Feature & Follow Friday #5

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"The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read."

Question: 
Q: What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.

Wow, that's a tough question. I've only been blogging for a couple of months, and haven't really gotten to know anyone that well yet! I hope that this blog hop will help me meet other book lovers out there and make some new friends. I would like to meet Jessica @ Lovin' los Libros, and thank her for being my very first follower, plus she always pops by my blog on Swoon Thursdays!!

Thanks for stopping by - you can follow me by Bloglovin, Linky, RSS, GFC or Google +. If you follow by more than one let me know & I'll return the favour!

Swoon Thursday #6

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Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound.This is how it works:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog.

This week, I’m SWOONING over:

Title: Dare You To
Series: Pushing The Limits #2
Author: Katie McGarry
Published: May 28th 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance







Just before you read this swoon, I'd like to mention that this scene takes place in a barn…in the hay…

My Hands roam over his back, clawing for the hem of his shirt, eager to explore the glorious muscles underneath. Ryan follows my lead and picks up the pace. Cooler air pricks at my back as he sweeps an arm beneath me and pulls my tank over my head.

Ryan pauses for a second. His hesitant eyes meet mine and I quickly reclaim his lips...

We roll and I help Ryan lose his shirt. In seconds, our legs tangle. My hands curl into his muscles as Ryan generously trails hot kisses along the nape of my neck. He grows bold, inching my bra strap off my shoulder. I reward bold.

We loose control - quickly, so fast we've broken beyond floating to flying."


For a young adult book this was quite a steamy scene! And let's face it, the fact that this was in the barn just makes it so much sexier doesn't it? =D

So what's making you swoon this week?

Book Review: Dare You To (Katie McGarry)

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Title: Dare You To
Series: Pushing The Limits #2
Author: Katie McGarry
Published: May 28th 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

An Emotional Story With Attitude!!

“That must be love: when everything else in the world could implode and you wouldn't care as long as you had that one person standing beside you.” - Beth



BLURB:
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

***Mild spoilers***

THE GOOD:

The story:
This story follows Beth & new character Ryan. When Ryan tries to get Beth's phone number as part of a dare, she tells him where to stick it. They later meet again when Beth starts attending his school. Ryan's popular & Beth doesn't give a damn what anyone thinks of her. Ryan continues to pursue Beth (as part of the dare), and Beth continues to push him away. Similarly to Pushing The Limits, Ryan & Beth both have preconceived ideas of each other, and it's not until they get to know one another, that they realise they are more alike than they thought.

The romance:
I was really worried I wouldn't like this one because I wanted Beth & Isaiah to be together. But McGarry managed to convince me that Ryan is the one for Beth! Ryan & Beth start out hating each other - with Beth believing he'll try & use her just like Luke did 2 yrs ago. And Ryan is only chasing her to win a dare. But after getting to know each other the inevitable happens - they fall for each other. While Beth was scared to admit her feeling, Ryan did everything he could to make her believe he loved her

The characters:
Although Beth was frustrating with her trust issues with Ryan, she has very good reason to be scared. She's has a rough life, and hides behind a tough personality. She swears like a sailer, often just to piss people off. But I love her attitude - some of her lines where hilarious.

"You've got to be f*cking kidding me."
"Nice language" the woman says (Scott's wife)
"Thanks" I respond.
"I didn't mean it as a compliment".
"Do I look like I f*cking care?"

Ryan, aka Baseball player, aka Popular Jock Guy appears to have a 'perfect' life. But that perfection is only a front, and he too has family dramas to deal with. I love McGarry gives her characters such strong personalities - it's in the small details, like the way Ryan wears his baseball cap - he takes it off when he's thinking or worried about something, he turns it backwards if he wanted to kiss Beth etc. These small details made Ryan come alive.

