Waiting on Wednesday is hosted over at Breaking the Spine.
What I’m waiting for this Wednesday?

From Goodreads:
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city’s most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.’s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidentally poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she’s to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight–at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.

Why I’m excited?
Allow me to tell you!
1. This is another Australian author! Go Aussies!
2. It reminds me of this super cool (read: super lame but still addictive) TV show that used to be on here in Aus about a school where chocolate was banned and so the students began secretly making their own chocolate!
3. Dystopia – I’ve read some great ones (Divergent much??) and some dodgy ones (The Unidentified made me go “eh”).
4. It came out yesterday. I’m a slacker (poor) and will wait until the library gets a copy, but still – awesome!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
– Grab your current read
– Open to a random page and share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page – be careful not to include spoilers!

I’m currently reading The Unidentified by Rae Mariz for my literature subject at uni – we’re currently focusing on dystopian ‘risk society’ novels, which means lots of examining the capitalist and consumerist nature of society!

According to votes, it said I was a 2.5. Halway between ‘You’re a Skeezy Crack Whore’ and ‘You Are One of the Unwashed Masses’. Most of the Craftsters got sixes – Yeah, You’re Pretty Cute – except Avery, who got an eight, You Are a Classic Pinup Girl.
The Unidentified, page 207

I haven’t yet decided how I feel about the book – it’s hard to make personal decisions when I’m analysing it for risk society indicators… But this passage is a pretty good example of the characterisation of the protagonist Katey, aka Kid.

________________________

Check out my review for Waterfall – and if you haven’t read it yet – GET ON IT!!! I just finished the second novel (review to come) and am waiting for the third to arrive from Book Depository!

 

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted over at Breaking the Spine.
What I’m waiting for this Wednesday?

Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart

Why I’m excited: An Australian writer that keeps turning up on the blogs I’ve been browsing – an automatic flag! I’ve been struggling to find great Aussie authors in the YA fantasy genre that I love  so much recently. But Blood Song has already sold out on pre-order and is being reprinted! All the summaries and reviews I’ve read so far are intriguing and I feel like there’s no way for me to get my head around the story until I’ve read it! It seems like it’s be a great new paranormal interpretation of the over-done vampire theme, and I’m always excited by books set in their own fantasy worlds – as contemporary fantasy seems to drive me up the wall (with the exception of Spellbound).

Not sure how quick I’ll be able to get my hands on this one – but fingers crossed it’s soon!

What are you waiting for?!

Lisa T Bergren, you have written a story that I couldn’t put down, that stayed in my head for weeks afterwards, and made me desperate for the sequel (I pushed ‘place order’ on Book Depository within minutes of finishing Waterfall).

The premise itself was enough to get me excited – an ordinary teenager is sent back to 14th century  Italy, gets caught in the battle between Siena and Florence and finds herself falling in love with a Lord who is betrothed to someone else.

Many Young Adult novels these days focus on the paranormal, fantasy worlds, creatures and boyfriends, and it’s been a while since I’ve encountered straight time travel. The Guardians of Time trilogy is one of my favourite YA series, and this felt like the non-magic, non-fantasy version of that – which is great!

Gabriella’s accidental journey into the past takes a very different turn to her sisters, Evangelia. Her reaction to finding herself surrounded by soldiers and castles? Try to blend in at all costs! I’d love to think that I’d have the courage and foresight to do the same (next time I happen across a time vortex in an Etruscan tomb). Having always felt like she didn’t quite fit in in the 21st Century, Gabi has the enviable chance of starting over – and yet still encounters the bitchy “queen-bee” along with the whole Paratore house out to kill her and her new Italian friends. Oh, and Marcello? A crush-worthy leading man, the likes of which I haven’t dreamed of for a long time!

Bergren’s realistic approach to what life might have been like in the 14th Century is what really makes this book incredible. There is an attention to detail that brings life to Gabi, Lia, Marcello and Luca that is so often missing in YA novels. With an ending that will have you grasping for the sequel (which I just started reading!), Waterfall is a book that just has to be read – there’s really nothing else to say!

 

Coming up soon!
Waiting on Wednesday! Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart
Reviews for
Legacy by Cayla Kluver
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
– Grab your current read
– Open to a random page and share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page – be careful not to include spoilers!

The third installment of the Past Midnight series, by Mara Purnhagen, arrived from Book Depository today! Beyond the Grave continues Charlotte Silver’s dealings with the paranormal! After a nasty experience at the end of her senior year, Charlotte is trying to focus on her relationship with boyfriend Noah… but when your parent’s are famous paranormal investigators, and you’ve been exposed to ghosts all your life, nothing is ever simple!


