Hi there, welcome to our blog!

We're Dwayne and Hanna,
compulsive readers whose
growing book collection sadly
lacks a bookshelf.

We're 23 and 15, and we live in London.

Like most sisters, we bicker. A lot.

16 November 2013

Book Review: Wild Cards (Simone Elkeles)



After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.


Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?


So, for someone who loves Simone Elkeles' books, I must say that I was not so much as impressed as I am deeply disappointed. I expected Wild Cards to be truly original - and at some level, it was - but I found it a replica of Elkeles' previous book: Perfect Chemistry.

The similarity of the two books nearly drove me insane as I ended up getting my guesses nearly all right and though I hate to say that Wild Card was, quite simply, predictable. It followed the same love-hate layout that Simone Elkeles is known for executing very well. However, predictable as it was, this book did not fail in making me giggle with its cuteness.

Derek and Ashtyn had a weird relationship, and part of me was freaked out by it. See, Derek's father married Ashtyn's sister and somehow, even though it complicated things a bit, it appeared as though a link was present between the two characters, even if they did not know each other. One thing I have to say, I found it hard not remain angry at Ashtyn's father. Ashtyn, a kicker in their football team, is not supported by her dad, and usually it is them who push their sons to the limit when it comes to sports. Is it just because Ashtyn is a girl therefore her own father can be unsupportive of her love for football and lead the my-life-is-a-mess-so-leave-me-alone life?

Well what else can I say? Their first meeting immediately captured me. I loved it! It is definitely something to look out for and I am warning you now - it is funny and very very cute. Derek seems tough and bad-ass in some ways, ended up being expelled from his school because of the practical jokes he played. But I can't forget to mention how HOT Derek is. Even as I read the book, I couldn't stop thinking how easily I could fall for a book characters, so long as they were similar to Derek.

Ashtyn contrasts most female protagonists in the YA genre. Somehow I find that many girls appear as fragile, so the fact that Ashtyn was played football and seemed like a heroin, I was satisfied.

Wild Cards, was entertaining, very much so with its cuteness and its characters who were just plain adorable. It was an enjoyable and I have treasured reading it. The similarity between Wild Cards and Perfect Chemistry is quite obvious and is a total let-down, yet this book itself deserves credit for being well-written and unique.

Three Stars!

23 October 2013

Teardrop is out NOW!!!!

The wait is over...Teardrop was out in ebook YESTERDAY and the hardback is out TOMORROW!

To celebrate we have two fab clips to share with you!:

A Teardrop inspiration video from Lauren: 

An audio extract from Soundcloud: 

15 October 2013

Book Review: How to Love (Katie Cotugno)


This is a love story. But it’s not what you think. This is not a first kiss, or a first date. This is not love at first sight. This is a boy and a girl falling in messy, unpredictable, thrilling love. This is the complicated route to happiness that follows.


This is real. This is life. This is how to love.

BEFORE:

Reena has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember. But he’s never noticed her, until one day… he does. They fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town, leaving a devastated – and pregnant – Reena behind.

AFTER:

Three years later and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter Hannah. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again.

After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer again?


I haven't read an emotional book for quite a while until this one and How to Love had me tearing up quite a few times. The teen drama/ relationship problems are not usually the type I go for, but this one definitely blew me away. The love story is not the 'normal' kind where boy-meets-girl-and fall in love story, but one that focuses on their lives after their paths collided.

what I liked was how the chapters alternated between the past an the present which helped understand Reena and Sawyer's relationship better. It was well thought of and written as the story line remained smooth throughout the book. It kept making me want to know more, that's for sure.

My heart kept twisting and wrenching for Reena. I felt sorry for her and the troubles she had to go through as a teen mum, but what I liked about her was her incredibly strong character and personality. Reena was more than capable and persevered through her hard times - especially with Sawyer gone. I liked Reena, but sometimes I didn't get her at all and her character is quite unpredictable. She obviously still loved Sawyer, but pretends as though she does not, yet it is so obvious by the way she becomes weak whenever he is around.