The Writing:
As with most contemporary romance stories, this novel is emotionally driven. The author needs to be able to not only make us understand what the characters are feeling, but feel it for ourselves - and McGarry does this very effectively. I felt the fear of trusting Ryan that Beth felt, **spoiler**and when she had to tell Isaiah she didn't love him, and the heartbreak that Isaiah feels broke me (I love him *sigh*)

McGarry has also written two very distinct voices with Ryan & Beth. There was never any doubt as to who's POV you were reading. 

THE BAD:
I loved this book - if I'm being really picky I could say that I would have liked to see a little more of Echo & Noah - their little cameo was so sweet & I love them so much that I could read a whole 2nd book about them. But I get that this was Beth's story, so just ignore me, I'm just having Echo & Noah withdrawals *sob sob*

FINAL WORD:
Beth's story was exactly what I thought it would be - emotional with a bad ass attitude! Beth & Ryan work so well together & Beth's personality was so vibrant, she's a character that will be hard to forget! Now I am so desperate to read Isaiah's story I might just hyperventilate. He was so hurt by Beth's rejection, he deserves one hell of a happy ending!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium / heavy kissing & fondling, discussions of sex
Violence: mild-medium / several mentions/scenes of domestic violence
Language: medium-strong / frequent use of f word
Drugs & alcohol: medium-strong / Beth smokes & has smoked pot regularly is the past, Beth's mum is often drunk or high

Book Review: The Only Exception

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Title: The Only Exception
Author: Magan Vernon
Published: April 9th 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance
Add to Goodreads


"He really got me. He tried to make me a better person even when I was reluctant. He really was my exception to every rule" - Monica




BLURB:
No Fiercely liberal Monica Remy prefers to blend in. Despite her tattoos, piercings, and outspoken personality, she transferred to Central to escape—before she finds out that her next door neighbor is the uber conservative governor's son, Trey Chapman.

No matter how hard she tries to avoid Trey, he still finds a way to get under her skin. Monica can’t stand his crisp white shirts or his staunch views on women. But she can’t help counting every freckle on his face and wondering what it would feel like to have him stop talking politics and kiss her.

A class debate project forces the unlikely pair to work together, and the political lines are blurred in late-night make out sessions. But despite their fiery chemistry, Trey’s politics threatens to smother their relationship for good.

***Mild spoilers***

THE GOOD:

The story:
There are sort of two parts to this story - the politics and Monica's recovery after her assault. Both elements for woven together beautiful to create a unique New Adult story.

Monica's political views are heavily influenced by her assault and inability to afford the morning after pill because of Governor Chapman's (Trey's father) contraception bill. 

The romance:
Trey & Monica's relationship was very interesting. It begins with both having strong political opinions and neither are afraid to voice them and so begins their love/hate relationship. Trey respects Monica's opinions and actually likes her because of their differences. He likes that she challenges him intellectually.

Monica on the other hand, despises Trey mainly on principal because of his father's political position. However Trey continues to pursue her as they have intelligent discussions of various issues. There are also a couple a nice steamy scenes between them too. (Plus one very awkward and oh so adorably funny scene - but you'll have to read it to know what I'm taking about! - pg247)

The characters:
Monica is very feisty and extremely outspoken. From the first scene when she meets Trey she confronts him about his father's politics. I have the admit I found her a little confronting at first. But as we get to know her, we see why she is so passionate about particular issues and I started to connect with her.

Trey almost has two personalities - his public political side & his quite personal side. I personally preferred the quite Trey, as her was (obviously) much more genuine. He came across as a bit of a typical popular player sort of guy, but as we get to know the real Trey we see a very very different guy (I don't won't to give too much away, because there was quite a surprising revelation about his character that I didn't see coming!)

The Writing:
Writing about politics is never was, but I believe Magan Vernon has done it quite successfully. I assumed that this book would have some form of political agenda and I suppose in a way there was - with Monica's opinions of the contraception bill a strong issue throughout the story. However Trey, who has an opposing opinion on the matter is given a fair opportunity to voice his opinion without being labeled as wrong. They both discuss the issue and in the end find a middle ground - both understanding and respecting each other's points of view.

