Release Day! REV GIRL (The Go Girls Chronicles) by Leigh Hutton


TODAY is the release day for REV GIRL – an exciting debut from the Canadian-now-Australian Leigh Hutton!

I love me some debut’s. I also love self published books. I feel it is so important to promote these author’s and get their work seen! I will be reviewing this book here on June 1st. Meanwhile, I encourage all of you to check out REV GIRL on Goodreads and Amazon to see if it’s your style. Seriously, it looks kickass.

revgirlREV GIRL by Leigh Hutton

Genre: YA, action 

Published: Self published, May 24th, 2014

Inspired by a true story

It’s hard to be the new girl, but it’s even harder being the new girl who races dirt bikes . . . 

Ever since her parents forced her to move from Canada to Silvertown, Colorado, Clover Kassedy hasn’t fit in. So how do you deal when everyone hates you?

Focusing all her energy on racing her motorcycle did it for a while, but now that Clover’s managed to find a bestie and a boyfriend, the pressure on the sixteen-year-old is worse than ever.

She’s determined to get to the World Championships, where she could finally meet her idol – an Australian, the World Champion – and have a shot at becoming a professional dirt bike racer. But with her super- competitive dad, workaholic mother and relentless bullies at races and at high school, Clover is struggling to make her dreams a reality.

Will it be her scheming ex-best-friend who shatters her world? Or will she let her ‘perfect’ boyfriend – the guy who has finally made her feel like she belongs in their school and their town – stop her from becoming an international racing star?

Goodreads / Amazon 

About the Author 

Leigh Hutton grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She was lucky enough to travel extensively with her parents and younger sister, for horse show jumping – they spent a lot of time in Denver, Colorado, and Phoenix, Arizona – as well as holiday trips across America to the Baja Peninsula, and later on for her chosen sport of dirt bike racing. Her favourite race was Honey Lake, California, in 2002 – the same year she attended her first International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) in the Czech Republic. Here she met a lovely family from Sydney, as well as the Australian team. Leigh moved to Australia a few months later, to race motorcycles. She fell in love with a fellow racer and Brisbane boy, found journalism, which she studied at the Queensland University of Technology, and shifted into media and public relations, to promote Enduro and motocross and its competitors. Leigh has become especially passionate about promoting the growing number of girls and women in all action sports. She is thrilled to have drawn on her experiences to bring you REV GIRL, book one of The Go Girls Chronicles .

Visit Leigh Hutton’s website for more! 

leighhutton

Schizophrenia at it’s best – A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

abluesodarkA Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Published: May, 2010 by Flux

Format: Paperback

Source: Bought from Booktopia  

Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura’s dad left them. Convinced that “creative” equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.

 

A Blue So Dark is one of those books that stays with you. What really stood out for me the most is its honesty. Brutal honesty. It was thought provoking, insightful and beautiful. It explored so many issues – not only of schizophrenia; but the effects it has on everything else. It looks at loosing friendships, broken families, mending relationships, poor socio economic area’s, teen pregnancy, health effects, stress. There is just so much packed into 300 pages that I’m a little overwhelmed.

A Blue So Dark follows Aura as her schizophrenic mother descends into a dark place. Aura is striving to keep her mother’s condition a secret, while still look after her. In turn, Aura goes through things no girl should at her age. We see her develop and learn from her experience, and I loved watching her mature as the story progresses.

In fact, all the characters were just great. Every single one was layered, individual and Schindler does not turn the blind eye at the bad stuff – she embraces it and makes her character real.

In saying this, there is an exception. A Blue So Dark included romance, but it was the most minor part of the book, you can hardly notice it. This is a great example of where the main character gets their act together before going into a relationship. And the love interest is nothing more than just that – a cute guy that pops up every now and again to remind us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. He gives us something to look forward to in Aura’s future. We really don’t know much about him at all.

Schizophrenia isn’t something I know much about, which is why I found this book really insightful. I had no idea what to expect or how the characters were going to react to the different situations posed to them. I found it really intense and I was shocked – actually shocked that some people live with this, like this. It was definitely eye opening.

I also enjoyed how art plays such a big part. I love reading about artists. It’s close to home. My Mum’s a painter, and I think my mind sways more to the artistic side at times. It’s interesting to see how Aura’s interpretation of art is tainted by her mother and her illness, and she begins to shun that part of her.

Not only does it talk about artists, but the whole book is an art piece. The way it’s written is beautiful. The descriptions were just enough to satisfy my need for visuals.

