them -
Suddenly, they were back to that magical place where no one else in the world existed or mattered except Rachel and Conrad, two halves of a whole who’d found each other again.
 "I have sunshine in my world every time you smile. I’d move mountains to see that smile.”
Conrad says the line above to Rachel, and it was so incredibly sweet! I loved the part where they finally admitted their love for each other. I mentally pumped my fist in the air. In my opinion Conrad and Rachel are perfect for each other and their witty banter throughout the novel added a lot of humour to an otherwise serious concept.

I gained a lot of knowledge about human trafficking in this book, and I knew it was prevalent in the middle-Eastern countries but I had no idea it had so much business in America. It broke my heart to hear about how children are kidnapped and subjected to horrific conditions and then sold as slaves. Most of these kids are found on Internet chat rooms. This just shows how careful you must be on the Internet.

Devil in Disguise is a perfect blend of suspense, romance and action, and it really teaches you a lot about relationships, family, and social issues. I loved the supporting characters in this novel, and my favourite would be Neena Russell, Conrad's sister. She herself has been through hell, and it was amazing how she bounced back from all of that. Heather Huffman has revisited characters from her previous books in Devil in Disguise, and Neena is one of them. I can't wait to read Neena's story in Jailbird!
Veronica and Rick were great as well, and I loved how they're so cheerful even though they are under a lot of pressure. I would also love to read their story in Suddenly A Spy.

And of course, like almost all emotional and touching novels, there is a death. I won't say who, obviously, but it was quite significant and very tragic. My heart ached for the loss felt by the other characters, and I loved that they named a safe house after that character as an everlasting memory. Also, Rachel's speech to the media about human trafficking was amazing, and it's probably one of the best speeches I've read.

All in all, Devil in Disguise is a beautiful book and I recommend it to anyone who loves contemporary novels. This is a very moving and compelling novel, and trust me, you will probably shed a few tears as well!

Rating: 5/5

Top Ten Tuesday #3: Top Ten Books To Get Into The Halloween Spirit

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and it features top ten lists of various topics.

Halloween is one of my favourite days of the year! So here's my list of books to read during this awesome time.

1. Ten by Gretchen McNeil - This is the perfect Halloween book. It's creepy and spooky with loads of mystery in it as well! I literally couldn't put this book down. If you need more persuasion to read it, check out my review here.

2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake - Creepiness galore! This book is about a ghost-hunter who falls in love with a ghost (who happens to be a feared killer). Anna Dressed in Blood is great for horror-lovers everywhere, with blood and gore and murder. It would be a fantastic Halloween read!

3. The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith - Another perfect Halloween book. There are actually 3 books in this series, but it has been republished as an omnibus with all 3 books together. The concept of the book is great, and it also has elements of mystery and suspense embedded throughout the book.

4. The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith - Almost all of L.J. Smith's books are great to read during Halloween. The Vampire Diaries is arguably her most famous series, and trust me, the books are way better than the TV show!

5. Night World by L.J. Smith - Again, this series is an awesome Halloween read. It involves stories about several different paranormal creatures (witches, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters). This is probably my favourite L.J. Smith series, and I think the perfect book for Halloween would be the third one in the series, Spellbinder.

6. Witch by Nancy Holder - The first book in the Wicked series, this book is all about (surprise surprise) witches. That makes Halloween a big part of it. Witch is less creepy than the rest of the books, but it's a great start to a good Halloween.

7. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting - This is a good book with creepiness and a murder mystery as well. I might even read this again during Halloween!

8. Dark Secrets by Elizabeth Chandler - These books creeped even me out! And I don't get creeped out very easily. It's a perfect blend of ghosts, witches, and metaphysical happenings. Be sure to read this series during Halloween!

9. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie - How could this book not be on my list? It is the book on which Ten is based, and it's plenty scary. I loved it!

10. The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie - This is another suspense-filled book by Agatha Christie, and it leaves you guessing until the very end. Unpredictable, creepy and gory, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat on Halloween.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Sweet Evil Read-Along (Week 4)

The Sweet Evil Read-Along is hosted by Mindy at Magical Urban Fantasy Reads. This week's topic is...