I also have to applaud Vernon for writing an epilogue! So many authors neglect to include one when it's needed, and here it gave perfect closure to to story.

THE BAD:
Some people may find the use of "Mr Chapman" and "Miss Remy" in the dialogue between Monica & Trey a little annoying. However I saw it as part of their political banter and pretend formality etc - so I personally felt it suited their character's personalties to speak like this and it added to their conversations.

FINAL WORD:
This was definitely a new adult story with a difference. With an interesting and intense storyline mixed with a sweet romance, this is definitely worth a read!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium-strong / descriptive sex scenes, several discussions of contraception
Violence: medium-strong / flashbacks of sexual assault
Language: medium / several f words
Drugs & alcohol: medium / alcohol at parties, Monica used to get drunk however she doesn't drink anymore & neither does Trey

Feature & Follow Friday #4

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"The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read."

Question: 
Q: The #FF is 150 weeks old! And we want to hear from you! What would you change about the hop? What do you like about it? Or just suggest a question to be used for next week!

Wow #150, I'm only up to #4!!

Well, at the moment I can't really think of anything I would like to change. So I guess I could suggest a question, although since I've only done #4 of these, chances are my questions has already been asked….

If you could be any character from any novel, who would it be?

Is there a book that your ashamed to admit loving (or maybe even an entire genre)?

Thanks for stopping by - you can follow me by Bloglovin, Linky, RSS, GFC or Google +. If you follow by more than one let me know & I'll return the favour!

Swoon Thursday #5

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Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound.This is how it works:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog.

(I actually read this a while ago, but I was rereading the series this week and had to have this scene as my Swoon!)

This week, I’m SWOONING over:

Title: Enticed
Series: The Violet Eden Chapters #2
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Published: September 4th 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance




My towel was draped at the back so it dropped all the way to the top of my butt. It didn’t show any more than a backless dress would, but it’s different when the only thing between you and stark nakedness is a loose sheet of cloth.
I turned back just in time to catch the corners of Lincoln’s mouth go up.
“You do realize I’m coming over there, don’t you?”
“No. Why?” I replied, but I was already laughing...

…His lips found mine and though we had to go, nothing was going to stop us from sharing this moment. He pulled me close and the towel dropped from my back as my hands wrapped around him. His touch glided gently over the contours of my shoulders and down the sides of my body, and suddenly there were a million places I wanted them to be and I knew his hands wanted to be there too. Instead, they reached down and picked up the dangling towel, gently rewrapping it over my back then running his hands down, smoothing it over. Always the gentleman.


Every scene between Violet & Lincoln makes me swoon, Jessica Shirvington is an amazing writer, who makes you FEEL so many emotions!

So what's making you swoon this week?

Review: Pushing The Limits (by Katie McGarry)

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Title: Pushing The Limits
Series: Pushing The Limits #1
Author: Katie McGarry
Published: July 31st 2012
Genre: New Adult Romance


“I watched you battle against the worst memory of your life and I watched you win. Make no mistake, Echo. I battled right beside you.” - Noah

BLURB:
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

***Mild spoilers***

THE GOOD:

The story:
This story is not a simple high school romance. It's not even just a troubled boy meets troubled girl romance. It's so much more. Echo & Noah do have issues to deal with, but it's not as simple as they fall in love and it fixes everything. Throughout the story they both have to work through their own problems - Echo learns how to forgive her father & step mother, and Noah learns that sometimes what's best for him, may not be what's best for his brothers. They support each other through their issues, but ultimately it's up to them to make their own breakthroughs.

The romance:
I really loved seeing the romance develop between Echo & Noah - they both had pre conceived ideas of what each other where like, and as they spent more time together, they realised they were wrong. Their romance was sweet but also very passionate and I loved how Noah fought for her, when he could have easily let her go - it made there relationship all the more amazing! Not only did they tell us they were in love with each other, but they showed it by their actions towards each other.

