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October 2015

Blog Tour – Return Once More – Trisha Leigh

RETURN ONCE MORE TOUR

RETURN ONCE MORE – REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY!!

I have such a soft spot for the Young Adult genre.. However I find YA is also a genre that can go very wrong and when the concept isn’t pulled off, it can be a total disaster! I tend to be quite picky with my YA reads. When I read the description of Return Once More on the Bound Book Tours email, I admit I was apprehensive. I don’t normally like books about your “one true love” and time travel can be so hit and miss. But the beautiful cover along with the interesting description pushed me to give it a go. And I am SO glad that I did! One of my favourite YA books of the year! And definitely in my top 5 books this year!

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Return Once More is set in the distant future, where Earth as it was is no longer habitable and humans live on a group of terraformed planets, 16 year old Kaia is training to be a “Historian”. Historians are a group of people who go back in time and record important events in Earth’s history. It is extremely important that the historians do not disturb the past, only record. But when Kaia’s 17th birthday arrives, she gets to learn the name of her one true love (yes I know, I know… A scientific calculation based on genetics gives every person the name of their one true love – The person they are most compatible with throughout all of time, I don’t know quite how the author made it work, it just does). And Kaia learns her one true love is a pivotal character in Earth’s history. So obviously she can’t resist going back in time and meeting him. And thus begins an exciting tale of adventure, betrayal, and *shucks*… Love.

This book was REALLY well written. Trisha Leigh has done a fantastic job writing a far-fetched concept and making it exciting and interesting without too much of the corniness that tends to come through in a lot of these sorts of novels. I really enjoyed the world that she created. I LOVED the technology such as the time travel system and the different ways to talk to other people through these futuristic tattoos that link to the persons nervous system. I thought all of these concepts were really creative and clever.

The best thing about this book was the time travel aspect. What a FABULOUS concept! Going back to all different times to witness events of the past! Leigh takes us from the Roman era to the early 20th century and back to Egyptian Pharaoh times, back to 2001… And then swings us back again. I found it thoroughly entertaining!

The characters were fantastic! The main character Kaia wasn’t too annoying for a YA lead. Generally I find that the young female main characters of YA novels extremely irritating, but even though she made some stupid decisions, I found Kaia to be quite likeable. I am really excited to watch her grow both in age and maturity in future novels.

I LOVED that there wasn’t technically a love triangle. That’s probably my number one pet hate of YA books. But this wasn’t like that. Even though there was more than one potential love interest (sort of), the storyline was so complex that it didn’t bother me in the slightest, and I really enjoyed the romance aspect!

But again, the time travel was the star of the show… Couldn’t get enough of it! I think this would make an absolutely fantastic movie (or group of movies) or even a TV show! It has the potential to be BIG.

And what a twist at the end! I totally didn’t see that one coming and I am usually very good at picking it! Can’t wait for the next one!

So many thanks to author Trisha Leigh and YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to read this book and be included in the blog tour!

5 Stars (5 / 5)

5 STARS!! FANTASTIC!!!

 ADD TO GOODREADS

WHERE CAN I BUY THIS BOOK?

AMAZON (US)    AMAZON AU   BARNES & NOBLE   iTunes (US)   KOBO   GOOGLE PLAY   BLOOMSBURY AU

ISBN – 9781619637856

Publisher – Bloomsbury Spark

Release Date – 20th October, 2015  OUT NOW!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Summary from Goodreads:

If you could learn the identity of your one true love—even though you will never meet— would you?

Years have passed since refugees from a ruined earth took to space, eventually settling a new system of planets. Science has not only made the leaps necessary to allow time travel, but the process engineered a strange side effect—predicting your one true love.

If you could save your one true love from an untimely death, would you be able to resist?

Sixteen-year-old Kaia Vespasian is an apprentice to the Historians—a group charged with using time travel to document the triumphs and failures of the past—and she can’t resist a peek at her long-dead soul mate in Ancient Egypt. Before she knows it, she’s broken every rule in the book, and the consequences of getting caught could destroy more than just her new romance.

Or would you have the strength to watch him die?