I've always loved Halloween, it's definitely one of my favourite days of the year. I went trick-or-treating every year with my friends, all the way up till I was fourteen. Then we stopped, declaring we were too old. In my opinion, you're never too old to go door-to-door for some free candy!

For this week's post, I will share a list of the best or funniest Halloween tricks I found online. So here goes.

1. Visit friends' houses and write on the mirror with your finger, delivering a scary message such as "I'm watching you!" Breathe on the mirror and you can see your words. Let it dry naturally. When your friend takes a shower, the words will appear again when the mirror fogs up.

2. Dress up in a hospital gown and walk around at night saying, "They think I'm crazy, but I'm not. They deserved to die. They can't take me back," etc. Act really loopy and walk around in circles while talking.

3. Dress up in a good costume like a zombie, for example. Then all you have to do on the night of Halloween is find an innocent victim to stalk. Follow the person from behind them, making sure they see you every so often. To make this prank even funnier, get another prankster to dress up in exactly the same costume as yourself. When you’re following the victim, each time they see you move out of sight behind a bush or a wall. Then get your partner in crime to appear in front of them or from a different direction. Keep doing this till the victim gets very scared!

4. On Halloween, order a pizza around trick-or-treating time. When the delivery guy shows up, give him some candy and compliment him on his costume. When he then says something like “Uh, no … here’s your pizza”, say, “Wow, most people just take the candy and run, you’re doing a great impersonation. Well, Happy Halloween, and have fun!” – then close the door. Open it soon afterwards and get a good laugh as you buy your pizza.

5. This is a quick and easy one to scare those trick or treaters at the door on Halloween night.  Get a large plastic bowl from the dollar store, and carefully cut a hole in the bottom just big enough for your hand to fit through. Then make your hand look ugly with long nasty nails and veins if you can.  Put your hand in the bowl and then fill it with candy.Look like you are offering the bowl of candy to the kids, and then let them feel or see your moving hand. That'll get you a good scream!

I for one am definitely going to try at least one of these this Halloween! I'm leaning towards the zombie stalker. How cool would that be?? :D

And now for my final (sob sob) mini review of Sweet Evil.

His brow elevated, but he didn’t take the bait. Instead, he stared at me funny. “Nice wart.” Leaning forward without touching me, he flicked the wart from the tip of my nose.

A vulnerable tenderness flashed across his face, more painful to see than the coldness. It took every ounce of strength I had not to beg for one last kiss. As fast as his expression had softened, it was back to stone again. “What do you want from me, Kai?” “For starters?” His voice lowered to sexy, dangerous depths. “I want to introduce myself to every freckle on your body.”

Kaidan and Anna at the Halloween party. Aw man, Kaidan just keeps getting hotter and hotter. Even dressed up as a gorilla! I wish things weren't so complicated between them, and they could just simply be together.

Watching Anna 'work' for the first time was interesting, and a nice surprise. I had no idea sweet little Anna could get so flirty! This was a fun chapter, watching all the Nephs get to work. Although I didn't like what Marna did to Jay and Veronica's relationship, even though I know it's her job to do that. Kaidan stopped himself with Anna, didn't he? So why couldn't Marna stop for someone she cared about? Anyway, I liked the end of the chapter, despite the fact that Anna fell sick. Kaidan praising her about her first time working was really nice, and once again I wish everything wasn't so complicated.

The whole incident with Gelinda in Chapter 30 was really intense, and my heart was in my mouth when she cut the pie. Thank goodness Anna's dad told her which food was without poison!
Anna and Kai's parting was really sad, and it makes me really anxious to read Sweet Hope, since I have no idea where they stand right now.

And that brings me to the end of the Sweet Evil Read-Along! I'm proud to have done this all four weeks without fail, and that tells you how much I love this book. It was great fun being a part of this, and I'm really looking forward to more read-alongs in the future :)