“Avery was right – he didn’t need to know until I had more facts. And I couldn’t ignore my gut feeling that I shouldn’t tell him yet. Until then, I would enjoy my Sunday afternoon with Noah.” pg 97

I know I cheated – it’s 3 sentences but I’m so excited about this book! As soon as I tear my way through Cascade, I’ll get working on this one!

Kady CrossGirl in the Steel Corset was my, intriguing and well-written, introduction into the steam-punk genre. Although it took several chapters to get my head around what my mind should be picturing, the visual imagery was well developed. There is a blend of history, machinery and an almost magical substance that altogether create a world that seems so close, yet also so far away from our own.

Finley Jayne is somewhat of an anti-hero. Her duality of personalities is as confusing to the reader as it is to herself for a majority of the novel. The darker, confident and impossibly strong, side of Finley, is nevertheless what secures her acceptance into the band of misfits living in Duke Griffith King’s mansion – and with it, their secrets and dangerous mission.

Griffin himself plays duel roles – the leader who has been involved in the plot his whole life, with extraordinary power to access the parallel spirit world, but also the (often jealous) friend and brother to his fellow outcasts. He is accompanied by the brooding half-machine Sam, and his supposedly unrequited love-interest, mechanic Emily, who knows everything about everything – as long as it is made of metal. Rounding out the gang is the American cowboy Jasper who’s supernatural speed proves useful, yet his interest in Emily causes Sam to examine his own feelings.

Their pursuit of the dangerous Machinist criminal causes them to doubt each other, seek the help of a renowned underworld crime boss, Jack Dandy (who has his roguish eyes on Finley) and visit the Queen of England. The whole thing is utterly fantastical – but that’s what a good fantasy is all about!

Criticism? The agonising question of  ‘will they, won’t they?’ relationship between Griffin and Finley is never answered. The tension is real, I can’t have imagined it, and I don’t think it is my romantic nature that demands a good snogging in every book I read. I’m not opposed to books without romance, just can’t stand an closure that leaves an ending like theirs untied. The almost-as-slow development of Sam and Emily’s relationship is of only slight consolation.

Overall, a good book. Not the greatest I have read in recent weeks (some are hard to beat!) but most certainly not the worst. Steam-punk isn’t quite my ‘thing’, but I would be interested to read others in the genre. And I will eagerly anticipate the sequel – if only to find romantic closure.

4.5 stars – maybe even 4.75!

This was sitting on my to-read list, but wasn’t at my local library and was still too expensive (read: more than $10! I’m a sting) on Book Depository. But when I saw Spellbound at K-mart for $12, and had some time to kill and cash to burn, I caved…. then started reading it on the tram on my way home. It really needed to be a page-turner for me to be excited – I had just finished Waterfall by Lisa T Bergren (review to come!), and so my expectations for any kind of romance and fantasy world were high!

I’ll start off with the reason that it didn’t quite make the 5 star rating – it was cliched. Beautifully written, as original as one can expect fantasy-set-in-highschool to be, but cliche none the less. Call me anti-feminist, a hopeless romantic, or general sook, but soul mates get me all giddy. Of course the “bad boy” isn’t really a bad boy, and although we perhaps didn’t get as much of a backstory for Brendan as I would like, he seemed a lovely balance of maturity and insecurity. Emma was pleasantly un-victim-like for someone with her tragic background. Humility is something that I always admire in any protagonist – and it’s a wonderfully common character trait in books that falls short in many real life humans I know.

Emma may be humble, but she is by no means a doormat. The way she is treated in her new school, Vincent Academy, is frightful, but pales in comparison to the realisation of what she really has to battle. Of course there was the stereotypical mega-bitch, the pig of a jock, and the outcast who turns out to be very useful.

Although there was no physical enemy that Emma and Brendan had to face throughout the novel, the danger felt was tangible. A curse passed down generations that has drawn them together – and neither are willing to walk away from what they feel in order to prevent fate. Reminiscent of another popular couple, a sparkly vampire and his doe-eyed brunette lady friend? Perhaps. But Emma is not Bella. Emma has a mental and emotional strength that isn’t compromised when she allows Brendan into her life – she fights her own battles to the best of her capabilities.

I wish I could say exactly what it was that Cara Lynn Shultz did to make this such a page-turner. It may have been the beautiful blossoming love (oh dear, blossoming? I’ve been reading too much romance), or maybe the need to know how on earth they were going to dig themselves out of a curse that had thwarted many others before them. Either way, I had to finish it as soon as possible.

And I suggest you do the same!