But when Kaia notices a fellow classmate snooping around in a time where he doesn’t belong, she suspects he has a secret of his own—and the conspiracy she uncovers could threaten the entire universe. If her experience has taught her anything, to changing history means facing the consequences. The Historians trained her to observe and record the past, but Kaia never guessed she might have to protect it— in a race across time to save her only chance at a future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Trisha Leigh

imageTrisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it’s pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y’all. Most of the time. She’s been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels (under her pen name Lyla Payne). Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey’s kisses, reading, her dogs (Yoda and Jilly), summer, movies,  reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90’s-00’s.

Her family is made up of farmers and/or almost rock stars from Iowa, people who numerous, loud, full of love, and the kind of people that make the world better. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they’ve taught, through characters and stories—made up, of course, but true enough in their way.

AUTHOR LINKS:iconwebsite    icontwitter    icongoodreads    iconfacebook

ENTER THE BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY

Blog Tour Hosted By:

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If you enjoy this book you might also enjoy:

Melophobia  image  followed by frost   An ember in the ashes   the darkest minds

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Baby Please Don’t Go – Frank Freudberg

Baby Please Don't Go

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

Ahhh psychological thrillers… My favourite of all genres!! I liked this new psychological thriller from Frank Freudberg. It was well written and engaging.

Lock Gilkenney is a passionate child advocate. He works for the department of child services and responds to an anonymous complaint. When he gets there to investigate he is immediately attracted to the mother of the children Natalie. Natalie’s husband Witt is trouble, causing lots of problems for Natalie and vindictively attempting to take the children from her. Natalie needs help, and Lock might just be able to give it to her. But unfortunately helping her will lead to Lock being dragged into a dark story of deceit, lies, betrayal and murder. All is not what it seems.

Baby Please Don’t Go was written really well, easy to read and very easy to get addicted to. I really enjoyed the first half, it was fascinating and exciting. I was desperate to know what was going to happen! Unfortunately the second half fell a bit flat for me. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first half. However It was still a good read! It just lacked the excitement, thrill and mystery of the first half.

The characters. Man, what can I say?? Talk about STUFFED UP!! Lock, lovely lock with his MANY demons. So vulnerable. I felt for him so much, especially in the first half of the book. By the second half however I was a bit sick of his naivety. I was getting frustrated by his weakness and felt like his character didn’t really do much developing through the book. However he was so damaged, that perhaps there was no way for him to grow.

 Natalie… WOW! Makes Amy from Gone Girl look like a saint! Hats off to the author for writing one of the most selfish, screwed up human being I have ever read about! I absolutely loved how AWFUL she was! Loved to hate her! I liked all the other characters, and there weren’t too many of them which was really refreshing.

I just found it such a shame about the second half. It just lost momentum. All the characters started to become totally unbelievable and I totally lost compassion and empathy for Lock. I wasn’t a big fan of the ending either. it didn’t really have any resolution of sorts, it just sort of ended.

Would I recommend it?

If you like psychological thrillers with extremely messed up characters, absolutely. It was worth reading!

Big thanks to Maxine from Booklover Catlady Publicity and the author for a copy of Baby Please Don’t Go for me to review.

If you enjoyed this book you may enjoy:

   The Comfort of Black - Carter Wilson   Night Tremors - Matt Coyle   image

Little Black Lies - Sharon Bolton

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Gravity – Tess Gerritsen (Audio Version)

Gravity

4 Stars (4 / 5)

This is my first Tess Gerritsen book. I know right? I’m a crime and thriller fan, AND a nurse… I should have read all the Rizzole and Isles by now!?? Well I never intended to, but having read this one I am inclined to give all of her books a go!

To quickly summarise it, some bizarre virus is killing off the crew of the international space station. Where did it come from?? How are they going to stop it? Doctor on board Emma must try to keep everyone alive whilst her husband back on earth goes on a mission to discover the origins of the pathogen.

Great read! Extremely suspenseful and exciting! Loved the whole thing! Yes, it was pretty corny… But it was supposed to be! I thought it was fantastic!

The characters were great! Soon to be ex husband and wife Emma and Jack are a great team.

The audio version was fantastic. The narrator was wonderfully talented and probably the best narrator of any audio book I have listened to so far. Even his portrayal of the female characters was fantastic and he really captured the emotion of all the characters.