The characters:
It's funny, I don't normally like bad boy characters, and Noah is labeled a bad boy - he skips class, smokes pot & sleeps around with girls he has little interest in. This would normally turn me off completely, however there is something deeper about his character that drew me in and by the end of the story I absolutely loved him. Towards the end he actually made me cry (and I'm not much of a cryer!)

Echo begins the story as a very fragile & closed off character. She shuts everybody out for fear of being judged by what happened to her. She's also very lost because she can't remember the night that gave her the scars on her arms. She's actually much stronger than she realises, and it's with the love and support of Noah & her best friend Lila that give her the courage to do that.

The Writing:
McGarry's writing was very effective, especially her use of dual POV. I always love this technique because it allows us to understand what both character are feeling & makes it much easier to connect with them. This is an emotionally driven story, but not just Echo & Noah's romance, but also between Echo & her family, Noah & his brothers, their friends at school etc. McGarry has cleverly woven many different emotions into this book which is what makes it so strong.

THE BAD:
I suppose the only think I don't like is that this is kind of the end of Echo & Noah's story, as the next book in the series follows Beth. I'm just not ready to let go of Echo & Noah yet, I love them too much!

FINAL WORD:
This is an emotionally charged story with relatable characters. I felt every emotion the characters experienced and have been thinking about them ever since I finished the book. This is one of those stories that just stays with you. I can't wait to read Beth's story next! 

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium / several discussions of sex, heavy kissing (no actual sex scenes)
Violence: medium / some domestic violence (not overly descriptive)
Language: medium / several f**k
Drugs & alcohol: medium-strong / main characters drink at parties, Noah & friends smoke pot

Feature & Follow Friday #3

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"The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read."

Question: 
School is out! What is your favourite Summer Reading book?

This is a funny question since I'm no longer at school and I live in Australia, so it's actually Autumn and getting kinda cold.

But I do have a couple of books that I love to read over Summer. For some reason Summer usually puts me in the mood for Chick Lit!? Julie Cohen is one of my favourite authors - her books a light hearted, romantic and always make me laugh out loud! Two of my favourites are:

Title: Girl From Mars
Author: Julie Cohen
Published: December 11th 2008
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Blurb: 
"I, Philomena Desdemona Brown, do solemnly swear to forsake all romantic relationships . . ." It's not like the vow, made by Fil and her three nerdy male best friends, seemed much of a big deal at the time. Frankly, Fil wouldn't know romance if it hit her in the face, and with her real love being her artist job at Girl from Mars, the comic whose heroine has never had a love interest, she doesn't exactly mind being relationship-free anyway. Until her world is rocked to its core when one of her long-standing quartet and Girl from Mars herself both unexpectedly fall in love. Is it time to give in to temptation and finally fall in love?



Title: Getting Away With It
Author: Julie Cohen
Published: 28th October 2010
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Blurb: 
A gorgeously romantic, funny and heartbreaking read for anyone who’s ever run away from home - and found their way back...Liza Haven couldn’t wait to escape the small village where she grew up with her perfect identical twin sister, Lee. Her life in LA as a stunt woman is reckless, fast and free - and that’s just the way she likes it. But when a near-fatal mistake drives her home, she finds Lee gone and everyone in the village mistaking her for her twin sister. Liza has to deal with her ailing mother, the family ice cream business, and Lee’s dangerously attractive boyfriend. Liza’s always been the bad twin, but as she struggles to keep up the masquerade and puzzle out where her sister has gone, she realises it’s not so simple. She’s spent her whole life getting away with it - is it finally time to face up to who she really is and where she really belongs?


Thanks for stopping by - you can follow me by Bloglovin, Linky, RSS, GFC or Google +. If you follow by more than one let me know & I'll return the favour!

Swoon Thursday #4

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Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound.This is how it works:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog.

This week, I’m SWOONING over:



Title: The Only Exception
Author: Magan Vernon
Published: April 9th 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance



"I raked my fingers through his hair, tugging it lightly. His kisses became more passionate, more eager and full of desire. They were short and then fast, each move of his tongue made my body tremble. He reached his hands lower down my back, until he cradled my butt in them.

