Thursday 24 October 2013

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Nevermore (Nevermore #1)
Author: Kelly Creagh
Pages: 543
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 31, 2010

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

I have to admit, the cover isn't appealing. Come on, a goth and cheerleader on the cover? Talk about cheesy!  But apart from the cover, Nevermore has one of the best writings I've ever read. Kelly Creagh's writing skills is outstanding. If I wanted to be become a writer, I would definitely want a writing style similar to hers. The way she describes Varen's dreamworld reminds me of Halloween movies that I've watched when I was younger. Dark. Creepy. I was literally spooked. And it takes a lot to freak me out. 

Our main character, Isobel Lanley is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project. Their assignment is to write a ten page essay on any American author. They choose Edgar Allan Poe. Before I read this book, I had no clue who Edgar Allan Poe was. Yeah, his name sounded a bit familiar, but I didn't know what he was known for. Finishing this book made me go on some sort Edgar Allan Poe kick. Literally. I'm so fascinated with his poems especially his most popular one, "The Raven." 

The characters, Isobel and Varen may seem a bit cliche. The loner goth and the popular cheerleader? But, Kelly takes that cliche and creates such well-developed characters like Varen. The one scene with his father in the book was heart-breaking to read. From that scene, you could tell exactly why Varen is the way he is. As for Isobel, she came off as a brave character when she stood against her friends when they bullied Varen at the ice-cream shop. 

This book has one of the things that I strive to look for in every YA book. That is a slowly developed relationship. When I first began reading, insta-love wasn't an issue for me, but with so many YA novels involving insta-love, it becomes dull and completely unoringinal. The one thing I liked about Isobel and Varen was that they didn't get along at first. They've had their fair share of arguments, but when they eventually get along in the end, it makes their relationship seem so realistic and swoony. It's so rewarding to see characters to shift from dislike to like.

 Great romance. Well-developed characters. Spooky writing. Perfect for Halloween. What more could you ask for?


Thursday 10 October 2013

In Harnony by Helena Newbury Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway

In Harmony (Fenbrook #2)
Author: Helena Newbury
Pages: 401
Publisher: Foster & Black New Adult
Publication Date: September 21, 2013

Everyone expects her to succeed...
Karen plays the cello like an angel, and it’s the only thing that makes her truly feel alive. But her father’s dream—for her to join a prestigious orchestra—leaves no time in her life for anything but music...not even love. Trapped on her path, she doesn’t know how to rebel.

Everyone expects him to fail...
Connor plays rock guitar like the devil himself, and his ability has got him all the way from a dead-end life in Belfast to a scholarship at Fenbrook Academy. But beneath his arrogance and charm, he doesn’t believe he has what it takes. He’s spent his time in New York drinking and partying, and the only future he sees is a return to Ireland as soon as he flunks out.

But what no one expects...
When Karen’s duet partner is injured, the bad boy guitarist and the shy, sheltered cellist are forced to team up. Neither likes the idea, but what begins as anger and distrust slowly spirals into love...and lust. If they can face up to their feelings, they might just have a chance together. If Connor will allow Karen to stop his fall, maybe he can show her a life she never thought possible...


                   People think that actors must be cruel- they are effectively the cool kids, after all, so it follows that they'd bully the geeks- the musicians. But they don't look down on us so much as wrinkle their perfect foreheads and wonder why we can't just be calm and confident and outgoing like them - as if it was that easy. I got a few pitying expressions and two of them walked over to help.

                  At that moment, someone opened the door from the outside and I went stumbling backwards- right off the edge of the top step. Dragged down by the cello's weight, I fell with a surprisingly loud scream, my head heading for the sidewalk-

                 I snapped to a halt, the cello case pressing hard into my back. I was lying in mid air, face up, feet skittering at the top step. Almost of all my weight was held by one shoulder strap, stretched out in front of me and anchored by....

                I followed the strap with my eyes. A fist, grabbing the nylon. A strong wrist, skim almost as pale as mine. A cracked leather jacket. I got all the way to the shoulder and his tight powerful frame before it clicked.

               Oh no.....

               I looked up into his face. Blue- gray eyes, like a lazy summer's day that's darkening into a storm. Hair cut short and messy, glossy black against his pale skin. And the lips- those soft, full lips that had been the downfall of so many Fenbrook girls in dowtown rock clubs or at drug-fuled parties. Even now, they were twisting into a smirk.

            Connor Locke.

            "I seem to have you helpless," he told me, and his broad Belfast accent made it sound at once both innocent and absolutely filthy. The actors who'd been coming to help reached the doorway and stopped there, smiling.

           "Would you like me to you down on your back?" he asked, at least partially for their benefit. "Or should I pull you up against me?"


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About the Author:

 Helena Newbury is a New Adult Romance author with a love of bakingly hot summer days, strawberry gelato, good coffee and interesting people. Unlike the characters in her books, Helena cannot dance, act or play anything (though she is substantially more flexible since she started writing Dance For Me and tried doing dancer’s stretches, so she's hoping that something will rub off on her from each book).
Helena writes in a very noisy, very busy coffee shop which means she sometimes end up mainlining caffeine to keep her seat. You’ll know when this happens because she’ll still be on Twitter that night at 4am.
She loves meeting and talking with other authors, traveling to new places and discovering new books.

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Wednesday 9 October 2013

Spotlight: Florid Eyes by Nicky English

Florid Eyes
Author: Nicky English
Publication Date: May 8, 2013
Amazon | The Book Depository | B&N

"Get ready to be sucked into this suspenseful treasure hunt with a drop of love."

No one has ever questioned Violet Lancaster’s ability to change the world. As a brainy and self-righteous PhD student at the prestigious Georgetown University, Violet is determined to make a name for herself in Washington, D.C., by working hard to pay her dues, but her moral system is turned upside down when she runs into a man in distress on a lonesome night.

Josh Levinson was born into an elite Philadelphia family in the year 1776, when the thirteen colonies declared independence from Britain. Together they break every human and supernatural law to hunt down a mystical Native American bow and arrow in hopes to liberate an entire species and to keep it from the evil tyrants from the Far East.

Florid Eyes takes you on an intricate adventure intertwined with an epic romance.

About Author:

Nicky English is a journalist, an educator, a podcaster, a couch potato, a dreamer, and a child at heart. Learning is her passion, so is the English language, which she believes is the tool to unlock the door of knowledge. Born in Hong Kong, she received intensive writing training at The University of Iowa, where she double-majored in journalism and political science. Apart from the Hawkeye State, she’s lived in Chicago and Philadelphia. When she was a guest student at Georgetown University, she fell in love with Washington, D.C. She also has a Master of Arts in Communication. A little side note—she cannot imagine a world without her Mac and iDevices. Like many crazy ones, she hopes to change the world one day at a time.

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