Plain and simple – I just really enjoyed this book. To the amount of issues it explores, to art, to descriptions, to being just a real, honest book that opened my mind to something that I once shrugged at.  I got really emotional towards the end, because there are still some loose ties. But otherwise, I was really blown away by this little paperback I bought on a whim. I highly recommend!

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P.S – I just learnt that Holly Schindler is releasing a new book called Feral, that’s tagged to be like The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan. GIMME GIMME GIMME. 

DNF Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan – sci-fi gone bad

glow

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Genre: Sci-fi, Romance

Published:October 2011, by  Macmillan Children’s Books 

Format: Paperback

Source: Bought 

 

I hate not finishing books. Luckily, this is only the second this year. But seriously. I wish I could finish this then say lots of great things about it and everything would be dandy with rainbows, unicorns and an unlimited supply of bookmarks.

But no. Books as bad as this somehow manage to make it mainstream and have a semi decent GR rating. So I pick it up, expecting something good, or at least readable, only to be deflated and have my breeze sucked out of me.

I don’t rate books I haven’t finished – just a personal rule. But I do write a mini review of why I couldn’t finish said book.

So, why was Glow so bad that I could barely read over 100 pages of it?

  1. The writing. I can’t remember the last time I read such a plain, boring style of writing. The descriptions were as basic as possible. The actions, scenes, explanations – everything was just so utterly boring to read.
  2. Has some of the most stupidest concepts I have ever come across in a sci-fi book – and that is seriously saying something.
    Get this – religion is a major, MAJOR theme in this book.Not that I have a problem with religion, just that it pretty much takes over the plot whilst attempting to be sci-fi. It just does not work and is way to over bearing
  3. The love triangle was obvious first chapter. The stinking first chapter.
  4. Humans = robots with bi-polar. One second their smiling, next their choking eachother, then hugging, then crying, admitting undying love. in a punch up – Just like that. No build up. Nothing.It was almost robotic. They just do it. And not only that, you can tell that female lead was meant to be kickass, but she was so so weak. Disappointing.

So, at just over a 100 pages in, I stopped and skipped to the end. Let’s say that I’m glad I didn’t bother.

On the other hand, sorry to dump all the negativity on you. I hate writing up things like this, but I feel as though I need to keep my blog as balanced and as honest as possible. Can’t have all the good and none of the bad.

 

Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder suffers second book syndrome

16129491Scent of Magic (Healer #2) by Maria V. Snyder 

Genre: YA, fantasy 

Published: This edition published January, 2013 by HarlequinTEEN Aus

Format: Paperback

Source: Bought second-hand. 

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible … again

I don’t know how to feel about Scent of Magic. I was excited to read it, and I DID enjoy it, but by the time it ended I was left with an overwhelming “what even happened” feeling. It lacked a plot, lacked meaning and depth, and I still have a problem with the lack of description. I call second book syndrome! 

I couldn’t quite place why I was having this disappointed, I expected more feeling, until I re-read my review of the first book. Then It all became clear.

What did I love Touch of Power so much? It had goals, plot, motives, meaning, lesson’s, life questions and deep, meaningful messages and themes. This is everything that Scent of Magic lacked.

Warning: there may be some spoilers from the previous book

One big, big problem I have with Scent of Magic, is that it is missing a goal. It is missing a straight plot. It has plenty of catalyst, things that made me want to keep reading, but nothing concrete I could follow. Whereas Touch of Power did have – a quest to save a prince.

Due to this, the book felt clumsy. There were slow and fast moments. There were times when I had no idea what the intensions were of the main characters. There were barely any confliction of emotions or dynamics, because there was nothing to conflict against, as there was no goal. It didn’t feel like a whole, composed story. It sorta just floated along and going with the flow. The best way to describe it would be a space filler – something to connect it with the third book. I don’t know this for sure, however, because I haven’t yet read the third book.

Another problem? There was no meaning or themes or conflicting emotions or growth! What I LOVED about Touch of Power is the growth Avery goes through as she sifts through what is worth sacrificing herself for. What is worth dying for was a huge theme in the previous book.

Did this book have a theme, or underlying message? No, it didn’t. The characters were just going through the motions. It is basically a lead up to the ending and just creating issues and conflicts for the following story.

What did this mean? I didn’t see an ounce of character growth or development. The characters mostly stayed the same (bar a few side characters) and didn’t change, learn, grow, develop. Nothing. Nada. I wasn’t taken on an emotional roller coaster, either. I felt flat for most of the book – besides a few, choice moments.

