Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Monday, April 27, 2015
Goodreads summary:
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair...

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

The story of Tiger Lily's life is told in the most unexpected way; through the eyes of Tink the faerie. Tink was more of an observer than anything else. It was interesting that she gave a little pushpinch to the characters to make them reconsider their actions or warn them of dangers. It felt like she was representing us and ultimately unable to choose what would happen to the characters. I thought the POV choice was clever and allowed multiple locations (as Tink moved around Neverland) to be explored, without being bogged down in multiple POVs and ruining the mysterious ways each characters' mind worked.

Tiger Lily started off slow-paced but picked up toward the end. I thought the build up was quite necessary in order to lead to the conclusion which packed an emotional punch. It was a very bittersweet story. There was unfortunately no pixie dust or flying but the writing was magical. Tiger Lily was a breathtaking retelling of Peter Pan.

Book Haul: Scholastic Warehouse Sale, Sydney Olympic Park!

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Scholastic website:
Every year Scholastic holds children’s book sales across Australia. These sales offer from 50% to 90% off RRP:

Thousands of children’s titles
Novels and activity items
Picture and chapter books
Nonfiction books
Popular authors
Exciting series
I got an email notifying me of the Scholastic Warehouse Sale and I was excited with the idea of books 50% to 90% off RRP. I wasn't sure the sale would have many young adult books but I went with a hope there would be, seeing as in Australian bookstores and libraries, YA books are often classified under Children's books. My sister and I went to the warehouse sale event at the Sydney Olympic Park on the day the sale was open to the general public (teachers and educators get to purchase a day before). Apparently Scholastic schedules bi-annual sales here (one in April, One in November). We were at work 9am to 5pm that day, so we could only catch the last hour of sale (also factoring in the transport time) but we were not disappointed with our trip!

The location was packed with books on display shelves and boxes of books on tables and there was so many books to sort through and gems to find among the multiple copies of Hunger Games (there were like 3 different editions too!). The paperbacks were priced at $3 each and hardcovers $8. There was even a deal where you could grab a box and fill as much as you can and pay only $100 for it.

My sister and I exercised restraint to only get books we could see ourselves reading. Seeing as we hung out until the last 10 minutes before doors were to close, the checkout man asked only $30 for our whole haul (20 books) making it only $1.50 per book! We were literally screaming with joy after we paid and hauled our books home XD. We could have easily packed in a few more books had we known we would be getting a special price at the checkouts! Anyway, I'm eagerly looking forward to the next sale in November and we'll be sure to go crazier!

Review: I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Poppy is soon to be married but during a charity event, Poppy loses her emerald engagement ring which happens to be a family heirloom. To make matters worse, she also loses her phone! Fortunately, she finds a phone in the bin and goes for the steal. A phone in the bin means it's finder's keepers right? Poppy holds on to the phone number for her personal use so people can contact her if they find her ring. She soon finds out the phone belongs to a businessman's personal assistant and ends up promising to return the phone when her personal dilemma is over whilst forwarding (and reading) his business and personal messages in the meantime.

I've Got Your Number started in true Sophie Kinsella fashion - really funny and light but there was much more below the surface of the main characters and this was discovered as the book progressed. Poppy has a positive attitude but underneath her cheerfulness is an insecure and non-confrontational person. In comes Sam Roxton, a businessman who comes across rude but is anything but; he just doesn't express himself very well through emails! Poppy and Sam really complemented each other as Poppy takes on the role of his personal assistant (somewhat) and teaches him to be nicer to his colleagues, while Sam helps Poppy realise she is a great person and deserves someone whose family does not make her feel lesser.

I loved the funny and embarrassing situations Poppy got herself into. It was highly entertaining! Unfortunately, I didn't like the circumstances of the ending which lowered my final rating for the book. Overall, the book was a delightful romantic comedy and I can't wait to read more of Sophie's works.

Review: Austenland by Shannon Hale

Friday, April 17, 2015
Goodreads summary:
Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

Jane is a young woman who has an obsession with the world of Jane Austen, especially with the BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice which stars Colin Firth! Her real life romances have been less than satisfying. Jane's great-aunt unexpectedly leaves for Jane in her will an all-expenses paid trip to Austenland, a place where actors and vacationers roleplay in the the Regency period. Jane spends three weeks in Austenland in empire waist day dresses and night gowns living out a fantasy. Jane hopes that by the end of this experience, she gets her head out of the clouds and abandons the search for her own Mr Darcy in the real world. It's not easy though, as the more time she spends in Austenland, the harder it becomes for her to separate roleplay from reality.

A minor issue I had was the fairytale ending in Austenland. It would have been much cooler if the message of the book was to not let literature/film create a distorted image of love (and this seemed to be the direction the book was headed to in the beginning). Not a huge deal because I did have a smile plastered on my face throughout the whole book. Austenland was a totally fun and delightful read!

Review: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Sunday, April 5, 2015
Goodreads summary:
Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three certain things:

1. She is not crazy

2. Her mother was murdered

3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay

The thing is, nobody else believes her and there's no-one she can trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Grace's past has come back to haunt her... and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Grace returns to the Embassy Row three years after the death of her mother, to accompany her Grandfather who is the Ambassador of the United States in Adria. Three years ago, Grace witnessed her mother's death and is traumatized. The cause of her mother's death is ruled as an accidental fire but Grace knows that she was shot before she became ashes and she remembers a man with scarred face being there. During her time at Embassy Row, Grace sees a man with a facial scar and is determined to bring him to justice but things are never as they seem...

All Fall Down was a fast-paced heart-pounding thriller. I loved the setting of a couple of embassies built in a row and the idea that crossing the line meant going across to a different country. There's just something really cool about that. The narration was really good, it put me in the shoes of Grace; feeling frustrated that no one would take her seriously or believe her. At times I was doubting her myself and didn't know what to believe. It was kind of easy to see why people wrote her off as a girl crying wolf. This book wouldn't be complete without a group supportive friends for Grace. I loved that they were there when her Grandfather and Ms Chancellor constantly made Grace feel like she was crazy, otherwise it would have been really depressing and hard to get through the book. I liked that romance wasn't a big part of the story because Grace's mind just wasn't in that space but I enjoyed the hints of a love triangle. There was a hell of a twist at the end I was totally gobsmacked. I can't wait to dive back in this world!!

Review: The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram

Saturday, April 4, 2015
Goodreads summary:
When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically.

The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart.

Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.

Question: Was The Avery Shaw Experiment an enjoyable read?

Based on the blurb, the story will be predictable. Avery will successfully experience the seven stages of grief, get over Aiden and find herself in Grayson's arms.

1. Get into a comfortable reading position with book in hand
2. Take a few hours to read the book
3. Collect thoughts

Data: Reading status updates.
- Avery's broken heart as the topic of her science fair project was pure genius.
- The growth and change in Avery was pleasing to see.
- I liked the dual POV's especially Graysons' amusing prologue and epilogue
- Sometimes the characters acted a bit too dense.
- It was a bit weird Avery and Grayson shared every bit of their social lives with their mothers.
- I appreciated that the stereotypes weren't heaped on. Libby, a sassy science geek, was an awesome character who broke stereotypes.

It was kind of predictable but totally adorable and I enjoyed every second of it!