My first impression of Sawyer was that he was kind of a jerk. Yet, that did not hold out long. I soon found him quite sweet to Reena. Incredibly sincere. As the story alternated between the past and present, you will definitely notice the change in Sawyer.

How to Love is an incredibly book that I found so hard to put down. At times, I became overwhelmed with emotion I just have to stop. It's an amazing love story and  I didn't want this book to end at all.

Five Stars

Double Teardrop Tuesday special!

Okay, first and foremost, our apologies for not posting last week's Teardrop Tuesday. I'm am currently in Year 11 and am bombarded with assessments and exams so I spent all this time revising! But no worries, I found time again to post a review and a double special of Teardrop Tuesday :D.

Last Week

Ever wonder what Eureka will be like? Here she is, the very own star of Teardrop!

https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/996031_10151904803318817_1171216562_n.jpg


This Week's Teardrop Tuesday:

Wohoo! Only a week left until the publication of Teardrop! This week's post is all about the new fan/blogger trailer of Teardrop, and to go with it is a wonderful competition to win a sterling silver teardrop necklace and a signed copy of Teardrop!

It's all in here: http://laurenkatebooks.co.uk/index.php/when-did-you-last-cry/


Good Luck!

Book Review: The Sarantos Secret Baby (Olivia Gates)

He was as tall and dark as the devil...and was her family's hated adversary. But that didn't stop Selene Louvardis from wanting Aris Sarantos with her every breath. Or grabbing her one chance for a forbidden night with him.He was never supposed to learn she'd borne his child. But when Aris stormed back into Selene's life and discovered the truth, nothing would stop the ruthless billionaire from claiming his own. Not her family, not the billion-dollar contract at stake and certainly not something as inconvenient as "love."

My first thought after the book ended? I wish it was longer! With Olivia Gates' eloquence and a horde of truly lovable characters, this book is just about as good as it gets… almost! 

Let me tell you that I've read countless of contemporary romances with plots similar to this, wherein the heroine becomes a mother to the hero's child after an often short-lived affair (in this case, a hot, steamy weekend). As always, some time pass by (here it is 18 months) and some circumstance or the other reconciles our lovers and then voila, drama ensues! I have steered away from such novels of late because the recurring plot was starting to lose its novelty for me, but just when I thought I've had enough, I read just one more book and I'm sucked right back in! Would never have happened if I've read some other book, but it has this one and it is so good I cannot resist!

I bet Olivia Gates lives and breathes creativity because she has managed to somehow breathe life again into such a cliche plot. True, the background of characters could have done a little more exploring and their personalities could have shone thought a wee bit more in their actions, but I was just so glad I did not meet another angry hero hell bent on revenge and did not have to listen to another wronged heroine's self-pitying monologues that this flaw flew right by me. No irrational angst to cringe at here, folks! At last, AT LAST we have a heroine who is feisty, truly independent and one who - despite her obvious flaws, one of which of course just has to be an DNA-ingrained weakness for the hero (would normally annoy me but these moments were sexy enough to change my mind) - knows how to stand up for herself. No silly manipulations from one-party and overly dramatised misunderstanding here folks, we are actually shown how Selene and Aris fall for each other! Emotion is truly the focus of this book, and the author does it justice with her eloquent, romantic writing. What I love best in reading the interaction between Selene, Aris and Alex is actually glimpsing their devotion to each other and how every day life will likely play out for them post-epilogue, which is something my nosy romance-loving heart always want to know!

Special mention: Alex! I love love LOVE that baby. He is too cute! I love the time devoted by the author to the interaction between father and son, and the sweet little things babies do that melt everyone's hearts. It's easy to gloss over the child (despite he/she being central to the plot) and for me that always botched that heart-melting moment when father-meets-son/daughter. Every single time Alex was in this book I melted! 

The lack of angst is probably a double edged sword, because that's what I wanted more in this novel. Apart from the length, that is. If there was just a little more angst in there, I'd have given this a five star. The book is so obviously short though, that perhaps that was the reason why there was not more of dramatic, angst scenes in the book. Not to mention that a little too much of it would likely result in the plot adhering too much to the cliche of angry-vengeful-hero-and-misunderstood-but-angelic-heroine-with-a-child-in-between type. Then again, if anyone, Olivia Gates with her endless creativity is probably the author to find the right balance to get angst in there and polish everything to perfection. Might have just missed it in this book, but I sure can't wait for the book of her I read!

