Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Rolling Dice

But when people have this opinion of you, it's very hard to change it. They've judged you, and they like to label you, and they like you to stay with that label for ever. You've been allocated a place in their society  and that's where they want you to stay.

Again Random House have delivered another Young Adult literary gem. Rolling Dice might not deal with any obvious issues but Reekles expertly tackles and highlights the daily troubles and turmoils of ordinary teenagers, the issues we have to deal with all the time, not just the one-offs. For this reason I fell in love with Rolling Dice as it doesn't pretend to be anything it's not. It is a simple love story set in a normal high school (in America) with normal problems.

Okay, Reekles employs some artistic license but it wouldn't make for a good story if she didn't! I really related to Madison and Dwight and although I also knew Bryce would turn out to be a douche I liked the opportunity he gave for Reekles to allow Madison to affiliate with the populars. It was a predictable plot with the many expected twists, the leading popular girl becoming really bitchy, the various kisses behind people's backs, the convoluted political social situations of American high school cliques.

However the one thing that really stood out in this novel was Reekles amazing precise sum-ups of teenage life - for instance the quote at the top? Who hasn't felt like they were forced into a mould at school and just weren't allowed to change, any change was ignored and you stayed as the geeky fat kid who lived in the library? When really you had lost weight, started playing volleyball and did drama productions? You just weren't allowed to change. And throughout this novel there would be a paragraph where I would just stop and go 'yeah that's completely right'. And some books need to do that, they have to put what you've felt into words and make it real but also allow you to distance yourself from it and realise it isn't just you, nearly always someone feels or has felt the same way.

'I'll just do what I've been waiting to do all night'.
And then he kisses me.

It's a cheesy line, and I roll my eyes at it - but it almost makes me blush, and I wonder if it's true; if he actually has been waiting all night to kiss me. It's kind of a weird feeling, being kissed. But a good kind of weird. I don't know what I'm doing at all, but I just follow Bryce's lead and press my lips back against his.

I'm giving Rolling Dice a deserved 4 out of 5 and will definitely look out for more of Reekles work. Thank you Random House! Rolling Dice can be purchased on for £5.24 (Paperback) and £4.74 (Kindle).

En Bon Lu

Friday, 4 October 2013


*Publishing on the 8th October 2013*

Jenny knows she’s different. After all, she sees the past lives of people she touches. But when Nikolai, the mysterious boy she painted, shows up claiming to be a love from a past life, Jenny is forced to accept that he has traveled through time to find her. Now, Jenny and Nikolai must fight against the Order, an ominous organization tasked with keeping people in the correct time. The Order is determined to send Nikolai back. And fighting them could tear Jenny and Nikolai apart -- this time for eternity.

Endless is a timeless classic by debut author Amanda Gray. Gray's romantic writing rivals that of Alyson Noels, Lauren Kate and Richelle Mead. It follows Jenny as her life becomes more chaotic and disrupted by the appearance of two boys; both she seems to already know and both seem to carry hidden dangers as her soul recognizes and associates them with distressing and horrific memories.

Exploring the idea of reincarnation and time travel Gray instills a new breath of life into the over used idea of soul mates. Her writing is tinged with a bitter-sweetness that prevents the novel from becoming too light, instead creating a story about love and the darkness it has to attempt to conquer if it is ever to come to true fruition. 

Gray span a complicated love triangle between Jenny, Nikolai and Ben, always leaving the reader doubting whether Jenny would be completely dedicated to her soul mate, and wondering if it was possible for another to replace her soul mate. It wasn't a predictable story and it finished on such that I am anxious to read the second book.  The cover art captures the haunting theme of the love story and it is definitely a series to watch.

A 4 out of 5 for this debut novel which is published by Month9Books and can be purchased from for £6.50 (paperback).

En Bon Lu

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Wild Cards

Read the Perfect Chemistry trilogy? If that's a no, get out there and buy them. These books are pure romantic chocolate gold, they melt on your tongue, leave a warm feeling coursing through your body, they are the ultimate YA contemporary romance books.

Ashtyn wants to prove that she can lead her school’s American football team to the championships, but this might mean losing her boyfriend, the team’s star player. Things get complicated when her older sister walks back into her life after ten years – with a gorgeous stepson in tow. 

