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Gemma’s parents have put enough rules around her relationship with Harrison that she feels like she’s living on parole. But she wins one battle—a summer job working for Harrison’s step-father. It is the perfect chance to spend the steamy, hot Florida days with her boyfriend. It’s also a great distraction from the cell phone hiding in her underwear drawer—her only contact with Gabe, the mystery man who’s stalking her.

When she confronts Gabe, he tells her that her parents are not who she thinks they are, and Harrison has the gall to believe him. Surrounded by conflict, Gemma doesn’t know what to believe, and it takes a trip back in time for her to glimpse the sickening truth.

Thanks to her parents, she returns to the present to find the love of her life no longer exists. His family line was broken and now, so is she.

This betrayal…

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When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more…

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Just One More Page

Gemma Hart never knows when her father is going to whisk her back in time. Her toes start tingling and she has a few minutes to find a secret haven where she can disintegrate and appear in another time and place. While “across the line,” her training and skills are put to the test as she completes a mission that will change history for the lucky few her father has selected.

Gemma’s parents are adamant that secrecy is paramount to her family’s safety. If people knew what they were capable of, they could be “used and abused”, as her mother always says. Afraid she might accidentally utter the truth and break the ancient oath of her people, Gemma spends her school days as a loner. Only one thing can throw her sheltered life askew… Harrison Granger.

Meet Gemma, a teenager who really is different from all of the others around…

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Spellbound – Cara Lynn Shultz

What’s a girl to do when meeting The One means she’s cursed to die a horrible death.

Life hasn’t been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she’s irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.

But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can’t stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma’s been having the oddest dreams. Visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

My thoughts:

When I read the premise for this book, I just knew that I had to read it. I think that I’m becoming a bit of a sucker for YA Paranormal Romance books.

The theory of reincarnation is not a new one, but with the way that the author has written this book – it’s a great twist on that theory. I was enthralled by both Emma and Brendan, and their unnatural draw towards each other.

Emma has by no means had it easy. In fact, her entire life has been disaster followed by more disasters – each worse than the previous one. Apart from moving to a strange city, and living with her aunt, and going to a strange new school – Emma thinks that life is better than it was previously, until she discovers a past that she has no way of escaping.

Brendan with his sexy bad-boy/rock star looks, has never been attracted to anyone at his school, and he doesn’t intend to start now, either. Then Emma arrives at school, and turns both their lives on its axis. Nothing is what it seems, and nor can it be easily explained.

There is a lot of back story built into this book, that allows the reader to really get a feel for the world building that Cara Lynn Shultz has developed. There are broken relationships, death, myths, bizarre happenings, and of course bonds that are made to be broken. This is a complex storyline for a Young Adult book, and I have the impression that the age it is aimed at is definitely 16+. There are moments in this book that are so riveting, that you can just feel the despair in the characters when contemplating their impossible situation.

Emma has some incredibly amusing thought processes that really made me laugh. They are so typical of any female swooning over someone, or meeting people for the first time. But my favourite line that really made me laugh, is this one: “She was so cold, she probably farted ice cubes.” There is also the typical female teenage catty dialogue that is so prominent within the territory of adolescent world. Cara Lynn Shultz has a natural knack for capturing that, as well as the typical teenage male macho grunting, and conversation avoidance issues.

But if you put all of that aside, you realise that this book becomes a fight for their survival as they try and understand a curse that was laid on them hundreds of years beforehand. I think that all teenagers have a natural curiosity about the unexplained, the paranormal, and the impossible. This is where Cara Lynn Shultz really hits the nail on the head. There is the romance, the unexplainable, and the spookiness that  captures teenage attention, as well as the actions that forces Emma into impossible situations.

I think that in terms of a Young Adult book, I would probably give this a 4 star rating. It was fun, witty, gripping, and the characters were great. With these types of dynamics woven with the myths and unknown, it was a great plotline.

Title:  Spellbound 

Publisher:  Harlequin

Imprint:  HarlequinTEEN 

Pub Date:  06/28/2011 

ISBN:  9780373210305

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Two Moon Princess – Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

To Andrea, the life of a princess is not a dream; it’s tedious and stifling. But the certainties of her life, both good and bad, are thrown into chaos when she accidentally travels to an alternative world, from a cave on a forbidden beach in her family’s kingdom to the warm and carefree life of Southern California.