I felt a low groan gather in my throat and travel out of my lips into his mouth as his hands caressed me…

…his lips trailed down my neck, nibbling at the delicate skin that met my shoulders. I gasped, his fingers working their way up and down my back. My whole body responded, and I shivered underneath his touch, rocking my hips against his. I wanted to rip his dress clothes off right here in the backyard.

A loud, throat-clearing sound came from behind Trey…"Senior, Chapman, sorry to interrupt. I just need to get to the begonias" (the gardner said)


Damn the gardner for interrupting Monica & Trey!! 


So what's making you swoon this week?

Liebster Blogging Award

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I'd like to say a big thank you to Kelsey @ Ketch's Book Nook for nominating The Reading Realm for the Liebster Award! This is an award that is passed on by bloggers to new blogs worth reading (that have less than 200 followers)

Like Kelsey the bloggers I have chosen to nominate are ones I've met recently through hops & memes.

Recipients of the Liebster Award must:

1. List 11 random facts about you
2. Answer the questions that were asked of you (by the blogger that nominated you)
3. Nominate 5 other blogs for the liebster blog award and link to their blogs
4. Notify the bloggers of their award
5. Ask the award winners 11 questions to answer once they accept the award
(If you wish to participate, that’s great, but it’s not an obligation :) )

11 Facts About Me:

1. I'm a graphic designer

2. I've never seen snow :(

3. My favourite colours are blue & green

4. I'm terrified of spiders, but I don't' like killing them either.

5. Growing up, I wanted to be a vet, but the sight of blood makes me queazy so it didn't really work out for me

6. Apparently I have very little feet, but I don't care because I'm short so I think big feet would look weird on me ;)

7. I don't like jellybeans

8. I studied Japanese for 5 years but can barely remember any of it anymore

9. I prefer to read printed books over ebooks, and hardcovers more than paperbacks

10. I like printed books because they smell nice =D

11. I hated reading Shakespeare in high school and don't get what the big deal is about his plays. Everybody seems to die in the end - that's just incredibly depressing (I read HEA exclusively!)

11 Questions From Kelsey:

1. What’s your all-time favourite novel? 

Picking one is too hard, so I'm cheating =D - Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, Persuasion by Jane Austen, The Girl From Mars by Julie Cohen & Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

2. If you could be any YA character, who would it be and why? 

Jacinta from the Firelight series. I have always thought it would be amazing to be able to fly and to be able to do that as a draki - well that would be awesome! (I also wouldn't mind being Violet Eden from Embrace, mainly because I'm in love with lincoln *sigh*)

3. Are you an early morning person or a night owl? 

Definitely a night owl - I could stay up all night reading, but try and wake me up in the morning and you'll suffer the Evil Wrath of Amy!

4. What was the best place you’ve ever visited? 

Well I actually haven't traveled that much to be honest, so I'm going to be creative with my answer and say The Villiage of Silvanae from Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck :)

5. Which author are dying to meet in person? 

Jessica Shirvington (author of the Violet Eden Chapters) she seems like she would be a totally awesome person to talk to about her writting. Plus she's an Aussie (so I have more chance of meeting her than someone overseas lol!)

6. What is the funkiest thing you ever done in your entire life? 

I dyed my hair bright blue once, which does't really sound that weird, but for everyone who knows me, it was kind of a shock.

7. Favorite dessert?

Anything chocolate! I guess hot chocolate fudge brownies with ice cream would be one of the best :)

8. What’s your favourite part about blogging? 

Meeting other book loving people! Not many of my friends read, so I have very few people to gush over new books to, so it's great being able to share my crazy obsession with all you fellow book lovers (if anyone is actually reading this that is ;) )

9. Tell us one unique fact about yourself: 

I've been a vegetarian for just over 10 years now, since I was 14

10. Best movie to ever be released? 

Well I love Ever After - probably not one of the most well known movies out there, but I absolutely love it and know every line by heart (seriously, I'm not just saying that, I could actually recite it for you!)