PS - I might have neglected to mention that Selene has three gorgeous, love-cynical brothers who I sure damn hope will have stories of their own! Really looking forward to read what Olivia Gates has in store for those three. I wonder who they get to be overprotective over (wish it was me, but oh well!)

Four Stars!

4 October 2013

Teardrop Tuesday (Thursday....Friday?)

Okay, okay! So it wasn't posted on a Tuesday as it was supposed to be so it was moved to Thursday but I've been so busy dealing with school that I missed that one too. Sorry!

So what's the news this week? Get this, the brand spanking new finished copies are now in and they look BEAUTIFUL!

Check it out again!

teardrop.jpg

29 September 2013

Book Review: Bad Rep (A. Meredith Walters)


"Who gives a damn about their reputation? Oh, that would be me! Especially since mine had gone straight to hell in the span of thirty minutes".

Maysie Ardin is soaking up the summer before her junior year of college, shopping, hanging by the pool and shopping some more. But when her black belt in spending lands her in trouble with her parents, she is forced to take a second job at a local bar to dig herself out of a deep financial pit.

She thought she’d be miserable. But then Maysie didn’t count on Jordan Levitt, the hot, pierced and tattooed, drum playing bartender who also happens to be very interested in her. And the feelings are totally mutual.

It had the makings of the perfect romantic set up. Boy meets girl. Boy likes girl. Boy has girlfriend? Okay, maybe not.

But attraction is a hard thing to ignore and soon Jordan and Maysie find themselves in the middle of a gossip induced firestorm. Maysie has to learn whether she can set aside her fear of public disapproval in order to be with the one she wants. Or will she let the opinions of others dictate her life and her heart?


As an avid reader of Romance and Young Adult, I wasn't quite sure which genre Bad Rep was supposed to belong to. On the one hand, the setting and characters are all college-based, so it would fit well with YA; on the other, it was too adult in some parts to be acceptably YA. Turns out that in the last couple of years when I was exclusively reading romances, a new genre has cropped up: New Adult. And New Adult is apparently what this novel is really about.

I am not impressed. Maybe I'm just too conventional, but I can't seem to reconcile both genres as well as others have. Funny enough I'm probably too old to relate to YA and since I'm a voracious romance reader who have just graduated from university, I should have been the quintessential New Adult lover, but no. I found it awkward and aloof - but maybe it's just this book, but what the heck, I'm also not impressed with the book itself.

First off, characters. Maysie is shallow, spineless, and insecure and totally contradictory. It frustrated me especially during the scenes where the whole campus practically bullies her - I don't begrudge her self-pity, but just when I thought she was going to grow a backbone and actually stand up for herself, she takes one step forward and two steps back. Urgh I wanted to rip my hair off! Why? WHYY? She switches from I'm-going-to-show-these-poeple-I'm-better-than-them to Oh-my-God-my-life-is-in-tatters-kill-me-now mentality. It's like yelling at someone who kicks you when you're down and then halfway through, backing away and apologising. What the hell? She misses every and all chance to clear her reputation until the very end of the book and by then I couldn't have cared less. I cannot understand her, cannot relate to her and cannot read her. The characterisation felt somewhat lacking, so despite the book being told exclusively in her point of view, she just doesn't leap off the page to me. Moreover, her dependance on Jordan is overemphasised and this has really cemented her weakness in my eyes. It could be that because we're all complex beings, our personalities are difficult to map out and the author is perhaps trying to pen that reflect that in Maysie's  inner thoughts - but I'm not really sure I can admire anyone so convoluted as our heroine. 