There was quite a bit of blood and gore in this book and I really enjoyed it! Because most of the gory scenes happen in space it added an extra grossness… Floating blood etc. Thought it was really well done.

Some of the medical scenes were totally over the top, but Dr Gerritsen obviously knows her stuff as everything was quite accurate. I guess that is what makes her one of the top medical thriller authors.

Would I recommend it?

Yes it was great fun! Really enjoyed it. Any thriller and fan of a little space blood and guts will love Gravity! I’ve already started putting her other books on my TBR list!

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The Mine – John A. Heldt

the mine

3.25 Stars (3.25 / 5)

I enjoyed this time travel romance. I have a high expectation for time travel books as so often they can so often be done poorly. This one was delightful.

Joel is on a road trip with a friend in the year 2000 when he stumbles across an abandoned mine. It just so happens that some strange celestial event is occurring at the same time and once he enters the mine he is thrust back in time to 1941. With money he can’t use because it hasn’t been printed yet, and no identification, he has to quickly learn how to make his way in a world that is about to be ravaged by war. He also happens to come across his grandmother and fall in love with her very-much-engaged-already best friend Grace. If the opportunity to go home again came, would he take it?

I loved the characters. Joel was a fantastic character! I loved how he was forced to navigate through this foreign time with nothing but his wits and intelligence, and luckily a good memory of history. I enjoyed his sense of humour and take on life. I was a bit perplexed by some of his choices in regards to his love life, but overall he was a great character.

I enjoyed the other characters too but I feel it lacked a bit of conflict. I find I really enjoy stories where the main character makes an enemy or has to work out how to deal with a foe, I felt that this story lacked a bit of OOMPH for me. Don’t get me wrong it was a lovely romance, but I felt at times it was a little slow moving without too much strength in the story to keep me totally hooked.

I really enjoyed the friendship that bloomed between Joel and Tom. That was one of the best parts of the book for me. The predicament he was in, that if he didn’t let Tom go, he would never be born.

The book was extremely well written and easy to read. I polished it off fairly quickly.

As for the romance. I don’t know… I just felt it was slightly forced and unbelievable. I found Grace to be quite a dull character and their interactions were quite drab. And Joel sure was forward to get the attention of the already extremely ENGAGED Grace. And knowing that any alterations that he makes in regards to the timeline may have dire consequences, some of his actions did surprise me. Especially towards the end. However the twist at the very end made up for this and overall it was a satisfying read.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, If you enjoy a nice feel good romance and a bit of time travel with a touch of history, The Mine is for you.

Many thanks to the author John A. Heldt for a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

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The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

the name of the wind original

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Well… That was an epic book! Perhaps not the smartest book to listen to on audio just because it was MAMMOTH, and it took me a good few weeks to listen to it. I love a good fantasy book and Rothfuss has written the first of what is already an extremely popular trilogy (or eventual trilogy as only the first 2 books and a novella have been released so far, and the next one is over a year away according to goodreads).

There is no way to sum this book up briefly, but I will give a quick run down… It is the story of the life of Kvothe, who is a legendary fighter and magician of sorts. An older man now, Kvothe tells his story to a writer to record. His story begins when he was a young boy performing in a travelling troop with his parents. When they are killed by a mysterious evil known as the Chandrian, Kvothe makes it his lifes mission to get revenge. And thats all I will really give away about this book or I will be going on and on and on.

I don’t feel that I am an audiobook novice anymore. The audiobook version of this novel is over 28 hours long! But I can’t complain. Nick Podehl was extremely enjoyable to listen to. I seem to have a problem at the start with all audiobooks. Because I am so used to the previous book I listened to, any change in narration leaves me a little weirded out. I find it difficult at least for the first half an hour to get used to the new voice. Their tone and energy. I wonder if any of my audiobook junkie friends would agree that this is a common problem? And I’m not sure if the audible version I listened to was recorded differently than other audiobooks I have listened to, but the narrator’s voice seemed almost a bit far away. However I did get used to it fairly quickly and once I did. I settled in for the 27+ hours ahead…

The story… I think it would be pretty hard not to like this book. It is extremely well written and Rothfuss is a great storyteller. I’m not sure if it was the “absolutely best fantasy book I’ve ever read” as I have seen other passionate reviewers say it was… But I absolutely enjoyed it a lot.