11. What is the best thing that ever happened to you so far? 

When I got accepted into a graphic design course a couple of years ago. I had decided that if I didn't get in I was going to continue with my financial planning studies. So when I surprisingly got accepted it changed my life (can't ever see myself as a financial planner now!)

11 Questions For My Nominees:
1. Who is your favourite author?
2. What are you reading right now?
3. What is your favourite season & why?
4. What are you afraid of?
5. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
6. Do you prefer ebooks, paperback or hardcovers, why?
7. What's the best book to movie adaptation?
8. Why did you start blogging?
9. What is your dream holiday?
10. Do you have to finish a book even if it's terrible?
11. Do you have a book that you ashamed to admit loving? If so what is it?

My Nominees:
The Smell Of Parchment
Books N Things
My Midnight Fantasies
Court Reads & Reviews
Guin and Libertad Tomas

Feature & Follow Friday #2

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"The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read."

Question: 
Happy Mother's Day! Who id your favourite mum from fiction?

This is interesting because I mostly read YA/NA books which usually consist of neglectful mothers :(






Of course Mrs Weasley is probably one of the most loveable literary mother's. 






There is also Marmee from Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott






And I have to give honourable mention to Miss Honey from Matilda by Roald Dahl!




Thanks for stopping by - you can follow me by Bloglovin, Linky, RSS, GFC or Google +. If you follow by more than one let me know & I'll return the favour!

Swoon Thursday #3

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Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound.This is how it works:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog.

This week, I’m SWOONING over:


Title: Unravelling
Series: Unravelling #1
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Published: 24th April 2012
Genre: Sci-fi Romance



"And then his lips touch mine...And then he opens his mouth, our tongues touch, I taste mint, and his other hand slides around my waist, settling on my back.

My mouth opens wider, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get enough of him.
And his hand at my back pushes me into him. Hard.
There’s no space between our bodies anymore, and all thought turns to frenzy.
Our lips are pressed together, our tongues moving, exploring. There’s biting and sucking, and I don’t have time to think about what I’m doing. Our hands are all over each other, gripping and puling as if we can get any closer without merging into the same person.
When I back into the dryer, I realize he’s been slowly pushing me. And then his hands slide down my back and he grabs my ass and lifts me up so I’m sitting on top of the dryer, the steady hum of vibration underneath me.

Out of surprise, our lips break, and Ben kisses his way across my jawline. He stands between my legs, and without thinking, I wrap them around him and pull him closer. His kisses trail from my ear down my neck, and a moaning sigh escapes my lips, mingling with my panting breaths." - Janele

Well I couldn't pass up a scene with a vibrating dryer for this weeks swoon :)

So what's making you swoon this week?

Review: Unraveling (Unraveling #1)

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Title: Unravelling
Series: Unravelling #1
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Published: 24th April 2012
Genre: Sci-fi Romance



“Those deep set eyes that look like they could tell stories for days, and that wavy brown hair that feels soft between my fingers. I try to memorize the angles of his jaw and the lines of his lips, because I know. I know this may be the last time I ever see him."



***Spoilers***

THE GOOD:

The story:
It's exciting to see a sci-fi story in the YA section. There was strong X-Files vibe to the story, with Janelle's father being in the FBI & well…of.course there is the fact that it's mentioned several times that they all love watching the X-Files DVDs. 

In the blurb it mentions how Ben bring Janelle back to life, however that's not really the focus story. It's more about the FBI cases that Janelle's father is investigating & the mystery where/why/who Ben is. It's a really exciting sci-fi mystery, to say anymore would ruin the fun in trying to work it out!

The romance:
There was a hint of insta love here, but not enough to make their relationship unbelievable. They do spend time getting to know each other before any declarations of love occur. I also liked the fact that Janelle is actually dating another guy Nick at the beginning of the story. Nick is a nice guy, he's sweet & it's obvious that he likes Janelle. But as Janelle spends time with him, she realises that they don't really click and she breaks it off. I also appreciated that she didn't dump Nick for Ben, she did it for herself.