Now Jordan. I know, I know, everyone says he's hot; I get that he is physically attractive and okay, okay those darn piercings keep every.single.girl.around.him (totally realistic) in lust, he just wasn't drool-worthy enough for me (the standard, btw, is Bones from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress Series). However, I must admit that Jordan is an all-around good guy (apart from the cheating part, which was terrible of him). He is kind, a true gentleman not only to Maysie but to the rest of the ladies around him. Despite their beginnings he is completely devoted to our heroine - sweet, romantic… an all-around good guy. Obviously readers view him through Maysie, which is tinted with infatuation, but his faults are portrayed clearly, establishing a balance in his characterisation. I probably liked the supporting characters best, Riley especially. I thought she came across more consistently and more rounded than our hero and heroine combined. Any chance of a Riley book, perhaps?

Infidelity is a central theme in this book and here we get to see the view point of the 'other woman'. Credits to the author for handling it really well in that the readers get to judge the act but not the person. Both our characters acted true to self and there was no brushing over of the repercussions of infidelity to all parties here. We see the regret, the remorse, the anger; the aftermath and the closure. It would have been easy to portray Olivia (Jordan's ex girlfriend) as someone who deserves to be cheated on, but A. Meredith Walters respected her characters enough that while was necessary to show why Jordan fell out of love for Olivia, she was not cast as a complete and utter villain. 

Can't say I wish I didn't read the book, but I probably won't revisit it again.

Two Stars

24 September 2013

Book Review: Allies & Assassins (Justin Somper)


They killed his brother. Now they're coming for him. . .

As the second prince of Archenfield, Jared never expected to rule. But behind the walls of the castle is a dark and dangerous court where murder and intrigue are never far below the surface. 

Now his older brother is dead. The kingdom is his. And the target is on his back. Can he find the assassin before the assassin finds him?

This book has it all. I love love LOVE it! Justin Somper has come up with another beautifully written book packed with mystery and thrill to drive anyone crazy. Even the cover drew me in - it captivated me and continued to do so with the plot as I read through the book. Allies & Assassins had a gripping and intriguing plot that really kept me guessing all the way.

It follows the life of Jared, Prince of All Archenfield, as he tries to cope with the assassination of his brother and as he hunts down the person responsible. I liked Jared. He seemed like an innocent teenager suddenly brought into the all-adult world of politics and feud unprepared. Nonetheless, Jared has kept a strong personality as he tries to find his own self and his brother's assassin, although admittedly at times I found him to be easily manipulated. 

Asta is one of  the characters I adored. She was an incredibly strong woman and knew what she wanted; And exactly how to get it. She was an intuitive and a humble character who I looked forward to reading more about - she's always off either investigating or doing something reckless!

The dark secrets of ex-Prince Anders involving his love life played a major role in this book, something which I never actually thought would come up. I was ready for a thriller, the romance was a nice surprise! 

In Allies and Assassins, Justin Somper has created a world full of mystery, adventure, thrill, politics, family feud and romance! It has an intricate and unbelievably well-crafted plot that kept me at the edge of my seat. The mystery was especially too much for me to handle and had me pulling at my hair as my suspect list kept growing and changing all the time.

Allies & Assasins had all the components of a good book and had me in the first few pages with its twist and turns. I really don't have much to say except that this is a wonderful book. It's definitely a must read for all those mystery and adventure lovers out there!

Five Stars!

*A massive thank you to Atom Books for letting me have my hands on this fantastic book!

Teardrop Tuesday! (3)

Okay it's just four weeks left until the release of Teardrop of Lauren Kate and this week is the release of the US Teardrop trailer!

Are you guys ready?

Pretty exciting for a book trailer eh?





22 September 2013

Book Review: The Naturals (Jennifer Lynn Barnes)


Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realise is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.


Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

I've read a few books by Jennifer Lynn Barnes before and most were pretty good, so for me, it didn't come as a surprise that I quite liked this one too. When I got hold of this book, my excitement could not - no matter how hard I tried - be contained; I simply wanted to be drawn in the world of the FBI and the Naturals. And I did.