Then a careless visit to the cave results in terrible consequences: a brewing war between kingdoms, her sister’s love for the wrong man, Andrea’s own conflicted feelings for an enemy leader, and dark family secrets exposed.

Andrea needs to act to resolve problems which she helped to create, and she faces many difficult choices, torn between duty and desire on so many levels.

Readers will enjoy the mix of traditional elements of the fantasy genre, with fresh ideas and a look at our culture through the eyes of a stranger.

My thoughts:

Andrea is a very strong willed young woman who doesn’t actually want to live her life as a princess or as a lady in her father’s court. She would prefer to be in the middle of a fight or in her father’s army.

But when her father forbids her fulfilling her dreams as a squire, Andrea discovers a doorway into another world that only legends of old have foretold. When she stumbles through the doorway she finds herself in the unknown lands of modern day California. There she finds family she never knew she had, and friendships that she never dreamt of.

When Andrea finds herself once again accidentally tumbling through the doorway between the two different worlds, not only does she not want to be there, but she also has a native Californian in tow with her. And her fatal actions have consequences for her kingdom, which sends a chain of events snowballing out of her control.

After reading the premise of this novel, I was waiting and waiting for Andrea to find the secret doorway between the worlds. It took a while for this story to build up to that point, and I initially found myself getting frustrated with the opening pace. Once Andrea did get to that point, I found it very hard to put this book down.

I loved how strong willed Andrea was, even though she can be a little childish in her manner sometimes.

Andrea is a strategist, but no matter how whimsical her decisions are at the time, she goes gallivanting off and puts her plans into action without thinking of the detrimental consequences that her decisions will have on her kingdom or the people close to her.

My only criticism would be that the author did jump a little, and I sometimes found myself getting slightly lost, but in the end I just ignored it and went with the flow of the story.

I am going to rate this novel 3 stars out of 5 because while I felt that this book was actually quite a good read, it did take a while to get into it. I even contemplated putting the book down in those first pages, but I am glad that I persisted. I enjoyed the characters and the individualism of all of the sub characters in the story. I also really loved the Spanish history that was woven into the pages.

Publisher:       Tanglewood

Pub Date:        04/15/2010

ISBN:                9781933718279


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City of Fallen Angels – Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.

Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

My thoughts:

Do not read this review if you don’t want to know the guts of this. This review is not an easy one to write, and it does contain spoilers.

I don’t know what to think of this book. A part of me needs to know the rest of this story because I am attached to the characters, but to be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with Cassandra Clare’s latest published creation.

I really loved The Mortal Instruments trilogy, and to be honest, was surprised to discover that she had extended out this series beyond the trilogy.

I most definitely did not feel that the stakes were ‘higher than ever’ as I was led to believe. In fact, I felt that Cassandra Clare was pushing the boundaries a bit with the cliff hanger at the end. The cliff hanger did not encourage me to immediately have the urge to pick up the next book in the series, or wait for it with bated breath. No… instead I felt let down, ripped off, and I’m not sure I like the direction that the writer is taking this series in.

Clary’s entire world revolves around Jace, and I felt that after the first trilogy that just perhaps she might have found herself a little, as she finally ‘knew’ who she was. This book continued the whole obsessive love theme with Jace, and I started to feel even more perplexed that this character could not just have her own personality, or life, or even happiness without Jace being there. The first trilogy ended with Clary being a strong character, with extraordinary powers at her disposal. The fourth book could have seriously utilised this part of the storyline, but I felt she was weak and spineless.

Jace, who is my favourite character out of this series turns into a blubbering mess, so much so, that he often loses the opportunity for the witty smartass one liners that made him so desirable in the first trilogy. He is moodier than ever in this book, and then at the end of the book, when everything is revealed – well – you will have to read it to really understand exactly how pissed off I am at Cassandra Clare for writing that. (No, he didn’t die.)

I wanted to read more of Simon, and his daylighter powers, and the fact that he is cursed. I did not want to read about him being trapped in this bizarre love triangle. Those relationships do not advance this story in the slightest, and they are more irritating than amusing. The fact that this amazing vampire dude is cheating on both women just pisses me off, and turns me against a character that I have previously loved.

Don’t even get me started on some of her writing in this book, either.

