Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Review & Giveaway: Rival by Penelope Douglas

Rival (Fall Away #2) by Penelope Douglas
Publisher: Penguin Group
Publication date: August 26th 2014
My rating:  4.5 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble| The Book Depository

 From the New Adult sensation and New York Times bestselling author of Until You

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the two years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…

I’m back.

Two years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me….

My Thoughts:
Madoc and Fallon’s romance was full of a whole range of powerful emotions, both good and bad. Their passionate, young lover’s story was cut short two years earlier when Fallon left Madoc’s life abruptly, causing misunderstandings and intense hurt on both sides.

Madoc and Fallon were thrown together as stepbrother and sister when their parents got married, and suddenly they had to share a house.  They were complete opposites and their relationship was very antagonistic because of their situation. Madoc was outgoing and popular in school, and Fallon was introverted and quiet, especially starting out in a new school with no friends.  Madoc viewed Fallon in the same negative light as her gold-digging mother, so he didn’t exactly treat her very nicely at first. But time changed their relationship.  It wasn’t long before they were sharing nights holed up in her room, entwined hearts in the night while keeping up a façade of distance during the day. Each felt something big and special, although neither was willing to admit it out loud. 

Everything changes when Fallon’s mother discovers their relationship, and sends Fallon away.  Two years pass and during that time both Fallon and Madoc have built up hurt and pain over what each of them think is true. Now Fallon returns to divvy out some revenge on who she thinks are the guilty: Madoc, his father and her mother.  I could not stand the mother!!  She was conniving, lacked any natural maternal protective feelings and instead only thought of herself!  There were some shocking revelations that really showed the depth of her depravity. Blech!

I felt bad for what both Fallon and Madoc suffered, especially Fallon.  When you feel so passionately about someone is gives them the power to hurt you profoundly, so I can understand why they both hated each other so much. Granted this is because they both assumed things, thanks to their parents, but they didn’t know that. Both Madoc and Fallon are so scared to be hurt again so it takes a while to unravel what actually happened, but when they finally sort it out, they’re inseparable. 

Even before that though, Fallon and Madoc’s intense attraction leaks through the hate and leads to many heated interactions! I was happy that they had these combustible blow-outs instead freezing each other out, because it led to the truth. The ending is a little surprising for a couple so young, but I was totally onboard and for it! 

Penelope Douglas writes romances that are completely addictive, compelling, and super hot!   Like the previous book, I was completely glued to every page!  I can’t wait for the next, Falling Away which centers on Jaxon, Jared’s younger brother.  He’s turning out to be a very interesting character. I was blown away and disturbed by something he did in the end of this book.  

Favorite Quote:
God, I loved her. There was never anything or anyone I wanted more, and she was mine. When we were fourteen years old she came into my life on the heels of a cruel and self-serving woman, but I would do it all again. Every minute. Every ounce of pain. I would go through it all again to get to her.

Connect with Penelope Douglas:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

The publisher generously provided a Paperback copy of Rival to one Readers Den follower.  The giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents only.  Entrants must be 18 years or older. Just fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Monthly Recap: August

It's been a busy month for both Jasprit and I. Work has been non-stop for me, but fortunately I was able to get away for a short vacation by the beach.  Jasprit has had some weddings, and author events (so jealous!) so sorry if we haven't been around much lately!

Number of Books read:
Jasprit: 3
Rachel: 15

Highest rating:
Jasprit: 4 stars
Rachel: 5 stars
Lowest rating:
Jasprit: 2 stars
Rachel: 3 stars

Books reviewed:

(click on titles for review link)


(click on titles for review link)

Bully (Fall Away, #1)  One Plus One  Up at Butternut Lake (The Butternut Lake Trilogy, #1)

Exchange of Fire (SBG, #1)  Hammered (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #3)

Best read of last month:
Jasprit: Last month was a really mixed reading month for me, I wasn't able to read as many books as I wanted, I did start a couple of great ones, but didn't get around to finishing them because of having to return them to the library or because of no time. But one of the books which stood out for me was E.L Freil's Most Wanted, you know when you just need something hot and fun? Well this was that sort of book and it was something I was in the mood for.

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes.  Such a wonderful, crazy story with so much heart! Loved all the point of views and the narration was brilliant!

Book which surprised me the most: 
Jasprit: Landline by Rainbow Rowell. This book surprised me as I think I was expecting so much more going into this book, but it ended up going in a totally different direction entirely. Not that this book wasn't fun, it was, but maybe not my favourite from Rainbow.

Bully by Penelope Douglas. Didn't expect to like Jared at all being he was a bully, but he did a 180 for me.

Fictional crush of the month:
Jasprit: Jax Sayer from Most Wanted, this guy was all kinds of hot. Seriously he was able to make a scene change from being a tense one to super hot within a few seconds and that even without saying anything...

I'm sort of getting a mad crush on Atticus O'Sullivan from The Iron Druid Chronicles! He's super smart, resourceful, and I love the way he's been mooning over Granuaile! Can't wait for their romance to finally blossom.  Luke Daniels does an amazing job narrating and I can't imagine not listening at this point.

Three books I'm most looking forward to this month:
 (Click on titles for Goodreads link)


Everyone I know has devoured a book by Hoover, I'm one of those readers who tends to collect all her books but still haven't read one. Hearing so much praise for her previous books, Ugly Love was the one that I was able to click download on the quickest, so much about this book has me pumped about finally getting around to reading it. Heir of Fire I have had for the longest time, Crown of Midnight left me in a complete wreck, but I am prepared for this book (sort of) and I was a huge fan of The 5th Wave I can't wait to read the next installment The Infinite Sea!