I loved most of the characters in The Name of the Wind, and there were a lot of them. However one big problem is that I really didn’t like the young Kvothe. He was reckless and arrogant, and I just didn’t like him. Although I didn’t mind the older version of him at all so I am imagining that his character transforms and grows throughout the next two books and I am very much looking forward to that. Denna… What a pain in the bum! Didn’t like her character AT ALL. I didn’t like the way she was written and I really didn’t like the way the narrator portrayed her voice for some reason. But having said that, you cant love every character you read about, and she is pivotal to the story as much as she annoys me. I am wondering what she has done that is so bad to betray him in the next few books. I LOVED the hate match with Kvothe and Ambrose. Fabulous!

I absolutely recommend the audio version. There were some parts that I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed so much if I hadn’t listened to it. Especially the part with the man travelling with the pigs and the accent. I laughed all the way home from work listening to that part in the car!

I don’t know what else to say really, I think it would be hard NOT to at least enjoy this book. The ratings alone speak for how loved this book is. Of course epic fantasy isn’t for everyone… But if you don’t mind dabbling in a bit of it – I would ABSOLUTELY recommend this book!

On his blog Rothfuss mentioned that there may be a movie or TV deal in discussions, and that would be really great! Not sure if it will be better off staying just in my memory though, and not a screen.

And for my audiobook junkie friends… Should I go straight for number 2 now that I am used to the narrator? Or should I give my brain a break from the 42 hour long sequel??

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The Killing Lessons – Saul Black

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2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

I couldn’t help but be somewhat disappointed with this book. I had heard such wonderful things about it and a lot of my friends have given it a minimum of 4 stars. I just didn’t feel all the LOVE.

There are a few things going on at once in this thriller. First we meet Rowena and her family at a secluded house where two armed men enter. 10 Year old Nell is the only one who escapes and flees into the snow. One of the men follows her and so begins Nell’s fight for survival. At the same time Valarie, a detective, is desperately trying to find a serial killer who has killed many women in horrible, gruesome ways. She realises that he may not be acting alone. And finally Xander’s story. The killer. How and why is he doing what he is doing? And how did he get such incompetent help? The three stories of Nell, Xander and Valarie continue, and come together in a griping conclusion.

Now don’t get me wrong, I did like this book. It was very gripping and exciting in parts. The characters were well written, all interesting and complex. However too much of it was just totally unbelievable and corny and TOTALLY predictable. There were a few times in the book where the author would focus on something small and “insignificant” eg a funny shaped tree, and give it just a little bit too much attention, which made the reader aware that it would end up being an integral part of the investigation. It was way too predictable for me. Even the reason that Carla disliked Valarie was SO OBVIOUS. I felt every twist as a disappointment.

Parts of this book were extremely slow. There was more than one occasion where I was totally and utterly bored reading about what the characters were thinking about every second. Or when they would go off on tangents, imagining what it would be like if they were in a different situation. It felt like it went ON AND ON AND ON. And Valarie! Oh my gosh if she went on about “what its like to LOVE” any more, I think I would have ripped my hair out! I counted at least 10 different occasions where she went on about LOVE and what its like to have LOVE and what its like to lose LOVE and LOVE and LOVE. ARRRRRGGGGG!!!!! And then the other characters started on about LOVE AND LOVE AND LOVE…

And lets not mention the medical inaccuracies… I can’t help but be frustrated with the description of miscarriage, pain relief and other cringe worthy medical parts of this book.

Ok enough with the bad. It was exciting. I will admit that. I enjoyed the majority of the characters. I liked Valerie despite her flaws and I tried not to hold all the LOVE against her… I enjoyed the relationship she sort of had with Nick. I liked how the bad guys were written,  and there was a lot of blood and gore in this book. I’m glad it wasn’t too graphic though, some of the killings were over even my threshold of tolerability in a thriller (which is saying something) but a lot of the really bad stuff was mentioned or merely eluded to, but not described in detail.

Would I recommend The Killing Lessons?

Yes, but for die hard thriller fans… Those who don’t mind their thrillers with a little bit of dribble.