When Ben & Janelle start getting closer, Ben begins to pull away **major spoiler**>>> because he knows that if he gets the opportunity to go back to his universe he doesn't want to make the choice between leaving or staying for Janelle. Eventually the tension spills over and they declare their love for each other, in a rather passionate scene (involving a washing machine - and yes it was on…) **end spoiler**

The characters:
Ben is really sweet, and it was a nice change to see that it was the guy who been harbouring a crush on the girl for all these years. He's also smart, as he has been studying anything he can find about <spoiler> the science of wormholes & multiverses etc </spoiler>. Descriptions of him don't just consist of "omg he's so dreamy & has amazing pecs", he actually has a personality!

Janelle could be a little stubborn at times, she wanted to solve everything by herself, even though she could have gone to Struz to ask for help. After all she says on several occasions that he's like family to her. She also ignores her brother when he needs her the most which I didn't really like. But she always has good intentions, even is she does make the wrong decisions sometimes.

The Writing:
Norris has written an intelligent story, she doesn't throw the answers in your face at the very beginning, we are left in the dark as much as Janelle. We have to follow the clues as Janelle discovers them. Not only is this more exciting as a reader, but it also prevent the characters from looking like complete idiots, as we're left screaming at the characters to see the obvious answers that are staring them in face (ie. there are claw marks on the back of his bedroom door, he doesn't like going out on the full moon, and sometimes he growls when we're making out…what could his secret be?? *facepalm*)

THE BAD:

Subplot - Janelle's Mother:
I felt the storyline of Janelle's bipolar mother was not really handled all that well. This women is clearly ill and Janelle is left to look after her and incidentally her brother. Why does her father not get her Mum the help she so clearly needs. I felt that her condition was not taken seriously enough, and Janelle just whined that she couldn't take any more of her crap. It's not like her Mum's a drunk or just an angry abusive mother - she has a mental illness. I felt this is a very serious storyline and either needed more attention & be written more realistically or just left out completely.

FINAL WORD:
Overall Unravelling was an interesting and thought provoking read. It's going to be interesting to see where the story leads to in the next instalment. <spoiler>Hopefully we get to see more of the other universes and have that storyline explored a little more</spoiler>

CONTENT:
Sexuality: medium / heavy kissing, flashback of sexual assault
Violence: medium-strong / descriptions of radiation burnt bodies, murder scene with characters shot
Language: medium / several sh*t, f**k
Drugs & alcohol: medium / underage drinking at party, **spoiler**flashbacks of main character's drink drugged **end spoiler**



Feature & Follow Friday #1

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"The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read."

Question: 
Give us a sneak! What are you reading? Tell us about a fun or fail scene in your current read.

Right now I'm reading




Title: A Song For Julia
Author: Charles Sheehan-Miles
Genre: New Adult Romance





This is a really beautiful story so far. There was a really touching scene where Julia connects with her boyfriend's brother Sean, who has Asperger's. It was wonderfully written, with Julia genuinely respecting Sean. 


"They do the same stuff to me sometimes. Call me names. Push me around."
She put her right arm around his shoulder. Usually, when someone touches Sean, he moves away and quickly. He didn't this time.
"It gets better"
"How?" he asked, his voice full of grief.
"Time" She said. "Distance"
"But you said you'd never trust anyone ever again. Why did you tell me?"
"Because you're special. You're just like me. So I know I can trust you"


Thanks for stopping by - pop a link to your blog in the comments & I'll follow you!

Swoon Thursday #2

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Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound.This is how it works:

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog.

This week, I’m SWOONING over:




Title: Wait For You
Series: Wait For You #1
Author: J. Lynn
Published: February 26th 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance



"He captured my lips in a searing kiss as he settled between my legs, muffling the pleasant groan that had worked its way up my throat. Hips hips rolled into mine, and my nerve endings were suddenly on fire….
His kiss turned deeper, more urgent as he slid his hand from my cheek, down my neck. His hand brushed the swell of my breast, so close to the sensitive bud before following the curve of my stomach to the flare of my hips. He curved his hand around my thigh lifting my leg around his hip…." - Avery

What can I say…Avery & Cam, you make me melt every time!