I would mention the few side character’s that DO show some development, but that would be giving away too much. Let’s just say I was OVERJOYED and SO SO HAPPY I CRIED at one certain character’s reappearance. Snyder did something right!

I feel really bad for mostly bagging this book out. I did still enjoy it. I especially liked how the book started right where it left off. I liked the distance between Kerrick and Avery, and how the story didn’t focus on them but the ruined state of the realms. I still love Poppa Bear and the Monkeys. I love how the mysterious power of the lilies is fleshed out even more. I loved the inclusion of the “Tribes” and the new material it brings.

I also have the same problems with this one as with the last one – the lack of description and background is killing me!

That said, I do feel like I have a better understanding of this world and society. I just need MORE than what’s given.

Despite my earlier negative comments, I breezed through this book quickly and still enjoyed it. After I got passed that shocking ending, I felt a little flat by the rest of book – leaving something to be desired. Otherwise, I still really want to finish the series and read the last book, Taste of Darkness.

 

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asoftbreeze

Breezy’s Bookish Week (6)

Hey there, guys! 

As always, I’ll start off by saying how hectic my week was. I’m currently going through a sever organisational slump and I’m behind on everything. I had a shock the other day, considering my Asia trip is only three months away and I still have so much to do (and save). Work have had me in and out all week, and I’ve been so so so tired. After a 5:30 AM start, I would come home and sleep, only to get up later to ward at 6:30 PM. 

So because I’m a tired scatter brain, blogging suffered a little. I only posted two reviews this week and I didn’t get around to enough blogs to comment. I also didn’t read as much as I would have liked and definitely had a mediocre week in books. 

What I Read:

bloodlines

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Read it as soon as I bought it – it was good, but not amazing, sadly. 😦

Crash

Crash by Nicole Williams 
This wasn’t really for me. :/

On the blog this week! 

Tuesday: Why I didn’t give The Faults in Our Stars a 5

Friday: I review Dearly, Departed by Lia Hable (includes sexy zombies)

Awesome posts from other bloggers!

Atsi @ Oh, The Book! discusses what she would do if she were a fictional character

Kristy @ Book Nerd Reviews shares some gorgeous bookshelf’s! 

Fiktshun discusses the book industry’s lag in diverse books and why

Sarah @ A Bit Behind on Books discusses education making you too harsh a reviewer

Jeann @ Happy Indulgence shares her DIVERSE recommendations.

Mel @ YA Midnight Reads discusses the use of the S word in books 

Kelly @ Pretty Little Reader asks why she is wasting her time on facebook?

Piracy Is Not the Answer – Josephine @ Dudette Reads  

I wish I could have gotten around a bit more. But I’m happy with what I did find. You guys are awesome!

Oh well, keep inhaling those books! ❤

 

 

Sexy zombie futuristic romance? Lia Habel’s Dearly, Departed

dearlydepartedDearly, Departed (Gone with the Respiration #1) by Lia Hable 

Genre: YA, steampunk, dystopia

Published: September 2011, by Doubleday Children’s Books

Format: Paperback 

Source: From Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity 

Love can never die.


Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love. Goodreads 

 

 This was certainly an interesting book and like nothing I have ever read before. It has such a crazy genre mash up! With a combo of dystopia, historic/futuristic + zombies and warfare, I had no idea what to expect. I had difficulty getting through the intro, and then some more difficulty getting into the story line with my mind selectively choosing what it wants to read. Though I absolutely loved the characters and was crazy over the romance!

Dearly, Departed is a dystopia book after the worlds’ left over population decides to re-live the days of English Victorians. The book follows Nora – a young lady who’s status and strong personality allows her to defy social norms, after she is taken hostage by a group of walking dead. Yup. Zombies. Woo hoo!

Because this is such a strange and complex world, the beginning takes it’s time to explain everything to us. For some reason, my mind didn’t agree with this. To be blunt, I found this long intro to be boring, even though it was fairly interesting – if that makes sense. So I had heaps of difficulty getting into this book – taking me nearly 4 days to read 100 pages.

After this, another problem occurred – the book didn’t have my entire attention. After dragging myself through the intro, I was searching for something to love. I started too really like the scenes with Nora and Bram, and seeing their reactions to each other. So when other perspective came into it, I barely paid attention to them. Because of this, I missed a lot of the plot line.

Luckily this problem was short lived – by about halfway I began to be interested in the plot again and started to actually pay attention to the other perspectives. Though I became super confused towards the end when all this stuff is revealed, and I had no idea what was going on. I got it eventually, it just wasn’t effortless and required lots of careful reading.