 

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The Red Door – Rosa Fedele

the red door

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Glad to have found another Aussie book by an Aussie author to add to the list! I have been extremely unpatriotic through my life and have avoided Australian books. Only recently am I beginning to hugely regret this, as I have found some incredible books. I have wasted a lot of my life not reading Aussie books!!  I am really enjoying the Australian settings, especially in my home city Sydney – So I was glad to review this book as it is set in Glebe.

The main character (who we don’t know by name until the very end), bought the mansion “Rosalind” after a troubling event from her past. She is in the process of renovating and refurbishing the whole place. Its going smoothly with exception of some strange events on the upper level, and the fact that the tenant in number three wont let her in, and she begins to suspect he may be watching her. She does a little digging only to find her tenant may be connected in some way to the vicious murders of two teenage girls that occurred twenty years prior. Her quest to find out what happened leads her to some stunning realisations that will shake up the comfortable life she has created for herself, and her new friends. Has she found a killer? What happened in her past to make her run away to Rosalind? And why is it so cold upstairs?

I must be honest. When I first started reading this I didn’t think it was going anywhere. It felt quite disjointed, went around everywhere and I was a bit confused about who was who. I failed to see the significance of all the characters and parallel storylines. And the writing, with the small sections that ended without an explanation, began to frustrate me.  However I stuck with it and was extremely pleasantly surprised as the story began to unfold and I couldn’t put it down! Having finished it now I can appreciate how cleverly refreshing the writing was.

I loved the characters, especially Monique and Claudia. The main character and Anne annoyed me at times, but overall all the characters had their appealing qualities. I liked the main character a lot more after we learn of her back story. I enjoyed the romances and especially the complex – sometimes destructive friendships in the novel. And there were quite a few character twists to keep me satisfied! Especially towards the end of the book.

 I would call this novel more of a mystery than a thriller, although it did have a few thrilling moments. However it was completely engrossing, especially in the last two thirds of the novel. The author also did the illustrations throughout the book which are beautiful, and definitely give the novel more character and texture. I only wish there was more of them, as they seemed to randomly appear at the beginning of some chapters but not others.

It was set in 1983, the year I was born, so perhaps I’m a bit too young to appreciate a lot of the early 80’s references, however this didn’t matter in the slightest. I have seen Duran Duran live (admittedly only because they were opening for Robbie Williams), so at least I wasn’t completely clueless!

Would I recommend it?

Yes for any mystery and thriller lovers and fans of 1980’s Sydney.

Many thanks to author Rosa Fedele for a copy of The Red Door, in exchange for my review.

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The Right Wrong Thing – Ellen Kirschman

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3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

The Right Wrong Thing is an extremely interesting and entertaining thriller told from a very different perspective.

The story is told through the eyes of Dr Dot Meyerhoff, a psychological consultant with the police department. After recommending that Randy Spelling is psychologically fit to begin working as a police officer, the young officer gets involved in two major incidents, one involving the accidental killing of an innocent pregnant teenager. When Randy attempts to apologise to the distraught family, it has dire consequences. Dr Meyerhoff, then gets herself involved in the investigation and finds herself trying to catch a killer.

What really interested me about this book is the psychological viewpoint. I don’t think I have ever read a book where the narrator is a psychologist and is dealing with complex psychological problems of their patients. Having completed half a psychology degree and having an interest in all this mind stuff, I was fascinated with the obviously extensive knowledge of the author. She knows her stuff and it was fascinating.

It was fascinating, it was well written, exciting and thrilling in places, and had interesting twists and turns.

What I didn’t like about this book was the stupidity of the main character. Dot got herself in many situations that wouldn’t take a clinical psychologist to know, were IDIOTIC. I just found it a bit too unbelievable that she would do some of the things that she did.

The other characters were great. Loved all the police officers and the chief was extremely damaged and a really interesting character. Even Dot was a great character, she just made STUPID decisions!

I really enjoyed that the narrator was an older woman. A refreshing change from the common young characters that I have read in most novels recently. She had life experience, and a head on her shoulders… Which just made her decisions even more unbelievable.

Would I recommend it?

Yes! Despite the things I didn’t like, it was still a very enjoyable and fascinating read. I wouldn’t mind reading her other stuff, especially the non fiction books!

thanks to Oceanview Publishing via NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my review.

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