I have just discovered how I feel about this book: I am upset. Cassandra Clare took a perfectly good trilogy, added to it, and has right royally screwed up my view of the characters. I don’t actually like them anymore. She went too far. The characters are excellent in the first trilogy… in this one… well, I’m not happy about it in the slightest. She should have left it alone, but she didn’t. I want to say that she probably saw the success of The Mortal Instruments trilogy, and felt that it was a brilliant money making venture… and it is. I also loved book of the first of the Infernal Devices trilogy of hers as well. But with City of Fallen Angels, she has let me down. Big time.

I finished reading this book weeks ago, and I couldn’t quite bring myself to writing this review because when I finished reading the book, I really didn’t know how I felt. Only now have I come to realise how disappointed I am with the fourth book. The more I think about this book, the more I think that it deserves 2 star rating. Yes, chances are high that I will read the rest of the series (only because the first trilogy was so good), and that I want to know what happens with the characters. I have invested time and energy following these characters. I won’t be rushing to read the books, and a part of me doesn’t want Cassandra Clare to screw up my world view of her characters any more than what she already has.

I have been a diehard fan of her work since she released City of Ashes. But after reading this book I have decided that I am not going to review another book of Cassandra Clare’s until I have something positive to say about her writing, or her book.

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Barefoot – Michelle Holman

When Sherry slept with Glenn, she had a career and a future. Little did she know she′d leave them all behind in a motel bedroom. What was she thinking?

In this blistering tale of two self-centred, headstrong high-achievers, Michelle Holman continues the story she began in her bestselling first novel, Bonkers. The brother- and sister-in-law — who famously met when she nearly arrested him for breaching bio-security with a banana — have three things in common. They′re uncommonly tall, neither is anything like their married siblings, and they fancy each other something rotten. Trouble is, Sherry can′t stand the arrogant former American NBA star, while Glenn can′t stand the aloof ′don′t mess with me′ policewoman.

Ending up in bed together is a great surprise. Neither wanting to admit it was a nice surprise is a complicating factor. And then the fun begins.

With Michelle′s trademark talent for sizzling sex and the best one-liners you′ve heard in a long time, readers and characters alike are in for a treat.

My thoughts:

In a similar fashion to Michelle Holman’s Bonkers, this book opens with a hell of a scene, which I just did not expect. Michelle Holman had me on the back foot before I even knew it, and I was dragged into the scenes of this book – feet first. I love the strength of Michelle’s writing, and I honestly cannot wait to read more of her work. It is light-hearted, funny, and she takes the micky out of her characters.

Sherry thinks Glenn is an emotional lightweight, while Glenn thinks that Sherry is a ball-breaking Ice Queen. Not exactly your usual match made in heaven. Glenn’s not the only person to hold this opinion of Sherry; some of her clients do too.

Both Sherry and Glenn are two very headstrong individuals, from different walks of life. Sherry’s walk of life is a hard-hitting beat cop, fighting the good fight for the victims referred to the Family Violence Unit. Glenn’s walk is on the basketball court, golf course, or showing off his limitless talents in front of the paparazzi.

This book is jam-packed for of hilarious one-liners as these two believable characters rake each other over the hot coals at every chance, much to the disbelief of the their families, and to the detriment of their own relationship.

This book will take you on an emotional journey of two characters that are just not ready for the new journey that they are embarking on. The characters had me laughing, squirming, crying, and rattling along on their emotional roller-coaster ride. They are witty, pithy, and funnier than I ever expected.

When Michelle emailed me asking if I would like to review her latest book, I jumped at the chance. When the book arrived last week, I felt irritated that I had to finish off reading a novel that I had been meaning to read and review since last November, and believe me when I say this… Barefoot sat there and taunted me the whole time. My eye would stray to where it was situated in the room. I would even carry it around with me, in anticipation. Needless to say, I was banking on this book.

And when I finally got the chance to pick it up on Friday, I devoured it quickly. Not only could I not wait to delve into Michelle Holman’s new book, but I did it with such a ferocity that has now left me feeling bereft that it’s already over! My goodness. What a ride! I wish that I had savoured the novel just a little longer, because for some reason, I’m feeling unsatisfied sense that I need to know more. This book by far exceeded my expectations. Not only was putting this book down extremely hard to put down, but so was turning the last page.

Barefoot has secured a rating in my books as a 4.5 star rating. I highly recommend this book, because it was amazing, and I couldn’t put it down. After reading both Bonkers and Barefoot, I am really looking forward to reading Michelle Holman’s other two books now as well. If you want to know more about Michelle Holman, this is a great article: Michelle Holman’s chick lit stripped bare

ISBN:  9781869508708

Publisher:  HarperCollins

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