So what's making you swoon this week?

Review: Wait For You

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Title: Wait For You
Series: Wait For You #1
Author: J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)
Published: February 26th 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance




“I want to be here with you, Avery. You don't have to worry about impressing me or wowing me. You've already done that.” - Cam




***SPOILERS***

After reading this book all I want is a pet turtle…and some of Cam's cookies *wink wink*

THE GOOD:

The story:
This story was so addictive, I just couldn't put it down. I got so invested in their story. The main storyline follows Avery and her relationship with Cam. They get to know each other as partners in Astronomy class, and they also live across the hall from each other.

The book spans almost an entire year, which I felt made the story much more believable. All the progress that Avery makes personally & in her relationship with Cam is realistic because it doesn't just happen in matter of weeks. She doesn't just suddenly become this confident person & declare her love for Cam, she has setbacks along the way and has to work hard to make the changes in her life she wants to make. 

The characters:
Cam…well what can I say, he is absolutely amazing *squeal*. He's funny, confident and really cares about Avery. I want to say that he's protective of her, but that just gives me images of him following her & watching her sleep (which he doesn't do). He can see that she is dealing with something & he just wants to help her through that. He's so patient & understanding, which is so adorable.

Avery was interesting, because on the outside she is very reserved, especially around Cam when she first meets him. But in her narration she has such a vibrant personality. I think this really shows how much her past still effects her socially. She doesn't really trust anyone to show them her true personality. But throughout the story we see her grow and become more confident - eventually letting Cam in to see the real Avery.

The romance:
Avery & Cam's relationship was written beautifully. It began as a friendship & as they grew closer, Cam suggests he wants more than just friendship. At first Avery thinks he's just joking, but gradually he breaks down her walls and their romance develops. They actually spend a lot of time together, just talking & getting to know each other properly (with a little bit of flirting perhaps…)

I loved how realistic the romance between them is, Cam's aware that she's never been in a relationship before and never tries to push her into something she's not ready for. But as he starts to realise that she's hiding something from him, he does get upset that she can't trust him enough to tell him. That's such a realistic response, he was open with her and shared his secret, so of course he would expect the same in return.

Their love scenes were also beautiful, and thanks Lynn for not suddenly turning Avery into a sex goddess. She was nervous & I loved how Cam was so gentle & spoke so sweetly with lines like "May, I?" and "Is this okay?" - is was so sweet and tender.

The Writing:
After reading Armentrout's book Obsidian I felt she had a very distinct writing voice, and it was definitely evident in this book too. There is a sarcastic humour throughout all the character's dialogue & narrator's thoughts, which I really enjoyed. It's unique and gives the characters such strong personalities. The playful banter, especially between Avery & Cam was hilarious. 

"I'm beginning to think cookies is a code word for something else."
"Maybe it is."…."And just think about it. If cookie was a code word, whatever it symbolised, it's been in your mouth, sweetheart"…

I love when a book can make me laugh out loud (a little embarrassing when someone catches me grinning like an idiot, but hey, it happens).

THE BAD:
I suppose there were a few grammar & spelling mistakes, but nothing that really bothered me. This is certainly one of the best self published books that I've read.

FINAL WORD:
Overall this was a really great read. It tackles the very serious & heavy topic of sexual assault but Lynn manages to effectively add some laughter & comedy to lift the story. Dramatic, touching and a beautifully entertaining read! I am absolutely dying to read the next book!

CONTENT:
Sexuality: strong / descriptive sex scenes, flashbacks of sexual assault
Violence: medium / flashbacks of a sexual assault and a bashing
Language: medium / regular use of f**k
Drugs & alcohol: medium / underage drinking at parties, main character gets drunk
Other: **spoiler**Avery has a scar on her wrist from an attempted suicide **end spoiler**