(Click on titles for Goodreads link)

Trapped (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #5) Burying Water Hope Burns (Hope #3)

I'm excited to continue the Iron Druid Chronicles series with Trapped by Kevin Hearne, book five in the series. I'm waiting for my Audible credit to come through to snag it. I loved K.A. Tucker's Ten Tiny Breathes series and I'm hopeful for Burying Water as well. I love the small town romances Jaci Burton has been writing with the Hope series and I can't wait to dive into Hope Burns.

Bookish Photo:

I was able to meet three wonderful authors in the month of August: Leigh Bardugo, Moira Young and Sarah Alderson. Here's a photo of me with Sarah, she's been one of my favourite authors for such a long time, so it was great to finally be able to meet her at a lovely blogger tea!

How was your month of August?

Friday, 29 August 2014

Movie recap: If I Stay.

Rachel and I were huge fans of the book If I Stay by Gayle Forman, it was such a gorgeously written story that we couldn't wait to see how it would come out as a movie. We both got even more excited when teaser trailers started coming out and when bloggers we followed went to watch it and ended up loving it too. So for today's post I decided to share my experience of the film.

I (Jasprit) was lucky enough to win tickets to the movie premier of If I Stay. The release date for the film wasn't until the 29th in the UK, but my sister and I were able to attend the premier on the 26th. Of course I kept telling my sister beforehand to read the book and to take loads of tissues with her, but she decided she wanted to fully experience the film by not knowing anything about it, so she didn't watch any trailers either. When we entered the screening there was a lovely performer playing her cello, I loved how for this premier, they had decided to add this extra touch before the film.

Then we also had a surprise guest appearance from Jamie Blackley, of course as they were really strict on keeping our phones off, I had to scramble about to turn my phone on to get this blurry photo! 

I hadn't thought much about the casting of Mia and Adam before I went into the film, but I have to say the selection made was perfect especially that of Adam *sigh*. I had read the book back in 2011, but by watching the film, it felt like I had just read it the other day, it bought back so many memories and feelings that I had when I first read the book. I loved how well they showed the story, the way we were given the backstory and then the story would jump to the present day. My sister who didn't know what it was about was able to follow it and enjoyed it too. I of course had tears streaming down my face very early on, and found that I couldn't stop after that. My sister is usually the opposite of me and never cries, but of course couldn't hold the tears in with this gorgeous film. I was also a huge fan of the soundtrack too, there's only a few films that I end up liking the entire soundtrack for and this film is definitely one of them. Of course this soundtrack isn't in stock when I needed it *shakes fist*. 

This film definitely has left a special place in my heart, when going back to catch our train, I actually heard someone playing the violin near the tube station and I felt like bursting into tears there and then. Its also one film for sure that I wouldn't mind going to see again and again despite all the tears. 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Author Event Recap: Leigh Bardugo with Moira Young

Last week I was lucky to get the chance to attend the Leigh Bardugo and Moira Young event at Birmingham Waterstones High Street. High Street Waterstones have been having loads of great author events lately, I was lucky to meet Laini Taylor in May and now both Leigh Bardugo and Moira Young. 

The event was a question and answer session with both authors about their writing styles, problems they had experienced in the past and upcoming books. I was lucky again to attend this event with Jess from Jess Hearts Books and Rachel. 
Rachel, Jess and I being photobombed

Both authors were absolutely lovely ahd had a great sense of humour, there were many occasions where I was constantly laughing out loud. Here's a brief recap of the event.

Leigh Bardugo's new book will feature five different pov's

Leigh's series The Grisha Trilogy's has been sold to be made into a movie by Dreamworks and will be produced by the producer who made the film Gravity.

Moira Young has also sold rights for Blood Red Road to be made into a film and directed by Ridley Scott


Moira has a small critique group who has supported her. Moira likes to check back on what she has written on the day before. Sometimes she find description or detail of something that she has written before which she can use later on. Whereas Leigh doesn't like to look back at her previous days work.

Both authors were asked about death of characters in their books. 
Moira said she normally includes a death when it has a purpose or for a switch of momentum. 
Leigh always thinks whether death is the worse thing she could do to her characters. 
Moira's husband actually wrote a two page essay on why she shouldn't kill off one of her characters.

Leigh likes to revise her current read, whilst also writing her new book, whereas Moira only focuses on one book at a time.

When becoming a published author Moira did have a lot of good offers, but was waiting for the right person to come along. And then when she met her publishers to be she knew they were the right ones to sign up with. They also had a crow at the meeting too!

Leigh needs to know the name of her main characters before writing

Moira has been constantly writing since 2009 and said you need the occasional break to let you get back to it. 

Leigh is looking forward to reading Isla and the Happily Ever after and Sarah Rees Brennan new book.

Both authors were lovely enough to take time out to sign our piles of books. 


And take photos with us too!

There was also wonderful bookmarks, badges and postcards that we received from both authors. It was also a great pleasure meeting Nina from Indigo! I've been chatting with Nina through email and Twitter, so it was finally great to meet her in real life!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #27: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

The book I'm eagerly looking forward to is:
Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop 
Expected Publication Date: March 3rd 2015
Publisher: Roc

About the book:
The Others freed the  cassandra sangue  to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…
 I loved the first two books and I can't wait to continue the series.  I'm hoping Simon and Meg stop tip toeing around their feelings and dive right into romance in this installment! Pretty please, Anne Bishop!!

What are you waiting on?  Leave me a link and I'll come check it out.

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