Despite this slow start, I have nothing but good to say about the characters. I loved them all! Even the bad guys. They were all very well developed, the badies having understandable motives and the goodies were mostly well balanced and realistic.

Nora and Bram were great leads.. Bram has such honesty, moral and will power; it’s almost humbling. While Nora is this stubborn, strong, real character who I loved. I loved that even though her world had gone back to the days of women meaning little to society other than looking pretty, Nora still took pride and fought to be herself.

I also adored the friendship she had with Pam. It was so believable. In real life, there usually is a position of power between friends. You can see this in the relationship between Nora and Pam. It was obvious that Pam looked up to Nora immensely. What I loved even more, is how this character grew more into herself and became more independent as the story went on. I loved watching her transformation.

I also like how clever Habel is with her characters! There were a few slimey’s in there that I never would have guessed. I really admire how she makes me believe one thing when the opposite is actually true!

And I can’t not mention the romance. Even though it was somewhat quick, I believed it entirely. I also liked how the zombies weren’t just bad, mindless things as they are in most books. And I liked how even the good ones were fairly balanced with both good and bad.

So I had a few issues with the plot, pace and reading experience of Dearly, Departed. But I thought Habel did a terrific job with characters and setting, creating this awesome vibe from the strange era and Victorian/futuristic themes. Everything down to the clothes, the society, behaviors and attitudes were awesome and so much easier to understand than it is in a historic book, without all the fancy words and writing I can’t quite understand. So, despite my issues with this book, I’m giving it a three because I most definitely want to read the next book!

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asoftbreeze

 

 

Breezy’s Bookish Week (5)

Hey there, lovelys! 

I’m a day late with this post because I procrastinated the whole of yesterday. I spent it by reading Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. That’s a good excuse, right?

But anywho, I was having a fantastic week until it all came crashing down. I read two FANTASTIC books, followed by one I had to DNF. I went to the awesome book sale by lifeline, then nearly died by a garbage truck, which was an accident I nearly caused. Which really shames me to say.

Never trust anyone on the road guys. Especially inexperienced red P platers. Also, garbage trucks have amazing brakes – probably what saved my life.

Lets put that behind me, because I need to tell you the amazing books I read that you MUST READ NOW. 

askthepassengers

Ask the Passengers by A. S King
Amazingly insightful and interesting that anyone can relate to!

abluesodark

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler
Such a vivid look into schizophrenia

takemethere

Take Me There by Carolee Dean.
Avoid this book. 30 pages in and I was DONE.

I also had a book haul this week! But I don’t have much time so I’ll just give you the highlights.
There was about 6 books in total I bought, for the wholesome amount of $15. 😀
One of those was Bloodline by Richelle Mead ($3)
Wings by Aprilynne Pike ($3)
Memoirs of a Geisha (Hardback $4)

I also bought new copies of Looking for Alaska by John Green because the lovely Kayla @ The Thousand Lives recommended it. And Fangirl, too, because basically everyone on this planet cannot stop talking about it.

What was on the blog this week?

Tuesday: Review of Fated by Sarah Alderson

Thursday: I discuss my boiling hatred for FATE and LOVE

Friday: A series review of Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Awesome posts from other bloggers!

Naomi from The Darkest Reader discuss’ what she would do if she met her favourite author(s)

Stella and Jenni vlog a review for the Divergent movie!

Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner talks about (lack of) diversity in YA books!

Jean @ Happy Indulgence and Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity join up to discuss the Divergent movie!

Ashely @ Nose Graze talks about second books that are doomed to fail 

Kristen @ The Book Monsters posts her Top Ten books to read if you like Once Upon a Time

Trish from Between My Lines guest posts @ Oh The Books! and discuss’s hateful characters in books

Hazel @ Stay Booksih give us 22 ways to make the book community a better, happier place. 😀

Amber @ The Mile Long Bookshelf discuses the wrongs that occur in the book community. Guys, read this. It shocked me, but it might not shock others. I think it is really important that we are aware of our actions when socialising on the web.

Rosie @ Rosie Reads discuses discussions, memes and features! (this is cool!)

Kayla @ The Thousand Lives discuses her landmark books! 

I’ve had a tough week, but it’s great to see all this positive stuff around! Enjoy everyone. Be happy. Avoid garbage trucks and live like you might get yourself crushed by one at any moment.

Happy breathing and reading!