The last thing Ashtyn needs is to be distracted by Derek’s sexy drawl and perfect body. It looks like her life is going off track. Ashtyn has to get a game plan and fast. It means trusting Derek – someone born to break the rules. Will she put her heart on the line to try and win it all, or will Derek be just too hot to handle?

Elkeles is a master story teller, they may not be challenging reads, they may be predictable, but it doesn't matter: they are indulgent and sometimes we need a break. Wild Cards is guaranteed to deliver that break. We all love to read about someone struggling to prove herself, with all the odds against her, while that one arrogant drop-dead gorgeous player who in real life wouldn't fall for any girl, falls for her. Of course there are the various trials and tribulations, the tentative trust forming to be thrown back in the girls face, or the turmoil the boy faces of showing any feelings at all. 

I can't put it any simpler it was a thrill to read and was as good as the Perfect Chemistry books and I'll definitely re-read it on a rainy day where I need some warmth.

Wild Card gets a solid 4 out of 5 and can be purchased from for £6.67 (paperback) - not until Jan 2 2014 - or £4.61 (Kindle) - out now - and so worth it. It's published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

En Bon Lu,


Oh Wow!

Resist picked up from where Breathe left of and took you higher and higher. It exceeded my expectations and was twice as good as Breathe.

Crossan continued to weave a delicate story, tying up loose strands of deceit, twisting plots, love, and leaving a colourful tapestry of a story; with so many things to look at you are at a risk of missing something. Resist was an action packed story with a bittersweet ending. Paced well throughout the novel Crossan incorporated flashbacks, different viewpoints, new characters, each adding to the plot and none detracting from her climatic finish.

Her characters continued to develop and her main characters (Alina, Bea, Quinn and now Ronan) were as before given their own viewpoints which made for a gripping read with different perceptions contributing to the readers overall view of the worsening political situation, and challenged the reader to adjust previous opinions. Although Quinn remained quite bland the other characters had so much to add that I didn't really notice, though I suppose that could be considered a bad thing? Anyway he did mature slightly  but not quite enough for my liking.

Resist contained so many plot twists that for the majority of the time I was perched on the edge of my seat, a shriek soundlessly escaping my mouth every couple of pages. So much more than Breathe I was completely and utterly emotionally invested in Resist and so I can solemly mark this book SWMLT (sealed with my loving tears.) Amen Pod.

A solid 5 out of 5 for Resist which is published by Bloomsbury Publishing and can be purchased from for £6.99 (paperback) or £5.75 (Kindle).

Good Reading

Daughter Of Camelot

Daughter of Camelot by Glynis Cooney is the first book in the Empire of Shadows series. I was immediately tempted by The DoC when I saw it was based in the time of Arthur and Merlin, a time which allows magic, bravery, courage, honour, battles, love, and fantasy to roll into one: providing a breathtaking backdrop for any novel.

Cooney delivers; her world is well developed with various forts and courts all differing slightly or greatly, but still with the same underlying themes of deceit, intrigue and politics. Her characters vary from false greedy men seeking power, to pure noble true men (often whose appearances would lead someone to believe they were the former), from brave characters desperate to prove themselves to cowardly sinister characters stabbing the most honorable in the back, disregarding the true values of the Knights Of Camelot and of Arthur's Court.

Although on occasion the grammar was poor or parts badly phrased, this did not subtract from the novels overall brilliance and Cooney weaves a world of power, that is still imprinted on my brain, thrumming to the beat of time running out and armies marching. The plot itself follows Deirde, who thirsty for adventure, is determined to defy Fate and safe the King from those plotting against him. Cooney employs artistic license to change the legend of King Arthur to suit her story's needs but there was little indignation on my part, at least, when the story took a detour from the original legend as Cooney knits a story that stands both beside and aside the legend; in its own way it is a unique story but parts still ring true to the famous saga.

Any one brave enough to tackle such a well-known legend deserves applauded but Cooney deserves special acclaim for this novel that bolsters and adds to the already glorious fable. Also as it doesn't directly follow King Arthur but instead some-one in his various courts it doesn't feel too familiar.

The Daughters of Camelot receives 4 out of 5 and I eagerly await the next book in the Empire of Shadows. It is published by Mabon Publishing and can be purchased at for £3.59 (Kindle).

En Bon Lu.