Cassandra Hobbes - Cassie - is a Natural Profiler, able to distinguish what type of person you are with just one glance, kind of like a super power. I liked Cassie. She has kept a strong personality through most of the book and proved herself worthy to the rest of the team. At times, she played heroine and it suited her brave personality well. Her only weakness was the two guys at the base, Dean and Michael and it mostly irritated me - no matter how cute they were (and believe me, they were adorable) . So no matter how strong or brave Cassie can be, her shield falls apart whenever those two are around.

What I found creepy yet interesting was the serial killer's monologue, appearing every now and then before each chapter. Disturbing as it may sound, I quite like it. It was thrilling and a body is usually discovered a few page turns later. Jennifer Lynn Barnes provided the readers a detailed description of serial killers and their psychological state. I found it truly fascinating.

However, as much as I tried, there was something that I just something in the book I couldn't connect with. Whether it was the psychological thriller mixing with YA romance that didn't seem to fit or the way that only the second part of the book that was getting all the mystery in. Or maybe it's something else entirely. Whatever it is, it did not let me connect to the book as fully as I hoped it would.

This book had me asking questions all the way. I remained clueless as to who the serial killer was until the very end. The twist was just as awesome. So for those crime-teen novel fans out there: this book might be for you; there is enough dose of romance and mystery in The Naturals to get lost in.

Three Stars.


*Thank you to Quercus for sending us this cool review copy!

17 September 2013

Teardrop Tuesday! (2)


It's the second Teardrop Tuesday and there's only 5 weeks to go until the publication! So what's the latest in the installment? Well, this week, we are celebrating the brand new Lauren Kate UK website!

Check it out: http://www.laurenkatebooks.co.uk/

So.... What do you guys think

Have you noticed the b-e-a-u-tiful Teardrop banner splashed across the page? It's making me all the more excited! I'm totally gonna read it soon!

15 September 2013

Book Review: Poison Heart (S.B. Hayes)


the moment Katy sees Genevieve's beautiful face staring at her from a window, her life will never be the same. Wherever Katy turns, Genevieve is there - at school, with Katy's friends, and worst of all, in Katy's hot new boyfriend's life.

But Genevieve has a menacing side, a dangerous side, a threatening side that she only reveals to Katy: I'm your worst nightmare.

When Genevieve's behaviour becomes increasingly twisted, Katy delves into the girl's past, with the help of her best friend Luke. Nothing prepares her for the dark truths that she discovers, or the new romance she finds along the way. Is Genevieve a troubled girl with a difficult childhood? Or is the truth unearthly and much more frightening?

Who is the real Genevieve?

What are her secrets?

Why is she determined to destroy Katy's life?


I had high expectations of this book. Not only was the cover truly captivating, but it also seemed that the story line was one that I would definitely like. Poison Heart was full of mysteries with a dose of thrill. I must say that although I have enjoyed majority of the book, it did not deliver what I though was its full potential.

Poison Heart immediately drew me in from the very beginning. The curiosity inside me definitely won as I ended up wanting to know more and more about the mysterious plot. S.B Hayes did well in providing this book plenty of deceit, lies and a heavy dose of mysteries and of course, evil.

I didn't feel, however, connected to the character at all. Katy turned out to be a very sneaky character and most of the lies and deceit came from her; she wasn't at all a character I admired. The book follows her life after the sudden appearance of Genevieve. Katy ended up being a total stalker and was very intent on finding out about Genevieve - this, I found incredibly creepy and dare I say, put me off a bit. Katy made promises she couldn't really keep, so she wasn't exactly a trustworthy character- far from it actually. The term "curiosity killed the cat" would be the closest to describe Katy as her overwhelming curious - not to mention judgmental - personality.

The character to look out for? Luke. So unexpectedly adorable and funny, you will most probably love him. I found him totally cute (I'm starting to sound like a fan girl!). He's character is different from Merlin who I found was too deep with his emotions. But the love triangle itself was truly amusing and quite cute.

Poison Heart definitely made me want to read it, right from the very start. I had high expectations, it had a good plot after all, but unfortunately it wasn't that amazing. I didn't exactly like Katy, she had a clouded judgement and I didn't admire her personality. It still had a solid plot and a generous dose of romance.


Three Stars

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Since 06 September 2010